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In 2010, as a surrogate, I had twins - a boy and a girl. Our kids had been wanting a puppy. We said we'd consider it after the twins left. The day they went home, my husband suggested we go to the shelter and look at the puppies to help soothe my sadness. None of the puppies grabbed my attention. He asked if I wanted to look at the kittens. I told him that was dangerous because if there was a cute one, we'd be taking it home.

The first kitten I saw was down at the bottom. Black and white, black spot on her nose (like a kitty I used to have years ago), playing with a metal ring on her cage. I was immediately smitten, but decided to keep looking. Up at the very top, hiding in the back of his cage was a shy, black kitten named Brownie. Other prospective parents tried coaxing him out from behind the blanket he was hiding behind. He peered at them over the top of the blanket, but wouldn't budge. As everyone began to investigate the other kitties, I took the opportunity to check him out. I walked over to the cage, looked at his cute little face (what I could see of it), and smiled. He pounced straight at me. "I pick YOU!"

We adopted them both, a boy and a girl. We named her Bellatrix and renamed him Spooky Fizzgig. (Sometimes, it's Toothless). Days later, Spooky got sick. After two trips to the vet, antibiotics, eyedrops, and nosedrops that he allowed me to administer without fussing at all, he got better and became a Momma's boy. He used to sit on the desk in front of me, hold my bottom lip in his teeth, and purr while I'd pet him. He has since claimed my son as his own personal human. Bella was very skittish for the first few years - but now, she's a cuddle bug and sleeps on me every night. I can't imagine our lives without them. I like to think they feel the same. <3

Julie Parker
Santa Ana, CA

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