My mother in law phoned me this week just as I was getting ready to go to Charles' school for a share afternoon. I didn't have time to answer it, and knew she would leave a message. I thought she would be ringing to see if I was ok because I hadn't replied to a text she sent the day before.
My signal was all over the place so the voicemail kept cracking. I picked up a few words and heard her say something about a kitten so listened again.
It was quite weird really, when I heard her say that there were 2 kittens, from the farm we got our cat Jasmine from 10 years ago, and that they were looking for a home. She was going to have the girl and didn't know if we would be interested in the boy.
My immediate thought was 'no' but there was something in my head, and that clicked in my heart, that was saying "why not?!".
Jasmine has been by herself since her brother, Harry, was hit by a car in 2009. She has been a house cat since 2011 and I do worry about her. I worry about whether or not she feels lonely or if she wants some company.
It is a bit of a gamble, as she could hate him. I remembered back to when we got her though. Harry hated her. She would go stumbling over to him and he would hiss, look annoyed, and walk off. Yet when we weren't looking he would clean her and soon enough she had him well and truly under the paw.
In fact she had become so dependent on him that it was worrying when he died because she would not clean herself.
I kept thinking about those times with them and how actually, although our house isn't big, she would be able to avoid the kitten if she really wanted to. But secretly, she loves attention and the fact that she would be getting that will probably be quite lovely for her.
Well, to cut a long story short. My husband said no. I begged. He carried on the no thing. I text his mum saying that the answer was no. I went through to him again. Begged some more. He said no. I cried. He said yes.
I text his mum immediately saying "WAIT! HE SAID YES".
And then within no time they were on the phone to each other arranging the pick up date.
It just felt really quite special.
My mother in law had the sister of our cat Harry and it felt a little like we had to do that again. And if she was having this girl kitten leaving her brother behind that we should give him a home.
I straight away started thinking about names. Top of my list was Woody. Because of Toy Story and the Tom Hanks link of course. But also because it is my nickname for the boys and my husband too. And so for a while it was Woody. And then.....well then the name Walter became the one.
It was one of the names I had on my baby names list...but that my husband said no to.
So, it seemed perfect to use it for the kitten.
Also, for the facts that:
1. Our cat Jasmine was named after Princess Jasmine in Alladin (I wasn't allowed Belle, Ariel or Aurora) and obviously Walter was Walt Disney's name.
2. Tom Hanks played Walt Disney in Saving Mr Banks.
3. Tom Hanks played Walter Fielding in Money Pit.
4. It is a traditional name in my husbands family and used to be the name given to first born sons. I didn't know this until after I told my mother in law our name choice.
5. It is a FANTASTIC name. Simple.
And now he is here.
He is super tiny, super cute with the most adorable meow. He's already made us laugh by hissing and getting very angry at his own shadow.
It's going to be tough with Jasmine and it's something we will have to work on. And teaching the boys to be gentle.
But already, we're a little (a lot) in love.