Thursday, April 26, 2018

Our Black Ray Of Sunshine

This past week John and I've had a little miracle dropped in our laps. Or rather, in my rack:

A post shared by Jen Yates (@epbot) on

:D

This little ball of teeth and claws is a 5 week-old-kitten, and her story is pretty incredible.

It started about 10 days ago, after we lost Tonks, but a few days before we lost Lily. I was up to my eyeballs in scheduled feedings and stress and grief, at the end of my emotional strength. John had already been gingerly suggesting we try adopting a new kitten for Lily, in the hopes of rousing her spirits.

I was against this plan.

It was Saturday afternoon, I think, when John again suggested a kitten. I explained - again - why that was a terrible idea, and not 10 minutes later, John's phone blooped with a new text. It was our neighbor, Rebecca:

"Hey, I just found a kitten on the highway. Do you want a new cat?"

Rebecca had no idea of our circumstances, no idea we'd just lost Tonks. John also claims this was NOT some nefarious plan the two of them concocted behind my back, though I still have my suspicions. And to be fair, Rebecca is the sort of sweet soul who's always bringing in lost dogs and hunting down their owners.

Rebecca told us she first thought the kitten was a black hair scrunchie there in the middle of the road. The asphalt was bleached gray so everyone could see the black lump, and cars were swerving to avoid it. When Rebecca realized the lump was alive, she immediately pulled over to rescue the tiny thing. She tells us the kitten was splayed spread-eagle, all her claws out, hanging on for dear life. Other than being completely terrified, though, the kitten seemed perfectly healthy. So Rebecca scooped her into the car and headed home.

Once home their adventure continued, because Rebecca couldn't find the kitten anywhere in the car. It was just gone. Fast forward an hour and a disassembled dash board, and she found the kitten nestled deep inside the car's guts, completely silent, only her open eyes visible.

Rebecca has dogs at home, so her house wasn't the best environment for a tiny terrified kitten. That's when she texted John.

How do you say no to a story like that, you guys?

You don't, that's how.


So we agreed to foster her, and set the kitten up in our guest bath. We gave her towels and hidey holes and food and water, and then mostly turned our attention back to Lily.

Then Monday happened.

I won't talk about that.

Late Monday John had to get us home again from the vet, and we were both so wrecked I knew it was dangerous to drive. Desperately I started talking about the kitten to get our minds off it, about how we had to feed her and bathe her and set up this-and-that for her. So we got home safely, and that's what we did: we immediately set to work preparing her food, scooping her litter, and giving her first bath. Kitten was loud and demanding and DEEPLY offended by said bath, so between combing out her fleas and disinfecting the bleeding scratches all over my arms and then holding her in a warm towel for hours until she fell asleep, it was impossible to focus on anything else.

Her eyes are almost a completely true gray - it took me about three days to realize they're actually a little green.

That night I couldn't sleep. I lay there exhausted and wrung out, but my mind's "off" switch ran away cackling, forever just out of reach.

After several hours I got up and left the room, quietly shutting the door so I wouldn't wake John.

Then I just stood there outside the bedroom door, frozen. Most nights when my insomnia is that bad I pace the house, and the sound of my movement rouses the girls. They'd come over with yawns and meows, and then I'd pick up Lily, and we'd walk together. Round and round the house. She loved being held on my left shoulder, and I'd bury my face in her side as we'd make long loops through the main rooms of the house. Somehow Lily's fur always smelled faintly of graham crackers, and that sweetness never failed to calm me.

So I stood there in the quiet and the dark that night, unconsciously waiting for soft steps I knew weren't coming, and felt... lost. I didn't know where to go or what to do. "What now?" I thought. "What do I do now?"

Then through the quiet and empty stillness, there came a tiny meow from the guest bath. Then another, louder and more insistent.


I opened the bathroom door and sat on the floor inside, legs outstretched. I didn't look for the kitten, but at the sound of my soft sobs she appeared. She tumbled towards me and rubbed her tiny head on my feet - and then she started to purr, her very first purr here. It was so loud, so startling, and when I put my hand out to pet her she pounced, grabbing my fingers in a stabby bear hug and making me chuckle. She started batting at the tissues in my hand, then the drawstring on my PJs. In short, she refused to let me focus on anything but her... and that was exactly what I needed.



That face.

The next day we moved Kitten into my office. We bought her toys and dishes and a little cat tent to sleep in, and every day she got a little bolder, a little more affectionate. John took her to her first checkup where she promptly caught a cold (grr), so now she keeps sneezing right after rubbing her face against ours, which is gross and adorable at the same time.




John and I still consider Kitten a foster, and honestly I don't know what the future holds for the three of us. She's still too young for certain tests at the vet, so we're on hold for a couple weeks until she gets a clean bill of health. (She can't be around other cats 'til then.) And for our part, honestly I feel so beat up I don't know that I'm ready to commit to another cat. I don't know if I'm up for the terrors of kitten-hood and its nonstop cyclone of destruction, heh. Especially since we'd have to get a second cat, so Kitten could have a playmate. I don't know, you guys. I just don't know. (And John seems equally flummoxed.)

She's learning to ride shoulders now. John is very proud.

So for now we're just existing in the moment and enjoying each others' company as much as we can. Kitten plays on my lap while I work, and every night the three of us hang out in John's room, Kitten zooming around, jumping from lap to lap while we watch TV or play games. She's been my bite-y little lifeline, a reason to get up on the really hard days, and a hundred reasons to smile with every purr, lunge, and sudden snuggle. I do love her, and I love that she came to us right when we needed her most. She will always be my black ray of sunshine, the light John and I needed in a dark time, and you can bet I will fight tooth and nail to give her the best home possible as thanks. After all she's done for us, for me, she deserves it.



You're probably noticing we haven't named Kitten. It's partly because I don't know that we'll keep her, and partly because nothing we've thought of seems to fit. So hey, suggestions welcome! Maybe as her personality comes out more something will click.

I also need to thank you - all of you - for the thousands of hearts and prayers and sweet wishes of healing you've sent our way. Your links and photos on Facebook gave me much-needed smiles and distraction, and your financial support has been flatly overwhelming, allowing us to pay off all of our vet bills from the last two months, which were substantial. I can't tell you how grateful and humbled and loved John and I feel right now, all thanks to this community. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Oh! And here's a bunch of video clips of Kitten being a kitten:

 

I suggest having the sound on for purrs and laughter.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a kitten climbing my leg. Apparently this post has taken too much of my time, and she requires food and/or a wrestling match immediately.

Rest assured, I'll keep you guys posted.

240 comments:

  1. Name her "Dash(board)"!

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  2. Aaawww, she's so adorable! And those purrs! <3

    You just take your time and do what feels right for you.

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  3. Whether you keep Kitten or not, it's so sweet that she's perfect for you in the moment. We fostered a kitten a number of years ago who had been burned on her belly, chest, and paws and found under the Dumpster at my husband's work (vet thought she'd been trapped in a car engine). We nursed her back to health and it was lovely, but we knew after a few weeks that she wasn't a permanent fit for us. Hoerver, we were what she needed right then and we loved having her, so we felt satisfied when we found another home for her after her worst burns healed about 5 or 6 weeks later. Definitely conflicted at first like you, but once we'd made the decision we knew it was right. I'm sure you'll get to the place where you know it's a yes or no, but no reason to force it. Just enjoy the silliness and loud purrs!

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  4. Sunshine? Maybe Sunny for short? She's a cutie!

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  5. I didn't realise you had lost Lily as well. I'm so sorry.

    Kitten is adorable. She needs to be called Sabrina.

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    1. I didn't realize Lily was gone, either. Too much sadness in such a short period of time. My condolences.

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  6. Name her Nixie. Nyx was the Greek goddess of the night; nix and/or nixies are (water) sprites; and nixie tubes!

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    1. I was going to suggest Nyx! There's definitely something magical\mystical about her!

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  7. Also, I love the name "Miss Kitty Fantastico" after Tara and Willow's kitten in Buffy :D.

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  8. She loves ya. <3

    And she's definitely Dinkey. A small locomotive from the puff and smoke era, carrying a small amount of passengers on their everyday routes. Also known from bringing out the playful side of mankind. http://www.ameshistory.org/content/ames-college-railway-dinkey

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  9. Narrator Voice: "They kept the kitten."

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  10. I love the name 'Mischief' for her, but I suppose a lot of kittens are mischevious; but crawling into the inner guts of a car engine seems like a special level of mischief, LOL!!! I'm so glad you found her, what a sweet little angel! Even if she's just a visitor, what a sweetheart. <3

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    1. Mischief was the first thing I thought of as well, followed shortly by Shenanigans. ;o)

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  11. My 7 year old loves to tell people that when he gets a cat he'll call it 'Sass', so he can say "This is my cat Sass (get it, cat's ass!)" :)

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  12. Oh, my...I'm glad you were there when she needed you, and she was there when you needed her.

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  13. Awww - just the thing to give you something to focus on when you need some mental space from all the 'stuff' inside your head :-) Her eyes will start to develop their adult colour at about 6 - 7 weeks of age.
    You'll know soon enough whether she's staying or passing through on her way to other adventures, and either way that's good. If she's staying for a while, you could maybe look at fostering an older cat as a companion for her (well, old enough to provide some guidance to the little troublemaker on proper cat manners, since orphans that lose Mum too early can really struggle with social issues). If she is just passing through and the house feels empty when she moves on, I'm sure there would be another little friend to foster in your area when you are ready. In the mean time, put away precious breakables, enjoy the crazy antics, and make the most of Now.
    As for names, I can think of a bunch - V8, [Insert favourite loud and zoomy sports car brand / model here, e.g. Porsche, Maserati, Beemer, etc (we have pet sheep called Maz and Lambo; no points for guessing their full names)], Ziva, Serenity, Serendipity, Onyx, Opal, Opal Nera, Sambuca, Ash(phalt), Bowie, (Cat)'Astrophe, Kai, and Miri (Miracle; also in Maori, Miri can mean soothe, stroke, caress). Or perhaps an 'in memoriam' name - Tinkle. I like Esther-Elise's suggestion of Nixie/Nyxie as well, especially as they are rather mischievous in many books :-)
    Kahurangi, New Zealand

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    1. a sheep called Lambo has just made me laugh louder and longer than acceptable.

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  14. That little squeaky meow! So cute!

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  15. I think I told you of the loss of our 21 year old Savannah on April 10th. She had a few "old age" things going on, but was holding her own until that weekend before when she took a sudden turn and we knew it was time for her to go to the Rainbow Bridge. I am one who can't NOT have a cat in the house. Hubby works long cRaZy hours and I can't stand talking to myself day in, day out! We found this little about 1 year old calico at Suncoast Animal Rescue and I fell in love. The minute we walked into the room, this one just started talking to me. "Come over here, look at me, touch ME, love ME!" (Or words to that effect!) There was no info sheet on her cage, so I asked. They said she had been spoken for and that the person who wanted her had til the end of the day to claim her or she would go back for adoption. Her name was Callie. So I said, well, can I put my name down in case the other party doesn't take her? The lady said we generally don't do that, but we will do it this time for you. She seems to like you and you sure seem to like her. So we came home, to an empty house, and started cleaning Savannah's litter boxes, disinfecting them. Busy work, So we didn't have to think about her being gone. A little before 4, Suncoast called. "Callie" was ours! The other person backed out. THAT'S when I bawled. For Savannah. For Callie. For me. It. Was. Meant. To. Be. We picked her up the next day. Her name is now Sakura, which is the Japanese word for Cherry Blossom. We've had her checked by our vet and she got a clean bill of health from her. She is a Love Bug! She HAS to be touching one or the other or both of us. There is still a LOT of kitten in her, which we haven't experienced in over 20 years! That kitten mostly comes out when it's time for US to go to bed! The zoomies happen and every toy she owns gets dragged into the bedroom and she is up on one side of the bed, stops long enough to give kitty kisses, then to the other side of the bed for more kitty kisses, then down and zoom, off again! She has become my shadow. I am so glad she was so insistent when we walked into the room to come see ME! It was like she knew. And I like to think that Savannah had a little paw in that.
    I hope Kitten helps you and Jon through these dark days. Maybe Tilly for a name. A combination of Tonks and Lily. And I'd also like to think that they met up with Savannah and are waiting together for us to join them at the Bridge. That way, Savannah isn't lonely.

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    1. Reading your story and your name suggestion of Tilly made me cry <3. And having a name that is also a Star Trek character can't be wrong ;).

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    2. Tilly is also a ghost cat character on Breaking Cat News, so that's another plus.

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  16. Maybe a name with a Black Panther reference because she is so beautifully dark? T'Challa? Wakanda? Shuri?

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  17. Aw, she's adorable, and I'm so glad you guys found each other. Life is funny sometimes, isn't it? I haven't seen the Black Panther movie, but every time her little (massive!?) claws come out that's all I can picture. So perhaps a name from that? Shuri? Nakia?

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  18. If she's your ray of sunshine, perhaps Rey for added geekiness?
    Alternatively, I wanted to name our black dog Snowflake, but my husband nixed it, so it's yours if you want it. :)

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  19. Well she's seriously adorable.

    Sirius Black?

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  20. Many hugs, much peace and rest in the knowledge that Tonks and Lilly knew love with you. Hopefully this baby in need gives you what you need in return. It sounds like she is.....

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  21. This post made me so happy for you. Recent events broke my heart; I couldn't stop thinking about what had happened. I do believe in fate or divine intervention, or as Sue said above: her Savannah having 'had a paw in it'.

    If you are continuing the HP theme in names, may I offer: Molly, Cissy, Queenie, Bella, Trixie, Petunia, Helga, Minerva, Gabby, Luna, Tina, Nymph, Winky, Poppy and finally, Granger.

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  22. Awww, I lurve her! So cute! Whether you keep her or not, I know she will be well taken care of. :)

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  23. I think Shenanigans is a perfect name, if you decide to keep her.

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  24. My Coaly arrived on my mother's front porch the week I told her that I wouldn't look for another cat after losing my Nikki (19 years), Nittany (14 years), and Cissy (16 years) all within a year. They find you when you need them most.

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  25. Name her Toothless. It's the first thing I thought of when I saw her, sweet kitty.

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    1. My thoughts exactly.

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    2. Toothless popped in my mind too after the first pics you posted of her. Her color reminds me of Toothless. And now after reading that she's all "tooth" and claws and bitey right now it would be a cute and ironic name. I'm so sorry about Lily.

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    3. I was going to suggest Toothless as well, given both the chomping and the bit of time to warm up to you. Although my family adopted a kitten when I was in high school that had an official name but was forever known as "Kitten." Sometimes fate/God/Supreme Being seems to bring us what we need in the most unexpected ways.
      (So sorry to hear about your losses.)

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  26. I like the Shuri suggestion, but she also looks like a Night Fury, so maybe toothless? Or, you could just straight up give her a fitting name like Betty or something that's not based on a fandom. Either way, I'm sure it will come to you.

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  27. You could name her Rey (ray of sunshine, and, you know...). So sorry for your losses. I know all too well how devastating it is to lose your family members. :( Hugs.

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  28. I once had all three of my cats die in one summer (various cancers, iirc). When the last one died I went the same day and picked up a shelter cat and took her home.
    On the one hand, I'm a heartless woman who just plugged in a new cat when the old one was worn out.
    On the other hand, when I inevitably caught any movements in the corner of my eye, I could think it was the new cat and not have the repeated shocking heartbreak of thinking for a moment that it was one that was lost to me.

    May your new/temporary kitty give you all the comfort you need.

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  29. Oh Jen I'm so sorry to hear about Lilly, too. Losing pets is absolutely the worst - they're so much more than pets, aren't they? I'm glad you and Kitten found one another and that she's been such a comfort. As for a name, what about Luna? I like that it continues your Potter-name theme, but since "luna" means "moon" in Latin, it also makes me think of the night sky. Feels fitting given her black fur.

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  30. We had a very similar situation. Shortly after the loss of one of our cats a coworker found a black kitten on the side of the road. He was so tiny and sick and had a broken leg. We decided to foster him because broken black kittens have no chance at the shelter. Long story short he’s still with us, he brings us so much joy, and Neutrino is the perfect name for bitey black kitten.

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  31. How about Louise? From Bob's Burgers. She seems like a Louise to me.

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  32. So glad this little bundle of fluff came into your lives at the right time. Time will tell you guys whether she's destined to be a "foster failure," as we call the ones who don't go back to the spca at the end of the foster period.

    As for names, I like Sarah's "Luna" suggestion -- you can always add the -tic on the end when needed. The first name I thought of was Hecate.

    It makes my heart happy that you have a source of laughter and furry high jinks right now.
    -Zippy

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  33. Obviously you guys should do what feels right to you, but I love the idea of a whole string of fosters coming through your house, and you two fixing them up and sending them out into the world the way you do with so many other projects where you take some random flea market find and turn it into something beautiful. So maybe fostering for a while, and then foster failing at some point?

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  34. Cat Central knows when and where a delivery is needed. Whether you keep her or not, thank you for being willing in your pain to open up to the need.

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  35. Thestral - clever, loyal, kindly and gentle, and seen by those who've suffered a loss.

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  36. I can assure you as the cat chairperson of the cats at my shelter, Luna has found her forever home with you already. :) She has picked and claimed her new family. I was able to have Narcissa, a friendly feral, deliver 6 kittens in my home before taking them to the shelter when they were older. Ginnie and Ella got adopted, but Luna, Millie, Percy and Weasley still are at the shelter waiting for their forever homes with their mom, Narcissa. Our Luna is a beautiful black cat, and I think yours wears the name proudly as well. The joy and beauty of having animals love us is that there is a continuous supply of love available for new ones in our lives. Many hugs and warm thoughts for you and John as you navigate your closing and opening doors on the cat pathway....

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  37. I agree with Sue (above comment at 5.59am) Tilly is a perfect name for this little bundle. I hope she continues to help you both to heal.

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  38. She looks like my Harley. He adopted us almost two years ago. We found him in the backyard, hiding in the cabinet under the barbecue, hungry and scared. Vet estimated him at 4 months old. Apparently someone deliberately dumped him in our yard - who would do that to a kitten?! Wasn't looking for a cat. Now I can't imagine life without him. Black cats rock! And they need special people to love and care for them.

    While I played your video, the mews and purrs got his attention. He jumped on my desk and started rubbing his face on the corner of my laptop. His way of greeting your baby:-)

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  39. Name her Rey! Both as your little ray of sunshine and after one of the best Star Wars heroines ever! Or Toothless? (I see both have already been suggested, but I'll second them.) Although naming her after one of the ladies in Black Panther might be better. :D A few summers ago, I fostered a big boy that we were calling Ebony T'challa. He was SO VERY demanding of head scratches.
    I don't want to bog you down with feels, but I've had a similar experience. My cat without white paws, Blossom, used to have a sister named Astrid. My family got them both as kittens. The funny thing is, Astrid was mine and Blossom was supposed to be my sister's! But since I'm the older one, I wound up being more responsible for both kitty-girls. Astrid was playful while Blossom was the cuddly one. We had them for a few months, but then one day, Astrid went on an adventure and never came back. I was heartbroken, but Blossom was still there. And I needed to take care of her. Having to get up early every single day to feed Blossom helped me not sink too deeply into my own sadness. Having Kitten is so, so good for you both.
    Pinkie Welborne, 17
    Indiana

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  40. How about Loki? Isn't he a night god or have I watched The Mask too many times? :) But her black coloring fits and the bits of green in her eyes. She seems to have a bit of the trickster in her, so I think Loki would suit her perfectly!

    Also, so sorry for your loss. You guys are doing a good thing. Virtual hugs!

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    1. I love the idea of Loki! It's perfect! (And, if any of you haven't already, read Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology -- now, go get it now!)

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  41. You know the movie Kiki's delivery service? So Kiki has a black cat whose name is Jiji. Goodness knows you have plenty of great ideas to choose from - Rachel

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  42. Just take it one day at a time. Only you will know when you are ready for whatever this might turn out to be and there is no need to rush yourselves into a decision whether you find her a home or end up keeping her down the road :) For now just enjoy the distraction that she is and have fun. I do think she came into your life at the right time to keep you from both losing yourselves in your grief and I am happy for you both for that. She's a doll.

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  43. Mahtaub a Persian name meaning “moonlight”

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  44. Helper, Sunshine, or Dashboard (as recommended by someone above).

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  45. She seems like a "Toothless" to me, both in appearance and described demeanor. :)

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  46. I'd name her Aurora.
    Because
    1) Favorite Disney Princess
    2) Auroras mostly happen at night - a bright light in the darkness
    3) Because you're keeping her. Things like this just don't happen; Wheels were turned, stars aligned, fates became intertwined. Think of her as a gift from your girls. They knew you were hopeless without them.

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  47. I think someone suggested it already, but I think Sirius Black is a perfect name! She is adorable and I am so glad that she is there to help you both during this very difficult time.

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  48. The winter triangle is made up of the stars Regulas, Arcturus, and Spica. I think that if Sirius had a sister she would have been Spica, so Spica Black. Or Sunshine since she is bringing that into your life.

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  49. Well crap. Now I’m sitting in the middle of the doctor’s office sobbing. Thank goodness I can blame it on pregnancy hormones. Let’s not mention the fact that I would be doing this without them anyway...

    You guys have a new cat. You can deny it all you want and call her a foster, but sometimes animals come into our lives when we need them, and it sounds like this is one of those cases. Just accept it.

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  50. She’s so perfect 😭 That little meow 🙊

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  51. She is very much a Toothless to me, ironically!

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  52. We have a black cat and she is awfully good at hiding in the dark but she is also loving and has the loudest purr, too. Whatever you decide, she was a miracle when you needed one. She gave you Hope...so that might be a good name :) FWIW, ours is Luna.

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  53. This made me all teary-eyed this morning. I have my own cat that started as a terrified black kitten huddled in the middle of the road. My husband found him on his way home from a graveyard shift at work. I was supposed to find him a new home since I had 4 other cats at the time but I never did. He's now the biggest cat in my house by far, has fluffy fur so he looks even bigger, and he's terrified of everything. He doesn't like new people at all. He only comes out when it's just family at home, and he's the sweetest, cuddliest, purriest kitty we have. We named him Smaug. So glad you found your little ray of light!

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  54. Lots of great name suggestions from everyone already. Only stopping in to say whether your keep her or she goes on to another wonderful family, I'm so glad for both you and John that she came into your lives when you clearly needed her. It's beautiful, bittersweet, healing thing to experience the full circle of life.

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    1. Actually, I do have a name suggestion (now that I've watched the video again). Eglantine, from Bedknobs & Broomsticks. If for no other reasons that the lyrics to the song:

      Eglantine, Eglantine
      Oh, how you shine
      Your lot and my lot have got to combine
      Eglantine, Eglantine
      Hark to the stars
      Destiny calls us
      The future is ours

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  55. We accidentally fostered a beautiful black cat last summer. He came to us by way of the neighbor kids trying to find his real home. Super friendly, followed us everywhere. Family members wanted him, but as soon as he heard he was going to get fixed at the vet, the ungrateful critter took off! LOL. He was really skinny when we found him, so I think he got healthy on real food for a few weeks and went back to his real home.

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  56. Oh the happy and sad tears for you guys.... lots of hugs and glad this ball of live found you when you needed it most. ❤️ Also, my votes would be Baghera (Jungle Book), Shuri, or Toothless.

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  57. I previously voted for Padfoot of Sirius, but now I'm thinking Thestral. "They're called Thestrals. They're quite gentle really but people avoid them because they're a bit...different...They can only be seen by people who've seen death." She's definitely a bit different, but also gentle. Or at least she will be as she gets older. You can already tell she's going to be a snugglebug. Whether you keep her or not, I'm glad she came into your lives when you needed her most. It's the universe thanking you for being such amazing pet parents and making the hard decisions to do what's best for your fur babies.

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  58. I opened up your web page today and said, "Oh my god."

    Heimdall, my life support, developed cancer in his jaw this year. He's reached the point where he's no longer eating and the pain meds don't seem to help, and well... my husband and I both took the day off today and we're waiting for the vet to come over this afternoon.

    We'd been thinking about getting a kitten before Heimdall got sick, and then decided not to right now. It wasn't fair to him. On Tuesday morning, when he stopped eating, we made the decision (we know it's the right one, as painful as it is for us) and called the vet to make an appointment for her to come over today. Tuesday afternoon, a co-worker asked a group of us if anyone knew anyone that wanted to adopt a kitten.

    I called my husband and talked to the woman with the kitten, and we're picking her up tomorrow night. (They are moving this weekend, and this kitten just walked into their house and claimed them.)

    We'd wanted to adopt a black kitten, because it's hard for them to find loving homes. So many people are afraid of black cats. This kitten that we're adopting is black. We're planning on naming her Magik, but will wait until her personality shows so we're sure.

    Your kitten sounds like a Tiger, and something about her being lost and found made me think of Peter Pan and a name popped into my head. It might be too painful, but... Tiger Lilly?

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  59. She looks a lot like my own feline freind, except he's a he. Seems they have the same attitude though, and the same coloring. I would suggest taking this name into a completely different direction than your other two beloved's were... maybe Little Sister? Because she can be so dang cute, but so attack-y at the same time? lol She's a cutie though, whatever you end up calling her.

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  60. How about Black Hole Sun? Seems a bit long but kind of fitting for the circumstances. So sorry you lost your girls, sitting here at work crying for you.

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  61. Narcissa. I immediately thought Sirius but since she's a girl, Narcissa.

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  62. Face it Jen - you've already named her... "Kitten". Think of all the nicknames that will come! Fate (or God, or Goodness, or Whoever) brought her to you just when you needed her most. 8-D

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  63. Another hug from the ether for you all - and another vote for "Luna" <3

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  64. Ultraviolet? Since that's another name for black light, and she's your little black ball of sunshine :) Could call her violet for short. Or Uvvie.

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  65. Morticia! (and much love and good luck with her!)

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  66. I have been naming her Nox since I saw you guys were fostering her!

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  67. Kismet. It means "Fate." Whether you keep her or not, it was fate that brought Rebecca to find her. Fate that brought her to you when you needed her the most. And if she goes to another home, it may just be fate for that person who needs her then.

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  68. Kibou and Deene both mean hope. Or Nakia means faithful.

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  69. What a beautiful light of hope! You are so strong and so worthy. If you do decide to keep her, I know you will give her the best home. And you don’t have to worry about getting another cat necessarily; some cats are happier being the only one. And then you can just spoil her rotten! As far as names go, why not Luna? It seems to fit because she’s dark light the night (moon) and she is uniquely magical, seeming to know just what to do and where to be exactly when she’s needed. I am so happy to see to much love in your life. I really needed to see a post like this today. You, once again, have given me my own hope.

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  70. Shellie PattersonApril 26, 2018 at 4:07 PM

    Black kitties are always so hard to find homes for but are the BEST kitties ever! My house panther was named Boo. She needed meds when she was little from the pharmacy so the name on the meds was "Boo Cat". Then she became Bookitty. Mostly A$%*&@# was her name. :) But she was any awesome kitty and I miss her like crazy. I vote keep the kitty. Keep all the kitties!

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  71. Siri! (short for Sirius, of course, because she's seriously adorable and seriously a blessing right now!) We lost two kitties within 36 hours to various cancers last summer - it's still just too painful. The absolute best healing for me was loving on other animals. Either in person, or by donations when I wasn't strong enough to actually see a cat. Helping other kitties in their honor feels right to me. Whether this little cutie stays with you or finds a different forever home, you are making such a difference in her life. <3

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  72. Beautiful little kitten and beautiful timing. She looks like a Serenity to me (and not just because I'm on a Firefly kick :P)

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  73. Zephyr was our night time star - black as kitten is and up all night. Phoenix was our calico who came to me during a life transition. Both gone but always loved. Whatever you decide she’s found a wonderful home!

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  74. Well, my first cat was a black ball of fluff like her. I called her Samantha, Sam for short, after Bewitched.

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  75. Carrie. In memory of the spunkiest Disney princess and how she carries you through a rough time.

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  76. Scrunchy, Black light, McGonagall, Minerva, Animagus, Darkshine

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  77. My first thought because of coloring is Nox. But maybe because of the sunshine she brings, Lumos is a better fit. ❤️

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  78. Such a cute kitty! I'm so glad that she came to you when she did. You both are getting what you need from each other. And even if you don't keep her, you gave her the best start on her life. Since she's your black ray of sunshine, maybe Ray? Also could be for Star Wars Ray. :)

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  79. Sending you love. As for kitten names, how about Rowena? Rowena Ravenclaw had dark hair and was clever, and a clever cat means you'll never be bored, if at your wit's end. Alternatively, if she is a bit combative or warlike, Morrigan (or The Morrigan) could be a good option.

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  80. Luna. Like the Moon, the light in the dark. Or like Luna from Harry Potter whose "oddness" brought a little bit of light heartedness to the dark times that the Trio had to face.

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    1. This was my first thought too!!

      Kate S

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  81. I originally said Sirius on IG, but I now think either Merry or Pippin (I'd lean towards Pippin) considering their penchant for mischief and distraction. Plus, built in perfect name for a companion kitty to come!

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  82. Dark Angel

    She’s a genetically enhanced super-soldier who escapes from a covert military facility as a child.

    Or Max for short.

    😂😇

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  83. Soileil, since she's a ray of sunshine.

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  84. What an absolute sweetheart!!

    I'm trying to remember-- are you a Tamora Pierce fan? Because one of my favorite characters was the young dragon "Skysong", affectionately referred to as "Kitten". So, I'd probably go for Skysong/Kitten. ;)

    Or Rey. Because "Rey" of Sunshine, and Star Wars. You know.

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  85. I think Chance or Hope would be perfect names!

    Hugs to you and John!

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  86. That kitten owns you. Resistance is futile.

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  87. She looks like our little Sweetie (who's actually a chihuahua, but thinks she's a cat). Really, though, she's sort of a Patronus, isn't she? Leading you out of the darkness, fighting off some pretty mean dementors. Maybe call her Patty? Something like that? She's an absolute doll, that's for sure. :)

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  88. Dobby helpful in an unconventional way, will not be ignored.

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  89. You should name her Sugar and definitely keep her. She has bonded to you already....and maybe you to her? ☺

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  90. We've had two black cats, and they were both the friendliest little guys you can imagine. And both named after magic users (kinda) - the first one was Prospero, and the second one is Oz. That's just how I name black cats.

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  91. Name her Piper! It's an awesome name!

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  92. We got my cat similarly, he came with a brother on the side of the road, covered in ant bites. He also got lost in the dashboard but a kind officer helped out. I call Mercy for your kitten's name, because of Mercy's healing goodness. We all need mercy in the dark times.

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  93. Hi Jen - I'm a long-time reader (I came over from Cake Wrecks when you started Epbot), but I'm not sure if I've ever commented. Thank you for being awesome - you're honesty and ability to find joy in bad situations encourages me daily!

    That being said, I recently stumbled up an online Cat Purr generator, and after listening to it for days on end and enjoying it, I thought I'd share. It's like white noise, only with cat purrs. It's definitely soothing, and may help you (and/or others) with anxiety or loneliness or whatever they're struggling with.

    Purrli: Cat Purr Generator

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  94. Since you guys recently got into Overwatch (you guys were playing it in one of the videos) i was thinking D.va or Sombra would be really cute, with D.va’s new Black cat skin and Sombra meaning shadow of course. :) or Doomfist, because who doesn’t want a tiny kitten named Doomfist

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  95. I am a huge fan of the author Anne McCaffrey. She wrote about a certain psychic ‘The Rowan’ who has a very loud psychic voice. When Kitten meowed, I immediately thought of her. 😉

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  96. I would so name her Houdini; a daredevil escape artist....

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  97. Her little tongue in the "Ready, set... GO!" pics! *squee*

    Well, Rob Zombie's "Black Sunshine" fired up in my brain as soon as I read the blog title, continued as I read, and is still looping around. So, Black Sunshine, maybe? ;)

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  98. I have a tiny black girl cat I named Fiona...no reason really but it fits her royal highness perfectly. Those eyes, I’d be tempted to call her shale.

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  99. She reminds me of Toothless. Even with the darker eyes

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  100. My first thought was Blessing, because that's what you've been to each other. But that's a bit intense. Maybe just "Bless" for her sneezes, and when she does something like shred your important papers or knock a water glass over your keyboard you can say "Bless your heart!" in the finest Southern lady style.

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  101. We got Calliope because we felt we needed her for Elfie as we knew he was mourning the loss of his (and my) best friend Tino. He did the same when we lost Baloo a few years ago, but he had Tino to rely on. So his grief spurred our decision to taken in the tiny kitten my cousin had found and fostered and bottle fed. My heart...to be honest...is still not ready to accept another sweet baby, but I also can’t imagine not having her in our lives. She showed up between me losing my sweetest Tino and Wooter, and though she’s not a clingy cuddler like my others were, she has brought me many needed smiles in my grief. More importantly she has bonded with Elfie and has helped him in his grieving process too. For names Elfie’s name was Elphaba Pyewacket when we thought he was a girl. He’s now Elvey Tyberious. Our kitten is Calliope which is a girl name I’ve always loved and wanted to name a baby, but I am probably not getting one of those, and she just looks like one. Pyewacket is great as is Elphaba, Penelope, Penny, and many others. I have a big soft spot for the black cats. I’ve had a Spooky, Mistoffelees, and Baloo. Our tortie we lost just after getting Calliope was Kahlua, but we called her Wooter.

    In all seriousness if you decide not to keep her I would be more than happy to take her in. I really hope you do keep her...she’s just too precious!

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  102. Aww...sorry, dudes! :(

    I second or third or however many the suggestions to name her Rey. She's your black Rey of sunshine...and she climbs into the guts of much larger vehicles which then get dismantled. :D

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  103. I've fostered many kittens and several turned out to be "foster fails" who, by my choice, never moved out. Since you seem to have a magical mischief maker, I suggest Padfoot or Snuffles. Right color but wrong sex.

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  104. Call her Meatloaf, since you found love by the dashboard light.

    I’m sorry, I’ll show myself out.

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    1. Oh wow! I almost dropped my laptop! Love it!

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  105. so not a Harry Potter reference, but she should be Toothless.like the dragon!

    or

    Cog.

    I have a friend with a black cat who fell into his window, he named her Figment because he thought she was a figment of his imagination at first.

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  106. Kitten wears all black and was an unexpected hero.... Severus would be a lovely name, though "Sev" or "Sevvie" would be cute nicknames.

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  107. Awww, good job, little moodsaver kitten!

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  108. Black Panther, of course. = )

    Jamie

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  109. I always wanted two cats, one light and one black, and name them Lumos and Nox! ALas, my dogs are not cat-friendly, so the idea is all yours if you keep her and get her a friend :)

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  110. We had a "Kitten" too. Even his vet file listed him as "Kitten". I have multiple facebook posts saying "We're NOT keeping him"...He's now 4 and his name is Watson and he is a little love bug of needy affection. So I get it. ;-) I also think Kismet would be a great name.

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  111. Mischief! My current foster would be named Ruckus if it were my choice, but alas he doesn't get along with my resident older girl Grace, so he's still Diggs until he gets adopted. I'm kind of a sucker for whimsical not-names. I also had a little black foster kitten years ago who I named Tiptoe.

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  112. She looks just like my boy Phineas did at that age... I would name her Isabella to go with that.
    Then she could ask Phineas “whatcha doin?”

    We lost our beloved kitty Spot a month ago and will be looking to get Phineas some company after our vacation in June. He really misses his buddy....

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  113. Andromeda, Ani or Andi for short, after the best of the female Blacks. Unless that is too much of a painful remainder of Tonks, then I vote Lumos, because she is your light in the darkness. Of the above suggestions, I like Nyx.

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  114. Gotta be "Binks" - we had a black cat that adopted us who we named Binks. He was marvelously mischevious...

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  115. I second Shuri!
    What could be more fitting than the upbeat playful essential force of nature that is the Black Panther's little sister? She knows how to get the heroes back on their feet and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Whether you end up keeping her or not, she is your Shuri.

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  116. Name her Nox. Then you'll have to find her a white furred friend to name Lumos. :D

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  117. Maybe "Panacea" because she's healing your wounds? She's a sweet little angel who is making your hurt better.

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  118. Sirius was the first thing that popped into my mind, with Bagheera (Baggy for short) a close second. Adorable - I could never part with such a sweetie.

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  119. I love how the cats on your shirt seem to be examining her in the second picture. :)

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  120. Ray. Or Rey for a geeky twist.

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  121. Replies
    1. That's my black floof lord's name!

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  122. I'll second previous suggestions for Toothless or Rey - and add my own suggestion for Binx, for Thackery from Hocus Pocus.

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  123. As she has already claimed you and all, I think she needs a name sooner rather than later :) My beloved black boy-cat was named Charley, so I came here to recommend Charlotte (a real-life princess!) I really like the suggestions of Rey and Luna, too. (((hugs)))

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  124. My first thought of a name is Miracle, because miracle kittens happen. I have so many stories, from the time a red tailed hawk dropped a kitten in the bushes just outside my office, somehow the only injuries were some puncture wounds, right when my workmate was going through a tough time and really needed a furbaby. To the time my friend got back from the vet and saying goodbye to his cat, and found a half grown kitten in his living room. (He called the vet and asked if they had a replacement policy they forgot to mention.)

    Or since she's technically a foster, you could call her Jane, in honor of Jane Foster. If you haven't read the recent comics line of Jane Foster as The Mighty Thor, well... don't read it now while you're grieving. But read it someday.

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  125. I think she looks like a little soot sprite! So Soot or Sprite might be nice names.

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  126. Achelois. A minor moon goddess whose name means “she who washes away pain”

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  127. Pickett, Newt's bowtruckle's name.

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  128. She’s what you needed. How about Accio or Erised?

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  129. My cat is not "just" my cat, she is my family. She came in to my life in a roundabout way and most definitely chose me. My heart so very deeply aches for you, I cannot fathom the depth of your pain based on how I know I will feel when I lose my beloved baby Echo someday (hopefully far far away). I send you all my love and well wishes. I am grateful that Kitten showed up when she did, kittens in and of themselves are a full time job and her presence will give you purpose and movement while you and John grieve.

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  130. Bast - The Lion Goddess of sunset, among her many roles she symbolized the fertilizing rays of the sun.

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  131. I vote Nox
    Also, I have a 9 yr old cat named Kitten. I wasn't going to get attached either lol

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  132. CC:, as in an adorable inky carbon copy.

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  133. She looks like a soot sprite! Wikipedia informs me they're "susuwatari" in Japanese... maybe Susu or Tari would be a fitting name, or perhaps just Sprite.

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  134. I'm so happy to see a post from you, been hoping and waiting the time would be right for you to rejoin us. Even if that journey is still so hard. I know it's hard to feel like you can let go of the sweet furballs you've lost but I always feel like giving your love to a new furball helps the memory of the previous ones live on. I'd like to think that our lost furry friends appreciate our loving the new ones too knowing how much we get from their companionship.

    As for names, so many good ones already suggested! I love Nyx or Siri (Sirius was my very first thought before seeing kitten is a she). <3

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  135. I like the Black Panther suggestions. My vote would be for Okoye because she's my favourite character but I feel like this little one might not have a temperament befitting of that name! Maybe he/she'd grow into it?

    My other two thoughts:
    1. I've always wanted to have a black kitten and name it Fledermaus (German for bat), Fledy for short.
    2. Usiku, it means night.

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  136. Black cats are holes in the fabric of the universe, so name her Ether.

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  137. Jen

    My first thought was Padfoot. Then Sirius. You didn't tell us whether this kitten is a girl or a boy. But after watching your videos Fizzgig popped into my mind. With Fizzgig being Kira's companion in The Dark Crystal and his background description on Muppet Wiki, it just seemed to fit. What do you and John think?
    I am very sorry for your loss.

    Maureen

    P.S. It was great to see you in Pittsburgh!

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    1. "What an idiot!" to quote Hermione. How many "She"s and "Her"s did you write in this post and I missed every last one of them. Sorry.

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  138. Wasn’t professor mcgonagal a black cat?

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  139. She looks like a little soot Sprite from Totoro. :)

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  140. Have you read your own post? You're in love. (Loving a new cat does not in any way diminish the love we have for cats we have lost!). As for a name, I suggest Asphalt.

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  141. I won't tell you to keep the kitten - only you two can make that call but I was very happy to read this post and reading about how you got a little bit of sunshine in your life back. Nothing will ever replace Lily and Tonks, nor should anyone - not even yourselves- ever hope to. I know you will find the kitten a great home - be it with you or someone else. In the meantime, it seems you're doing everything right when it comes to teaching her how to be a loving little shadow!

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  142. I would call her Angel, since she seems like an angel sent by Tonks, who knew you would need one when Lily joined him in kitty heaven.

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  143. Having just lost my two felines in quick and unexpected succession, my heart goes out to you both. As to Miss Fluffyfangs, my hunch is that she will name herself to you when she's ready. One other thought, since hearts take time to heal: while some folks will say that you MUST keep cats in pairs, history is full of beloved, happy, one-and-only cats. I've known more than a few myself. So do what is right for you.

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  144. In keeping with tradition, might I suggest some third gen HP such as Victoire or Roxanne? I think she looks like a Roxanne and you could call her Roxy.

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  145. What a sweet face. How about Re-tread?

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  146. Ah - a tiny house panther... My tiny house panther was too small to eat when my daughter found him in the middle of the swamp...a gator got his siblings. He was a bottle baby for three weeks...that was three years ago. Tiny house panther is now an 18 pound monster - the vet believes he is Norwegian Forest cat or at least a mix. Give your heart time while she grows a little bit. We weren’t sure Loki would stay either - but he is sleeping on my feet so you know how it turned out. Also - he is a loner...not a fan of other cats - so a second isn’t always necessary.

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  147. From the Marvel universe -- Ororo (AKA Storm) or Shadowcat (AKA Kitty Pryde). Or India, like the ink. Or Serendipity, an unexpected blessing.

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  148. I'm thinking Midnight? No matter what, Kitten is super adorable!

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  149. How about Luce? In Italian (lu-chay), it means light. But it also seems like a shortening of Lucifer, which might be appropriate for a devil of a kitty!

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  150. Kniffler (careful... she may steal your hearts.)

    Thestral and Tillie for the reasons mentioned earlier.

    Hufflepuff.

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  151. My own little black ray of sunshine, Jaina, is sitting with me while I'm reading this. I'm biased. Black cats are totally the best! Mine seems to be extra sensitive to how I'm feeling and when I especially need some affection and comfort. She's also a total sass panther.

    The story of how you came to have this kitten is almost exactly how I came to have my brown tabby, Xandri, that I've had for almost 14 years now. He came into my life just after a tough separation, and he was exactly what I needed at the time. He wasn't my only pet; I had an adult cat and two dogs already. A new kitten to care for was just that extra little bit of distraction that really helped me through the time.

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  152. What about Zen? Since she is teaching you to simply live in the moment, and that entails.

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  153. Gracious, "Jane" (Foster) and (Ultra) Violet are such good names!

    You and John do you and John. I am confident that all three of you will figure out if this kitten will stay or go.

    While grieving, in case nobody else has mentioned this, I would recommend drinking a surprising amount of water, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and try to lie down for the same six-eight hours a night. These will help you guys to keep a more even keel through the grieving.

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  154. This was almost too difficult for me to read. I was so sad to read of the passing of Tonks and Lily especially after losing my own love, Jelly Bean. She was only 11 but had suffered with on and off IBS problems for the past couple of years. She was a solid black cat too named "Jelly Bean" because you know, no one ever likes the black jelly beans. I miss her and her extremely loud mouth!

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  155. Name her Tarmac! Not only was she found on the road, she's black like Tarmac and runs around like a race car.

    I love that her meow sounds like a squeaky toy.

    If you do decide to keep her (and you totally should), don't worry about getting a second cat. Most cats actually prefer to live solo as their home become their territory and they don't have to do the whole power struggle thing.

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  156. Definitely needs to be named Shuri, after the awesome kick-ass female warrior in Black Panther. This little one is a fighter and warrior too!

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  157. Glad to see the little one's bringing you joy. I keep going back and forth on whether it's a name or just her job title, but given how effective she is at chasing away the darkness, she's definitely your new Patronus.

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  158. How about Prru, short for Prruvian darkness powder.

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  159. Sometimes they find you.... she's gorgeous and I know you'll do the right thing for her and both of you. xxx

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  160. Helga Hufflepuff! Puff for short.

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  161. I grew up with two black cats and a black dog. Something about all-black pets, they really are the sweetest! Our cats were Aladdin and Jasmine, and the dog was Cinderella, called "Cinder" for short.

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  162. SO sorry to hear about Lily and Tonks. Here is what I will tell you - the Cosmic Welcome Mat For Cats gets put out not by you, but the universe. It knows when you need to foster and when you need to adopt. Take your time, be kind to yourselves (and Kitten), take it slow.

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  163. Rowena Ravenclaw?

    So sorry for your losses. But I'm happy that this little goober showed up to help comfort you two just when you needed it most.

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  164. I am devastated about Lily and Tonks BUT little PODs (=Puffs of Dark) are the best thing to heal broken hearts. I lost one cat unexpectedly, fairly young too, a few months after losing my original black kitty and a few months before I lost my own blue-eyed diva (it was a sucky stretch of time, for sure). I got Harry when he was 17 oz. He is now a healthy, dapper 8 lbs boy, who keeps me company when I work and is very bonded to his slightly older brother Sam Winchester.

    For Kitten, I'd suggest the name Kitty Pride. After all, she went through the car and KP can go through walls and stuff so yeah.

    Sending you love and light. xoxo

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  165. Don't tell Elbeesee she's not already home. (Little Black Cat. LBC. Elbeesee) She already owns the joint--you might as well just suck it up and do her bidding.

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  166. I was trying to think of a good name for The Kitten Who Lived. Harry (Harriet?) Potter didn't seem like it fit, so I started playing with variations of "Harry" and "Potter". I came up with Poppy. She looks like a Poppy. A bright burst of colorful personality :)

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  167. Hey Baby. We had a very similar sad experience & adopting another was just overwhelming for the first 8 or 9 months. Then we suddenly felt prompted to do the opposite of what we planned & got 2 tiny brother babies at the pound. Best thing we could have done under the circumstances. They run one another ragged and just leave enough 'umph' to climb up onto a lap for cuddles and sleep. The blessing is that they don't compare in any way to the sweet 2 we'd had before. Dodger & Finn are saving our hearts. <3

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  168. I swear cats know. Every time I've lost a cat, there's been a kitten nearby waiting. Every time I've had to say goodbye to an old friend, there's a new one needing me. And if any animal was to be an agent of fate, I could believe it of cats.

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