The Rambling Family



UPDATE: Nutmeg and Ginger

UPDATE:  Cats names are now Nutmeg and Ginger, not Mango and Pumpkin

One promise we made to the kids before moving the Spain was that we would get a pet.  The kiddo’s have been ready for a while, and after fostering kitties in Korea they wanted their own!

So we visited El Arca de Noe shelter when Bethany was here and tried another time, but were turned away for not be pre-approved.  So I spent a long afternoon translating and filling out the adoption application and questionnaire.  Then, another couple weeks later, I started getting texts about potential kitties.  I guess the ones at the shelter are either feral, mostly feral, new, or sick.  So, not ideal for our situation…. we needed a couple cats who get along and have known temperaments.  The shelter has 70% of their cats in foster, so I got lots of text options, and questions about kid interaction, etc…. we finally hit the mark with a family of cats that were born last spring and none adopted out yet.

We packed up the kids Tuesday afternoon to go see the cats at their foster house about an hour out of town.  They were staying at a shelter volunteer’s mom and dad’s summer house.  It was incredible: like this little mansion right in town.  We walked through the gate with an “Aaaahhhhh” at their beautiful oasis courtyard.  Then they let out the kitties to play and interact.  We let the kids get approached by them and the one orange and white one was obviously Avi’s.  This little boy, they called Mago, let Avi carry him around and play and pet.  They were inseparable.  Two of the 5 little ones – teens if you will – were skiddish and nervous of the kids, so that made an easy choice.  The last two were both super fond of Zoe.  They played and played, and it was hard to choose.  She wanted to call her kitty Boom Mic, and so originally wanted the black and white one.  But, then it seemed a bit wild and would not calm to let her pet him or pick him up.  The other orange kitty was a gigantic purr machine, and played, and loved.  So, she chose him (they called him Merlin) after a long afternoon of deciding.  The family told us the two oranges also seemed to be best friends.

The family were so nice!  They brought out drinks and snacks and we all sat on their veranda and chilled out while the kids picked out kitties.  There were an adult daughter and son, who spoke English (and went the CEDES, the school Zoe will attend), and their parents all living out in this fancy place for the summer.  After decisions were made, the dad invited us in to check out the house and his antiques; he likes British stuff and thought we were from the UK at first.  His house was amazing!  The foundation was built during Muslim occupation times… so about 600 years ago.  In the basement there was an original tunnel opening that used to lead to the church.  I guess all the town people had their own underground passage to church during that time period.  His family built the current house on top of that in the 1700’s.  It was amazingly ornate and formal in layout, plus his antiques and collection were awesome.  Anyway,  once he learned we were Americans he said he liked us better….thats a new one!

After that we were invited to take the kitties!!  I did not think it would be just like that; I figured all the paperwork and stuff would have to happen first.  But, this is a trial adoption period.  We will meet in a few days downtown to finalize everything.  I’m so excited!!!  So are the kids.  It has taken a couple days of having the cats around to choose names.  Zoe landed on Ginger pretty quickly, though I did like Boom Mic she said it wasn’t appropriate on a non-black fuzzy cat.  Avi has gone through a lot of names (Crescent Moon, Orange Peel, Tulip), but I think Pumpkin will stick…. nope, it’s now Ginger.

These two cats have been a joy to have at home.  They wander around with us and love petting and purring, but they also play and hang out in the yard while we garden.  So far, they have been sleeping in the big bathroom where their litter pan is.  They’ve been quiet at night in there, but at bedtime are meowish and playing so thats why we put them in.  Hopefully they get the hint that if they are calm they can sleep with the kiddos, though they do seem to like sleeping together so maybe its best to have them in their own space.


In the morning Nutmeg goes looking for Zoe while Ginger comes into my room where Avi has usually joined me in bed. So much love!!



Two years ago when we first got here and were exploring downtown, two little bunnies were in a cage outside getting some sun.  They were adorable!  Tiny, fluffy and cute.   Zoe and I were in love!  We talked Bryan into getting them and returned with a plastic bin to buy the bunnies.  We figured out they were siblings, but not sure on gender.

Bugs was named by Avi and Bryan, while Snowflake was Zoe’s.  We got them a nice cage and let them run around the house…Bugs even got pretty good an returning to his litter pan.  He was the sweetest bunny ever!  Bugs would just sit on our laps and lick our fingers; and lick and lick and lick.  Snowflake was fun, too, but not as much of a cuddle bug.

They spent the winter occupying our mud room.  I got lots of hay and set them up with a great run around area.  They would join us on the couch for reading time, or lay with Zoe during quiet time.  She always kept a little box lid in her room for the bunny to sit upon.  Bugs never had an accident!  Snowflake used the box.

In spring we were eating dinner and they started fighting again…this was some wild rumpus they had started doing.  One of them would squeak at a real high pitch and run around.  We would always take out Bugs since he had become the favorite; Snowflake was nipping at us now.  Anyway, I went in to check on them and there were 3 baby bunnies under Snowflake!  I called in Bryan to show him first, and then the kids came in and were ecstatic!

The baby bunnies were adorable and it was fun watching them grow.  Zoe kept a journal and we took daily pictures. We named them, Puddles, Precious, and Snow.  By spring they were too big and too much for their cage in the house, so I got some chicken wire and fenced in the area under our back deck.  It made a nice big run and space for them!  We started advertising for others to take the bun’s, without any takers. We did get Bugs fixed!

Then Snowflake started to escape.  She would dig under the fencing and take two of the babies with her: Puddles and Snow.  We stopped bringing those rabbits inside to play since they were taking after mom with her nipping and escaping.  They seemed to really want to be wild.  We would let them run around in the yard and eat grass quite often, but only Bugs and Precious were the bun’s who continued to get inside time.

Precious was definitely the runt; she was tiny and stayed littler.  Snowflake didn’t seem to take much mind of her, and we noticed that Bugs took his daddy job with her seriously.  She took after him and was super sweet and docile.

Snowflake and the two others escaped again, and we decided they simply wanted to live in the wild.  So, we went on some adventures figuring out a good place for them.  We finally found the perfect spot: down by the river there is a large grassy natural area.  It was perfect for bunnies, and so we took Snowflake, Puddles and Snow.  Found a hollow area under a tree to make a burrow for the day and left them with a bunch of spinach.  It was a fine place for them, and there was no sadness.  They had gotten kind of mean and skittish and didn’t seem to like handling by our fam.

Meanwhile, Bugs and Precious became our little loves.  We brought them in often and let them run around in the backyard while we were out.  They still had the big run under the deck and we built them a cozy warm house out of a drawer and insulation for the winter.  Bugs was a good daddy and dug a huge burrow under the drawer, too.  So, another winter went by, and a spring, and a summer….and we were loving our rabbits.  Bugs was as sweet as ever and came running for the door when we opened it; he liked to be brought inside.  Precious wasn’t as excited to come out of their house, but was still sweet when we would get her.

It has just started to get cold and we talked of bringing them inside this winter to live in the bathtub.  This morning I went out to feed them, and Bugs didn’t come running.  It is cold, but that isn’t normal.  I could see one of them in the house.  So I crawled in to find a sad sight.  Bugs was laying in the burrow dead with Precious laying on top of him.  I brought her in immediately and got Bugs as well.  It was so sad!!!

Zoe was beside herself as was Avi.  We brought in Bugs and spent time with him, while holding Precious.  She seemed sick.  She was shaking – not like a cold shiver, but shaking.  We bundled her and tried to feed her but she wouldn’t eat.  They had plenty of food in their bin outside, so it seemed they weren’t eating outside either.

When we left to run errands we put Precious in the tub, bundled and with some spinach.  Sadly, when we returned she was dead too.  So Sad!!!!

We didn’t bury them right away, but found a nice box and let the kids mourn.  Zoe made a beautiful picture for them and we selected some special items to bury with them.  Bryan dug a grave the next day and we had a special ceremony.  

It’s a mystery to me what happened…. I looked up stuff, and it could be a few things….   maybe they were too inbred and susceptible to illness or digestive issues….  maybe they were poisoned … it does seem odd they died in a similar looking way as the two local kitties a month ago. … maybe they got a parasite.  I don’t know.  But our hearts feel empty without a pet. 

We love you Bugs and Precious.

OMG Stubbs is back

See!!  We haven’t seen him in a year, and he just sauntered up and had some food.  Wow. Big news.  He was the first Korean kitty to hang out on our porch – before Cow, even!  I thought Cow chased him off but here he is and we saw Cow earlier.  Maybe there is peace in the neighborhood.

Still no confirmed sightings of the other two kittens though… After Creamsicle and Pumpkin turned up dead I have my doubts that Lotus and Hercules are alive.  BUT maybe they moved down the road to Stubbs’ old area.  I can only hope.

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