Personal Been 2(00)7

On April 3, 2010, at 3:15pm, I turn exactly 30 years old.  This post is part of a very ambitious effort to share each of the last 10 years.  Thanks to Mike and his recap of the 2000's for the inspiration.

A few months into 2007, Amber and I started thinking about cats.  We had kicked around the idea of getting pets for a while.  We both love dogs and cats, and Amber really loves fish.  That March, we got our 30-gallon tank and Amber filled it with a bunch of, who knows what kinds.  (To her credit, Amber knows how to arrange a pretty sweet fish tank.)  We had already had a beta fish, Chef Boyardee, that Amber had received for Christmas the previous year.  So by spring, we had plenty of aquatic pets, but we were longing for some furry ones.

As much as we'd love to have a dog, this city wears us down enough; we're pretty sure we wouldn't be able to handle the mandatory, poorly scheduled walks, for starters.  So we started thinking about cats and sure enough, one scorching hot Saturday in August, we found ourselves ogling some shelter kittens at a sidewalk display on the upper west side.  We hung around for at least a half an hour, looking at each kitten individually, assessing their demeanor (poor things were on fire in the heat, so they mostly slept in the shade and drank water), and trying to get a feel for who stood out to us.  And as soon as we thought we had paired two up - we wanted two buddies - as we got ready to "check out", a foster mom showed up and placed two adorable black kitties in a cage.

The Thanksgiving before, in 2006, we had a little love-in incident.  The backyard at my dad's house is a hotbed for stray kittens, and that Thanksgiving night, as everyone peered out the backdoor at the little things on the deck, one of them somehow ended up in Amber's arms, in the house.  She was a tiny black runt, with crusted eyes and a feeble 'mew'; super cute but definitely in need of some TLC.  We tried to get our landlord at the time to let us keep her, but he wouldn't relent.  By that time we had dropped a pretty penny on getting her - Abby - fixed up, and her temporary foster grandparents took a liking to her, so Abby stayed with them (where she lives currently, fat and happy).

At the sidewalk shelter setup, the memory and affinity we had had for little black Abby translated immediately to these two brothers, Cosmo and Pepito.  The second we saw them we hustled over and really lit up; we knew they were the ones for us.  A few conversations, forms, and payments later, we were in the backseat of a cab with two adopted kitties.  After we got home and watched them run around a bit, we started thinking up new names.  The littler brother, Pepito, loved to make "love biscuits" on his older brother; kneading away, face buried.  So we renamed them: Baker and Biscuit.

The first few months of cat ownership was rough, but that all basically boiled down to Baker having a sensitive tummy that couldn't tolerate the food that we were feeding them.  It took us a long time - and a ton of vet bills and medicines - to figure out the cause, but as soon as we made the switch, he was fine, almost immediately.  (As a side observation, as I look through my old blog posts to ensure the correct dates, I remember now that the boys were pretty much the reason for starting this blog.)

Getting Baker and Biscuit was one of the best things Amber and I have ever done.  Ask any adoptive parent: you give these little things a home, and they give you endless love and happiness.  We can't wait to eventually have a real home and yard, and add a dog or two to the family.  If they're even fractionally as fun and loving as our little boys, we'll straight up explode.

Somewhere around this time I changed jobs.  Not much to say on this particular transition.  I went from the studio where Amber and I had met, where I had been for a few months, to trying out a new gig down the street; same work for the most part, different studio.  The job hadn't been a great fit and I had been really frustrated.  My supervisor, with whom I had a great rapport, had moved out of NYC so I was also a bit adrift.  It was the right move at the right time.

(Correction: I switched jobs the year before, in 2006.)

As the year came to a close, my little lady-friend was approaching her big milestone of 30.  I'm a bit of a romantic (yes, I'm boasting) and I know my girl, so a surprise trip to Paris in December was arranged.  The trip was absolutely amazing.  Amber browsed a million side street shops while I stood outside (patiently, I might add!) observing the city.  They say traveling is one of the most stressful times in a relationship, but we had a perfect little trip from top to bottom.  And as much as we didn't want it to end, we had a family to go home to, which was just as exciting if not more so, and warm.


Eric Tabone is Operations Manager at the digital strategy consultancy, Undercurrent. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his awesome wife and two kick-ass cats.

All original opinions and commentary throughout this blog (comments excluded) are Eric's alone, and do not necessarily represent Undercurrent in any way.


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