I speak often, some would say too often, of Huntingdon– our former and soon-to-be temporary home. Part of what provides the structure for that strange, beguiling quality of that place is its citizens– and Karen is one of them, certainly.
I met Karen, a professor of art history at Juniata College, in 2008, when first enrolled in one of her classes– Survey of Western Art. (This, coincidentally, is also when I met Ken for the first time, and we were competing art history enemies from across the room. One year later, we would become friends. But it was a long road.) In any case, Karen soon became a great art mentor and confidant– in fact, she was part of the great push for me to go to New Zealand, and I was having lunch with her and Suzanne the afternoon I decided to go to Pratt after all.
She also is a terrific cat lover (oddly, like much of the Juniata art faculty– Bethany? Monika?), and last year she had some real developments on the front de gatos– she added two new cat-family-members! Recently, in love with photos from their infancy, I re-interviewed Karen about the kitties’ introduction into the home she shares with her husband, fellow Juniata faculty, Jim, and their older cat, Teddy. These are their stories.
The kitties are still totally adorable. We love them and they make us laugh on a daily basis. We adopted Ozzie from the Orphaned Kitten Program (OKP) before Thanksgiving in 2011. Saw him at three months old when he was in a huge cage at a pet store in State College. One look at his precious little face and we were sold. Or rather, I was sold. I had to talk Jim into it, but he came around and we adopted him. We loved him so much that we wanted one of his siblings. And our 12-year-old cat wasn’t too fond of a kitten in the house. So we thought that having a second kitten would take the pressure off of him.
Unfortunately, Ozzie’s two siblings had some digestive issues, forcing us to wait until mid-February. But once they were healthy, we adopted Zoey. She’s still a tiny bundle of energy, and hilarious. Both kitties are cuddly and affectionate, and both are funny in their different ways. Ozzie has a fetish for wadded-up paper, and he love to play fetch with these wads, while Zoey adores playing soccer with her foam balls. We almost never fail to find a foam ball in her water dish, which we assume is her “goal”.