We decided that the challenge of having two members of our household being barely verbal and small enough to trip over wasn't enough for this family, so we added another couple family members today. Meet Nellie... or Maggie... we're not sure about that yet:

And Benjamin... or Sweeney... or Barker... or Sam... we haven't quite decided what his name is either:

Since we lost Lizzy last year and our tomcat Hank a couple of years before that, we've been considering getting cats again, but hadn't quite gotten around to it. I'd had Siamese cats before and always loved them so I commissioned my animal breeder consultant, Mr. Google, to handle the case. I only had a few criteria: I wanted a kitten because with the kids in the house we really wanted to have a cat that grew up with us and developed the bad habits we were willing to overlook and not a cat that came to the table with a lot of baggage from past experience. Though it wasn't the only option, I really would love to have a Siamese. I had one as a kid and have always loved them. But I didn't want one of those triangle headed Siamese... I wanted the traditional apple head Siamese that I had as a kid and had such a great temperament.

I started with the local shelter websites. No luck. Then I scoured five or six Siamese rescue sites for months with no luck. When I finally found a cat that met my meager criteria, it was generally in East Winnemucca, Tennessee or whatever and I wasn't really willing to drive halfway across the country to get said cat. All the local places had lots of adult cats, but few kittens. After a few months, I gave up finding a Siamese kitten from a shelter or a rescue and considered purchasing a cat from a breeder (which kind of goes against my grain as I'm not looking for a cat with papers or even a pure bred cat). Sure they're expensive, but they generally come with shots and spaying or neutering already performed so I reasoned that the cost of the kitten was amortized somewhat by the vet bills I wouldn't have to incur. Then I started looking at alternate breeds I also liked like Bengals, Ocicats, and Egyptian Maus. I even found an Egyptian Maus breeder in my town and email her, but when she came back saying their kittens start at $900, I swallowed my tongue and stepped back from that idea.

Finally, I went back to the county humane society site, giving up the idea of a Siamese at all. Maybe I could just get a random mutt cat after all. And suddenly a whole bunch of Siamese rescue cats came up from woman less than twenty miles away from my house. There were a couple of kittens and I took The Caterpillar out to meet them last week. There were a couple of cats there, but the foster owner didn't feel like either of them would be good with a toddler for various reasons. Apparently, she had no knowledge of our last cat and thought that maybe the kittens would scratch and we wouldn't like that. Pshaw, I cover my mouth with my cat-scratch scared arms and I laugh at your concern.

Anyway, we'd finally about convinced the foster owner that we were worthy cat holders and she'd contacted all my references (REFERENCES!) and decided that we could maybe just maybe take one of those cats. Then I got an email from her saying she was getting six new kittens this weekend and maybe we'd like to meet those cats and see how that went.

Long story short, we went, we met, and we came back with not one, but two kittens, who are now, even as I type this, climbing up and down my chest and trying to help me type by walking back and forth across the keyboard. They are brother and sister from the same litter, we think and are all of eight weeks old.

The rescue had named them Ling-Ling and Sing-Sing or some other such Asian sounding name that I can't remember and couldn't have told apart if I tried. I would have ended up calling them both Ling-Sing and Sing-Ling interchangeably. We are currently trying on names for them. So if you want to help, here are the rules: All our animals are named for serial killers. Yeah, that's the only rule.

For Benjamin and Nellie, we were going with a Sweeney Todd thing (Nellie and Maggie are two of several reported first names of Mrs. Lovett). I'm not so hip on calling a cat Benjamin though, so I remain unconvinced. I suggested Barker, but The KoH doesn't like that one. I like Leopold and Loeb, but we can't figure out which would be Leopold and which would be Loeb. So if you have another idea, I'm all little seal pointed ears. Leave it in the comments. Until such time as we settle on a name, they will heretofore be known as That Girl Cat and That Boy Cat:

My own personal Cute Overload.