We took the plunge and adopted a kitten last week. We already had two older cats at home but our young daughters joined forces and hit us with the fact that those aren't really THEIR pets. They launched a pretty solid argument for a three-and-a-half-year-old and a seven-year-old about how we already owned the cats before we had kids. They closed their argument by hitting us with some pretty big puppy dog eyes and if you fast forward to the end of the story we now have a kitten running around the house.

We gave our kids a big talk about how it was their pet and how they would have to be responsible and help out. But secretly we're just telling them that it's their cat while in reality my wife and I can't get enough of this cute face we now call Pepper.

Photo: Ryan Nelson

I don't remember a kitten being so much work

One thing you don't think about after not having a kitten for a number of years is just how much mischief they get into. They're so playful and full of energy! Anything they can scratch on, paw at, bite, and chase - they will! The kitten wants to get in the sink when I'm trying to brush my teeth. I open the dryer to throw laundry in and the cat jumps in too. Pretty much any place that will be in the way is where you'll find the newest addition to our family.

It's not as easy as just picking one out

I guess I didn't realize what went into adopting a dog or cat these days. There's more to it than I thought. We got our kitten from PetSmart through their adoption partnership with Missoula Animal Control. I figured you just told an employee what one you wanted and you took it home. Well, that is not at all how it works. So as a tip, don't tell your kids, "let's get it, we'll take that one" because you'll have to circle back around and tell them "well, we can't actually take it home today." That went over about as well as you would think it did. Ha!

Photo: Ryan Nelson

I didn't realize you had to apply!

I had no idea you had to fill out an application to adopt a cat. But after filling out all the information about where I lived, what vet I used, what I would do with the kitten if I moved, and how much money I planned to spend on it in the next year, we submitted the paperwork and had to wait 24 hours to be approved.

But it ended up being a great deal

The thing I was surprised about the most was the price. Not because it was expensive but because of everything that was included for a reasonable $75 adoption fee. I figured our newest family member would maybe come with a round of shots but we would probably be responsible for additional vaccinations as well as having her spayed. But Pepper already had a round of shots, the next two booster shots are covered, as is the rabies vaccine she'll need, she's already been fixed, and she's microchipped. Not bad at all for $75!

There are multiple places you can adopt from in Missoula. But now you know the process when it comes to Missoula Animal Control. The important part is to realize you won't walk out with a new pet the same day you fill out an application.

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