If you haven’t been keeping up on social media, I’ve had some major life changes as of late. I’ve moved into my new apartment, started my final year of undergrad, and, most importantly, adopted a precious little furbaby! Of course, the only natural thing to do is to introduce the new kitten to you all.
Allow me to formally introducing Varjak Fitzgerald, informally known as Fitz!
As some of you know, my plan was to begin training a service dog this fall. A friend of mine was helping me search through shelters for the perfect candidate when she found this little guy in our local Amazon’s parking lot.
With a coating of asphalt and a cut on his lip, this little guy was in pretty poor shape. Fortunately, our friend is a long-time animal lover and gave him some TLC. Some time in the process, she messaged me: “Want a kitten?”
“…I kinda want a kitten.”
And so began my journey toward adopting this little floof.
But Jules, you’re in school…?
Yes, yes I am. And no, my school doesn’t allow pets. However, in compliance with the ADA, it does allow emotional support animals (ESAs). Unfamiliar with the idea? Lauren from Lauren’s Journey has a great piece on them as compared to psychiatric service animals here (also, how cute are her rabbits?)!
Disclaimer: I was already aware of my qualification for an ESA though I had not yet requested a formal prescription. With a rise in fake “registries” across the internet and a popular life hack of getting your pet “registered” as an ESA to avoid pet deposits, all too many fake ESAs exist. He has a prescription letter and is legally recognised both on campus and within the ESA community. In short: don’t fake an ESA, it makes the rest of us look bad.
With the sermon over, back to Fitz!
6 Things to Know about Fitz:
1. His toys have names and backstories.
The struggle of Mommy being a writer, I suppose.
2. Speaking of, his own name is filled with meaning!
Varjak is the name of the primary male character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (and, I later realised, another PLL reference) while Fitzgerald/Fitz covers a bit more ground: F. Scott, JFK, characters from both Pretty Little Liars and Scandal, Fitz(william) Darcy… The list goes on and on!
3. He’s been known to enjoy dog food.
When he first came home with my friend, he (understandably) didn’t want to eat. Eventually, it was the dog’s wet food that coaxed him! He lived with his “Aunt” for a while until his paperwork was completed and he could move into my apartment, and had a tendency to try to steal dog food even after he’d switched to kitten food.
4. In fact, he gets a bit confused in terms of not being a dog.
He loves tennis balls and tries to bark. Perhaps I didn’t stray too far from my original plan after all!
5. His favourite toys are his string, the Crinkle Fishes, and Mousie.
The Crinkle Fishes are Mr. Crinkle Fish, Crinkly Fishy, and Bob, respectfully. Note that he loves Mousie far more than her companion, Mousier.
6. He’s extremely social.
He absolutely loves to meet new people! Like any baby, he gets tired and grumpy after too much attention, but he loves it while it lasts.
7. Computers are his favourite things, followed by boxes and bags.
Despite his canine tendencies, he’s still a typical cat.
8. He’s highly educated.
While ESAs don’t have the public access rights of a service dog, one of my professors allowed me to bring him to class for a few days while we covered some particularly touchy material. Fitz loved the adventure, and our classmates loved him!
9. He loves kisses.
He will actively raise his face to mine for a kiss. If he’s particularly adamant, he’ll even reach up with his paws to pull my face to his!
10. He’s a good boy.
No explanation needed.