For months, everyone has been asking us the same question.
“Will Bruno ever get a sibling?”
And our answer was honest!
“Not anytime soon, but eventually we’d like to foster with the intent to adopt”
….....and then, we saw Carlo.
Bruno’s followers send us adoptable pets to share on the Instagram story all the time, which is super kind and helpful. It’s a quick and effective way to get the word out ASAP!
But when someone sent us Carlo’s posting on February 23rd, I just couldn’t share it on Instagram. Because Carlo looked like Bruno’s long lost twin brother, and I KNEW he belonged with us.
Jason is usually the voice of reason in the family, but I texted him Carlo’s PetFinder listing instantaneously, which showcased his stunning photos AND mentioned that Carlo stands on his back legs! Moments later, I got back:
“I WANT HIM”.
Needless to say, insanity ensued for about 3 hours, as I tried to figure out how the heck we were going to get to Las Vegas from Chicago ASAP to adopt sweet Carlo (and not break the bank doing so).
Carlo had been abandoned at a shelter in January, and rescued from that shelter in February, by an organization called Foreclosed Upon Pets (FUPI). They do not have a physical location, but rather, housed pets at local PetSmart’s and with foster families. They informed me that they were happy to process and potentially approve our application online, but as soon as the adoption was complete, it would be up to us to board Carlo until we could get to Vegas.
First off, that wasn’t necessarily feasible for us. And secondly, what if we paid to board Carlo for 3 weeks, only to get to Vegas with Bruno and find Bruno didn’t take to him? At this point, we had to advocate for Bruno first and foremost, as he was our itty bitty only baby.
Fast forward to 3 hours later that Friday night: us packing furiously for our 8AM flight the next morning to Vegas, with Bruno in-tow.
FUPI is awesome, and worked quickly with us to approve our application, and have Carlo removed from the PetsMart. He was taken to a staff member’s home, where we could meet him and introduce the boys peacefully on Saturday morning.
By now, Bruno is a CHAMPION traveler, and getting him to Vegas was a breeze. Carlo was waiting for us at the home, and we were IMMEDIATELY struck by how calm, easy going, and affectionate he was. A true gentle giant! And let me tell you – Bruno looked TINY standing next to him.
FUPI also shared with us that 8 year old Carlo has been abandoned TWICE over the past few years – and no one can figure out why. He’s the epitome of a sweetheart.
We spent about an hour there to let the boys get to one another. There were a few sporadic growls from Bruno, but it became evident pretty quickly that we would face no major problems with transitioning them into a home together. It was crystal clear to us that Carlo was now a member of our family, and the adoption was finalized 😊
We spent the next 24 hours in a hotel room with the boys. We knew we may have to get a second room if the boys got antsy and needed to be separated, but that never felt necessary. Bruno continued to growl now and then if Carlo got super close, but Carlo would just cruise on by as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
Any #SharkWeek fans? Bruno’s a tiger - Carlo’s a whale shark.
The next day, we flew back to Chicago with the boys and introduced Carlo to his new home!
(Side note – anyone interested in a traveling with cats blog? We’ve learned some good tricks!)
Sure, it’s been a transition. As I mentioned, Carlo truly is one of the most laid-back cats I’ve ever encountered. A perfect yin to Bruno’s yang. However, my beloved Bruno has the strongest, most intelligent personality of any cat I've ever encountered. A true diva, (game recognize game, if you catch my drift).
I took the first few days off work to help the boys transition. Once I headed back to work and for the first few weeks, we kept Carlo in the guest room with the door shut whenever we weren’t home, just to ensure Bruno didn’t feel his turf was being impeded upon. Carlo didn’t mind the guest room in the SLIGHTEST. If Bruno were to have acted super territorial, we would have kept them separate full-time for several days, but that never felt necessary.
After about two weeks, it seemed clear that the pair preferred to spend time together (they would sit on either side of the closed door, pawing at it). Bruno is obviously the dominant one, and Carlo plays happily by his rules.
Of course – we wanted to preventatively provide the boys with as many tools as possible to create a seamless transition. Here are a few items we procured:
Carlo’s been home for about 3 weeks and is doing fabulous. Do the boys still get into spats, now and then? Of course they do. The transition will continue for several more weeks! But Bruno seems less bored - like he's exerted more energy during the day while we're gone! And Carlo's contentedly settling in as well. We really couldn’t love him more – he’s the snuggliest, most easy-going cat I’ve ever encountered, hands-down. He’s a much pickier eater than Bruno however, so we’re still trying to nail down the perfect diet plan, although he’s already lost .3 pounds since he got home, hooray!
If you are considering adopting a second (or third, etc) pet and you have the means to do so, I cannot encourage it more. Take time to do the research as to what an introduction to an existing pet family will entail, and it will all be so worth it. That's how we feel, anyway! We are SO glad we did something ridiculously impulsive to (temporarily) complete our little family. It was the right decision for us, and I feel definitively blessed by Carlo and Bruno. Oh, and Jason too ;)
All in all, we couldn’t be happier with the new addition to our family – a second gray furry potato 😊
Have any other questions for our family as to the transition, or otherwise? Leave them in the comments below!
3/19/2019 04:31:31 pm
Congratulations! I so enjoy seeing people really put thought into introducing new pets into their family. All 4 of you are beautiful & blessed. :) (And many happy wishes on your engagement as well!)
3/20/2019 07:12:10 am
Oh, thank you so much! I so appreciate this <3
3/19/2019 05:37:30 pm
My heart just broke reading how poor Carlo was given up twice! I’m so glad to know he has found such a loving furr-ever home!
3/20/2019 07:13:45 am
Can you even believe that? It's always upsetting when people abandon pets, but I am truly more and more shocked as time goes by ... Carlo couldn't be more lovable! Third time's the charm, I guess - their loss, our great win!
3/19/2019 06:46:56 pm
Glad to see Carlo and Bruno getting along so well. Does Carlo like the dried hearts snack that Bruno loves?
3/20/2019 07:15:30 am
Hi Barbara! He won't eat it, actually! We have yet to find a healthy treat he likes, but we assume they exist, as he gets so hopeful each time he hears a bag crinkle. The freeze dried turkey hearts are from Pure Primal LLC, which is actually my friend's company. She just sent us a few new ones for Carlo to try (freeze dried herring, and two others). Fingers crossed!
3/20/2019 07:16:02 am
OH! And we are looking at September 2020 - a tiny destination wedding, so I'm hopeful for the 'the 21st night of September' :)
3/21/2019 01:26:04 pm
So you'll remember? :)
3/19/2019 07:17:00 pm
Loved reading this! I love that something so impulsive has brought your family so much joy! I foster orphaned kittens for my local shelter because I had 3 cats and my fiance said no more. Then we fostered this amazing little litter and fell in love with a kitten that is the identical twin to one of our boys! So now we are a family of 6 and seriously could not be happier with our decision. We never planned on getting another, but he's been the greatest blessing we've ever had! We now have Bowser (10 y/o), Tabuu (9 y/o), Albus (5 y/o), and our newest baby Westley who is 6 months. The transition was easier than I could have ever imagined. Westley is so sweet and easy going that even my grouchy old man Bowser, who I've had since my freshman year of college and has been through everything with me, is totally smitten. We named him after The Princess Bride and he has been a real life prince charming in our lives! I'm so glad you guys found Carlo and that he brought you to a happy family of four! Congratulations and so much love to you all! I hope against all hope that they're going to be in your engagement photos! I'm getting ready for my wedding day at my house specifically so my boys can be included in pictures! Also I had no idea those plug ins could start to smoke so I'm really glad I read this! I was going to get it because one of my cats has terrible anxiety but I'll look at other options instead! We've tried the Bach's Rescue Drops and it didn't do quite enough!
3/20/2019 07:18:27 am
Kara, thank you for sharing this with me. It genuinely brought me so much joy to read! Sounds like we have an awful lot in common right now :) Your kitties are so lucky to have you, and to be in such a loving home. ENJOY YOUR WEDDING! Would love to see photos of you and all the boys! Also, have you tried CBD oil for your anxious kitty?
3/20/2019 06:35:54 pm
We have not yet but that is the next thing on my list to try! The collar didn't do much either. Honestly I think we may end up needing a vet visit and Prozac. His anxiety is more severe than I've ever seen in an animal. He's still sweet and cuddly but for example I moved something around in our room and he was so stressed out he jumped up on our bed and peed. Total frozen deer in the headlights, couldn't move, lost control of his bladder anxiety. It's just so sad to see because I see little glimpses of the happy go lucky boy he could be without the anxiety and nothing natural seems to got close to what he needs. I'm going to try CBD first but I think he's going to need something strong! It's tough!
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Lauren Paris here, alongside my sweet sons Bruno & Carlo.