Photo Bomb (All the Pictures), The Minions (My FurKids)

Meet Clea: The High-Energy Social Butterfly

Clea is the newest family member - and quite the social butterfly!

What better way to start Monday morning than with an adorable kitten? Say hello to Clea! This bundle of energy is the newest member of the Kennedy Clan, and she is a handful! Fiesty, fearless, filled to the brim with kitten power, and the biggest social butterfly we’ve ever shared a home with. (Not to mention downright demanding when it comes to wanting attention!) But let’s get to the details – and photos – you actually care about.

The Grieving Period

Anyone who shares a home with furkids (or furples, as Mandy Ellis likes to call them) knows a time will eventually come when you need to say goodbye. The process is never easy, regardless of how often you may do so. And it doesn’t look the same for any two people. How someone chooses to grieve is up to them. There isn’t a “wrong” way. (Okay, there’s some weird shit out there like taxidermy and cloning, I’ll admit that. But, as someone who talks to a therapist every week, I can’t exactly call anyone else out for their decision on how to process death)

Most people agree on one thing, though: They need time. There’s a grieving period where they aren’t ready to let another into their life.

I’m no different. Especially because of the size of the hole Firefly left in my heart.

But throughout the spring and early summer, my husband started pausing to look at the cats and kittens up for adoption when we went to PetSmart. I’m not a freaking stone; looking into the adorable face of a fuzzy social butterfly started to heal that gap. And by the time summer’s heat really hit in earnest, I was ready to admit I could see another little minion running around the house.

Bring on Kittenpalooza!

Admit it: Clea is SO CUTE!

We adopted Ekko from a Kittenpalooza event at Catnip Cafe. They work exclusively with cat rescue groups – something that’s important to us. And how can you beat getting to spend an hour in a room full of KITTENS?

So we registered for several weekends. And while I spent time with one social butterfly after another, my husband gravitated toward the quieter, shyer members of the group. (After all, Ekko started that way)

We didn’t feel that connection with anyone, though. And without a confident assurance of THE ONE, we weren’t going to submit an application.

Our Social Butterfly

On a whim, we decided to stop by the Chesapeake Animal Shelter. We started in the kitten room (assuming Ekko and Tonks would tolerate a smaller brother or sister best). I saw a couple of possible urchins, but I’d determined this choice was my husband’s. After all, I was the one who decided to bring Ekko home.

So we moved to the cat room. And sitting on a bed covered in daisies was a cute, six-month-old girl named (unoriginally) Daisy. Being a definite social butterfly, she perked right up when we walked by.

Clea was the social butterfly we formed an immediate connection with.

And after our social time with her, my husband declared her the one.


“Clea” (named by my husband) comes from the Dr. Strange comics (she also appeared at the end of Dr. Strange: Multiverse of Madness).

Clea loves the tower - mostly because she can see everything from there.

Still on the small side (after all, she was only six months), she had a BIG personality. She walked into the house and immediately claimed the top of the cat tower. Getting to look out the window and roll around fascinated her.

And nothing scared her!

Not Juniper barking at the delivery truck. And certainly not new people. We were shocked to find her “social butterfly” personality extended to complete strangers. She happily bounced up to anyone, eager to discover if they’d give her a scratch.

NONE of our other cats were that social – not even Talisman, who passed away before Tonks joined the family.

Growing Pains

Of course, that lack of fear made introductions…less smooth than we were used to. Clea and Ekko, in particular, seemed determined to engage in a battle for supremacy (in other circumstances, it’d be hilarious to see a kitten taking on a cat THREE TIMES her size – and winning).

Of course, there were some "growing pains" to get through.

We pulled out all the stops (Feliway, isolation, treats for good behavior, and the occasional water spray bottle) to smooth the process.

And going into our third month? They’ve settled their pecking order. We no longer hear the screaming matches. And while they don’t play as much as we hoped, we’ll settle for the unarmed peace accords.

Life With a Social Butterfly

Clea has definitely shuffled things for us. We have to check around our feet when we answer the door. (And we had to apologize to the poor plumber last week when she insisted on “assisting” him)

But we get to laugh when she makes her silly “bird trills” when she wakes up from a nap. And marvel at her ceaseless kitten energy. To say nothing of her acrobatics (she’s like a squirrel monkey!)

And getting to see her “boop” Juniper as she walks by is precious.

She hasn’t replaced Firefly by any means. But she has added a new depth of love and affection to our lives we didn’t know we were missing.

Unrelated Side Note

I know: I’ve been remiss in my posting. It took me longer than expected to overhaul the site. (Somehow, that process is always way more involved than I anticipate) However, I (think) everything is finished now, so I will do my best to get back into my usual routine.

I thank you so much for your patience!

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