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When we adopted our kittens in August, their names were Heatley and Setoguchi, after hockey stars Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi. I mention that because I hope their foster family reads this and recognizes the names: I want to extend thanks for the unbelievable job of socializing they conferred on these guys. My son and I decided to re-name the cats after two of our favorite writers, so Heatley is now Roberto (after Roberto Bolano) and Setoguchi is Carver (after Raymond Carver).

OK, these writers can deal with some of life’s rougher aspects, but these cats are as sweet as cats come. I know how much their foster family must have contributed to that. But I also want to praise Hopalong. The adoption process was great. Background checks were thorough but not unreasonable. And the care that had been taken with these animals was superb, from screening for feline HIV, to ensuring that they had received a full battery of shots, to microchipping. Hopalong’s staff and volunteers are professional, knowledgable, caring, and coourteous. What a great experience, and what great pets we have. Thanks to everyone who helped make Roberto and Carver such wonderful kittens .