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Jason Scott

The Tweetie Chronicles: Happy Adoption Day!

Last year I fostered four kittens. One of them was fractious. He bit the Director, then when I got him he ended up biting me, twice. I wrote about this kitten's journey, being in foster care and the tug of war over whether or not I would be able to socialize him before he was neutered, ear-tipped and released to the woods. While his brother and sisters played, I got into an argument with the Director about this cat's future. While I won the battle, I lost the war. We never truly got along after that. For this one cat, named Tweetie, I took a big chance. I was either going to be stuck with him forever as an unadoptable cat or I was going to have to find a way to reach his heart and help him learn that humans are ok.

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©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. Arrival day. Tweetie (top left), Angel (center), Twitter (right), Fluffy (front left).

I wrote about this crazy journey in “The Tweetie Chronicles.” Little did I know that this little cat would make such a huge impact on my life. As I was working with him and he began to trust me. One day I noticed he looked just like “The Internet's Most Famous Cat, Sockington!” and decided to Tweet about it. If you read the Chronicles, you'll see in detail how Socks' Fans, “Socks Army” rallied around Tweetie and urged Sockington to do the right thing and acknowledge that Tweetie was his secret son. It was all fun and games, until I was contacted by Socks' Mom, “Food Lady” and his dad, “Fatty,” who I call, Mr. Scott.

©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. Tweetie while still in “Feral Rehab,” but bearing a shocking resemblance to Sockington.

Food Lady came to visit Tweetie. Her tender heart urged her to help. Since her other cats, PennyCat and Sockington were also rescued from dire situations, it just felt right to help another cat in need. The visit went better than I could have dreamed. Tweetie went right up to Food Lady and sat on her lap, purring. He looked up at her and perhaps, in that moment, his future was locked into place.

A few days later, Sam and I drove Tweetie to Boston for a “trial” adoption. That was ONE YEAR ago TODAY.

Tweetie's trial is long over. He's now a cherished member of the family. A few days ago I got an email from Food Lady, updating me on how Tweetie's been doing. Here's some of what she had to say:

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©2010 Food Lady. Tweetie (right), plots his next bum attack on Sockington (left).

“He's still a real snugglebug. He tends to follow me around the house (although having said that, I'm not sure where he is at the moment). He can't jump as well or as elegantly as Socks (those long legs, you know) so Socks will hop atop the bookcase or dresser, causing Tweetie to get very vocally upset. :)

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©2010 Food Lady. “His newest discovery is that he can be *under* the blanket as well as on top of it. So he'll quite often root around until he can get his head under the blanket. So one of the shots is of that. In one of them, he's got half a shakymouse toy in his mouth. He adores boxes of all kinds - I think they remind him of the crate at your house.”

He's got a thing for brushes - I now have to hide away my makeup brushes and the big poofy wool duster, because he runs off with them in his mouth. :)”

Food Lady also told me that Tweetie eats everyone's food so he has to be fed in a separate room! Oops! He also likes to sneak up on Socks and bite him in the bum! Tweetie and Socks are quite close, even if Tweetie is a pain in the butt-literally.

©2010 Food Lady. Tweetie with Baron Von Shakeymouse

What lies ahead for our former foster? We really don't know anything more than Tweetie has grown up into a big, sweet, playful kitty. Will he ever be as famous as his dad? Probably not. Does it matter? Not to him, surely.

So without further adieu, put on your party hat and get out the nose makers! Not only can we celebrate the adoption of a cat who beat the odds, but we can take delight in the fact that Tweetie's life in the glow of the nearby limelight suits him just fine.

In fact, it was meant to be.

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©2010 Food Lady (goofy type by Robin).

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©2010Food Lady. Tweetie all grown up. The spitting image of his Pop, Socks.

Another chapter in the Tweetie Chronicles draws to a close. Along with the big smile on my face and the proud feeling I have about Tweetie's success, I'm enjoying the new nickname “Tweetie” gave me in honor of this special day. You may now call me, “Nice Robin Lady.”

The Tweetie Chronicles: Socks reaches 1.5 MILLION followers!

I am SO excited and delighted to see my little (well, not so little any more), foster, Tweetie doing well and finding a happy home with Sockington, who truly IS the most Famous Cat on the Internet.

Congrats to Jason Scott (sorry, I can't call you, Fatty) and Food Lady, Pennycat and of course SOCKS for reaching 1.5 MILLION followers on Twitter!

I LOVE this video! Jason Scott makes great use of Sockington's fame by sending a message to everyone-GET INVOLVED when you see an animal on the street who needs your help. ADOPT a SHELTER CAT or DOG! It's great. Thank you, Jason! Your heart is as big as the world!

Here's the video! Enjoy!

Sockington 1.5 Million Movie from Jason Scott on Vimeo.

The Tweetie Chronicles: Never Ending Story

Looks like our good friend, Sockington made the headlines again. Fortunately it was not due to having many secret Mistresses. Socks was at it again, being featured for his Twitter follower-prowess, which is now at over 1.5 MILLION! Socks is so big, he caught the attention of THE People Magazine-May 17th issue, page 152! Are we proud of you, Socks, well, DUH, of course!

Would we be AS proud of you if PeoplePets didn't do an additional article about you called: “The 5 Things You Didn't Know About Sockington?” (that happened to include our former foster, Tweetie?) Well, yesssssss, yes. Of course!

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See point number 2, above. Thank you to Helin Jung, my charming friend at PeoplePets for including Tweetie and moreso for declaring aloud that I'm a comedian to the general public! Maybe I can get a booking doing a “stand up comedy, socializing feral cats world tour,” next?

Who knows what's next? I know that Tweetie is doing well, hogging the food at meal time so he has to be separated from Socks and Penny Cat and that otherwise he's getting along well with his “Dad.” Of course what PennyCat thinks in another story.

Oh and WELCOME People Pets readers! I forgot my manners. Hope you'll come back and visit again, soon!

I promise. No more creepy close up shots of my feet! (see below a few posts..wait, no, don't look).

The Tweetie Chronicles: The A Word!

At last! Word has come in to CiCH HQ that Sockington, and Penny (with great reluctance) have decided to move forward and make Tweetie's "visit" a permanent one. Yes, I can finally announce that


I heard from a reliable source that Socks will sit outside Tweetie's room and wait for him to come out, instead of hiss or run off and hide whenever he sees the little guy. I believe that Socks actually misses the him when they're apart!

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The photo that started it all...along with it a simple question; "Are you my daddy?"

Tweetie will undergo a name change at some point. We're not sure what it will be or when it will be announced, but rest assured, as soon as I know, you'll know, too.

Congrats, Tweetie! I'm sure I'll see you again on one of your Twitter Pages or on Sockington's web site or on TV or in a Book! Shoot! I knew I shoulda gotten your autograph before you left here!

UPDATE: Looks like the rumors are NOT true. Tweetie's name has NOT BEEN CHANGED TO, Oliver or Cousin Oliver! It's a character reference from the Brady Bunch, not his new name.

The Tweetie Chronicles: Epilogue

Two weeks ago, Tweetie went to visit Sockington & Pennycat and has yet to return. I've checked in on him quite a few times and each time he tells me he's enjoying himself and that Food Lady and Fatty, err...Mr. Scott are very nice to him, too.

He's not quite sure what to make of the pale lady cat. She gives off a funny vibe, so he's staying clear. Mr. Sockington seems strangely familiar and it's comforting to spend time with him now that "Socks" isn't hissing so often. It's also delightful to have lots more space where he can run. Living in the bathroom was getting boring. One can only play with the faucet and flush the toilet so many times.

There's still no final word on whether or not Tweetie will become a permanent member, and highest ranking, but shortest, Officer in the Sock Army, but seeing this video, gave me the feeling that things are, at least, going fairly well.

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A frame showing Tweetie in his first Supporting Role, from the newly released Socksamillion video, celebrating Socks's One Millionth Follower on Twitter (though now he's at 1.03 mil). Go Socks! You can see the rest, HERE. Tweetie's getting so BIG!

I'm very proud of Tweetie and I'm glad I worked so hard to give him every chance to break the desire to return to his feral roots...and glad I had the backing from my Director to do so. It was a long, scary journey, but now looking back, things fell into place just perfectly-as perhaps they were meant to all along?

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This is my artist's interpretation showing Tweetie with Sockington. Some day I hope they'll really sit for a portrait together. Thank you to Jason Scott for allowing me to use the photo of Socks.

Will Tweetie find his forever home with Socks & Penny? Even if he doesn't, he's had a Hell of a run; the support and love of new friends from all over the world and more than a moment in the spotlight. It's far more than most (former!) feral kittens could ever dream for, but in this little kitten's case, he hit the jackpot and I couldn't have asked for a happier ending.

I'm sure Tweetie's story will continue on through his updates on Twitter; both as a spokescat for The Animal Center and also as his sly, devilish, no-holds-barred self. It's time for me to re-focus my efforts. I have more kittens to rescue; some from death row at kill shelters in the south, some from just down the street. Wherever they come from, be assured there'll be more stories like Tweetie's, filled with challenges, heartbreak and joy. I hope you'll keep visiting, Covered in Cat Hair and join me as I continue that journey learning the ropes of being a Cat Rescuer and try to maintain my sanity living with seven (and more) cats.

The Tweetie Chronicles: Chapter Eleven, The Meeting

I admit I've been dragging my feet about writing this chapter. It means that the last few stories I'm able to share about Tweetie will draw to a close; even though there IS so much more to this story than I can tell here, right now. Reflecting on our last day together, too, will remind me that my relationship with one, very special kitten is also possibly coming to an end.

The Meeting

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If you don't already know this, introducing a new cat into a home where there's already one or more cats, should be done with great care. As with people meeting one another, first impressions matter. Get off on the wrong foot, or paw, in this case, and it can set up years of discord, damage to the home and stress for all concerned.

When the new cat is about to meet a Celebukitty, there's even more at stake. Not only is their meeting going to be of concern to their new family, but to the Global Press at large. Will the headlines read: "Sockington Rebuffs Tiny Twin, Tweetie" or "Sockington Welcomes Ward Warmly"?

The answer won't be completely obvious for some time. You simply MUST be patient about how things will pan out. Be willing to give it time, whether it be hours or MONTHS, for your cats to all get along. They may never sleep snuggled together on your bed, but at least they should respect each other's space and not fight. You must NEVER toss the new cat into a room and "let them work it out" with the cats whose home has been usurped!

A Few Introduction Tips

The new kitten or cat must be separated from the group, in their own space, with their own litter pan, food, bed and toys. It will be their "safe haven" when the day comes that they're allowed the freedom to explore the rest of the home. It's from this separate room that the introductions are done, either by opening the door slightly or, in our case, by putting window screens across the doorway.

Even though Sockington and Penny are famous kitties and it's really really cool that Tweetie looks a lot like Socks, their introduction is a serious matter. This is about their lives together as a new family, not a publicity stunt.

The Big Moment

I had a can of what I call "Kitty Crack." It's the one brand of cat food I've never seen a cat turn away from. I won't say what it's called (Solid Gold), but it's really expensive and if they want to ship me a crate, that would be awesome!

The plan was to feed Penny and Socks this delicious treat on one side of Tweetie's room divider, with Tweetie being fed on the other. This would help the cats to associate a positive experience with seeing each other. Using window screens, the cats could see and smell each other through the screen, but Tweetie would be safe from harm should one of the cats decide to lunge at him.

Food Lady, Mr. Scott, Sam and I stood breathlessly as Food Lady put down food for Penny and Socks.

Penny didn't even get close to the screen or her food. She figured out what was going on and immediately ran off. At least she wasn't aggressive. No tasty treat was going to change her mind. This left Socks to meet Tweetie.

Socks wasn't sure what to make of the creature behind the screen. His skinny tail puffed up while Tweetie looked eagerly at him. There was a sharp "hiss" from Socks, who wanted to lick at the yummy food, but was distracted by his tiny doppleganger.

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Curious, Socks took a step closer. Tweetie, remained eager and friendly, with tail held high. Perhaps he hoped he could play with Socks soon?

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Socks and Tweetie sniffed each other's face through the screen. Though Tweetie did nothing to provoke him, Socks hissed and Tweetie hissed only in retaliation. This cat may be big and look strangely familiar, but Tweetie wasn't gonna be no scaredy cat.

Food Lady reached down to comfort Socks, but shocked by the sudden distraction, he lashed out with another quick hiss, this time at Food Lady. This is not unusual and it's worth noting that when a cat is stressed, a comforting voice, staying neutral is great, but hands off until the cat is in a relaxed state. Yes, this is how I got bit-trying to handle a cat who was highly stressed and I assumed I could deal with him. Wrong! Sometimes it's better to let things cool off a bit, if possible.

Fortunately, Food Lady was only startled, but not hurt. Socks just wanted to let us know he was distressed at this visitor. Point taken.

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Then Tweetie was given some food, which he happily ate, regardless of the giant cat towering over him with the rather silly attempt to scare him with his almost pouffless tail. We all had hoped that Socks would just eat and relax, instead of try to look menacing, but he ran off.

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With a bit of cajoling, we were able to encourage Socks to return. Tweetie was still ready to be friends, but Socks wasn't ready for that. With a short, guttural growl and quick hiss, Socks ran off again, seemingly for good, this time. Poor Tweetie. He just wanted to make friends. He behaved far better than I could have hoped. He didn't run and hide. He didn't flip out. He was brave and confident. Gone was the fearful feral kitten I once knew.

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Finally, Face to Face. Tweetie Wonders; "Are You My Daddy?"

Even though the introduction was far from a Hollywood Ending, it could have been much worse. Penny will need time to come around or she'll just stay in "her space" and avoid any interaction with Tweetie. Socks showed interest and although felt threatened by the newcomer, he returned, just moments after running off, with tail held high, looking as fabulous and calm as ever.

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It was time for me to go. Enough excitement for all the kitties for one day. Time to let them all relax. I asked for a moment to say goodbye to Tweetie and everyone kindly left the room. I stepped over the window screens and Tweetie dashed behind the toilet. I called to him and he came right over to me. Unsure of what was going on in this new place, with new smells and a giant cat hissing at him, he was still willing to leave the safety of his hiding place. I picked him up, then was surprised to see a mirror on the wall in front of us. I hadn't noticed it before. Tweetie looked at the reflection just as I did. I took a mental portrait of us at that moment, sorely wishing I had my camera. It was the first time I ever saw myself with Tweetie and it made me tear up. I realized this may be the last time I ever hold this sweet little cat. The last time I feel his quick purr or hear his goofy burble. I got to this moment with a lot of hard work, patience, a few painful bites on my finger and a lot of love. Though my heart suddenly ached, there was nothing more that I could do other than to kiss his forehead and leave him to settle in his new home. I promised myself I wouldn't cry in front of his new family. It was a tough promise to keep.

This is my life; to socialize feral kittens and to help find them good homes. I'd done my part. Now it was up to Food Lady and the rest of her family to decide if Tweetie will be a good fit in their home. Part of me wishes it wouldn't work out so I could take him back, but I realize I'm being entirely selfish and this just feels like the place where Tweetie was meant to be-I know again with my silly predictions!

I hope that Sockington and Penny will find their way to love Tweetie, as I have, and that their home is filled with a lifetime of joy. I really enjoyed meeting Socks. He's just awesome in every way. I'd love to get to know Penny. I feel badly we only had a moment to visit with her. She's really a beautiful girl. I wish I could tell them both that it's going to be okay. That they'll still be just as famous and just as loved, if not moreso than before.

Food Lady and Fat...err...Mr. Scott are both focused on what's best for all the cats. Their sincere desire to make certain the introduction is done in the most positive manner possible is truly impressive. They're very good people who I hope to become friends with as the days pass.

Here's to new beginnings-a new chapter, of either Tweetie's visit?...or Tweetie's rise to fame, alongside his older mentor, Sockington?

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What will happen to this little fella? He no longer has to fear being released into the woods, but will Tweetie's visit turn into an adoption or will he come back to Connecticut to find a new home?

All I can say about that is, of course, stay tuned...and...shoot! I forgot to get a pawtograph!

The Tweetie Chronicles: Chapter Ten, Part Two of Two

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Tweetie was a marvelous passenger. Although he seemed a bit limp and sad, perhaps it was his reaction to the stress of highway sounds? Maybe it was just being a kitten and needing a nap? He settled down quickly. I offered him some toys to play with, but he wasn't interested. I didn't push it with him, instead just offered to pet him, which he seemed to give him some comfort. I could feel him purring through my fingers.

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Within a short time, Tweetie was fast asleep on my hand. I didn't move it, figuring I have a spare hand, so if this one falls off due to inadequate blood flow, then heck, I'm mostly right handed, so no big deal. Somehow I managed to send out a few Tweets and the above two photos to everyone to let them know we were making progress and would be reaching Socks Army HQ soon. We didn't hit much traffic and the threatening looking weather moved on, only releasing a modest shower, instead of a torrent. We pulled into the driveway of...hey! I'm NOT telling you the TOP SECRET LOCATION OF SOCKS ARMY HQ! Are you kidding me?! I had to sign a blood oath never to divulge this secret!...

...and low and behold, who should walk out to welcome us, but Food Lady, herself! (no photos, please!)

As I got out of the car, I got slapped by hot, humid air. It was nasty! Socks Army HQ has so many different operations that only certain sectors of the HQ are chilled. When we entered HQ and were escorted to Tweetie's new temporary quarters, I realized Tweetie was going to be very warm, indeed. I started to worry. His quarters were small and sequestered from the lavish surroundings that Socks and Penny enjoy. I kept reminding myself that this was "just for a few days" and that the weather was going to break that night (which it did, thankfully and things cooled down and dried out nicely). Food Lady had everything ready. We released Tweetie and instead of hiding or hissing, he casually walked around and was a proper gentleman and showed Food Lady he knew how to use his new litter pan!

With fresh food and water laid out before him, we decided to let him rest a bit while we sought refuge in the cool chambers of the HQ's main conference room. I was trying to be polite and not demand to know where Sockington and Penny were. We met with, well he's called Fatty, but I would rather call him, Mr. Scott, so we met with Mr. Scott who told us to prepare for the meeting. That we should not expect a warm greeting, but if Sockington did honor us with his presence that we should be delighted-well of course!

He called Sockington on a Top Secret wireless device. Within a moment I heard paws landing on stair steps. I turned from my seat on the floor (my choice) and there he was...Socks!

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What an elegant, sleek, regal beast! Socks came right over to me sniffed my hand. I was told he wouldn't let me pet him, but he did! He even gave my hand a few welcoming licks. I still haven't washed it! Maybe I can get the DNA from it and clone a new Socks? Mwwwaahahahaha!

So anyway, Socks is fantastic. He's quite tall and his tail is impressively long, featuring a "tail light" (white tip) as I call it. He was also very friendly with Sam, but I'm not sure if it was because he liked Sam or that Sam's hands smelled like the grilled chicken sandwich he ate in the car on the drive up?

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Maybe Socks was just being polite?

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He certainly seemed calm and relaxed in front of the camera. You can tell he knows he's famous! He posed carefully for me, making sure he gave me his good side forward (with Socks, though, all sides are good!). I couldn't get over how much Socks looked like Tweetie. I mean, Tweetie looked like Mr. Sockington, excuse me!

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I did my best to be witty and entertaining, but in truth, I think I bored Socks. Though he tried to stay with the conversation, it was just too beneath his standards.

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Eventually, he decided he'd had enough and wanted to have a wee nap.

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But what about meeting Tweetie??! Should we do the introductions? I'd finally gotten Tweetie within a football field (Hey, Socks Army HQ is big!) of Sockington, but I KNOW introductions have to be done properly, or you open a whole world of hurt on yourself!

Suddenly Penny entered the room and it was clear, as sweet and lovely as she is in person, she was also in NO MOOD to meet no stinkin' kitten!

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I gulped hard. What had I done?! Was this just a foolish, selfish, idiotic move on my part? Clearly Penny was not happy. Socks didn't know what was waiting for him in the next room. Maybe I should just take Tweetie home with me and forget this ever happened! At least I got to meet The Most Famous Cat on the Internet and geez, everyone is going to be so jealous of me! Woohoo! Take that rich, creepy, materialistic, selfish, evil, elephant-eared family members, who shall remain nameless, but know who they are! Nyah!

What am I gonna do? What will become of Tweetie???

'til next time, World. 'til next time...

The Tweetie Chronicles: Chapter Ten, Part One of Two

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My journey with Tweetie ends today. Though I'll still be involved with his life, it'll be from a distance. I've been sick with some sort of stomach bug for a few days and my hormones are percolating at dangerous levels. I'm tired. A perfect day to drive a 280 mile round trip to Boston!

My brain isn't working. I hate being a woman sometimes. Get whacked out hormones, always at the worst possible time, then try to act like a "normal" person while under duress. Ugh.

At the last minute I told Sam I was in trouble and asked him what I should do. Instead of doing the trip solo, Sam offered to drive me. If the weather turned bad, which was likely, he'd have 4wd on his car and I'd not have the stress of the drive up. I didn't want to lean on him, but I had to admit it might be the best for most of us and I promised I'd buy gas and a load of Lox and Bagels at Rein's Deli on the way home. What that man won't do for fish, I swear.

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The plan was to leave at 2pm to avoid the worst of Boston traffic. Before leaving, I spent some quality time playing and hanging out with Tweetie. All he wanted to do was sit on my lap, play while sitting on my lap or bite my pants. It was a true Hallmark moment.

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I packed up some of Tweetie's favortie toys, a cat blanket that Food Lady brought us that smelled like Sockington, a few cans of food and Tweetie's Vet records. The last thing I packed was Tweetie's Adoption Contract.

Yes. Adoption. Contract. It seems that Food Lady has a bit of a crush on Tweetie to the point of feeling it may just be Kismet that Tweetie should come to live alongside his older twin, Sockington and his cohort in crime, Penny. I've known that this was a possibility since July 23rd. I even predicted it would happen! For some reason, I felt I needed to write down my gut feeling after I'd received a note from Jason, asking to come visit Tweetie. I sealed the prediction in an envelope and showed it to Sam to witness it. Now if I could only get my own Psychic Hotline, maybe I could afford my Vet bill!

I wasn't able to say anything about the possibility until enough time and meetings had passed so that everyone felt comfortable with the idea that maybe Tweetie was destined to be part of the family? Tweetie will be on probation once he arrives at The Socks Army HQ and it'll be up to Food Lady, Fatty, Socks & Penny whether or not Tweetie will stay on "forever."

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Even if it doesn't work out, Tweetie can always come home to me and I'll find him, maybe not as an exciting home, but a home nonetheless. No pressure. No worries. There are NO villains here. First...let's get Tweetie to Boston and see what happens next.

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We packed up the car and Sam put the car into "drive." Tweetie began crying hysterically. Within less than a block, I'd gotten out of the car and jumped into the back seat, where I stayed for the remainder of the trip. Tweetie was content once he had company. My hormones settled down once I started to pet him. I tried to push the thought out of my mind that this was it-this was the last few hours I was going to spend with Tweetie. I felt my gut lurch and tears well up in my eyes. Was it my tummy troubles returning or the inevitable sadness of letting go? I started this journey fully ready to be responsible for whatever the outcome: releasing Tweetie to the woods or finding him a home. It was never in the plan to keep him with my clutter, but I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't be tough to say goodbye.

Ready or not, it was time to carry on; to leave Connecticut and make our way northeast.

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