Frodo and Fat Hobbit
September 08, 2020 by Mason Bell

As a child, I had a dog named Punky. I loved my small white poodle that never stayed clean. She was my best friend from elementary school until I moved on to college. I wouldn’t have called myself a dog person because I’d rarely interacted with cats. Just after college, a group of baby cats squatted on our front porch. I happily kept them until one of the feral siblings broke a leg. We got her medical attention then declared her Peg Leg, Peg for short. Ten years later, we moved to our first house, complete with a cat graciously left outside by the previous owners. The older, long-haired drool monster, named Cow Kitty, was the sweetest animal I’ve ever seen. Then for five years, we went pet-free, not even a goldfish. Good times.

Five adults trying to live and work in the same open-concept home. Motivation for the future dwindled.
Flash forward to March of this year, the year from hell by all accounts. The pandemic shocked my family. The husband now worked from home, and the kids who’d left college for spring break were asked not to return. Five adults trying to live and work in the same open-concept home. Motivation for the future dwindled. We decided to add pets to the equation. Why not, it might be entertaining? Bunnies were my preferred animal, but we searched for cats instead. We contacted local foster groups, some of which were nothing more than a storage shed of cats in a questionable neighborhood. With litter boxes wall to ceiling, survival of the strongest wasn’t a quality we wanted in a pet. In the end, we went with a charity that places a few animals at a time into local pet shops. Traveling an hour from our home, we found the siblings living a free-range lifestyle inside a pet store, and quite happily, too. Affectionate and fun, we fell in love with them and bought the necessary supplies before heading back to the casa. Granted boring names at birth, Willow and Ninja, so we quickly fixed the problem. The larger sister became Fat Hobbit, Hobbit for short, while the boy became Frodo. Changing their names made sense as they were on a journey together. Plus, LOTR is just way cool. I will say that after having Frodo for a few months, we felt Gollum might’ve been a better fit as he is a trixie animal. Six months since entering our home, I’m proud to report the Fellowship has adapted well. As indoor/ outdoor cats, they have ample amounts of freedom and security. Most days, Frodo hides behind the garden rocks in his quest to bag a sly blue jay. Fat Hobbit prefers to spectate. Somedays the husband and me long for our pre-pet lives, before cat fur drifted like tumbleweed along the tiled floor. We always come to the same conclusion, bringing them into our family has made us all happier. However, next time I will definitely get a bunny.