The salesclerk looked dubious. “Have you gotten one of these in this car before?” he asked.

I’ve never GOTTEN one of these before,” I replied, and he started shoving a ginormous cat tree into CherryBaby’s back seat and out the window.

“Well, I got one of these in a lady’s car last week, so I can probably get it in yours, too.” Ten minutes later, with many helpful hints from passersby, he slammed the door shut on my latest adventure, while I wondered the what heck I’ve gotten myself into this time.

The stars aligned, or Bastet the cat goddess got tired of waiting, or something, because tomorrow my friend Shelby and I are heading down to pick up my latest houseguests. They’re 5- and 6-month old kittens I’ve tentatively named after Nikola Tesla (one of my heroes*): Nikki and Lola. Or maybe Nikki and Tess. I’ll see what they think.

They’re something a bit different as far as cats are concerned, and I’m hopeful that they’ll overcome some of my pet barriers and become roommates instead of houseguests. More about that later.

Right now I’m prepping the house, shopping for cat stuff–and resisting the inevitable temptation to load up on cat toys, cat beds, cat collars and harnesses and brushes and cute little Martha Stewart (MARTHA STEWART?) catfood bowls. I’ve never yet had a cat who’d give any of those things a second glance unless there was tuna in it for him.

I splurged on the cat tree. After trying two different cat tree constructions of my own–neither of which are safe for human habitation, let alone feline–I broke down and bought one tonight. it’s six feet tall and tacky as heck but with any luck these kittycats will have no taste at all.

Wish us luck.

*For those of you living under a rock, Tesla was the father of AC electrical power systems and motors, radio transmitters and wireless communications, and he influenced everything from x-rays to VTOL aircraft. He also died a penniless 86-year old virgin in a New York hotel, obsessed with pigeons, hygiene and eugenics, so my hero worship only goes so far.