Chilliwack-Hope MLA Barry Penner

Ranger the cat has company

Barry Penner’s cat, Ranger, is going to have to get used to playing second fiddle in the house.

Barry Penner’s cat, Ranger, is going to have to get used to playing second fiddle in the house.

The Chilliwack-Hope MLA and his wife, Daris LaPointe, welcomed their new bundle of joy, Fintry Katherine Penner, into the world on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 11:21 a.m at Chilliwack General.

“I’ve got another job now,” Penner tells The Progress, “Along with titles like Aboriginal Relations Minister, Attorney General, MLA, and husband, we now add father.”

Mother and daughter are doing well, the local MLA reported yesterday, and he dutifully counted all of his new daughter’s fingers and toes.

Their newborn’s name, Fintry, is a nod to a provincial park in the Okanagan that Penner visited while he was environment minister.

“It’s a beautiful and unique property.”

The middle name, Katherine, is in honour of Penner’s grandmother.

Penner said his wife went into labour on Friday and it was “quite serious” by Saturday evening.

“I was surprised when they sent us home again that night. We barely got home and things were not good, so we headed back to the hospital,” he said.

Fintry finally arrived on Sunday morning, weighing in at 7 pounds, six ounces.

Penner’s little family posed for their first photo op while still tucked in bed at the hospital.

“So I sent a photo by BlackBerry to (MLA) John Les, and he messages me back to ask what room we’re in.”

It turns out Les was only two doors down, celebrating the birth of his new grandchild that very afternoon.

“So we bumped into each other in the hallway at the hospital,” Penner added, to offer congratulations.

Penner said he is hoping to bring his new family home from the hospital some time Tuesday.

On the cat’s humorous Facebook page, ‘Draft Ranger the Cat for Leader,’ Penner writes: “Even though she is terribly cute, Ranger may have a hard time adjusting to no longer being the top priority in his household now that Fintry Katherine Penner has arrived.

“Clearly, Ranger will have his work cut out for him in convincing the parents, Barry and Daris, to give him the attention he deserves as a potential leader.”

jfeinberg@theprogress.com