I stood staring out the small powder room window at our backyard, where I first met her. The door was open and my back was to the rest of the house and, more importantly, my two little girls from whom I was attempting to hide. Why I continue to think I will successfully evade my children in the bathroom is beyond me. In less than a minute, my three year old was at my side. I looked down at her, ashamed she would see my tears; that I was crying over this.
"Mommy, why are you sad?"
"Well, honey, I am sad that we have to give Kitty away; that we can't keep her."
"Mommy, it's OK, " she assured me calmly, stroking my arm. "We already have a pet. We have Ben."
Ben, our 80-pound, adopted, Akita mix is literally the perfect family dog. He only barks at new faces on the porch, lets the girls climb on him, prefers to relax over run, and never eats anything he is not supposed to. His one fault is that he sheds approximately half of his body weight in fur each year, give or take. We forgive him this, though I am not sure all of our guests do.
But Kitty, the 2-pound, seven week old, gray kitten I found in our backyard two weeks before this was my dream pet come true. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted a tiny, gray kitten of my very own. While I deeply loved and cared for the hamsters and gerbils I had growing up, they clearly did not come close to Kitty. My father is allergic to cats and, as luck would have it, my husband is as well. And, yes, okay, fine, I admit it, I break out in hives when I hold a cat and am part of the reason she had to go, too.
The afternoon I found Kitty, I simply placed her in Ben's old crate on the back deck assuming I would drive her to a nearby shelter after my husband got home. Silly Kristin. After calling more than 12 rescues, shelters and volunteer groups I learned that no one in my area had room for any more cats. The Feline Rescue Association told me, "You are this kitten's best bet."
Well, that was it. My random afternoon meeting turned into a four-week, three-vet trip adventure, of which I enthusiastically enjoyed every minute. I quickly became convinced that no one could care for her like I could. I rescued her! I saved her life! So, I nursed her (with her worms, and her parasite, and her feline chewing louse, and her infected eye) back to health! Kitty became my project. She was mine.
And then she wasn't. I am grateful that we found a home for her. I am grateful it was with a family that we knew through friends. I am grateful that they still send me pictures and that she is growing and thriving. They named her Grace and I am grateful she graced me with her presence. Thank you, God. You work in such groovy ways.