Furry resolution

September 14,2009
Professor Mom
Aliki McElreath( )

Aliki is a writer and college English teacher. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two children (ages seven and ten), a dog, a cat, a rabbit, and too many fish.

Are you wondering what we decided to do about our furry dilemma? We picked Option C, and as soon as we walked into the cat room last week for our initial visit we were so glad we we made that choice. It was incredibly overwhelming for us to find ourselves surrounded by so many cages of kitties--some so tiny their eyes were still that bright blue color. I can only imagine how difficult it would have been for the kids to make sense of their emotions in a place like that; as it was, Scott and I felt emotionally exhausted over the whole cat selection process. And while I'm so glad we saved a life and went with the animal pound, I can also safely say, after spending two afternoons in a row there, I'd rather not go back again any time soon. Also, I have infinite respect for those stalwart and kind souls who volunteer there--my heart couldn't take it, yet those animals really do need extra hands to hold them, and as many soft voices around them as they can get. While we were there we saw one woman surrendering her beautiful, bouncy hound dog, and man surrendering a pair of elderly cats. We saw a tearful woman scouring the cages for her own lost kitty, and too many furry paws reaching through the metal bars at us: Pick me! Pick me! they all seemed to plead to us. By the time we had made our decision on Friday afternoon I was an emotional wreck--overjoyed we had picked a kitty at last, but on the verge of tears every time I thought about the animals we had left behind. "We can only save one life," Scott kept telling me, and this was true--although in my heart I wanted to save them all, each and every one of them. *********** We weren't going to get our kitty until Wednesday. The animal shelter's rule is that if your kitten is old enough to be spayed then she must be spayed before you can formally adopt. But Scott, kind-hearted as always, drove out to the pound on Saturday to visit with our kitty and to keep her company. Me? I was too emotional about it all to make another trip there. When Scott got to the shelter he found out that our kitten had contracted a slight respiratory infection that had been going around the cat room. Because she can't have the surgery until she recovers, he was able to bring her home under the foster-to-adopt program--after signing papers promising to have her spayed as soon as she is well again. So she's home, where she belongs. The kids are learning about using soft "kitty friendly" voices around her, and how to stroke her, gently. They are thrilled beyond words; our old cat never tolerated the kids much, so they are happy to have a kitten who has already graced them with purrs and snuggles. And it's awfully nice having the pitter-patter of tiny furred feet around here these days, it really is. AnnieI think we're calling her Annie.