Yesterday, before my morning coffee had even nestled into my brain cells, the kids had already dressed and were outside to begin their summer day. Around 9:15, they knocked on the front door. I took a peak out the sidelights to asses what all the fuss was about. David stood holding a little black kitten. Fantastic.
"We found a kitten!! We found a kitten!!!!!" all three children exclaimed (neighbor and best bud Noah was included in the mix with David and Madalyn).
From a distance, I could see the cat had some scabbing around the back of its tiny neck, almost as though at one time it had worn a collar that was too tight and had rubbed the skin underneath completely raw. The kitten was solid black with the occasional white stray hair here or there. It was a good natured little kitty allowing the kids to pick it up and play and whatnot.
Of course the inevitable question finally spilled out of the mouths of babes...... Can we keep it????
We already have a dear old lady cat, Millie. She came from a box of kittens that a co-worker of my dreaded first husband (that part of the story is omitted for the kids for a number of reasons) brought to work with her. He brought her home to me late one night after his shift waiting tables. I had no food for her, and she was so very tiny. When I took her to the vet the following day, I was informed that she was probably only four weeks old and really wasn't completely ready to be away from her Mama. So I became her Mama - I literally dipped my finger in a bowl of milk and put it in her mouth to show her how to drink and did the same with food. And she's been with me since. She will be fourteen in September, and she adores the kids and all the big people of the house as well. At bedtime, she waits in the hall for the kids to brush their teeth so they will give her a little goodnight love. When Scott and I sit on the couch at the end of the day, she comes down and sits behind us and sniffs our hair. And she nibbles my nose... that's always been our thing just between the two of us.
All that being said, I couldn't imagine bringing another cat into the mix. Millie is such an old lady, and I just wouldn't feel right doing that to her. And this cat definitely needed some special attention with all the scabbing around the neck. It wouldn't be a cat you could put outside. And Lord only knows what other problems the little kitty had that you couldn't see. Basically, I couldn't handle bringing that little kitty into my life no matter how much my heart wanted to. No matter how much my kids wanted me to.
We did the toughest thing I think I have ever had to do. I wrapped the kitten in a towel and David held it for the ride to the Shelby County Humane Society. I've never dropped off an animal, so I really didn't know what to expect. They made a copy of my drover's license and asked me to fill out all this paper work. I had to sign a form recognizing my awareness that the animal may have to be euthanized. I came real close to telling them I'd just take the cat back home... but I didn't. I left a twenty dollar donation and a beautiful little black kitty that would definitely make some family very happy if it gets the medical attention it needs.
David wept the whole way home. Madalyn asked, "Can we call and check on Sunshine tomorrow?" Of course, I had to ask if that's what they had named the kitty - Sunshine. They said that they named her Sunshine because it was a sunny day. Bless their hearts.
So, I guess I will call the shelter later today and check on Sunshine. I have thought about the darn cat so much since dropping her off. I hope she can get the attention and help she needs and can be paired with a family that can love her as much as my kids did for the few hours they had with her.