I love y'all.
I am less often myself than I would like to be at present. Holding pattern. Or as best I'm capable.
Moving soon, just checklist items, nothing up to chance or question anymore. Now I get to learn the gripes and grievances of home-ownership, starting with an electrical box that for some reason is located in a basement bathroom.
And this beautiful little thing just entered into our lives. Meet Willow.
My mom is fostering her until we move. Grateful for some forms of support that aren't conditional, or at least less so.
Almost as important as the kitten is her origin story. A friend knew we were doing some looking around for a pet and a cat is more than suitable for me at the moment, she mentioned a relative of hers has a kitten they needed to rehome. Willow comes from a large family who adopted her as a barn kitten, took her home about as soon as is safe to do so. Unfortunately, over the time it took for all of the kids in this large family, especially the oldest, to bond with her, Dad figured out he has a genuine cat allergy and the cold weather and covid restrictions only made his symptoms worse. After arranging the foster we drove to pick her up today.
Meeting Willow's family I was instantly heartbroken. I recognize a days worth of crying packaged up and kleenexed away. I recognize an oldest sibling holding a family pet close, petting her companion each time like it's the last. I'm almost crying again writing this even though I kept a brave face and said all the requisite (Trite) things. We will give her as much love and attention as you have. Yes, I'll make sure her stuffed bear is by her bed, even if she only sleeps with it occasionally.
On the drive home we decided that just saying thank you and the card / giftcard we had planned was insufficient. Kids under the age of ten deserve more than to lose their kitten this close to the holiday. Collaborating with our friend, their second-cousin? we are going to write the family a card from the kitten's perspective, stick it in a big basket of treats'n'sundry, as well as a separate card for the oldest who clearly had this kitten close at hand since quarantine started. I don't know what we're going to say yet exactly but between my thesaurus and a few other people gifted with more emotional intelligence than I, maybe we can offset a little of the bitterness that is part and parcel of today and all days like it. If anyone can tell me what entertains kids under the age of 10 other than various sugars and electronics / what kinds of gifts parents don't loathe please message me.