Because she's the best mama ever and wanted to make sure you didn't worry about her...
I received a lovely e-mail message from Heidi on Saturday. Instead of paraphrasing or picking and choosing the perfect passage (because they're ALL fantastic!), Heidi gave me permission to share her message with you. So...
"Clara is doing great! I suspected so before, but now I am sure -- I have hit the kitty cat jackpot!!! :)
What a gorgeous, loving, sweet, inquisitive, fuzzy -- and oh did I mention sweet -- girl!!! Everything you had said about her is absolutely true!!
The drive home yesterday went fine. It ended up taking about 5.5 hours overall (Kelly's note: Did I mention that Clara is no longer a Michigander? I think I forgot that part. THAT's how awesome this match is... her new mama came from out of state to collect her!) since I stopped a few times to let her use the litter box if she wanted (she didn't) or eat a little snack if she wanted (she didn't). As I drove I did hear a few meeps and mews from time to time, but really barely anything at all, and mostly in response to me talking to her. She seemed just fine -- I think I was more worried than she was :)
When we got home, I showed her where the litter boxes are, and then gave her some time to have a good look around the condo. Then I opened a can of food in the kitchen and she was very interested in that, after which it was bath time on the living room rug, and when I sat down on the sofa she jumped up for a good snuggle. She continued that pattern throughout the evening -- exploring and then coming back for some love. When I went to bed, she followed right along as if we'd been doing this for years. I'm not sure if she stayed in the bed all night (I'm guessing not and that she did some good old fashioned night exploring), but she was definitely there when I woke up, and she was just a rolling, purring, stretching bundle of love!!
Today so far she has been very interested in watching people come and go outside, as well as keeping an eye on the birds and squirrels. And all has been going well on the eating, drinking, and litter box front -- I have seen the first two things happen, and I have evidence of visits to the latter :)
The only thing so far that she hasn't liked is the noise (admittedly loud) of the coffee bean grinder this morning. But even then, although she started to turn tail and flee the kitchen, she didn't leave entirely, just kind of crouched and folded her ears back and looked at me as if to say, "What is THAT?! Are we going to be ok!?" :)
She truly is a lovely, lovely girl. Given her sweet and loving nature, I imagine she would have been happy in a number of setups and would welcome any loving attention -- but I am so glad and thankful that it is MY house that she is in, and that it is on ME that she can shower her unreserved and unstinting affection. My cup runneth over... truly it does.
Thank you so much for entrusting me with this wonderful, delightful girl. I will send more updates -- and pictures -- next week!!
Heidi added that she wanted to answer so many of your kind comments on Friday's blog post but she has trouble commenting from her computer at home. She is able to comment from work, so we might hear more down below. She IS reading though... and feeling your love.
Now I guess we just sit back and wait for updates. Whatever shall we do while we wait?
"What are WE? Chopped liver?"
"You could start paying attention to US, you know."
"YEAH! What HE said!"
"Please, pretty please... Blog about US now!"
Oh, I don't know... Do you think there is an audience for kitten antics on the internet? ;)
I would be remiss if I didn't pass along many thanks to the people who helped Clara find her way home...
First, this would have never happened without those of you who helped share her photo and information across the interwebs. I lost track of how many times I saw her pretty face flash across my computer screen while being shared by you. That is, in fact, how Heidi found us... on Love & Hisses where she was shared by the amazing Robyn Anderson. (That doesn't make any of the rest of you any less amazing, just giving credit for where Heidi was hooked)
Second, your support both in the comments and behind the scenes in my inbox sustained my spirits when I sometimes thought Clara's family was never coming for her. The extra bits of information about FIV, the leads on places where we might share her story, the cheering us along... it all meant a great deal, probably more than you know.
Third, I am grateful for a rescue community (and this rescue in particular) who didn't let a three letter diagnosis deter us from our mission of finding Clara's forever home. In some places, those letters mean a death sentence or (at the very least) giving up on the animal. It was never a thought, for even a single moment, that we couldn't or wouldn't find Clara's family. Finding another place for her was never discussed. She was ours until she was someone else's... permanently.
Fourth, I am thankful for a wonderful six months with Clara. Even though she rarely had anything to say out loud, it still seems quiet here without her. Roo seems a bit lonely too.
**Here endeth the "acceptance speech"**