Not even this one, even with as cute as she most definitely is.
Psst... Don't tell the Roo, but I could have given her away when she was a baby. If there was ANYONE in her litter that I would have planned to keep?
I think it probably would have been THIS troublemaker.
RUBY made that call. I just let her. I wouldn't give her up for the world now, but then? I would have sent her on her way if she had been willing to go.
As I've gone through my fostering experience, I've always been able to put up a wall between my fosters and my heart. Don't get me wrong. I'm not cold-hearted. I love each one of them beyond measure. But there's a certain section of my heart that the fosters don't get in. It's what allows me to be the big bad foster mama who wrestles them down for medication and baths (and then not get my feelings hurt when they don't like me very much). It's what allows me to give them away nearly tear-free when the time comes. It's what allows me to be happier for them than I am sad for me when they find their forever family.
Until this time.
A funny thing happened on the way to forever with this particular group of fosters. I fell in love with each of them. Not just in my foster mama way, but in that way. Maybe it was because they were with me for far too long. Maybe it was because I had to extend more of my heart towards them in order to get them to love and trust humans. Maybe it was because I suffered a loss along the way and there was a face missing around here. Whatever it was, I couldn't imagine letting them all go when the time came.
Ask the kitten catcher... she'd tell you, if she could only figure out how to comment on the blog ;-) On any given day I would talk about keeping one of them. It was rarely the same one for the same reason. I couldn't make up my mind to save my life. I even asked you guys and got no concrete answer. (By the way, did you ever figure out who kittens A, B, and C were? The clear majority of you seemed to think I should keep kitten B. I'll bet his new mama is glad that I made a different decision though) I used to think that if I were willing to keep any of them, then I'd just wait for adoptions to roll in and then keep whoever was left over. But that didn't seem right somehow either.
In the end, it was a potential adopter who pushed me to make my decision... a couple of them as a matter of fact. Last week, we were approached by a few different people expressing strong interest in one of our All Stars. And I fell apart at the thought of it. My heart started beating a million times per minute. My hands were shaking. I felt sick to my stomach. I knew that I couldn't give her up. Not to any random adopter. Not to any of you either. She was mine. She is mine. And she's proving it every single day.
Meet Ruby's baby sister.
It's not official yet (as in I haven't signed my name in blood for her, but I have told my husband that I want her to stay... I think the response was something to do with not needing three cats but not being able to stop me, so I'm calling it a yes). Her name remains Maxie, or Max for short. She answers to it and it's cute. Besides, if you have preschoolers of a certain generation you may have come across a Nick Junior cartoon about a bunny brother and sister. It's called Max and Ruby. It's perfect.
I may have figured out that part that cinched the deal for me. There are times, although it's not frequent and it's not long-lasting or over-whelming, that I look into this little girl's eyes and another soul is peering back at me.
How could I possibly ever let her go?