Winter arrived in Michigan and Garnet was feeling the chill.
So she packed her little bags and moved herself down south over the weekend.
"Wait... Does Garnet want to be in here?"
On 5:30 Sunday morning, I loaded our Garnet girl in the carrier. She sang a bit at first, but never really sounded upset about her predicament. We picked up the Kitten Catcher. By 6:15, we had made our required stop at Starbucks and entered I-75 heading south.
We stopped in Dayton Ohio (where we were stationed for four years and where younger daughter was born at the local Air Force hospital) and picked up our friend Miss Jeanne from Random Felines and hopped back on the highway.
A couple of hours later, we pulled off the interstate in Lexington Kentucky... and Garnet met her new mom in the back of my mini-van.
She was relaxed from the start (surprisingly so since we were in a vehicle in a McDonalds parking lot near a busy road). You have to understand here that Garnet never did well at adoption events. She was nervous. She was scared. She hid and, when we forced her to come out, she clung to whomever was holding her (usually with claws).
Sunday was different. She snuggled. She showed interest in a toy. Her claws remained mercifully sheathed. It's as if she knew this time would be different.
I kissed the splotch a million and two times and we started to say our goodbyes.
"Wait... Garnet is LEAVING?"
"Okay... so Goodbye!"
"Are we done yet? Garnet is feeling a bit smooshed."
"Is my splotch WET?"
Yes, the splotch was wet with the Kitten Catcher's tears (which was completely not a surprise to anyone who knew her). We went back to our respective vehicles and headed our separate ways... Garnet to Alabama and us back to our homes in Ohio and Michigan.
By the time I arrived home (after dropping off Jeanne and the Kitten Catcher and picking up my older daughter from her shift at a completely different McDonalds) my phone was beeping with Facebook messages and the news that Garnet was home. By the time I greeted my kids, unloaded my car, and gotten through the bathroom, there were photos and updates.
I stole it off the Facebook feed and I'm not sorry ;-)
Garnet is playing and eating and snuggling and head-butting and purring in her new home already... YIPPEE!!!!
I know we'll have a million updates (in fact, there's a video that arrived while I was typing this post so I'm off to view it now).
I don't think endings could get much happier than this. But while it's MY ending with Garnet, her family story is just beginning. I feel grateful that I will get to share that story with them (even if I'm only watching from a thousand miles away).