Every now and again I ponder the thought of keeping one of our foster kittens. And on more than one occasion, I've expressed these thoughts to Craig. The discussions are always brief - as soon as the words leave my head, enter reality, and I hear them out loud, they don't sound like good ideas anymore. Craig, who is always the voice of reason, will remind me that our system is working well and there's no need to change it by adding another kitten. We close the conversation and move on.
The other day, I paused while walking up the steps and peered between the rungs of the banister to watch Charlene and Wylla run and wrestle in the streams of sunshine that warmed the carpet upstairs. They were sharing a joyful moment, and Craig was watching it from the couch.
The scene was perfect and lovely and I interrupted it all by blurting out the words "Can we keep her?"
These were words I never intended to say out loud. I thought when Wylla reached an "adoptable state", her perfect family would come along. It would be horribly sad, but we would say our goodbyes.
But as she's crept closer to becoming "adoptable", after all we've been through with this tiny, special girl, the idea of handing her to someone else became unbearable. Nothing cinches a bond like a medical crisis.
Craig paused for a long moment, moved his eyes from the cats to me, and we had our first conversation about the idea of keeping this kitten and what life with Wylla might be like. No decisions were made that afternoon, but we had a good talk.
A couple of mornings later, I was reading a book in the guest room when Craig walked in with Wylla perched on his shoulder. Her tail wrapped around his head, and the tail tip landed on his eyebrow at a slight angle.
"Well, what are we going to do?" he asked.
I giggled before responding to his question - partially to lessen the weight of the serious conversation we were entering, but mostly because of the raised "mad scientist" eyebrow her tail tip created on his forehead.
He picked Wylla from her perch, put her on my lap, and she scrambled up to my shoulder. Charlene joined us on the bed soon after.
There were many things to consider, and we considered them all. We talked about the potential challenges, heartaches and expenses we might meet on the road ahead. We talked about how it could change Charlene's life and how we foster. We talked about the happiness she brings to our home.
I suppose if we would have made a list of "pros and cons", the "pros" would have been a few lines, and the "cons" would have run off the page.
But in the end, happiness won , and it was decided, Wylla would stay.