Thursday, November 17, 2016

All In

Every morning after that, I woke up with the realization that bringing home a kitten was a mistake. We had a wonderful, if slightly boring, dynamic at home. I had time to take care of my three pets, the dog, the cat, and the frog, without digging into the rest of my schedule. I was sleeping pretty well. Seth was eleven, too settled to be disrupted by kitten energy. Teddy was already the bottom rung of the family hierarchy. How much lower could he stand to go? Things were good as they were, pretty great, actually.

But as every day progressed, especially when I checked the vet's website, I fell in love with our kitten all over again. His brothers and sister were going home with families. Eventually, he was one of only two. On Saturday, I called and asked how much he weighed.

One pound, twelve ounces.

What? Four days ago, he was one pound, eleven ounces. How could he be growing so slowly? Would he be ready to come home in a month? I didn't think I could wait that long. Look at him.

So, I made another appointment to visit my little munchkin on Monday. Then, Mike and Nick decided they wanted to go. Nick said I should stay home. It was a Saturday. I thought I'd tag along but suddenly, it was a guy thing. Buy video games, eat fast food, show Dad Nick's kitten.

Well, okay. I'd just seen the little guy on Thursday, but I was worried that Mike was the only one who could put a stop to the madness. I called the vet's office again and they said they were too busy right then. Could they come at 3pm?

Suddenly, I was blathering about how, if Mike didn't like the kitten, the whole thing might have to be called off. I begged for them to make it nice when the two arrived, to make the kitten perfect, to ensure that everything was perfect so we really could bring him home. They said they'd do the best that they could.

When I got off the phone, I realized I'd sweated rings around my armpits. I paced. I tried to clean the house. Mike's sense of the kitten might be better if the house was clean when he got home and I asked him about it. I paced some more. I looked the guys up on my app, Find My Friends. They had arrived at the vet's office.

I sweated and paced and checked the stalker app again until I saw that they were on the road home. No time to relax yet. I frantically vacuumed and ran a load of laundry.

When the door slammed open, I ran downstairs to look at Mike's face. He looked relaxed but a little annoyed.

"Two video games," he said. "And lunch."

I tried to sound casual. "How was the kitten?"

Nick answered, "He was really cute! He's getting tamer! He was really sleepy! They had to wake him up!" And on like that.

I let him run on then, I looked at Mike, who shrugged his shoulders. "He was okay. He didn't do much, mostly slept."

I rolled my lips into my teeth and bit them a little to slow myself down. The pause was difficult to manage. The quiet voice almost a squeak. "Well, do you think it'll work out?"

"Yeah, I guess. Nick is really excited. He hasn't been this interested in anything for a few months. I suppose it'll do."

And I jumped into the air. I don't usually jump, but that day, I jumped. I think Nick jumped too. Then, I called the vet's office and said they could really, really put us on as definites list for our kitten. We were all in.

Thank you for listening, jb

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