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On a summer's day in 2013, I was enjoying the afternoon at a local park. As I came down a walkway, I was startled by a flash of movement: a little calico kitten shot across the path and into the spirea bush on the other side. I got down on hands and knees and began trying to coax her out. With wide frightened eyes, the kitten slowly crawled out and prepared to bolt away, but I was faster and grabbed her by the scruff. She panicked only for a moment; when I lifted her into my arms, she melted into me like the tired infant she was. She was dirty and so thin I could feel every rib.

I took her home, stopping at the grocery story on the way for some kitten chow. She was still frightened, but when she was in my arms it was clear all she wanted was love: pressing herself against my chest, climbing up and around my shoulders, butting her little head under my chin, and purring her tiny heart out. The vet couldn’t find a microchip, which left me with a choice: to keep her, or not.

I already had an adult female cat at home. I had been thinking about getting a second cat, but, well, I wanted a boy. I also knew this kitten was going to need spayed, vaccinated, treated for ear mites, and de-wormed at the very least, and my budget was tight. With heavy heart, I made my choice.

Her picture appeared on the animal rescue's Facebook page six days later, happily announcing she'd been adopted. And three months after that, I went and adopted my boy kitten who’s filled my home with fun. But I still think about that little lost kitten. I hope she’s happy and living the good life, and I hope her humans adore her as much as I did. It was okay to say ‘no’ – but that doesn’t mean I don’t still feel a twinge of regret!


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