Expanding the Family
By Lisa Regula Meyer
Kenny has always been a compassionate little dude, caring for all sorts of things and never holding back love. I have plenty of pictures of him “nursing” and otherwise taking care of stuffed friends going way back, and he’s spoken for a few years now about growing up and being a parent, or getting a new pet. Kids mimic what they see around them, and we’ve been lucky to have some very loving people surround our family since he’s been alive.
All during grad school- which is most of his life- we have avoided adding to our little clan to keep things as simple as they can be kept in our crazy house. We have a wonderful cat to go along with a great kid, so why push our luck in those departments, right? Our “one-child rule” was expanded to a “one pet rule” and life was good. Until recently.
I might have lost my mind. My biological clock might be ticking (HA! Who am I kidding?). Kenny might be doing better with chores, listening, and generally growing up. Maybe I’ve just gotten sick of the begging. Or I could blame all of my friends’ Facebook posts of new additions to their families, both furred and human.
Whatever it is, we have decided to take a crack at “expanding our family.” Not humans, that would be too much of a commitment for any of our tastes right now. And not permanently, because- again- commitment issues run rampant in our house. So we put in our application to a local pet shelter and are hoping to foster a cat or two.
It’s not much, and it’s probably temporary, but I guess it seemed like a good way to see how it goes. Kenny understands the concept of fostering, we explained it as akin to being a “cat-surrogate-family” and he says he’s fine with this first step. I’m fine with seeing where this new journey takes us. Dwight’s just happy to feed his crazy-cat-guy genetics. We were all getting a little too comfortable in our post-graduate lives, anyway, and needed to mix things up a bit.
First things first, our interview and home visit is this week, so we’re hoping that goes well and we can move on to the next step. Who knew that fostering a pet would be such an involved process? It definitely gives me a new respect for our local foster and adoption groups who help find critters find a home, and the dedication they have to their mostly volunteer jobs. Whoever first said that the only constant in life is change sure wasn’t kidding…