I recently mentioned in passing that we'd adopted our foster cat, but I hadn't really told the full story. It actually happened a couple of months ago, but I was honestly a little embarrassed to admit it to the internet until now. Go ahead and say it: "I told you so."
Kaylee, who was renamed after one of my favorite "Firefly" characters, is a rather unlikely addition to our household. When I first encountered her (then named Tinkerbell) and her sister Twire in the course of volunteering with my animal rescue group, they were unequivocally the oddest cats I'd ever met. They were both clearly quite fearful, but in an incredibly passive way. I later learned that they were the only two surviving kittens of a neglected and malnourished mother. As babies, their physical growth was stunted and it's safe to say that their mental and emotional development suffered as well.
Together the two girls fed on each others' fear and they didn't start behaving halfway normally until they were separated. Still, when Kaylee came to my house she hid for a full week and didn't come out until she got lonely enough to overcome her trepidation.
Then we moved her up to my husband's recording studio. That meant he spent all night with her every day. When Kaylee decided she needed attention, she would start by winding around his feet while he worked, progressing to little nips of his ankles if he didn't take the hint. She learned to enjoy belly rubs and cuddling and now she'll put her paws up on the arm of his chair when she wants to be picked up.
My conversations with my husband started to change in tone. At first it was, "I hope she finds a family that will do thus and so for her." Then they became, "I don't want her to go to anyone who doesn't do this and this and this and this for her." It was clear that he didn't want to let her go, and so I went ahead and made it official as an early birthday gift for him.
She's not the perfect cat: she makes a huge mess playing in her water and I'm still trying to figure out the best solution for that. I did solve one problem by investing in a Modkat litter box, which completely prevents her from throwing litter all over my office. (I actually loved her new litterbox so much that I bought another one for the kitchen, which prevents the dog from getting into the box. They may be expensive—and I did save some money by getting a discontinued color—but I am a die-hard Modkat fan now.)
For now, Kaylee still lives in the studio alone, which means she doesn't get quite as much people time as the other cats. We've tried introducing the "nicer" cats (Dr. Jones and Velvet) to her, but they've been rather hostile. She is very interested in other cats, so it's sad that we haven't been able to find a match. We haven't tried either of our downstairs enemy combatants, Trillan and Xena, yet. Perhaps one of them would get along with Kaylee even though they hate each other.
Will we be fostering again? Uh, no. No, we will not. The menagerie is more than large enough, thank you. Going forward, I plan to confine my volunteer efforts to website and Facebook updates. It's safer for everyone.