Adopting a kitten is a 15+ year commitment, and we know fifteen years is a long time. During the course of that kitten's natural life, kids will grow up and (hopefully) move out, we may change jobs, partners, homes, even states. Fifteen years ago I was living on the West Coast, had a daughter in middle school, and had a big corporate job in San Francisco. I found Carolina, a tiny black ball of hiss and spit, in my backyard, and we became inseparable almost immediately. Carolina has moved with me twice over the years, once to an apartment and once across the country. It never occurred to me to leave her behind, give her away, or, worst of all, surrender her to a shelter. She is a part of my family, and I care for her like I care for my kids. She is also my friend.
The ability and desire to make such a commitment to a kitten comes up frequently during our adoption events. People don't always think about their own changeable circumstances, but they definitely should. Whether you are 20 and sharing your first apartment with friends, or looking toward the freedom of retirement, you should consider the "what ifs" when adopting a pet: What if I need to travel for work? What if my new husband wants a dog? What if we move to Ireland? What if something happens to me? Cats are amazingly resilient and adaptable, and they are masters at "going with the flow," but it helps to have a backup plan before you adopt.
Though fifteen years seems like forever, it passes in the blink of an eye. My life has changed in so many ways that it doesn't resemble anything of the life I used to live. My lovely Carolina - my giant fluffy purr pillow - has kept me grounded and given me immeasurable comfort through all kinds of changes over the years, and the very least I can do to repay her is to give her my love and protection for her whole life. Kate Spencer
"Commitment is an act, not a word."
- Jean-Paul Sartre