The trouble with stray kittens is that they never show up on a weekday between one and four p.m. when you can actually drop them off at the humane society. No. They are very clever. They only show up at your doorstep around five p.m. on a Saturday, just after the humane society has closed, and now your children will have two whole days to bond with them until you have the opportunity to drop them off.
Last Saturday, as we returned from my eight year-old's baseball game, there was an eight week-old kitten with a bleeding lip in our driveway. I'm not eager to take on a new pet that's going to destroy my home and cost me a car payment's worth of vet bills to spay and de-claw, but I can't bear to see a helpless kitten wounded. I cleaned it's bleeding lip as best I could and fed it some canned cat food that my older housecat doesn't like. I instructed my kids not to touch her, because that's what you tell kids about strange animals. I set out a blanket for her to sleep in the garage.
The next day, she followed our kids all over the yard. I've never seen a kitten bond so well with kids. Of course, all weekend there was a constant chorus of "Can we keep her?" My answer the first twenty times was, "No. We're just watching her until we can get her to the humane society on Monday." The next twenty times, the answer was, "Well, we'll call Open Line on Monday and see if anyone claims her." By Monday evening, the answer was (sigh), "I guess."
My husband said, "As soon as I saw that kitten in our driveway, I knew we were in trouble."