Kitties for Kids
My boyfriend Jason has the sweetest eight-year-old niece named Emma. Lately, she's been making noises about wanting a cat. Jason thought for her birthday it might be fun to take her to the rescue and let her pick out a cat to adopt. While I loved the idea—children learn tons about compassion and responsibility when caring for animals—I had to ask if Emma's family was up for it. I feel strongly that no one should ever give a cat as a gift without being certain that he or she will be wanted, safe and properly cared for. He assured me that Emma's mom, his sister, was ready to be a pet parent. Great!
Emma instantly bonded with a 3-month-old orange tabby with a spunky personality. Watching the two of them play and snuggle was cuteness overload. She named him Pumpkin, which suited him perfectly.
When we brought them home, Emma's whole family became enchanted with him, too. As everyone played with the new member of the household, Jason and I smiled at each other—his "gift" was truly for the whole family.