At 8:20 this morning, I gently put Tucker into the cat carrier with his favorite Mousie and took him to the SICSA adoption center. He was a good rider and didn't make a sound. He actually seemed to enjoy the car ride but I'm sure that was because he had no idea what was about to happen today.
Once at the center, I selected a suitable display cage for him, filled his water and food bowls, then emptied his bag of kitty toys into the cage. As I looked around, I saw lots of little Tuckers. I don't know when I'd seen so many black and white kittens in one place! The positive thoughts about "my" Tucker being adopted this weekend began to evaporate.
By the time I'd returned from filling his water bowl, Tucker had climbed into the clean litter box and was sitting there shaking like a leaf. That broke my heart and I took him out of the cage and held him for a little while. The place was noisy as people arrived with their kittens and cats, so Tucker continued to tremble. The feisty little scrapper I'd sat up with until 2am was no longer there. In my arms I held the frightened, quivering waif of six weeks ago.
I knew this day would be difficult. I've gone through this many times with other kittens and it's never been easy for me to let them go, but I didn't expect Tucker to be so afraid. I thought he would be frisky and purring. I could barely keep from scooping him up and taking him back home, but we were already there, he was physically ready for adoption, and I had prepared myself for this day - or so I thought.
I stayed at the adoption center longer than I ordinarily would have. I couldn't leave until I felt sure Tucker was going to adjust to his surroundings. I placed him back inside his cage because I was concerned he might be so scared he'd jump out of my arms. I was still having a difficult time with the idea of leaving him, when all of a sudden he gave me a glimpse of that spunky little guy I knew so well. He spied his jingle ball and those green eyes lit up as he started toward it. Ah, there was something he recognized from home. He finally began to explore the cage. He was going to be ok without me afterall.