I had a call this past Thursday morning indicating that there was someone very interested in meeting (and possibly adopting) Flossy. I was somewhat skeptical right at the outset as I learned that this person had a little dog - a Maltese. No discrimination against dogs of course, I was simply already weighing the probability that Flossy, due to the rough living conditions she had survived outside, was more than likely not a fan of canines.
Regardless, I spoke with the woman "K" briefly on the phone, reitereated the fact that I had no idea what Flossy's reaction would be to a dog, and with all the knowledge I could offer from the time we had been caring for her, agreed to the woman visiting that evening. She arrived and it was love at first sight and interestingly, once the woman sat down, it wasn't long before Flossy's shyness dissipated and she was over allowing the woman to pet and stroke her and showing her purr motor in full force. It was then that "K" began to sob uncontrollably and I learned that this woman's last kitty, a female named Jasmine at 19 years of age, who had passed away just a few short months before, was identical physically to our Flossy - thus her interest.
I found myself choking back the emotion as I tried to comfort this person, whose sadness and longing for her little friend was clearly still so incredibly painful, fresh and so very raw. I immediately thought of my Miss Remy and how I remember the tears and sorrow that I experienced when we made the decision to bid her goodbye. Try as I might to console "K", I was completely at a loss to know what to say or how to say it to help bring her any kind of comfort. In the end, we spent time simply talking about the pain that comes with losing a beloved pet, and how although you will never forget them, with time, those feelings subside and wonderful warm memories of the time you spent together are what takes it place.
In the end, we decided that Flossy wasn't the right fit for her at this time, but I encouraged her to do two things. 1) To give herself time to grieve and to miss Jasmine and 2) To think about perhaps fostering initially so that she could be assured her next kitty would be friendly with her little dog.
This experience was a first for me - for us. In all the years we've been fostering, in all the people we've met along the way, this was the first time that someone reminded me so strongly, of the difficulties that can and are a very real part of loving these little creatures.