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The Accidental Podcaster: The Best Laid Plans
So the decision was made a few weeks back to attempt to capture and domesticate a feral cat we've taken to calling Little Friend. Little Friend was one of a litter of kittens born under our back deck shortly after we moved into the house. While the others wandered off after they got big enough, Little Friend decided to stay, taking refuge first in a corner of the dilapidated shed at the back of our property. When the remainder of the roof finally caved in, she moved to a spot under our front hedge and, rapidly, a spot in our hearts. Warm summer evenings found her snoozing under the bushes while I lounged a few feet away, pounding at NecroLappy's keyboard (specifically, scenes about a grey and white faced tabby with a chunk taken out of her ear living in a certain web ninja's hedge). If she wasn't already waiting for us when we got home, she'd come running from between houses when she heard her name being called. When the weather got colder, a little house was built on the porch and reinforced.

In other words, it was only a matter of time before attempts were made to move her from the cardboard and cloth house into the brick and siding one.

A trap was set, and a sanctuary cordoned off. She steadfastly refused to play game, so before he headed out to meet his dad at the movies Scott thought some catnip might help move things along. In retrospect, we probably should have known something was up when not a half hour had gone by before a terrified grey and white face was stuck in the tiny metal cage. Even before we let the poor creature out in the sanctuary room, Scott was concerned it wasn't the right cat. Of course it was, I argued, it looks just like Little Friend. You're just panicky because you weren't expecting this so quickly. Go see your movie, I got this.

Imagine my surprise when the next day found one Little Friend hiding on a bookshelf in our spare bedroom while the real Little Friend waited on the porch for her dinner, pleased the trap was gone but wondering where her house went.
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The (at press time) as-yet-unnamed new kitten
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We haven't given up on our plan to catch and domesticate Little Friend. We had only planned on taking in one more kitty, not two, though we're certainly not so cruel as to traumatize a kitten and then throw it back out into the cold, rainy streets. When the game changes, you play the hand you're dealt to the best of your ability, always. That's how you win. Even now, in the comfortable warmth of my own sanctuary room, I'm glad we have an extra guest curled up in a pile of old blankets in the spare bedroom than out in that shrieking wind and driving rain. We can't save everyone, but we can make a big difference for the few we can help, even if that wasn't the original goal.

Whether in cat wrangling or in life, we all get dealt hands that aren't what we expected. Sometimes it's a project that ends up snowballing into something a lot bigger than what we signed up for. Other times might be chance encounters that lead to a much deeper and more fulfilling relationship than the occasion by rights should have warranted. The best stories, the ones that grab hold of your heart and don't let go, are the ones that come about precisely because something didn't go according to plan, the ones that blindside you and shake your belief in everything you thought you knew. When pleasant, and we call them blessings; when not, we call them sorrow. Either way, they're what keep the story interesting, and ours.

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WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING: I just finished The Last Goodnight yesterday and am deciding on what from the pile to tackle next. I've narrowed it to Randall Munroe's What If? and Alex Bello's Alex Through The Looking Glass, both of which have been in my stack for a while. But tonight's a writing night, so we'll find out next week.
THREE THINGS I'M LISTENING TO ON REPEAT: Everclear, So Much For The Afterglow; Helen Jane Long, Expression; Walk The Moon, Shut Up And Dance.

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UPDATE: After I finished editing this piece, we learned that the temporarily named New Kitten also appears to have a sibling that showed up for the first time today, so now that's a potential concern as well. I think we need a new cosmic dealer for a little bit...
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