So the other evening it went like this:
(Me futzing around on the computer while Wallaby naps in his room and Arizona snoozes on the couch.)
(Car drives up Steepest Driveway Evah … moments later, a brisk knock sounds at the downstairs door.)
Me: Goes out onto upper porch to check out the situation. There's a strange man standing there, pretty big, looking kind of intense. However, the car is a minivan-ish thing, there are two kids in the back and a woman in the passenger side. Despite those episodes of Criminal Minds about serial killer families, I decide they're probably not an immediate threat, and go down the stairs. "Can I help you?"
Him: "We're Number Nine."
(There's probably a science fiction reference there, but I take it to mean that these are our neighbors a few houses down, who we know to wave at and occasionally return their dogs.)
Me: "Hi. Welcome to Nineteen."
Her: (Sticks arm out window.) "Is this your cat?"
Me: (Regards little black-and-white fluff ball with a mingled sensation of uh-oh, I'm in trouble and SQUEEEEE!) "Um, no."
Her: (Face falling.) "Darn. We were hoping … It just came into our yard. And we've got those two big dogs. It's really friendly … and there's that storm coming ..."
Me: (Puts on my "SUCKER" hat, steps forward and takes kitten.)
Kitten: (Correctly reading "SUCKER" sign.) Burrows under my chin and purrs.
Me: (Realizing that kitty is pretty much an animated skeleton beneath the fluff.) "I guess I can ask around, and find her a home. Or maybe she can stay."
Neighbors: (General relief, some small talk--they seem like really nice people, actually, and we've got some stuff in common. Arizona and I really need to have that block party we keep talking about. Anyway, they take off.)
Me: (Regards house.) "Okay, kitten. Be cute!"
(We go upstairs.)
Arizona: (Rouses. Blinks at kitten. Realizes it's not Pixel or Lucy. And then, because he's awesome, he says "Awww" and reaches out to take the kitten.) "Are you hungry, little one? You look hungry. Come on, we've got some squishy food in the other room."
[Later, after I put out some Facebook calls on the local forum, asking if anyone is missing a kitten, or wants one, and get a whole lot of "Congratulations on your new family member!" posts in return …]
Arizona: (Looks at me wearing purring kitten on my shoulder and the baby in my lap, while Pixel sits near my feet and Lucy hovers in the doorway, trying to look uninterested.) "I guess I should thank you for deciding to volunteer at the horse rescue. I thought you were kidding when you said you didn't dare work at a kitty rescue."
Me: "In my defense, it doesn't count as crazy until the cats outnumber the people. And, no, I'm not going to use that as logic for having another baby. I promise!"
Because three feels like the exact right number to me, in both people and pets. So please join us in welcoming Bunker to the fold!