I avoided my house like the plague last night. Something in the back of my mind made me refuse to spend the first evening max was gone confined to these four walls, hoping that he wasn't lying alone in a cage somewhere, hating me. Of course, I spent it at Bs, crying my eyes out about how Max was probably sitting in a cage somewhere wondering why I sent him away. Away from his house, and his comfy bed, and the place where he keeps all his toys, that place where they have TREATS. It's funny the things that guilt does to you. It's lonely here with him gone - there is no one to curl up against the soles of my feet while I lounge on my bed and work, and no one to crawl into my lap for even the merest glimpse of a potato chip or lettuce leaf. There is no one waiting for me when I get up in the morning, to run and play and yearn for food. It's hollow.

Kittens have a tendency to sound like gremlins when they're little - there's this affectionate release of air that's not quite a purr, not quite a growl....sort of a gremlin-like noise. Hard to explain unless you hear it first hand. I miss that noise the most. When he was really happy to see you, or content, or playful, you'd hear it. And now there's nothing but empty silence and creaky wood floors.

As much as I love Max, another, deeper part of me reacts strongly to the idea of adopting him - of making him mine for keeps. A part of me is unable to commit to such responsibility, to the care and feeding of another living, breathing, feeling thing. I'm not sure why. At first guess, it seems like fear - fear of the paralyzing, crippling sort, the kind of thing that makes me wonder if I'd do it all wrong, almost as if I couldn't possibly take care of him well. The realist in me wants to kick this wussy scaredy part in the shins, and knock it over and say "but you didn't even kill him when he was really sick!", but somehow my realist foot seems firmly planted to the floor.

B has offered to go and get max for me, to bring him home to a place where he would be loved. I don't doubt that I could make a good home for max, I don't doubt that having him back here would make me happy, and at least keep me from sitting here blabbing to the internet about how giving back my foster cat makes me feel like I just broke up with my first love. But for some reason, the idea of bringing max home just doesn't seem right. I'm too afraid that I'll do it all wrong.

I guess it's a good thing that I don't have children.