“Wendy Lynn Wilson, you let that girl buy a three-legged cat!” –spoken in a vaguely accusing manner by my husband to me upon meeting Peaches’ new pet

And while this is true, I did, I would like to explain the circumstances leading up to our adoption so that you will understand in the most complete way possible why Peaches’ birthday kitten only has three paws.

Upon leaving you at the start of spring break, our family began to look in earnest for a kitten. We visited a pet store and spoke with representatives of a volunteer cat rescue organization there holding an adoption event there. These well-intentioned extremists offered us an application form that solicited information on all of our previous pets and how each might have met their end. One of the volunteers said that they currently had 18 cats in their home.

We left, never to return.

Our next stop was Animal Humane, a non-profit pet adoption center in Albuquerque. The facility was clean and welcoming and the adoption process straightforward. The only hitch: there were no kittens available.

“Keep checking the website,” we were told.

Peaches devoted the following week to checking the Animal Humane website twice a day. It became her new religion. And so it was on the sixth day that Peaches found two potential pets: 10-week old kittens, a brother and a sister, named ‘Drei’ and ‘Tres’ respectively.

Hindsight being what it is, perhaps the fact that the kittens both bore the name ‘three’ in different languages should have clued me in. It did not, however, and so I eagerly drove Peaches to Animal Humane to inspect the kitten candidates. Then and only then did the meaning of their names become clear.

Hm, I thought, as Peaches held first one and then another of the three-legged felines in her lap.

Delicately, I broached the subject of choice with her. There were only two kittens to select from, I said, pointing out the obvious. We knew that at least eight more were coming. Mightn’t she like to wait until such time as there were more kittens to consider?

“No,” she said. “I want one of these.”

I thought then (as I still do, I’ll have you know) what possible good could come from discouraging my clear-eyed second grader in the adoption of something different when so much that is lovely and wonderful called to her down a different path?

In the end, Peaches chose the black one. She had learned during our trips to the adoption sites that black cats still have the hardest time finding homes.

So this is the kitten that lives with us now. Her new name is Lemon and Scott has yet to ask for a divorce. All in all, an auspicious start.