So 'Sprinkle' the kitten is no longer with us. No, we did not kill it. (Though had we continued to 'foster' it for even a few more days that would have been fairly likely I imagine).
After cradling it for four hours in my t-shirt yesterday morning, stroking its little head with my index finger, and risking incontinence just because I didn't want to disturb its slumber...I was somehow able - despite the great emotional attachment - to hand it over to a stranger on the beach last night.
Now in all fairness, this stranger does volunteer at a local animal welfare place, but she also confessed that there was no way she was going to stay up all night and feed it milk every two hours through an eyedropper. She made it clear that her three dogs took priority and that the best she could do was put it safely in another room till morning.
The husband looked hesitant, Egg looked distraught, and Dumpie kept repeating, "Why that lady take our puppy?" (Poor Dumps never got over the sudden 180 on the 'species switcheroo'.)
Being the voice of reason, and not wanting dear Sprinkles to die on my watch, I handed over the box resolutely and said, "No here - you take it. It's better." Then I marched off down the beach, Egg's hand in mine, trying to explain why we had to give his first 'pet' away, whilst simultaneously trying to decide upon which beach restaurant we should inflict ourselves for dinner.
It didn't go over well. Poor Egg is still upset and bless his little heart this morning he took himself off privately to write Sprinkles a little letter begging him to come home. Reading it brought tears to my eyes and I got a little catch in my throat.
The only thing for it is to distract him with thoughts of inventing. The husband recently got a miniature lab coat made up for him in town, which Egg wears when he's 'off-duty' at home. He has even made a sign on his bedroom door which says, "Inventor Eggie".
I bet that right about now Egg is wishing he could invent a new mother. One who didn't insist on the husband bringing a tiny UNIDENTIFIED infant animal home to nurse, only to casually give it away to a lady on a beach 48 hours later.
Hmmm...it's going to take an awful lot of Maaza's to make up for this one (sigh).