Mr. Darcy came home as a scrawny, two pound little kitten. He was stinky, on antibiotics, and full of worms. But he was spunky. The other kitten we were looking at was fluffy white with a black goatee, and very concerned with hygiene. While he sat grooming, Darcy was frantically chasing the mouse on a stick and finally catching it, he backed away with it in his mouth, growling like some sort of feral weirdo. (Which probably wasn't too far from the truth as the only info the humane society had was that his litter was found in a barn). We thought maybe he displayed enough spirit to 1) be a good mouser and 2) stand up to our German shepherd with an overly strong prey drive.
The first two days he cried non stop. Chloe and I carried him around in a sling during the day, and he slept on her head at night, as close to her breath as he could get. I tried to ignore him so that he would love someone else best.
At 9 months, Mr. D jumped off the couch and broke his femur. The bone slipped off the connecting ball in his hip. We sat in the little consulting room as the vet told us our options were a 4k surgery or euthanasia. I knew there was no way we could spend that kind of money on a cat. And as it turns out, the little guy had decided that I was his person. Apparently, Chris was thinking-Aww shoot, we're going to have to put him down, then he looked at my face and -Aww shoot, I'm going to have to pay for surgery.
That night, Darcy dragged himself on three legs to my bed and tried to jump up as usual, falling back on his injured leg and crying. So I slept on the floor with him so he would stop trying. And he finally slept, with his head in my hand, close enough so he could feel my breath, and purred. In the morning, he tried crawling after Chris to follow him to the shower, because that's what they always did. And then I knew I couldn't put him down. Because the price of a life, even a cat's life, can't be measured in dollars.