Despite it not living all that long, Duncan did very well with his fish (as in it certainly wasn't his fault the poor thing died) and Sabriena and I both feel that interacting with animals regularly is an important part of child development, so a while back we started toying with the idea of trying to adopt a pet. My sisters had taken in some stray kittens that were dumped near my parent's property, and though I personally don't really care for cats, Duncan absolutely adored the idea. I'd rather have a dog, but Duncan and Sabriena both had their hearts set on a cat.
Unfortunately, by the time we even thought about clearing it with the property manager, all those cats had been re-homed, but in retrospect that's probably just as well... they're effectively feral animals, and a free animal (even if not feral) is never really free. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago Sabriena, as instructed, emailed a letter to the property manager, who then printed it out and took it to the landlord, who was on holiday. Boo! They finally got back to us earlier this week. Interestingly, despite that when we were toying with the idea of bringing our dog Ruby back (who is happier where she is now, so we aborted that idea) the property manager told us they'd likely allow a dog, but not an indoor cat (and I believe outdoor cats have absolutely no place in Australia), they'd now reversed their stance: a cat was OK, no dogs.
Sabriena spent a bit looking around on Gumtree for kittens, but again, I was apprehensive about a "free" kitten, and certainly about buying one (I do not hold a high regard for most animal breeders in general, and we certainly couldn't afford anything well-bred), so we ducked in to have a look at the up-for-adoption cats at the local pet supply place. There we met "Jemima", an approximately 14 month old shorthair that's already had all the vet stuff taken care of. Despite having previously been a stray, I felt better about adopting an adolescent cat (everyone wants a kitten), particularly one that's already had vet checks for everything except FIV and therefore has a relatively clean bill of health. We called up Lyn from Horsham PAWS and started the process, helped along by the fact that everything was already taken care of, including microchipping so it was simply some paperwork and we were away.
We agreed to do the paperwork on Thursday, but Lyn was quite busy so it was just after lunch when we met at the council offices. In the meantime we organized picking up all the stuff we'd need for her, then when we brought her home we locked her in the laundry room to get her acclimated. I don't know if it's entirely the perfect approach, but we decided to wait for the first litterbox event before allowing her into other rooms, which hadn't come by bedtime that night. Otherwise, she appeared to be free of anxieties, ate, drank, and played just fine. Duncan met her shortly after school and played with her in the laundry room.
Update: The next morning we slowly allowed her into larger and larger parts of the house, and by lunch time she'd made herself quite at home.