If someone were to ask me for one thing in the world that I find bittersweet, the answer would definitely be this: writing descriptions for my fostered cats.
One one hand, I really enjoy it. I like anything that forces me to write in a semi-creative fashion. I can get cute with them, try to draw the reader in by being funny, but at the same time everything is based on facts (no matter how embellished). It's an informative short essay, written with the intent to sell. And written about a subject a care about with every part of my being. I like writing the descriptions because I'm writing about an animal I love very much. I remember things while I write them--like that time Mocha (who has since been adopted out) made a blanket taco just to wedge herself somewhere warm, or when Adachi (who has also since been adopted out) would absolutely refuse to sleep anywhere aside from in bed, under the covers, with me. It's fun.
But as I said, the description is written with an intent to sell. I only write them when our cats officially go "up for adoption"--meaning, we're starting to get serious about getting the cat a new, "forever" home. A home where the owner isn't just buying more and more extra time. A home where the owner won't constantly be worried about how damn attached they are to the animal, because the animal will always be their companion anyway.
There are times when I want to write "This cat is super stinky! Beware! S/he will claw up all of your furniture and puke on the rag carpeting and s/he never, I repeat, NEVER, uses the litter box!" Because no one will buy a cat with such a bad description, even if they take it as a joke. And then the cat will come back "home" to me, where I'm 100% sure he or she will be loved and well cared for. When they go out into the world I'm like a pitiful worried mom, wondering if the house they go to will feed them the canned food that they love so much, and if they'll have enough toys and the buyers won't grow bored with them and neglect them after a while (which, let's face it, happens sadly often with pets--especially around the holiday season, when they're given as "last-minute" surprise gifts that are boring after the surprise wears off and the responsibility sets in).
I just hear so many horror stories lately in animal rescue circles. Animals getting tortured and killed as if they aren't even living things. If there is any sad story I just can't listen to all the way through, it's something like that.
Asher, Bear, Lacey, Blazer, Tucker, Gohan, and Goku are going to start heading over to Pet Adoption Days every other weekend. Krillin might, as well, but he's so skittish that it would almost be pointless--no one would be able to connect with him, anyway. He still needs a lot of work. The first five will probably get adopted remotely quickly. They've grown into pretty outgoing, friendly cats. There's a chance they might grow standoffish in the cages, but I mostly doubt it.
But anyway, I was working on some descriptions for when we bring them this Saturday. And while writing happy, fun things about Bear was enjoyable, I couldn't help but also start crying. Because I love the idea of taking care of cats and getting them ready for houses of people who'll love and care for them, but it's still painful to let go of something you love. It really does leave a huge hole when each cat goes away--each one with its own great personality.
If there's possibly anything more bittersweet than writing out these descriptions, it's probably just fostering in general. You pour all of your love and affection into them, and then you let them go. But at least there are always the memories and the hope that a loving family was able to pick up an amazing life-long companion.