Just as I wavered over whether to-keep-or-not-to-keep, the following poem showed up on NPR's Writer's Almanac, like some kind of divine intervention:
You had to hold it awhile in your hand.
It was important to look into the box
of blind fur and notice who needed you.
Not the one who chased its tail,
not the one who slept in a corner
with an air of indifference. There were
colors and markings to consider.
Which would you want to find
on your pillow? The one I took home
was warm as fever. I held her purr
in my pocket, her roughness on my
bedroom rug. I pour out this memory
the way I poured out her evening cream.
"Picking the Kitten" by Faith Shearin, from Moving the Piano. © Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2011.