Before I tell you about the introduction of kittens to children and vice versa I need to share another story.
Yesterday I decided it was time to let the kittens out of the two room area they had been confined to, but the floor plan of our house is pretty open so after that it was difficult to do another gradual change. I tried. I took scrap material and blocked off the upstairs "balcony" and closed the child gate at the top of the stairs. I hoped that would be good enough to keep the kittens upstairs. They would be able to hear the children and I playing on the first floor and get used to those sounds a little before diving in. At least, that was the plan.
Two hours later two kittens appeared at the foot of the stairs. They figured out how to get under the material and just jump onto the stairs. I just went with it. I followed them around for an hour or so and they seemed fine. I blockaded the doorway to the basement with a few laundry baskets hoping that would keep them on the main floor. Then I started making lunch for the kids.
An hour later I noticed I hadn't heard from the kittens for a while. Unusual because they are kittens. They're usually running around underfoot. I just figured they had gone back upstairs for food, water, and a nap. After lunch I went up to check on them but couldn't find them. While the kids wandered, I searched the entire upstairs and main floor. I searched the basement in case they had squeezed past, or climbed over the laundry basket blockade. I searched all those areas again but couldn't find them.
I hoped that they were just hiding because the kids are kind of noisy and they'd come back out once the kids went down for nap. I rushed the children to bed, gave it a half hour and began searching again. No luck. I was really panicking and upset at this point. I noticed the basement door was unlocked and wondered if Michael had let them outside. I wondered if they were trapped somewhere. I just couldn't figure out how I had managed to lose not one but two active kittens in my own house. One, two, three, and then four hours went by. They hadn't been quiet for that long in the two days they'd been here.
A hint of a thought appeared in the back of my mind and without even thinking I wandered to the laundry room. I didn't see anything there either. Absentmindedly I picked up some clothes that had fallen off a pile next to the washer. Then I wondered why the pile had fallen. Then I started trying to peer behind the washer and dryer. Now, I'm pretty short and so getting a look behind there was going to be difficult, but just then I saw Sophie sticking her head around the corner. They managed to get back there, but couldn't get back out.
I was so relieved. I had been just sick with worry. And is it strange that I kept thinking how disappointed the shelter would be with me for losing the kittens they had entrusted me with?
Anyway, crisis averted. Thank goodness.