I smiled as I read the adoption application email. The family was applying to adopt a puppy and a kitten. Their little 8-year-old boy had been asking for a puppy and they had decided it was time to fulfill his wish. As they searched online for just the right puppy, their little girl became curious about their computer activity and declared that she needed a kitten also. At first the parents put her off but then had an idea. Maybe the price of the kitten from Faithful Friends could be in the form of Binky currency!

A certain little 3-year-old had been having an ongoing struggle with an addiction to pink Binky pacifiers. When she began to beg for a kitten, her parents seized the opportunity to use this as a possible bargaining tool to help her overcome her need for a continual Binky fix.

As the search progressed, their little boy was drawn to pictures of some FFAA puppies that looked similar to a former family dog that had been dearly loved as a wonderful, long time pet. At 13 years of age she had passed away. They had all grieved her loss and hoped to find another dog as special as she was. During our phone interview, the mother explained all the family dynamics going on and asked for my input as to what might be a good fit for their family in a puppy and a kitten.

On Sunday afternoon we gathered up three 10-week-old brindle puppies named Terra, Tad and Tiffany and our little male tuxedo kitten named “Brother.” The plan was to meet the family at the office for a “meet ‘n’ greet.” The little boy and his family would choose their new family member from one of the brindle puppies. Following the completion of that adoption, a certain kitten would arrive on the scene and we would see if this Binky deal would actually go down.

We all sat on the floor to have a great “puppy party.” Miss Terra lobbied hard but Miss Tiffany finally won out and became the favorite with Logan. The family agreed that she was a great fit, so paperwork was signed, pictures taken and a very happy little boy cradled his newfound friend in his arms. We moved to another room and there on the table sat a pink pet carrier with our little tuxedo boy inside. Still clutching her zip-lock full of Binkies, Emily watched wide-eyed as Brother’s foster mom unzipped the carrier and out he came. In an instant the Binky bag was abandoned and her little hands were stroking the kitten’s little velvet soft head. The kitten’s foster mom explained that this kitten and his siblings were abandoned at their home when they were very tiny. They named this one “Brother” because he looked after the other kittens like a big brother. His calm, sweet, nurturing and social personality made him a favorite with her. Oblivious to their conversation, little Miss Ponytails was completely enthralled with Brother. When Mom asked if she liked the kitten and would like him to be part of the family, of course, her response was a resounding “yes.” Her Mom then instructed her to ask me how much the kitten cost and my response was, “six pink Binkies.” Without any hesitation, this extremely bright 3-year-old with a vocabulary beyond her years forked over the exact number in the exact color required and declared that they were all there (as if I might need to count them)! The deal was sealed and I don’t think she ever looked back!  

Sometimes children have a clarity about the true worth of things that gets so muddied or compromised as we become adults. Emily thought Brother was worth the price of sacrificing something pretty precious to her (and saved her parents some expensive orthodontist bills). I think Logan and Emily would agree with Harry S. Truman who said, “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” I wish more people stood with Harry on this one and were willing to pay the price like Emily. I’m sure Harry meant kittens too!

Leanne Williams writes a weekly column for the Daily News.