So I got a kitten a while back. The deal was: he's adorable, his host house wasn't so crazy about having a family of four kittens, they said I could "borrow" him while I'm here even though I can't count on bringing him to California (where my housemates have allergies).
So plan A was: Talitha will not get emotionally attached to this cat.
Well he came home last night a little sore from his adventures (rumor had it that a dog had chased him), but walking fine and I thought nothing of it. A few hours later, however, all hands were on deck for full-time Cat Coddling. He had stiffened up, developing a sore leg, crawled into a little ball, and refused to purr. I brought him food in his bed, and piled up pillows next to anything he might want to jump onto or off of. In the morning he walked around on three feet and I felt he might be "okay" -- he came outside with me and ran a decent three-legged gait, gimping along behind me as I watered the church gardens. But I borrowed a cat carrier from a neighbor anyway, and was glad of that when he worsened. Talking to the vet's secretary on the phone I figured out he might have a bite wound that was giving him infection and a general fever.
$67 and antibiotics later, he's still miserable, but he now has a stylishly shaven leg, and he knows who loves him.
I don't know exactly where the line between "temporarily hosting a cat" and "doting cat lady" lies, but I am rather sure that I have crossed it.
PS update the next day: he wakes me up purring, cheerful, ferocious as ever. Walks on 3.5 legs.
Also, 1600 years ago, John Chrysostom said: "Holy people are most loving and gentle in their dealings with their fellows, and even with the lower animals: for this reason it was said that 'a righteous man is merciful to the life of his beast.' Surely we ought to show kindness and gentleness to animals for many reasons and chiefly because they are of the same origin as ourselves."