OP here. An update, of sorts: my cat has gone from hypothetical to theoretical.
Let me explain.
I was nervous about taking the plunge, but my 9 year old son was with me this weekend, and he cheerfully joined me at Walmart when I loaded up on the basics:
A litter box and litter
Some scratchy things (one was a post with a ball that might be fun to knock around)
A bowl and a water fountain
(I already bought some food, and had to get a pooper scoop at the grocery store later. A cat tree is still to come).
At this point, I was about $80 in, so there’s no real turning back.
We went to the local SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and visited a small building that houses the cats. There were a few rooms, with glass walls, that we could enter into to sit and mingle with the adoptees.
In one was a great little kitten named Mr. Spock. He was adorable - black body with some white spots. He was right by the door when we entered, since he wanted to explore, and he came right over to us when we sat down. He rubbed up against us and then went over to get some kibble. I was able to pet him while he did and he purred contentedly. As we got up to leave he started wrestling with another kitty. So, so precious.
Then I went into another room and met a white female, with black marks, that they were calling Gemini. She was one of three in that room, but was the one that came up and greeted us.
When she approached, another car sitting nearby exchanged wary wails with her. I was told later that she was about a year old, but had already had a litter of 4. She’s been spayed, though - her fur was still regrowing in from where they shaved her. She seemed a little underweight, too.
I just got a sense with her. She had been through so much already. I felt like she needed some peace in her life. When I left the room, she held her paw up to the window.
So, she’s the one.
But there’s apparently an application process! They have to check references, so I don’t get her until Tuesday or Wednesday.
I was all set to have a weekend to get her acclimated! Instead I have a bunch of cat stuff, and worries about how my girl Lucy is doing.