As we all know, technology changes the way humans communicate. New communication means new etiquette. Some of this is more or less known already: the use of Bcc when emailing groups is discreet and considerate. The blink tag is the equivalent of bringing a vuvuzela to a garden party. But I have devised — or should one say discovered? — a new etiquette rule.
Rule: While it is acceptable to impart news of a human birth without photographs, it is improper to send or post news of a pet adoption without same.
Explanation: The arrival of a baby is a major effort: usually tiring and medical, if not traumatic. The newly arrived baby is not yet at his or her best and most photogenic. A new kitten (or puppy, I suppose) is not usually adopted until already weaned, furry, playful and delightful, and the humans by whom it is adopted are by no means incapacitated by the advent. Thus, there is no reason not to include a photo with the announcement, and a strong reason to do so: the terrifying prospect of inducing prostrating kitten letdown in your friends and associates. Send a photo! Strike a blow against kitten letdown.
I have no new kitten to announce, but since I’ve said “kitten” approximately 16 times, I will allay your potential kitten letdown through the use of a photo of a kitten who is no longer a kitten and no longer mine: