I am sure you have a different take on adoption.

Unfortunately, not much different. You may like to read some of my views on it here:
Should Animals Be Kept As Pets? My Thoughts On National Pet Day

Read it and I see your point. Also see your point in letting go after rescue and recovery. Guess emotions took over in this case as the cat was tiny.I never never intended to keep a pet otherwise. He is an outdoor cat mostly and hunts for mice and eats less and less at home if that makes it any better.

Yeah, it's certainly better to make your pet as little dependent on you as possible. The less he is dependent, the more is his independence.

But as in your case, you inadvertently ended up with a pet though it was not intended in the beginning. This happens because of our society's established pet-culture and absence of safe and proper rehabilitation centers or sanctuaries around us, where we can leave them after rescuing. So nothing to be felt guilty of. But we need to take steps in changing this mindset and creating a better system to rehabilitate such animals.

Once an animal is accustomed as a pet, it's not easy to make him / her survive the way Nature intended to. So presently, it's in best mutual interest to take care of your pet. But I'm against domesticating any new pet.

sad....a friend of mine just considered having a bird as a pet, and I nearly jumped her LOL. Glad she is now deciding against it...

I'm glad that you were able to convince her against keeping a pet. Nothing as bad as keeping a fish or a bird in a cage. Thank you for your efforts!
More power to you!

Thank you for your continued support of SteemSilverGold