Well, I didn’t mean to do it. I would have done anything in the world to avoid it. It just happened.
This is the story………………………………………………………………….
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that a couple of neighborhood thug alley cats had broken into my home during the night. I found them in my house in the morning, but the damage had already been done. Alice was pregnant.
Five weeks ago, Alice gave birth to four kittens, two light orange kitties and two all grey little guys.
I had prepared a box and a blanket in my closet for Alice and she gave birth, ironically, while I was in my office writing a column for this blog. At first all was well. Alice was a good Mama Cat and she took good care of her little ones. I put a bowl of water and a dish of food in the closet with her and she and her offspring were doing quite well.
I didn’t notice that anything was amiss until a week ago this past Wednesday, when I found one of the little grey ones dead. I was shocked and confused, because I thought everything was okay, and the little ones were progressing quite nicely.
Alice is a tiny cat, often mistaken for being a kitten herself. I hadn’t noticed that she, herself, was getting skinny, postpartum.
And I didn’t notice the fleas.
All summer, I have been battling fleas. The damp spring and warm days recently have made it prime season for fleas. The dogs have been treated four times for fleas, but the cats, who live inside, seemed to be immune from the menace.
Abruptly, I had a fight on my hands – anemic kittens and a mother cat that was suffering. I bought Advantage kitty flea medicine for the kittens and adult cat medicine for the cats. I also purchased “kitty milk” to help the kittens with nutrition, since Mama was unable to give enough to them.
Thursday and Friday were a struggle to give the “milk” to the kittens. The two orange ones did well, but the little grey guy fought it. He wouldn’t nurse and seemed to want to be alone. His mother, however, still cared for him as best she could.
First thing Saturday morning, I tried again to feed him the “kitty milk.” He fought for a moment, then went into convulsions, cried and then died as I was holding him.
My heart was broken.
There is no point to this column – just a sad story. There is nothing that I can say, nothing that I can do to give that little guy another chance at life. His tiny cries as his short life ended will be with me forever. One day, he and I will meet again, across that Rainbow Bridge.
I hope that he can forgive me. I hope he knows that I loved him.
Our little creatures look to us to give them love and care, and sometimes all we can give them is love.
William Stephenson Clark
Postscript: On Friday, I took the two remaining orange kitties out of their “home” to let them move around and play. To my horror, one of the kittens was not walking on her hind legs, rather, she was dragging them behind her. I do not know if she has been injured or if this is a congenital defect. She will be going to the Vet shortly, but I don’t know how she is going to be able to survive. More than likely, she will have to be put down.