Monday, August 10, 2015

Sad Face

Last Saturday, as Steve and I were about to climb into the spa for some relaxation time, there was a tiny squeaking cry under the back porch. Steve crouched down and saw the little orange face peeping back at him.

Seriously, how could I not fall in love?
We'd seen a little grey tabby cat going under the house, and had suspected that there may be kittens, which is why we didn't block it up yet. However, we hadn't seen her for a while. The day before, we saw a fox running down the road, and there was a lot of excited yipping overnight, which usually means the foxes or coyotes have found food. The fear is that the mama cat was on the menu.

I crouch down and called to the little orange face until he finally got close enough to grab. We went to the neighbors, asking if they knew of anyone with a grey tabby- maybe she was locked inside and they didn't know about the kittens? But no. The only cat she knew that matched that description was a stray that no one could get close to. So we had a new kitten! A half starved and very hungry kitten.

It was late, and in our little town, nothing is open late. He'd have to last through the night. We went first thing the next morning and got him some formula. He turned out to be a very good eater! And he seemed to perk up. He started playing, and was putting on weight. On Sunday, he weighed 6 and 5/8 ounces. By Wednesday, he weighed 7 and 1/2 ounces. Things were looking good. We named him Ron Weasley, after the character in Harry Potter.

He needed a bath. He was so infested with fleas, I was afraid he'd be anemic. It was stressful for him, but he got lots of love and came through feeling better for having less bugs on him.

I ordered a pet play pen so that he could have a safe area out in the living room with us, and slowly introduce him to Asha, our cat. Toby, one of the dogs, already seemed smitten with him, and Zack was curious. He was living in our bath tub, using the cat carrier for his den. I was really looking forward to having him out in the lounge where we could enjoy his company all the time.

Turns out, kitty kisses are a bit painful, but so worth it!
Thursday, things started to turn. He seemed really sleepy and didn't play as much as he had been. Friday morning was worse. He didn't try to fight me when I cleaned him up after his morning feed- that he didn't eat much of. We gave him some water, and that seemed to perk him up a bit, but he wasn't really reacting to our voices. We ran to the store to pick up a baby gate so we could leave the bathroom door open and keep the dogs out. When we got home he was dead.

I cried so hard on Friday, I pulled a muscle in my throat. Everyone keeps telling me that I did everything I could, I did everything I could, but really, I'll never know for sure. Yes, he was far undersized- we estimated his age at 4-5 weeks, at which point kittens should weigh around a pound, he was less than half that size. But I really believed he would pull through. I thought there must be a reason I was given this opportunity. And maybe this is that reason, but in that case, it sucks!

How something so small wiggled his way into my heart so fast, I'll never know. He's left a hole there, one I'll treasure, even though right now it still hurts a lot. He was incredibly special, my little Toa- a brave warrior. I couldn't save him.

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