Thursday, June 14, 2012

A tiny, but huge, loss


Shortly after midnight last night, this baby died in my hands.  We hadn't even decided on a name for him (or her.)  I still didn't know if this kitten was a girl or a boy.

An enlisted man found this kitten in New Orleans and drove back the entire way with this sweetheart in the front seat.  He contacted PetSmart, and PetSmart contacted me.  The shelter was closed.  Where else was there for this baby to go?  I couldn't say no.

I carried this baby around with me -- he came to the shop and slept by my desk.  After a few good days, the kitten stopped sucking at the bottle and rejected all attempts I made to keep him warm.  I'd put it on a heating pad, and the kitten would scoot away.  I'd lay warm wash cloths on top of it, and the kitten would squirm out.  We kept a gentle heater in front of the kitten's bed, but he would try to get away.  By last night, the kitten was cold no matter what I did.  I was dripping warm formula into his mouth, but the kitten would spit it all out.

Last night, I realized there was something really wrong.  It's difficult for kittens this young to survive without their mothers.  And I'm just not a momma cat.  (No matter how much I try.)  I laid in bed with the kitten, holding him close to my body last night, wrapping it in warm (dry) towels.  The last time the kitten urinated, the urine was not only not warm...it was cold.

He wheezed a little, and peeped now and then.  And at 12:30, he kind of let out one larger sigh and then was quiet and still.  "Steve," I said, "I think he just died."

"No," Steve said.

And I handed him the kitten, and Steve gently touched it, and turned it over, trying to find any kind of response.  There was none.  "Oh," Steve said.  And we were just quiet while he held the tiny, still kitten in his hand.

I laid the kitten in some toweling in a little red and green Christmas box, and we will be burying him this afternoon in our backyard.  We only knew him a few days, and while he had a good chance, his time on this earth was very short.

And so, I think I'll name him "Little Angel."

34 comments:

MoonBeam said...

Thanks for the valiant and sweet effort...as tears are running down my cheeks!

Bobbi

Erica said...

I am so sorry!
I have been there too. Sometimes they just seem to fade for no apparent reason.
The effort is so worth it though!
Atleast he knew someone cared about him.

Diane Williams said...

Awe. . . . .so glad he was with you T. . . . . no one could have given him more than you did.

(sniff)
Diane

jan said...

You are so good to help like you do. I'm glad "Little Angel" knew people like you both in his short life. ...jan

Ralee said...

I'm so sorry. God bless you for what you do for all creatures great and small. And he was a little black kitty, too, just like me precious rescue kitty, Elvis who by God's grace and the ministrations of a remarkable vet and staff beat the odds. You've made me cry.

Michele said...

Thank you for being so kind and generous!

Kristen said...

I'm so, so sorry to read this sad news. But take comfort in the knowledge that s/he didn't die alone, but surrounded by love.

SharoninStitches said...

Thank you for all you do. I have to go get a Kleenex now. Bless you!

Anonymous said...

So sad but know you did the very best you could, T.
My friend found a tiny one in her yard and they assumed it was accidentally left behind when the mama cat moved the litter. Is that possible? She found a good Samaritan through the shelter who's cat had kittens and as it worked out didn't mind feeding an extra mouth. I’m sure it’s not always that easy. We all wish for happy endings…Angela

Meagan said...

Thank God for people like you...who love sooo much! Thank you for giving him all you could to make his short life full of love. I'm gonna go dry my eyes now..

Theresa said...

The serviceman had heard there were kittens in a box by the side of the road. When he got there to see, only one was left, so I'm not sure if the others got out, or if they were taken. Sometimes momma cats will remove a kitten from the litter if it is sick or has some other abnormality, but this was a matter of someone leaving them in the hot sun in a box by a busy road. Not ideal. I'm glad he did not die alone.

Cath said...

Ahh , so sorry , but at least you gave him a chance .XXX

marly said...

Why can't we euthanize these people? My nephew's son saw a box of 6 week old litters at the flea market and the lady said she was tossing whatever was left in the river on the way home. He took 3 and 3 days later they all died in his arms. ???? Never mind. Euthanizing is too humane for these people. Thank God for the enlisted man - I'm honored that he is representing our country.

Theresa said...

I try to remember to first help the animals and secondly to remember all of the kind, generous, loving people who take care of animals by providing them love, shelter, food and warmth...also our vets, our shelters, volunteers, and good Samaritans. I actually pity the people who are callous enough to throw away living beings. It must be terrible to be so empty inside.

sand said...

Hi Teresa, Your last comment is so true. It just hurts so much and breaks my heart that you and Steve tried but he must have felt your love. I think of it this way (or I be crying all the time) his last breath and he was in GOD'S hands happy, loved and never to suffer again. Thank you both for what you do. Debbie- DE

dixiesamplar said...

Oh my, I am so sorry to hear about your loss...but, I am relieved that the poor little angel is not suffering anymore! You and Steve are such a godsend to these sweet babies.

Beth said...

Tears are falling from my eyes...

Giovanna said...

How terribly sad... poor little mite.

ArchangelDecker said...

Sending prayers to you and the little one. Thank you so much for opening your heart and your home to the poor thing, even if it was for just a few days.


I commend you for your valiant efforts to save him/her.

Anonymous said...

Theresa--

Sometimes there's nothing you can do but be there and provide comfort. It sounds like you did that. I'm sure he knew that he was not alone.

I'm so sorry.

Carol S.

Rebecca said...

It is so easy to get attached, but you certainly made its' last days better and so did the enlisted man that drove him to you.
Take solice in that you were there for him/her.

Lynn said...

Im sitting her reading this and tears are running down my cheeks. You and your husband are the angels. I admire you both so much for all you do. I wish there were more people in the world like you.

You are both heaven sent.
Lynn
Brampton, Ontario
CANADA

Sharon said...

Poor baby, You gave him the best chance, unfortunately it was not meant to be-at least Little Angel had the comfort of you and Steve being there at the end. So sorry!

Stitching Cat said...

Theresa and Steve, I am so sorry to hear of Little Angel's passing but I know that you gave him/her the best of care and loving in the short time and Little Angel is now at peace. Thank you from all the furry kittens for all that you are doing for them.

Amy said...

I am so sorry. We lost a whole litter because of a kidney thing. I held and cuddled each and every one of the four kittens. It was the most heartbreaking thing that had ever happened. But they were not alone and they felt love.

Your baby did too.

God Bless you.

Ginger said...

I am so very sorry. I cannot imagine how sad you must be to have lost this wee one. Little Angel is an apt name and I am sure that you will carry the memory forever. Hugs.

P.J. said...

Bless this Little Angel as it has spread it's wings.

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

You did your best to save him and give him a chance at life.

He went to the Rainbow Bridge knowing he was loved

Hazel said...

So sad. x

Karen said...

So sorry Theresa, for the little one and for your pain. You are both angels.

Anonymous said...

how sad.

at least the kittie's last days on earth were with someone as nice as you, trying to make it as comfortable as possible.

joann in tx

Shelly said...

As I type with tears going down my face, I just want to say to you Theresa-Thank God for people like you!

Stitching Noni said...

I am so sorry that Little Angel did not stay here but maybe someone had another plan for him. You & your husband are God's Angels on Earth, thank you for being with that dear little kitten at the end & for all the love you gave him, and all the other kitties you all rescue. I briefly saw your other post about Violet which I will now go & read. I'll just have to get another tissue though! Take care, hugs x

Meriem said...

poor Little Angel, I am so sorry