Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Everybody's kitten

Last night at work, as T and I were dutifully cleaning the back cats' cages, I left the room to retrieve food for the cats that eat 24/7 (most kittens). Tavida came into the hall olding a kitten. "Where's D?" I told her I didn't know.

"This kitten isn't breathing."

I stood in the center of the four hallways and screamed for D, who popped out of a room down the medical hall. T ran down with the kitten. D said, "Call the staff person on call and ask if you can take it to the ER." I, who refuses to talk on the phone, picked it up and called C. I calmly reported the situation and asked if we could take the kitten to the ER. "Of course."

We dug through the first aid box on the wall and found the van keys. Only one van was in the parking lot, and it was hard to find the right keys. We ran, not walked, out to the van. I've never driven a van. The ER is just around the bend, so we got there and T rushed out with the kitten while I clumsily parked the van (not to mention backed it into a rock, but don't worry, no harm was done to the van). I walked into the ER where they whisked the kitten away to try to help him. They asked his name. Well, there are 3 little black males named Earth, Wind and Fire, but we didn't know who this was. We didn't even know his name.

Just then, I got a phone call from D, who was back at work, saying that one of the higher-ups wanted me to bring T back and stay alone with the kitten. We drove back, and T hopped out of the van to go in and ask D what paperwork we needed to bring to the ER. I saw the higher-up and asked the same question, and she grabbed my cell phone to call the ER to ask what we needed. I could tell by the conversation that we weren't going to need any at all.

"He didn't make it. I'm sorry."

I parked the van, went back in, and got back to work. I felt okay. I wasn't that upset. I even texted Leigh and said, "What's wrong with me? I'm not even crying about it." She said that nothing was wrong.

Well, that didn't last long. I talked to Leigh on the drive home (shh, don't tell Mom I drove and talked) and was fine until one little thing Leigh said set me off. I started to cry and got off the phone quickly, as I had suddenly lost my words and felt sick talking.

Full blown melt down ensued. I talked to Leigh on Skype, getting upset with her for undeserved things. I was a mess. I was so upset that this little kitten, who had been living in a cage, didn't have a family and had never been loved by anyone, had just died without knowing how good life could be in a family. I cried, and cried, and cried...

When I finally talked to my mom on the phone today, she explained that this kitten had a better life than so many cats out there. He was warm, and fed, and always had clean water. He lived with his 2 brothers and played. He had a nice bed. He wasn't somebody's kitten, but he was everybody's kitten at work. Everybody loved him.

I'm still not over it, and it may take a while, but I think I'll slowly feel better.

And by the way, we found out; the kitten's name was Earth.


  1. Unfortunately I fear this might not be the last time you have to deal with this kind of event working in the shelter :(

    On the plus side you did AMAZINGLY WELL with it at the time - you held it together, you were a real team player and you gave him the best chance. I'm SO proud of you!!