by Valeria Berenshteyn
It's my second story, on this wonderful site. My first one is a story of my 2 beloved black Labradors.
I always had a notion, that people who have domestic animals are naturally divided into 2 groups: those who love dogs and those who love cats. My opinion has changed so dramatically on this matter. I want to tell you about my very short encounter with an extraordinary kitten.
It happened several hours before Christmas this year. It was a rainy, cold day as I was leaving a medical building. I heard a cat's cry. I looked around. There were other people around but nobody seemed to hear these cries. I stopped as soon as I felt cold rain falling on me, and turned around. The picture I saw will always be with me... forever.
There, under the bench was sitting this little, wet, shaking from cold and very dirty, but very determined to get somebody's attention...kitten. I picked the kitten up. This little, shaking ball of a kitten was just holding on to me for dear life. The poor thing was so dirty, but I could see, how beautiful this creature was underneath all of this.
I had a big grocery bag in the back of my trunk, and after wiping the kitten, I put it in the bag.
I found the closest animal shelter and started to drive in that direction. My hand was holding the kitten inside the bag. The kitten stopped crying, put its head in my hand, and fell asleep.
We drove to 3 different locations, but no surprise, all of them were closed for the Holidays. So, I took the kitten to my mother in law. She had been hinting, that she would like to take in another cat. She already has 2 older cats.
We washed the kitten because it was all dirty from it's own feces. The kitten became very quiet, ate a little bit and collapsed with exhaustion. I left the kitten with my mother in law and went home, but within about an hour, my mother in law called me saying that the kitten was barely moving. At this point, I just thought that the poor thing was taking a nap.
I headed to my mother in law's, talking on the phone with the Emergency clinic. They asked me to check the kitten's gums. I did see right away, that the cat was barely breathing. I checked it's gums and saw that they were white. I knew then that the kitten was dying.
I jumped in the car, holding the kitten with one hand and cranking up the heater in the car. I drove through very busy streets to the Emergency Animal Hospital, praying for this kitten to stay alive.
The technician met me at the door and asked me if it was OK for them to resuscitate the kitten? I said "Yes". I could not fill out half of the paper work, because I didn't know, if this kitten was a boy, or girl. I also hadn't named it yet. I had thought earlier that we would have plenty of time to do all of it later. So, they just wrote in the blank... Kitten.
The Doctor came out and said that the kitten was suffering from hypothermia, and that he suspected that she (I just learned that this is a girl) was very sick. He said he would run tests for serious illnesses and would be back. He came back relatively quickly, which I knew was a bad sign.
My Kitten had leukemia.
He suggested it would be wise to put her down, because this tired, kitten would have a very hard time trying to survive. I agreed with the doctor.
I decided to stay and hold my little angel in my hands as she was taking her last breath. She just put her head in my hand, as trustfully as she did, right after I picked her up. I kissed her little head and cried over this very young life. She was gone, and I felt such a loss.
My only hope today is that God put me in her way, to stop her suffering. The Vet explained to me, that if I hadn't picked her up, she would have died in a very painful way, in the next 48 hours.
Just thinking that this beautiful creature would have died there, alone in the cold, scared and very very sick, made me so sad. I still struggle, trying to understand how this Kitten fought for her life, crying so loud to get somebody's attention and then just gave up hours later.
I really hope, that I gave back to this little soul, her trust in people! As I wrote before, we humans have to take lessons in humanity from our pets. They can teach us to get this one right. We humans struggle to understand this, so much.
I came home to my 2 cats and dog, and I just took in all their love and devotion, and hope I will never let go.
As for my little Kitten, I knew you for just several hours, but I will keep your sweet face in my memory for as long as I live.
Sleep peacefully little Kitten. You will be warm and happy over The Rainbow Bridge !