Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tears for a kitten

Sometimes I wanna get my hands on God.

-- Frank Castle, The Punisher

Mama Tabby with her brood.

This morning, August 9, one of Tabby's kittens passed away, after two days of feeble struggles.

One of five siblings, the ill-starred kitten was born unequipped for survival. I noticed early on that while the others suckled, she remained in a corner. Previous experience taught me that this little one, lacking the strength to jostle for her share of milk, was in dire danger.
I tried feeding her wee drops of milk; when I saw no improvement, I frantically called my vet, who did his best to aid the tiny one. Our efforts failed, and so she died, not living long enough to be named, and loved.

I cannot be inured to death of kittens, a bundle of potential affection, of appreciative purrs. In a few weeks she would have grown some and gained strength and agility to climb in our bed, exploring under the blanket, over the pillows, eventually climbing on my tummy and peering into my face -- a gesture of great trust, and instinctive acknowledgment that no harm will befall her in our presence.

All these would have occurred had she survived the vicissitudes of birth. It was not meant to be, and my heart suffered another chip. There must be a heaven for innocent kittens, otherwise, I cannot abide by the complexities of this crazy world.

Sometimes what tears our hearts is not the terrible things that happen to us, but to the ones we deeply care for.