Today, a Kitten Died.

This is a week of unrelenting intensity.

Then a kitten died, practically in my arms.

We’ve been feeding outside kitties during this brutal winter. We have a dog house filled with straw, we put out fresh water and dry food every day. Right now, our little visitors are Mamma Mia and her four kittens, Little Precious whom we believe is her older kitten or companion female, Lothario who fathered the kittens and rolls with the group and a few other toms who hang out.

This morning, Laura spied one of the kittens lying prone on the deck. She was in the second floor bathroom. She woke me and I ran outside, scooped him up and ran inside. Our heroic rescue neighbor ran over to see if she could be of help. We decided to rush him to PVSEC.

That’s where we learned he probably had a neurologic condition and would not recovery, so they ended his suffering. That’s why I was wandering through the lobby of PVSEC in my pajamas, petting dogs (I washed my hands.)

Laura went to work and I got to work here. I went out back a few hours later and saw Mamma Mia and her adult compadres on our deck, looking for food. She sits on the top of our deck steps and looks in the kitchen with the infamous ‘feed me!’ mental xray vision way cats have.

Tonight, the Homeless Cat Management Team are swarming our yard to try to catch everyone. I’m sad about the little one, but glad we found him quickly – his body temperature indicated to the vet that he wasn’t out there alone very long. I hope the other kittens are okay and I hope we can catch everyone.

I didn’t get a picture of little kitten because I was cradling him in an old Pittsburgh Pirates towel. He was maybe six weeks old? I feel sad, of course. I’m glad we did the humane thing even at a financial cost we weren’t prepared for in our budget. I wish there was a triage veterinary facility that could tell you if immediate euthenasia was your option or send you along to a bigger hospital for treatment. Letting this guy suffer (and he was clearly in pain) for another four hours waiting for the offices to open was just not something we could do.

I’ve spent some time with my own household critters today. They had no contact with kitten; they were gathered into assorted rooms behind doors while we dealt with this.

I guess I just wanted to chronicle the things in life that aren’t in the newspapers. I feel overwhelmed by the news, by the Carnegie Library’s obstinancy, and by so much more. But I’m glad I could hit the ground running to help a kitten.

Simon snuggling on top of Ana who has simply given up on being a dog.


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