Didn’t stand a chance
I got a phone call today from a friend, that a friend of hers found some kittens abandoned behind a building, and asked what she should do. After a long session of texting back and forth, she agreed to bring them to the ARL and hope they could care for the kittens. They were maybe two weeks old, umbilical cord stumps still attached.
She said she would be there around six and when she called me at 6:15, she was near tears, saying that someone has to foster them by tonight, otherwise they wouldn’t fare well.
I looked at Matt and he agreed, we could take them for the night. They deserved a chance.
On my way to the shelter, I was stressed out. Taking kittens that little means waking up every 2-3 hours to feed them. I was willing to do it, obviously, but it’s still a lot of work.
When I got there, the vet tech told me they were being processed. I found my friend and we sat on the benches waiting.
Shortly there after, the vet tech let us know the kittens were positive for FIV (feline leukemia,) and we had a decision to make.
I had a kitten once, Silas, who was the animal love of my life. That cat meant everything to me. He had FIV. Some cats can live long, full lives with it. Some cats cannot. Silas, along with his brother Puckett, did not. Silas, my dear sweet boy, died on my pillow in my room, all alone.
I told my friend that it’s a tough decision, but ultimately, the most humane thing would be to let them go. After much debate, the decision was made to let them go peacefully.
It’s a hard thing to just shrug off. I had gone to the shelter with a cat carrier, completely expecting to bring five kittens home to nurse back to health, albeit stressed out. Instead, I drove home, alone.
I came home and saw Matt had begun to set up the crate for them. I literally lost it.
I hate that I care so much. I hate that I drove home in tears, and sat at my dining room and cried into my dinner. I hate this feeling.
While I know it was for the best, I couldn’t save them. There was nothing I could do.
My friend Jen texted me to make me feel better, and did a good job when she said: “Leukemia in cats is so awful. It causes so many terrible things. So if it’s any comfort, they won’t suffer. They didn’t get much of a shot in this world, but they were cared for and were shown love. That means something.”
It means everything, to be honest. Those kittens, while short lived, deserved that love and attention. And they got it. That’s all anyone can ask for.