Sunday, February 28, 2010

Life and Death

I knew that farm life was going to be filled with both.  I just didn't know it was going to happen so often.

On Friday, we were leaving to go to town for Peyton's Girl Scout cookie booth at Wal-mart.  We turned out of the driveway and started down the road.  Right away, I saw a something in the road, something little and orange.  I said, "Oh no, that's a cat."  I pulled over, got out, and walked over to it's lifeless body in the road.   I was hoping that it was a different orange cat and not our moma cat "Darlin".  My eyes immediately filled with tears when I realized that it was "Darlin".   I moved her still warm body out of the road and started back to the car wiping the tears from my eyes and trying to figure out how break this news to the kids.

My heart broke for them as I watched them trying to process this horrible news.   We turned around and went back to the house to get her babies.  I couldn't leave them all alone in our open, detached garage.  We went straight to the feed store for bottles and milk replacement powder.

Trying to feed them for the first time was much harder than I anticipated.  They were so tiny and hungry and confused.  They were all crying for their moma and had no idea what to do with a rubber bottle nipple.

With some trial and error, I've found that the best way to feed them is to wrap each one up in a wash cloth like a taco, kind of like swaddling a baby, so their little arms and legs aren't flailing all around.  Hold them tightly, sit them almost upright, and squeeze drops of milk slowly into their mouth.  It's going to be a long, hard road.  I know it will be worthwhile for all of us though.  Nurturing tiny helpless week old kittens will be something that we'll never forget.

I've even found a suitable "replacement moma" to clean them. 

Funny how things work themselves out sometimes.  Just another obstacle to teach us something about life.  That's what it's is all about really.  Looking at every situation, whether good or bad, and asking "what is it that I'm supposed to learn from this?"  I have a feeling that we are all going to learn a lot from this.

Even after tragedy,  the sun still rises the next day and it is just as beautiful as always.


  1. Had a similar experience some years ago when my cat Allie had back to back litters and wouldnt nurse the second litter because the first litter hadnt been weened we wernt successful saving those newborns I cried like Id lost a family member when Cinnamon the last and strongest of the newbies passed I even called off work to try and save them nature is both brutal and beautiful. Thanx for another inspirational story,I look forward to your next installment respectfully yours Ben Sudduth

  2. Oh no. Im so sorry to hear about your little kitty. Her sweet babies are so lucky to have you guys. And that cute little dog, too, of course, who is making sure that they all get bathed properly. :-)