The Rest of the Story

April 27, 2008 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Family, Life, Thoughts | 19 Comments
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These past couple days have just been a whirlwind. I have gone non-stop since Wednesday and I feel as though now I am taking a few moments to breathe.

I know Mrs. Lilac updated you on the situation with our rescue mission. Here are a few more insightful moments on the trek to finding Kitty, a.k.a Little Momma, a.k.a Cinderella a home.

It became apparent to me last week that this little thing was so stressed and tense in my home with my curious little Ellie. Obviously, she had been tortured and stalked by dogs and cats of a lesser sociable nature in the past and had some preconceived negative ideas about the motives of my beloveds.

I came to realize that she could not stay-and birth kittens-in my home, no matter how much she had endeared herself to me. (This is saying a lot from a person who in the past has referred to herself as “not a cat person”!)

I called Julia and she was a lifesaver. I packed Kitty up to take her to a nearby hospital to have some tests run and to turn her over to her new foster parent. We were sitting in the waiting room, little Momma in my lap because I knew I would miss her, when she started to do some very funny breathing. One woman even went so far as to look at me from across the room and say, “your cat doesn’t look so good.”

Obviously, between the pantings and the pounding on her tummy, it seemed to me and to the vet tech that she had gone into labor. I almost lost it. Not only was I going to have to give her up, but I was going to have to do it when she was already in labor! I was about to really cry huge amounts of tears when they called us back to do the tests. They proceeded to poke her and draw some blood and she was a champ. I was the one who needed the comfort. We went back to the waiting room to await the results and prepare for the transfer to her new Mom. I continued to try not to cry.

I did not succeed. I cried. I cried pretty hard. I am aware that I looked like an idiot, but I couldn’t help it and everyone at the animal hospital was so helpful and understanding.

I sat and watched as person after person came in going about their business. I meet another rescue worker. She was picking up two sweet little girl beagles, whom she had just rescued from almost being euthanized. They had that day been spayed. The vet tech brought one little girl up and left her sister behind and the saddest most pitiful howling ensued. She was afraid they were taking her sister away from her. The vet tech went back to retrieve the sister beagle and finally the crying stopped. Her rescue mom told me that she had eight other dogs at her home awaiting adoption, and that she was hoping to secure a home where the two sisters could go together because they were miserable without each other.

I met another woman with the cutest little lab-mix doggie, whom she had rescued from the pound the day before he was to be put down. The joy that he brought her was overhwelming. How anyone could kill such a sweet little being? I will never understand our society’s lack of compassion for living things.

I was a mess listening to all the stories of the women who were saving so many dogs from being killed to make room for new animals as they came into the shelters. It broke my heart over and over again. I am so thankful that there are such kind souls who open their homes to animals who will be mercilessly killed for no reason.

At that exact moment, a woman came rushing into the hospital saying that a truck had run over a row of baby ducks trying to cross the street with their Momma. As many of the staff ran out to save the ducks another one ran toward the road to try to keep the Momma from leading her babies into the main road, where she would lose the rest of them.

Again, tears fell. I was surrounded by so many people with huge hearts who refused to let any of God’s creatures suffer. I was amazed and in awe.

All the while Kitty is panting harder and harder. I call Julia, saying I am afraid to sit any longer waiting and that she needs to get settled. I drive to meet Julia across town. She was amazing. As I tearfully handed over our little rescue mission she gave me a big hug, told me I could see her when I wanted, and that she would keep me updated on her and her babies. I left feeling such emptiness, but knowing I had done the right thing for Kitty’s well-being. It wasn’t an easy decision, but we had to let her go and be somewhere that she could rest and be stress free.

Kitty apparently was just faking me out that night because she did not have her babies until two nights later. But when she did go it seems as though she never stopped!

Momma Kitty has now delivered seven healthy, beautiful babies. Yes, I said seven. Her foster mom, Allie, said that she was so quiet and calm during the whole process. She was a champ! For an 8lb. kitty she literally was all babies.

Mrs. Lilac and I were talking today about how cold and rainy it was the night she delivered. Her babies surely wouldn’t have survived and with such a prolonged labor process and her lack of nutrition, she may not have either. She is now being a fabulous mother and we are thankful for everyone of her healthy babies.

I am sad I didn’t get to see the end result. I am sad I am not able to hold those little babies I felt kick in her tummy for those few days. I am sad that I can’t hold her and cuddle her anymore. But, she is happy exactly where she is and exactly where she needs to be.

I am so thankful for this experience. I am so thankful for people who care to go the extra mile. I am so thankful that people care to take responsibility for God’s creatures who cannot help themselves. I am thankful for friends who cared about a small little homeless cat who somehow taught me a lot about compassion and life.

 

Kitty Update- Mrs. Lilac, Guest Blogger

April 25, 2008 at 3:31 pm | Posted in Family | 6 Comments
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Hey there, Tipp fans- this is Mrs. Lilac. Since Tipp is busy working a lot these last few days, she invited me to guest blog about our kitty friend. Here’s the scoop……

Little Momma was getting pretty stressed out sharing quarters with Tipp’s doggies, Lily and Ellie. (Who, by the way, are about the cutest and sweetest pups ever.) They were just being normal curious dogs, but poor kitty, after all she’s been through, was hissing and tense and just not dealing well.

Tipp just felt so bad for the Little Momma, trying to get ready to labor and deliver under stress. So Tipp got in touch with Julia, the AMAZING cat rescue pro who has been helping us along. It just so happened that Julia had just gotten a call from an experienced kitty foster mom who was really wanting to foster a pregnant mama kitty. Talk about good timing!

However, Tipp, being the sweet-hearted girl she is, about had a nervous breakdown taking Little Momma to vet to get some tests and be transferred over. Tipp was bawling on the phone to me, and luckily Julia was there to give Tipp a big hug and some reassurance when she handed over our kitty friend.

So- Little Momma is happily nesting in a safe warm home with a wonderful family. No signs of kittens yet, but it should be any time now! As “honorary” foster moms, Tipp and I are going to be getting email updates, as well as going to visit the Little Momma and her kittens when they are born. Trust me, we will definitely be posting pictures!

The foster family, seeing the beautiful little white “slippers” that our kitty friend has on her feet, has decided to name her Cinderella. How sweet is that? And she certainly has the rags-to-riches story to go with it!

And they all lived happily ever after…………… 🙂

Name Little Momma

April 23, 2008 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Family, Photos | 27 Comments
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Mrs. Lilac and I do not think it would be fair to have Little Momma go through labor and delivery without a proper name. So, we are opening it up to all of you to help!

All suggestions are being considered and we want to hear from you all!

Bonus points for Gone With the Wind or literature-based names!

Here is a little inspiration.

While I am in favor-asking mode, click on the purple paw print on the right every single day and follow the link to click to feed a homeless animal in a shelter. All you have to do is click, its free and it helps!

Little Momma Update

April 23, 2008 at 7:43 am | Posted in Family | 13 Comments
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Apparently all I need to help with kitty is a yodeling cucumber.

Hubby has been singing this over and over to the Little Momma, sans yodeling, and it will not get out of my head!

So update on Little Momma. Took her to the trusty vet yesterday where she was a big hit with the staff there. And no, my vet does not yodel either! He says for her condition she looks like everything should go well. She is only eight pounds with probably four little babies in tow, so she is teeny and has a lot of catching up to do for such a little girl. She is hopefully a year old, but I have my doubts, she looks like a baby herself.

Lily acts as though she isn’t really here, Ellie is very curious. Kitty is tolerating them both, and they are growing on each other. The vet says that it could be today or within the week. She is still eating and not really “nesting” yet, so Hubby and I think it will be a few days. She did raise a few eyebrows last night when she started doing some crazy panting. Turns out she was just hot.
 

Thanks for all of your fabulous birthing tips! I am sure when the moment comes I will turn into Prissy from Gone With the Wind and run away screaming, “I don’t know nothing bout birthin babies kittens” leaving Mrs. Lilac alone. I promise I will try not to!

Our Mission

April 22, 2008 at 11:27 am | Posted in Family, Life, Photos | 21 Comments
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It has been an eventful past few days in my humble abode.

One of the things that has been going on is that Mrs. Lilac, my wonderful, kind-hearted soul sister, has recruited me to help her find a home for an adorable little pregnant kitty that was left abandoned near her home. She is unable to take her in due to a family member who has allergies. She has done so much emailing and calling to rescue shelters to find her a home before she gives birth to her kittens.

Unfortunately, so many rescues in our state are inundated with little kittens and pregnant mommies and we were turned away from all but one.

Mrs. Lilac wrote all about our mission:

A very young, pregnant cat appeared in our neighborhood recently. Definitely not a feral cat- very friendly, so affectionate and loving. My daughter and I have been feeding her. I was beginning to panic that she would have her kittens out here in the woods.

So, yesterday I spent most of the day calling cat rescue groups. I made probably 25 calls, and sent maybe 10 emails. I fed Kitty several times yesterday- she was ravenous every time. When my kids were napping, I sat outside with her in the sunshine. She nuzzled and purred and climbed in my lap, and then she settled down right next to my side and rested, content.

After dinner, a rescue group called. They offered to come get her last night. I asked about what would happen to her and her kittens. The lady told me that typically they spay the mother cat. I didn’t realize that was even an option since she was already pregnant. Yep, it is an option. They just remove the entire uterus with the kittens inside it. She assured me that if any of the kittens began breathing, they would be bottle-fed and otherwise treated humanely, and then homes would be found for the mother and the kittens.

I felt so torn. I know I wasn’t really in a position to be picky- almost any rescue would be preferable to being left outside to fend for herself. I just couldn’t feel good about it. I called Tipp, and she totally understood how I was feeling. I really had to trust that God would honor my choice not to let these kittens be aborted and taken from their mother. We hung up to go make other calls, and another rescue called telling me about a possible foster family.

Just to keep Kitty safe in the meantime, my daughter Opal and I got Kitty into a carrier, and loaded up to take her to Tipp’s house to stay for the interim.

The long drive was full of so many precious opportunities for me to interact with my daughter. I told Opal that when the Bible tells us to love our neighbor, our neighbor is anyone whose need we see and whose need we are in a position to try and meet. I told her that the Bible says that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without God knowing about it. At one point, Kitty meowed a little, and Opal said, “I know why she’s crying. She’s afraid we’re taking her somewhere where her babies will get lost.” I can’t tell you the relief that flooded me because I was able to say with a clear conscience, “Well, you just tell Kitty that we’re taking her somewhere that she and her babies will all be safe.”

So for now, Kitty is well-fed, well-loved, and safe with Tipp- the world’s sweetest lady ever- and her totally awesome husband. When we left her last night, Kitty was purring, all stretched out on the carpeted floor, with her eyes closed, just totally blissed out.

I’m not telling you any of this to toot my own horn or say what a wonderful person I am. Here is why IT’S NOT JUST A CAT. My point is that reaching out to a person or animal who needs you should be the NORM, not the exception. IGNORING PAIN AND SUFFERING IS NOT NORMAL. As a mother of three, this has to do with what kind of human beings I am raising to go out into this world. Do I want to raise kids who look at every situation and say, “It’s not my problem!” Do I want to raise kids who turn a blind eye to suffering and need? I want to raise kids with hearts full of compassion who will be good citizens of the world. I want to raise young people who will look out into the world, with all its problems, and not turn away- who will say to themselves, “I wonder what I can do to help?” I don’t want to raise young people who look at every situation in terms of what’s comfortable for them, and what’s convenient for them. I want them to look at every situation in terms of what small thing they can do to contribute, and I want them to leave every place they encounter a little better than they found it.

It’s NOT JUST A CAT. It’s about the future of the world.

 

I love how she puts it. It is not just about a cat. It is about helping a living thing in distress. If everyone everywhere took a little bit of responsibility to help out a living soul in need, this world would be a better place! Mrs. Lilac and I tend to get so overwhelmed by the vastness of hurt and suffering in this world and this is just a little way for us to chip at the problem.

We get so angry when people say to just turn her out or send her to a shelter, she will be killed and so will her babies. I wish more people would truly stop to think about what that means. Why is it up to us to decide who should live and die? Why can people turn a blind eye when a living thing needs help? What does that say about us? I encourage you to make a difference today in the life of someone or some soul.

We have heard all the excuses, we know we can’t save them all. But we can save this one. And to this one and a few little kittens, it matters. It means changing the world.

 Now, can anyone give me any pointers on birthing kittens? Mrs. Lilac and I have a job ahead of us!

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