Chi and I had such fun chatting about what we’d call her babies. It’s an 8 lives tradition to give the babies names starting with the same initial as mum. So we bandied about lots of C names: Chico, Chica, Chopstick, Chigley, Cally, Carla, Coolie. The heart wrenching reality is that its just been too painful to name them and they’ve stayed as “the little grey boy”, “the black and white girl” etc.
There’s a sense of unreality writing about this. I guess I wish so badly that it wasn’t real. They went home with the vet nurse and their mummy on the first night of their lives. Our lovely vet called me first thing Friday morning …. “not good news I’m afraid”. I’d braced myself for the possibility that one or more the kits wouldn’t last the night, or even that Chi may not be able to feed them after her op. Nothing had prepared me for the news that Chi was dead and I was now mum to 4 orphaned kittens. How on earth I worked through the day without howling I don’t know.
At tea time I picked up 4 little pipsqueaks from the surgery and had a crash course in feeding and toileting them. By 6am the following morning, I was hysterical. No sleep on Thursday night with worrying about Chi, and no sleep Friday night with 2 hourly feeds. We landed at my friend Wizz’s obscenely early for a Saturday morning. I’ll be forever thankful for the way she and her husband took care of me as well as the kits. We came home at tea time, more confident about caring for them and plunged into an endless round of feeding, cleaning, drying, washing, warming and worrying. Who would have thought such tiny dots of fluff could create so much washing! … and make so much noise … and turn our lives upside down.
The resident grown ups wondered what on earth had hit them. Some rather grudging baby sitting time was offered, but mainly the girls sat around criticizing my parenting skills, and the lads grumbled that they’d not had the snip to then have to sit and listen to some other guys babies squawking.
On Monday evening they went back to Wizz. Having agonised about how on earth to manage them when I went back to work on Tuesday, I realised the answer was that I simply couldn’t! Thank goodness for Wizz. I absolutely know that they are in the best place with her but its been hard to let go. And painful to hear that the little grey and white girl gave up her fight on Monday night, and the little grey boy who we thought was doing so well suddenly just quit and went to be with his mummy as well on Wednesday.
Nowadays we hold our breath every time we receive a text. Please god let the remaining two be ok and let people hear the message about neutering from this tragedy. It’s cost 8 Lives over £500 to sort out Chi’s ear mites and have an emergency C section. That’s money we don’t have so our rescue is now in debt and unable to take on anymore cats. Worse than our financial mess though – the original ‘owner’s’ negligence and selfishness in not having Chi spayed has cost her her life, and the lives of at least two of her kits.