Saturday, April 09, 2005


Oh, the night we had.

Lucy moved her five kittens sometime yesterday afternoon. Scorning the comfy box and heat lamp we'd set in her favorite nook just outside the back door, she opted for a cold and dirty spot under the house. I'm convinced it's my fault, because I performed a little eye operation on one of her kittens early yesterday (read: "removing the goopy crust from one closed eyelid with warm water and a washcloth"). I should have known by the dirty look Lucy gave me afterward that something was up.

When we found them, after much searching, we discovered she'd taken and crammed them all right up against the cement foundation. The only way to reach them was to first dismantle the dog house Dave built long ago for our ungrateful dog, Bear. Okay ... so the demolition work belonged entirely to Dave. I just stood by and made appreciative comments about the way his muscley arms bulged and flexed as he tore down the structure. But that's helping, isn't it?

While I stood and watched, I thought about the blog I'd write about the situation. I figured I'd write something about the great lengths God goes to in order to find us in our hiding places and bring us to a place of safety, or something along those lines. But then Dave started pulling kittens out and placing them back in their fleece-lined box. "Two of them are dying," he said.

I touched the two. They were ice cold, limp, and unresponsive. One had a noseful of dirt; Dave said it had been face-down when he found it. I felt sick--and completely responsible. I didn't know whether Lucy had dropped them on the cement when she jumped down from her box or whether they just got too cold under the house, but I felt convinced that the whole thing wouldn't have happened if I hadn't taken it upon myself to open that one kitten's eye.

We brought the box and Lucy and all five kittens into the house and tried to determine what was wrong. The two weren't moving at all and only breathed sporadically. I held them both and wrapped my shirt around them, but even after twenty minutes of that, they hadn't warmed up a bit. So I asked Dave to heat up one of the rice bags I made for Christmas a few years back. He brought me one and I laid that against my chest, then placed the two kittens on top, and covered them in a down comforter. They're still less than two weeks old--and we think they may have been premature, to boot--so I had to use the tip of one finger to stroke their little heads. I couldn't stop crying, because I knew I was responsible. While I sat waiting for them to respond to the heat, I thought that if I did end up writing about this, I'd write about how sometimes, when we insert ourselves in a situation in the name of “helping,” we really only make things worse.

It took two hours of warming, stroking, and feeding dropperfuls of barely-heated milk before the kittens were ready to go back to Lucy. Even then, I only had hopes for one--a little light gray tabby. The coal gray kitten improved, but still seemed very sick. I prayed the whole time I held them and prayed as I kissed them good night, but I fully expected to wake up to only four live kittens.

But God took pity on me. They're both alive. And here they are, clutching each other and resting. I think it'll be a few days before they're fully over the trauma of the whole thing, but I believe they're safe. And I'm so grateful. So I'm not going to write about the lengths God goes to find us or give a warning about unnecessary rescues. Instead, I just want to say, "Thank you, God--for hearing my prayers and caring about two tiny kittens."

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. ~ Luke 12:6 (NIV)

9 Comment:

At 4/09/2005 3:59 PM, Blogger ddddddddddddddddddddd had this to say ...

God is always listening, its sometimes just a matter of us listening to him. But then you already know that. Thank you for sharing.

At 4/09/2005 9:22 PM, Anonymous Fran had this to say ...

Oh Shannon! I usually just lurk but I had to comment on this one. Almost two years ago we got the girls each a kitten. We had to put the flea stuff on their backs and I did it while the girls were camping with my Mom. I gave Jessica's kitty to much of the stuff and she got very weak. She couldn't even meow or lift her little head and she was shaking all over. All I could think was how Jessica was going to come home and I'd have to tell her I killed her kitten! I went online and found that the stuff paralyzes the nervous system of the fleas and if a kitten is weaker and gets too much the same can happen to them. After I gave her a bath I read online that an IV and meds were needed at a vetrinary hospital for any hope of recovery. I was home alone with no car. I prayed over her kitty. Alot. And I cried. Alot. After I bathed her I held her close to me and kept praying. After about 10 minutes she struggled to get away and laid on the bed by me. After a couple of more minutes she jumped down and went to find something to eat. I think God gets more prayers for kittens than I realized! And they don't bother Him one little bit! Isn't He the coolest? :)

At 4/10/2005 11:35 AM, Anonymous Salena had this to say ...

What a wonderful story. I almost cried reading it. Thank you for sharing. ... Just dropping by via BE. :-)

At 4/10/2005 2:01 PM, Blogger Darlene had this to say ...

God cares about your little kittens. I am so glad they are safe, I hope they continue to grow strong, they are so cute.

At 4/10/2005 4:38 PM, Anonymous Lynetta had this to say ...

Oh, Shannon! What a rough day you had! Thank God for taking care of your baby kitties. He does care for each of His little critters, more than we can dream of. His love blows me away! It's just unfathomable. Thanks for the reminder.

At 4/10/2005 4:54 PM, Blogger Monica had this to say ...

Shannon, I loved the story--no wonder we know Him as such an awesome God, saving two kittens and saving my little girl both on the same day-yet for him, just another expression of His love. As the Duke of Earle stated on my comment section: "And so many people think he's out of the miracle-working business."

At 4/10/2005 5:20 PM, Blogger Macromoments had this to say ...

Shannon, this is a precious story. It 's another example of why I love your writing. I once buried our family cat after a 2,700-mile move. It was freezing cold and my tears actually froze on my face as I dug. (My husband would have done it, but he was recalled to active duty in the military, during the first Gulf War. It all happened in the same week--his recall and my poor cat dying.)

SO glad that your kitties made it. By the way, what are those rice bags you heated up? I LOVE your photos of the kittens, too. Precious!

At 4/10/2005 7:48 PM, Blogger Amie had this to say ...

you know what i like about your entries is that how you connect things and situations in God's work. somehow everyday things take on a new meaning...you give it a new light. your posts are very inspirational.

thanks for the visit back also on my blog. i'll link you, i hope you don't mind :)

At 4/11/2005 9:25 AM, Blogger shannon had this to say ...

You're right, Joe!

And you too, Fran. That made me smile. What if prayer is the primary purpose of kittens? :)

Nice to hear from you BE visitors, Salena and Amie! And Amie, thank you so much for your kind words. I'm honored to be linked to your blog--thank you!

Yes, Darlene, these are probably the cutest kittens we've ever had. They looked quite rat-like until a few days ago. For awhile, we actually wondered if it were possible for cats and rats to mate. But they finally got fur.

I agree with you, Lynetta and Monica!

Bonnie, the rice bags are VERY easy. I just took a 42" long x 6 1/2 wide piece of cotton fabric, folded it in half the long way, and sewed it to create a bag. Then, turned right side out, I sewed two lines down the long way, making three channels. These I filled with rice and a handful of dried Sweet Annie, lavender, and mint from my garden (but you can make them with just rice too). When the bag was half full of rice/herbs, I folded the top edges under and sewed straight across. These are great for sore necks or backs. You just heat them in the microwave for a minute or so (check after a minute) and the heat lasts a long time. Let me know if you have any questions. :)


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