A few weeks back I wrote about our new kitty.
The one that we discovered had been born under our garage.
The one who had never had any human contact.
The one who would only let Number 6 near her, intially.
Getting close to her was difficult in the beginning, and as a result, her fur was kind of a mess.
It was matted and impossible to brush.
I got close enough to her, over the course of a week, to cut most of her kitty dreadlocks off.
She looked pretty bad for a while.
Last week, she turned a corner.
Her fur grew back in.
She started coming into the house to check things out.
She was following the kids around in the yard, and coming onto the deck after dinner,
eating the food off the floor that Number 7 and 6 had dropped (or thrown) onto it.
She had finally become comfortable and happy with us.
More like a dog than a cat.
We figured we’d better come up with a name for since we’d been calling her “Kitty” since we discovered her.
On Thursday morning, as I was finishing up my post, a red number “one” appeared over the message icon on my Facebook page.
I’ve written about those red numbers before.
Something about them initiates excitement in us.
But a red number on the message icon is even better than just a plain old notification.
Someone has something important to say when you see one of those.
Someone has something for your eyes only.
It may be something sort of exciting, like a long-lost friend who has found you on facebook and wants to say hi.
But other times they are disappointing.
Like a blatant request for money or sharing a link for something,
like the the link to register for Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous (starts in 2 days — register now!).
But other times, that number is delivering something really disappointing,
check in front of your house there’s a dead kitty I hope its not yours
My pulse went through the roof.
Please don’t let it be ours.
Let it be another kitty.
We live in a really old house, built in 1787.
So it’s one of those houses that sits extremely close to the road.
And it’s a busy road.
But this little kitty had been born and survived her first 3 months under a garage, in the middle of winter, fending for herself.
She wasn’t stupid.
She had street smarts.
She knew better than to go near the road.
There was no way it was our kitty.
The kids were all still asleep.
I wanted to put off checking, and remain in denial for a little while.
But I didn’t want the kids to see anything.
So I ran downstairs and looked out the window.
I saw a little black and white kitty on the side of the road.
There is a stray, black and white cat that often wanders through our yard.
I prayed that was the kitty that I saw lying in my neighbors’ grass.
I told my husband, and he rushed outside.
Numbers 5 and 6 had woken up.
I took them out on the back deck so they wouldn’t look out the window to see what Daddy was doing.
And I said a silent prayer that he would walk in the door and tell me it was going to be a sad day for some other family.
But he went right to the kitchen sink and washed his hands.
And he was crying.
Our little kitty didn’t make it.
And the kids don’t know.
They haven’t noticed yet,
And I haven’t said a thing.
And this is one of the hardest parts of being a parent.
If not the hardest.
Not the lack of sleep,
the unbelievable levels of patience required,
the amount of money necessary to raise and support them.
It’s delivering devastating news.
Nobody talks about that shit when you are pregnant.
“Oh! Sleep training is a nightmare…
And you should prepare for the day you have to tell your kids that their cat’s never coming back.
Your life will never be the same once you have that baby!”
Potty training is pretty much a joke compared to this.
So now I find myself struggling with that dilemma…
Do I tell them the truth?
Or do we just tell everyone that the kitty must have “run away?”
I think I know what the overall, long-term, healthiest thing to do is.
But I just don’t have it in me to do it today.
One more day of denial.
I think that’s what I need.
Rest in peace, Kitty.
We really, really loved you.
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