Blue Bell

by Jamie Gandy

I wish I could tell you this is going to be a story of triumph, of joy and happiness. However it isn't going to be that kind of story, so if you don't want to possibly cry you might as well stop reading and just enjoy the pictures.

Quiche was born on June 12th (as far as I know anyway). She came to the nursery and was placed in Bluebell's newborn litter of five. At first glance, you wouldn't think this precious baby wasn't Bluebell's real kitten. They look just alike. I can just picture that Quiche would have grown up to look just as beautiful as her adopted mama.

On June 18th this beautiful family came home with me. The runt, Sandman, who had been bouncing around with his weight before bringing him home, passed away during that first night. I woke to find his lifeless body.

Quiche has been dealing with a little URI since I got her. I would constantly have to wipe one of her eyes open because it kept getting gunked closed. She became my instant favorite, and she would respond to me with the sweetest little purr. She would look at me with those big round eyes and my heart would melt. How could I not fall in love with her?

Saturday her weight started to drop. The AM she was 168g, by yesterday morning she was 148g and dropped another ten grams by the end of the night. I started to supplement her, and I thought for a few moments that she would come around. That maybe I could really help her gain that weight back.

I was wrong.

Late last night she started to fade. So I wrapped her in a covered heating pad and did the sugar drops like I've been taught. I put her on my bed and laid beside her, her large beautiful eyes almost constantly remained on me. I prayed for God to touch her... to heal her... until I finally had to change that prayer to, God please don't let her suffer any longer.

I told her sorry for failing her... I told her how much I love her.
I kissed that precious little face as she gasped for air... as she took her very last breath.

I don't care if it's an old cat or a newborn kitten. It hurts when death takes them away. For this little one, it hurts all the more because I couldn't save her. She needed me and I failed her.

I've never regretted taking on any of my fosters before. With URI, ringworm, having to give injections, or even taking on Anna even though she lost all three of her kittens.
Don't get me wrong, losing those three HURT, but I blamed the heartless son of a skunk who abandoned Anna as a pregnant cat during the cold rain.

This time around I blame myself. I ignored the silent voice in the back of my head telling me to wait, telling me not to take on another mama cat quite yet. But that picture of Bluebell with her little ones melted my heart and we pursued her.

Had I said no, then maybe someone more qualified could have stepped up to foster them. Someone who could have saved Quiche, and maybe even Sandman.

The one single light I do know to be true. Little Quiche could have died all alone, with no littermates, with no adopted mama to love her. She could have taken her last breath in the corner of some cage or box.

But she didn't. She took her last breath hopefully knowing the comfort of love. I pray she could see as she stared in my eyes that she was loved. That this big giant two-legged girl loves her so very very much. That her tiny little purrs were one the best sounds I have ever heard. So gentle, so unconditional.

I wish I could sound inspirational. I wish I could say 'I will save another life for her, for Sandman, for Blazing Dancer, for Bjoin Ironside, for Beryl Gray... for Peace...'

But right now I don't know if I can see another life end. It hurts too much.

I buried her this morning out back next to her little brother, Sandman.

Death... sucks....

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

As shameful as this may sound, last night during/after Quiche passed away I was so broken hearted. My mind was a dark mess. For a moment I wished I hadn't fostered this family. That maybe this precious, precious baby would still be thriving like her siblings if I hadn't gotten them. I was (kinda still am) so afraid that I couldn't/can't keep these little ones living. I was determined to reach out to find a new foster for them, because I don't want to risk seeing another precious baby die.

Sitting here right now, watching Bluebell nurse her kittens, watching the way little Sail Away looks at me with those big round eyes and her adorable cute face. How she (they) already respond to my touch, to my kisses.

How could/can I even THINK about letting them go?

At least not until they get adopted.

I love them, as I love Quiche. I couldn't save her, but I'll do everything I can to see her siblings get big and strong. To see them find their forever homes.

That said.
Sally Cinnamon is a Polar Bear! Her nick name will probably end up being Sally Bear.
Sail Away reminds me of Gizmo, so I MIGHT nickname her that.
Sangria might be Little Bear.
And Super Sonic will be just Sonic.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

This morning Sally Cinnamon and Sail Away were adopted and went off to their forever home. It was hard not to get overly emotional seeing my Sailie leave, I cried before leaving the house. However, I believe they are going to a great family (who lives on a big ranch in Llano) and will grow up with two girls (one 13 and the other 2). Sally will be the older girl's kitty and Sailie will be the younger ones. I pray God blesses them and their new family with a long life filled with unconditional love and commitment. I already miss them both so much, but I am SO excited for them in their new life.

Wednesday Super Sonic and Sangria will be going to their forever home as well. They won't have little kids to grow up with (which is preferred with Sonic), but they will be with a loving woman and her college-aged daughter. It's been an emotional and fun pass seven weeks with these four amazing kittens. It started out sad, with the death of their brother, Sandman, on the first day, and then again a week later when their adopted sister, Quiche, passed away. I was SO close to handing Bluebell and her remaining four kittens back to the nursery because emotionally I couldn't handle any more death. I felt like I was failing them all.

It was actually Sail Away that made me realize that even though we lost two kittens, the remaining kittens still needed me. He gave me that look, with his barely opened eyes, that captured my heart. He gave me the strength to not give up on them.

And boy have I been blessed to share my home (and room) with Sail Away, Sally Cinnamon, Sangria, Super Sonic, and mama Bluebell.

When we say fostering save and changes lives, we truly mean it. They changed mine, and I know I helped them understand the unconditional love of a human.

Now Bluebell has to find her perfect forever home too!