A couple Wednesdays ago I was driving up to my parent’s place to pick up my friend the next day and drive her back to Sioux Falls. On my way there I came across a little body on the highway, much like most roadkill on the prairie paths one gets used to the sight but in this case a little head popped up. I was shocked to see that a small kitten had wandered out this far without getting hit and I couldn’t let fate take that direction so I turned around and picked it up. The kitten hissed at me but they do that when they are wild. Once inside the car and on the road it moved from my lap to the floor behind my feet and when I tried to move it, it went back to the same spot.
Later, after a quick inspection, I found that this was a little girl with a broken tail and some kind of laceration to her butt area. After driving for an hour, she found her spot on my chest as I held her with one arm and drove with the other. I had intended to leave her with the mother cat at my parent’s farm if she could be accepted but when I got there, no mother cat to be found. Turns out she dissapeared earlier that summer so I decided then to take her with me and see if someone on facebook would want her. I took her to the Groton vet and they noted she was retaining urine but otherwize healthy and then they wormed her and gave me an antibiotic and food to take home.
At my place she got her own little space in my room and slowly she was accepted somewhat by one of my two cats but never completely. I ended up finding that this little one really liked me because she huddled next to me when the neighbor kids came over to see if they could pet her. She had purred next to me when I held her during one nap. I couldn’t give her up and named her ‘Moca’.
After a week of watering, cleaning, and various play times, she was lively but still plump and I had to have the vet here look at her. She had a urinary infection and her tail was mostly dead. He gave me more dewormer and said to continue the antibiotic treatment and he also removed the dead portion of the tail. She didn’t notice that the tail was gone and it was easier to clean her now. She would voraciously eat her food and she loved to follow me around the house and she knew what the litter box was for and tried to go but things didn’t work right.
This morning I came home at 3am after spending time in Sioux Falls and Moca was sitting in the litter box. Normally she’ll hop out and follow me for food but she stayed there. I petted her and she wasn’t responsive so I picked her up and cleaned up her butt yet this time she never winced in pain from her wounds and she just stared at me. I knew it was ending. When it got to the point were I had to put Ace to sleep he was much like this. Distant. Quiet. Non responsive but still aware. I put her back down into her bed and petted her some more and when she moved her head I had some hope but I knew better.
At 8am or so I awoke to find that she had gone away. Her little body was cold and starting to stiffen and it was time to end my caretaking part of this process. I built a box for her and put her in the ground near Ace’s grave. It’s only really affecting me now otherwise I’ve been rather stoic about the matter. I tried to help and it was fun having her around and she’ll be missed. Now I need to deal with the loss and move on because it’s going to be harder when my three start to pass away and I need to be resilient.
‘Moca’ July 2010 – August 2010