So...it's been a week since it all happened. And as of this morning, it's all over. My little kitten died today.
This is a blog, right? So that's the purpose...to write, and to vent...and I just need to process it all.
It started, long, long ago, in a far away land. Actually...it was 5 weeks ago, and in the hallway closet. My two cats that I had rescued about a year ago wound up having kittens together. 4 of them, to be exact. One kitten was dead-on-arrival. A horrible sight, but not too unexpected with kittens. Then, the kittens lived in a little box I made for them. I would check on them every day for 5 weeks, and watched their eyes open, and their ears stick up. Occasionally, I would pick them up and pet them for a bit. As all kittens are, they were very, very cute.
Then, one day, I heard a very upset sounding squeak from outside my room. Rushing to see what was wrong, I found my dog, having broken into their box, with a kitten in his mouth. Terrified, I yelled at the dog to drop it, and, to his credit, he did. The kitten fell with a plop, and scuttled off like nothing happened. Relieved, I thought to myself that that one little cat would definitely need to be watched more than the rest. A typical siamese cat, with deep blue eyes and overly large ears, his name (though not yet in that moment) was Phoenix.
Five weeks into their existence, I noticed that the runt of the litter, the lightest kitten, named Cuddles, began to look frail. Worried, I bought a pet bottle and some formula for him, and gave it to him. However, it seemed that things would not work out in the end, as the poor little baby cat would be dead the next morning. I will never forget his final moments, him trying to follow his mother, while his body slowly shut down, and me, on the sidelines, horrified, unable to do anything, as Cuddles's back legs gave out, and he kept dragging himself along the floor, trying to reach his mother, who wanted nothing to do with him. I could feel a part of my heart breaking right then and there. I sat with him through the entire ordeal, a whopping 6 hours, until he finally lay down next to me on a pillow, and passed, with a final pained shriek.
Dazed, I had fallen into a bit of a frightened shock. It was mortifying to watch, to deal with. Luckily, the other two kittens seemed healthy and happy. That wouldn't last long.
It took one day. And Phoenix had become lethargic, unable to walk, or to eat. Determined, I planned to get to the Pet Hospital, to save this cat. It was my mantra, it was what I was clinging on to, I didn't want to fail him. I was the only one who had a chance to save him. I woke up at 6AM, to whimpers from him. I hadn't slept more than 3 hours that night, and it didn't take me more than 5 minutes to grab the kitten in a sleepy daze, along with my keys, and rush out the door. My father watched incredulously from the window, and none too happy to see his daughter about to go off to the pet hospital, which is, located near a mental ward, the town's busiest street, and a string of confirmed lowlife criminals all living together in an seedy apartment. Stumbling, it hit my over-tired brain that I needed a method of transportation. There was no car, and I couldn't walk all that way, even if I had all the determination in the world.
The next best choice was to get my bike. But how does one carry a dying baby kitten on a bike? I shoved him into my old backpack, strapped it to my front, and took off, looking like a loon. Young teenage girls howled in laughter as I wobbled past the school on my bike, trying to shove the head of an indignant cat back into the bag, so he wouldn't fall out. Of course, he had been completely lethargic, but now that he needed to stay still? Oh no, he knew he needed to cause more trouble, so at every turn, he'd pop his head out, to look at his surroundings. A school guard watched me go along the sidewalk, and blocked my way, stepping onto the sidewalk so I would have to come to a screeching halt, yelling for me to go back and get to class. However, I was having none of that. Furious, I screamed that, "I don't go to your trashy school!" and hopped the bike into the grass, continuing on my warpath. He yelled something in reply, but I was too focused to pick up on what he said.
This is where the quaint middle-class part of town suddenly becomes scumville, There's a WM Waste Management plant, a glass crushing facility, and a swamp. Needless to say, the foul chemicals in the air were enough to make even the strongest gag.yyyyyyyyy9 Uh, sorry, my older cat laid on the keyboard, and I thought it fitting to include. In that moment, I regretting not having any water prior, as I felt like I had ventured into a desert. In my tired state, I made the wrong turn, wound up at a dead end, took another wrong turn, as my phone told me to go the longer route for absolutely no reason. Frustrated, I slowed down to catch my breath. Phoenix must have been frustrated too, because he decided he was sick of just watching the horribly ugly scenery, and wanted to explore for himself. He flung himself from the backpack, launching his small kitten self towards certain death. Of course, I reacted without thinking, and I, too, recklessly reached out to catch him. But, as physics teaches us, that's not going to end well when on a 2-wheel device. I tumbled off the bike, onto a dirt road, kitten raised high in my right hand, shielded from damage. The bike kept with its inertia and slid off into the grass, dragging me and my charge along with it. I stared at the sky, in only mild irritation, still too focused with my one-track plan of getting the cat to the vet, as my arm limply fell, allowing the kitten to jump off and explore happily. He twitched his head to the side, looking right into my eyes, as he ran off into the bushes.
Sometimes you can just tell a cat is going to be unique. That look he gave me in that moment is when I knew for sure.
As I limped, with an injured leg, smashed by the pedal driving itself right into my ankle, I wondered if the cat really was sick, as he ran in circles, looking overjoyed. But I was nearly there, and I needed to keep going. I stumbled into the vet, looking like I needed a doctor myself. Overwhelmed, I babbled, tearfully, to the attendant in the lobby that I needed someone to help my kitten. Within minutes, two veterinarians were helping my kitten. The verdict? He was very cold, and either had an easily curable cold, or something fatal, and it would only cost me $500 to check. As the info wouldn't even be able to cure him if he did have something deadly, I turned down that particular deal of the century. They shot Phoenix full of electrolyte water, and gave me a pack to inject him with at home, daily. The visit had cost me $200, just to have them say kittens need to be warm when they eat, otherwise the food doesn't process. I thought back to Cuddles, wondering if my efforts were in vain, all because I hadn't known to keep him on a heating blanket.
Hours passed, and Phoenix looked to be better. I was overjoyed, and hopeful that he would get better. That is where he got his name, after all. He ran around and played, sat with me, and purred, and was just the cutest kitten I'd ever seen. And I've seen a lot of cats. Sometimes, you can see that certain cats just have more personality to them than others. He's one of those special cats, the kind that only come around very rarely.
It wouldn't last long, though. The next day, he lay comatose, limp, and looking so very ill. I panicked, I was distraught, how could he be dying?! He had gone to the vet! He was running around just an hour ago! I was dragged from the room, crying, and as I hadn't slept in a day, I inevitably passed out. When I awoke the next morning, only about five hours later, I expected to see the kitty gone. But there he was, looking right at me, and he meowed happily. Baffled, yet overjoyed, I thought he would finally make it out of this nightmare illness he had. I spent each day with this cat, feeding him, watching him, helping him, petting him. Every waking hour was spent towards this fluffy bundle of cute, and my constant worrying left little time for sleep, perhaps 3 hours at most a day.
I honestly couldn't even tell you how many days passed. My sense of time is all thrown off. It feels like years went by, but I know it's only been about a week. My final memories with him, are of him being perfectly healthy, pawing at my headphones, utterly confused by the sound they emitted. And then, of him jumping up from my lap, and pawing at my monitor, as I played Fire Emblem. He was entranced by the colors, and something about it made him want to catch whatever flashed by on screen.
That was at about 5AM...when I awoke at 9AM...he was gone. I had left him in his little bed, with a nice blanket, and he lay in it, no longer moving, no longer breathing. The kitty that I poured so much love, effort, and joy into had died. And with it, he took a chunk of my heart. It quite honestly hurts to even think about it, and I feel broken over it. According to the vet, he had died of a brain disease, and he shouldn't even have been alive for nearly half the time he was. Phoenix fought so hard to stay alive, to keep going, and I gave my all to help him do that. But nothing could have been done for a condition like that. It's horrible, and it sucks so badly, and I'm just so mad that I couldn't save him. I wanted him to live, to have a full life of happiness, and to see this adorable little unique cat grow up. But things don't always work out, and now I'm here, typing this up. I just needed to tell his story, just to let others know, that Phoenix existed, and he was a very, very special cat.
If you have a pet that you love, don't take the time with them for granted. Animals don't get a very long time with us on this earth, and it's important to remember that you have to make the most of their life-span. Thanks, uh, for reading all that, if you did. I know a few members here knew about him already, from Majin Cubyan naming him "Cinnabun", to x65 knowing that I liked to call Phoenix crazy little names like Flufflemuffins, and Hugglekins. I'm sure he's in heaven, having fun, playfully jumping out of all the big backpacks in the sky, landing on clouds and enjoying himself without pain.
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