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In Honor of our Littlest Ones

#1
We had a rough week over here... Our F2, Bean, was pregnant with a singleton baby which was unusual, but we were confident things would be okay and if not, we'd do a c-section and the baby would have a fighting chance. Sunday-- he looked great in the womb, happy little fella, rolling around and doing his thing. Monday-- he looked great in the womb and both my vet and the head repro vet said to check him the next day-- he wasn't quite ready to be born. Tuesday-- his heartbeat was gone and we had to put Bean under for an emergency c-section.

So much love and time is put into these babies-- and it doesn't matter if they make it here alive or not-- it HURTS to lose one. So in honor of all of our tiny babies who never make it into loving households-- those who die before birth, at birth, or after we've spent weeks bottle-feeding them-- I wrote this...

(FYI-- Bean is doing great. She bounced back from her surgery with headbutts and happiness abound. The kitten was perfect-- so no obvious defect to tell us what went wrong. My guess is he was just in there too long and although he didn't show signs of distress Monday, he obviously went into distress that night and we couldn't know about it. We are still heartbroken-- but we are glad Bean is doing good!)

***


Samson licked his grizzled paw as he watched his fellow felines scamper and play. A few snoozed in the variegated light of the bridge while others darted after butterflies that lazily drifted in the sky. A few of the younger kittens raced over the hammocks of grass and a striking curly-coated tortie female sat and watched them, a bemused look upon her face.

This is as close to Heaven as one can get, Samson said aloud, and then chuckled inwardly as his gaze settled upon the bright stripes which created the bridge.

Of course it is! The tortie female, Sasparilla, had quietly snuck upon him and now she sat, tail tucked primly around her colorful feet. This is the Rainbow Bridge!

Samson turned his head and slashed a warm tongue across Sasparilla’s orange and black muzzle. Oh shush, you!

She whipped her head to the side and wiped her face clean with a paw, but he heard her soft laughter in response.

This is such a beautiful place, but it’s missing something… Samson mused as he continued to watch the other cats frolic. In the distance, a shadow was forming and as it solidified into human form—that of a young man—a black and white naked tuxedo kitten’s attention immediately centered upon the shape and Shadow ran, no, raced to his human’s side.

“I’ve missed you so!” The human’s voice was alight with tears and laughter.

I’ve missed you more, the kitten replied silently, wrapping his body betwixt and around and in between his human’s legs. The purring reverberating from Shadow’s body could be heard all the way to the bridge and back.

All of the cats’ attentions were now centered upon the pair as Shadow and his human made their way to the Bridge. For a moment, all play was hushed. The sleeping cats each shook their whiskers and raised their heads, alerted to the human presence in their midst. Kitten or cat, male or female, they all recalled the feel of a human hand upon their fur, the soft brush of a kiss upon their back.

Sasparilla flattened her ears to her skull and Samson nudged his friend with a striped shoulder. Don’t worry. Your human will be here soon enough.

As they watched, Shadow and his person took a step upon the Rainbow Bridge. Red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet washed the valley and the felines closed their eyes in response. When they opened them, the kitten and his human were gone.

Samson had been an old cat when he had passed away on Earth and his owner was a young woman just starting her life. He knew with each passing day he spent at the Bridge, awaiting Amelia, she was living a life of her own and growing older as well. He did not begrudge her his wait at the bridge. Samson would prefer Amelia to live a long, happy life on earth and when the day arrived when she passed on, he would be patiently waiting for her here. Yet, just like Sasparilla, his heart always sunk a little when a new human approached and he realized, it was not his one.

What were you saying about the Bridge missing something? Sasparilla’s curiosity could not be held back.

It is perfect here, Samson stated as he groomed a small cowlick on the tip of his black and grey striped tail into place, But perhaps it’s too perfect!

How could that be? Amusement tinged Sasparilla’s question.

We’re cats! When was the last time you got into real good trouble here? He raised a green eye questioningly.
 
#2
The tortie scrunched her brow in response and thought for a moment, but could not find a proper response. Trouble was typically not seen at the Rainbow Bridge, a place of peace and rest, respite for those battling long illnesses or lost too soon.

We’re cats! Trouble is a part of our nature. It’s what we do. Samson stated as he started to walk around the valley, his tail curled over his back in the shape of a question mark. Sasparilla followed closely at his side.

Watch this! Samson called out as he swished his tail once-twice-thrice and wished for something to happen.

Now, I will tell you a secret and it’s one that is typically kept at the Bridge. Except for asking for one’s human, cats and kittens are often permitted to make as many wishes as they want. Although they are not yet in Heaven, the Angels dote on their feline friends and often will grant any wish requested. Typically, it is for dishes heaping with tuna or bowls full of milk. Sometimes, it is for balls that jingled or toy mice that scampered like the real things, but never had anyone wished the wish Samson just made!

True laughter escaped Sasparilla as she watched roll upon roll of fluffy, white toilet paper fall from the sky… They bounced and jiggled upon the ground, spilling white waving tails behind them.

The cats and kittens in the valley stopped what they were doing and all came to investigate Samson’s gifts. One giant tom, Toes, swished his large tufted ears back and forth as he reached out a paw and tapped a roll of paper. It fell to its side and the spool began to unravel.

He sat back and regarded it intently.

Samson called out to the larger male, Well, what are you going to do with it now?

Toes deep voice grumbled in confusion, I don’t know! My human never allowed me to play with these things!

A kitten tentatively approached a roll and nudged it with a petal pink nose. As it tipped to the side, she jumped back and arched her back. A small spat of a hiss fell from her lips.

Samson walked over and ran his tongue reassuringly over the kitten’s back, What’s the matter, little one?

Every time I played with these—I’d get into super big trouble! The little black kitten replied.

While the cats and kittens surrounded the toilet paper, they refused to give into the temptation to play with the wispy ends or the soft white rolls.

See? Samson turned back to Sasparilla, We’ve forgotten how to create trouble! We’ve forgotten who we are—cats!

A blaze of white light coated the valley and a gentle voice called from up above, “What troubles you, Samson, king of cats? Why do you despair?”

The tabby knew better than to look for the Angel, but his green eyes still lifted towards the Heavens. We’re cats! We play and sleep and eat here at the Bridge, but we have forgotten how to have fun, how to create trouble, how to be mischievous and playful all in the same day!

Laughter like the tinkling of bells filled the air and the Angel replied, “Would you like me to find you those who will teach you how to be a cat again, oh trouble-maker Samson?”

Yes, yes! I love the Bridge, but I miss the joy of playing with a roll of toilet paper or climbing the curtains or stalking my person from across the room! Samson cried out with his heart in his throat.

The light blinked and suddenly, throughout the valley, new kittens scampered. They were smaller than the kittens already at the valley and their eyes were lit from within with trouble. They pounced upon the toilet paper and rolled on their backs, kicking and shredding the fluffy bundles. They pounced upon one another and upon the other cats, nipping and scratching playfully. They were joy personified and soon, the cats and kittens of the valley joined in on their antics.

Toilet paper flew through the air. Shreds hung from the bushes and trees and the valley was covered in white.

As Samson assisted a small golden kitten with perfect black spots upon its back destroy a roll, his curiosity—being a cat—overtook him.

But where did they come from? He asked the Angel, not expecting a reply.

“I have collected the most mischievous, rebellious, and perfect kittens to be found on earth to help teach you how to be a true cat again. Since they were already the perfect cat, they did not need to spend much time on earth. Some spent no time there at all, but have come straight to the Bridge to teach you their lessons of joy.” The Angel said in response.

Samson wrapped a paw around the small newcomer’s body and pulled the kitten close. The kitten snuggled in deep and Samson groomed his tiny face. Thank you, thank you, for teaching us how to be true cats once again.

A tiny rumbling purr from the spotted kitten was his only response.

* * *

So when kittens are lost before they are born or soon after, when your tears want to come in response to your loss—just remember. The Rainbow Bridge reserves a space for the most special, the most mischievous, the most precious little ones to teach our prior feline loved ones how to be proper cats once again. These babies, gone before they are born or lost after you’ve spent countless nights bottle-feeding them, were already the perfect cat and the Rainbow Bridge had more need of them than you or I.
 
D

Dantes

Guest
#4
I have been waiting forever--ok, seems like FOREVER--to see you post that Jillybean had babies. Somehow, I had a feeling....

But now I've just spent the last 30 minutes bawling my eyes out. I am so sorry for Bean's little baby. The story was sweet but sad, and it reminded me of other little ones I've lost. I hope Jillybean is doing okay. And you too.

Reading this back, it's kinda all over the place. Hope the message sorta makes sense. Sorry. :(
 
#9
I have been waiting forever--ok, seems like FOREVER--to see you post that Jillybean had babies. Somehow, I had a feeling....

But now I've just spent the last 30 minutes bawling my eyes out. I am so sorry for Bean's little baby. The story was sweet but sad, and it reminded me of other little ones I've lost. I hope Jillybean is doing okay. And you too.

Reading this back, it's kinda all over the place. Hope the message sorta makes sense. Sorry. :(
It makes total sense, hon-- I would have gladly shared Bean's little one here as soon as he came! She does tend to carry longer than average-- ask poor Danny. I had him waiting on pins and needles for about 7 days for Rocco to come along and he was born via c-section. I hate saying not yet, not yet-- but USUALLY Mother Nature is always right.

NOT this time however-- poor sweet baby.
 

Kristin

Animal Communicator
#10
I read this on Facebook and it had be bawling right before school. I'm so sorry for your loss. The pain you must feel for the babies that don't make it is something I can't even imagine.