An emotional evening with a kitten who broke my heart

It’s been an emotional night. For those who don’t know me, I’m an animal lover through and through. I’ve had more pets in my life than I can count . . . and I become attached to them very quickly.

This afternoon, I walked to the bus stop to pick up Abby. I was early and decided to stop in the corner store for something to drink. I noticed a bunch of kids hovering around a stray kitten. I’m used to stray cats and kittens. I don’t think I’ve ever walked out of my house without seeing a stray cat or two. Last summer there was a litter of kittens born in my alley way . . . I’m sure there were plenty more that I never saw.

When I walked out of the store, I noticed that the kitten was extremely scrawny. On top of that, her hind legs were just torn to shreds. It looked as if something had attacked her. One leg was worse than the other. You could see bone and maggots were squiggling around what little flesh was there. My heart broke.

I called Kes and asked him to look up the number for the shelter we had used before . . . 2 years ago I found a kitten at the bus stop when I was on my way to a doctor’s appointment. She was an itty bitty thing that looked like she hadn’t eaten in a week and the pads of her paws were all bleeding. I called and cancelled my doctor’s appointment so that I could take her to the shelter.

Kes called the Animal Care and Control Team. They told him that they would hopefully be there in 1 ½ to 2 hours. There were several kids (Abby’s age to young teens) and one other adult hanging around. Everyone said they were waiting with the kitten. . . . But I didn’t trust anyone to really wait for hours, so I stayed as well.

Abby played with the other kids after she got off the bus. I talked with a couple of those waiting. One woman brought cat food and a small bowl of water. The kitten ate a bit, but didn’t drink much. I bought some milk and she seemed to like that better.

The people at the corner store gave us a box and the woman who brought the cat food went home to get a blanket. Kes walked up to the corner store and brought a towel with him to go in the box. The kitten seemed to like her new cozy spot. She curled up and slept.

Two hours passed. By this point, Kes had taken Abby home. I called him and asked him to call the shelter again. He did and they just said that they would be there as soon as they could.

Another hour passed. I called Kes again. I wanted to come home, but I was worried if we changed the location that it would put us at the end of the list. A half an hour later, he called me back and told me that we would keep our position on their list.

I took the numbers of the two who were still waiting for the kitten to be picked up. And I walked home with her.

I was afraid to take her inside. I have a child and other pets and I didn’t know what else was going on with her. So, I sat on my back step with the kitty. We gave her some more food and added another towel to her box because it was getting pretty chilly.

Another hour passed and I was starting to get nervous. We started talking about what we would do if they never showed up. My vet has walk-in hours on Saturdays, so I knew I could take her in the morning . . . but honestly, I can’t afford it right now. And certainly couldn’t leave her outside . . .

I ate dinner on my back step and continued to wait for Animal Control.

Finally, at 9:30 p.m. (5 hours after the initial phone call), they showed up. I brought the kitten to the front door and started to cry as I handed her over.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to her. I have a number to call to find out. I’ll make the call tomorrow. I’m worried that they might put her down. I told them that we would be interested in adopting her if they don’t.

I suppose I’ll find out tomorrow.


16 responses to this post.

  1. Oh, that poor kitten! It’s so easy to get attached! My family and I have seven cats right now! We have had JC for 15 years, and last year two strays showed up and we kept them. We thought they were boys; they weren’t. lol So, we have their kittens as well. lol I really didn’t think we would keep them all, but like I said it’s easy to get attached. 🙂 Between my Mom, my Sister and me we’ve come up with enough money to have them all fixed, so at least there’s no worry about having any more. 🙂 I hope that the shelter has good news for you tomorrow. 🙂


  2. This is so sad, Dayle. : ( I’m so proud of you for hanging in there to take care of the poor little thing!


  3. You’re a wonderful person. I’ve got a soft spot myself…as do my parents. I’ve only got one kitten myself…she’s 19 now. I didn’t feel right about having too many critters when we were in an apartment, and now that she’s a dignified senior citizen, I don’t want to stress her overly bringing in another one now. However…the ones I’ve managed to save have all ended up at my parents.,, so I know what you’re going through! (They’ve got 6 now…the most was 14, the fewest 3) You’ve done all you could for the poor wee thing. I’ll be pulling for her!


    • Thank you!

      Unfortunately, she was put to sleep this morning. I wonder a bit if they did it because it’s what was best for her or because it was the most cost-effective :/ ::Sigh::

      If I had the money and the space, my house would be overrun with critters! As it stands, I have a cat, a ferret, 2 turtles and a few fish . . . and we’re looking for another ferret (they really should have a playmate!).

      I’ve never had 14 cats at once though!


  4. So sad 😦 We never had cats because my mom was allergic to them, but I feel for animals that are suffering. Glad she isn’t suffering anymore but sorry they couldn’t help her. 😦


  5. Posted by Anne Katherine on September 18, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Well, at least she got to enjoy love from all the people bringing her things in the last hours of her life. That’s so so sad that she was put to sleep, but I do imagine that it happens more than we like to think about.
    Be proud that, thanks to you, she did get to be loved, if only for a short time.


  6. So, so sad. My heart just breaks for the poor little kitty. It’s sad that they had to put her to sleep, but like you said, at least she isn’t dying on the street. I think we all tell ourselves that to ease the pain, but the root of it just eats away at me. People have no idea what they are doing when they don’t get their pets spayed or neutered, and SO MANY animals are abused, neglected, just cast out into the street to await their fate. I wish we could control the pet population better, but everyone has to do their part.

    Dayle, you are such a warm-hearted, generous, loving person, and I personally thank you for doing what you could for the kitten. I know it wasn’t easy but you are amazing for doing it. I wish the story had a happier ending though. 😦


    • Thank you, Jen. You are so, so right about controlling the pet population! What pissed me off to no end was all of the people who stopped when we were standing outside of the corner store to say, “Oh yeah, I saw her in my yard yesterday.” or something similar. People just don’t care.

      Some other people were complaining about Animal Control taking so long (and I complained a bit too), but I said, “you know, as heartbreaking as this is for us to see, just think of how many animals they bring in like this EVERY DAY.”

      The guys who picked her up were super friendly and definitely animal people. I felt better about that. I was hoping they weren’t just people doing a job and they weren’t. They cared and that was a comfort.

      I’m telling you, Jen, I wish I was rich and not because I want a fancy house or car or a million cool possessions. I want to help save the world in so many ways. It really fucking sucks when the only thing keeping me from doing so is money! (excuse my language, sometimes I think it’s needed for emphasis :P)

      Like you and your beautiful pits! I’m sure you’d adopt every single one if you could!


  7. […] I spent several hours rescuing an injured kitty. Unfortunately, she had to be put down . . . I cannot stress enough to people how important it is to spay and neuter your pets. No living thing should suffer the way the poor kitten did! And please, please . . . if you see an injured animal, call animal control or SPCA! So many people came by when we were taking care of the kitten and told us that they saw her the day before outside their yards. Even if she wouldn’t have survived if she was picked up earlier, they could have saved her so much suffering! […]


  8. Ugh, that’s frustrating that so many people could have saved her a little sooner! I know she was put down, but like you said, she would have had less suffering. I’m glad the animal control peeps were nice. We found a stray dog at the beach and I was terrified of calling them. Not everyone that works in the care of animals SHOULD be working in that field!

    And I completely agree with you about wanting to be rich to take care of all the animals. I would adopt every pit at the shelter if I could. Some of them, sadly, are beyond saving (usually the ones from dog-fighting rings). :-*( But you would be amazed at how resilient pits are. Alex sees them when they come in and watches their progress, and some of them have come such a long way. I need to get cracking on my best-selling novel so I can buy a huge house and fill it with pit bulls! 🙂


    • I know exactly what you mean about people who should not be working with animals! I understand that people take jobs they don’t enjoy because they need the money ::cough:: Rite Aid ::cough::, but there are certain fields that should be restricted to people who truly love what they do and I consider anyone who works with kids and animals to be in that category!

      Yes! Get cracking on that novel!

      And *when* I win the lottery, I’ll share!


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