This morning when I went to check on the foster kittens currently residing in our bathroom, one of them was dying.
This isn’t the first foster kitten I’ve had die, and I know it won’t be the last – when you take on the fragile ones, you have to go into it knowing that not every little one will make it. But it is hard. Every single time. Because I second guess myself. I question everything I have done. What did I miss? What was the magic bullet that, if I’d only seen it in time, would have saved them?
Sometimes it’s because they’ve been sick (there are horrible things that wee little kittens can get, and there is only so much modern science can do) and sometimes it’s because they were too compromised before they ever came into our hands, and their little bodies just didn’t have the strength, no matter how much care and medicine we provided. And those deaths are hard, even though I knew the reason, because my goal in fostering is to save them, not to lose them.
But this little one – this was one of the ones that are the hardest. Because there weren’t any signs. Just…alive one night and dying the next morning.
There are so many things that can go wrong during development, and I know, logically I know, that especially this time of year, when the momma cats are on their third litters and their bodies just aren’t capable of giving those poor babies everything they need anymore, that sometimes those little bodies just aren’t capable of making it anyway.
But logic doesn’t matter when you’re holding a tiny, frail body in your hands, watching them die, doing everything you can, knowing that it won’t matter, but doing it anyway because maybe, just maybe, this time it might be different. Just this once.
‘Tis the season for Holidailies