With each passing day, it becomes more and more obvious that Loki’s days are numbered. Our kitten with the neurological problems falls more often than not, has trouble focusing his eyes and must be cleaned after frequent, aborted trips to the litter box.

Amy’s neck is scratched because he caught a claw in her skin while flailing with his front legs. A few days ago, he ripped open my lip when a seizure hit while I held him. He doesn’t mean it. He doesn’t even know he’s doing it.

On rare, lucid moments he will lay quietly in my arms, purring and looking as peaceful as any normal kitten. But those moments are fewer and far between. I may be a photographer but I can’t bring myself to take his picture. Not in his condition. It doesn’t seem right.

What is it about pets that pull so strongly at our heartstrings? How can they trigger a compassionate trait that no human companion can find?

I’ve long admired Amy’s ability to deal with such things. She used to volunteer in hospitals, caring for the sick and dying. I watched her care for her mother in the final days and marveled at her compassion and stamina. I can’t do it. I have limits. Watching the little black kitten stumble and fall and lay on the floor, twitching in seizure-induced spasms becomes too much. I too often have to leave the room and find a quiet place to cry alone.

Some days I just want to scream at the walls and ask “why?” This little kitten never hurt a living thing. Why take him before he has a chance to live a full and enjoyable life?

No, life isn’t fair.

Maybe fairness was never part of God’s master plan.

But knowing that doesn’t ease the pain or stop the tears.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. On March 13, 1980, my step-daughter got into a cab at 1 AM to come home after a party.. She never made it..
    Stephanie was 19 years old,
    very beautiful, and the cab
    driver decided to rape her.. When she resisted, he
    beat her to death..

    On September 2, 1982, my brother Arthur was murdered
    by two robbers who wanted to steal his tractor-trailer and its load of expensive electronics..

    For about a year or two I indulged myself in occasional fantasies of revenge, but my Spiritual Advisor told me that this was a dubious luxury for the strongest of men, but absolutely deadly for someone like me.. He said that I had obligations to others in my spiritual group, and that I was making myself unfit for God’s Work..
    He was right, and I gave it up.. Every day, I try to find my Higher Power’s purpose for me for that one day, and do only that.
    Of course, I still wonder sometimes as to what the @#$%&*> God is doing, but
    I don’t get all screwed up over it as I did in the past.. It’s tough sometimes, really tough, but I’ll trust Him to make
    all things right in the end..

  2. You have my deepest sympathy. What you are going thru is heartbreaking. One of my German Shepherds had an inoperable brain tumor and I bought him home to die after a heroic effort to save him by my vet. I have also had two cats in my life with uncurable diseases. As long as they live you can give them some measure of comfort and quality of life. It is your last gift to them. Bless you and your wife for your compassion.

  3. Doug
    I can relate to your story more than you’ll know.
    We live in the country and because of the callous ways of people we find strays dumped out here alot. We do our best to rescue as many as we can and send them to a no-kill shelter that adopts them out to “older” people and shutins.
    However, sometimes we are able to bring the critters into our home, where they become a family member.
    Here’s the story of one of the best named Tuffy”. He was a little ball of black “hiss” and “spit” that the mama cat came prancing over to our house with one day when “Tuf” was just a kitten. We let the cats roam our property because that was all they knew and they were not fond of being cooped up in the house (tried that one cold winter). When Tuffy at the age of 6 months had a bad run in with the Coyotes, we brought him into our home. He was the best “dog” we ever had, he would come when you called and always had something to “say”. In our home if the pet earns the title “Stupid” cat, dog whatever, that is a title of honor. Tuff was one of a kind, the prettiest black cat you’ve ever seen. Tuffy developed FIPS and left us far to soon, however the lessons that “Stupid” cat taught me will remain with me for the rest of my life. One of those lessons was unconditional Love. I’m certain that your kitten taught you lessons also and I can tell that “Loki” was a good influence on your life. You are truely Blessed for having a “Heart”. Thank You for your kindness to the critters. Life isn’t fair because the good ones always seem to go first.

  4. This was sent to me when my 6 yr. old dalmation was dieing from seizures. I hope it helps you as it helped me.

    A Pet’s Prayer
    By Beth Harris

    Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

    Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I would lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

    Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

    When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for now I am a domesticated animal, no longer used to the bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice & snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshiper.

    Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I shall not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life should your life be in danger.

    And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather, hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest – and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.

  5. I’m so very sorry about Loki. Doug, as a former political operative myself I’ve really appreciated the uncommon honesty of your political commentary and now I understand why. Anyone with such depth of feeling and compassion for a kitten such as Loki has a huge heart and instinctive grasp of what truly matters in life. I wanted to bawl when I read your rant about Loki, and hugged my two rescue kitties closely. I know how deeply we grieved when we lost our elderly pusses. May Loki pass easily and peacefully when the time comes. I know you and Amy will pass along the love you shared with Loki with more kittens in due time. Thank you for your humanity and kindness.

  6. Doug;
    On a level where we do not operate, Loki knows what you are doing for him and appreciates it. Living with a cat in this way is an honor.
    I just lost the cat I have loved the most in life, two days ago. I feel cheated and outraged. There is no reason, let alone fairness in all of this, but I have had word that she is safe and healthy in the next realm. Loki will be safe there too. He will let you know at the right time. Until then, I send you good energy to bear this.
    Take care,
    Michele

  7. As one who has tended to a number of sick kittens brought home from shelters, know that I share your pain at Loki’s condition.

    In life, though we may struggle against knowing the truth, there are things we can change, and things we cannot. You are doing all that is humanly (and humanely) possible for your furry friend, and I know that Loki appreciates all the love that you are sharing. The pain will ebb and flow, but the pure goodness of your love makes the world a richer place for all, from ailing kittens to misguided residents at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Have courage, and remember that caring for another with all your heart is what keeps ‘humane’a part of “human being”.

    My feline friends and I send you and Loki gentle, healing, peaceful prayers.

    The Wiz

  8. We are born and we die. What we leave behind is important to many who recognize that we are not going to live in some shangri la, in some heaven or some hell.

    We are born, we live and then we die. When we die, we are a nothing.

    So, the goal is to leave something of value behind, in order to think our lives lived were not just a fling, not just a yearning for an eternal life somewhere in a mythological place where we may live forever, doing nothing but sitting somewhere watching the condemned in hell being charred to blackened corpses as a punishment for their “sins”

    Some of them in that hell, being charred and burnt are more desirable comrades than those who claim to be “saved” as they watch in their only recreation in their heavenely bliss, others, some even members of the own family, die in some mythological lake of fire.

    An animal dies. A human being dies. It is the way of nature and we grieve and cry over their death and their suffering.

    They die every day in my attic which becomes infested with mice over the cold and long winter. They were only seeking shelter and warmth. But, they die because they may chew up vital resources to my own survival.

    Nature may be cruel, but it has it’s own survival laws.

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