I was looking out of my kitchen window and saw a white plastic bag in my garden. “I’ll have to go and get that,I don’t like rubbish in the garden”.
So I took my compost bowl which was full and went out. Strangely, I couldn’t find the bag. “Must be seeing things”. As I turned to go back I heard a faint meow. I turned and couldn’t believe what I saw. It was a kitten in very bad shape; just a bag of bones with dull white fur and its face was a mass of inflammation on ears, nose, eyes. It was starving.
“You poor little thing”. Quickly I ran inside and grabbed a coconut I’d chopped in half. I scraped out the soft coconut and the kitten started wolfing it down. For about two weeks I put out coconut and other scraps for it.
One day I came out and there was the kitten waiting for me. “Meow, meow”. So I began feeding it morning, noon and night. My friend who is staying with me also fed it meat and sausage and sour cream and soup and bread and keffir. The kitten blossomed: the inflammation subsided, its fur became soft and I could pat and carry it. It liked to be carried like a handbag then I would turn it towards me and talk to it. Very tame and used to people.
It started running around behind and in front of me, very cute. I still didn’t know if it was a boy or girl and it behaved strangely. It didn’t play and it had a cutely weird face. It loved sitting in the sun very quietly. I called it KitKat.
A few more weeks passed. We talked to each other and spent time in the garden and had lots of pats and cuddles. The weather started changing, winter was coming. By this time I was convinced KitKat was a little female. She was putting on some weight and looked odd, waddling a bit. I worried that she was pregnant.
I didn’t want litters of kittens in the coming seasons and couldn’t afford to have her spayed. Sadly, I realised I might have to give her to the pound to rehome. She was such a sweet kitten I hoped she would go to a good home after being spayed and aborted.
With a heavy heart and some tears I got out the cat carrier and drove to the pound. They were very nice and explained that after spaying they would attempt to rehome her as she had a good nature. I filled out the forms and asked how much to spay her? $208. That includes microchipping and vaccinations and registration. I knew that was a good deal but my budget didn’t have that $200.
I said goodbye to KitKat and walked back to the car fighting back tears. Realising I’d left the cat carrier there I turned back to get it and thought, “I can’t do this. I will get her spayed and find the money somewhere. I’ll use the car registration money I have saved up”.
Kindly, the staff put her back in the carrier, and directed me to their vet in Melton. I drove there and made the appointment for the following Monday, just two days away. I felt very happy driving home and making plans to bring KitKat into my home and part of the household. On the weekend the weather was warm and sunny. KitKat sat in the sun and rolled on the warm brick patio. She looked very happy and I was very happy. On Monday morning I drove her to the vet and filled out more forms.
The vet is a lovely young lady and said she would ring me after her initial consultation if there were any problems, otherwise pick her up at four o’clock. So I drove home and did some housework. Suddenly there was a phone call. It was the vet. She sounded apologetic and a bit sad. She told me that KitKat was not a kitten of under one year as I thought. Rather, she was 10 or 11 years old and not in good shape.
“She has cancer of the ears and nose, problems with her eyes, she has hardly any teeth and those she has are rotten and she may have internal problems. Spaying is the least concern”. I tried not to cry as I realised all the implications. I was shaking with grief. The vet sounded so sad.
Slowly I asked if euthanasia might be an option. Relieved, she said, “I was hoping you would bring that up. It would be the kindest thing if you don’t have about $800 to fix everything. Even then her lifespan may not be long”.
And so I arranged for this. I drove back to Melton straight away. All my hopes for a happy future and life for KitKat had come to nought. I tried not to cry. Already I was missing her. At the vet’s they had put her on a soft blanket with a hot water bottle underneath. She was sleeping like a little old lady. “Hello, my little darling”. KitKat opened her eyes and meowed. I began to pat her and talk and rub behind her ears. She purred and purred and kneaded her paws in the soft warmth. Soon it was time and she died in my arms. I started to cry. The young vet was so compassionate and comforting. And so my happy time with KitKat ended.
We had a golden autumn together, before we were too sick and old. I won’t forget you, dear little KitKat.
Thank you to Veronika for sending this in.