Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Kitten & the Butterfly


Yesterday I woke up determined to present a brighter outlook and shake off the recent depression that has ruined the last bit of my summer break.  Granted, it was already a pretty disappointing summer, because I wanted to fill it with fun & friends.  My friends and family were busy and I didn't get to have any fun, other than the conference I volunteered at and the 5k I ran.  That wasn't fun until it was over, actually.

The night before I had gone to bed and noticed that my sweet little kitten with nerve problems was just gazing at me and blinking, sitting in front of the food and water bowls.  I'd put her there so that she could be closer to her water, and be in the shade on relatively smooth concrete if she needed to drag herself to the monkey grass for a shady hiding place.  

The last few days, each morning she would poke her head out of the very tall and thick monkey grass and cry for me to come and get her out.  So I did that for her, and placed her gently in front of the dishes. I'd found a small low trough for her water so that she wouldn't have to struggle to get a drink.

A little history:  when the kittens were a couple of weeks old, my neighbors found them in someone else's backyard a couple of streets over.  Because I've been feeding the mother cat, they decided that they should go against Rosie's judgment and drag them over to my yard, against everybody's will but their own.  And then they proceeded to come over to my yard, going into the fenced in backyard without my permission, and rambling through my stuff (making a mess pretty often, knocking things down, pulling stuff out of boxes to poke at the kittens) several times a day, resulting in kittens that now run from every human and are too wild to be adopted.  I found out that they were doing it pretty often whenever I left my house.  When I had someone came to look at one of the kittens, they bragged about how they come over "all the time to catch the kittens".  Even though I've asked them not to.

Thanks, and will you NOW please mind your own business and stop trespassing? 

One of the kittens, the smallest and cutest, shook whenever those girls touched her. She couldn't walk on her toes, and used the entire first segment of her back legs to move, flat on the ground.  I'm sure it didn't help that the older culprit grabbed her, turned her on her back in her hand, and then shook her, saying something was wrong with her.  

Yeah? You think?!?  And do you think it's okay to treat a small living thing like an etch-a-sketch and shake it? Do you treat your toddler that way?

Enough about my anger with the neighbors.

The kitten progressively got worse, losing her ability to use her back legs (they developed scabby knees from being dragged), losing bladder and bowel control, and then her front legs started losing strength.  I brought her food and water and tried to keep her in the shade.  My dog tried to take care of her, gently nudging and licking her.  He wanted to go out very frequently to check on her.  

So, night before last she kept looking at me when I went in, and I felt so sad because she was so lonely looking, out there by herself.  Her mother and siblings were ignoring her, and had been for a few days.  

When I went to let my dog out, she was lying there, dead in the sun, on the edge of the carport. Her mother was meowing pitifully on the steps.  I think that she was trying to drag herself across the concrete and the heat killed her.  My dog was very confused and kept trying to nudge her awake.  

So I spent some time early yesterday afternoon digging a grave for her in my backyard, and crying so hard the whole time I couldn't tell the difference between my sweat and my tears.  I was hoping my neighbors all around couldn't hear me because I didn't want to explain how horrible I felt about my kitten having had such an unfair life and death.  

I kept hitting tree roots while I dug, so I finally just dug behind my dog, Terra's grave, and buried her there.  Quincy still keeps going out to look around the carport and in the monkey grass for the kitten.

Say what you will, but I never believed animals that are close to us just cease to exist when they die.  Most humans aren't better than animals, so why think that we are the only ones gifted with a soul? We aren't necessarily the deserving ones.  

I was thinking about the Rainbow Bridge story, and hoping that the kitten would have a chance now to be strong and happy, when I went to clean up the place where she died. There was an dark haloed outline of her on the concrete where she was lying, probably because of her body fluids and the heat.  I had to wash it away with the hose and I kept thinking of Poe's story "The Black Cat", in which there are similar reminders of a dead abused cat tormenting the killer throughout the story. I hoped that I wouldn't have to see a reminder of the kitten every day, and feel that there was more I could have done for her.

When I put the hose over by my small tomato plants to water them for a while, I turned back to go in the house, and there was a butterfly hovering and fluttering over the spot where the kitten had been.  It was a very small Monarch butterfly, obviously just a baby. I've only seen two butterflies this summer, and this one was the first in my own yard.  It fluttered for a little while at the edge of the carport, and then flew away.

Believe what you will, but I don't believe that everything is a random coincidence.  Some things, maybe, unimportant things, may be coincidence, but I think that things are arranged for a reason and we don’t have control over any of it.

Do you know what butterflies represent?  


Coincidence *might* be that the myth of Cupid and Psyche is my favorite.  It might have to do with my birthday, and an overly romantic nature.  (Personally,I find it amusing that Cupid was such a momma's boy that he had to get Aphrodite to take care of him while the burn on his shoulder from the lamp oil Psyche spilled on him, healed.)

Weren't the gods supposed to be immortal and invulnerable to humans? Either it's a plot hole or Cupid let down his guard. Maybe he's just smarting becausethe girl got to him and he wasn't supposed to fall for anyone. Love, what a lowly human emotion to succumb to, right?

In any case, seeing the tiny butterfly *there* of all places, helped me to feel a little better.  It's like she was hovering there for a pickup.

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