Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Normal, Then Not.

DSC_1860

 When they first moved in with us, nothing seemed out of the ordinary with Annabel, Rosalita, and Chip. They came to us with a touch of diarrhea -- but that's completely typical for kittens transitioning from liquids to solids. Things are always a little rocky during this stage of kittenhood.

Every time I entered their room, they raced to the cage door, climbed the bars, and screamed their baby cries.

"HOORAY! IT'S YOU! We've been waiting for YOU!" they sang until I opened the door, plucked them off, and put them in my arms.  It was always a warm welcome with this crew -- they were very good at making you feel loved.

Each meal they were served a plate of "kitten gruel" -- a mix of KMR (Kitten Milk Replacement) and wet food. They would eat a little on their own but didn't take in enough by themselves to fill their bellies, so they required a little hand-feeding by syringe to top things off.  They weren't gaining weight, but they weren't losing weight, which was good.

Their activity level was great -- they scampered and chased each other like kittens of that age should. They played with furry mice and mylar balls. They discovered the joy of scratching cardboard.  They made biscuits on their fuzzy blankets and each other.  They were a little wobbly at times, but I don't think that was due to weakness, rather, the absence of tails.

For those first few days, everything felt completely fine.  There were no worries -- we were just enjoying getting to know these three delights.

But come Monday, things started to shift. Their diarrhea got much worse. Their interest in food became noticeably less -- they would investigate what was served, but only took a bite or two, if that. I began feeding them all of their meals by syringe, but what was going in, just raced through their bodies and none of the calories seemed to be sticking.

 I made an appointment with the Foster Department for the next morning and gave everyone a round of Sub-Q fluids that night.

Annabel provided a fresh fecal sample on the blanket in the carrier once we arrived at the shelter Tuesday morning, which tested negative for parasites. We returned with probiotics, more fluids, a nutritional supplement, and a prescription food for GI issues.

We continued with the hand-feeding and fluids, but come Wednesday, everyone was dropping weight, losing energy, feeling frail, and sleeping much more than normal, so we made another appointment and returned to the shelter early Thursday. We came home with a new prescription food, a broad-spectrum dewormer, antibiotics, and instructions to continue with all of the supportive care we've been giving them.

So, we did all of that and worried and waited and hoped for things to get better, but they didn't. Annabel started slipping severely that afternoon. Her breathing was labored, her tiny 8-oz body was limp, so we raced to the shelter before Doc left for the day.  There was nothing to be done to save her, so we said our goodbyes.

Because of the symptoms, their age, and the rapid rate of her decline, it was suspected that Panleukopenia might have been the cause of her death, so she was tested for the virus, and an hour later I got a call confirming that she did have it.

Of course, we had been through all of this once before with Wylla's brother, so we knew what our course of action was: clean like crazy and hope the others don't have the virus too.

We put Chip and Rosalita into a carrier while we bleached their cage, removed their linens, toys, dishes, and litter box and replaced them with fresh ones.  Once everything was clean, we returned them to their cage, then bleached the floor of the room and all surrounding surfaces.

We fed them, gave them their meds and fluids, then called it a night, though technically, I think it was already morning.

Come Friday, Lita was much weaker, and it was clear by the speed of her decline that the virus had its grip on her.  That afternoon we took her to the shelter and said goodbye.

Chip actually seemed to have a little more energy on Friday, and things were looking up for him. With Panleuk, there usually are no ups and downs, just downs and downs, so any sign that things were going up could mean that he didn't have the virus, so I was feeling a little hopeful for him.

I watched him closely. Mostly he slept and would wake up on occasion to toddle over to the litter box, return to bed, then sit, blink a few times, then nap again.  He ate his lunch under protest and with clenched jaws, but I did manage to get some food in.  But as the day progressed he became weaker, struggled more,  and my hope faded.

Around 5:00 PM, I wrapped my favorite kitten blanket around him -- a pale yellow flannel from my own childhood with a print of white, bright-eyed kittens with bows covering it.   We had a little conversation and I let him know how special he was, how much he was loved, and how grateful I was to have met him and his sisters. When I was done talking, he let out the few dry sounds that sounded like weak "I'm hungry" cries, so I unwrapped him, set him down, and ran to get a can of kitten food.  I offered him a plate of gravy and he ate it on his own --- something I hadn't seen since Monday.  When he was through he walked, though a little wobbly, to the cage door,  over the edge, up my arm, and onto my shoulder.  In his weakened state, I could hardly believe he could manage such a feat.

I called to Craig, and together we marveled at this recent rally. I spent the evening cuddling Chip, then fed him again, gave him fluids, warmed his bed, changed the linens in his cage, scooped the box, and tucked him in at 1:00 AM.

We went to bed feeling hope-filled and had a peaceful night's sleep --- the best sleep I had all week.

I got up at 6:00 AM, opened the door to the kitten room and called his name, fully expecting to hear a bright kitten rustling, then racing to the cage door.

Nothing. Silence.

I walked over to the cage, pulled back the sheet I had wrapping the sides, and saw that dear little Chip had left us. His cage was undisturbed -- not a grain of litter moved in the box, no signs he got up in the night. Everything was as tidy as it was when I put him to bed.  I think he just went to sleep then drifted away peacefully.

As crushing as it was to find him gone, I am so grateful he gave me that last night.  My last memories of him on Earth are good ones.

Here's a video I took during his little "rally" at the end.  The photo above was taken right after I put him to bed on his last night.


We've spent the last week doing some very deep cleaning. The kitten room has been scoured, and we bagged up and took a load of contaminated kittten gear to the dump.  Though the kittens were in quarantine, traces of the virus could have been tracked out, so all floors have been scrubbed and bleached in our house.

We're not worried about the girls'  -- they are fully vaccinated and healthy.  Panleuk gets the vulnerable ones, like our Waddells, who were no longer receiving antibodies from mom's milk and too tiny for their first round of vaccines.

All of this has been a lot to process. It happened very fast -- we lost three kittens in less than 36 hours.  It had been a hard week leading up to that too, so I was feeling pretty raw, stressed, and sleep-deprived --- which isn't the best state to start wading through something like this.

Craig has been amazingly understanding and sweet. The girls, though I don't think they understand what happened, know something is askew and have been extra-loving and are always close by.

I'm still sorting through a lot of stuff in my head and figuring out what's to come, so I'm not holding myself to any blogging or social media schedule right now.  My plan, for now, is to just post when I feel like sharing.

I know this blog is normally a bright spot and escape for you. I'm sorry, especially during these really hard times that our country is going through,  that I can't offer that place for you right now.

I appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.  I also appreciate your love, support,  sweet notes, many comments, and kind words.

I know this is your loss too and we all have some grieving to do.  We'll get through this.

XOXO Laurie














114 comments:

  1. Fostering is hard. Mostly it is a good time of hard work. But every now and then, horrible. I am thankful for this blog, for all the kittens you have loved and placed. But mostly I am utterly in awe of how you handle the ugly side of fostering. How blessed is this universe because of you loving kittens? Very, very, very blessed. These orphans got to know true love and kindness. And no one can ask for more than that. You LOVED them and they knew it. You shared them with us so we could know them. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Laurie, your blog has no obligations to be a bright spot--it is because kittens are adorable. But kittens are also so fragile, and those of us who love our feline friends know this. Though we hate when things like this happen, none of us would ever berate you for your blog having sad content. Because sadness comes with the good.

    I am so sorry you had to live through all of that, but so glad those sweet little babies knew love and the BEST care available before they left the world. You do so much for all of the lost and unwanted kittens and cats in Tacoma--just look at all the money this blog has raised!

    To the dear little Waddells...may you waddle at the Rainbow Bridge in perfect health. You were loved in your too-short time on earth.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for all you do for these kittens. You are the embodiment of love. Grateful their last days were ones filled with love and tender care.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So, so sorry that all of you had to go through this and that the Waddells did not make it. We all know how hard it is to say goodbye, but it is so much harder when they are so tiny.

    Thank you for giving the Waddells such concentrated love. The love they received is so much more than some cats and kittens ever get, and they are lucky to have had you in their short lives.

    Hugs to all of you, and don't worry about the blog. Take care of yourselves first, and we'll all be here for you whenever you're ready.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for sharing. Our family has thought of you often.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My deepest condolences Laurie. I can not begin to imagine such a great loss. While difficult to read, I think it's important that the community hear the sad side of fostering along with the wonderful joys it brings. Caring for animals of any kind can be difficult at times, but it's especially hard I'd imagine when they are such wee ones. Each kitten that temporarily lives with you are the luckiest of kitties. Your love and dedication are great examples for all. I'm happy you have Craig, Bean and Wylla (and extended family too) to help you grieve. I am so very, very sorry for you all. Love and hugs from across the USA from our home to yours.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Much love to you Laurie, Craig, and girls! What heart break. You are so strong to continue to love and care for these wee ones. They knew the best love because of you all. Thank you for being you Laurie. - LB Florida

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh Laurie, I am so sad to read of your loss. I admit I was looking forward to seeing those Waddells blossom. I do like a Manx kitty. You are an amazing foster mom and I can just imagine how hard this has been for you.

    Take your time, know that you are loved and appreciated for all you do for the babies!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, dear Laurie - this blog is still a bright spot in spite of these stories. Because even though the outcome may not be sunshine and roses - the fact remains that there isn't a brighter, more pure expression of love than this. To care for such little ones - despite having had a rough week prior, putting so much time and energy and compassion and love into caring for them - that is indeed a very bright, warm spot. There's the quote that floats around - in times of crisis, look for the helpers. You and your family are just the type of helpers we look for.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm so grateful that those beautiful kittens were able to spend so much their short lives full of your love and care. Now it's time for your family to take care of each other. We'll be here whenever you are ready. Hugs and chin scritches to all.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for sharing. It is hard to lose them, but I'm glad you were there to help and love them.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes, your stories of raising kittens is a bright spot of the internet. But because I have sqeaked so many times these are the times I feel I can give back. You did your best with the Waddells and they could die knowing what it's like to be loved. If you are in need of a hug, here it goes: *hug*

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for all that you do for the kitties.

    ReplyDelete
  14. So very sorry for the loss of the Waddells. Have been through the same thing myself, and it is heartbreaking!!! Truly wonderful for the Waddells to have spent the time with you that they did. They were loved and knew it, I'm sure. (((Hugs)))

    ReplyDelete
  15. We are glad to know that those sweet babies had you for their last few days. hey knew a lot of love in their short lives.
    Our thoughts are with you. Take care of yourselves and cuddle Charlene and Wylla.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for sharing the story of these dear ones, and for all that you do to brighten our days.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sending love and support to all four of you. Thank you again for taking care of the little ones in their all too brief time. It is so good to know that they had your love and comfort.

    ReplyDelete
  18. There is nothing I can say that Meg (above) hasn't already said perfectly. Please, get some rest, dear friend.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Laurie,

    Thank you for sharing those last days with us, I've no doubt it was hard for you to write this.

    And while we do come here to see obscene levels of cuteness to brighten our days, sometimes Mother Nature has other cruel ideas...as I'm sure more than a few of us who have been down this road can attest.

    You did your absolute best with those darlings and I hope you can take a small level of comfort in knowing that in their all too brief time here the Waddells knew nothing but love, warmth, and full bellies.

    As for the blog, don't feel obligated to check in every day when you are still clearly hurting. Take all the time you need to heal and indulge in self-care. We're not going anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Poor wee babies. And poor you and Craig. I fostered senior cats with medical issues that made them unadoptable. It's heartbreaking to get attached and then have to say goodbye. But those kittens knew comfort, and fun, and love in their short lives. And that's down to you and all you do for the furbabies.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sending love to you Craig, and the girls. You gave the Waddells the best little lives they could have imagined. Thank you for that.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Big hugs - don't worry about us, we'll grieve with you and support you until you feel ready to get back to it, and if you don't, we're still here for you. You're a powerful force in the rescue world. <3 They knew love and kindess.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am so sorry for this heartbreak, Laurie. You gave those little Waddells so much love and kindness and care in their too-brief time here on earth. You are an amazing person to time & time again take on foster care of itty-bitties knowing that there is always a chance something like this will happen. Sending you prayers and love and so very much respect for everything you do.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Take as much time as you need, Laurie. You are loved.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh honey, you went above and beyond. If only all kitties could be so fortunate as to have such love and care in their final days.

    ReplyDelete
  26. My heart goes to you Laurie, you are such a wonderful warrior. Keep up the good work. I'm too sad right now.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Kittens are fragile, that is part of their charm, as they arch back hop in their tiny fierceness they touch our hearts. I am glad the big girls are OK. You were wise and experienced in the ways of the enemy you and the Waddells faced. There was nothing else to be done. But miss them.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thank you for your loving care of the Waddells, and for bearing witness to their passage. Thank you, too, for this beautiful post, which must have been hard to write. For what it's worth, I feel that even in the face of loss, you've provided a warm and comforting presence here. Bless you for what you've done for all the itty bitties. I wish you peace and healing.

    ReplyDelete
  29. We send all of you love and hugs and support. You gave them all the best love and care they could possibly have gotten. We are all sad that these little ones didn't make it, but we know that if anyone could have saved them, it would have been you. It just wasn't meant to be. Everyone loves y'all- yep, all y'all. We will look forward to the next lucky bunch that comes to your door. Hugs....

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dear Laurie, I can add nothing to the words others have said, other than to add my good thoughts for you, Craig, and the Girls. You all will emerge from this unspeakable pain. In the meantime, hang on to each other and spend time remembering the joys of this little crew. Please know that all of you are loved and supported in any way that I can.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Laurie,
    We appreciate you. We love what you do for the kitties. We grieve with you. And we want you to heal and be on the receiving end of much love. Wylla and Bean are there for you and Craig. Keep taking care of yourself and your family, we will pray for you and yours and if we need a bright spot we will look at all your other blog posts. Thank you for what you do! Sue and Ron

    ReplyDelete
  32. One day far from now you will come to the rainbow bridge. Chip lita and annabell will be waiting. Lita and annabell did not want to wait. Being kittens they didn't have much patience but chip said they had to wait for the sweet lady who made there sort lives comfortable and let them know that they were loved.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Laurie,
    Hugs over the internet aren't enough. I'm very sorry this happened and I can understand how devastated you must feel. Thank you for trying to help them and for sharing them with us. Our lives are richer for having known them if only for a little while.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Dear Laurie, my heart breaks for you. You do such a wonderful and important service for these kitties, and we all love you for it. Take time to heal.

    ReplyDelete
  35. So much sympathy and love for you right now. You did all you could, you gave them so much love. Panleuk is a horrible, nasty thing. Heal and recover with Craig, Wylla, and Bean's help.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm so sorry that you had to go through all of this, Laurie. Thank you for sharing the story of their last days - it's so clear that all 3 were so loved and tenderly cared for and never had to feel alone in their final days. I'm heart broken for you. Please know that we'll all be here whenever and for whatever you decided to post in the future. Your photos and stories of all the dear cats and kittens that pass through your life are treasured and having us waiting for happier stories to come is the easiest thing that we can do. Take your time, hugs to all of you.

    ReplyDelete
  37. My wife and I have talked about fostering kittens in the past, but we realized we can't do what you do. You say good-bye to all of the kittens who spend time in your home (with a very small handful of notable exceptions). Sometimes it's a pleasant good-bye as the kitten goes to a forever home, and sometimes it's like these.

    But Steph and I are both thankful that you are able to foster (and that you do foster), both because we know that every new litter of kittens brings you great joy and because we know you will share that joy with us (and many others).

    Through you, we have fallen in love with hundreds of kittens. And we thank you for that. We thank you for sharing the lives of these three, too. And we look forward to the next batch - when you (and they) are ready.

    We had to say good-bye to our beloved 18-year-old Feina a few weeks ago. Her older brother passed in January. Both times, your blog was a joy and a comfort to us as we mourned.

    So thank you for sticking with this. Both the blog and the fostering. Thank you for helping all of the kittens you have helped to the extent possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry for your losses, Eric. Beautifully written and 100% reflective of my feelings as well.

      Delete
  38. I am so sorry. I lost a littervof kittens to panleuk and Ive never fostered kittens again. It is devastating. I was so full of regrets and "what ifs" that it took me a long to recover. You did everything you could and those kittens were so fortunate to have you. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Tears. And amazement at your strength and love. It comforts me that these babies left the earth knowing they were loved and cared for. I will be thinking of you as you rest and recover. Rosemary from NYC

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thank you for the love, patience and hard work you give to these furry little lives. I am so sorry that you lost these 3. I am happy to know that they received such love and adoration in their short lives.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Dear Laurie,

    Thank you for your commitment to the kittens, through everything. I cried with you and for your while reading this sad post. My heart is with you, Craig, Bean, and Wylla. Sending you so much love.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Bless you and Craig both for the love and care you give your little kitten families. And thank you for sharing the story. It is sad but I'm a cat loving reader who would rather know the ups and downs and follow along than be shielded too much. You don't owe us only the fun stuff, I think we all appreciate being included on the journey.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Laurie, it must have been incredibly difficult to write about what happened, so thank you for explaining. Poor little mites. They had love and comfort and warmth for as long as they needed it, and a peaceful end. You did that for them. Doing a good thing shouldn't hurt so much. Condolences to you and Craig, and to the shelter staff who share your sorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I know we all love to visit with you during the happy times but life's not always so kind and it's good of you to share such sadness with us too. I feel so sorry about this lovely little litter of kittens - I said it before and I'll say it again, they couldn't have been in better hands.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Oh, Laurie. You, Craig, and the girls go above and beyond for the kittens of the world day after day, year after year. It feels so unfair that you should have to experience these terrible losses.

    I am so sorry for your loss and so grateful for everything you do.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Big hug, Laurie. Thank you for sharing your story. I just last weekend attended an orientation to be a kitten foster, and the panleuk discussion was so frightening. Rare, but lethal, indeed.
    You gave these 3 kittens so much care and love! They left this world in the comfort that you provided.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thank you Laurie and Craig for working so hard to ensure the kittens have the best possible beginning, despite their various beginnings. I am not able to say much to add to this comment.

    My heart is bruised for the pain you have gone through this last time with the wacky Wadells. They could not have had a better though too short time here.

    I see that Charlene and Wylla are 'on duty' as your personal counselors. That makes me feel better for you. Please follow your heart's schedule, we have the archives and the recent alumni updates to revisit.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Oh, Laurie, I'm so sorry. I wish there was some comfort that I could offer you. All I can say is that these wee ones knew what it was to be safe and warm and full and loved, thanks to you. You touch the lives of so many, feline and human alike. Thank you for caring for these babies. And thank you for sharing the bittersweet story of Chip's farewell. Please let us know if there's anything we can do for you. Much love to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Somehow I can see Anabelle's ruffled post-bath fur and smize eyes looking down at us. Boy did she make an imprint in my heart!

    Someone said to me the other day - "I do not understand how people can put human brutality over animal brutality. They are just animals for god's sake"

    And I say to them - 'Do not pity the dead, rather, pity the living that live without love (and compassion) in their hearts.' (partly Albus Dumbledore)

    What you and Craig do (& Bean and Wylla of course!) is give hope to a world that sometimes can be full of hardened hearts. I cannot tell you how many times I had a tough day, came home and read the blog or looked at a IG picture and my lips curled up w squeeeee.

    Even during the hardest times of fostering it is the love that you have give(n) them - no matter how long - is what matters.

    We love you Bean, Wylla, Craig & Laurie!

    ReplyDelete
  50. It seems so much harder when little ones fade like this. I lost a litter of 5 over 3 days just like this earlier this year and it is still a bit haunting. I tell myself that these little souls don't know how long a life is supposed to be. For them, their whole lives were filled with love. And they know as your Wadells did, that their lives, however short, were the best they could have been with your family.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Even before you posted this, I knew you did absolutely everything possible. And more. I'm heartbroken for the loss of these three special kittens (are there any other kind?), and I'm heartbroken because you are. Sending you much much love. - Tanya

    ReplyDelete
  52. I am truly, deeply sorry. I can't thank you enough for the hard work you do to care for these tiny beings, Laurie. Most often, you and we can immediately see the wonderful outcomes from your loving care. And, sometimes, it's just awful and hard and heartbreaking, just like now. Thank you for sharing this painful story, even as you are still working through it yourself. I am in tears, but it is as much for you and your pain as it is for that of the Waddells (and my own, more remotely). You are a special person and I am truly grateful for your generosity, love, and labor for foster kittens throughout the years. Please get all the snuggles you need from your family and friends, cats included, and take all the time you need. Just know that we love you, and we appreciate all that you do. xo

    ReplyDelete
  53. I am so very very sorry. You did everything you could for those sweet little babies. Know that everyone here in IBKC Land wants to hug you and love you and support you (and Craig and Charlene and Wylla) in anything you do.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Oh, goodness. My heart aches for you and for the kittens. You did a wonderful job! Don't worry about us, no blog can be happy all the time. I'm sure we're all glad we can be here for you during the bad times just as we help you celebrate the good. Please take care of yourself. Sending love from MN,

    K from MN

    ReplyDelete
  55. Oh how awful! This is also a side of fostering kittens, and I'm glad you shared the reality of it. Sending all my best wishes from Ohio!

    ReplyDelete
  56. We come to love all these tiny ones through your love for them, and it's very hard to lose something loved. "But nothing loved is ever lost or perished." Madeleine L'engle.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Laurie, I don't know how you do what you do, but I'm just so grateful for people like you and Craig (and your girlsies). Hugs and love.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing the sad, sad story so we can all say good-bye in our own way. We're with you in sickness and in health. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Having only read your posts, I was already falling for the Waddells. How much harder it must have been for you, Laurie, to watch them fade after cuddling and hand-feeding them.

    I'm so sorry for this big loss. My kitties and I send comforting purrs and thoughts to you and Craig. I'm glad, though not surprised, to hear Charlene and Wylla are being their sweet selves during this sad time.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Please don't ever worry about not providing bright spots, Laurie. You and Craig have opened your hearts to so many souls, feline and human, and we're intensely grateful for the generosity and loving care with which you and your husband give of yourselves so endlessly. Thank you for everything you do. I'm glad the girls have been extra-sensitive but am unsurprised. Like you, they're amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Laurie,
    Thank you so much for posting this. I am so very sorry. Sending my love.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Oh Laurie. Thank you for everything you do. All the love. All the hugs. You are the best. They were so, so loved in their time with you. You are incredible. To be loving in times of pain. These little lives were truly a gift and we are so lucky and thankful you could share them with us. You have given so so much to this community. And you give every ounce of your heart and compassion to the kittens you foster. It's heartbreaking to lose them but for us, it's also heartbreaking to know how deeply it affects you. You are amazing. You of course did everything you could. I know it doesn't really help but you have so many people (and kitties) who love you and would do anything to support you. I hate the thought of you being hurt. You are the best, most selfless person ever. All the love, every last ounce. Thank you for sharing their story. ❤❤❤❤❤

    ReplyDelete
  63. I can't think of what else to say but thank you. Thank you for doing the hard job of fostering kittens. I work in an animal shelter so I know the ups and downs that come with it but I also want to say thank you also sharing your experiences, all of them, the highs and the lows. It must be taxing at times to not only have the roller coaster of emotions but to have to put them out there on view. I have followed your blog for years, even before I worked for an animal shelter and it's one of my favorites. I wish you comfort and peace in this time of loss and for a refreshing of your spirit to carry on when you are ready.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Thank you so much for taking care of these sweet babies while they were on earth. I can't imagine a more loving and hardworking foster mom than you.

    ReplyDelete
  65. You take care of yourself and your family. We are here loving you. You gave those dear kittens as much love as possible, and the best chance that they could have. You are a wonderful person.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Please never worry about the need to provide a bright spot, Laurie. Every single thing about the work you do, the education you provide, and the example you set of dedication to the care of kittens in toto is a bright spot in my life, as I'm sure it is to countless others. Although I do not share in your responsibilities to the kitties, I do, most sincerely, share in your grief though inevitably not at the deeply felt level that you do.

    I send my most sincere condolences to you, Craig, Bean, and Wylla, and wish you the strength and comfort you need to move forward—on your own time. What you owe to yourself right now is infinitely more important than anything you might imagine you owe to us.

    Thank you for every single thing you do.

    ReplyDelete
  67. In tears for you. Sending you {{((cyberhugs))}} and healing vibes.

    You are right. Your blog and your kittens are a bright spot in my life. Thank you for all you do for us (your faithful readers) and for the kittens of the world.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I think all who follow this blog know that it can't always be cheerful. I'm glad you share both the ups and downs. Take care and blog when you feel up to it and whatever you need to. We are here for you.

    ReplyDelete
  69. You might feel like you're letting us down by posting this during hard times, but, sometimes, things like this are just what we need.

    Many of us, whether directly or indirectly, have or know someone who has been impacted by the storms, the fires, the earthquakes. And though we try to be strong, for them and others, there's only so much we can do.

    Something like this, so sad, but on a relatively smaller scale, can give us release. It allows us to cry, to get things out, and relax our pent up emotions.

    I know I've been having a tough time, between issues of my own and worry about my friends in Florida, and there's just a feeling of relief, crying over this, when I haven't allowed myself to cry over everything else.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Blessings on you and your family, Laurie, for surely you were a blessing to these three tiny kittens - giving each of them a life filled with love, play and joy. Please follow your heart as to how you will continue this blog, and know that we are all here for you, no matter what you choose. For now, please be kind to yourself and let Craig and the girls help heal your broken heart. Love to you!

    ReplyDelete
  71. I'm so sorry. This is heartbreaking. Maybe it's not a comfort right now, but please remember all of those kittens you've helped, including these little ones. You try, you act, and that's all one can do and a lot more than most even try. Sending my love, May

    ReplyDelete
  72. So sorry to hear that...
    I felt that too, when they looked will be alright but actually loosing them next morning.
    Sending my love for you Laurie, for the girls, and for the though Craig.

    You are, all, loved :)

    ReplyDelete
  73. Laurie-thank you for all you do for the itty bitties. From reading your blog for a few years now, I appreciate the heart & soul you put into fostering little ones like the Waddells. I'm glad they knew your & Craig's love & devotion for their short time. Take care of yourself, let Wylla & Bean love on you, & when you're ready, we will be here. {{{hugs}}} from Texas

    ReplyDelete
  74. Love & fuzzy hugs to you Laurie. Thank you for all the love you & Craig give to the kitties. This blog has been a bright spot in my day for the last 8 years. It's always hard to see the sad time, but I hope you know how much those of us who follow along with the IBKC are sending you good thoughts and prayers. Thank you for loving those little Waddells for the time they had.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Your strength is amazing. Thank you for sharing their last moments with us. While it is a sad story, knowing how much love and compassion they had in their little lives is a bright (although tearful) point in my day. What you do is a gift to us all - there are no expectations. You are the best, and we are here when you are ready. Looking forward to everything you want to share.

    ReplyDelete
  76. you poor, poor things, so heartbreaking. Know you are loved and we are thinking of you.

    ReplyDelete
  77. I'm so sad for you ! It sounds tough ! I , and everybody else , I guess , are just happy for what you did for theese kittens . And I hope that the time ahead will be full of love for you all . Even though I check your blog some times every day , I won't expect posts from you in the days and weeks to come . Best of luck !

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hugs and tears for you, Laurie. You're a blessing to your fosters and your girls and to your readers. I admire your strength in sharing the story. So glad you had that special time with Chip. Hoping your heart heals.

    ReplyDelete
  79. I'm so sorry those poor little babies came to you with that awful virus. Thank you for every last thing you did for them. Sometimes everything we can do cannot overcome the things that are outside our control. Thank you for trying and trying and trying. Sending good thoughts to you as you recover from the aftermath of the virus and loss of its victims.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Ugh. Panleuk. That's what I was afraid of. :( Love and light to you and Craig and the girls, and blog when you can. There are other places on the Internet where we can find that kind of thing, so don't stress about it.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Glad they got love their last few days of life. Rest your heart up...we'll be patiently waiting for your posts only after you're up to it. Gail

    ReplyDelete
  82. Thank you for sharing your sad story; it was a brave thing to do and left me in tears. And thank you for all the care and concern you give the kittens--would that we all had just a fraction of your generosity and kindness. Hugs....

    ReplyDelete
  83. Like everyone else, I am thanking you, too, for this information. This reminds us that your work with these precious kittens is hard, far harder than it looks, even when they are healthy. Those kittens are lucky to have had your love for the time they were on Earth.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Laurie, Thank you for all you do and have done for kitties and for us. Passing on the joy of little ones growing under our collective eyes, and the terrible sadness when it all fails to work out. Thank you so much for your love and kindness.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Dear Laurie, thank you for this very touching post. Of course I cried, because all the kittens you foster and your family are dear to my heart.
    Your blog and this community are a bright spot no matter what, even when we are all crying. Because all the people we meet here are loving people.
    I'm so glad the girls are doing ok. Eventually you'll be ok as well, I hope. Take your time, don't rush.
    Thank you for giving so much love to these little kittens who come in your care, even when their lives are short, they are loved and cuddled. This means the world.
    Sending lots of love.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Their lives have been much too short but thanks to you they've been happy and they've gone peacefully

    ReplyDelete
  87. I am so very, very sorry. MUCH love from us and our cats, to you and yours. Thank you for all you do.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Bless you, you are so wonderful and an example for us. Thank you !

    I am so sorry you had to go through all of this.

    ReplyDelete
  89. It is so hard when a
    Ll your love, effort, and struggle doesn't work in the long run. But in the short run you and your husband made life sweet for those three. You know that each kitten matters. And those of us who gratefully read your stories and enjoy your pictures are thankful for your love everyday.

    ReplyDelete
  90. As others noted, Meg said it perfectly. My heart aches for you. Please rest and know that as you brighten our days, we hope to brighten yours.

    Peggy

    ReplyDelete
  91. Thank you for helping us mourn, and remember, these dear wee Waddells.

    ReplyDelete
  92. So good to hear from you - take whatever time you need to feel this loss and come to terms with it. We'll all be here when you feel up to coming back.

    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  93. Dear Laurie, you owe us no obligation and no apology for taking time away from blogging! You've done amazingly well over the years raising healthy, happy, beautifully socialized kittens, with remarkably few losses. The Waddells knew such love in their brief time with you,and Chip's little rally and peaceful slipping away just show how much your love was returned, and how he (and his sisters before him) trusted you to do the best for them. He could move on in love and warmth, and isn't that what we all want when our time comes?

    Mow is the time for you to take care of you, though. You and Craig -- and the girls, to a lesser extent -- have to do your own healing. I think I can safely say that we, your readers, are far more concerned that you recover from this sad loss than that you try to entertain us. Any concern about this being a bad time for the country really doesn't matter; this is a genuine loss, an unavoidable part of life, and we grieve with you.

    Take care of yourself and the rest of your family, and we'll still be here when you're ready to be a bright spot in our lives again!

    Laura in Tampa

    ReplyDelete
  94. What an utterly heart breaking series of events. I'm so sorry that the poor Waddells had such a rough go but I know you did your very best and I am sure that you gave them the best love and experiences for their short lives.

    Thank you for all the kindness you put into the world; please take all the time you need to give yourself that same kindness. :(

    ReplyDelete
  95. Hugs to you Laurie for your love and care for these little kittybitties. This is a sadness so profound. My heart is crying for you and for the little wee ones.

    My heart is crying.

    ReplyDelete
  96. I'm sorry, so sorry for you and the kittens. Your post got me googling panluke and perhaps any good to come from this will be more awareness of this virus. Couldn't all kittens coming into the shelter be tested immediately, even at the risk of false positives? Is their young age a factor with the testing? Perhaps, when you're feeling better you could help educate us? Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Considering the number of cases of panleuk that pass through the shelter each year, we usually see just a few each kitten season,I don't think it's really practical to test everyone-- especially given the numbers of cats and kittens that pass through our shelter's doors. Also, recent vaccines can create false positives, and all kittens four weeks and older are vaccinated upon intake.

      Delete
  97. Laurie, I was introduced to your blog by Hollis, namesake of the Hollis girls. I love it and visit every day to be uplifted from the my everyday travails. I'm not normally a touchy-feely person but I tear up as I read this post. Please hang in there and know that everything you've done for your kittens has so much more impact than you can ever imagine. We are all rooting for you.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Bless you, Laurie & Craig. You are angels on earth to all of the fragile, innocent and incredibly sweet wee ones that are lucky enough to be in your care. Cuddle your girls and take the time you need to recover from this loss.

    ReplyDelete
  99. I feel your exhaustion Laurie and even though it will pass, it lingers. Take your time to really recover. You did what you could, you got lots of love in return - all is well, sad, but you'll be OK.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Laurie, I am so very sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Oh my goodness. You have been under staggering weight. Much, much love to you, and many hugs. Thank you for all the bright spots in our days -- you are a soldier of peace and hope and love. Peace be with you.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Sending huge condolences and purrs from my girls Smudge and Cinder, and also sent a prayer to my just recently departed dear little Peanut (20 years old) to look them up and show them the ropes. Please be kind to yourself through all of this, hopefully the pain will subside soon and the patter of new little paws in the house will brighten your days again.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Gosh, that is so sad. As a fellow pet lover I can't imagine losing three little friends in such a short amount of time. I am sorry that your family has experienced this tremendous loss. I was at the Tacoma Humane Society on Saturday and was shocked to find that just about every kitty and dog in there had been adopted that day. So, thanks to you and all the other fosters out there for all your hard work. Take care and peace be with you and your family :)

    ReplyDelete
  104. I'm so sorry you've had to go through this heartbreak. Poor babies, poor family. :o(

    ReplyDelete
  105. I feel so bad for you. I don't usually post here, although I follow your blog, but feel compelled to comment. Poor little Annabel, Rosalita and Chip.

    But they were loved. And you have to, somehow, go on.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Oh, Laurie, I am so so sorry. You will always have three tiny angels watching out for you with great love.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Oh Laurie, I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I can only imagine how painful and heartbreaking it must have been to see these little lives cut short. Sending many virtual hugs your way...

    ReplyDelete
  108. Oh, I am so sorry you had to go through all that. Those poor little babies and poor you. How heartbreaking that must have been. All the hugs and love right now. Take your time and grieve and come back when you're ready. We'll all be here, but don't worry about us. We'll wait as long as you need us to. *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  109. Oh Laurie I'm so sorry for the loss of those three special, precious little kittens. My heart goes out to you and Craig as you ( and all of us on this blog ) greave for these babies, but take comfort in knowing that they knew unconditional love during there short lives and are now in a safe place waiting for you were all they know is joy and kitten happiness. Don't worry about us on the blog take your time heal and we'll be here when you're ready.
    Prayrs and support from Texas.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Hi Laurie, Charlene, Wylla, and Craig! Thank you so much for your work and your Instagram posts! I've lost a kitty too. I know you will feel better with time, I did, but it takes awhile. Please know we all want you to keep yourself well and let us know what we can do to help!

    ReplyDelete

Linkwithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin