Saturday, March 12, 2005

A dog in the night

Well it was what I’d been dreading since the moment Pia said Mrs Pilon had a kitten for us.

There were noises about 4 o’clock in the morning, and then a sudden crash and hiss and lots of mother-cat yelling-noises, and both Pia and I raced out of our rooms to get the door unlocked as quickly as we could, but we were too late. A big black dog had leaped up over a metre onto the verandah and taken Xena, and she was gone.

Pia found her underneath the tree outside – between the two of us and the mother cat we’d frightened the dog into dropping her, but she was hurt badly and at first we thought she was dead. Then it turns out it was worse than that – she was hurt but still breathing, and we had to figure out what to do.

I was a total mess, and Pia was almost as shaken as I was, but we got her up to the verandah and tried to see what could be done. It seemed that she only had one deep cut on her head, and because she was blinking and moving a bit we hoped it might not have been that bad – just shock. We cleaned her up as best as we could, and wrapped her up and put her with her mum in the hope that we could take her to the vet as soon as they opened in the morning. But by the time it got light we could see that her neck wouldn’t support her head, and we knew there was nothing that could be done for her – except to put her out of her misery.

Neither of us could face doing it, and neither could Mrs Andrew (our neighbour), but eventually Cornie (her son) was brave enough to kill her quickly, and bury her in the backyard for us, while I stayed on the verandah, bawling my eyes out and feeling like a complete and utter failure.

I know that in the face of some of the terrible things others I love have had to cope with this week or these last few months, this is really pretty insignificant – and certainly I feel pretty stupid to be sobbing over a kitten I only had for a few weeks – but she was my little ball of comfort, and it was such a horrible way for it to happen. I loved her already and I wish I’d protected her better.

And I’m dreading the same thing happening all over again with her other little sister – first the ginger one, now Xena. Please let that dog stay away from Gabrielle.

Xena's first night. Posted by Hello
and now her last.


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