Thursday, May 29, 2008

A breech in the dam.....

it was the kitten. it triggered the floodgates to open. i saw it lying on the side of the road, looking disoriented, and on the verge of getting run over.

it was early morning and i had just dropped my son off at school. i pulled over, a little haphazardly, and ran to get it before a car hit it. i picked it up, and its body went limp in my hands. its eyes were open, but not seeing. it was breathing, but it was a strained breathing.

what do i do? there was a vet's office on the way home, so i hurriedly drove there, not knowing if the kitten would make it, even that short distance. i brought it in, wrapped in a blanket, and asked what to do. "we can't look at it unless you are going to adopt it and pay all the medical expenses." what? it's hurt.... i couldn't have left it lying in the road to get hit.

"sorry", they said, "we can't do anything if it doesn't have an owner". i looked down at the lethargic kitten, with it's labored breathing. it was so tiny and pitiful. and then i felt it..... i felt it deep. i knew it had been shoved down for a long time. it came up in bits and pieces sometimes, but i was always able to push it back. i prided myself on my composure. i prided myself on being brave and strong.

but this little kitten suddenly triggered the floodwaters. all the loss, pain, sorrow, hurt..... it somehow became a symbol for that. and it happened right there in the middle of these strangers in a veterinary clinic. the saltwater trickled down just a little at first, but then came tumbling down in torrents. as hard as i tried, i couldn't close the floodgate.

"i'm sorry", i kept saying. "i don't normally do this." i could barely speak. i was just standing there at the counter, sobbing, and holding the almost lifeless kitten, with everyone staring at me. i think then they had sympathy, and agreed to look at it, if i'd sign a waiver giving permission to euthanize it if needed. "the vet doesn't like us to do this" they said, "but he's not here yet.... we'll see what we can do." they asked for all my contact info, and i had to repeat it several times for they couldn't understand me through my faltering voice.

i couldn't leave soon enough, and when i got in the car, i let the rest of the waters flow, until the dam had been thoroughly breeched. of all places, i thought to myself. i guess that's what i get for holding it in so long. i don't know how long i cried in my car..... i stayed there until my vision wasn't blurred anymore.

the sadness stayed with me all day. but i know i found the kitten for a reason. someone knows it's too much.... to be brave all the time.

16 comments:

photowannabe said...

Oh my Blue, there is so much healing in tears. God says he sees our tears and knows our pain. One little kitten seems to have been medicine for your soul.
{{HUGS}}

Christianne said...

blue, i'm crying over here just reading this. yep, there goes a tear trickling down from my eye right now. oh, gosh. what can i even say? i just wish i could sit and hold your hand in quiet right now.

your story of the kitten captivated me from the start. (you know how i feel about my own little kitties, and they were both rescued -- diva especially was pretty much in tatters when she was found, and it took a long time for her to regain strength and liveliness.)

but what happened in the vet's office . . . there are no words for it. only love. i love you.

kirsten said...

blue, i feel you so much in my heart. about holding it in, about letting it go & about finding something outside of that tender heart of yours that resonated so deeply with you & showed you something of yourself.

there is something about being found & feeling safe enough so you can go limp, dissolve into a puddle of tears, no longer needing to be brave or to pretend ...

thinking of you, blue. sending love your way.

Tom Atkins said...

When I was in graduate school I took on a kitten that had been rejected by the humane society in town. I had that same sense you write of here. I carried that kitten in my coat pocket for weeks, feeding it with a tiny bottle, willing it to live. And live it did - for 14 years. It's good to have tears for God's creatures, where ever they are.

bluemountainmama said...

thanks, sue, for the hug... and thanks, christianne, for holding my hand. i'll receive both. :)

and kirsten... i think you nailed it. i saw a little of myself in that kitten. being disoriented, not noticing the cars flying by, wanting to be able to just go completely limp in caring hands.

tom! so great to hear from you, friend. it's been a loooong while. i know you have a compassionate soul,too. it oozes from your writing.

Sarah said...

Oh, blue...my heart hurts for you, for the pain you've been holding in...and also rejoices for the fact that you could respond when it came up, could cry right there in the vet's office and could let at least some of it go. You have such a brave heart.

Theresa said...

I'm sorry about the poor little kitten.
I'm also glad you are in a place where you can allow yourself to grieve and heal. It seems like you've been working hard to get here.

Anil P said...

At times, in letting go one finds strength to hold on.

As for the paperwork in the office and the stupid rules, it seems the bureaucracy over the life of a kitten is the product of a mind sterile to the possibilities of life, and they call themselves professionals!!!!

Ash said...

Had me in tears. I lost my kitten a couple of months ago (in a mangoose attack) To say it was devastating was to put it mildly.

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, God. Yes. I cannot really say more.

Beth said...

Blue, I'm so sorry you're feeling such pain and sadness. Sending my thoughts and prayers your way...

colleen said...

Now we all have tears in our eyes. The kitten seemd to be a metaphor for our throw away society. Thank you for caring and for inspiring others to.

Anna said...

I've done that recently... It was in the parking lot of Barnes and Noble... Being the brave one and the one who people are always leaning on gets to be too much and you just have to break down. It won't be the last time either of us "brave" ones has a moment like this.

bluemountainmama said...

i'm sure it won't anna....

Mike said...

Blue, I read your story a few days ago and it really moved me, but I simply didn't know what to say. Sometimes tears have to flow. They can be tears of happines or sadness but to be complete they have to flow.

Thanks for sharing this very personal story with us.

Elise said...

There is healing in tears... I am sure other hearts were touched that day as well... sweet friend. (((you)))

Praying the deep hurts and brave face make way for what He can do in you...