Thursday, December 10, 2015


*a post from the mom

When I started blogging about my cats and the foster kittens, I made a promise to myself and my readers that I would be up front about the good and the bad parts. It has been a rough few weeks around here and you all have been so wonderful. However something happened last week that just seriously took the wind out of my sails. I went back and forth about saying anything...and how to say it. After talking to some blogging/foster friends, I decided to just lay it out there as it happened. You have always been so supportive and I hope that this doesn't change that.

With that being said, there is nothing graphic about this, but there is no happy ending. If you choose not to continue reading, I completely understand.

I was gone for Thanksgiving, coming home Saturday afternoon. As most of you know if you have been reading this blog for long, little kittens are kept in the bathroom (or now in the tower) until they are tested, vaccinated and big enough to put up with everyone here. The French kittens are a little more skittish so I wanted to give them a little more time to warm up to me as well before giving them free rein during the day. In order to do that, I set up an airlock type system in front of the bathroom door - it gives them a little more room to run, they can see and sniff the adults, and if Tim or Daiquiri want to go visit, they can (those two are normally the only ones that go over the gate to visit). I've been using this system for quite a while with no issues.

Sunday afternoon I set up the gate and went about my business around the condo. At one point I heard a kitten sounding fairly angry about something. I went back to check and found one of the boys (Marseilles) with one claw hooked in the carpet and hissing while upside down. Daiquiri had just shot back down the hall so I figured she had gone over and freaked him out. I dislodged him and he hissed at me too, so I let him go and he scurried back into a corner. I decided that was enough free time and closed all four kittens in the bathroom for a time out.

Monday night I got home from work and the side of his face was swollen. I couldn't get a really good look without distressing him, but he was walking around and eating so I decided to call the vet Tuesday morning and drop him off on my way to work if possible. I thought maybe it was an abscess like I had found on Lille (his momma) the week before. [PS - she is healing up nicely at our adoption center and will be spayed soon and ready to be adopted]

I dropped him off with the vet and went on to work. I got a call about 11am and Dr B said if it was an abscess they were just going to leave it alone and give me some antibiotics for him since it was pretty close to his eye. And by the way did I notice the hernia near his left back hip (same side as his eye) and could they do an x-ray? No, I hadn't noticed and sure go ahead.

I called later that afternoon before heading over to pick him up. Dr W now suspected trauma of some kind and he was fairly lethargic. I headed over to see what was going on and decide how to move forward. The entire time I racked my brain trying to figure out what the heck could have happened to him.

We tried several things and another drug....I knew I was in over my head. But their registered vet tech - A - is a friend and she and the vets wanted to give him a chance. If the swelling on his brain went down he would have a chance. A agreed to take him home overnight. She sent me a text a couple of hours later that she was home and he was set up and their dachshund Olive was keeping watch.

As I was setting up the other 3 kittens for the night - clean up and getting dinner ready for them, Daiquiri decided to come visit. And I had to sit down as I figured out what happened.

See, Daiq isn't the most graceful cat in the world. The gate I use back there is about 36 inches tall. She can't jump it. So she stands up with her front paws on the top, climbs up, balances on the top rung with her back feet and then pushes off to the floor. And when that happens with 10 pounds of cat, the gate rocks back and forth some. As I watched, the corner of the gate banged off of the corner of the door frame. And it dawned on me that Marseilles more than likely had gotten caught between the gate and the door. I was stunned and heartbroken.

A called me about an hour later to tell me that Marseilles had crossed the Bridge. I told her what I suspected and she said that it made sense and sounded like a freak accident.

I know that, but I have also never had something like this happen here. I have now rearranged the gate to that it is zip tied in certain places and is more stable (I checked and it barely rocks when Daiquiri jumps it). I would love to find an even better solution but I'm not sure what that is (short of moving and having more space). I did talk to A and she said that even if I had brought him in earlier, there is no guarantee the outcome would have been different. Honestly, I took him in when I noticed the swelling and he really did seem fine on Monday night.

I don't know what the lesson here is. I certainly will be looking more closely at how I set things up from now on. But in all honesty, I had been using that set up for many litters and it was never an issue. Maybe I had just been lucky. I don't know..... But please look around your homes and take a close view at things. You never know. 


  1. I am so very sorry that little Marseilles is gone, and I know you are heartbroken. Sending a prayer up to heaven for him, and for you. Being a foster to kittens is so very important, and am sending you hugs to let you know that your work matters. Thank you for writing this post, although I know is was hard for you.

  2. Godspeed, Marseilles. And purrs and prayers to you. Although I know you're heartbroken, please remember that you always had nothing but Marseilles's best intentions in mind, just as is the case with all of the animals lucky enough to be fostered by you. You are giving these babies a chance at life that they might not otherwise have if not for you, and you did nothing to intentionally cause Marseilles's accident.

    As sad as it is and as much as we might wish otherwise, accidents do happen. And we learn from them. Everything happens for a reason. Although we might not know why, now just must have been the time when Marseilles was needed over at the Bridge.

    Hugs to you.

  3. It was as the veterinarian said, a freak accident. It's the sort that could have happened in a hundred different ways, places and times. We try our best to eliminate all possibility of bad things, but that can't be done. We don't notice things that could happen. It's occurred to me, and to everyone.

    You will feel bad over what has happened, but that's not because you caused it. It's because you are a good person. A million happy events take place but it's the one sorrowful event that stays with you. You gave Marseilles the love she needed, and that's most important.

    Godspeed, Marseilles.

  4. We're sorry Marseille had to cross the bridge. Accidents happen, and accidents are often freak and always unexpected. The good thing is that you learned from this. None could have imagined this. You did and still do an amazing job for many many kittens, you give them love and a chance at life : never forget it ! Purrs

  5. the lesson is that we plan and kittens laughs.. We have both had years of experience kitten proofing and still they find new ways to get into trouble or have issues.. and sadly it is far too often at their own peril. it is heartbreaking.

  6. We're so sad to hear about this sweet kitten and the accident.

  7. I am so sorry that happened Jeanne. It is heartbreaking and I can imagine how you have to be feeling. (((HUGS)))

  8. Jeanne;

    the best laid plans can and do go awry with all of us at some point in our life; be it with our pets, our kids, our parents.

    this was unexpected and unintentional.

    yes it is very sad and we all understand how upsetting it must be; yet we also know were it in your power to have prevented this, you would have. You didn't know at the time.

    it's not your fault... or Daiquiri's either for that matter

    you are and always will be, a mom, a friend and an absolutely awesome volunteer ...Laura

    ~~~~ Godspeed your journey to heaven Marseilles ♥♥♥

  9. I'm sorry about Marseilles. But as others have said, it was an accident...completely unexpected. I know you feel bad about what happened and I send you a big hug. ~Sue

  10. I am so sorry this happened. You do what you can to keep kittens safe, but there are always so many factors that are impossible to take into account and, yes, accidents happen that are beyond what anybody can foresee. Purrs to you, what an awful experience.

  11. We are sorry to read this but accidents can and do happen - don't beat yourself up. Only a year ago I was in the kitchen hurrying to get dinner and and stepped back onto Hannah's front paw. (I was wearing ankle boots). I had to rush her to the vets and was lucky they had a surgeon there and he got her paw back in shape and made me promise not to wear the boots inside again). She had to be kept in a carrier for a week - unsurprisingly she wasn't happy about it but accidents just happen out the blue however careful you are.
    Take care,
    Luv Hannah and Lucy + Mum

  12. I am so sorry. What a horrible experience for you. I know you know that no matter how much we kitten proof a home, accidents happen, but that probably doesn't help much right now. Be gentle with yourself. This was not your fault.

  13. Jeanne, I can only imagine how terrible you must feel. But that was an accident that will never happen again. We are all human and do the best we can with our animals. When we fall short (through no fault of our own), we blame ourselves even if there was absolutely NOTHING we could have done differently. My heart aches for you. You have now strengthened your kitten fortress so this cannot happen again. So remind yourself of all the kittens you have fostered and all the lives you have saved. Give each of Marseilles' litter mates a hug and kiss and don't beat yourself up. Sending lots of warm hugs, Janet

  14. Oh gosh...we are only human after all. Don't beat yourself up--we are reasonably sure that Felix injured his knee right after we trimmed his claws and he made a leap and couldn't catch hold. Stuff happens and sometimes it's awful...and I WILL look around the house with safety in mind in memory of Marseilles.

  15. I am sorry for your loss, you have had to deal with so many lately. Don't blame yourself, sadly things like this do happen sometimes.

  16. I'm so sorry to hear about Marseilles. It sounds like this was a terrible accident. My heart aches for you because I know how much you care for the kittens.

  17. I'm so sorry. I know how much you love the kittens and the great care you give them. You did your best - we all know you did. Sadly, accidents happen. Wish I could give you a big hug. :(

  18. So hard when one of our cats gets hurt or dies, especially a young kitten... we rack our brains and want to go back in time and change it... Praying with you as you miss Marseilles... Poor baby didn't know. Our Toby lost a lot of his tail several years ago from a freak accidental door slam. And I have had cats pass away recently that I could not save.

    Purrz and Prayers.
    Katie Kat.


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