Saturday, November 19, 2005

Nothing Too Small

Today brought about a miracle provoked thanksgiving. At about 10:30 this morning, I went outside to feed the kittens, and one was missing. I called and called for him, checked every car - they get locked unknowingly in cars sometimes - and looked all over for him. I couldn't find him anywhere. Kathleen got up about 11:00am and I told her that Baloo was missing. She gave me suggestions to look - places I had already searched. A moment latter, Kathleen was gazing out the sliding, glass door, like she does so often, when she said, "I can't see very well right now, but I think I just found your missing cat."

I ran outside to behold a black spot in the lawn. I knew it was him and I knew he was dead. He looked like a dirty, black dishrag lying in the grass. As I approached him, I looked for signs of life. There weren’t any, no noticeable chest movements, nothing. When I got up to him, he was wet head to toe and had by then frozen. I put my hand on him - cold as ice. I picked up his body by the knap of the neck to examine him before taking him to his "final resting place" - the trash can. I looked at his face - his eyes were half open along with his mouth and his tongue was hanging slightly out - and thought to myself, "I hate looking at lifeless faces."

Just then, he whimpered and cried a little. "He's alive!" I cried to mom as I bolted toward the house; he started screaming a horrible scream by then. We both ran inside with him. Mom grabbed a towel and we wrapped him in it. I started vigorously rubbing him - he would scream with pain every now and then and then return to a seemingly lifeless state. We warmed my rice-packs in the microwave. Kathleen then put him under her shirt to try to get him warm. In the five minutes it took for the rice-packs to heat up, her chest was as if she were holding an ice pack against her. We got the rice-packs ready and then pulled him out from under her shirt and put him under mine. I then put the rice-packs on top of him.

In a matter of ten minutes, he had the rice-packs cold - I mean cold. I put them back in the microwave to warm them again. Up to this point, he would start wailing an ear piercing cry but for a moment, and then return to a state of labored breathing and limpness. After about ten or fifteen more minutes, he started shivering and crying a little less often. Mom back came in the house at about 11:30 and we put 45cc of warm saline under his skin. He was very slowly, but surely "coming back to life". We also put an electric heating pad under him, on top of my skin. About five minutes later, mom had me get her stethoscope and she listened to his heart and lungs. His heart was 120bpm (normal for a kitten is about 160bpm), but he had stopped skipping beats and they were strong beats. His left lung sounded clear but his right was crackly – he was lying on his right side when I found him. He was still limper than a rag-doll and a little touch and go.

By 1:30, he was starting to try to crawl out of his blankets and heating pads and lose the look of shock in his eyes (glazed over, partly opened). At 2:00, he climbed down from the couch and drank quite a bit of formula and water. We took him to the vet a little after 3:00 to get some antibiotics to prevent pneumonia. He has slept most of the day – understandable – and is still not walking very well, but he is alive, eating, drinking and going potty. I think he’s going to make it.

His life is small and insignificant in the “great scheme.” We would have been just fine with the loss of this cat, but, for some reason, God touched this little creature and let him live. This brought great joy into this house today. Mom and I both feel like we were a part of a miracle. I felt peace, joy and love knowing that brief sadness I would have felt was spared because I am a child of God. I know that He hurts when we do and pains to see His children suffer – even if but a little. I truly feel that we were blessed to be reminded of His great mercy and love.


Kathleen Hawkins said...

Although we don't really know what happened, I think that the little critter fell into a trough and Max pulled him out and set him in the sun to warm up (where we found him). Cerra laughs at me but I am sure this is what really happened.

Kathleen Hawkins said...

Did anyone mention that about 2 weeks ago I SLAMMED this same kitten in a door nearly breaking his leg!? He was just recovering from that mishap when this happened. Today, 28 hours after being found, Baloo (the kitten) is walking around on his own (although still weak). He cuddles, purs, meows, eats, drinks, pees and poops (almost in that order). Cerra is vigilant and taking really good care of him. I was a little surprised, however, when I got a call at work this morning AT 3AM to give me a progress report on the kitten - LOL :)

1337-h4x0r said...

Poor little guy...

You guys need to be careful though, with him getting slammed in a door and with him doing his best impersonation of an ice cube, he's only got about 7 lives left, maximum. I wonder how he got himself into that perdicament.

Glad he's doing alright, though.

He seems to be an "invinci-kitty," you guys should run some more "tests" to verify the extent of his invincibility. Hah... :)

Cerra Hawkins said...

Funny that Kathleen mentions the fact that she slammed his foot in the door. When this happened, Dillon was in the shower and I kept saying, "This little kitten has had a rough life so far!" and things like that.

Kathleen would respond with an "I know!" or something like that each time.

When Dillon got out and we told him the story he said, "Poor little guy; he's had a rough life."

Kathleen then said, "Why does EVERYONE keep saying that?!?!" (I guess Dillon and I are “everyone”) She didn't realize that that was the same cat she smashed in the door. It was a riot. I think that will be a new "saying" we use.

The 3am "progress report" wasn't exactly that! The kitten was very uncomfortable and couldn't sleep resulting is us not sleeping. His face was all swollen and he kept crying. It was more of a "what the heck can we do with this cat?" report.

Today the kitten is at 99.9999% I would say, and I think he'll be at 100% in no time at all. It's amazing!

We now call him Laz (short for Lazarus). ºÜº

Carol said...

I'm not sure what you guys are feeding your animals, but maybe you're on to something with this deep freezing animals and then bringing them back to life. (remember the chicks your dad hathced Cerra?) The one's that had been in the fridge for a while. Anyway, thank you for sharing that wonderful story.

Haikumeister said...

I wrote a haiku in the little fuzzball's honor:

Outisde in the cold
Cold and frozen is his plight
Warmed by love and grace

*takes a bow*

Thank you, thank you.

Mary said...

What a great gift of life. If only he could have come back without the peep and poop, then I'd be excited!

Cerra Hawkins said...

Carol, I think there is something in the water...

I hear you Mary! I definately could live without all the pee and poop!

Love you both! ºÜº

seester said...

How fun. I love your post Cerra. You describe mom so well. It sounds like you guys all have a lot of fun in that house. . . and plenty of excitement and near death experiences (i.e. frozen kittens, bucking horses, etc.) for the rest of us. I agree with mom. It really is the only logical explanation of how that little guy got soaking wet and then all the way to the lawn. Sweet Max, thank goodness for him. Laz is a perfect new name!!