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Discussion Starter #1
Nymph, the 7th and smallest of my current foster kittens passed away very early this morning. She was a tiny black fuzzball with a giant set of lungs and a fighter spirit. She made it to 4 weeks old, but was only 5 ounces and none of the measures we took to save her life was enough.

I'm sorry you didn't get to know more of the world my darling. You are loved and you are missed.
 

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Just curious...how did the momma and other kittens respond to this? Do they just ignore the body laying there or do they have some kind of mourning/grieving process?
 

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Run to the bridge, little Nymph.

And thanks to all of you foster families - I know this isn't uncommon at all, to lose the occasional tiny frail one. Your hearts are pure gold for doing what you do.
 

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I'm so sorry. :( Even when you're half expecting that a kitten isn't going to make it, you still hope for the best and do everything you can to save them, but sometimes itjust isn't enough. We had 2 kittens from separate litters come in to our recovery centre within the last month that we couldn't save; they were just too underweight. It's really really tough to do rescue work sometimes, but it does make a difference. In the 9 months I've been a member of catforum, I've seen so many posts about your successes as a foster mom to litter after litter of needy kittens. It's incredibly inspiring! I'm sure you've experienced more than your fair share of loss too, considering the vulnerable little ones you choose to take on, but you've given so many more the chance to live full, happy, healthy lives with loving families! Nymph was loved and well cared for in the short time she was alive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nymph wasn't staying warm enough in the laundry room with the others, and when she was in there, she was getting pushed off the heated disc by the others, so for the last 36 hours or so of her life, she was out here in the living room with us. On a pillow right near us all day, with her heated rice socks, and in a small crate at night, with her heated rice socks (right next to me...I've been sleeping on the couch most of the last 2 weeks so I'll be able to hear anyone who cries). I took her body in and showed mom this morning, before I took it back to the shelter (shelter policy that they get the body back) and mom didn't seem concerned. Of course, I was bawling my eyes out at the time and mom just wanted to rub on me, so she could have been responding to me instead. I didn't show the body to the babies, but I did "talk" to them and tell them about her dying.

This is only the second kitten I've had die in over 3 years of doing this, and the first one I'd only had for 2 days and I hadn't even named him yet (he later became Phoenix).
 

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Aww, it's never easy, regardless of how long you've had them. I wonder if that's why Mom was hesitant to nurse them (because she sensed she was not strong enough to live)? I'm glad she got to know what love is from you for what little time she had. :(
 

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Thanks Venus...you are amazing :) We have 2 healthy 7 month old sister-kittens, but I have wondered if anything were to happen to one of them (even if it isn't for many, many years) what would be the best way to handle the situation...to help them understand. What you did sounds similar to what I may have done. I always wonder what kittens/cats know/understand.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
In general, I always try to let the other animals see/sniff the bodies (I've only ever lost 2 fosters, but over the years we've lost several of our pet cats). Sometimes they won't be interested, and that's okay. But sometimes it really seems to help something click into place for them. I've heard stories of cats walking around the house crying and looking for friends who have died...so I always try to give them the opportunity to see/smell the body. To understand, if they choose to.
 

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In general, I always try to let the other animals see/sniff the bodies (I've only ever lost 2 fosters, but over the years we've lost several of our pet cats). Sometimes they won't be interested, and that's okay. But sometimes it really seems to help something click into place for them. I've heard stories of cats walking around the house crying and looking for friends who have died...so I always try to give them the opportunity to see/smell the body. To understand, if they choose to.
Nyska's buddy was my St. Bernard, Lilly. They used to hang out and sleep together. After we put her down because of her cancer, Nyska kept calling for her and looking for her all over the house. It was heartbreaking to me to lose Lilly and then knowing how much Nyska missed Lilly.
 

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I'm so sorry about Nymph. :( In addition to the sheer amount of work and hours you put into fostering, the emotional energy you expend must be exhausting too, especially in a case like this. She's lucky to have at least experienced some warmth and love in her life.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It's been over 6 weeks since she died, but her sister and 2 brothers are still here (going back to the shelter on Wednesday) so I'm still reminded of her all time and I still miss her lots. I keep thinking about how big she'd be now if she'd lived and if there was anything I could have done differently or if I could have realized how sick she was sooner....all those unpleasant thoughts that go along with death.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
There were 7 in her litter. Three have gone back up for adoption, three are still here and then nymph, who died.
 

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Poor little one! Unfortunately, that is the way nature works. Doesn't make it any less sad, however.
 

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Well her brothers and sister have all gone on to their new families now, and that's helping me (as in, I'm not reminded of her constantly by seeing them, though of course I don't forget her either). Her mom, Nala, is still here, but going back up for adoption on Wednesday. I've almost done everything I can for the rest of her family, and that's the only gift I am able to give to her now. Miss you Nymph!
 
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