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Peridot's Story

Peridot was special from the start. I knew him when he was still in the womb. It was the middle of summer when I saw his mother outside my window and found her behavior odd. She was digging around a garbage can and snatching items away then coming back for more. As I walked outside to get a better look it hit me as to what she was doing. She was building a nest out of trash, underneath a car. She was very pregnant. Her belly practically touched the ground. I quickly grabbed a carrier and whisked her away to the shelter. She was frail. You could see every bone in her back. We named her Sapphire.

Two days later Peridot arrived with the rest of his litter mates. There were 10 total and he was the runt of the litter. The vet was honest and said she would be surprised if any of the litter survived. They weren't premature, but were barely the size of my thumb. Sapphire had exactly 5 tabby babies and 5 lynx point siamese, just like her. The litter was much too big and Sapphire was much too malnourished to take care of them all alone. My duty was to help supplement them. I would come in regularly on the dot to start feeding and help potty babies. But oh Peridot, he refused my help. He was going to do it on his own! But Peridot was also having a hard time getting to milk. He was much weaker then his siblings and by the time he got to mama there would be hardly any left. He worried everyone, including the vet who spent hours with him trying to feed him and get him to latch on to mama. She wouldn't give up on him, and neither would we.

The weeks went by and with each one a new death. We would come in and find the strongest kittens of the litter dead in the corner. 5 weeks had passed and we had lost 4 kittens. Yet Peridot grew. He continued to be much smaller then the other kittens and much weaker. But his blue eyes blazed with determination. He would try his hardest to play with his brothers and sisters. His greatest wish in the world, however, was to cuddle with his human friends. He would purr and purr as he wiggled into a comfy spot by your face, meekly reaching over to give short kisses. No doubt about it, Peridot was special.

When the time came to separate the kittens from their mama we made the tough decision to keep Peridot with her. He wanted so bad to play with them, but he needed a little more time with mama to grow and have her milk. He began to get a little stronger. And with his strength came an eagerness and zeal to experience more life, to play and run and have more cuddles. We decided to move him with his brothers and sisters. You would have thought that we gave him Christmas. Finally he was a big boy.

3 days later I came in with breakfast, excited to see Peridot. I turned around, and there I saw him. He was laying in his water bowl, the only thing above water was his head. His organs had collapsed, his eyes glazed over, and he was barely clinging to life. I was horrified. I rushed over to the cage and gently lifted him out of the freezing water and wrapped him in a warm blanket. He was in pain, rasping with every breath. His eyes were far away and begging to be released from life. I waited for someone to bring me a car to take him to the vet to free him from his pain. I kept him close to me, trying my hardest to put warmth back into his body. A look of horror and pain painted his face. I sang to him, trying to keep him calm. I soothed him telling him how beautiful he was, how special he was and that it was okay to let go, that on the other side he would be happy with lots of friends to play with and soft grass to run in. I would not let myself panic or feel the hurt of him dying, he needed my comfort and love. He screamed in pain as he tried to breath. Peridot passed away on the way to the vet, the look of sheer torture and horror forever frozen on his delicate face.

This is the reality of pet overpopulation. There are thousands of Peridot's dying every day in America. Thousands of mama's that are abandoned or never had a home because there are more cats then homes that want them. Somewhere along the line the homeless and unwanted cats came from someone's pet. Sapphire should never have been abandoned on the streets to be pregnant. Five of her kittens survived and that was a miracle. For every needless litter born we only create more Peridots, more deaths and suffering that are pointless and should never have been. It isn't about depriving people of the joy of seeing their cats raising kittens, or about money, or about it being the responsible thing to do. It is about life and death, about granting mercy to a little soul like Peridot. Give the most loving and compassionate gift you could give your cat. Please spay and neuter.



Peridot's brother Zircon.
 

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That story almost made me cry. I agree. Brave little cat.

In the picture you just showed, is that one of the surviving cats?
 

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Yep he is. Zircon (the litter was named after gems and jewels, and someone couldn't resist naming one after zirconium) was the biggest of the litter. He also watched out for Peridot the most. He would groom him, keep the others from getting too rough with him, cuddle with him, and was sitting by him in the cage when I came in that morning, crying at me about his poor brother. The two of them looked so much alike...
 

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Poor little Peridot. That's such a sad story and I can only imagine how you felt in the car driving to the vet with him.

Your story is also very well written and provides a moving testament as to why people should spay and neuter their cats. Well said.
 

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How odd! I named a litter of feral kittens after gems/stones, too! The little boy was originally Agate (he was a tabby, so I figured a striped rock name would work...but nobody else liked that name), then changed to Zircon because of his various brown colors.

Zircon and Tourmaline (long haired calico) got adopted. The other two sisters I wasn't able to tame enough, so they stay in the colony in my back yard... and I changed their names from Topaz to Disco (short hair calico) and Chert to Zinara (long hair dilute tortie). Zinny barely survived after I gave her 3 different medicines in 1 month and fed her KMR & Nutri-Cal along with canned kitten food several times a day.
Their mother has not been spayed yet, because she won't go in the trap! Even with all sorts of tasty treats in there, she insists on waiting just outside/beside the trap and looks at me like "Hey...that good stuff is in that thing - go get it out for me to eat freely" SIGH!
At least all the kittens are spayed (almost didn't get Zinny, as she was trap-shy too...so I used a drop-trap out of a wagon she liked to hide under anyway).


Another good reason to spay, is that it reduces chances of ovarian and mammary cancer, and lets pets live longer.
 

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This story genuinely brought tears to my eyes. Especially when I scrolled down and saw the photo. Zircon looks just like Apollo did when he was younger.

I'm relieved to hear Zircon and several other kittens survived at least, but poor Peridot and his mother and the remaining kittens.

Every time I visit petfinder and scroll down the endless list of kittens I think, "If only people would spay and neuter their pets."
 

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Thank you for a beautifully written memorial for Peridot.

His life will not be forgotten, and maybe, just maybe someone will spay or neuter a cat because of his story.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you everyone. It is Peridot and his family that make me feel so strongly about spaying and neutering. I can't express in words the horror of watching their struggles. I think of them constantly when I hear about people's unaltered pets being allowed to populate.

I have no doubt that Sapphire was the result of a someone's pet who had a litter. She was part of a small colony of 5. Every single one of them were stunning lynx point Siamese except for one little copper tabby. They loved people and were obviously socialized at some point. The colony lived under cars at an apartment complex whose residents were adamant that they were strays that had been on their streets since young adult hood. I believe that they were once a renter's cat's litter that was left outside when they moved. They probably assumed someone would take them in since they were so beautiful and kind. But no one did. The abuse that entire colony experienced from residents who didn't want them there was unspeakable. I was able to save two. The others vanished and no one would give me information as to what happened to them.

The whole story of this kitty family leaves a hollow and sad feeling in my heart. I feel sick when I think of Peridot and will never forget his face in his last moments. It will always haunt my mind. My first thought when Peridot passed was the fact that this is ultimately why people should spay and neuter and how something as simple as this could have prevented this whole situation. Peridot and his families story is, unfortunately, is a common one. I wanted to share his story because oftentimes this is the reality people don't hear about when it comes to spaying and neutering. I can only hope that the awful deaths that Sapphire's litter endured can help reach people's hearts and expose them to a reality that they may not be aware of and encourage them to put an end to the suffering of overpopulation.
 
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