Most Depressing Person on Facebook

There’s this gal I know on Twitter, Keri Stevens, who’s been posting over the last week or so about this stray cat they took in. A cat that almost immediately produced three kittens. Bemused, she began suggesting kittens as Halloween gifts.

Then the story turned.

Keri doesn’t blog regularly, so the story has unfolded all in Facebook posts and 140-character tweets. But it turned into this kind of horrible, I-can’t-bear-to-look tale. She’d hoped to show her boys the miracle of life and instead they witnessed the blunt cruelty of nature. One of the kittens, Runty, was too small to nurse. Keri suspended all family plans over last weekend to stay home and nurse the kitten hourly.

The kitten died anyway.

Soon followed by another of its siblings. Keri grew increasingly despondent as the days passed and she reported the last kitten was growing weak and momma had moved it to a corner behind the desk. The vet thought that perhaps a kitten had remained in the cat’s womb, turning it septic.

Keri said that we should probably vote her Most Depressing Person on Facebook.

Of course, everyone offered her advice. And it was clear she felt crushed by the responsibility and by her failure to save the kittens.

Yesterday, after the third kitten died, Keri took her “free” cat, which in the end cost her nearly $1,000 to the vet to be spayed, to hopefully save her from the potentially septic womb.

Guess what?

The vet found two more kittens! Alive, healthy and thriving.

No, really.

The vet has never seen anything like it and thinks they may have been in another horn of the womb. These kittens, born a week after the first three, are much larger and healthier, which makes me think the first three were premature. This time, the vet is keeping the kittens for next seven weeks, to nurse them there and ensure they make it. A responsibility my friend gladly relinquished.

I told Keri she needs to use this story in a novel. When readers complain something like that could never really happen, she can say oh, no! It did! It did happen!

It seems we so rarely get the happy ending in real life. Part of it is the nature of storytelling. What will Keri post now? Kittens are doing great! Kittens are getting bigger! Kittens still doing great!

But now they have a special existence as the miracle kittens. No longer is this about a stray’s get that will have to be distributed around Halloween. The three kittens who didn’t make it are now just the darkness before the dawn.

After the dawn, the glory of that moment, we segue into the long day.

But maybe the sun is just a bit brighter.

19 Replies to “Most Depressing Person on Facebook”

  1. Jeffe,
    Thanks for writing it out. I've tried, but I'm still (a) exhausted and (b) anxious about the whole thing. I think until I have 3 cats I have to shuffle off the kitchen counter, I won't believe it.

    I, for one, am in awe of Nicole, the vet tech who is voluntarily hand-feeding the kittens every 2 hours round the clock (and still working her job). I have it easy now. She's doing the tough stuff.

  2. Keri, I'm so pleased you didn't mind me telling the story. Later you'll be able to process it and use it. Let's hear it for Nicole! (And thank heavens for her youth and stamina!!!)

  3. Fabulous story! I had been following Keri's tweets, but since I'm not on Facebook, I was missing pieces of the tale. Thanks for recapping and tying it all together.

    Great job, Keri — there's a special place in heaven for people like you!

    Tawna

  4. It must be one of those mornings, Tawna. I just said the same thing to the guy who runs our local no-kill shelter. There's a place in heaven for him, too.

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=100001055990043

    Keri, you're an angel! A few years ago, my husband found four kittens and their mother wandering around our back yard. I had to feed one of them with a bottle, too. Fortunately, they all made it, but when I had to give them away, it about killed me, because I had gotten so attached to them. I feel your pain. Hope your boys will grow to be as kind to animals as their mother.

  5. What a heartbreaking, wonderful story!

    Having rescued an injured kitten myself and worried that it wouldn't survive, I feel Keri's pain – both financially and the weight of responsibility. I'm so happy for her and the mama cat.

    By the way, my kitten survived. She went from half-starved and lovable to quite plump and demandingly affectionate.

  6. OMG. I would never have believed this was possible. Can you imagine how confused that poor momma cat was? I've been in feline rescue a long time. Never, ever heard of this. I'd assumed the kittens had blood factor issues.Your blog is going to register a huge jump in hit numbers, Jeffe. I'm going to send my Feline-L (listserve of cat fanciers) here to read this story.

  7. My cat had to go in for an emergency C-section. I called the vet to find out how she was doing and they said one kitten was fine, but the second was stillborn. I was devastated. When I went to pick up mama and her baby, out came the cat carrier with mama and two beautiful little kittens. The vet did CPR on the little one until he started breathing on his own. It was a happy happy surprise.

    Thanks for the lovely story Jeffe for reminding me of my own and thank you Kari for being such a wonderful kitty caretaker.

  8. Wow–keep the happy kitty stories coming! Thanks, Marcella, for spreading the word. I'm glad to see other people have experienced "miracle" births.

  9. Oh! Photos! I did put up a couple on the Keri Stevens, Writer facebook page. I don't *think* you have "like" it in order to see them–but facebook confuses me 😉

  10. As one of the people following this saga with bated breath, I wanted to cheer when the new kittens were born. It still gives me chills to think about it.

    It helps that Keri is a freaking great writer, and manages to keep me on the edge of my seat even when she's writing in 140 character tweets.

  11. Keri, what a heartbreaking and heartwarming story. You did give your children the gift of the truth of life and in the end life wins out hands down. You could probably have a charity auction for the three remaining kittens to be auctions off and the proceeds given to your local humane society. What a great feline interest story.
    Deb

  12. Thanks, Becke and Debbie. I am indeed about to become a supporter of my state's spay and neuter program. And I'm hunting down massage gift certs for Nicole the Wonder Vet Tech!

  13. Aw, Keri, we go through such heartbreak and financial strain for our animals, but it's still worth it. Glad you can get a little rest now, and that your kids had more than sorrowful lessons from the experience.

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