Little Girl’s Story

by Caryl Leroh 2 months ago in cat

The street cat who captured my heart

Little Girl’s Story
The last time I fed Little Girl

Little Girl was a fierce young neighborhood cat, who I was feeding. She was around six months old and always leery of strangers, cars, and dogs. She would fearlessly charge and hiss at the little yappy dogs on my street and I just knew that because she had a cattitude, she was special. I loved her instantly because of that trait alone and it took some time, but she eventually warmed up to me and became the most loving thing.

She would mew and run over to me, when she saw me come home from work or come outside. She let me pet her and she would purr and rub her scent on me all the time. You would never have known that she was a feral cat, just by her actions. She was like my pet, and every day, I grew to love her as mine. She was also the sister of Walter, one of my seven rescue cats, so I felt kind of responsible for her and vowed to help her in any way that I could.

I noticed that she was pregnant about three weeks ago and reached out to the Facebook Community group, Cat People of Oahu for advice. One of the admins was going to help me with a pregnant spay for Little Girl, and although I never did that before, I agreed to try and trap her for the procedure, because I felt so sorry for her, being so young and pregnant and out on the street where cars race up and down without regard every day. The plan was to do the spay, try to foster her, and then eventually find her a forever home, because I knew that she could warm up to another human, since she warmed up to me.

The thing was, I just couldn’t trap her! She was way too wise for the standard cat trap. My husband and I watched her from our window, and she sniffed every corner of it, sized it up, and carefully sniffed it again. She even went in the trap 1/3 of the way, then slowly backed out. It’s as if she knew what it was for and wasn’t having any part of it. Smart girl.

I didn’t know how else to trap her and was getting worried, since she was getting bigger and closer to delivering every day. She used to sneak in under our gate to stay in our garage or under our house to take shelter. But because we have an indoor/outdoor dog, my husband and I were afraid that if we didn’t get to trap her in time and if she gave birth in our yard, our dog might harm her or her kittens.

Before my husband went out of town last week, he blocked off the part of the gate that she used to crawl under to keep her outside. I felt so bad, since she would cry to me, as if she was pleading with me to let her in our yard. I thought that she, being streetwise, could stay in different neighbors’ yards, as she always did, and that she would be okay just coming over to our place to eat, since that’s how it was and it was working all this time.

This past Sunday, I went grocery shopping and to Petco to buy more food for my seven cats and for Little Girl. I was so excited to give her the chicken formula food, and couldn’t wait to surprise her with it. I was thinking that since it’s been so cold and windy lately, I wanted Little Girl to be safe and warm.

I decided that I would remove the barriers that my husband put up to keep her outside of our property. I figured that since he was out of town, and wouldn’t be back for another week or so, he wouldn’t know, and at least I knew that she could be safe and hide from my dog under the house, if she had to. I was also hodping that I could coerce her into the trap from inside my yard, as opposed to trying to trap her by my car on the street.

So on that Sunday, I pulled up outside in front of my house and Little Girl, came running to me excitedly from my next door neighbors’ garage. I got so happy to see her and I knew that she was starving. I said, “hi” to her quickly, but I had to bring in about five loads of groceries and four cases of cat food, so I knew that I had to make several trips to and from the car.

I went in the house with the first load, dropped them off, and then let my dog out to pee, since she had been in the house all day. I knew that Little Girl was outside, waiting for me, but she always waited by my car. I didn’t think that my dog would scare her so much that she ran into the road--and unaware that a truck was coming down the hill.

I came outside to get the next load of groceries only to see Little Girl’s lifeless body on the road, with her belly ripped open and her intestines and her babies sprawled out on the road. I screamed in horror and with such anger at the top of my lungs over and over at the truck going down my street, “YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE! YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE! OH MY GOD! WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?!?! It was the most HORRIFIC and GRUESOME sight I’ve ever seen in my entire life! I didn’t care how insane my neighbors thought I was, I was ready to kill the driver of that truck!

With tears of rage and despair, I ran back into the house, grabbed a box and puppy pad, and scooped up Little Girl’s bloody body and her innards with my bare hands into the box. She was still warm, so I thought that maybe--just maybe she could be saved, and I was willing to pay for her care no matter what the cost.

As I was rushing to my car to get her to the vet, I heard the sound of little mews. It was her babies! I couldn’t believe it! I thought for sure that they were all dead. Two kittens got smashed by the tires, but four of them were still in one piece, so I picked all of them up and put them in the box with Little Girl.

The driver and her girlfriend stopped and turned around and I discovered that the driver was my high school classmate, whom I hadn’t seen in over 30 years. I wanted to get Little Girl to the vet up the street ASAP, but they offered me a ride there, since they felt bad for what just happened. I was pissed and so upset, but reluctantly accepted and we all went to the vet . It was very uncomfortable, as I was trying to keep my cool, yet internally, I was screaming in pain for Little Girl.

As expected, Little Girl didn’t make it, and she probably died instantly from the truck’s extreme impact. At least I hope that she wasn’t in any pain.. I felt so fucking horrible, since I didn’t even get to pet her hello, let alone, say goodbye to her on what was the last day of her life..

She depended on me. She trusted me. And I felt like I let her die such a violent and gruesome death.

I should have known better not to let my dog out! I never did before, and I don’t know why I did last Sunday. She didn’t deserve to die that way—no living thing ever does. Little Girl was such a sweet soul who was filled with so much love for me and I felt like I let her down in THE BIGGEST WAY.

Miraculously, one of Little Girl’s four kittens that I managed to save from the road survived. He was left at the vet overnight in an incubator with oxygen and was stable. The next day, a foster from Cat People of Oahu, had a surrogate nursing mother cat, who offered to add him to her nursing momma cat’s litter.

Unfortunately, Little Girl’s kitten didn’t latch on to the momma cat’s nipples, so the momma rejected him. Cat People of Oahu acted fast, and he was immediately given to another member who was experienced with bottle feeding newborn kittens. So grateful for their quick thinking!

His latest foster aptly named him “Mana” and to date, he is eating well, using the bathroom, and is very vocal and very, very cute! He’s gaining an ounce every day, and yesterday he was at 4.3 oz. and is still going strong. I believe that Little Girl’s fighting spirit and ferocity eternally lives on in her little Mana..and that makes my heart smile..

I am glad that I could at least save one of her babies, but I am still so heartbroken and distraught by this trauma that I can’t eat, sleep or function. I’m constantly nauseous and crying at least three times a day. I’m also taking off from work, which is a good thing, since business is slow, so it works out for now.

I can’t even go outside for very long, because I can still see her blood stains on the road where she died. It pains me so much to even take out the garbage or get the mail, because I know that she won’t be running and mewing to me anymore when my gate creaks whenever I open it.

It’s so ironic that I was planning to do a pregnant spay on Little Girl, but one of her babies ended up surviving instead. But it’s not a bad thing.. It’s a blessing, because I know that Mana will find a wonderful and loving home that will give him the beautiful life that Little Girl deserved, but would never know.

I really wish that I could’ve been the one to show Little Girl that love, but the stars didn’t write it that way, and I have to accept that--although this is what is also killing me inside.

I got Little Girl cremated and picked up her ashes from the vet yesterday. I cried all the way over there, cried while I was there getting her ashes, and when I was driving home.

In her honor and memory, I bought a mini daffodil plant to plant in the front of my yard where I used to feed her. The petite yellow flowers remind me of her pretty yellow eyes, her tan coat, and her sunshine within, that she always brought to me when she greeted me with her adorable meows.

I am still so torn up about this tragedy, and I know that it’ll take a while for me to get through this. But, I also know (and try to keep telling myself ) that although I couldn’t do much for Little Girl in her very short and difficult life, I am still so grateful that I was able to show her a little bit of love and kindness that she would never have found, had she lived on another street.

“Rest in peace and love with your babies now, Little Girl. Run free without a care and know that your baby, Mana, is safe, is in very good hands, and will carry on your loving, fierce, and magical spirit. Until we meet again.. I Love You.”

cat
Caryl Leroh
Caryl Leroh
Read next: Calling All Wannabe Pet Owners
Caryl Leroh
See all posts by Caryl Leroh