September 29, 2017


I feel like my heart has been ripped into pieces. Three of our four kittens died. If you missed the story about the two week old kittens that someone abandoned in front of our home on Easter, you can read about it HERE. We had planned to find new homes for all of them once they would be three months old. Very soon I knew though, that I wouldn't be able to part with Gracie or Cosmo. When the time came to let them go, there were too many kittens available and by far not enough people interested in adopting one. So we kept all four and they all had grown very close to our hearts.

The four were 5 1/2 months old and such a happy bunch. All of a sudden they lost their appetite, started vomiting and had diarrhea. Smokey and Pixie had recovered fast but Gracie was doing real bad and Cosmo only a bit better than her. Gracie spent 5 days at the vets getting infusions and injections. She fought hard and the vets thought she would make it but last Friday she lost the battle. Cosmo had not eaten for several days. Therefore, we had to force-feed him which was very stressful for him and for us. The amount we were able to feed him, was just a fraction of what he would have needed to eat. He was only fur and bones on Sunday and I had not much hope. Suddenly though, his appetite came back and he started to eat again.

At the same time Smokey and Pixie got a relapse. They had been perfectly fine for several days. They had been eating, they had been playing like crazy and we certainly hadn't expected that they would get sick again. The vets did their best but they couldn't save them. Smokey and Pixie died the next day. The vets told us that currently, there are a lot of cases of  indoor cats with the same symptoms and that several, especially younger cats didn't make it either. A problem of bottle-fed kittens is that the lack of mother's milk weaks their immune system. Our three adult indoor/outdoor cats did not get sick at all.

Gracie, you were such a sunshine with a very sweet personality. You had been pretty sick as a baby and we were so happy that you recovered. You stole our heart quickly and we knew soon that we wouldn't be able to give you away. For the last several weeks you came to me every morning while I sat on the couch with the laptop and my first cup of coffee. You coiled up on my lap for at least 30 minutes or until I had to get up. You purred the whole time and after a while you climbed up to my head and rubbed your face against mine. Then you bit my nose very gently. I always said: "I love you, too, sweetie." You had been the first to climb up the countertops, even before the boys tried to get up there. You loved playing with water. When I put a flat bowl with water and some toys on the floor, you didn't just try to angle for them with one paw. No, you just went into the bowl with all four legs and dabbled in the water. You had such a cute and funny way to jump when we played with the cat fishing rod toy. You made us smile and laugh often.

Smokey, you were a sweet and gentle boy. You were the only one with black pads. Your fur was extremely soft and smooth. Touching you felt like touching a piece of silk. You loved Izzie even though she was always very rough when she played with you. Whenever she came in, you followed her and snuggled up on her when she took a break. You were quite talkative. When I prepared food for the four of you, you were the only one telling me how hungry you were and that it was high time to serve you a meal. It was so cute. You loved lying on the stairs, looking down on the entrance way. Even though you were the boss of the kitten gang, you were the first who hid when there was a loud noise that scared you.

Pixie, you were such a lovable girl. You were the smallest of the litter. When we found you, we weren't sure you would make it but you were strong. I often called you Pixel because you were such a tiny thing. Your clumsiness made us laugh often. You were a fidgety cuddler. When you came to one of our laps, you never lay there quietly, but moved around, following our hands and rubbing your head against them. Whenever one of us openend the drawer where we store the cat treats, you always were the first up on the cupboard to receive a little snack. You surprised me a few times, when you jumped from the armrest of the sofa or from a table directly onto my back. That was a bit painful but very cute. When I stood in the kitchen, you liked to sit with your rear on my feet. While your siblings became a bit picky about their food, you ate everything I served.

We loved all three of you very much and we miss you. We are so sad that we're not able to experience you as adult cats. You enriched our lives and brought us a lot of joy. You made us laugh and smile every day. Farewell, my sweeties!

We are happy that we still have our sweet Cosmo. He has a serious expression but he's a very charming and lovable boy. Poor Cosmo misses his siblings. He searched for them and called for them several times. He eats a lot now and has gained back some weight. His gut flora has still to improve though. After Smokey's and Pixie's relapse we're of course worried it could happen to Cosmo as well. My stomach feels like it's filled with big stones. I lost 10 pounds within the last 10 days. Losing one furry family member is hard, losing three at the same time is horrible.I hope all your furry babies are doing well.


suziqu's thread works said...

Dearest Julia
It was no accident that I came here just straight away after you posted this sooooo sad story about your kittens. It is so hard to believe that you have lost 3 of those little darlings that you took in those months ago.
My heart goes out to you dear Julia and pray that Cosmo chooses to stay with you. We can't know the hand of fate and will never be able to understand why they were taken so early as kittens.
So I'm sending you heaps of comforting hugs dear friend in the hope that your broken heart doesn't take too long to heal.
You are such a gentle, loving cat carer and I know more will still come into your life!
Stay strong and love the ones you have.
Love and hugs dear friend,
Suzy xoxox

Barbara said...

Oh no, Julia. I know some of this pain after losing a tiny one years ago who we had to feed with a bottle when her mother went missing. Something about trying to do that doesn't always work well, but your Cosmo has apparently rebounded from that shaky start. Do you know even yet what caused their illness? If they were indoor kitties, it's truly a mystery. They were all so beautiful, and gray Tabbys are my favorite.
We currently have two ten year old Tabbys, one gray Sasha and the other orange Shanna. I'm fearful about our orange girl Shanna right now. She was always a throw-uppy kitty, but no vet was able to figure out why. She has been vomiting a lot more that usual lately, and in spite of veterinary care including special food, injection, X-rays, and medication, she doesn't want to eat. I can only get her to take in turkey or chicken baby food, and sometimes she throws that up too. Even if she doesn't, it's not enough to keep her weight up, she is still losing. Cats are stoic. They never complain. Sometimes we don't know if they don't feel well. I am starting to fear the worst for Shanna, something we cannot cure. Blood work just to rule out things is probably next.
Julia, your found litter was so lucky to have found you! Give Cosmo all the love and attention you had to give his litter,ages, it may be what gets him beyond losing his siblings and bonds even more with the rest of your family. Bless you all!

ULKAU said...

Ach liebe Julia, gerade habe ich den PC erst angemacht und sehe gleich diese wunderschönen, großen Katzenaugen, die mich anschauen! All deine Tigerchen sind sooo hübsch, wie schön, dass du einmal wieder ihre Entwicklung zeigst!
Jetzt habe ich nur geguckt, zum Lesen komme ich später noch einmal, denn ich muss putzen, bekomme Besuch...
Liebe Grüße Ulrike

Starry-eyed stitcher said...

What a sad story. I really thought your little family were over the worst of their troubles when they found you. I am so very sorry. It must be heart breaking. You wrote such lovely tributes to them. I have every finger crossed for Cosmo's continuing recovery. Irene xxx

Anonymous said...

There is nothing I can even say to express how sad I feel for you. My heart goes out to you and your family, especially your fur family as well. Will send some love out to sweet Cosmo that he continues to stay healthy and spend his life with you all. xox

froebelsternchen said...

Das tut mir so leid Julia! Ich kann mir vorstellen wie ihr mitgelitten habt mit den süßen armen Kleinen und was für Nervenqualen das waren und wie traurig es macht alle drei verlieren zu müssen.
Ich bete für Euren Cosmo, er wird leben und in ihm seine Geschwister!


Lululiz said...

Oh my dear Julia, I am so so sorry. I hadn't been on blogger for months, just did my first post in 4 months and wanted to read my bloggy friends' posts for a bit. I can't imagine what you must have gone through, seeing them suffer so and then losing them. It is heartbreaking, I know they are family members and how much you love them and I just want to hug you and cry with you. This is so cruel. I pray that Cosmo will continue to improve and stay with you for many years. So so sorry. Much love and hugs.

Karen B. said...

Dear Julia,
I am so very sorry to hear of your loss of your furry babies. My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you.
Many hugs,
Karen B.

Maureen H. said...

Oh Julia, my heart broke with your as read this post. I am SO sorry you are going through this, but please try to hold onto the joy and love you gave these three beauties in their short little lives, they could have had so much worse, instead they knew love and companionship because of you and your family, I know it is awful to lose them all, and to worry about your other cat, but your big, beautiful and loving heart will survive. God bless you for all you did and may you find peace in time, I am holding you close in my prayers. I am a cat person as well and know how much our kitties become our families. Give yourself time to grieve and lean on us while you go through it if you need someone who understands. Much love to you.

Hugs and prayers,

Jeanie said...

Oh Julia, I can't begin to have words to tell you how deeply sorry I am. If it is one bit of consolation, know that their last days were days with love and affection, a love they would not have had without you. You were so good to take them all and Lizzie and I will send the best of kitty vibes that Cosmo continues to rally and become your strong survivor.

Big hugs and tears, too.

FrauHummel said...

So traurig ist das, Julia! Es tut mir so leid für euch....Dieses Hoffen und Bangen, diese Achterbahnfahrt, auf welche Seite es kippen wird- das mag ich keinem gönnen. Und dann gleich dreie von den vieren...schrecklich. Ich wünsche dir ganz viel Kraft. Und der kleine Cosmo wird euch über diese traurigen Tage hinweghelfen. Er wird Freude in sie bringen und Fröhlichkeit. Und in ihm lebt ein kleines Bisschen seiner Geschwisterchen weiter.
Ihr Leben war viel zu kurz, aber bei euch hatten sie das Glück gefunden. Vielleicht ist da ein kleiner Trost für dich.
Ganz herzliche Grüsse!

Cindy said...

Hi Julia,

I normally don't have time to comment, but I had to send you something when I saw these beautiful, helpless, kittens lose their battle. First of all, you were so sweet to decide to keep them and isn't funny how they give you so much joy, they really do!! Plus, they were BEAUTIFUL KITTENS!! The pictures you took were amazing, there markings were unreal, they were so pretty. Can you imagine dropping these poor kittens on someone doorstep, how could you even do something like that, but luckily the picked the right doorstep. I have 2 cats that are brother and sister, one is a tiger short hair cat and the other is a black with a little white long hair cat. They came from the same litter, I had no idea that a cat can have a litter from different dads, that is why my cats looked so different.

I love my cats so much and I do anything I can to make their life better, my husband says I am obsessed and yes I agree!! They make my life so much happier. I am so sorry you lost these beautiful little kittens, but you did the best you could do and that is all you can do and you will always have the sweet memories with these kittens!

I say go get another kitten for the one that is left and for you!!!! I hope you feel better as the days pass and I know how you feel, even if you have them for a short time, kittens are do cute and they get in your heart very fast, being as loving as they are and doing there silly things, your broken heart will mend, but I still say go get another kitten!!

Take care and thanks for being a wonderful, loving person and taking on 4 kittens that needed someone to love them and take care of them and that is what you did!!


Downthelanewithdaisy said...

I'm so, so sorry about your tremendous loss. It is truly heartbreaking.

rush said...

My heart goes out to you.

Judy said...

So sorry for your loss. They were lucky kittens to be cared for by loving, caring people. I feel your pain, and hope that the days ahead will bring you comfort.

Naomi said...

Julia, I have experienced how very hard it is to lose our four-footed family members. It's just the worst. I have had to euthanize my first two dogs and it nearly killed me. I vowed never to do it again so I didn't get another dog for a year. Then, I was so lonely and bereft with no animals in the house I adopted a wonderful Labradoodle through a rescue organization not too far from me and I'm so glad I did. Tavi is nine now and I know I won't have him a lot longer, but I chose to take the risk.

You know, I think, like one of the other commenters said, that you should get at least one other cat for the sake of Cosmos' health and happiness as well as yours. I believe that having another of his own kind will help Cosmo build strength and immunity. He has suffered a terrible loss, too. And we all need companionship of our own kind as well as from those different from us. Just consider it for Cosmo's and your health and happiness.

Junkchiccottage said...

My heart is breaking for you. I am crying as I read this post. I know how hard it is to lose our fur babies. Just know you are an angel to have taken on these little lives and trying to give them a good chance in life. While it is so sad and painful for you to have lost these sweet fur babies you gave them the best of what little bit of life they had. I am praying for Cosmo to continue to get better and thrive. Julia I wish I could come by and hug you and cry with you. The pain of losing our fur family members is so hard. They were all such sweet little angel kittens. I know your pain is unbearable and I hope with some time you will get some peace and feel you can tolerate this loss much better. Soooooo sorry sweet friend.

Linda said...

Julia, I have had cats all my life and my heart is breaking! Bless your heart! Losing one is difficult enough, but more than one....

Draffin Bears said...

Dear Julia,

So sorry to read your very sad news - it breaks my heart to read this and I know how close your fur babies are.
I loved reading the sweet tribute to your little sweeties. I hope that sweet Cosmo will continue to be well and strong, such a darling and love the gorgeous photos of them all.
Sending big hugs dear friend and may you find comfort at this time.please take care of yourself.
Carolyn xo

Özge Başağaç said...

So sorry to hear you lost your furry babies. I hope Cosmo does well together with the rest of the family. Best wishes.

suzieQ said...

Such a sad story, I can't even imagine how difficult it must be, not having a gang of kittens reduced to one. Our pets bring us such joy and such saddness when they pass, so sorry for your loss.

Designbygutschi said...

Liebe Julia,

wie traurig ist das alles ... So süße Kätzchen ...
Ich fühle mit dir.

Herzliche Grüße

Rostrose said...

Ach Julia!
Du hast mir ja auch per Mail geschrieben, dass deine Kittens dir Sorgen bereiten - und ich hatte dort noch nichtmal geantwortet... (Entschudige bitte!!!!!) Es tut mir so furchtbar leid, dass du Pixie, Smokey und Gracie gehen lassen musstest. Lass dich einfach fest von mir umarmen, mehr dazu sagen kann ich im Moment nicht. Ich hoffe sehr, dass Cosmo keinen Rückfall erleidet und wenigstens er euch von den Geschwistern erhalten bleibt!!!
Ich drück dich und schicke zärtliche und tröstende Fellchenkrauler mit!
Herzlichst, die Traude

Dorthe said...

Dearest Julia,

Such a sad thing happened in your home. I can see they were the sweetest and most adorable little kittens, and I`m so sad for you, and that you all lost the battle to the sickness . I so hope Cosmo stay well, and safe, in your loving home. How sad that such suddenly happens to in doors kittens !!
Your heart is so big for all these left alone kittens on your road, dear friend, and the ones coming in your caring hands, are sure to have a happy hours!!
I hope for you, you will soon be able to feel happy again.
Love you dearest.
Hugs, Dorthe

Debra said...

I'm so sorry...

liniecat said...

Am ex cat rescue so know all too well how you must feel.
Such heartbreak watching them go through illness and then lose the battle, after they've blossomed under your care.
How odd that other youngsters locally had also been affected.
Was there no suggestion that it could have been the food they were all eating?
Or contaminated powdered milk even? It seems so odd that others too were affected.
Can I ask if you have any lilies in vases in your home?
I only ask because I lost a Siamese to poisoning from the stamen powder from lilies that Id been given in a bouquet. I always cut stamens out now!
I hope Cosmo stays well and happy and am sure you will make sure he knows hes much loved.

Teddee Grace said...

Please accept my condolences. I am so sorry for your loss and I know that sweet Cosmo must be missing his playmates. I do hope he survives this virus or whatever the ailment was and that you can lavish all of your love on him and make him one happy cat!

Patty said...

I am so sad that this happened to y'all. I've never heard of anything like this. Some years back my hubby found a litter where he worked and some people said they hadn't seen the mom around, so husband called me to bring a carrier and come get them. So, we nursed them and made them poop, and loved the comic relief they provided! The City Kitties were now Country Bumpkins. I fell in love with one and even though I did not need another kitty, I kept him. Another went to a friend, and the others were taken to the humane society where I knew they would find new homes. Even that was hard.... letting them go. I cannot imagine losing them to a mystery illness. Can the vet pinpoint it so that if it was something environmental it can be avoided ? How very sad. Those poor sweet babies. So glad that they were loved during their short stay on earth. My heart goes to you.

Reserl said...

Oh liebe Julia,
das ist so traurig, es tut mir so so unendlich leid, fühl dich ganz fest gedrückt. Ich weiß wie schrecklich das ist aber du musst was essen, du musst auf dich aufpassen, hörst du, ich denk ganz fest an dich.
Alles Liebe vom Reserl said...

I´m so sorry to hear Julia, that must have been such a difficult time and still is. I hope Cosmo gets strong real soon and stays healthy and for you too!! Alles Liebe, ich sende viele gute Vibes zu Dir rueber!!

Chris Lally said...

So sorry for you, Julia, on the loss of your sweet babies!! Your tribute to them was absolutely lovely. I know you are heartbroken & will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Athena Cat Goddess Wise Kitty said...

We're so sorry. We are heartbroken for you and them.

Such sweet babies. We hope they are happy where they are. Rest in Peace, little ones.

Purrs and hugs xx

Athena and Marie

bobbie said...

Julia ~
I am so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine how gut-wrenching it must be to lose 3 at almost the same time.
Bless your heart for taking them in and caring for them so well ~ you DID make a difference in their lives.
Please give Cosmo a cuddle and a chin scratching from me ~
and please consider yourself very hugged!

ULKAU said...

Gut, dass ich an dem Tag nur die Bilder angesehen hatte, liebe Julia, denn dein Bericht ist so schockierend, so, so traurig, ich leide mit dir! Oh je, was hast du durchmachen müssen, zu sehen, dass die Kleinen immer weniger werden und man ihnen nicht helfen kann. Das geht mir so sehr ans Herz, denn ich kenne diese Ohnmacht, habe es selbst erlebt mit meinem Kater.
Aber die Süßen waren ja noch so wünsche ich dir so sehr, dass Cosmo so stabil ist, bei dir zu bleiben!
Herzlichst Ulrike

Henry said...

I an so sorry for you, Julia. Such a huge heartbreaking. Hope you will feel a little better soon.

A Crafty Mix said...

Oh my beautiful friend, I'm so incredibly sorry. I can't even imagine how heartbreaking that must be for you guys. They climb into our hearts so completely and always hold a very special place. Sending lots of love

johanna said...

das ist ja herzzerreißend!! wär ja schon schlimm, eine zu verlieren, aber gleich drei! und du beschreibst sie so liebenswert, ich kann voll nachfühlen, wie sie euch ans herz gewachsen sind! da fehlen mir direkt die worte... ich hoffe, Cosmo kommt gut zurecht und auch euere erwachsenen katzen.
ganz liebe hoffnungsgrüße, johanna

Marilia said...

I feel your loss, I hope that little Cosmo is well. I understand your terrible pain.

A hug from Spain.

denthe said...

oh my, how horrible! So sorry that you had to say goodbye to three of them. One is already hard enough ... I love how you wrote a memory-story for each one of them. It sounds like they had really good lives with you. I'm hoping with you that Cosmo will keep getting stronger. hugs xxx

Marie Lost Bird Studio said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss, my dear Julia and hope that little Cosmos will be well.
Sending hugs and love,

Marsha @ Tattered Chick said...

My heart aches for you my sweet friend. You showed them what it's like to be loved and cared for and they knew that. Sending you lots of love and a big hug. xoxo Marsha

Rostrose said...

Liebstige Julia,
vielen, vielen Dank für all die lieben Kommentare, die du mir zu meinen Posts der letzten Zeit bzw. während meiner "spanischen Woche" hinterlassen hast! Ich hoffe, euch allen geht es mittlerweile besser, sprich: Der süße Cosmo ist immer noch bei euch und gesund und vermisst auch seine Geschwister nicht mehr allzu sehr!!! Und auch eure Traurigkeit hat sich hoffentlich schon ein wenig "gelegt" - wobei ich natürlich weiß, dass beim Gedanken an die drei und bei aller Dankbarkeit, dass sie euch in der kurzen Zeit auch viel Freude bereitet haben, immer Wehmut dabei sein wird...
Was du mir über eure Erfahrungen mit Wespen erzählt hast, klingt auch nicht wirklich gut - als ob eure Wespen ein heftigeres Gift hätten als die Wespen hierzulande. Wenn Menschen von Bienen oder Wespen gestochen werden, weiß ich immerhin ein gutes Mittel - eine rohe Zwiebel aufschneiden und auf den Stich drücken, das lässt den Schmerz und die Schwellung viel schneller abklingen. Zur Not mehrmals am Tag wiederholen bzw. länger auf den Stich aufgelegt lassen; angeblich zieht die Zwiebel das Gift raus. Es wirkt jedenfalls! Vielleicht hilft dir dieses Hausmittel, falls es dich wieder einmal "erwischen" sollte. Ob es auch bei Katzen wirkt, kann ich dir aber leider nicht sagen - mal abgesehen davon, dass Katzen wohl den Zwiebelgeruch nicht gut finden... Armer Barney und arme Izzie! Aber zum Glück konnte ihnen beim Tierarzt geholfen werden!
Ich bin gespannt, was du mit dem Hornissennest machen wirst!
Freut mich, dass du Island bei der WM anfeuern wirst, solange sie nicht gegen Deutschland spielen ;-))
zu "Wer weiß, was die Crew mit Euch vorhatte, dass sie Euch so frisch halten wollte." - na ich hoffe, sie wollten uns nicht aufessen ;-))
Alles Liebe samt Drückern und Fellchenkraulern von der Traude

Sugar Lump Studios said...

I am so very sorry about the losses of your pets. That is so heartbreaking. I am sending hugs because there is nothing that can comfort a broken heart.

white and vintage said...

Liebe Julia,
das ist ja so traurig, dass die Kleinen gestorben sind. Das tut mir unendlich leid Wir haben im moment auch drei kleine Pflegekätzchen, die der Besitzer töten wollte. Wir haben bereits ein schönes Plätzchen für sie gefunden. Sie dürfen alle drei beisammen bleiben.Ich wünsche euch für Cosmo alles Gute.
Liebste Grüße,

Julia@Cuckoo4Design said...

Julia now I'm a sobbing mess! That is just the most awful thing to have to witness. I'm so so sorry. How in the world does this happen? What is the illness called? Now I'm scared that my little guy might catch something like that. My heart really goes out to you and your terrible loss.

Poppy said...

Oh, Julia, I'm so so sorry for the loss of your three adorable kitties. Reading your words of love for them, broke my heart. You tried so very hard to save them, to bring them back to health, and that counts for something. Not sure exactly what caused them all that suffering and pain but it sounds so horribly awful and terrifying! I'm glad to hear that Cosmo is doing better, and thank goodness that he is adapting to things, without his siblings.

Not sure if you know, but we got a new kitty a few months back, as Liberty loves cats. Although I am allergic, we've managed a balance of him being outdoors during the day (he demands it!), and then, just before sunset, we try to get him inside again, fearing that leaving him outdoors all night may be putting him into danger re: the weasels that tend to roam around at night.

Take care, sweet friend, and give your cute kitty a hug from me!


Jean | said...

Julia, I'm new to your blog, having just come over from your comment on Jeanie's blog post about dishes. We are cat lovers, too, and I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine how horrible that was for you. I hope Cosmo's flora will improve and that he'll be able to have smooth sailing after that.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Oh, Julia. How heartbreaking. I know exactly how you feel. And to lose all three of them is just too much. Gosh, they were such lovely little things. So sad to hear that they got so sick. I pray Cosmo stays well. Bless him!

Connie - Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

oh Julia! my heart absolutely aches for you. to make it past two months you don't think you have to worry about such things. Those photos.. they look so healthy, so beautiful.. I am so very sorry.

Sending purrs of healing and condolence