Friday, February 19, 2016
Sometimes I wonder what possessed us to decided to get TWO kittens when we have such crazy jobs, two high-energy children, and house projects up to our ears (more than two, let's just say). I wasn't thinking that, actually. The kittens are awesome. Kailey loves the kittens and has been doing a fantastic job taking care of them. She grumbles about litter box duty, but she does it every day. And the kittens nuzzle her and love her. Alden also adores the kittens. He squats in front of them and then gets his face at their level (toddlers are sooo flexible!) and smiles and coos at them. He pets them. Sometimes he pokes them in the eye or nose. But, they handle it like champs. The kittens are super social and sweet and cuddly and playful.
And then last week happened. I was coming down the stairs and Kailey said, "Mom! You are not going to BELIEVE what just happened." I asked her what she was talking about and she said, "Flash just went THROUGH the window." The backdoor of our house is a bunch of small window panes -- and, apparently, the kittens had been wrestling and working each other into a frenzy and they each took off in opposite directions. Flash went towards the backdoor which she either didn't see or didn't realize was closed or was unable to stop... whichever it was, she flew into the glass pane, shattering it, and continuing her trajectory into the backyard. There was glass everywhere, inside and out. We got Alden in his high chair to contain him and set about cleaning up. Flash, meanwhile, was hiding under the deck. So, while we cleaned, we tried to coax her out to see if she was injured.
After about 10 minutes, she emerged and Eric grabbed her so we could examine her. Kailey immediately shouted, "she's bleeding!" Her arm had a deep cut in it and Eric and I took one look at each other and said, "we need to get to the vet."
It was nearly 8 AM, and the vet in our neighborhood that has seen the kittens was supposed to open at 8. So, we piled into the car, arriving at the vet at 7:40 AM. There were cars in the lot, so we knocked on the door. Flash's cut was really quite deep and we were concerned. After several knocks, our vet opened the door saying, "we're not open." We explained that our kitten had just gotten injured and reminded him that he had seen her before. He repeated that they were not open and told us to go to the emergency facility that was 25 minutes away. I couldn't believe him. I reminded him that he would be open in 15 minutes and that it would take longer than that to get to the other place. He said he couldn't see the kitten until they opened. I was really shocked -- as was Kai, who was standing right next to me. I told him that we would go elsewhere but that we would never be returning to their practice and that I couldn't believe he was refusing to help an injured animal in need. He seemed totally unapologetic.
So, we spent the drive to the next vet office explaining to Kai why that guy shouldn't be a vet and what it means to care about one's job. She was appalled. I guess there are life lessons at every turn.
The place we ended up had the nicest staff and vet -- we've switched our care over to them permanently. Flash needed surgery and three levels of stitches. She's had to be on bedrest (kitten style) for the last week. It's cost a lot of money and been a lot of work to keep her calm and away from her brother.
But, Kai has been so caring of her and so attentive. So, I guess I've answered my own question -- the kittens have been great for us and, especially, in teaching Kai greater responsibility and compassion (and a little bit about what it means to be committed to your work!) These life lessons are invaluable, right (I'm telling my checking account that... $700 life lessons. Oy!)