Meet Lou, the adorable black kitten who was adopted from the SPCA on December 23 by my Canadian family. They had fostered his mother and three siblings since early December. The family had collectively decided to keep the only male in the litter because he seemed the most connected to the humans in the household. As one might expect, he was alert and interested on Christmas day during all the activities of the morning. So much fun to see the gift opening, to follow a cloth ribbon wriggled on the floor, to pounce on the little blue cat toy ball and watch it roll.
At his ripe young age of two-plus months, he typified the life of a kitten--buoyant playfulness followed by short, restorative naps. The four of us who were celebrating Christmas together that day constantly kept our collective eyes on him. If he left the room for any reason, someone jumped up to check up on his activity (usually something as basic as a food or potty break) to make sure he wasn't getting into anything that would be dangerous. Nothing bad was going to happen to that little cutie.
When he became less interested in the activities around him later in the day and more prone to napping, our collective assumption was that he was worn out from his antics and the stimulation of the morning. Also, we thought it was possible that the routine neutering surgery he'd undergone two days earlier might be catching up with him.
But just three days after Christmas, Lou died. He had spent the better part of Monday and all day and night Tuesday at the veterinarian with a mysterious fever, lethargy and dehydration. By Wednesday morning his health had deteriorated to the point-of-no-return. There was no definitive diagnosis of the cause of his demise, as of my departure from Canada later that day.
Lou was an adorable baby cat with the promise of a joyful lifetime spent with caring guardians. With tears and trauma 'his people' are still adjusting to the terrible news. This will be a Christmas no one in his human family will forget.
Sweet, Lou, the pleasure and joy
you brought to your adopted family was a lovely gift,
even if for just that short period.
You will be missed for a very long time.