Late this afternoon, as the rain crept up our valley, someoneElse and I took a scrap of fabric from the very first shirt I made for him, wrapped it around a tiny midnight-black bundle and buried it under an oak-leaf hydrangea while River stood watch. The hydrangea, carefully located where I can see it from my kitchen window, will soon be covered in weeping branches of tiny white flowers...which seems appropriate somehow.
Tidbit died shortly before 5 this morning in a pool of light spilled from a flashlight in a darkened kitchen, on a towel on the floor surrounded by me, someoneElse and River. ...and a sockful of warm rice. I have more to say, just not quite yet.
This is one of the very last pictures I took of Tidbit, getting a kiss from his mom after one of his last feedings. Probably the one where he gained that misleading 4 grams!
River is roaming the house looking for him; she paces the hall, lays down in front of each closed door in turn, then comes up to us and burbles questioningly; she has repeatedly checked every room (and closet) in the house. (we did show her that he was dead, but not being a cat psychologist, I am not sure how that whole 'understanding' thing works here...other than apparently not so well yet) It's heartwrenching to watch. We pick her up, we skritch her ears, we explain he's gone and we miss him too...then I cry.
The rest of the kittens, on the other hand, are doing well. They've gained 20-30 grams in 3 days (their little bellies are bulging) and Trubble is starting to look up towards the top of the current box as he stumbles around learning to walk.