arrivals

Page Forty-eight

wed 20 jan 2010…..    Turners Falls

Wandering, still, always…

wandering through the memories of what was my own life…

Fourteen years ago today, I had a litter of kittens born. They were no accident: I had bred them on purpose. There were six, and I kept three of them. Those three were among the 14 animals stolen from me on 12 March 2008, and later euthanized. I prefer the word killed.    

The labor began at 6:30 a.m. and lasted, well, I’m fuzzier on the ending time. I know it took at least 3 hours, possibly four. I was able to be outside the house where this all happened at 9:15 this morning, when, possibly, the birth wasn’t quite finished yet.

I know that if I were as unselfish as I’d like to be regarding my animals, I would say now: that birth should never have happened. After 12 years of love and family, the three cats born on this day were taken from me and from each other, put into cages in strange places with strange people, waiting in vain for me to come get them, the way I had come for twelve years when one of them was in any kind of jam. I never came. They were frightened, separated from me and the rest of our family, and under tremendous stress. Then killed. Knowing that horrible ending that these cats were given by human beings who decided to take over my life (the Department of Mental Health being the biggest offender), I should wish them never born.     

But I don’t. I wish myself never born (they were my birthday kittens, as my own birthday was the very next day), but not them. I am still so delighted that they were born, that I knew them, that they were part of my family.

Maybe someday I’ll come to the other view: if they were destined for such terrible endings, then they never should have come to be, no matter how much happiness their birth and their existence gave me. But I’m not there yet. I cry tears of happiness still that they were born on this day, that I knew them, that my other animals knew them. And tears of grief over what was done to them. And tears of rage at every single human being who had a hand in it.

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