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Kittens Goes To Heaven

A Letter to Khalil

You asked me this question when you turned ten years old and I thought I should post this in a blog maybe to remind you ten years later and after in moments where that same question would hunt you.

"Why did we end up with Erika?" or "Why is Erika autistic?"

Both are difficult questions and both may never have answers at all.  We can look at them differently though and it has something to do with kittens.

Do you remember those days when you first asked for a pet?  After the faux pas of fishing out a Tilapia (which you thought was intended to be a pet not lunch), you started asking for a cat.

Well, having had 27 cats at one time, that idea was something that was well thought of; I did grow up in a big compound where the backyard had an improvised baseball/softball field combined with a kidney shaped pool where we can happily co-exist with 27 cats without having to worry about toilet training them.  We now live in a townhouse complex with a narrow concrete driveway and puny flower boxes that raising a cat was really something to think about.

So it was decided you can have a cat and now came the question of where to find one.  That was relatively easy since your lola and this habit of rescuing kittens off the street (where do you think most of those 27 cats came from?).  So it was only a matter of time that we would find one and rescue it from becoming road kill.  There were three occasions where we stopped traffic to pick up a kitten and bring it home before you eventually ended up with Kiara.

It was a routine for stray kittens to be given a bath the moment they were brought homeas in a dunk in warm water and shampooed then hung up in an old sock to dry (yeah...cats can be taught not to be afraid of water).  That routine does two things to the kitten: the first thing is it cleans them up—like we do not know where they came fromand, secondly, it reveals whatever diseases or "defects" they may have.  The bath uncovers scars or open wounds and even swelling.  Sometimes a dirt may actually be a scab that when washed off opens up the wound again.  That second step may actually kill the cat: if the cat is diseased, the bath may substantially weaken the kitten and it dies as a result of it.  More than once, a trip to the vet resulted only in "there is nothing more that we can do".  Painful and cruel as it may appear, the bath is a test if we picked up a healthy cat or not—but come to think of it, that kitten would probably die anyway, if not by the disease it already had but also by being a potential road kill.

So you asked, "why did the kittens have to die?"  Or, later, you asked that question reflectively, "why did it have to come into our lives and then die?"  The thing is, it has nothing to do with it coming into our lives to make us happy by being our cute snugly pet.  It is all about to do with us rescuing it to be loved and cared for in its last days.  The cats were not meant to make us happy, we were to make it happy until it died.  It is not about us—it is all about the kittens.

In this broken world, somehow someone somewhere will be born with a disability of whatever form.  Fate decided that one girl be born with such a disability but somehow God made it sure that she be born in a family that would love and care for her—and that girl is your sister, Erika.  She is not here to care for us and make us happy, but she was given to us so we can care for her and make her happy.


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