Every once in a while, someone comes along who steals your heart in about 2 seconds, and you know you’ll never be the same again.
Sometimes that someone is a tiny 4-week-old kitten.
Now I must explain something. Tabby’s Place had named this kitten Smidgen, but I had already named him Augustus (Augi for short). It kinda stuck, so he became Augustus Smidgen: quite a title for such a little boy.
The moment I laid eyes on Augi, I was smitten. Not only was he painfully cute, with a mass of white whiskers, but he was one of those gentle souls who seems so wise beyond their years, one who you think has been here on Earth many times. When he looked at me he looked right into my soul, and he was my little angel in a tiny body.
Augi was a paraplegic, but that’s no big deal around here. We’ve seen it all before many times, and many times our paraplegics thrive, so I expected no different of my little boy. He was incontinent, and would sometimes leak a little, so I made tiny little diapers for him, and made him a couple of outfits to wear so the diapers would stay on. He looked adorable!
I took Augi everywhere with me. He went to work with me; he went to friends’ houses with me; he went for car rides sitting on my lap (when I was in the passenger seat); he came home with me every night, where we we would watch TV together, and he loved it all!
Augi’s favorite thing, though, was hanging out with my cat, Mickey. He LOVED Mickey and Mickey loved him right back. Mickey spent many hours grooming Augi and snuggling with him, and they became inseparable.
One morning I was petting Augi and thought I felt a lump. I was concerned, so I called Denise, our wonderful vet tech. She told me to bring Augi in to Tabby’s Place for the vet team to take a look. I arrived a few minutes later and they checked him out. In the meantime, his breathing had become labored, and the vet team was concerned. They took X-rays, and the next few hours became a blur of panic and disbelief. They saw a big mass on the X-ray, and we rushed Augi to the emergency hospital. As soon as we got there, they whisked him away for ultrasounds and testing. We sat, and we waited, and we worried.
Then the worst happened. The doctors told us Augi had a huge mass that was pressing down on his heart and lungs. Infection had spread all through his little body, and he had gone septic. His temperature had gone down to 94 degrees. There was nothing they could do. With my heart breaking into a million pieces I did the one last thing I could do for him. I held him, kissed him and told him how much I love him as they gently let him go. When I had woken up that morning I had no idea I was going to lose my baby, and I was heartbroken.
I only had Augi for about 3 weeks, but I felt more love for him than I knew possible. Mickey still looks for him, which also breaks my heart. Augi, I was so lucky to have you in my life, even if it was for such a short time. You really are my little angel. Sometimes angels here on Earth can only stay with us a little while, but the love they leave behind, and the lessons learned, last a lifetime. I will never forget you. I miss you every day and I love you with all my heart.
I have worked in animal rescue for 11 years, and in that time I have lost many precious fur babies. Someone told me recently, “I’d never known so much loss and heartbreak and until I knew you.” My response was, “but you’ve also never been so surrounded by life and love before, either,” and it’s true. The good always outweighs the bad. I may get my heart broken many times over, but every single day I share my life with these wonderful animals who make every day special. Would I have taken Augi home with me if I’d known he only had 3 weeks left on this earth? If I’d known it was going to hurt so much to lose him? Absolutely YES!!!! I treasure each and every minute I had with him, and I wouldn’t change a thing.