When Hubby and I were young and childless, he was painting a barn, and he mentioned an adorable litter of kittens that spent their days frolicking under foot. Of course, I couldn't stay away, and before I knew it, Hubby and I had our first cat. Our big eared, frisky little Molly has been through thick and thin with us, and now, after 18 years, she has retired to our bedroom. She rarely leaves our bed, except to lie in the window, basking in the warm sunshine, and she has slept curled up between Hubby and me every night for the past three years. Unfortunately our dear little friend is suffering from kidney failure and has not been feeling well the past few weeks. Yesterday I had to make a decision on what to do. Our vet said that IV fluids would greatly improve her numbers, causing her to feel much better, giving us more time with our special little friend. I was torn on what to do. Because of Molly's age and temperament, I was afraid leaving her at the vets would cause her too much stress (she is such a creature of habit and very timid when it comes to strangers and unfamiliar places), but not wanting Molly to suffer, I made the decision to give her the fluids. I placed her in her carrier on a warm blanket with a hot water bottle and said a tearful goodbye as Hubby brought her to the vet for her three night stay. Knowing I would be going to bed without Molly there to poke her nose under the covers was a sad reminder that our time with Molly is limited and saying our last goodbye is drawing near.
Little #6, who also sleeps in our bedroom, noticed my sadness and told me that she was very sorry Molly was sick and that she loved Molly too. She explained to me how it's hard for her whenever she has to be away from me and that she understands how both Molly and I feel. She said that she was going to miss Molly while she was away, and she would pray that she wouldn't be too scared while she was away from us at the "hospital". Little #6 has spent considerable time at the hospital herself, and she understands how it feels to be sick. She has a very special teddy bear that was given to her a number of years ago, and, although, she has lots of other furry-stuffed friends, this teddy has a special place on her bed, guarding and looking after her. Little #6 always seeks her out whenever she is scared or sick. "She always makes me feel better. I just love her so much," she told me one day. This teddy has been through thick and thin with Little #6; she has even made a few trips to the ICU with her, sitting in the corner of the hospital bed waiting for Little #6's breathing to stabilize so she can roll over and put her arms around her. Miss Teddy and Little #6 are dear friends.
Before going to bed that night, Little #6 looked up at me and said, "I know you are going to miss Molly tonight, but I know something that will make you feel better." She didn't say any more about it, and we said our good nights. About an hour later, I climbed the stairs to bed. I walked quietly into the room, thinking Little #6 would be fast asleep (she usually closes her eyes as soon as her little head hits the pillow). When I pulled back the blankets of my own bed, I found Miss Teddy in the exact spot Molly sleeps. I turned to see Little #6 sitting up in her bed with a great big grin on her face. She kept herself awake for an hour so she could see my reaction to the priceless gift she left for me...oh, the tender kindness of a child. I slept cuddled up with Miss Teddy, thankful for the blessed gift I received when Little #6 came into our lives.