I left off yesterday with no real answer to our grief apart from being more kind to yourself and others. At my last shift at Ohio Allycat Resrouce I was reminded how good it feels to be of service to someone. It came to me while I was cleaning cat runny cat poop out of one of the play pens there.
OAR has a kitten who doesn’t have use of her back legs. She’s all black, and her name is Maeve. It was my job to tend to her on this last shift, and it was a bit of an undertaking.
Maeve wears diapers because she cannot really use a litter box as she esstentially drags her back end around behind her by her front legs. She cannot really get into and litter box, and more to the point the contents of the litter box comes out with her should she even manager to put herself there. So she wears preemie diapers.
I found her this morning with an overflowing diaper that leaked on almost everything in her playpen. I scrubbed down her playpen and switched out all her soiled blankets and fuzzy toys. I freshened her water and gave her some food. I cradled Maeve in my lap while one of the other voluteers helped me remove her poop-loaded diaper, and we kneeled there carefully cleaning her up. That sweet girl just purred and purred while we were getting her all fresh. She was so patient with us while we struggled to get her fresh diaper on.
Eventually we managed it, but not without me getting poo on my shorts. That sweet little girl just happily purred for the entire ordeal, and I gave her plenty of cheek and neck scratches to make up for it. I put her down on a nice fluffy blanket and went on to the next cleaning task.
I checked in on her before I left, and found her curled up on the fluffy blanket sound asleep. I didn’t even care that I had shit on my pants. I just felt so happy to give that sweet little girl some comfort.
Sometimes the best we can do for ourselves is to find someone or something else to help. For a minute, I forgot about our current darkness. I was just listening to a kitten purr and getting her clean and making her space nice. And everything was good just for those moments, cat shit on my pants and all.