Monday, December 28, 2015

Ups And Downs

Life on the farm is real life.
Real life.
And with it comes ups and downs.
Luckily, the ups outweigh the downs...
by a mile....
maybe by a hundred miles.

But still, an occasional day comes along where we suffer a loss.
We shed tears.
We wonder if there was something more we could have done.
We grieve.

Christmas evening delivered a sad loss to us.
We lost our little Leo.


Our Leo the Lionhearted...
who arrived at our barn a few short years ago
as a scrawny kitten.


He made fast friends with the other animals


and soon became an integral part of life in the barn.


Every morning at breakfast time he would hop down the hayloft ladder


and land on top of the refrigerator to receive his breakfast.

It was his picky tastes that determined what flavor would be served each day...


chicken and tuna (mixed) being the only item on his preferred menu.



 As a tiny kitten, he was quite adventurous.


 As he grew, however, he seemed to prefer the barn over adventuring.


Most of his day was spent in and out of the hayloft,
and only occasionally out of the barn.


He preferred the cushy life...
keeping himself as spotlessly groomed as a house kitty.


Last week, he stopped showing up for meals.
We searched the barn to no avail.

Then on Christmas evening I found him in the feed room (an open stall with easy access)
huddled in the corner in obvious respiratory distress.

Dr. Becky came quickly and tried a few medications,
but none seemed to ease his distress.
Unable to watch our sweet kitty suffer like that,
we decided to euthanize him.

His lungs had filled with fluid, making it impossible for him to breathe.
The whys and hows of this condition are a mystery.
We have no idea what precipitated this little fellow's misery.

Through tearful eyes, we said our last goodbyes
and kept our hands upon him as he took his last labored breaths.

Goodbye little Leo... out time with you was way too short....
sweet, but short.


And now, as we go about our errands and drive through the countryside,
we keep our eyes open for "Free Kitten" signs.
With only two kitties left in our barn, it seems a bit empty.
There's room for more.... there...
and in our hearts.

31 comments:

Dawn McHugh said...

Sorry for your loss, I hope you find another little fur ball to fill the space soon

Snoskred said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your gorgeous Leo. :(

colleen said...

Sorry to hear this news. I'm so glad you found him. Not knowing where he was would keep you wondering and looking. This way you did all that you could and you were with him in the end. Chicken and tuna mix....I'm sure he knew how much he was loved.

Anonymous said...

Oh Bev, I am so sorry to hear about Leo, and so glad you could help him pass on quickly to the other side. That is one of the blessings of loving animals - that we can help them pass on peacefully. He will be waiting for you on the other side, along with all of your animal loves. Sending peace and love to you and your family. Karla, Coal City, Il

Candice said...

So sad to hear of the loss of your beloved, beautiful boy, Leo. Hugs to you and your furry family members.

Missy George said...

Very,very sad....It's so hard to say goodbye....

Missy George said...

PS. Sweet post xxoo

Anonymous said...

Oh no, he was my favorite! So sorry, I lost a little dog this past February and it was awful! Your post was a lovely tribute to him TerriC

Kathy said...

So glad you found Leo and were there to love him thru his passing. He was a beautiful kitty and obviously loved by his human caretakers and Sam, too. Sweet and touching post/tribute for him.

Patsy said...

I am so sorry. You gave him a good home and hopefully some other kitties will enter your life soon.

edenhills said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's never easy to say good-bye, and it seems so much harder when it's unexpected.

Sissy said...

I am so sorry for your loss of Leo

Jeri Landers said...

Those were the same symptoms my feral kitty, Winston had less than 2 weeks ago. His breathing difficulties came on suddenly in the night, and by morning he had died. Before that time, he had seemed perfectly healthy. It is hard losing one's friends, but living on a farm as you and i do, death becomes an unhappy part of the flow.

Portia said...

What a beautiful kitty he was! So sorry for your loss.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh no...poor leo. well, he had such a good life up until the end. i hope you find a new kitty soon. it will be one very lucky kitten!

Laura Franken Sudderth said...

He certainly had a wonderful life! He was one beautiful cat. You go out and find yourselves some good barn kitties! My thoughts are with you all. It never gets easier losing one of our pets.

Anke said...

I am so sorry Bev! :-( I couldn't have watched him suffer like that either. It's a good thing you have Dr. Becky so close by!

Unknown said...

a loving tribute to your handsome Leo.He will always be present in his loft,.Ann

Lynne said...

Very nice, loving and caring . . .
Sad too . . .

Karen Ann said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful cat.. I remember reading when he showed up.

AND.. if you're looking for a kitty or two who need a home desperately, a rescue friend of mine in PA has many, all being cared for by her and in desperate need of a home. contact me if interested - you can see her available kittens and cats on Facebook - I'll give you the info if you'd like.

JudiB said...

Tears..I remember when Leo came..and such a sweet litle kitten. Thankfully he found your home and had all the love he deserved. My heart goes out to you. It is so hard to say good-bye to our friends. Big hugs!!! What great pictures to go along with the memories of a sweet little friend.

Karen Ann said...

Just sent you an e-mail with some information....

Lisa said...

Awww....Poor Leo. I feel your pain. We lost our mini wiener dog to IVDD two weeks ago and she was only years old. My heart goes out to you and all the other animals that are going to miss his company.

Karen L. Bates said...

So sorry...Leo was a sweetheart. Glad you had good times with him.

Jessica said...

I am so sad for your loss. Leo became one of my favorites from the start.

GeorgiaHoneyBee said...

Oh no!!! I am so sorry about Leo. :-(

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I'm truly sorry for your loss, Leo was such a beautiful kitty!

Katmom said...

Oh Bev,,, so sorry about Leo the Lionhearted... hugz

janie said...

So sorry for your loss. I hope the sweet memories help soften the loss.

Hugs, Janie

Ellen in Oregon said...

So sorry to hear about losing Leo. It's always heartbreaking to have to end an animals suffering. It's one of the most selfless gestures we can do on difficult circumstances. I am so glad you were able to find Leo so he did not have to die alone & felt love in his last moments. Hard to believe your barn cats numbers have dwindled to just two left. I wish some of those feral cats that showed up on your trail cameras would come to live a better safer life on the farm instead of in the woods where life is so tough & dangerous. Thank you for sharing your precious photos of Leo. He was lucky to have found a place on your farm where he knew he belonged and where he lived a wonderful life. I know you will find room in your hearts for whatever new cats need a good home when you come across them.

Diane C said...

Oh what a beautiful kitty your Leo turned out to be. So sorry to hear about his loss. I hope you can find some new kitties to fill up your barn and hearts soon, Bev.

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