Saturday, 8 September 2012

Missing Snuttis

Where do I even begin?

Both the Thursday and Friday posts were scheduled, written days before. If it wasn't for those posts, the blog would've been silent those days because of what's happened.

It feels like the kittens are victims of a cruel, cruel fate. First Sötis. Then Vitfluff. And now... On wednesday afternoon, around five in the afternoon, we couldn't find Snuttis. She and Ullegull had mostly spent the day indoors due to the chilly weather. It was grey and windy so not much fun to be outdoors. They did venture out in the afternoon, I guess. Which is very normal, they like to be outdoors. Now that the weather is chilly, they mostly like to find a warm spot by the southern wall just by the door. The've never gone very far -- playing in the yard or the gardens -- and even less so when the weather kept them close to the doors and open window so they could get back in fast.

When returning home after five, she was greeted by Ullegull, but could not find Snuttis. She found me and told the news. We worried, but with a firm belief she'd appear soon. After all, she's always nearby. And the kittens had that usual habit of hiding in a cozy place to sleep for hours while the humans found run around searching for them. Typical cat behaviour -- and especially when the weather's a bit bad, the like to find a warm, snug covert of their own. So the first hours, we mainly checked so that she wasn't trapped somewhere behind a closed door or anything. Checked the usual hideouts too. And the hay loft, which some cats can access without being able to find a way back. Looking in the treetops as she can climb (at least up, down is tricky). Looked under bushes, fearing the worst, that she lied dead or injured somewhere. The wind made it hard to call out and listen for meows of distress. Without result, but while we worried it was still with a sense of confidence that things would be back to normal. She was out of sight, not disappeared.

Then it got dark (damn these grey days and black night) and the worries took over fully. It she'd just been sleeping and hiding, she'd definitely be back after some hours. We were out looking for her again. And then again around midnight. To no avail. In the end we had so sleep. I dozed off hoping that it now was just the dark that kept her outdoors, that she'd found a shelter to wait out the night. That's happened before, especially if the cat were in the relatively cozy, but big, hay loft. Woke up at around 4:30 with a big lump churning in my stomach, unable to sleep.  Went outdoors again, looking, calling.

One night. Had she been an adult, I wouldn't have worried: our cats are good at fending for themselves and they do spent hours away (not least the big hunters Mimi and Randa), but Snuttis is a kitten. She's not old enough to hunt and be on her own for hours and hours. Now the worry was total. We was she? How could she vanish without a trace? What had happened?

Widening the search area didn't help, not on Thursday nor on Friday. And looking around, it's hard to see all the possible places to go, not knowing where to focus and which way is the most logical to look. There's fields and grazing land and coppices -- places to hide and get lost in. But where to look, knowing she'd never shown an interest in venturing beyond the home turf? And should we focus on many places around the farm or believe she'l got herself lost behind a hill or nearby grove?

And what has happened? Been spooked by something and run off -- but always staying in the yard, she'd surely run towards the house or barn, not away. An accident -- but wouldn't we find some sign if it happened nearby or -- horrible thought! -- her body somewhere. Wanderlust -- but the weather was not cat friendly, it was typical stay-indoors-and-sleep-the-whole-day weather. Then the more bisarre ideas take over. Theft. Stowaway in a car (not bizarre, just so unlikely).

So many questions. Worried sick not just being a figure of speech, but fear and sorrow and worry congeling in a horrible ice lump, a lead weight in the guts. The horror and panic of the thought she might be in distress, unable to make contact with anyone who can help her. In pain, injured -- or at the very least starving. Really starving (she hadn't had a big meal on Wednesday as they usually get the main meal in the late afternoon). Not knowing if she's dead or alive. Not knowing where. Alternating between hope and mourning. The heart shattering once again. The mind unable to believe the horrible things that has happened to our kittens this summer. How can fate be so cruel to an innocent, defenseless kitten?

Latest -- I refuse to say last! -- photo. Taken in the middle of the night.
13 hours later I feed the cats. And that's the last time I see her.

I'm not playing favourites, but Snuttis is for me the most special of the kittens we got this year. As mentioned before, I wasn't thrilled about it at first, seeing how many cats we have and our financial situation. But Snuttis was special. She was the only kitten in her mummy's, Mimi's, litter. She was born in the middle of the night -- in my bed! Mimi refused to be anywhere else. It was gory, I was unhappy (though it wasn't the first time ever, having kittens born in the bed). Mimi still refused to be anywhere but it the bed with me. So Snuttis ended up spending her first days and weeks exclusively in a corner of my bed. Always there. She got older and, with the help of a stool, was able to get in and out of bed. But ever since, she's almost always slept in my bed. I believe I can count the days she hasn't on my fingers. Lately, she liked to sleep on me. Not an easy feat considering I sleep on the side (lucky for her I'm a big girl) -- and I toss and turn every night. Daytime she's often been sleeping on my chest while I was trying to read, bead or embroider, reclined in bed or an armchair. In my way, but I wouldn't move her unless I had to get up.

In other words, she's always been the kittens that's been the closest to me of the four. Physically and otherwise. In a house full of cats, it still feels empty now. She's been here just a few months, but it's hard to picture life without her.

It's just so hard to really take it all in, to realise that it's real. That she has disappeared without a trace. She's not just in the other room or outside the door. She's vanished. She's been totally, completely, mercilessly gone for days now. Dead or alive -- in pain or ok -- we cannot know. With Sötis and Vitfluff there was that definite end, knowing what was happening and then, however hard, to accept the situation knowing they were dead. With Snuttis I can't, as if believing she's dead will kill her. And no matter how much I try, I can't stop time and I can't rewind the clock. It's happening right now. It's happening again. And I don't know what to do. I don't know how to cope, especially with the fear that she might be somewhere suffering right now. I hope for a miracle -- that she'll without a word with walk through the door, it's happened before when adult cats have gone awol -- but I don't truely believe in such miracles. Life is unfair, life is cruel, life hurts. Life goes not, indifferent to who lives and who dies.

The nights have been the worst as then when your thoughts start to wander. When you think of Snuttis out there alone, lonely, exposed to wind and rain in the dark. It's when I miss not having Snuttis near me. It's when I worry something will happen to Ullegull too. It's when I feel like a bad person for not looking harder, keep on searching every hour. When I feel it's my fault. I let them be outdoors (as usual), I spent four hours in front of a computer not once checking on them (as usual), I didn't react fast enough when told of the disappearance as I was too sure -- or tried to convince myself? -- that she was just sleeping in a cozy nook somwhere around the house. I'm the one not finding here, I'm the one who can't figure out what happened meaning I can't save her. And the questions about how she could desaplpear like that won't leave me.

And the only one that would be able to say something at all about what happened, the only one who say here just before she was gone, is Ullegull. The kitten that now don't have any playmates. He lies here beside me, sleeping like an angel, but can't say a thing...


  1. My heart is crying. She has been gone for several days. But there is still hope. Cats often get trapped somewhere as you know, even for a long time. She usually didn't wander far from home.Try to look in all places possible and impossible in the vicinity of your home. I guess there are many buildings at your farm. She might be locked in somewhere. Try to call her name at night, when it is calm and quiet. Ask your neighbours if they have seen her. Sometimes cats can't get back home, as other cats don't let them. In those cases a cat be forced far from home. I really, really hope that she'll be back soon. Hugs!

  2. So sorry you are going through this uncertainty. It is so sad what happened to your kittens,hope you will find some closure.

  3. I really hope she'll be back. Life has been cruel to you lately. If she'll be gone, there still is hope that she was found straying by a cat-loving person and lives in a new home now.

  4. I'm so, so sorry you're going through something so stressful! I hope you find her soon. *Hugs.*

  5. My heart goes out to you! I've lost many kitties through the years but the last one really hurt. Similar circumstances--he just disappeared. I called, hiked, left flyers, haunted the Animal Control Dept...and never found Boo Kitty.
    I pray little Snuttis will come mewing at your door any minute now! It might be that she's just a bit lost.
    Virtual Hugs,

  6. I''m so sorry you have to go through all this, still hoping Snuttis is alive and well. I hope she will find her way back home. Hugs. Milka

  7. Thank you so much for your comments, everyone!

    It's been a week now and no sign of her. I'm still hoping she's alive and that either she'll come home or someone have found her and taken care of her. While I'd grieve the loss of her, at least she'd be alive and well _somewhere_. She's so sweet and innocent and the thought of her alone in the big world (the chilly and rainy big world, too) is almost and horrible as the thought of her being dead, lost forever. Oh, my poor little sweetie!

  8. I'm sure many of us are missing Snuttis and thinking of you. I try to accept that there has not been the Snuttis is back-post I've been waiting for. You give your kittens and cats the best possible living conditions allowing them to explore the big world outdoors. Unfortunately they encounter many risks when enjoying there life in freedom. I still hope she'll be back or find a new home somewhere. Milka


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