If we are talking about cats anyway (see my previous post, The Mouse Extermination and Snake Prevention Team), let me just say a few words about our lost and much loved cat Milky. We called her that because she looked like she had fallen with her face into the milk. In fact, the name that my children gave her translates to “Queen Milky Whipped Cream the First”.
Milky was found wandering around the kibbutz homeless and wounded. At that time, we had only one house cat and we decided to adopt the little stray. She was so sweet and loving that we all fell in love with her. My eldest son perked right up after grieving the loss of Messi, who was killed by a dog. She slept in his bed at night and both were blissfully happy.
I still believe that Milky came to us for a reason: to find a safe home for her kittens. Because we soon realised that she was pregnant. We followed the progress of her pregnancy, fascinated. I spent hours watching and feeling the kittens move in her belly, trying to predict what they would look like and preparing for the birth. When it was time for her to give birth, Milky decided that the best place was on my bed – while I was in it. I carried her to the special box we had made her, and let the children stay up and watch while she gave birth smoothly to five lovely, healthy kittens.
Milky gave us an amazing gift. Not only her kittens and her own sweet nature, but a much needed distraction at a difficult time. The endless war between Israel and Gaza flared up again particularly nastily, and we were forced to stay close to home and run to the secure room (bomb shelter) whenever the sirens started howling. I remember how my children used to gather all the kittens before pulling the door of the secure room closed and waiting for the dreaded BOOM. We slept with the five of us in this room too, all the cats and kittens sleeping scattered on our beds.
We managed to find perfect homes for four out of five of the kittens. They were all placed with friends in the kibbutz and we still see them regularly. One of them even visits us and our current cats accept him. We kept one of the kittens and called him Lucky.
This is when we made a mistake. We didn’t realise that Milky would go into heat again so soon and waited too long to spay her. Until we noticed the meowing and the male cats surrounding our house. We quickly made a vet appointment and in the mean time tried to keep her inside. But it is hard to keep the door closed at all times in a house with three children. Milky escaped one day and disappeared. We looked for her everywhere, but never found her again. Strangely enough, a few weeks later, Lucky also disappeared. We never found out what happened to them.
I was devastated. I still miss them and I will never stop regretting being so careless. At some point, we adopted two other cats and took care to spay them immediately. Now we have three house cats. But although I love them, it is still hard for me to see pictures of Milky and Lucky. The lost cats, who should have stayed with us forever.