I retired from the Army in 2010.  I had the idea to improve my fitness, so I went back to normal Army physical training on my own.  I live in a small Belgian village, where everyone knows what everyone else does.

Well, it was known that I would leave my farm for a three mile run at 0700, to return around 0745.  It was predictable.  One day, as I returned, I saw this poor, tiny, little white kitten on my stoop.  Her eyes were crusted shut.  She could never have gotten there on her own.  Someone put her there.  I brought her into the house.  She was sickly and both eyes were crusted shut.

wittekeWe called the vet, who treated her, and said that one eye should recover, but the other never.

My wife Ruth made it her project to find out who had left the kitten.  One can really get to the bottom of something in a Belgian village, and all signs pointed to a lady with a farm nearby.  Ruth confronted the lady, to ask if she had left the kitten there.  Her replay was no, she would never do that.  But, she said, were its eyes not crusted shut?

We named the white kitten Witteke.  She was a fine cat, though blind in one eye.  She lived with us two years.

I had recently to go to Fort Bragg, with the paratroops, for one week.  This trip coincided with what happened, but did not cause it.  Witteke developed an awful internal infection, and when I returned to Ruth, Witteke was on Death's door.  The veterinarian came and gave her antibiotic shots.  For a day, I hoped that this would help. 

She died today of kidney failure and pneumonia.  It bothered the veterinarian, somehow, that she purred as she died.

She had only two years with us.  But they were two years more than she would have had.  It is a hard thing, and it was hard to bury her in my farm today.  But she was happy to have had what she had. I have only respect. 


Jared Kline

One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)

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