WARNING....this post may upset the especially sensitive, especially where cats are concerned!
I was about to begin the youth gathering in Kamkumung this morning when a very distraught Shiana called me on my mobile. She and Ashlyn had stayed home with Andrew (they sometimes stay home and just play together while Andrew works - admittedly sometimes with a few interruptions!), and Kirilee was playing at a friend's house (friend from school).
And the problem....our cat, Moonbeam, had been run over and killed outright by a car. First I spoke to a crying Shiana and then a crying Ashlyn. Apparently the guards in our compound saw the cat crossing the road, when it was hit by a car and was killed instantly. They quickly grabbed the cat for us (before someone else took it away to eat it....they call that kind of thing chance meat!!) and knocked on our door. Julie (who came to help out for the morning) spoke to the guard and hurried off to get the cat. Shiana and Ashlyn followed her and watched as she picked the cat up and brought it to our house.
Then they went running upstairs to bring the sad news to their Dad, who duly comforted them, and then they called me. When I arrived home a couple of hours later our poor dead cat was laying in a plastic bag in the laundry. Andrew told me (I already suspected from the cat in the bag picture that greeted me in the laundry) that Julie asked if she could bring it home to eat it (she tells me cat meat is sweeter than chicken!). I spoke about it with the girls and we all decided that sure she could take it home. At least that way she would have a good meal from it (it was hardly hurt at all - just hit fair and square on the head), and besides Moonbeam was dead and nothing would change that.
Anyway, that was something different for us....having our domestic pet eaten by someone else....but when you think about it, it would have been kind of selfish for us, in the situation, to simply bury it. Here is a lady who rarely eats meat, who needs all the protein she can get, and then for sentimental reasons we want to "waste" a really good meal for her. Kind of sounds harsh, but then life is harsh over here, and much harsher for her than for us!
The girl's are still sad, especially Shiana. She has been on the verge of tears all day - just managing to hold them back most of the time, but her eyes were welling up all day when she thought about him. She just loved that cat (we all did...he was a nice cat!) and often would have him snuggle in bed with her for a few hours! Just a few nights ago, I took this really cute picture, below, of them together. Andrew and I just loved the way we found them as we got ready for bed. Shiana's arm was around Moonbeam, and then he was "holding her hand". Oh, and BTW - if you are wondering what that pink thing is around Shiana's head....that is a contraption I sewed up. You see, she is wearing this mouth thing (T4K - research it on the internet if you want to know more about it) which is supposed to prevent braces (her teeth were really badly buck teeth, but they are slowly moving backward!). Anyway, the thing is supposed to stay in all night, but she always spits it out, until I sewed this silly thing, which does the trick. Now the T4K stays in all night! When Shiana saw the picture I was posting she was pleased when I hurriedly reassured her that I would explain why she was all "tied up."
So that was our day. Shiana declared it the "saddest day of my life!" and Ashlyn prayed, "I'm sad that Moonbeam died", when she prayed this evening. But then, tomorrow is another day and the morning always looks brighter, even for little kids!