Lessons from a Kitten


Baby Scout

On March 3, our 11.5 month old kitten, Scout, passed away suddenly.  It turned out he had an enlarged heart and we didn’t know it.  Scout passed at home very quickly from a heart attack.  That night, as usual, he ate dinner and then started cleaning himself.  The next minute, he tensed up and passed within a minute with me and my husband, Mike, right by his side.  I don’t think he knew what happened. He made no sound and looked very peaceful as I held him in my arms as my husband rushed us to the emergency vet.  We prayed the entire way. There was nothing else we could do and I believed if God wanted to perform a miracle he would and could.  Mike and I were very shocked and devastated that we lost our beloved Scout. 

We only had him for 10 months, since he was 8 weeks old.  He brought us and so many people so much joy and love.  We called him “our little rascal” because he was into everything.  He walked into the fridge when you opened it, walked into any open cabinet, jumped on counter tops, got stuck in the bookcase, chewed on plastic pens.  And the time he ate a plastic fork and I stuck my fingers in his throat to try and retrieve the fork and he bit my finger and it swelled and I had go to the ER. Or, when he would rip holes in the plastic bag off the bread and eat the bread or ripping holes in the plastic bag enclosing the daily newspaper, or ripping holes in garbage bags laid by the front door to take to the trash room. He even took my contact lens case (with the contacts still in them) and hid it somewhere.  I still haven’t found it. It was like having a toddler, constantly keeping an eye and ear out for any dangers and always having to know where he was.  If it was quiet, you knew Scout was somewhere he shouldn’t be! 

When we first adopted Scout on May 8, 2016, he was a sickly kitten.  Scout was up for adoption the day before we adopted him and no one wanted him.  God knew we were coming the next day to rescue him.  Looking back, he looked sick at the adoption event but he was the first kitten we picked out that day.  When we brought him home, he was extremely tired, didn’t want to eat, drink, explore, or play. 

I knew right away when we got home he wasn’t acting weird because he had a big day, being adopted and brought into a new environment.  My mom felt the same way.  We brought him to the vet the very next day.  Typically, after adopting a new pet, they recommend bringing the pet to the vet within a week but doesn’t have to be the next day.  We knew he needed immediate medical assistance.  It turned out Scout had been eating clumping litter and he was very constipated.  We started medicine and he started to feel better within a couple of weeks.   God knew we were coming and were going to give Scout the best home possible.  Most people would have overlooked his behavior that first day and assumed it was because he was adjusting to this big life change.

After he passed, I naturally wondered “why did this happen?” “What if he knew about this disease?”  But, we have to turn to faith in the hardest times and ask God and the angels for support.  Despite the broken hearts and the emptiness we feel in our home without Scout’s fearless little spirit, we have had many blessings come of this in a few short days after his passing.

The night Scout passed, he and I played for an hour.  He was so happy and purring.  I received the blessing of having a full hour of joy with my little kitten when normally we wouldn’t have done that after work on a weekday.

God knew he was going to take Scout on March 3.  He rearranged our schedules well in advance so Mike and I could be home with him.  My mom and I threw a baby shower for my sister-in-law and it was originally going to be on March 4.  My mom received a letter in the mail, she may be called to  jury duty and the time frame would have ended on March 3.  If she had to serve on a jury, it wouldn’t have given her enough time to get ready for the party the following day.  We moved the baby shower to the following weekend.  Scout passed on Friday, March 3 and I was asked a couple weeks earlier to travel for business the following Sunday (March 5) through Tuesday (March 7).  I had an appointment with my orthodontist that Tuesday, March 7, that I didn’t want to miss.  I was doing treatment to straighten my teeth, Invisalign, invisible braces for the past year and this appointment was the final appointment to take impressions for my retainers.  I was originally supposed to go the day before Scout passed, but I mixed up the days and had to push the appointment back to Tuesday.  It is very unlike me to mix up the days.  I am very organized and I was eager to complete my treatment.  If I didn’t mix up the days, I would have had to travel for business the Sunday after Scout went to Heaven and that would have been unbearable and impossible.  We both witnessed Scout’s last moments and it takes the burden off having to experience that alone and having to explain to my husband what he might have missed.  God has a schedule for everything and I believe he cleared our schedules so we could be with Scout and grieve in peace with no obligations the following days.

M husband and I both woke up at 4:44am the day after Scout passed. 4’s mean angels are with you and helping you.

The night Scout passed, before I went to into a restless sleep, I prayed to God for signs that Scout was OK.  When I lost another cat years ago, Abby, he came into my dreams one night.  He was a young healthy cat, drinking the purest water.  I can still remember the image in my head to this day after all these years.  I believe it was a sign he was in Heaven.  I also asked Archangel Michael to come and strengthen me.  He is the Archangel associated with strength, protection, and purple and blue colors.  I had a clear dream that night of white flowers and a purple light shining from the left onto the flowers. A loud, manly man’s voice said, “I am here to help you.”  I immediately woke up and knew Archangel Michael heard my call and came to comfort and strengthen me.  That night it was hard to sleep.  My husband and I both woke up at 4:44am on March 4.  4’s mean angels are surrounding and helping you. A clear sign the angels were with us, comforting us.   

The next day, Saturday, Mike and I woke up crushed and heart broken.  The reality set in that Scout really was gone and the nightmare we experienced the day before was real.  It was a beautiful March day, chilly but sunny.  We decided to go to a local national park and take long walk.  As you read in “Hello from Tigger!” being in nature soothes my soul.  On the way to the park, we were waiting to turn left and cars were whizzing by on the right. I told my husband, “those cars are going too fast.”  While we waited to turn, two cars drove by much slower than the rest and had the license plates, “Joyful 4” and “Lil Capt.” The angels communicate to me with license plates and I knew these were more signs.  I easily understood the “Joyful 4” plate.  In the blink of an eye, what you know right now could change.  One minute we had Scout and the next minute we didn’t.  This is a reminder to be grateful for the things we have right now and to focus on the positive and not dwell on the negative.  I didn’t understand what “Lil Capt” meant until later that night.

Scout (left), Bonkers (right)
Mugs we bought before we knew about Scout (left) and Bonkers (right)


Scout (left) Bonkers (right)

Before we adopted Scout and Bonkers (our second kitten), we bought two mugs with cats on them.   

After we adopted Scout and Bonkers last May, we noticed the cats on the mugs look exactly like them!  Scout’s mug is of a cat wearing a captain hat.

When we got to the park, we went to look at the overlook to look at the falls.  I love being near water and thought this could help us heal.  I lifted my leg and put it on the ledge to tie my shoe and a feather was right next to my shoe.  I immediately knew this was another sign from Scout.  How lucky we were to be receiving all these signs so quickly!  Even though we were in nature and feathers could come from a bird, this feather is similar to all of the other feathers I have found, (see  my post,“When Angels are Near Feathers Appear” for more details) and in my heart I knew it was a sign.  Why else would I tie my shoe at that moment and have a feather right next to it?

The falls we were looking at when I found the feather.

  On Sunday, I opened the Sunday newspaper. As usual, I started with the comics, I like reading Garfield and Mutts.  My eye caught a cartoon that I never read.  I immediately associated the rat with Scout.  As I mentioned earlier, he was our little rascal, always getting into trouble. As the cartoon says, “you did just enough good to get into Heaven.”  I would say he would reset himself because he would do something really cute and it would make up for his troubles.  It takes time for newspapers to plan, write, print and distribute each newspaper and this cartoon was not in there by mistake and it confirms this was God’s plan all along to take Scout back home on March 3.  Plus, the laughter always helps to alleviate the pain.

Later that day, I went to Target.  When I pulled into the parking lot, I saw another comforting license plate, “F8H HOPE.”  I knew I had to continue on my path and keep increasing my faith and trust in God that this was His will and plan.  Also, on Sunday, Mike and I each found a small white feather.  Mike’s was on his work pants in his closet. 

Feather found in Mike’s closet, on his work pants.

Scout always wanted to climb Mike’s leg when he wore his nice work pants. I found a small white feather in our home, the days jumble together and I can’t remember where I found it, but I know these small feathers, one for each of us, was another sign from Scout comforting our broken hearts.

A few days later, it dawned me that Mike never has had his own Bible.  I bought him his first Bible and dedicated in loving memory of Scout.  If Scout didn’t pass, I wouldn’t have thought to do this.  My husband and I have been together for 14 years and this thought of getting him his own Bible has never crossed my mind.

Scout wasn’t with us for very long but we all loved each other very much and he brought many blessings to our lives.  Scout’s enlarged heart is a metaphor for the tremendous amount of love he brought me and Mike.  He taught me that life is short.  Circumstances can change in an instant and you need to be grateful and happy right now, in this moment.  It reminds me of a saying from a local church:

Life is short,

and we do not have too much time

to gladden the hearts

of those who travel the way with us.

So be swift to love;

make haste to be kind;

swifter still to forgive.

And may the blessing of the one

who made us,

who loves us

and who walks the way with us still;

the one, holy and undivided Trinity

be with us this day

and remain with us always.

 The world looks different without Scout. The sky is bluer, the sun is warmer, my appreciation for my friends and family is greater.  He taught me to increase my faith, trust and lean on God no matter what.  God is always with you and has a greater plan than we can understand.  He is listening and will comfort you.  Thank you Scout, my tiny tot, little rascal for the blessings you brought into our life that will last a lifetime.

Scout’s signature move, 5 months old.
Scout getting cozy.
Rascal Scout.
Scout (top), Bonkers (bottom).
Scout loved his bed.
Scout found the paperbag stash in the closet.
October 15, 2016;. Scout (left), me (middle), Bonkers (right), 8 months old.


  • Linda ZauzigMarch 15, 2017 at 8:35 pm
    Kristen -- reading this makes my heart ache so much for your loss. You've captured Scout's essence so clearly. You and Mike saved him and poured so much love into him. He loves you and is still scampering around . He's leaving you signs that his love endures forever -- just like his little paw print will always be in your hearts. I loved him too.Reply
    • Kristen KroweMarch 15, 2017 at 9:09 pm
      He loved you too. You were the best Nini to him from Day 1.Reply

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