Meatball: A Short Story

A Land Flowing with Meatballs and Ice Cream

Meatball

This blog is written by Meatball. His saucy name makes him feel tough when he’s scared and hungry, so he likes it; but he has a sensitive, artsy side too.  For example, his favorite artist is Monet. His favorite Monet pieces are the Nymphéas or Water Lilly series. Meatball said, “I’ve heard some people describe others as ‘late bloomers.’ Well, if I had to describe myself in that light, I’d say I was plucked just a little too early. But thanks to the love and support of special people around me, I too was able to know love and feel safe.’ This is his story.

On the morning of June 14th, I was found in the night drop kennels at Anchorage Animal Care and Control. I was very hungry and I was letting everyone know about it! I had been brought there by a Good Samaritan who found me for sale in a Walmart parking lot.

I was being sold with my siblings, but I was far too young to be away from my mother. I was only 3-4 weeks old and weighed a mere 11 oz. I missed my mommy’s warm milk and the fuzzy comfort of my siblings.

At the shelter, this nice lady said, “He’s so cute I want to name him Ice Cream Cone.” Everyone laughed but they agreed and that became my first name. I’ve never seen an ice cream cone, but it sounded delicious!

Due to my early departure from my mother, I needed a lot of attention and care so I was placed in a foster home. It was my foster dad who changed my life and my name to Meatball. I liked it a little better and I liked him a lot!

He has the coziest chest and I just love to sleep on it. I also like to snuggle with his old dog who doesn’t seem to mind. I’m hungry all the time and I really like to let him know it. I like to talk to him while he is making dinner in the kitchen; I also like to sit on his foot. Pretty much where ever he is, is where I like to be. Sometimes I try to suck on his arm because I get confused about where my food is going to come from next.

Even though I am very weak and delicate, my dad does his best to help me stay strong and feel loved. “You must be so out-of-sorts being away from your mom, little guy,” He said to me once. He totally gets it and he made me purr for the first time. It feels so good to feel that rumble in my little body and nice to be able to show him that he makes me happy.

I am not very sure about my future. I don’t always feel the best, but I know how lucky I am. There is darkness and wrong-doing in this world, but the amount of love I have been shown in my short life has been incredible. I want the world to know that it is important to live and let live and to let things grow and thrive where they belong. Right now, where I belong is on my dad’s chest purring away and dreaming of a land full of meatballs, ice cream cones, and lilies.

AFTER THE STORY UPDATE

It breaks our hearts to say that our little guy didn’t make it. But we still wanted to tell his story and let his voice be heard for all the kittens who lose their mommas too soon and for all our foster kittens who first know love from our amazing troop of foster parents. AACC foster parents open not just homes but their hearts every time they agree to care for a kitten and for this we, and our kittens, are grateful,

In Meatball’s memory, remember to be kind and show love to those around you every moment that you can. We know Meatball would think that is just perfect.

Reflections from Meatball’s Foster Dad

Meatball 3

Meatball came to me as just a tiny squirt of a kitten. Here was a little guy who was taken from his mom way too early and no longer had any siblings to find comfort with so we became very attached very quickly, which, of course, had me thinking “should I keep this one?” on our very first night together. Despite being so tiny Meatball seemed healthy. I was sure that with a lot of love and care he’d make it and be a great companion for either myself or some other lucky person. I was already feeling proud of the chance of a great life we were giving him.

Throughout the weekend he sat on my shoulder or in my sweatshirt pocket (yes, he was that tiny) as I went about my usual routine. In the evenings he would lay on my chest while I read.  He never let me out of his sight and either chased me down or meowed until I returned. I was the most important thing in the world to Meatball and I didn’t take that sentiment or responsibility lightly.

I had a trip planned and only had him for 5 days before moving him to his second foster home.  While I was gone I thought about him often and was anxious to see him. I was out of communication and had no idea that he was not doing well so it was hard to hear when I came back that his health was failing.

In a matter of a few days Meatball’s health went south despite our best efforts…and then he was gone. The whole experience- which lasted barely more than a week- is one I think about every day. I take comfort in knowing I, and his second foster home, were able to give Meatball love, security, and companionship for at least part of his short life. I didn’t think I’d be ready to foster again for a few months because I was feeling raw about Meatball’s passing but I already found myself with three foster kittens this past week! Meatball would be proud of me.

Blog posts are authored by AACC volunteer, Stephanie.

Photos courtesy of Meatball’s foster dad.

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