In May 1991 Jennifer was getting ready for graduation and her wedding in June to Lance. Brandy was 6 months old. I had been watching her in the mornings while Jenny went to school. She got out of school at noon and drove the car home. She watched her from then on. I had to be at work at Heartland Hospital at 3:00 and left around 2 or 2:30.
Floy Mae had moved south of us in a small farm house. Her son, JR, was born in September of 1979 a month before Chuck. We had gone to the Doctor's office at the same time. JR was Chuck's best friend. They walked to each other's house and rode bicycles back and forth. Floy Mae had a dog that was part pit bull. I had my cats and we had King, the German Shepherd. Charles had always told me when we moved to the farm because there was enough land, 12 acres, that I could have as many cats as I wanted as long as they stayed outside. We brought home a part siamese cat and named her Sheba. She was so pretty with the markings of a Siamese and big blue eyes.Charles let me keep her in the house. One day I ws sitting on the deck of the pool just watching the water swirl around when Sheba came running to me and wanted me to follow her to an old junk pickup truck and in the front seat she had had 6 little kittens. I patted her and congratulated her her but she still kept "asking" me over and over to come look. She cried and meowed constantly. Charles would say, " What's wrong with that cat?"
Not long after the birth of the kittens I noticed JR coming down the road on his bicycle with the big pit bull running behind. I told Chuck to meet him and tell him to take that dog back home, and that that dog was not welcome on our property. He did but the dog would not go back alone. Charles was working on a car when Sheba came looking for me again. She looked at the pit bull and he looked at her. Suddenly the pit bull grabbed her and started to shake her by the neck. I screamed and JR grabbed him , we tried to get him to let go. He finally did. She ran off to the shed east of the back door of the house. I ran to her and checked on her. She'd seemed to be alright Charles was yelling about the kittens being in the front seat of the truck, the mess etc.., so we took the kittens out and put them in a box. We put the box in the shed with Sheba. She didn't seem interested in them anymore. They were screaming at the top of their lungs. I put each one next to her so they could eat. Sheba would lick them but she kept getting up and pushing them away.
The next day she was letting them eatand seemed to be better. Slowly the kittens started to dieone by one.One week after the incident with the pit bull, I noticed Sheba was hiding alot. There was a "cave" of sorts between the house and the poolwhere the water pipes went into the house. I found her hiding in there.I pulled her outand looked at her big blue eyes. I noticed they weren't blue anymore! They were green!I ran into the house and called the vet in South St Joseph and explained the whole ordeal. Their advise was to get her to the office immediately, I was scolded for not bringing her in as soon as the attack had occurred. I explained that she seemed to be doing better and was starting to feed and pay attention to her kittens after a few hours. Charles had a cardinal rule that no money was to be spent on pets for vet services so it was out of the question to immediately go there. On this day, looking at Sheba, and knowing there was something wrong set the fear of God in me. Jenny and I put her in a box and jumped into the car. She was screaming bloody murder and trying to climb out of the box.I was trying to drive and Jenny was trying to hold her still.We pulled up in front of the veterinary clinic about 20 minutes later. We got right inand placed her on the cold chrome table. She lay there motionless when the Dr came in to look at her. I could tell by the look on his facethat the news was not good. Suddenly he started giving CPR and i fell against the wall and slid down in tears. I just got scolded againfor not bringing her in sooner.He said when the dog shook her she still had another kitten inside. The shaking caused bleeding and she was slowly bleeding to death the whole week after the incident.
The vet looked up after he'd finished CPR and told me she was gone. The memories were so fresh. She had tried so hard to tell me about her kittens.How, I had followed her to the truck. She had climbed on the seat and purred and cleaned them. She was so proud of her accomplishment! She just couldn't get enough of telling me about it. She would follow me around the yard and meow, and lick the kittens , she'd put her paws around them as any mother would do to hold them close.
The devastation I felt was overwhelming. I could hardly see to drive home. I was crying so hard and Jenny too.
I told Floy Mae never to bring that dog over to our house again. They loved that dog. I ould never understand how anyone could love a dog so big, mean and ugly. He finally died a few years later of old age. They were devastated too, but he didn't die in the cruel way that Sheba had. No one grabbed him up and shook him until he bled to death, a slow painful death that took a week. I felt so sorry that I didn't take her to the vet sooner, but I knew Charles would never hear of it! They said they could have helped her if only I had brought her in sooner. She had the kittens to take care of, she was eating ans seemed to be back to normal until I saw those green eyes! All the kittens eventually died. She stopped caring for her beloved brood in the first 24 hours. Charles said ,"Let nature take its course."
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