Stripey, we barely knew ye.

Sophia had an unfair and hard life lesson today.

Yesterday evening while visiting Dave’s grandparents who live way out in the country, Sophia and Dave went for a walk. After reaching the end of the gravel road, they spotted 3 little kittens hiding by a log. Apparently they had been dumped there, which started the wheels turning in Sophia’s mind right away. We told her that if they were still there in the morning we would pick them up and take them to a no kill shelter.

So sure enough, on our way out today, there they were. Dave, Sophia, and I chased them around in the brush trying to round them up. And wouldn’t you know it, we weren’t more than 30 seconds down the road before I hear kitten names in the back seat. “Oh Stripey, I love you.”

Oh crap.

Pulling into the parking lot of the ARK shelter in Lacon (a no kill shelter where the kittens will stay as long as it takes for them to find a home), Sophia started getting emotional. She grabbed Stripey and ran off behind the shelter, yelling at us that she was not giving her away and that the kitten had to come home. I was almost as heartbroken for her as she was. Who wouldn’t do anything possible to keep their child from hurting so much?

We went back and forth, with her standing firm and me explaining that she was doing a really good thing, and her crying, “No! No! I love her!”

Oh my God. What a horrible position to be in. So I gently took the kitten out of her arms, Sophia sobbing even harder, whispering “I love you. You’re a hero to these kitties. I know it’s hard. This is the right thing to do.” And placed Stripey back in her box, handing the kittens over to the shelter vet.

That was 5 hours ago. My girl is still sniffling in the back seat of our car as we all move quietly through the dark roads back to our home.