Project Kindness (Day 22)

Sometimes being kind isn’t much fun at all. Sometimes it makes you feel downright lousy. Just ask the six-month-old porch kitty, who finally wore us down with cuteness and undeterred loyalty, if she thought I was being kind to her today. First, I tricked her with food and snuggles to crawl willingly into a small dungeon-like box I had nonchalantly slipped onto the porch minutes earlier. Then I brought her inside for a few minutes to sample the smells and noises that only an inside kitty would come to know. Then I scooped her up, took her on very bumpy car ride, and delivered her to the clinic to get a “special operation” from a very nice young lady wearing a white coat. Somewhere between getting in the car and getting out, sweet Blackberry stopped innocently purring and started making desperate mournful pleas for her fuzzy little life. And all I could think was: 

“Cruel to be kind in the right measure
Cruel to be kind it’s a very good sign
Cruel to be kind means that I love you
Baby, got to be cruel, you got to be cruel to be kind”

Mary Hazel was on Blackberry’s side. I was definitely on the bad list. When the nice lady with the white coat picked up the kitty carrier to take her away, the baby scolded her loudly, “No, thank you! My kitty! My black kitty!” The outburst startled us all, but then we laughed and said, “Oh, isn’t that sweet.” Mary Hazel did not think it was at all sweet. She followed the nice lady in the white coat down the hall insisting, “My black kitty!” the whole way. She cried. She plopped down on the cold, linoleum floor and had herself a little fit. It would be an honorable send off for any kitten. I tried to explain that we were helping Blackberry and that she would be coming home with us in a few hours. Mary Hazel, who had no concept of how long that might be, stood outside the swinging door where Blackberry had disappeared moments before and did not budge. It was getting late and we needed to head to school. She was hearing none of it. So, I had to put on my mommy pants again, pick up the inconsolable noodle baby, and firmly cradle her in the football hold all the way to the car. Any volunteer who happened to be walking a dog within 100 yards would tell you that it was very clear that Mary Hazel wasn’t going to leave willingly without “my black kittttttty!”. And all I could think was:

“Cruel to be kind in the right measure
Cruel to be kind it’s a very good sign
Cruel to be kind means that I love you
Baby, got to be cruel, you got to be cruel to be kind”

As you might imagine, the kitten is fine. I picked her up all groggy and silly after her operation and she is snuggled up in her blanket on my bedroom floor. All’s well that ends well. Even when you know you are doing the kindest thing in the long run, getting there can sometimes be a bit stressful.

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