My youngest child, Mr. Attitude, saved the life of a kitten yesterday.
We have five kittens, about 7-8 weeks old, among the outside cats. The kids have named them Fuzzy, Fluffy #1, Fluffy #2, Fluffy #3, and Tiny Calico. They all bear a resemblance to our sometimes-indoor tomcat, Alexander, with long brownish hair and white paws.
Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Attitude went outside just in time to see Fluffy #1 hanging by her neck. She had gotten tangled in the frayed ends of a blue tarp that covered a table. Mr. A yelled "Daddy! A kitten is choking!" While The Hermit ran for a knife, Mr. A held the kitten up so it was not hanging anymore. The Hermit cut her free; she was unconscious but still alive. Mr. A gently massaged her and got her to start breathing again, then when she was fully conscious he brought her to her mother, where she nursed gratefully. By the time I got home, Fluffy #1 was playing around like she always did, except whenever she saw Mr. Attitude, she ran to him. She somehow knows. When I heard the story, I picked Fluffy #1 up and held her close. Life is so fragile and precious.
I am amazed that a three year old knew just how to respond and what to do, and at the level of compassion he has for these pets. He is still excited about killing the meat chickens, so I think he has an understanding of how certain animals have certain places in our lives. We are grateful for the chickens who will give us nourishment, and grateful for the cats that take care of flying rodents and teach us compassion.