It's been almost 6 hours since the girls left and the mood in the guest room is quite somber. Each time I go upstairs, Chloe stands in front of the remaining three kittens, who are huddled together tightly, and meows a questioning "mew." It's as if to say, "Can you tell me where my daughters are?"
I am so sad right now, I can't even tell you. I've never even thought about how littermates reacted to separation. Somehow I guess I just assumed they wouldn't really notice.
But then I remembered how Henry cried when he was separated from Mia and Cora... how Sarah has told me about Cora wandering the house, crying late at night while I was away because she couldn't find me... How Mia mewed in sorrow when she was taken away from Colby and Lola...
Marie and Miss Purrvis were shaking as they were plucked from under the bed and placed into their carrier. They huddled together in the corner of the little box, wide-eyed while their mother watched helplessly and confused as her children were carried off in the hands of strangers.
I went upstairs just a few minutes ago to see how the boys and Chloe were doing. As before, they were huddled together, Chloe shielding them by forming a semi-circle with her body.
"Meow? Mew??" she asked me.
"Sorry, Chlo," I said softly.
"Mrow?" she asked again.
I shook my head and sat down beside her and the boys. Chloe sat on her side against my leg and slowly began to purr as I stroked gently under her chin. One by one, Trevor, Smudge and Tiny settled down in front of Chloe and began nursing. Soon the hallway was filled with the soothing hum of four separate, steady purrs.
Typically at this time of night the hallway and room is alive with wrestling, mewing kittens. But tonight the air was filled with a sense of loss, longing and fear.
I hate good-byes.