Love and living and dying and living…

by Craig on May 4, 2011

At 6PM Laska the love kitty was his bright, inquisitive, sparkling self. Then I put on the Hartz flea protection drops.

Within minutes,
he crouched low,
and wouldn’t budge.

At first I thought he was just unhappy with the goo.

But it was much more.

Ten minutes later he walked with all the uncertainty of a newborn calf. Faltering. Wavering. Unsteady.

A few days ago,

the love kitty landed a jump from 20 feet away,

and 10 feet high,

onto small storage shed.

He bragged about that here.


like Spiderman,

he crawled down the side of the shed to the ground.

Now he could barely stand.

He was shaking his paws like they were wet. They weren’t.

He’d try to lick some off, but couldn’t really reach it.

What little he got left him frothing at the mouth and gagging.

Laska’a a vocal cat.
It was his voice that told me where to find him when he was lost. (here)
His voice was now conspicuously absent.

I expected him to follow me to the bed. He always does.

He didn’t.

I wake between 5 and 20 times a night. This is part of “the sleep thing” – the thorn. But not one time, this night, was he there when I woke. What I didn’t know was that he had found a box from our recent move, and hidden, nearly paralyzed.

I’ve seen a beloved cat do this before – and be dead within 6 hours.

Cats hide when they think they’re dying because they know they can’t fend off a predator – so they sneak away to a place they think a predator won’t find them.

Up well before dawn I searched and found him. He was lifeless as a rag doll – except uncontrollably shivering.

As I wrote yesterday,
I laid him beside me,
bundled up warm.

He scooted as close to me as he could.

Shivering subsided as he drifted off to sleep.

I thought he’d get better with sleep.

He wouldn’t.

He was having a toxic reaction – and a neurological event.

He didn’t move from under the blanket for hours. I had to regularly check his breathing. I took it as a sign he was healing.

It wasn’t.

Then I googled –and read horror stories of cats who died within days of having these drops placed on them. The only thing to do was to wash the poison off.

Laska’s breathing was labored, he was twitching, hadn’t eaten or had any water for 12 hours, couldn’t stay conscious, so before driving him to an animal hospital I took him immediately to the bathtub.

At first he didn’t fight – he couldn’t.
By the end of the bath he had me fearing my life.

A good sign.

In 15 minutes he drying off with only an occasional twitch.

Within 30 he ate.

Within 45 he was in the bathtub again, this time drinking from his personal water fountain.

The vet said nearly 50 percent of the cats who had this product placed on them have this kind of reaction – and many of them died within 24-48 hours.

Within 60 minutes of bath time, Laska was playing with his plethora of toys, and then the first meow I’d heard in a day. Weak – but getting stronger by the minute.

He may get another bath – if I’m up for a war.


This was about as close to a resurrection as I’ve ever seen.

The love kitty,

having danced with death,

is now as frisky as a resurrected lamb flitting about Jerusalem

and chatting just as much.

The water,
the cleansing,
the removal of death…

it sounds like a different story…


But this time it was a most clear story…

of Resurrection.

Laska’s the love kitty’s history:

Abandoned then rescued.
An orphan – but adopted.
Lost – found.
Dying, but being saved.

The story sounds familiar. No?


linking today with Ann, the practice of resurrection

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Emilie May 4, 2011 at 8:31 am

Oh Crag, I’m so happy to hear that Laska’s doing well! He’s been on my mind the past couple days, and I wondered how he was. Almost exactly a year ago, my cat (Copper) died from kidney failure… he was somewhere around 14 years old (I don’t know exactly… he’d been a stray when he adopted us…), so it was just old age and there was nothing I could do… but it’s so horribly sad when it happens, and I’m super happy that Laska’s back to his frisky self. :) Tell him I said hi and I’m glad he’s feeling better… :)


Emilie May 4, 2011 at 8:32 am

*and that was supposed to be “Craig,” by the way. :)


Craig May 4, 2011 at 11:41 am

The spelling is actually fine in the Welsh Emilie – Craig comes from the word “crag”.

Emilie – he’s a little worn – but better – and thank you for caring – and I know how hard losing Copper must have been – I will write a post sometime on why I know that I know that I know that beloved pets go to heaven. I’ll give Laska a hug for you – thank you for that – and he’ll be soon writing a post or two – he’s a slow typer – and I only have one laptop. He did co-write a post with me on Deep into Scripture the other day – his first venture into theology.

Congratulations again on graduating – you are a gem – and the world needs you in it. God bless.


Dawn May 4, 2011 at 9:21 am

What a horrible experience! I have put Advantix on my dogs their whole lives and never had anything like this happen. It just serves to remind me that every chemical has its hazards as well as its benefits. I am SO glad you recognized what was happening and got to the solution. What really struck me as you tell the story is that you were willing to go through the “war” of a second bath if you needed to do so. It’s a snapshot of the Savior. I wonder if Christ could see all of us going from death to life as His life blood drained from His body. I wonder if He thought to Himself, “This is a good thing” just as you found Laska’s fight a “good sign.”

God bless you two today and every day,


Craig May 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

I’m sniffing him today – seeing if I smell more chemicals – he smells like him – so I guess the war won’t be necessary. Although since the tub is also his special watering hole – maybe he’ll turn out to be a water cat.

and what struck me about what you wrote is “This is a good thing” just as you found Laska’s fight a “good sign.” Is that how God sees us in our struggles. He’s sad because we’re sad – but he recognizes the good in the bad – that we don’t always? I know it wasn’t your point – that was awesome too – but it hit me this way. Thank you for that Dawn. God bless you!!


Lynda May 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

Like children, when our pets (companions) are not well we want to take on their pain for them. I am happy to hear the love kitty is better, and that you knew just what to do.


Craig May 4, 2011 at 11:48 am

It’s nowhere near a child. It can’t possibly be anywhere near the depth you feel for your son. But you know how it is when you don’t have children – pets are like your kids. Thank you Lynda – and the love kitty is better now – God bless you and yours.


Christina May 4, 2011 at 10:39 am

I was in tears! Poor kitty, you must have been so scared for him. But then there was joy in his life renewed. Thank you for this post and pointing out how we all have the same story.


Craig May 4, 2011 at 11:50 am

I wasn’t in tears yesterday – not once – not until he got better. It’s that calm that hits you when you’re in crisis – and you think clearly – much more clearly than you should be able to. I know with your kids you must know this. I wasn’t going to write about it – and I couldn’t believe when all was said and done that the story was a perfect one for the topic of resurrection. Oh how things are timed sometimes. Thank you Christina – and God Bless you!!


Cora May 4, 2011 at 10:55 am

Oh, Craig! I knew something was wrong yesterday. Terribly wrong. I felt it in my heart and just kept on praying for Laska and for you. We all chimed in with you about the “after Easter” thing and not wanting to lose the wonder and reality of it all. I didn’t expect it to happen like THIS. Poor little guy suffered a lot so we could learn a lesson, didn’t he. I wonder which was worse, the flea stuff or the bath!!!??? I remember back during the time of the cat food scare when certain brands had been tainted and cats were dying. I lost three. It took a long time for me to get over the guilt and pain . I fed it to them. I was their caretaker. I felt responsible. I’m with Dawn about the war with the second bath. I think I would have to suit up with bubble wrap, gloves, etc. for that one. I am so relieved to know Laska is better. And I am SOOOOOOO reminded of who I am and where I came from!


Craig May 4, 2011 at 11:55 am

I’m guessing the bath wasn’t that horrible – they know when you’re trying to help them. And since it is his water fountain – he doesn’t hate the location. He suffered much more than he should have – I have to think and pray about my reaction to Hartz – we are going to have a discussion that’s for certain. I remember that cat food scare too Cora. But this is different – Hartz knows the chemical affects some cats like this – and they do have a tiny warning on the back – but it kills some cats – and Laska was headed there. To know this and count it as acceptable loss – UNACCEPTABLE. ANd I get the guilt you felt – I felt it when Laska was lost, and would have here too. Thank you so much for reading Cora – God Bless.


Kris May 4, 2011 at 11:55 am

A kitty spared, pardoned for more leaping and bounding, playing and frisking, as only a cat can do best. So glad to hear that your furry baby is well and good. What an unexpected and yet perfect analogy here. Praise Jesus for this grace!
Blessings, brother.


Craig May 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

Kris – “pardoned for more leaping and bounding, playing and frisking,” – just exactly the smile I needed right this moment. Your comment is a blessing. And an unexpected analogy it was – that’s certain – and so perfect – it has SOMEONE”S BIG pawprint on it. No? Blessing to you too, sister.


A. May 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Just very, very grateful that Laska is alive. Hugs and backward pettings to that gift of an animal!


Craig May 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm

And my oh my things were horrible A. Horrible. I big puffy heart that love kitty!!!!


Amy May 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Oh Craig! So very, very glad to hear that Laska is okay. I cried just reading about his ordeal. He looks exactly like my Chloe-cat. And I know what a loving, wonderful friend she has been to me. She and my dog, Madison, were my babies for years when I feared being unable to have them. So I know how important these furry friends are and I am sending lots of warm pats and prayers his way today. Hope he’s completely restored ASAP.


Craig May 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I want to see a picture of Chloe-cat!!!!! send me a link – please and thank you. I heart cats that look like Laska – like an ocelot!! I heart ocelots!! I’ll have to keep an eye on him for lasting damage – but he seems to be getting better. He’s been through a lot of stuff for just one year of living. Thank you for caring about my humble little cat. God bless you and all of yours Amy. God Bless.


Amy May 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Craig, I included a picture of Chloe’s face on this post: She may be more tabby than ocelot, but something about Laska reminded me of her. Smiles –


Nicol May 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Oh my! Now I am forever enamoured with Laska- the very male cat!!! I am so happy that he is feeling much better (after being resurrected).
Your razor sharp spiritual insight into life moments inspires this ever-eager reader fan.


Craig May 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm

He’s been through a lot of stuff for just one year of living – the love kitty. Thank you – and although it wasn’t an actual resurrection – it’s close enough for me to learn from. And your words – they’re gracious – thank you lots!! God bless you Nicole. Gd Bless.


Grace Walker May 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm

So relieved that he is Re-lived! I’ve had a similar experience with a beloved feline, but it did not end well. Praise God yours has ended well. I haven’t had a cat for 4 years; my Jem went to live with my best friend during a time of transition and turmoil. Thankfully, she loves him just like I do and is taking great care of him. Blessings on the week!


Craig May 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Me too Grace – me too. And you – to have to hand over your baby like that to a friend. I know times of transition and turmoil – and I know how hard that must have been – maybe still is. But it makes me smile that you had that option and you know our beloved feline is OK. Thank you Grace – thank you. God Bless you.


Mari May 4, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I’m so glad he is ok! Wow, its been an eventful few weeks for Laska! What a perfect illustration of God’s redemptive work in us =)


Craig May 4, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Amen – it HAS been an eventful few weeks for the love kitty – a pretty big eventful 1st year of life- bus he knows he’s loved – and he trusts me – and he’s a smile factory. Pray for me to settle down before I decide what to do about HARTZ – there’s a tiny warning on the back – which nobody ever reads and they know that – regardless – if cats get killed by the product – that warning needs to be in front – and in red – or just reformulate or something. Almost lost the love kitty to flea drops. See – you can see the anger is still there – need to move in love – not anger. Mari – thank you lots. Really – thank you. And God bless you and yours. and sorry for the little rant :)


Christine May 4, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Glad he is ok. Thanks for a beautiful post


Craig May 6, 2011 at 10:42 am

Christine – sorry so late getting back to you it’s been a horrendous couple of days – but Our Lord is good – he’s good. Thank you for being here today. Thank you always for your gracious words. God Bless you!


Debra May 5, 2011 at 2:04 am

What an ordeal for you Craig! I’m sorry you had to go through with this, knowing how dearly you (and now we) love Laska. But I love miracles like this. The water, the cleansing… redemption… and resurrection. It could have turned out differently, but I’m grateful it didn’t.
Love and prayers,
~ Debra


Craig May 6, 2011 at 10:44 am

Debra – sorry so late getting back to you it’s been a horrendous couple of days – but Our Lord is good – he’s good. And I heart that you wrote, “knowing how dearly you (and now we) love Laska.” Love kitties are born to be loved. And yes, it could have turned out very differently. Love and prayers to you too (which means I just finished one for you). God Bless.


Debra May 5, 2011 at 2:07 am

What an ordeal for you Craig! I’m sorry you had to go through with this, knowing how dearly you love (and now we) love Laska. But I love miracles like this. The water, the cleansing… redemption… and resurrection. It could have turned out differently, but I’m grateful it didn’t.
~ Debra


Debbie May 5, 2011 at 2:21 am

God bless you and your Laska . . .back from the dead. His story is beautiful, like Jesus’. But oh so scary for you both. ! I don’t see how they can keep putting a product out like that, knowing that it can lead to death in some cats. gggrrrr.
Praying for you both, for lots of God hugs and love to comfort you!


Craig May 6, 2011 at 10:47 am

Sorry so late getting back to you it’s been a horrendous couple of days – but Our Lord is good – he’s good. And amen he was practically “back from the dead.” It seems they’ve done the math – and figured – what – one in a thousand cats maybe – and everybody complains but nobody reports to the EPA – well – let’s just keep going till they do. Thank you Debbie – and God Bless.


Michelle May 5, 2011 at 7:11 am

I don’t turn on the computer for a couple of days, and come back to this! Oh My! God is good. Glad that Laska is ok, and the redemption story through this….God is good, all the time.


Craig May 6, 2011 at 10:48 am

Sorry so late getting back to you it’s been a horrendous couple of days – but Our Lord is good – he’s good “God is good, all the time.” He seems his normal kitty self today – so we’re OK – thank you – I heart that you cared. God bless!!!


Patti May 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm

This had me in tears. I am so glad it turned out to be a resurrection story. I am so happy for you and Laska.


Craig May 6, 2011 at 10:50 am

Sorry so late getting back to you it’s been a horrendous couple of days – but Our Lord is good – he’s good. I’m sorry the story made you cry – but you know – it was incredibly sad to see a one year old cat be so close to death – but then rebound so quickly – thank you for caring Patti. Thank you. God bless you!!!


Frank Schipani September 24, 2011 at 7:34 pm

So glad to hear that Laska is back to normal. I can only imagine what scare that was. I’ve just found fleas on my two indoor cats (I don’t know where they got them) and was going to use another mid-priced brand. After hearing some of the stories like yours and many others, I’ve decided to break down and get one of the trusted expensive brands. It’s not worth risking the health of my girls. I can’t believe they don’t get after some of these companies who violate the trust we put in them. Praise God that your little one is doing well.


Craig September 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Frank thank you. I’d say more – usually do – dealing right now with the death of a friend. Hartz has done the math and have decided it’s worth the risk. Thank you. God bless you.


Layla Payton January 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm

POOR BABY!!!!!!!


Craig January 21, 2012 at 9:27 am

i no!!!! wuz terible – i do not have hartingz foor hartz eneemoor!


Nacole@sixinthesticks January 23, 2012 at 11:08 am

oh no! im so sorry for you and Laska! now i have a knot in the pit of my stomach. my young female cat has babies, i think. her stomach is swelling and knotted up, so its pretty obvious. she loves to come inside a lot, but the other day when i let her in, a flea jumped off of her onto my daughter. so we gave her a bath and put the hartz flea repellant on her. now im afraid i did something terribly wrong. im thinking i should give her a bath and wash it off, Craig. it has been 2 1/2 days since i put it on…im concerned about the babies and her life if they get stuck inside of her. im glad Laska is ok! would you mind saying a prayer for my kitty and her babies?

a story of resurrection: once, as a child when i was giving my weeks-old kitten a bath, he got too much water in his nose and drowned. he was limp and not breathing. my mom and i prayed for him, and he woke up! same thing happened with a little pup that we found when our chow had just given birth only hours before. she had shoved him over to the side away from herself and the other puppies because he was dead. we found him with dirt caked in his nostrils and not breathing and cold and stiff. we prayed for him, and he started breathing again and he lived!

blessings and prayers for you to get better, friend!


p.s. the issue we have been discussing for some time now with my illness…well im getting it checked at the dr next mon–maybe you can say a prayer that they can fix this? i know, as you said, you want it fixed. thanks for getting that this is serious, friend! your concern and prayers mean a lot.


Craig January 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Ah – and there are the specifics I asked for in reply to a previous comment – of course you have my prayers – and so does your kitty – don’t worry though – washing it off does the trick – and if your cat was going to have a reaction to it it would’ve happened in the first minutes or hours – so I think you’re fine. And as for your health – I just prayed for you, and the doctors, the same exact prayer that I pray for myself and sleep – so you know it comes from the heart. God bless you Nacole.

PS – you just have so much Spirit in you and around you – just thought I’d say that.


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