on living things + not saving the world.

Lots of friends and readers have tweeted, Facebooked or emailed me to ask about the kittens...how are they, and did we adopt one?

I wish I had a happier story, guys.

After weeks of feeding the kittens + watching them grow, we decided it was time to save them before we moved 20 minutes away. This lead to a week of in-vain attempts to sweetly coax the mother away so we could access the kittens. She grew more aggressive, scratching us, hissing, and cornering the kittens so we couldn't reach. We grew more frustrated each time, and after a final failed attempt on moving day, we knew it was over. So we left them with plenty of shade, food, water and air kisses.

My lip quivered as we drove away, and fat tears pooled in my eyes. I was so in love with the kittens...they'd gotten me through some pretty homesick days. And I was devastated that I didn't save their world.

You see, I was raised in a country where "You can do anything you set your mind to" and "You can save the world!!". I adore that American pie-in-the-sky ideology. In the future, I'll have children and will feed them on a strict diet of such sentiments.

But when you grow up, suddenly saving the world isn't as easy as it once seemed. Especially if you're living in a foreign country that isn't like the world you've always known. (Tens of thousands of feral animals, very few shelters, no animal control to assist, etc.) Sometimes, you have to adjust and admit that you cannot save the world...or even a few feral kitties. It's a bitter mouthful to swallow. Sometimes in life, all you can do is leave a situation better than the way you found it.

And that's what we decided to do with kittens in Kuwait. Strays are so prevalent that we've already found more kittens in the garage of our new apartment. We can't save all the kittens in Kuwait, but we can make sure those we see daily have access to food and clean water, and appear to be in good health.

And so I've changed my American "you can save the world" mentality to a much more attainable sentiment...at least for the time being:

Maybe you didn't save a life, maybe you didn't change the world, but perhaps you can say you bettered it.


  1. You have such a sweet heart. Sometimes you can't save everything, but it's definitely nice that you have tried, and trying to better the world is a lot more than a lot of people do. :)

  2. Awwww thats a shame you couldn't save them x

  3. You're amazing, and every kitten you come in contact with is lucky to know you!! Keep bettering the world my dear! I'm sure it means more than we can know.

    she is red

  4. LOVE your tweak on the american quote :)

  5. It definitely sounds like you made the best decision you could in your situation. I can only imagine how hard it was to say goodbye to them.

  6. I think that's a beautiful, and perfectly attainable sentiment. The story is so sad, yet you guys did the right thing I'm sure. By the way, thank you for your sweet sweet comments on my S&TC blog post. You are SO right. Comitmentphile. That's exactly what he is. xx

  7. You are so sweet. I think that's a really hard truth to accept & walk away with, especially when you are such a caring, nurturing person.

  8. Bless your sweet heart. Many wouldn't even give it a second thought, so you did a lot by even stopping to consider another, much less doing whatever you could to improve the situation. Nature can seem so cruel and has often just broken my heart, but the best we can do is make an effort and let is effect us appropriately. Your tender heart is beautiful and cheers to you for doing everything you could.

  9. You did your best- and without you, those kittens might not have even made it as far as they did while you were living there. Hopefully mama cat will continue to be protective and they'll all grow up to be strong wild kitties. You just can't save them all- but thank you for doing your best to save as many as you can (even if it seems pointless sometimes). You're awesome!

  10. i'm sure that was hard, but certainly you did the best you could do.

    and i have faith you can keep that little succulent alive! :)

  11. I think learning that I can't always make the difference/save the world the way I thought I could has been one of the hardest lessons I've learned living abroad. I now focus on what I can do and make sure I'm doing that and don't let myself get stalled or down because I can't do what I think I should be able to do.

  12. Aww.. I'm sure it was hard to leave those sweet little kitties. But at least now your not in the ghetto and have amazing ocean views!

  13. oh how sad ... boo but I am sure you will have a kitty someday :) In the meantime at least you have the ones in your garage to entertain you !
    Chrissi x


  14. Having an adorable cat of my own (Pablo), I started crying reading your post. Just do as much as you can, even though you wish you could do more. I think you and your husband are wonderful!I'm sure those kitties will agree!


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