I don't know how.
As has been usual of late, I spent my weekend with Chris, stopping by here to check on the critters and to feed the strays under ths shed. Yesterday, all was fine. Today, there were only two kittens. I didn't worry at all; after all, they're always here, under the dresser or something. Chris said, "Better make sure." So I called for the third kitten, "Oh, piggy!" And nothing. We searched the whole house, then took the search outside even though 1) I don't know how it could've gotten outside or 2) Once it got out there, it would've been too scared to go anywhere. I took another kitten today outside as a test and, after sniffing around for about 10 seconds, he started to cry. I started to feel sick thinking about if something had happened.
My car was at Chris's so I just said, okay, hopefully he was just sleeping soundly somewhere and he'll be out when I get back tonight.
But he wasn't. Balu told me the neighbors found him on their front steps, passed away. With no obvious signs of why he died.
I worry that maybe he died of fright. What if he got out yesterday? I still don't know how.. But what if he did, and was so scared without his mama...? The only way I can think that he got out is if Mama took him with her, but that makes no sense; once he started to cry, she would've protected him and that wouldv'e been that.
Now my room door is blocked by a piece of cardboard to allow Oreo to still get in and out so she won't go crazy, but so the cats can't leave the bedroom unattended.
I'm kicking myself, because, obviously, if I would've done this before, all the kittens would be okay. I just, in a million years, never would've thought that one of the kittens would've gotten OUTSIDE. I mean, jeez, we had to show Oreo 10 times how to use the cat door. And she's a big cat! Maybe the little guy followed a big cat out. I dunno.
As I had to console myself when Esme died, I have to think that, even though he only lived a month, that one month was a very snuggly, comfortable life, nursin' it up with his brother and sister and crawling in the food dish for a good ol' binge. I just hope the end wasn't so bad for him.
Agh, I feel bad. Another one of those "I should've been here" scenarios. I try to be a good guardian to these guys, you know? I guess I just don't assume the worst is going to happen. Of course they're safe running around the house, I thought. But sometimes the worst does happen. Like after Esme died, I wished so bad I would've told Alli to bring her home to her mama when she seemed so unhappy at her house. Even if wouldn't have stopped her from dying, at least she could've died with her mama there instead of in a strange house. :(