The house is quiet save the four week old kittens crying in my lap. Their mama is refusing to feed them. I've only been home an hour from a trip to East Asia. So here I sit at 3am filling the bellies of hungry kitties with an eye dropper full of warm milk substitute. I notice that one feels very thin and cool. I am not sure he will make it til morning. Another offers a meager reaction to the food. And two vivacious critters are scampering up my shirt trying to get sustenance. I quickly feed the strong ones. They are so easy to manage. They are cute and alert. Then I move on to the one who is responding a little. He really doesn't want to eat, but I manage to get quite a bit down his throat. Lastly I try to hold the cold one still so I can get some milk into his feeble body in hopes of warming him a bit. He cannot swallow too many times in succession. The others are crying louder and louder. They want to be fed. They want to curl up in my lap. When I cuddle them, they settle into the warm layers of my pajamas.
Suddenly I am struck with a sobering thought. This must be how the orphanage nannies feel trying to feed so many hungry babies with only two hands. Though these are only cats and not children, I am drawn to ponder what I have learned of survival. Feeding the weak ones takes so much more time and effort. They can't all be saved. You do what you can with what you have. The stronger ones will make it.
I sat on the floor and cried for the harried nannies and the hungry children who depend on them. And I cried for these kittens. I want them to live. They represent something so much bigger that most of the world will ever see.