She couldn’t understand what was going on. In the span of a week, three of the eight eight puppies that her Cocker Spaniel had given birth to had mysteriously disappeared. She began fearing the worst. She had been searching for days, but they were nowhere to be found.
But one day, she finally saw it. All along, her old cat had been grabbing the puppies with her mouth, carrying them to a different location. When she saw what the cat had been doing to these puppies, she couldn’t help but let out a gasp.
Everyone in the neighborhood knew Miss Kitty. She usually stayed at the Grants’ house, but she was well-liked, taken care of, and fed by almost everyone who lived nearby.
The cat would spend most of her time outdoors, roaming around the trailer park where the Grants lived in Seneca, South Carolina. Like most cats, she was a bit of an individualist. But there was something else about Miss Kitty.
She had a fiery, strong character, but she wasn’t vicious or aggressive. And even though she wouldn’t always be docile or obedient, she wasn’t difficult to get along with either.
She was also a very intelligent animal who would always surprise everyone with her ability to understand humans and figure her way out of certain situations. Everyone admired these qualities of hers, especially after what she had gone through a few years ago.
Years ago, Miss Kitty had given birth to seven little kittens. Everyone in the trailer park, especially the Grants, was delighted to see how blissful the young mother was and how adorable her kittens were.
But what should have been a joyful occasion would end up being a source of sorrow and grief for everyone who knew and loved Miss Kitty.
One day, one of her seven kittens passed away. The Grants were devastated, and the worst part was that it wouldn’t end there. In a matter of weeks, all the kittens from Mis Kitty’s litter had deceased.
It was an absolutely heartbreaking event for the Grants and everyone else in the trailer park; but above all, it was particularly sad for Miss Kitty.
The cat entered a deep depression right after the decease of her litter. She barely ate, and she stopped going outside as often as she used to: she would just stay in the Grants’ house, sleeping all day.
But eventually, she got better. She recovered her naturally strong character and, in a way, it was accentuated by the painful experience. But the latter would, for better or worse, forever leave a mark on her; and this would have consequences.
Not too long after Miss Kitty had lost her litter, the Grants’ had adopted a black Cocker Spaniel; she was named Smoochie. And even though, at first, the Grants’ were afraid that she may not get along with Miss Kitty, it all seemed to have worked out fine.
It’s not like they were besties, but they tolerated each other, minded their own business, and coexisted peacefully. However, something happened that altered the peace in the Grants’ house.
Smoochie gave birth to her own litter of puppies! They all looked just like her: jet black straight hair, floppy ears, and a spark of intelligence in their eyes.
But there was a problem: Smoochie didn’t seem to have any maternal instinct at all. She didn’t seem to care much about her offspring, and she would only begrudgingly lay down to feed them. And that wasn’t all.
Miss Kitty seemed a little jealous of the new mother. Her mood seemed to worsen, and she would spend long hours lying on the floor, just staring at the puppies from a distance with a gloomy air.
The Grants were hoping that Smoochie’s litter wouldn’t be the cause of any new conflicts between the pets. And suddenly, something happened that seemed to outweigh even their worst fears.
One of Smoochie’s puppies went missing without a trace! The Grants looked for it all around the trailer park, and they told all their neighbors about it. They were happy to help with the search, but the puppy was nowhere to be found.
The Grants were desolate. And there was a sinister detail about the incident: Smoochie didn’t seem particularly concerned about the loss of her puppy. Her indifference was uncanny. But that wasn’t the end of it.
The next day, another puppy from the litter was missing. The Grants were clueless about what could be going on. Once again, they searched all around the neighborhood and returned empty-handed.
And once again, they witnessed Smoochie’s eerie indifference. Now they were beginning to get worried. They didn’t want to admit it, but they were starting to think that maybe it was their own mother who was behind all of this.
The very next day, the same thing happened: there was one puppy less in the litter. But this time, the Grants’ wife, Missy, saw something through the window that gave her a clue of what had been going on.
Miss Kitty was tiptoeing across the garden carrying one of the puppies in her mouth! “So it was her!” Missy thought. She decided to follow the cat to see what was going on.
Miss Kitty ventured into the garden of one of the Grants’ neighbors, named Linda Blackwell; then, she got under her home. Missy got on her hand and knees to do the same, and she could see Miss Kitty jumping into an opening.
She didn’t know what to expect, and her heart had been racing with anxiety all the way. But when she peeked inside the opening, she instantly smiled, feeling a strong sense of relief.
Miss Kitty was just staying in that nook with the puppies, playing and taking care of them like she was their mother! She was even feeding them with her own milk, and the puppies seemed glad to accept it.
It was almost like they had found a real mother in Miss Kitty regardless of Smoochie’s lack of nurturing skills. The Grants were happy to see that everything had worked out as well as it possibly could. However, there was still one issue.
For the puppies to grow healthy, they still had to be fed from their natural mother. Even though she was reluctant to do it, the Grants eventually found a way to make her fulfill that part of her maternal role.
Aside from that, the puppies seemed to enjoy their time with Miss Kitty very much. And from then on, she became their adoptive mother of sorts. But the Grants would have to find a way to help Smoochie’s disposition.
The Grants knew that their current situation was unsustainable. Smoochie wasn’t ever going to be the mother that her puppies deserved if they didn’t intervene. They hadn’t ever heard of a dog mother being unmotherly.
They would have to research and figure out what they could do for their dog. But they had no idea what was coming.
After brainstorming for days, the Grants came up with a few possible solutions to their current problem. They thought about taking Smoochie to the vet and getting a consultation about her behavior.
This seemed like a good idea, and if it didn’t work, they could always look at other ideas. They just were unaware of what they’d find at the vet.
One issue they ran into with this idea was how much Smoochie hated the vet. She didn’t have reason to go in the last two years, but they could remember how she was. She’d howl and bark as soon as she saw the leash.
The entire trip would also be unpleasant, with her constantly fidgeting in the back seat and trying to climb up on them. But that would be the least of their worries.
They had made up their minds even if it would be a hassle. They got out the leash, clipped Smoochie in, and took her to the car. It was a struggle, but they managed to get her in the backseat and got in the car.
The drive would be painful, but it was worth it to figure out what was going on with their dog so that they could help her.
After a long and difficult drive, they were in front of the veterinarian with Smoochie. They were keen to hear his expert opinion on what exactly was wrong with her. He examined her thoroughly before giving his opinion.
The Grants thought they were ready for what he was about to say. But his words would send a shiver down their spines.
After listening to what the veterinarian had to say, they were less than satisfied. He threw around a lot of jargon and essentially told them that he didn’t know why she was depressed. He said there were many reasons dogs can feel this way, and that was that.
They left the vet feeling worse than they had before. They had paid good money for that consultation, and yet they had only had more questions.
They drove home with poor Smoochie, feeling defeated that the vet couldn’t help them. They felt sorry for their animal. She had gone through the trauma of the vet with no benefit.
They took Smoochie back inside and let her lie in her dog bed. All the Cocker Spaniel wanted to do after that was sleep. But they needed to figure things out if they wanted the situation to improve.
The puppies were growing up fast, but without the mother they needed, the Grants were worried that they wouldn’t develop properly. They only wanted the best for all of their animals. This included the puppies.
What could they do to help them? They were unaware that they’d find answers in an unlikely place.
The Grants were looking everywhere for answers to their dog’s predicament. They searched extensively online, looking for any solution they could afford. But after looking for a few days, they came up with nothing.
But then, out of the blue, they got a phone call from a number they didn’t recognize. They answered it reluctantly, but they had no idea what would happen.
The coupled answered the phone call having no idea what to expect. Maybe it was spam or a prank call? They hated it when telemarketers constantly called the home. But these were no telemarketing calls.
The man on the other side of the phone call told them that he had heard about their struggle. He told them that he could help.
Why would a stranger offer help? The couple was caught off guard by this sudden and unexpected kindness from a stranger. They had to be cautious. This could have been a trap.
But the offer was too good to refuse. The two needed a way out of their situation. Would this be their salvation or their downfall?
The couple listened to what the stranger had to say. He told them that he overheard their conversation with the veterinarian and thought he could help. He managed to get their number and was now calling them.
They anxiously waited for his advice. But would it really help out their poor pooch?
The man explained what he thought was wrong with their pooch. He told them that she was probably suffering from post-natal depression. It was common for a woman to sometimes get this, but they’d never heard of animals getting it.
They took the man’s advice to heart and decided to swing their efforts in that direction. They just hoped that it would help.
With the information they needed, they looked up more specialized ways to help their pooch with post-natal depression. They found three ways to combat her depression. They’d make her stick to a routine, give her positive reinforcement, and take her out to exercise a lot more than usual.
They hated forcing Smoochie to do things she didn’t want, but they had to do it. And they couldn’t believe what had happened next.
They couldn’t believe it. After keeping to the strict routine for a week, Smoochie’s mood improved. She started acting like her old self again. But it wasn’t over yet. Would she now care for her puppies?
There was only one way to find out. They reintroduced her to the same puppies she had ignored a month before. Miraculously, she recognized them as her own and started to care for them. It was an amazing start. They just had to keep it up. In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.