You think it won't make it a few more steps and it mewls when you get close and when you get close it's covered not only by flies but maggots and one of its eyes is bulging and glaring soap-scum white. One of the eyes is bulging but the other isn't, yet it's blank as a nickel and it's clear the kitten is blind and there's no mother but the rain and it's covered with maggots and the flies keep coming. What do you do? You spray the cat with vegetable soap to kill the maggots and keep the flies at bay and nearly drown it trying to wash and comb out dead maggots and it mewls and shivers alive and it might just die right there next to the tomato plants, but if you use one of those turkey injectors without the needle you can put milk in its mouth and put it in an empty aquarium and cover it up and try to dry it with a wad of paper towels and then you can fill a shell with milk and it drinks it on its own and so fill it with milk again and again and it drinks it and coughs and coughs. Put it in the laundry room so it can't cough its death into the cats that already live there and where it is warm and dry and cover the aquarium so no more flies can lay eggs in its sick black fur and it is blind and as comfortable as possible before you go hear some live music and drink beer with friends.
After returning from hearing live music and drinking beer with friends, you check the aquarium and it's empty. Somehow Milton the blind kitten has crawled out and mewls behind the washer and it's amazing that a little milk could give it the strength to crawl out and drop blind off the top of the washer and not be more damaged. It comes out and tries to think a shoe is its mother because it was nearby when milk was there. Then canned cat food is near the shoe because cow's milk isn't good for cats, they say. The shoe tries to be a good mother but it has no idea if this blind kitten is old enough for solid food. It is and it eats and eats and sneezes and sneezes.
Now it's Sunday and it's clear it's better but not well, coughing and its eyes aren't better despite the neosporin salved in. The animal shelter won't open until Tuesday and it is a matter of waiting out what will worsen and what will become better. What will worsen is unexpectedly a back, because of playing basketball, and its cough, and what will become better is the blind kitten's appetite and its affection for the shoe, which is its mother now like in a child's book. Ants scour the food plate for remains. It mewls and mewls. Its sorry fur is fluffier and it no longer possesses a wet rat's tail, but its eyes and cough are worse, and the blind kitten Milton is a poet of survival despite what's killing it anyway.
My shoe is its mother and I'm sad for it as I, not you, have to take it to the animal shelter because its sickness is fatal as all survival is in the end. What will become better is sleep. Then its always open eyes can close and the shoe can be sad for its loss.
Spay and neuter erases all this except the inexorable factuality of the conclusion for all.