Though we attempt to keep Kitten Academy the purest of joyous places, due to our association with life at its most fragile, rarely there are sad things that happen. We prefer to focus on the joy we help nurture, and though DJ and Mr. A carry the scars from the tragedies with them forever, we have decided that our policy is to do our best to shoulder that burden ourselves. This is related to our “no sads” policy and we do sincerely wish that other people in our position would do the same for our own benefit, as we’re very tender hearts.

The no sads policy doesn’t mean that we cover up or lie. When sad things do inevitably — and hopefully rarely — happen, we do inform. Factually and without emotional exploitation.

One of Verse's kittens passed on, Friday the 21st. It was the ninth and final kitten in the litter, “Number Nine.” We’d recorded the fact that Number Nine didn’t gain any weight from Thursday to Friday. Other than this one symptom, there was nothing to indicate why this tragedy occurred. For our part, we’ve updated our policies, so if a kitten shows no weight gain for one day in the first week, that will merit an immediate visit to the vet, rather than our previous policy of heightened monitoring and care.

Here, we’d like to link you to Miss Mellie’s poem for the class, which we think is a respectful and proper memorial that is completely in line with our feelings and we hope brings you appropriate closure. Somewhat related, “Small Fry” on Twitter has shared some art of Number Nine.

Many people have corresponded with us in various ways to share their belief that the proper respect for Number Nine would be to give him a name to match the others in his litter. We respect that belief, though we do not share it. We think he’s most properly remembered the way we knew him. But we also feel everyone has an equal right to grieve and memorialize Number Nine in their own way. If you have a name you want to give him, you should give it to him. For our part, if a proper name were required, we think “Number Nine” is a pretty good one.