UPDATE: Please see the update to the story at the bottom of page.
Recently, you may have noticed that Crepes and I haven’t been blogging as much as usual. Numerous things in our lives have been taking up a lot of time, but it has just come to my attention that, despite our busy lives, rescue never takes a break.
A few months ago, we bought our very first house. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for many years. The last few weeks have been absolutely filled with things to do – drywalling, gardening, heavy lifting. I’ve been trying very hard to get this home ready for us and our kitties and dog because we’ve outgrown the one we’re currently in, but this has lead to a lack of time for certain things. I haven’t been fostering this summer yet because I have no where to put the kittens. I haven’t been doing as much volunteering because I’ve been trying to work on the house and keep up our CATastrophes project. Just now, though, I got a wake up call that reminded me that just because I have a new house and a new project, that doesn’t mean that I can put my rescue efforts on hold.
As I was finishing up some gardening, I got a text message from Chicago Cat Rescue saying there was a blind, sick cat lying in someone’s front yard in my neighborhood. A good Samaritan found him there, offered him something to eat, and posted his photo on Facebook. Chicago Cat Rescue knew I lived nearby and asked if there was any way I could help. I had nothing with me – no carrier, no gloves, no supplies – but I ran over there anyway to see what I could do. And there I found a giant orange and white man cat lying beneath a lilac bush on a bed of lavender. His eyes were swollen shut and he seemed unable to walk. While I was coming up with a plan, another CCR volunteer arrived. Luckily, she had a carrier and a blanket. I asked the home owners for some thick gloves and some more tuna. We opened the carrier and put it in front of him and the little fellow tried to climb into the carrier but was unable to do so on his own. While I distracted him with the food, which even in his state he ate with relish, (not real relish, of course. That’s too salty for a kitty.) my partner lifted his back end into the carrier and I closed the lid. We whisked him to the car and off he went to the safety of Chicago Cat Rescue and the hope of recovery.
Driving home, this experience made me realize a few things. I realized that social networking really does work and that this blogging and online work that so many of us do truly does have an impact. Without the social network of that one post, our friend would have been picked up by animal control and wouldn’t have had much of a chance.
I also realized I should carry a rescue kit in my car at all times. It feels helpless to see someone in need and not be able to offer assistance. As my dad always says, “you can take it off, but you can’t put it on if you don’t have it.” I think we’ll discuss rescue kits in an upcoming post.
And finally, I realized that just because my life is busy, rescue doesn’t need me any less. Kittens are still being born and abandoned. Cats are still being injured out on the streets. These things do not take a break simply because I did. I need to make time for rescue because without the people who really care, amongst which I count myself one, these creatures wouldn’t have the chances that they do. They need help and they need it now.
PS. I just got word that he’s awaiting medical attention but is currently comfortable, eating, and enjoying some pets. I suspect he’ll have some medical bills, and CCR is a small, volunteer-run organization, so if you have a spare $10 to send his way, it would be appreciated.
I will be speaking at the BlogPaws conference this week in Nashville and may be away from my blog, but I promise to resume regular writing upon my return. I’ve learned my lesson.
UPDATE: As of 5/26/15, our little man has gone OTRB. The doctors determined that he had a several spinal cord, which paralyzed him from the waste down. There was little hope of recovery for him because of the damage and our friend was eased of his suffering. It breaks my heart to know that he’s gone, but I find comfort knowing that I did my part to bring to him an end of comfort. Instead of being alone under a bush, he died peacefully, warm, well fed, and loved, and he will be remembered forever. I’m sorry I couldn’t do more, but if I’d been able, I would have given anything to save you. Rest in peace, little buddy.