Thursday, September 25, 2008
I pulled into a side street and put on my flashers. I figured I'd go get him to a safe spot.
Twenty (20) seconds later, I walked to the middle of the street and found the little guy smashed. He had been hit by a car. The only thing left of him was a pile of his downy "goober feathers". Seriously...it was only 20 seconds after I saw him.
It was bound to happen. I knew that I would eventually crack in one way or another. After all the dead and dying cats due to Distemper, it had to happen that I would fall apart. I just stood in the middle of the road and sobbed.
I cried for the little dove, I cried for the kittens that we lost, and I cried for every damn cruel thing that ever happened to any animal anywhere. I stood there and cursed the people that didn't give a shit about a sweet little baby dove in the road. The grief came pouring out of me as I got back into my car and cried.
It felt good to let go and release what I had been feeling for the past 4 days or so. With the tears, something in me grew stronger. I can't quite describe it.
I got out of my car with an old hand towel I keep in my trunk. The least I could do is get the little guy off the road. When I approached the area where he had been hit, the body was gone. In fact, there was nothing in that spot. No feathers. No blood. It was like it hadn't happened. I know what I had seen - a mangled little Dove - blood and feathers.
I don't know what happened. I scratched my head and got back in my car and drove away. I felt oddly at peace. I felt more at peace than I had felt in a long time.
Peace and a Dove......I don't believe in coincidences. :)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
The fact of the matter is, we have a dozen or so dead and dying kittens in a matter of 24 hours. Distemper was in the shelter when we rescued kittens last week. We didn't know it. I thought we had passed the "Hot Weather Distemper" time. Usually, we see it hit the shelter in the summer. Silly moi....I thought we were free and clear.
I had been so excited about our 8 new foster homes from last weekend. It's always a renewal of my excitement in rescue when we get new volunteers. Much to my absolute horror, the phone started ringing this weekend with our wonderful foster homes whose hearts were breaking over the death of their kittens. Some of them woke up to dead or dying kittens, others took them to the vets and let them die peacefully there.
Distemper is such a nasty disease and it takes no prisoners with these babies. One minute kittens are playing happily...the next they literally drop over and are dying with in an hour or so. There's really nothing that can be done for them medically. It's a helpless feeling.
I've spent the weekend jumping every time the phone rings and dreading looking at my e-mails.
I'm very discouraged tonight and I know it's not over. We had one foster home lose a kitten this weekend and she knows that 3 more have been exposed in her home. She referred to her Sunday evening as "Death Watch".
I know how she feels. My ability to be encouraging and hopeful is on a "Death Watch" too.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I saw "Princess" while I was at the vet the other day. It was right before her surgery. I remembered her immediately. She looked scared and sweet.
I can't help everybody like this, but I couldn't let this little girl die because a senior citizen and her son didn't plan appropriately for the cat's medical expenses. We ALL had too much vested in her - financially and emotionally to let her die without a fight. Maybe I felt responsible that I didn't ask enough questions of the lady. We always worry that a senior will pass away before the cat, so I always ask about a Plan B. But I didn't ask about her ability to pay for the cat's future medical expenses.
The senior lady's neighbours had contacted me too...I was really under a lot of pressure to help. E-mails with all capital letters, "EMERGENCY..." Once again, people were rallying around "Princess". The rescue couldn't afford to help financially, so what else was I supposed to do? I educated the son, the neighbours and anybody else that would listen that "Princess" needs special fibre food for the rest of her life. NO MORE WHISKAS. They all agreed to pay the extra few $$'s to insure Princess would be eating the proper kibble.
I admit, I was really happy to receive a very kind "thank you" voicemail from the son tonight. At least he appreciated my effort and I know a little senior lady that is VERY happy to have her Princess back tonight.
I'm glad too. :)
Monday, September 08, 2008
Adopter: My Mother adopted a cat from you guys in February this year and now it's constipated and not eating. The vet said it's going to cost $1000.00 to fix her up.
Me: (knowing where this is going) I'm sorry to hear that. Why are you calling me?
Adopter: She doesn't have the money.
Me: She needs to get the money. The cat is obviously very ill and needs help.
Adopter: Will you take her back?
Me: Huh? We don't have the money either. Why on earth would your mother adopt a cat if she had no intention of taking care of his medical needs? We're in the business of RESCUING - not taking cats back because an adopter doesn't want to pay for medical care.
Adopter: My mother thought she was adopting a healthy cat.
Me: You've had her six months. She was very healthy. She's probably STILL healthy but ingested something and is in pain. Why don't you take her to a less expensive vet and get another opinion on cost?
Adopter: I don't have time to take her around to another vet.
I don't want to say how this conversation ended. The saddest part is that this is a cat we spent over $3000.00 on when she arrived in our care. We were so happy when she was adopted by a lovely senior lady. I did give him a name of two veterinarian's that are known for not being super expensive.
What makes people call me over things like this? It ruins my day and I agonize over it. I agonize over the decision to adopt her to these people. I feel totally responsible and I shouldn't. It's THEIR responsibility and they're blowing it. I could take this little cat back. She HATES other cats and I have no place for her.
I'm hoping and praying these people rise to the occasion. In the past, I used to react very quickly: "You're an idiot, but I'll take the cat back!" That's one of the ways we ended up 5 figures in debt.
Now I wait. My stomach hurts and I still don't know if I'm doing the right thing.