Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Couple & "Baby"

I met a couple named Nancy & Neil at the shelter yesterday. We arrived at basically the same time. I was bringing in empty cat carriers for the rescue and in the arms of Nancy was a cat wrapped up - his head poking up with curiosity. He was wrapped in a sheet and was purring and kneading on the lady's chest. I sat down in the reception area with them to get his story.

Turns out that the cat belonged to Neil's mother who is currently in palliative care. I gently explained to them that there are no adoptions and not much hope for an 8 year old cat. They were devastated. They've tried to find him a home, but nobody could help. The wife looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked if I could help him. They can't keep the cat permanently because both of them are quite allergic. I told them how things work at the rescue and with no guarantees I would ask about foster space and help. They were so appreciative.

The cat's name is "Baby". Something passed between me and Baby yesterday. I don't know what it was, but I could feel *deeply* what Baby was feeling. I really and truly felt like Baby was happy because he thought Nancy and Neil were taking him to see his "Mom". He didn't know his Mom was dying, and he had been very worried.

It sounds so strange to say that publically. It doesn't happen very often. But I really *felt* what he was feeling.

They didn't leave Baby at the shelter. They took Baby home with them and I told them I would try hard to help him. They think they can manage their allergies for 1 week. They have him in an *unfinished* basement. Because there are no windows or light, he's sitting in the dark on the cement. He's a VERY big boy - probably 24 pounds and declawed. (always a bonus!) He looks quite healthy and seems extremely sweet. Since Neil's mother was moved into hospice (about a week ago) Baby has been pulling his hair out on one side. He has never done that before.

Shelters all over North America are filled with stories like Baby's. But the thought of him sitting in a dark basement, grieving for the loss of the only family he's ever known just about kills me. So here I am with hope anybody who reads the blog will put the word out for Baby.

I have one week before Baby becomes another casualty of the shelter.

10 comments:

selkie said...

this is breaking my heart! Is there NO one in their extended family that can take him? I would offer but I have 3 dogs and 4 cats (all rescues) and am already treading a fine line with neighbours and the municipality. Please keep us posted - cannot stand the thought of him sitting there, grieving.

Nicole Divitcoff said...

ugh what a terrible situation!!

whitesocks said...

Heartbroken hearing this. It was under exactly these circumstances that we adopted our Ulta-Pulta. Her elderly mommie (my colleague's mother) was near the end, and they were going to take Ulta (then over two years old) to a shelter after two weeks of being locked up in the house alone...

Dori said...

Beth....we can take him in....I sent you an email.

Steve Bartlett said...

Just sent you an email -- he's welcome here.

Caroline said...

Oh Steve, you're such a honey!

Anonymous said...

Steve strikes again...come on Beth trade in the rescue hat for a matchmaker one...lol

Shannon said...

What a sad situation and a poignant reminder to have a plan in place in worse case scenario situations. This could happen to anyone. Sounds like another miracle is about to be work though.

whitesocks said...

Dori and Steve (and Beth!), you are all angels. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! How horrible for both his mommy and Baby if he had to die after spending days in that basement, 'cos his loving mommie got sick.

Lisa said...

I hate hearing about people getting rid of their cats due to allergies. I can speak to this because I have/had cat allergies. My allergist said 'On a scale of 1 to 10, you're an 11.'
I have 2 cats. The allergist says I should get rid of them or at the very least, keep them out of my bedroom. My cats sleep with me and I'm not changing anything.

There is hope for the future. I participated in a study for a cat allergy vaccine that (I believe) will be available to the public in about a year.
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00729508

Allied research in Mississauga is doing the study for Circassia Cat-PAD
bookmark those names and watch for the day when people can get a cat allergy vaccination.