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.