Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Mr. C"

Today was an amazing day.  I received a call from one of our veterinary clinics.  They've been working with a senior man with his senior cat for months.  The cat was dying and the gentleman was very very clear:  He didn't want to live if his cat couldn't live with him.  The man's beloved cat was to be euthanized at 1:30 today.  The staff at the clinic asked me to rescue a cat from the shelter so the man wouldn't go home to an empty apartment.

He has no family, no friends.  Just a very old cat named "Fritz".

The staff was devoted to "Mr. C".  They had been working with him and Fritz  for months.  They would support him and care for him and any cat that I brought to him today.  But I was nervous. 

I went to the shelter this morning and chose a sweet 7 year old declawed girl named "Shannon".   She had been at the shelter a long time.  Would she be able to heal Mr. C's heart? 

When I walked into the vet clinic, Fritz  had been euthanized 15 minutes earlier.  The staff was ashen and I could hear the gut wrenching sobs from Mr. C in the examination room.  Apparently, he had been at the clinic all day.  My heart fell as I walked in and introduced myself.  I brought "Shannon" with me at the encouragement of the staff. 

The tiny exam room had several staff members in it.  Their arms of love and support for Mr. C were amazing.  They hugged him and told him that Fritz would have wanted him to be happy and save Shannon.  He asked questions through the sobs:  "Would Shannon sleep in Fritz's bed?"  What would Shannon eat?  "Where would Shannon sleep tonight?"

Shannon swirled around his legs thoughtfully.  She knew Mr. C had a broken heart.  I think they needed each other.  Mr. C reached out and gave her a soft pat.  I could tell he was terrified that he was somehow betraying Fritz. 

Nobody could bear the thought of Mr. C going home to an empty apartment.  An apartment void of love and void of Fritz.  The staff gently encouraged him as Shannon worked her magic.  Mr. C told stories of Fritz and I asked him what Fritz would think of Shannon.  Mr. C laughed as he told the story of Fritz coming into his life. 

More tears.  We were all crying. 

Shannon has gone home with Mr. C today.  A loving staff member at the vet clinic drove them both home.  They stopped at the pet food store to buy Shannon some toys and a new brush. 

I'm going to bed tonight thinking about Mr. C and Shannon.  Mostly I'm going to think about Fritz who has loved an old man unconditionally for more than 17 years. 

I think Shannon is going to be a lucky girl.

28 comments:

~*Connie*~ said...

I know Shannon is going to be a lucky girl :)

I have tears rolling down my face, it is rare that I hear such wonderful stories..

Random Felines said...

It is hard to be judged for having an opinion.....but I will say I agree - if you can't afford it, don't do it.

I am all choked up about Mr C. First, what a wonderful clinic...the world needs more of these people. And bless you for helping.... it makes everything we do worth it to save a feline life and uplift another person. :)

Faith J. said...

Amazing story. So happy to hear Mr. C has people that care so much for him, when otherwise he would be alone. Please keep us updated if you hear how him and Shannon are doing!

Sparkle said...

Your post about Mr. C made my human all weepy. I'm so glad you gave Shannon a chance to make him happy.

Marisa said...

A wonderful story, Beth! The compassion shown by all involved, including Shannon, is extremely uplifting. Let's hope Mr. C and Shannon have many more happy years together.

ArtemisiaFSS said...

We are so glad Shannon and Mr. C found each other. When Whiskers died it broke Mommy's heart but she adopted Scylla & Charybdis anyway cause she said that the best way to remember Whiskers and the love he gave her was to give a home to a cat that needed it in his memory. Of course Scylla and Charybdis made their own places in Mommy's heart and are loved very much, and Whiskers will never be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

OMG I am crying at the Mr.C story. And how nice is that vet office to go above and beyond??? I hope Shannon is able to comfort Mr. C. Also Beth you played an inportant role. You were the one who picked out the new cat and showed up at just the right time to drop her off. I hope we can have some updates on Mr. C and Shannon!!

Melissa said...

What a wonderful story! So many compassionate people assisting with a devastating loss. In our society today, it's really heartfelt to hear stories like these.

Chrissykat said...

Oh my heavens...I'm literally sobbing. What an amazing staff to care so much for not only Fritz but also Mr. C through this heart wrenching loss. What a lucky boy Fritz was. I hope Shannon is just as lucky. The two of them may have just saved each other.

Robyn said...

I believe the best way to honor the life of a pet that has passed, is to rescue another and show them the same happiness and love.

Rest in peace Fritz.

Thank you Beth for helping Shannon.

Debbie said...

I love how much you care
Tears of joy for them both!

Jen Li said...

A lucky girl, indeed. And a lucky Mr C. Amazing story...

Sarah said...

I am crying and smiling...happy and sad tears here as well.

Wonderful job by everyone in this lovely story. Especially Mr.C for loving Fritz so much for so long and letting Shannon into his life to mend a broken heart.

This vet clinic did an amazing job by going above and beyond, great job to them.

You rock Beth, love this story.

ABBY said...

Too all of those who helped Mr C today all I can say through my own tears is who blessed you all are for caring and I can't think of a more blessed kitty than Shannon and another one named Fritz.
Thank you, thank you all.
xoxoxox

Fuzzy Tales said...

I, too, am crying reading this and hope that Shannon and Mr. C bond and heal each other.

What also amazes me is his vet clinic--the staff. Can't imagine that here, but perhaps it does happen. Wow.

Anonymous said...

Beth, you are awesome! It is nice to hear such a wonderful story and to hear about someone that loved their cat that much. A day like today make all the crappy days worth it.
Nicole

Ecochica said...

WOWOWOW I am in tears Beth! Thank you for giving both Mr. C and Shannon a new lease on life! What an incredible day for so many yet so hard at the same time!!

Christine Gittings said...

Why didn't you warn me that I'd need a box of kleenex for your rescue story today?
I think Shannon is just what Mr. C needs. They will definitely save each other. I hope Mr. C keeps in touch and you can share some updates on how he and Shannon are doing.

Wednesday said...

It boggles me when someone makes a comment to the effect of, "why do people put so much energy into helping pets when there are so many people in need?" Obviously helping pets and helping people often go hand in hand. They need not be mutually exclusive.

Daisy said...

wow...that poor soul. The kitty would definatly want him to open his heart. And i hope he understands that it is not at all a betrayal. My heart breaks for him and I hope he sleeps soundly tonight knowing that in losing one life..he has saved another

Tina Keating said...

Thank you for being there Beth! I sometimes think you have no idea how many lives you touch through your "work". When I hear a story like this one, it makes me want to be a better person! Congratulations to you, AND the vet staff, AND Mr. C, AND Shannon, AND Fritz!! So many variables coming together to forge a wonderful story...obviously meant to be!

Caroline said...

OMG, that is such a sweet story, I wish all vet clinics with responsible clients did that. Good for you helping them out, you saved an old man's heart and a cat's life!

Anonymous said...

The art of matching cats to people. After all these years you must be a natural. Had it been me, I would have matched him with Josh whose best friend just died.

Always helps to have a kitty to snuggle with when you are sad.

Lorelei said...

Beth, this post needs to come with a disclaimer. I just made the mistake of reading it at my desk at work and now I'm hiding here, sobbing. My heart goes out to Mr. C for his loss, is full of gratitude for the life he provided Fritz and the love I'm sure he'll shower on Shannon - the tears are for them and for Murphy, Peanut and Zoot, all of whom I lost before I was ready. I understand and feel his pain as you do, and everyone else who has ever lost a pet has. Thank you for doing what you do, for doing it so tirelessly and for what you've just done for this man and Shannon.

Pal said...

Sitting in class reading this and there are tears falling down my dace. Someone looks like a big dork :S

Josie said...

A beautiful and wonderful story....thank you for sharing!

When fellow humans can be kind to one another...that gives me hope.

Teena in Toronto said...

So happy they both found love again.

Lynn said...

I am crying too.
I have just come home from surgery, well three weeks ago,
Being here, reading your Blog uplifts me so much.
One day, I hope you publish your work,
Believe me, it will sell very well.
You have a gift for touching hearts and lives.
Sincerely
Lynn Sherwin