Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Other Light of My Life part 2

Somehow or somewhere, I heard about a non-profit no-kill shelter that was constantly looking for volunteers. It was about 45 minutes away, but I started going there regularly on the weekends.

About a month into my volunteer services, I arrived on a Saturday morning and saw the new kitten that had been brought in the night before.

This little ball of dirty fur was in its own cage separated from all the other cats and kittens.

I went over to check out the new arrival and before I actually made it all the way over to the cage, I could see the fleas and smell this awful smell.

I dubbed the kitten Orphan Annie and proceeded with my volunteer duties. I would check on it periodically throughout the morning and before I left, I asked the front desk clerk what the story was behind the drop off. She said that some man came in Friday morning saying that he rescued it from some dogs that were about to attack it. He didn’t want to keep a cat so he dropped it off to them.

I went on with my day, running errands and whatnot. I went to bed that night thinking of that kitten.

On Sunday, I got up and went out to the shelter again. I check on Orphan Annie’s progress and noticed that it was even more lethargic than the day before. I tried to coax it into playing with me, but to no avail.

I asked the desk clerk what would happen to the kitten since it seemed so sick. She said that they had already made the decision to put it down the next day when the volunteer vet was making his rounds since it appeared to be fatally ill. They also didn’t want any of the other cats or kittens catching some sort of disease that Annie might have had.

Although this made sense to me, it still broke my heart a little. Even though it’s a no-kill shelter, they still had to take precautions as well as remain humane for the animals sake.

So, with a heavy heart, I said good-bye to Annie and left for the day.

I didn’t sleep a wink all night.

I got up the next morning, skipped classes (I was in my second year of community college) and went to the shelter, praying I was arriving in time.

I got to the shelter and ran to the front desk asking if the vet had made his rounds yet and they said that normally he would have been there and gone but that he was held up at his clinic and was running late.

It was FATE.

I don’t care if you believe in it or not. This is a real life case of FATE.

I went to the cat house, snatched up little Orphan Annie and ran out of there like I was on fire. All I had in the car to wrap it up in was an old flannel shirt. The whole hour drive back to my apartment, all I could do was pray and cry, cry and pray.

I arrived at the vet’s office and literally walked in with this kitten wrapped up in an old flannel shirt, crying and begging them to save it.

They took us immediately to a room and unwrapped the shirt. The vet came in, took one look and told me there was nothing they could do for it. That the humane thing was to put it to sleep.

I asked them to take a closer look and to make sure that nothing could be done.

They hesitated but went ahead. They cleaned it up, discovered what I thought was a she was actually a he (no real basis on why I thought he was a she, it just seemed fitting. I had never “peeked at the goods” so to speak) and re-evaluated.

He had ear mites, he had fleas, he had an infection, he was dehydrated, he was blind, he was OVER A YEAR OLD! They based this on the fact that all the teeth in his mouth were permanent ones.

Yet, he only weighed a little over 1 pound.

He was THAT malnourished.

They sent me home with a bathed and flea free cat. They told me that the infection would probably take him sometime during the night and to be prepared. They said if he survived the night, I was to bring him back in the next day for a follow up and a course of treatment.

I stayed up all night. Just holding and petting and giving him water and trying to encourage him to eat. He took a few small bites and drank a little bit of water.

He lived through the night.

I took him the next morning to the vet. They gave me vitamins, ear mite meds, antibiotics and feeding instructions.

Over the course of a month, he gained 4 pounds, shed the ear mites and fleas, got rid of the infection, learned how to use the litter box and learned the lay of the apartment. He rarely ran into anything.

After I had had him for a few months, I decided he needed a playmate since I was working full time and going to school part time.

At this time, I was also looking for a new apartment since the one I was in was getting too crowded and the lease was about up.

I found a complex across the street from the one I was in and fell in love with the apartments. When filling out the application, one of the questions was if you had a pet. I said yes and discovered that the apartment manager was a cat lover. She said that her boyfriend’s cat just had kittens and asked if I wanted another one. I thought about it for a second and asked if I could come see them.

She gave me their address and I went the next weekend. The kittens weren’t weaned yet, but they were at that really adorable stage. I fell in love with the tiniest one and they told me they would call me when I could come pick him up. They’d have all the initial shots done and then would pass him on to me.

A month or so goes by and I go and get my new kitty.

To be continued......(last entry tomorrow)

Later,

Mama Dawg

22 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:

Kat

Oh my goodness I think my eyes sprung a dang leak. That is one cat who has definitely used at least 2 of his nine lives.

Middle Aged Woman

THAT is dedicated pet ownership. I'd love to have a cat, I just don't have that kind of devotion. I leave pet ownership to the real pet lovers.

Cocotte

That is an amazing story, Mama. You truly live up to your name here. I wish I could give you a hug, and I'm not even a cat lover!

Bobby G

Fantastic story! You have a huge heart and are an amazing person! and that poor innocent kitty now has a great life! Nice work!

Robin

Oh, I love it! This is such a great story. It really was fate. You really do have a big heart.
Off now to pet my sweet kitty. :)

Jess

I LOVE IT!!

You should meet our six cats...lol!

Lo

omg i knew i loved you.

i always get my pets from the humane society. my true love cat daisy was this tiny little thing that no one wanted... literally. they were going to have to put her down. as soon as i saw her, all alone in her cage i knew. she's probably the best cat i've ever had, tied with my childhood pet panda. she's like a person. couldn't imagine my life without her.

i bet you feel the same about jd. :)

starrlife

You are my hero.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher

I'm loving this story.

thezeninyou

OMG...I am hooked!!! This is so heartwarming...I can't wait to comeback tomorrow and read the rest! You are an angel...

Snooty Primadona

Thanks to Blarney, you are my favorite new person in the world, so I'm going to stalk you now. ;-)

I too, love cats and all of mine have been rescued from one place or another. I love JD! The only reason he lived was because he knew that someone finally cared about him. I had a cat like him once (only a girl) who we thought was a kitten but turned out to be a sick one yr. old. She lived to be 23 yrs. old...

Mariah

waaa, I got all teary! I found one of my dogs on the side of the highway, she was so sick and the vet told me she wouldn't make I still have her 13 years later--healthy as could be

Teri

This reminds me of a couple of my own pet stories. Can't wait to hear the end.

Soldier without a War

u are KILLING me....i am a sucker for cats...so i am hanging on to this story....love it... but hate that you are maing us wait!! :p

Swirl Girl

sorry love- I am 'just not that into' cats. But a lovely story nontheless.

derfina

Bless his heart...a year old and only a pound?

Captain Dumbass

Ya. Cat. Great. Can I say how fantastic you look today? Seriously. HAWT! And you know how I feel about that accent of yours. Never get tired of listening to that. How about we hear a little more about you, MD. Please, tell me all about you. I'm listening.

Mama Dawg

Silly boy. Just one more part and I'm done. Then, just for you, I'll do a vid. Accent and all. But, no nudity. Sorry.

Krystal

Wow - now that is a story.

I hope my puppy doesn't get like that. Still having to feed him by hand and won't drink water.

Looking forward to tomorrow's entry.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy

What a story! I love kitties!

Twenty Four At Heart

What a lucky kitty! I can't have cats where I live now because the coyotes eat them. I grew up with dogs and cats though ... and I miss them.

Momo Fali

I don't even like cats and I totally want to hug you right now.

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