I had a short little (pleasant) post in mind for today. I wanted to show you a new piece of cat furniture in the cathouse. And I still plan to do that at some point. But I've decided to share something not so pleasant today (but with a happy ending). Here's why. I believe that those of us who love animals must do everything we can to care for and stand up for them when the situation arises. Everyone in the world does not feel as you and I do. And there are certainly times when it is in everyone's best interest to walk away and not say a word. But sometimes you just have to have a say. Which is what my husband did yesterday.
This story has some odd coincidences in it. Here is how it unfolded. I followed Younger Daughter to the shelter yesterday morning where she and I loaded five dogs into my vehicle. I then drove them to the clinic for spays and neuters; Younger Daughter started her day of work. When I got home, I picked up Older Daughter because she couldn't get out of her driveway and up her hill (due to ice). We had parked her car at our place before the ice hit so she could get to work. On the way up the hill, she told me that Younger Daughter (already at the shelter) had received a call from the animal control officer about a cat on a fast food restaurant parking lot. The animal control officer had to take the cat off the property but the “pound” has no area for cats. Older Daughter knew she would have to take in the cat even though there is not ONE spot anywhere in the shelter. She would assess the situation when she got to the shelter and could discuss with Younger Daughter. She then left for work. Husband had gone to a doctor's appointment in the town where the shelter is located. When he left his appointment, he stopped to grab a cup of coffee at that very fast food restaurant and there was the animal control officer getting the cat. He jokingly said to the officer – You're going to get my daughters in trouble if you take that cat to the shelter. Officer spoke past his phone and responded – Yeah, I know. I'm talking to one of them right now. Both guys smiled, and then a man standing nearby said this – Well, you should just throw it in the dumpster. Husband turned and said – What? And this guy said again – You should just throw the cat in the dumpster. Husband said – Are you kidding or something? And the man said – Well, I'd just throw it in the dumpster and close the lid. They're everywhere. There's too many of them. At which point Husband said this – And YOU are full of crap! AND you're part of the problem. Husband said the room went silent. He got his coffee and walked out.
When he got home and told me the story, I shared with him that this must be the same story our daughter had just told me about an hour before. And then I told him he was my hero for the day. There are people who actually DO throw cats into dumpsters and much worse. The fact that there are “too many” cats everywhere is not the fault of the cats! When I called the girls and told them about their dad's incident, they both cheered. And right after the cheer came this – Um, Mom. We don't have any space for this cat. And she's in really bad shape. I told her to say no more. I would be delivering the spayed and neutered dogs back to the shelter later that afternoon. I would pick up the parking lot kitty and move her into my kitten room until she could regain her strength and put on some weight.
The poor dear was in even worse shape than I had imagined - very thin and very dirty. She also has cuts on her face. When I got her all set up last night, I finally had a chance to really look her over. The cuts and the dirt are bad, but there have only been a few times in my whole life when I've felt a cat this thin. It is heartbreaking. I sat beside and stroked her and talked to her for nearly half an hour. I can't even imagine what she must have been going through this Winter – living outdoors, no warm place to sleep or hide, no water most of the time, and clearly, from her body condition, almost NO food. Yes, all of that IS heartbreaking. But here's what is SO heartwarming. For the ENTIRE time I sat with her, she made muffins. That thick soft bed was just too much for her. She pitted and pitted and pitted. When I finally left her for her first night of comfort, food, warmth, and safety, I told her that was it. She'd NEVER have to live that other life again. No more people suggesting she be thrown in a dumpster. No more parking lots. No more starvation.
Here she is is. Meet Anastasia.
Have a great weekend.