It’s 3;00 a.m. and the ground crunches underfoot as I make my way to the barn to feed the cats. Along the way, I stop to fill the feral feeders and pet Turner, Tandem and Axle who come out to greet me. They are healthy kitties, fat and sassy with lots of warm fur to insulate them against what I suspect is going to be a long cold winter. The rain stopped the other day and snow is predicted later on. I stop to turn on the heater in the barn to help the cats stay comfortable.
As I fill up their trays with food and dish out canned food for them, I stop and think of the cats who have passed through my hands in 2011. The ones who were adopted out and the ones who just couldn’t overcome illness, sickness or their previous abuse. And of course, the ones who are still living with us.
I remember Dobby the black tomcat who I found in January curled under my car at the Target store. Brooklyn the pregnant calico girl giving birth to 5 stillborn kittens. Gideon and Sharky who went on to become beloved barn cats in Scio, the adoption of core kitties still living and thriving in their new home in South Salem.
I remembered with great sadness the passing of the special ones; Shell, Guinevere, Jetta, Blosson, Frasier and Cyrus.
It was a hard year on kitties around this area. People bugging out in the middle of the night and leaving their animals behind without so much of a thought of what might happen to them. I could never do that-and perhaps because of the numbers I now am caring for, I should have said “NO” more often when the phone rang or the emails arrived.
I think of Fiona beating the odds of the mast cell cancer in her ears. She is 9 months cancer-free a survivor, despite the vets’ dire predictions that the “cancer will return.”
Then my thoughts rest on those of you who have stopped for a moment in your busy lives and freely given of yourself to this group. Whether it was a card dropped in the mail with a prayer attached giving me the strength to continue, or opening up your pocketbooks or wallets and donating to the latest cause- there is just no way of adequately thanking you.
Every time I was at the end of my rope questioning not only my sanity but if I was following the right path, some miracle appeared in my day that gave me the means to go on- and gave so many kittens and cats a chance at a better life than they ever lived before.
So God Bless you- Thank You- I share my grateful and tearful kisses cast into the icy wind of the morning- hoping they reach those intended and bless them in their day.
These “lost cause” kitties were given a chance because of you giving me hope during some dark and dismal days.
You allowed Torah, the four-pawed declawed orange senior girl dumped in a park to die to have three weeks of a life with comfort, love and excellent vet care.
Your gifts gave Shell and four of her colony-mates a world they had never encountered- and I was blessed enough to share their story while they touched folks from all over the world.
So to thank you- I will continue doing what God intended me to do; to help, to share the stories and as much as some of you insist to me that I am your inspiration- I have to say that “No, YOU are my inspiration.” Your cards and letters and emails have meant the world to me and more importantly have changed the lives of so many cats this year-
Happy Mew Year’s To ALL!