Why Do Those Who Have The Least Often Give The Most?

When Saturday rolls around on Street Kitty Fund duty, you always hope your last 48 hours will be quiet ones.  That was not the case for me on Saturday, June 15. 

That morning, a name popped up on my phone that sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t place from where or when.  Then it hit me, this was the young girl I’d met at one of our Pet Aid giveaways for colony caretakers.  She had come with her Mom, Dad and sister, but given that she was the only one who spoke fluent English, she had been the spokesperson for the family.

After we had loaded their car with Weruva, she pulled me aside and asked if we could talk.  It seemed a house on their block had been boarded up, but the prior tenants had left an injured cat locked inside.  She had photos as well as an address, and had already reached out to both the property company and the auction house that would be selling it at the end of the month.  No one had replied, and she and her family were worried sick about this cat. 

Given the language issues, I offered to call Animal Control on their behalf.  Much to my delight, Baltimore City Animal Control arrived the same day, rescued the cat, and got it to BARCS.

For this young girl to call again meant only thing – a kitty was in trouble – so I answered immediately.

Sure enough, she and her Mom found a cat who was seriously hurt – she couldn’t move, was bleeding from the rectum, and they were desperate to get her some help.  After agreeing that our Street Kitty Fund would cover the cost, they drove straight to the one vets office open on Saturday and, per the sign on the door, checked in via phone.  Then they waited.  And waited. After an hour went by, they called again only to learn via a recording that the office was now closed.  Another frantic call to me and after Googling addresses, I texted her the address of the closest ER, so they headed across town.

That was the beginning of a six-hour ordeal that involved 14 phone calls, umpteen texts and a fair share of tears. (Not to mention all the back and forth communication with the Feline Rescue Association who were now on the hunt for the cat’s possible kittens.) The ER worked first to stabilize her pain and then to determine what was going on. The kitty, who we named Corona, had experienced severe trauma – so severe that her pelvis was not only broken in multiple spots, but also dislocated from the “triangle” (as the ER vet described to me) that connects it with the spine.  I asked, had she been hit by a car? The vet said it was possible, but there were no external injuries so she would hate to think this sweet cat had been hit with an object or kicked.

This entire time, the young girl and her mother refused to leave and instead sat there waiting for updates from the vet and me. 

The hours ticked by. 

It was after 6pm when I had a final discussion with the vet, and we agreed that euthanasia would be the most humane option.  I immediately called the young girl (still sitting in the waiting room with her Mom), and broke the bad news.  Her only question?  Could she and her Mom be with Corona so the kitty wouldn’t be alone at the end?

I don’t know how many people would have gone to the lengths this young girl and her mother went to save a cat they didn’t even know. I don’t know how many people would have driven back and forth across town, and then sat in a waiting room for the bulk of a beautiful, summer Saturday for a kitty they’d never met.

I don’t know this family’s story, but while being transplants to Baltimore and, for that matter, the US, this family is doing our community and our country  proud.  I just wish there were more people like them.

Postscript:  As I was posting this, I received another email from the young girl.  She asked if any more food would be available soon as they were now feeding two additional colonies.  She  also wondered if there were any programs to help kitties in a dangerous situation be moved to another area.  It broke my heart to have to answer no to both questions.   If you would like to help with either food or a barn placement for these cats, we’d be eternally grateful. You can reach us at gro.edistfosruoywohsnull@ofni.