Sunday, April 1, 2012

Two Hearts Looking for a Miracle

Our sanctuary is full.  This is not news.  We are always full.  But in one day this past week, just 1 hour apart, we got called about two cats from 2 separate and unique situations that needed help.  Neither had a chance in this world if we didn’t help, and time was running out very quickly for each of them. Both were desperate for the last opportunity for loving arms to hold them.  Both are elderly, somehow abandoned, strays found fighting to survive, both with health issues, and both incredibly loving.  We took them both in.

Moondrop was found as a stray in January and was taken to a local shelter at that time.  She is estimated to be at least 15 years old.  She was sick, in very poor condition, with severe flea infestation and hair loss due to flea allergies.  She also is badly in need of a dental.  Unfortunately, there are not many prospects for adoptions of elderly cats.  Yet, clearly, Moondrop was not ready to die and all she wanted most in her life was a person to snuggle up with.  So little to ask, and nearly impossible to find.  The shelter contacted us to see if we could give her a place and we agreed to help her.  Within moments of her arrival, she relaxed knowing she had a home again and people to snuggle with her.  When we pick her up, she nestles in with an amazing purr and will sit like that for hours.  We all fell in love with her instantly.  She has an appointment with our veterinarian for a complete exam and she will get the dental treatment she needs very soon.  As soon as we get her back to full health, we will try to find a special home where she can live out her days in a family all her own.  And if not, she will stay here with us at the farm, to be loved by us.
Lincoln arrived the same day after he was found scrounging for food at someone’s house.  He was ravenous when they offered him food.  This super friendly loving boy was also injured with abscessed sores on his neck and chest.  Clearly he had been out on his own for a while and was not faring well.  The elderly couple who found him had cats of their own they were caring for and couldn’t keep him.  When we saw that he was older, injured, and so compromised, we took him in.  Neither of these cats had any chance of getting adopted at the shelter.  We rushed Lincoln to our vets on an emergency basis and we discovered that he has a number of serious health concerns.  He is FIV positive.  And it appears he has advanced lymphoma.  It was clear to all of us how hard Lincoln fought to survive.  His wounds were cleaned and treated and they should heal nicely.  And we do not know how much longer Lincoln will have with us, but it was very clear he was not ready to go yet.  Life is still worth living for him.  Our vet feels he can still live comfortably for a while and we are giving him full care and treatment.  He is so incredibly happy, loving, and joyful and loves to snuggle.  Like Moondrop, he snuggles in our arms and purrs his heart out.  The relief flowing from this cat is amazing to experience.   To know that he can feel loved, warm, and snuggled in however much time he has left is the greatest comfort we can know.  His gratitude is obvious and when it’s time for him to go, we will help him if need be, and he will die surrounded by hearts who haven’t known him long but who love him for all he is.  That was the only thing he was looking for. So simple, yet he couldn’t find it.

When we held each of these cats the day they arrived, we were stunned by the feeling of how they let down their guard and stopped having to fight to survive.  They each knew that they were safe, that they had a place to be, and that they would know what feeling loved felt like once again.  They fought hard to get to this place again, searching for one more lap to curl in, one more set of arms to hold them, one more head to butt up against, one more heart to purr for, and their fights were over. 
No one knows how much time either of these cats will have left in their lives.  It may be weeks, it may be months, it may be years.  But for each of them, every single day counts as another day to be grateful that someone cared enough to open their hearts to them once again.  Neither of them deserved to die alone out on the street, sick and starving, but both of them were looking at that reality.  Someone loved them once, you can tell by the way they are and by how they see humans in their lives.  We don’t know what happened to them for them to end up homeless on the street.  But all it takes is a loving and caring heart to change their plight.  Knowing that they have now gotten their wish of loving arms to hold them before they die is both heart breaking and fulfilling to those of us who now step in as their caretakers and friends and offer them the space within our hearts to love and be loved once again.