Saturday, September 7, 2013

Saving lives

As the recurring activities of life proliferate, the adventures have less time and are less likely to worm themselves into your life. And then a 5 month old, furry adventure worms its way, not just into your life, but also into your heart.

As everyone knows, we're cat people. Well, I was and now Linda is. We have our 3 crazy babies; 1 of which is watching me type this and eat a snack as if I'm depriving her of the very oxygen needed to sustain life and another that is climbing over me as if this laptop doesn't exist. The third is perfectly well behaved elsewhere in the house.

Every week or two, we go to Petsmart to get supplies, like food and litter. Of course we stop by the kittens who are waiting to get adopted and spend some time with them. The poor furries are all alone in their cages all day so we like to interact a little while we're in the store. Last weekend, there was an adoption event and we met a couple that spends their time working with a local rescue. We saw this as the perfect opportunity to help out and do something bigger.

We can't adopt because... well... we already have 3 of our own and we just don't have the room. Besides, 4 cats is a little crazy (we aren't ashamed to admit it). On the other hand, Linda has never had the pleasure of having a tiny kitten around. So what is the middle ground? We decided to foster. A couple of days later we got a call from the couple who told us that someone dropped off a 5 month old kitten that needed to be fostered. Right behind the phone call was an email with pictures. That was all it took. We were in. On Tuesday night, they dropped off the little one and Linda named her Lucy.

She was a ball of energy that explored the entire house nonstop, generally at high speed. She was so little that her back legs moved faster than her front so she just kinda hopped sideways around the house. The other 3 were a little unsure of her and there was lots of hissing. By the end of last night they were all peacefully co-existing with some hints of friendship.

Today was another adoption day. We took her down there and hoped for the best, although we weren't sure what the best was. Getting a forever home was the ultimate goal, but it was obvious that we weren't quite ready to say goodbye just yet. We were surrounded by cats of all sizes, one more friendly and cuddly than the next; all looking for a home and someone to love them all day. We had to get out of there. Off to run errands we went, looking at my phone nearly constantly to see if we got an update from the shelter - nothing.

Right around 3pm, the event was slated to end so we went back. As we walked in, there was a mom with 3 little girls who were "oohing" and "aahing" over our little Lucy. I went over and started talking her up. We  took her out of the cage and let them pet and hold her and get a sense for the little lover that she was. They were just as hooked as we were when we first met her. Sure enough, they decided to take her home. In the event things don't work out, we left our number so we can take her back and try again at the next adoption event.

And if they are a good match, she'll stay with them and we'll take in the next one. We didn't dream of how important this would be, for the shelter, for the kittens, for Linda and I as people and for us, as a couple. We left that shelter so filled with joy and pride and also about to burst into tears at any moment. It was such a sad scene. There are always more cats than homes and even more cats than cages. That means that some of them have to be put down. Who they choose and why is anyone's guess. It's all determined by animal control. We understand how hard and expensive it must be to take care of all of them, but watching a perfectly healthy cat be put down just because it drew the proverbial short straw is heartbreaking.

We met this little guy, who was born without eyes.
He was amazing. All he wants in the world is to fall asleep on your shoulder. Luckily, he got adopted today.

Then we met another guy who is FIV positive. It's like HIV for cats. It's fairly prevalent in cats though. He also got adopted today.

These 2 brothers love each other more than anything in the world, but one has an abscess in his eye. They did not get adopted unfortunately, but that's because they come as a pair.

It is amazing to see people taking these challenging pets into their homes. We discriminate less for animals than we do for people, at times.

If Lucy loves her new home, the next guy that we'll take home is a 2 month old lunatic who ran in circles in his cage all day, when he wasn't climbing the sides of it like a rock wall.

The only time this little maniac calmed down was when he was in Linda's arms.

So far, this has been such an incredible experience. To bring an animal into our home and life, and care for it, give and get love, and turn her over to a loving family has brought us so much joy - more than we planned for. It's been so wonderful.

For now, the house is quiet and back to normal, but before long we will begin the next chapter in our adventure of helping out all the voiceless animals in need.

It fell in our lap, unexpectedly... and started purring.

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