Monday, April 17, 2006
The Circle of (Rescue) Life
Veronica, the beautiful Torbie in the pictures above went to the Rainbow Bridge today. Ronnie (I always called her Ronnie.) came in three years ago, a terrified momma to two friendly kittens-that's the picture on the left. The kittens were adopted quickly but Veronica stayed on. Over the next three years we got to see her come out her shell, to blossom into a sweet, friendly, beautiful cat-that's the picture on the right. She went from a cat you couldn't even pet to the greeter cat of the room. She has just attended her first adoptathon last month and she did well. Ronnie didn't meow, she chirped. She loved wet food and she never met another cat she didn't like. She was a wonderful little girl who was the epitome of gentleness.
Ronnie became very ill last week and was taken into our vet where she stayed eight days, running a very high fever. Initially they thought it was lymphoma but a biopsy showed it wasn't. That left us with two other possible diagnosis-FIP or a rare bacteria caused virus. She came home Friday and was a little bit. Saturday she was not doing well and by Sunday she was going downhill. Despite her fever being down she wasn't eating at all. She went back to out vets today and they discovered fluid in her stomach, a symptom of FIP. So at 11:30 this morning she left this earth for the Rainbow Bridge. I spent alot of time sitting with her yesterday, crying over how unfair this all is. Why now, after all this time did she get sick? Why just when she was really ready for a home did this happen? I would love to say I know the definitive answer but I don't. The only thought that has occurred to me was the same as the one that I had when I knew Baby Boy's time on this earth was over. I believe some cats are only here till they learn one important lesson and once they get that this part of their journey is over. For Baby Boy his lesson was that he was truly loved. For Ronnie I think she learned to trust people.
I am so glad that I got to know Ronnie, that we got to be in each others lives. She was happy in her foster home and she enjoyed her life there. She liked being with the other cats and she liked all the cleaners who came and would pet her. I think she was happy with her life. It's only us humans who wished we could have given her more.
Today Hannah (left) and Hallie (right) went to the vets for their rabies booster and when they came back they moved into our adult foster room. They come from a severe neglect case (along with their brother, Archie who we had already moved into the foster room.) and trust is something we have worked on alot with them. They originally came from the same place as My Rollo and then the woman they went to live with had some sort of breakdown and stopped feeding them. They were all severely malnourished when they came in, to the point of near starvation. They are both scared from the trip to the vets and the move to the larger room. Tonight I lay down on the floor by Hannah and talked to her. I told her how safe she was here. She came out of the bed she was in and curled up next to the me, snuggling, kneading and purring. All I could think was how proud Veronica would be that the love and healing she received continues on. She will be missed by so many people who loved and cared about her. And yes, we will mourn, for the life she had and the life we wished we could have given her.
But we will not stop. To stop would be to dishonor all the lives we have helped before. We never forget them and I believe a bit of their spirit remains in everything we do. Theres a bit more gentleness, a little more empathy and a touch more love in all we do when we remember those lives we have loved and lost. We wont stop because there are so many more Ronnie's that need saving.