In a blog post written by Jo Singer a day or two ago, she gave us notice that Dexter, one of two kittens witnesses saw Florida resident Wilana Joenel Frazier and her two children “pummeling” with an aluminum baseball bat at a public park, had succumbed to his injuries. He suffered a setback where his seizures started again, getting more and more frequent and stronger. His family chose to end his pain and suffering.
In her post, Jo reflects on the magic of these voiceless beings that cross our paths; the ones that accompany our journey, albeit sometimes for just a bit:
Although I am not deeply religious, I truly believe there is a higher power that works in mysterious ways. I believe that we are often touched by loving angels that come to us in many different forms, and that, while they are always present to guide us, we may not yet understand their presence in our journey through life.
Many of these angels come to us in the form of animals, many of which we may never have personally met but they always come to us for a reason, to inspire us, to give us courage, and reflect back to us our inner strength and beauty, many times of which we are not fully aware.
Recently, I had just such an encounter.
A couple weeks ago, my neighborhood was ordered to evacuate due to a wildfire threatening us. I have several animals and stayed to take care of them.
My neighborhood was abandoned. It felt a little like being the only person left in the world. The silence was practically deafening. Beyond the far back fence of my property is a house where the family evacuated leaving their nine cats to fend for themselves. There were three kittens, two teenagers and four adult cats. The kittens looked terrible — very thin with eye and nose discharge, dirty ears and missing fur. One poor baby could barely open his eyes to see. All were a little shy of me.
Immediately, I started to mix some antibiotics into their food twice a day. They responded quickly to the meds despite probably receiving less than what they required. This photo shows the worst of the babies just 24 hours after getting some antibiotics into his system. His little body has responded quickly.
Over the next week, I continued the meds and fed them twice a day. They came around quickly and, after a meal, they would all grab a spot and lay around me beside the pond. It had all the feel of a family union — in the midst of a neighborhood under threat of wildfire.
“Goops”, the baby with the most congested eyes, really came around and would often come to me to be petted even before he would eat. Other times he would eat a belly full, then flop down beside me and roll over so I could rub his fat belly. It felt so good to see his eyes clear up, his body put on weight and his personality emerge. I knew he was going to make it.
Two Fridays ago, I shot this photo of the little guy. And that was the last time I saw him. I remember looking back at him as he lay in the grass playing with the other cats, but I never suspected that would be the last time I would see him. I’m not even sure what feeling to hold in my heart. Joy for having brought him around? Sadness because I worry something terrible happened to him? Or hope that he found a new home? Maybe gratitude for having met him.
For a couple weeks, quieted away from the world, we shared a marvelous time and I shall never forget how the personality of this tiny tyke changed into such a sweet, loving and giving guy. How happy he was. I hope he is well and living somewhere wonderful. He deserves it.
In the meanwhile, I continue to feed the other eight — concerned whenever one does not show up at mealtime. As money permits, I will get them tested and “fixed,” then hopefully rehome some of them. One girl, I call her Izzi, was the first to approach me — even before I knew there were kittens. She distances herself from the group and is always waiting for me near the path. As close as she can get to my house without being too near the dogs inside the fence.
It is incredible how much they can touch your heart without saying a word. They have such respect and ritual. They have ideas — it is Izzi’s goal to get out of there and into a home. She does not plan to live her life as a homeless cat. And that is obvious.
I hope with all my heart that Goops is well. He certainly touched my heart. Even for the couple weeks I knew him. I believe Jo is right: “they always come to us for a reason, to inspire us, to give us courage, and reflect back to us our inner strength and beauty, many times of which we are not fully aware.”