The past two days of my life have been a blur of stress, hope, and phone calls to random strangers. On Thursday night, I unwisely clicked on a Twitter link that took me to the Pets on Death Row page on Facebook. PoDR posts pictures and bios of cats who are scheduled to be put down at NYC Animal Care & Control. Some of them are sick with colds or other minor illnesses. Others are scared and stressed and are considered unadoptable.
Meet Kitty. She’s a pretty 6 year old calico who was surrendered by her family due to allergies. (Not relevant, but this seriously pisses me off — if you adopt an animal, you commit yourself to working around whatever issues come up, exactly like choosing to have a child.) She was labeled as having behavioral problems, though her former family described her as incredibly sweet, loving, and cuddly. She is absolutely scared out of her mind in this picture.
Kitty looks a lot like my first cat Naomi, who was my best friend throughout my teens and into my twenties. It wasn’t rational, but when I saw her photo, I knew I had to try my best to save her. (This is another example of how we don’t necessarily choose the things we care about. Sometimes they choose us.)
It turns out that I know more people than I thought. I reached out to high school, college, and internet friends and pumped each friend for yet more NYC connections. I got up at 5 to call, email, and harangue no kill rescues in New York. I messaged experienced pet rescuers on FB. I finally got through to the friend of a friend of a friend who could possibly take Kitty and was able to get her reprieve extended, and then a rescue organization named Anjellicle Cats stepped in and put in a pull. As of this morning, Kitty is safe, and my stomach is slowly untying itself from the knots it’s been in.
I’m not a team type of person. I don’t particularly play well with others. I do not voluntarily reach out to anyone, and certainly I never expected to be asking for major favors from friends of friends of friends. But if I learned one thing through this experience (other than to not click on links to death row animals who are on the other side of the country), it was that a group of caring, determined people with a common goal can make more of a difference than I could alone. We saved just the life of one cat who didn’t deserve to die, but who knows what else we could do?
Today, I’m thinking this over with regard to the environmental problems we face. But mostly, I feel grateful this morning that one small calico cat is still in this world. May she make the most of her second chance.