We all know the stereotype – single, middle aged, female with cats. The title of crazy cat lady is not meant to flatter; the emphasis is usually on the adjective “crazy”.
I am single, of a certain age, and I do have two cats that I adopted from The Marshmallow Foundation in Detroit Lakes. What makes me crazy is that I volunteer my time at the very same shelter!
Friends tell me that they don’t understand how I can do it. “It’s so sad”, they say.
And sometimes it is. Today was one of those days. Yunger, one of the more affectionate cats, has been sick for several weeks with what was thought to be an upper respiratory infection, which is very common in shelter cats and equivelent to the common cold. He’s been to the Vet a couple of times and been treated with antibiotics with no improvement. He has lost a lot of weight, and can no longer stand or sit. Still, when I opened the door to his kennel, he greeted me with a virtually silent meow, and struggled to find his balance long enough to put his paws on my chest to be picked up. I held him several times today, walking around the room petting him, scratching him behind the ears and telling him what a good cat he was. He would push his nose against my cheek telling me that he heard me.
But comforting a dying cat isn’t the really sad part. Knowing that if the foundation had more donations, Yunger would be in the hospital right now getting fluids, medication, and the necessary diagnostic tests is the truly tragic story. The wonderful employees and volunteers are even now trying to find transport for Yunger to the Twin Cities, which is the closest veterinary clinic found that would offer no cost or low cost emergency treatment.
Yes, today was a sad day. But knowing that I was there to offer a little kindness to one of God’s precious creatures made my decision to volunteer at the animal shelter an easy one.
**Happy Update: Yunger made it to Gregory’s Gift of Hope, in New Richmond, WI and is in the arms of caring humans who have the funds to help him. He’s not out of the woods, and his vet bill for one night is already $1200. If you’d like to donate, they accept Paypal.