Yesterday as I was leaving work, my sister called me. Of course the call came in just as I was stepping onto the elevator to go home, making my sister sound like she was talking under water.
I said: "Hello?'
Abby replies: "I found a ... crackle, rustle, static... squirrel! What should I do?!"
I asked: "You found a squirrel?!"
She shouts back at me: "No! I FOUND ... crackle, rustle, static... squirrel! What should I do?!"
After what seemed like a ride to the moon, I finally reached the top floor of the parking garage and asked again: "Did you say you found a squirrel?!
She brazenly yells in my ear, "NO! I FOUND A CAT!
I am still confused and stupidly ask, "Well, why did you tell me you found a squirrel?"
She is reaching the point of being annoyed, and yells at me again: "I SAID, I FOUND A CAT THAT I THOUGHT WAS A SQUIRREL!
In my head I thought, "Of course you found a cat that looks like a squirrel. That happens to people all the time!" (I did not verbalize this thought though because Abby was on the edge of loosing her patience and I could tell she was a wee bit frantic...)
I asked where she saw the cat/squirrel and she explained it was sitting in the middle of a bridge that she was driving over so she called me, and wanted to know what to do. I told her to pick up the cat and drop it off at my veterinarian and I would meet it there. Abby calls me back within minutes and says the mission has been accomplished and I let her know I would be there shortly.
At this point my phone vibrates. It's the veterinarian: "This kitty has maggots and several lacerations. Do you want us to proceed?" Maggots? Really?! Sigh.... I explain if the kitten is negative for leukemia and feline AIDS, and she thinks there is a chance the little guy might pull through then I would like her to proceed with fixing him.
I arrived at the vet office and they ushered me back to see what had to be the most sickly animal I have ever laid eyes on. This kitten was so malnourished and emaciated that it is impossible to even draw the 2 drops of blood from him needed for his testing until he ate and his body temperature was higher! Paired with the number of adult fleas on the kitten plus the maggots literally eating him alive, saving him was more of a miracle rather than an reality. Still, I prayed......
After the leukemia/AIDS test came back negative, he was given a bath to rid some of the fleas and the rest of the maggots. He was so pathetic, and as I watched him lay there something deep inside my soul hurt. IF he had been positive for leukemia or AIDS, I would have contributed part of his condition to underlying illness but this boy was just flat out neglected. That is inexcusable.
After the little guy was cleaned up and dried he passed out. He had antibiotics on board for several lacerations on his front leg and around his rectum, the blood sucking and flesh eating insects were at bay, and his belly was full. His life was good for the moment and I felt comfortable that if he died during the night, at least he died with all of his basic needs met.
I thought of the little kitty all night long and I didn't sleep very much because I wondered if he was still going to be alive in the morning. Then I remembered a picture I took that morning before heading into work.
Minutes before I went inside there was the most beautiful rainbow in the sky, and I said out loud: "Today is going to be a great day!" If you are a palm-sized kitten that was given the chance to cheat death, today wouldn't be a great day, it would be the best day of your life!