It only takes one person to abandon (surrender is the polite term), injure, abuse or neglect a cat and yet it can take literally three or four times that to bring him/her out of that same environment and back into the throes of safety. Ironic isn't it?
I want to pay tribute to The Army as I like to refer to them. The countless people who donate their free time to the aiding of cats (and other animals too of course) out of shelters the world over. They are those who work long hours 7days a week, 365 days a year, come sunshine, come rain, or come snow, who give up personal time with family and friends, who come home from long days at their paying jobs to continue on in their unpaid jobs, who lay awake nights worrying about the ones they've saved, the ones they will, and the ones they cannot. They brainstorm for new ways to fundraise and then work tirelessly to ensure that those fundraising efforts are successful so that they can in turn help more cats, they answer pleas from the shelters when they have no more space, to try and find a way to make space, and they spend countless hours assisting people from all walks of life who have questions, need answers, want help, or have given up on the cats in their lives. They are those who nurse from sickness back to health and beyond. They are those who witness the effects of abandonement and abuse and try to make it right. They are those whose arms will hold with love and tenderness when the final call comes that signifies they cannot save all.
They are the Mom's and Dad's, the sisters and brothers, the daughters and sons, the Grandma and Grandpa's of this world who all unite like any army does, these ones being for the sole cause of trying to save animals who have noone else that wants to.
Without these armies, there would be no rescue's or rescuing. There are those who claim that they do this single handedly, that somehow without just them, these animals would perish. But the truth of the matter is that anyone rescuing is just one in a long line of soldiers who come to help many who are the forgotten, the unwanted and the discarded - it is a team effort in the largest sense of the word.
I know one such army and they are an incredible group of individuals who are dedicated, passionate and driven. There are those who refer to policeman and firefighters as hero's because they are usually rushing into a situation when the rest of us are doing our utmost to rush out.
Well these rescue volunteer's are also hero's in my opinion - they are the one's offering hope to beloved little souls that others have deemed expendable. They are the ones that rush into the ugliest of situations to save, when others have turned their backs and walked away.
My deepest wish for armies everywhere is that there will come a day when the call to save does not have to be answered - when every animal is treated with the respect they deserve and has a home with love and protection.