Red's been settled with his new family for a week now and doing wonderfully! I knew realistically that it would only be a matter of time before the call came, asking if we could open our foster space for yet another kitty that was in desperate need - I just wasn't expecting it to be exactly one week after Red was gone.
The plea came from a fellow cat lover and rescue volunteer who actually oversees a colony of feral kitties at Cherry Street (please see the link below for a recent article the Toronto Star did on the plight of colonies in Toronto and a video featuring "Robin" - the very volunteer I mention and some of her colony kitties).
Robin is an amazing lady who along with her husband and other cat lovers like herself, has worked tirelessly (and with a great deal of her own personal money) to help these cats in this area. So when I received the email from her on Sunday morning asking if I could possibly foster a little all white female who they had trapped this past week along with afew others at another colony (this one is in the west end @ Dufferin), and who turned out to be totally tame and not feral at all; my immediate answer was yes!
There is little I can say that would adequately convey what awaited me when I returned from Church on Sunday afternoon. This female was now in my spare room, hiding under a bed, but within minutes I had been able to draw her out with afew Temptations treats and a very soft voice. She is approximately between 4-5 years old, and is infact all white, with a medium length coat and sea green eyes. That's the prettiest picture I can paint since right now she is the most pathetic, sorry looking cat I've ever seen.
For starters, she is filthy. Obviously hiding and seeking refuge under cars, in alleyways, and who knows where else, have left this little angel with grease, dirt, and filth from one end of her coat to the other. Added to that is the fact that she's painfully thin - I mean the kind of thin that makes you cringe as you pet her, feeling every last bone in her body, all too conscious of the fact that it's painfully obvious she's been starving for quite some time. Her eyes are filled with black gunk, her ears are filthy and the one that they ear tipped (doing so before realizing she was tame), shows signs of already having begun to curl from one too many winters exposed to the elements. She is also suffering a very nasty URI which has her so congested, she wheezes when she breathes and her nose is raw, caked with mucus and brutally sore looking. And despite it all, despite the nasiest case of neglect and abandonment I have ever seen, this little girl is affectionate and has a purr that has me petting her in amazement! She cannot get enough attention, and although shy and still quite nervous, already in just the last 24 hrs we have seen little signs that she's feeling safer and wanting the love that's being offered.
Why even yesterday, I had coaxed her onto my lap - brief as it was, it was sure proof that this little darling is starved for love and that there was a time, however brief it may have been, when someone else had showed it to her.
I'm sparing the pictures as of right now because I am so angry every time I look at her. Angry that people just see these animals and simply turn their heads and walk away, never stopping to think of the horrors and fear that come with trying to survive on the streets without food, without shelter, without safety, without love.
This is an outrage and it makes me sick - absolutely sick to think of there being countless more that are still suffering, just like this little girl was, and worrying that we will never be able to help them all. It is a reality that we should all be ashamed of and is disrespect of animals of the highest degree.
So the work has begun to try and help this little girl to heal. It's time to make right what has been an absolute wrong, time to pour out the TLC for this tiny one and add a thousand prayers that the damage done can be undone............
PS: I am trying to decide upon a name - I'm torn between Baby Girl and Miss Cotton............I'd love to know what any of you think of either.