As many of you know we have been given permission to trap stray cats at the trailer park across the street from the sanctuary.
Last year we took in 15 cats from there and all of them were altered, vaccinated and tested. Some of them we were able to re-home, many are still waiting for a new home. In the past few weeks we have taken in 12 more.
Out of those 12 one rescue was particularly heartbreaking. One evening while we were trying to catch kittens, a small grey and white cat not much more than a kitten heard us and came running out of the woods just a screaming.
As I watched her approach I could see that she was emaciated and that her fur was falling out. She came running right to me and the food I had and then she she just stared at me, I quickly picked her up and put her in a carrier. We named her Anna Claire and from that moment on there was nothing normal about her rescue.
Anna Claire went to the vet and was put on antibiotics to see if we could get her healthy enough to spay and test. Anna Claire would only eat if someone sat with her and watched her, she was what they call a social eater.
After a week of antibiotics there was still no improvement, we put a vaporizer near her and it made it easier for her to breathe. Anna Claire went back to the vet and we ran blood work, there was nothing normal about her blood work, she was very anemic and she also tested positive for feline leukemia.
Knowing that her immune system was so compromised we wanted to make sure the test was accurate so it was sent away to a lab.
For the next week Anna Claire remained at the vet clinic, where they could adjust her meds, hydrate her and see if she would improve. We wanted to give Anna Claire every chance at life and even if it was confirmed she had leukemia we would figure that out when we got to it.
Yesterday June 21 I got the phone call that there was no improvement in Anna Claire, they ran blood work again to see if anything had changed. There had been a change but not for the better, the results were worse.
Anna Claire was declining by the day and she was now hiding in her crate. This poor girl had been through so much and her tiny little body was too tired to fight anymore. The decision was made to let Anna Claire go. It was not an easy decision, but it was the right decision.
Anna Claire crossed the rainbow bridge peacefully on Thursday June 21. I would like to thank everyone at the vet clinic who took care of this sweet girl and made her final days comfortable and restful.
Each time we lose a life it is never easy and there have been so many recently. Anna Claire touched us in a way that is unexplainable. When we looked at her we saw the beautiful cat that she would someday be not the emaciated sick cat that she came out of the woods as.
I have never had a rescue like this. A cat running to us crying as loud as she could, wanting so desperately to be rescued. From the moment I saw her I knew she was special and the bond was immediate. It was clear that she trusted us but it was also clear that she did not have a family that loved her. She must of had a family at one time because she was used to the human touch.
It appeared that she had been living in the woods, or under a trailer and it was also clear that she hadn’t eaten in a long time. We are so grateful that we were able to rescue Anna Claire, though her time with us was short, it was filled with love. We take comfort in knowing that she didn’t die in the woods or under a trailer she died with people around her who loved her.
How many more are out there like Anna Claire? We won’t know unless we continue this journey, and that is what we intend to do.
Anna Claire deserved so much better, this could have all been prevented with a simple neuter or spay. There are those that get it and then there are those who would rather stick their head in the sand, perhaps because they never see the end result. The sick cats having litter after litter. They are having sick kittens and they are needlessly dying.
Please help us end this vicious cycle. Don’t get an animal if you can’t afford to neuter or spay. Adopt a pet that is already altered. Check into the spay and neuter clinics it only takes a few minutes, or just simply ask for help. Be a part of something positive. Don’t let Anna Claire’s life and so many others be in vein.
Last Night at The Ark, we planted a tree in Anna Claires memory. It is a flowering Dogwood and will blossom every year to remind us of her beauty. The tree will grow big and strong, like Anna Claire should have. The tree has been planted in the front yard and will stand as symbol that every life is beautiful and worth saving.
A dragonfly garden stone will be placed at the foot of the tree in memory of Anna Claire. The dragonfly symbolizes change. It is time for a change. We all need to make a commitment and work together to end this vicious cycle. We all have the ability to change an animals life , don’t ever waste it.
Thank you for your continued support and as always thank you for reading our column.