Ark Animal Sanctuary – Week of March 23, 2020

Many of you have been following Luke’s story on our Facebook page. Luke came to the Ark last July with his sister Lydia at 8 weeks old. Both Luke and Lydia were in really bad shape with untreated upper respiratory infection. 

It was so bad that Luke’s eye had ruptured and the other one was questionable.  Lydia’s were not as bad, but she was in a lot of pain. They were rushed to the vet and both were given some heavy duty pain meds and Luke was scheduled for surgery to remove one of his eyes.

These two amazing kittens recovered from this horrible ordeal and even though Luke was blind he never let it slow him down. We had such high hopes for these two that they would live long and healthy lives and just be happy and pain free. Sadly Lydia passed away unexpectedly at the age of 5 months with no warning. We were devastated and so was Luke. We introduced Luke to another special kitty named Hope who only had three legs and they bonded immediately. Life was good.

Luke and I had a morning ritual. When I got to the sanctuary in the morning I would open the door to his room and he would always come running out to roam the halls and explore. I loved watching him. He was so smart and he never missed a beat. I would get his food ready and he would run back to the room and plow into his food. I loved it, and looked forward to this every morning. It made my heart happy.

But then Luke started losing weight and just picking at his food, so we took him to the vet. Two weeks ago, he was diagnosed with lymphoma. He was given a couple of injections and we brought him home so all of the volunteers could say goodbye to him and cuddle him one last time.  I made the promise that when Luke could no longer run out of his room in the morning and take his usual stroll that it was time and we wouldn’t make him linger.

This week sadly that day came Luke was too weak to take his morning stroll and his symptoms were getting worse. The appointment was made. 

 Yesterday Luke lost his battle with cancer at the young age of 9 months.  He went peacefully and is now with his sister Lydia. It is hard to put into words the effect this has had on all of us. Our hearts are empty and the tears are never ending even though we only had him for such a short  we loved him and we miss him.

Luke and Lydia were born into unfortunate circumstances. The living environment was not the most sanitary and vet care was unheard of. In doing research about lymphoma we learned that cats exposed to leukemia and aids are very susceptible to lymphoma.  The house they came from had both. The fact that their upper respiratory infection went untreated because the owner couldn’t afford vet care was very unfortunate for these two sweet kitties. What they went through in their short lives is not acceptable, they deserved better.

I know that I had written an article a few weeks ago about vet care and it got some mixed reaction. There was even one comment that asked when is just okay care acceptable meaning, food, water and shelter.

I did not respond to the comment because in my mind it didn’t deserve a response. Now I feel compelled to respond for Luke and Lydia.  Just OK care is not acceptable. It is a fact of life that pets get sick and will require vet care at some point in their life. Luke and Lydia did not have to suffer at 8 weeks old. If they had received the proper vet care, Luke would never have had to have an eye removed or be blind in the other. 

Owners need to take responsibility for their pets and get them the help they need and that means vet care. If you are offended by this then maybe you need to ask yourself the question, “Why are you offended?”

 Two beautiful kittens are at the heart of this and they deserved a whole lot better. We speak on their behalf because they have no voice.  Their lives mattered and once again we as humans failed them. Perhaps we can all learn from this. 

Rest in peace dear sweet Luke. You will be missed and we will hold you in our hearts forever.

The Ark Animal Sanctuary is located on 101 Old Woodstock Road. To contact Lorraine Monfils call 532-7387 or check out their Facebook page. 

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