Ark Animal Sanctuary – Week of December 22, 2021

2 years ago

One week ago we took in these two kittens and their mom who were considered barn cats and pretty much left to their own devices. With the cold weather temperatures and no food mom took her babies to the neighbors who took it upon themselves to get them to a safe place. 

Originally there were four kittens, but two did not survive. Sadly today another one crossed the Rainbow Bridge. The little orange kitty, who we named Sonny, passed away at the vet. From the time Sonny came in there was something not quite right about him. He slept a lot and he had a good appetite but his belly was huge! We wormed him, but there was no change.  Sonny had a home waiting for him and his new mom had come to the Sanctuary to snuggle with him and Sonny loved every minute of it. He was supposed to go to his new home this weekend. Sadly it was not meant to be.

Once we got to the vet, X-rays were taken and what the vet saw was shocking. There was nothing normal on the inside of this tiny little kitten. He had a megacolon, which is very unusual for young kittens. He also had a genetic deformity. Everything that he was eating was staying inside and he couldn’t use the litter box. 

Sonny was not growing, his growth was stunted and the only thing growing was the size of his belly. He was in a great deal of pain but he never let it show. He purred all the time, which is something called self soothing. The vets that examined him were so kind and gentle with this sweet kitten. They explained things in detail so we could understand and comprehend everything. Megacolon can be treated in some cases,  medication would be required for the rest of his life and there were no guarantees it would even work.

Sonny, an orange kitten brought into the Ark after being rescued from a barn, was diagnosed with a rare condition and other genetic deformities.
(Courtesy of Lorraine Monfils)

That along with the deformities just seemed like no life for any cat. There was a very tough decision to be made. I felt the only decision I could make was to let him go peacefully. These decisions are never easy to make.

Sonny was only 9 weeks old and in his short little life all he knew was pain. No kitten should ever have to go through anything like that. The day Sonny came to The Ark he became a part of our family and we made a commitment to him just like we do with every animal. That commitment was to care for him, give him the best life possible and love him. 

Today we made the decision to let him go. Even though he is gone, he is forever in our hearts. We made the decision we thought was best and yes there have been second guesses. If we had brought him back home it would have been selfish on our part and not the best thing for Sonny.

If you take anything away from this story I hope that it is that barn cats are living breathing souls, They deserve vet care, nutrition and shelter. I know that cats get dropped off at barns, but when you see that reach out for help. There are plenty of spay/neuter clinics out there, but you have to make an effort. Bottom line everyone can come up with excuses, but it is time to stop making excuses and step up to the plate and do something.

When barn cats don’t get neutered or spayed, there is in-breeding and overbreeding. The end result are kittens like Sonny. Sonny was given a sedative and he went to sleep peacefully and left this world with no pain. He had one week at the ark to experience what life should be. He was loved. We are honored to have been a part of his journey.

Thanks to  Dr. Melanie Nesin for her kindness and compassion and for caring about Sonny as much as we did and for making his journey a peaceful one.

The Ark Animal Sanctuary is located on 101 Old Woodstock Road. To contact Lorraine Monfils call 207-532-7387 or check out their Facebook page.