Rosettes. Titles. Your photo in the Yearbook. The National Win. The admiration of others. These are the rewards of the “elite” of the cat fancy. However there is another group who are the “elite” of a different kind. Less visible than the show winners, their accomplishments and dedication are as great. They are the Feline Rescuers.
They are a selfless group of cat fanciers who make themselves available to help cats in distress. They are the people who come to the aid of cats who have been abandoned at animal shelters, homeless on the streets, or left behind when elderly owners die or become unable to care for them any longer.
You may not realize what it takes to become a rescuer or what a rescuer has to go through. It involves long hours, frustration, no pay but also the many rewards from the kitties whose lives are saved. Do you have what it takes to be a rescuer? Do you have what it takes to be a hero?
- Are you willing to get up early and go to bed late in order to care for the rescue?
- Are you willing to be woken at 4:00 AM by a horrible smell only to find that a new rescue has had diarrhea all over your laundry room?
- Are you willing to spend time nursing a sick kitten?
- Are you ready to answer the phone just as you finally sit down to dinner with your family because it may be about another animal needing your help!
- Are you willing to know your friends think you are “nuts” for doing what you do?
- Can you accept that your relatives will not understand why you cancel a visit because you are nursing a sick kitten?
- Will you spend hours interviewing each person who wishes to adopt an animal from you, going over every aspect of owning a pet and the responsibilities involved?
- Will you rearrange your schedule to accommodate someone who must come and see the animal immediately, then accept it if they never show up or bother to call to cancel?
- Will you drive hours and miles to remove a cat in need from an animal shelter?
- Are you willing to spend your own money on supplies because there is no one else who will?
- Can you accept no matter how much you do, there are times you will lose the battle?
If you can answer yes to these questions, you have what it takes to be a rescuer. You have what it takes to be a hero. Your contribution, no matter how small, can make a difference. Let each of us take a single step forward and be a hero.
I looked at all the caged animals in the shelter — the castoffs of human society. I saw in their eyes love and hope, fear and dread, sadness and betrayal. And I was angry.
“God,” I said, “this is terrible! Why don’t you do something?” God was silent for a moment, and then spoke softly,
“I have done something,” was the reply. “I created you.”