In an earlier comment to one of my posts on the kitty, my friend Pam nicknamed him "Braveheart" and I've been mentally calling the kitty that ever since. Which didn't make it any easier when I returned a call to my vet this morning and learned the kitty passed away last night.
We're not sure why. He had blood in his stools which is why they wanted to run more tests. If I heard him right, my vet suspects he may have gotten into some poison, but there's no way to know for sure. And it doesn't really matter. I'm so grateful Blair found him and brought him home and that instead of dying alone, starved and hurting under some bush, he was clean, fed, cared for and had a few days of petting and attention under his belt.
I was upset yesterday that I couldn't find anywhere to place the kitten and Blair suggested maybe he never should have brought him home in the first place but I vehemently disagreed and still do. We can't help every stray but some call to us more than others and we should act on that. That's how Lucy came into my life and there's a reason this kitten came into our lives as well.
I've spent most of the day reflecting on that last point. For over a year now, Blair and I have said we should/need to/are soon going to get involved with the very small group of people in our rural county who are working toward establishing an animal shelter. But there was always a reason we didn't get involved--time, we forgot about the meeting date, out of town, too tired, we'll go next week, etc., etc.
I also know that I have a fear of getting involved. I'm happy to do behind the scenes work - apply for grants, write letters, administration, but I don't know that I can take working with the animals. I'm afraid it will break my heart. So even though animal control and sheltering have always been important to me, I shy away from them out of fear of not being able to handle the emotions that come with it.
I think this kitten helped me move past that fear. I still hurt but I'm pissed as well and ready to do something about it. When I was looking for somewhere to take the kitten, I found the website for the Greensboro animal shelter. I have friends who live in GSO and I was going to ask them to take the kitten there as they wouldn't accept an out-of-county animal. But when I logged on, I pulled up pages and pages and pages and pages of cats already at the shelter waiting to be adopted. I just felt this pit in the bottom of my stomach. It was hopeless. There are animals everywhere waiting for homes and yet people still aren't getting their pets fixed and buying from pet stores (don't EVER buy from a pet store -- they run breeding mills--very unhealthy and unnecessary).
I've blogged a bit in here about how I'm working on setting some goals. One of my goals is to do more public speaking but I've drawn up short each time I try to figure out what I might have to say that people would want to hear. Speaking out on behalf of animal welfare and for spay/neuter controls may be it.
I'm almost done being sad about the kitty. But I believe he appeared and we invited him into our lives for a reason, and I hope I remember that reason in the days/weeks/months to come and don't let the opportunity for growth having little Braveheart in my life presented to me slip away.
Much love and kisses to you, little one.