Little Tom was a feral cat who was disregarded by humans all his life. Nobody would look at him, nobody would care for him. He was lonely, starving and cold. Today, he just had enough with this world of indifference and decided to give up on life.
As I was at the Cloyne Veterinary Clinic this morning, a lady walked in asking Sinead if she could help as there was a cat on the carpark who wasn’t moving. Was it a coincidence that I was there at this particular moment? I went to the carpark and immediately spotted him, in the middle of the carpark. A car would have actually had to swing to the left to avoid him. A woman passed by and prodded him with her foot; she kept walking. I bent down and wrapped the towel over him. He didn’t move. He didn’t struggle when I picked him up, but pushed a terrible cry of pain. I held him close to me and brought him to Sinead.
I knew he was sick and I could sense his chances at a better life were slim, but we had to try. Sinead examined him. His gums were paled, his temperature was low, he was dehydrated and so skinny… He was so skinny we could nearly circle his spine and his legs felt like they weren’t attached to his body anymore. Sinead brought in a hot water bottle and put a drip on him; I petted him, trying to give him as much comfort as I could.
When Sinead carried him upstairs, Little Tom pushed another cry, a cry of death Sinead thought. She made a bed for him and we put him there. The little Shona , who was rescued only yesterday,was looking at us from the bottom cage asking for attention.
When I left, I didn’t know if I would see Little Tom again. Sinead told me that she would try but that his body seemed shut down.
At 4 pm, Sinead rang me (thank you Sinead for giving him a chance, for doing all you could and for your compassion). Little Tom’s situation wasn’t improving; if anything, it was getting worse. He had given up on life and had decided he had fought enough and that his time had come. He was put to sleep.
Little Tom probably lived a miserable life, but he was loved and received affection for the last four hours of his life. However, this is not enough. There is no reason why Little Tom shouldn’t have received a bit more compassion during his life. He didn’t deserve it.
Please people, look around you and don’t ignore your ferals. Offer them a bit of food, a warm shelter and whatever love you have to spare.
Shona was saved, Little Tom didn’t have her chance. How many more like Little Tom will die this winter?