Little did I know that fateful morning ginger kitten was killed of it being the herald of a tragic death of a dear friend. She was a huge animal lover and has left behind a colony of 30 cats plus various strays/unwanted animals she cared for. She was constantly on the go with fundraising projects for good causes (animals, refugees, education for 3rd world countries) and you always knew where to find help with her around. Single-handedly she was responsible for the neutering of more than a 1000 cats. In the days following her death I wondered what message or wisdom she might want to pass from her life and a simple set of words appeared; "Do as much good work as you humanly can." That epitomized her life. Her passing has changed the atmosphere of this little island. It being a place where there is such a desperate number of animals in need she has left a gaping void behind. Only the day before she passed I was in the company of another friend of hers. Upon wondering about the fate of a tiny kitten in her neighbourhood the friend remarked; "Oh don't worry - Trudy will take care of it." Yes... she will be missed so so dearly.
So the good work must go on. Many little lives have come my way in the weeks since she passed. I almost feel as if she is sat up on a cloud pulling my strings - directing my path to where the desperate ones are to be found. I say desperate ones because right now any person in their right mind would want to close their eyes driving around this island. Teensy forlorn kittens are sat at each dumpster and you imagine how desperate the situation is when your consideration has to go something along the lines; at least it looks in a resonable condition - it'll be strong enough to fend for itself. I tell you, it goes against a caring instinct, but there simply (and sadly) just isn't enough capacity to care for them all.
But Ellie (imaged above) made her way in to my life - and there was no leaving her behind. And it was a strange moment. My DH and I were on our way to town and had just started a conversation about how we really had reached our limit with cats (another pair was rescued five days before!). I had just uttered the words; "I actaully fear finding another kitten" - and there and then I spotted (and I don't quite know how on earth I did it) Ellie, lying rainbattered (two days of torrential rain) in the side of the road in the opposite direction. Only about 10 days old - obviously discarded by a kitty mom who hadn't been able to cope in the rain. She was ice cold and her limbs moving very slowly. After a brief moment in sheer disbelief of the blatant irony of the situation, we rushed to the vet who declared she was just a few hours from dying. Luckily upon some intensive care she made a quick recovery.
But caring for her presented a whole new learning situation for me - one of which I felt a bit apprehensive. Bottle-feeding and caring for an orphaned baby kitten. They are so frail, can't regulate their own body temperature and without the antibodies in the mother milk they are highly supceptible to infections. It's basically an around the clock task to keep them alive. But... I like to learn. And here - almost two weeks later - is the magical and curious teensy Ellie. Caring for her has not been without some fretting (and she is still very delicate) but she is stronger and showing first signs of independence - and she is no doubt about to be a bundle of cute fun. Don't you think she already has the looks of a very great personality?!!