New life

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?!!


Marg said…
Oh Joan, we are so sorry about your friend. Sending lots of hugs. I can imagine that she is really missed.
That Ellie is too cute and looks like well worth all the effort that you went to saving her. I have never done that either, save an orphan kitty. It must have been so worrisome. But you did it and what a good job. I bet you are exhausted too. Hope everyone else is doing well. Take care.
I'm so sorry about the loss of your friend and fellow rescuer. Having had a similar thing happen in Golden Retriever Rescue a few years ago, I know how the loss is felt by everyone. At times like this, I'm always grateful that there are those like you to pick up the reins and continue this much needed work. I know there is so much to be done, and I so admire you for continuing to look for those that need you, even when you wonder how you possibly help another that is put in your path. I wouldn't be able to stop looking either, and even though my house is bursting at the seams and the budget stretched, I look for them as well, and precious ones like Ellie are the reason.
MarkD60 said…
Sorry for your loss and added workload.
1000 cats neutered, wow.
Dear Joan,
it is such a pitty for the world to loose such a person like your friend. And her words, "Do as much good work as you humanly can." are so true. I think she has her place in heaven. Ellie looks so cute. This tiny kittens are somehow looking like children. I wish you the very best.
Hugs, Johanna
Blue Lavender said…
My dearest Joan
I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend, certainly she was a great lady worthy of admiration for everything she accomplished.

Ellie looks so cute and healthy thanks to your care and dedication she will get a better life by your side.

It reminded me when I was 10 years old, I had a dog and a cat, both pregnant almost at the same time, my dog had 8 puppies, and a week later my cat had only one kitten, and he was very small, almost the size of my dad's pinky finger, and that is how we called him, Pinky. But 2 days later, Pinky's mother died in an accident and here we are, with an orphan 2 days old baby kitten, my dad bought small bottles to feed him with milk, but it was very hard, we were afraid he was going to die. But what happened next was amazing, my dog being mother of 8 puppies didn't mind at all to adopt Pinky, so we put him together with the puppies and he grew up very strong and healthy. I also kept one of the puppies, and Pinky had a very playful brother and loving mother who took care of him for many years.

It is a shame I can't have any pet, because my husband it is very allergic to them. But as long as I keep those nice memories in my heart, and as long I continue reading your adventures with this little kittens, that is enough to bright my day.

Thanks for share with us your wonderful experiences Joan.

Send you a big big hug,

Lots of love,

Laura =)
Catherine said…
I am so so sorry about the loss of your friend Joan. To have someone that was so devoted to caring for animals is truly an extra tragic loss. It sounds like she did some amazing work.

Sending you big hugs and best wishes for all the homeless kitties!
xo Catherine
sunshine said…
Once again, my condolences about the passing of your friend, sounds to me like she had a amazingly caring soul and lived life to the fullest, caring for mainly those in need (in her case animals).

When you talk about all the great things your friend did while alive, I can't help but wonder all the many more she can do now from heaven, God bless her soul.

It must be very hard to do all that you do for those amazing animals, but remember the words of Francis of Assisi:

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible"
Draffin Bears said…
Dear Joan,

So sorry to hear about your friends passing and what a special Lady she must have been.
The words she shared, "was do as much good work as you humanly can" is such a great motto to remember.
Ellie is such a little sweetie, wishing you much happiness with this precious kitty.

Have a lovely week
Crafting Queen said…
So very sorry for the loss of your dear friend. Sounds like she was a wonderful person and will be missed by humans and cats alike.

Your little Ellie is just adorable. I am humbled what you do for these little creatures. Thank you. Hugs Anesha
oh no I am so deeply sorry about the tragic loss of your friend. Am I right in my recalling that you have mentioned her on your blog before? I am so deeply heart is breaking for you.

Yes, Ellie looks like she will have an amazing personality!

505whimsygirl said…

I am sorry to hear of Trudy's passing. What an amazing testimony for all of us to do what we can, especially to help those who can't help themselves.

Ellie looks so loving, her little eyes full of wonder.

I've missed you and am glad you are back.


Reena said…
So sorry about the loss of your friend. She did amazing work .. 1000 neuters! Keep the fight strong my friend. And your new resident looks so cute!
The look in her eyes is filled with the soul of a cat many years her senior. I think though she knows her fate and her luck have changed, and for the better.

My deepest sympathy on the loss of your dear friend. Friend to all...
Barbara said…
I am so sorry for the loss of your friend - she sounds like such an amazing person - but from what I read here, so are you! You have a magic touch with kittens - this one is adorable!!
Anna E said…
She is cuter than cutest and such a little lady :-)) What a dramatic period you have been through!! Who is taking care of the little people, that your friend took care of? It truly seems more than a coincidence that you find little Ellie on that very day and moment. Amazing how the "unseen worlds" arrange things, and how you respond to It...<3
What an adorable kitten.I think you should receive a medal and be declared saint for all the good work you do.What an amazing person you are.I am very sorry to hear that your friend has passed away.. but I do believe she is probably directing you and guiding you.
I wish you so much strenght with all your tremendous work.
Dearest Joan,

Sorry to read about the loss of such a warm and caring friend!
Your Ellie did surely make a great recovery already. Thanks to your big heart again.
Love to you and a tight hug!
Marilia said…
So very sorry about your friend!
Ellie is so cute... and lucky = she found you!
Dear Joan, I read about the great loss. I wish you all the strength! It is a difficult period.
Many kind regards, and I like the book of your husband.
Cornelia said…
God works in divine mysterious way through you to bring and save Love and Care from those who would pass by and not give God a try. Ellie's new life is such a precious blessing. She is a Fairycat, a little tiger angel.

The wonderful Lady Trudy has departed to meet new life somewhere in the invisible realm where she continues illumined kindness.

How much humane Warmth and Pure Joy must God collect from your life-giving deeds!
Becca said…
Oh I wish I could take her home with me!
Sadee Schilling said…
Joan, I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. But what a beautiful image you have of her now, sitting in Heaven and helping to guide you as you rescue these almost-forgotten but precious little creatures. I can't help but think of the scripture that says God notices and cares even for the fall of a sparrow, and I wonder if rescuing these animals is one of the "deeper reasons" you say you know you're in Greece. You're painting a beautiful picture of His love as you open your arms and heart to even more cats than you think you can manage. It's a powerful reminder of how He will never turn any one of us away.

Thank you for your wonderful encouragement on my blog last week--I too love the connection in our stories and I think of you often, especially now as I marvel at the fall and can't believe that it's spring there! I finally found a recipe for a variation on butternut squash soup (like you recommended!) and can't wait to try it.

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