This is the difficulty of rescue work--sometimes no matter how hard you try, no matter the time and energy you invest in restoring health to a tiny creature, their little bodies are too frail, their systems too weak. Sometimes the best of care and love and the sheer force of will just aren't enough to save them.
We mourn the loss of every little life in our care.
We cry hard and often.
We get really angry at the injustice of young lives lost far too soon.
And then we regroup and remind ourselves of the words of our beloved Dr. S, the extraordinary Veternarian who has been so kind to us over the years. "Do the best you can for all of them, and when you lose one, focus on the ones you can help now."
Even though our little man was with us for only a short time, our little former 'throw-away kitty' quickly became quite a treasure to us here at Operation PAW. He was well-loved and safe, and made as comfortable as possible during the last week of his life. His story could have ended taped shut in a tiny box, sweltering in the Miami heat, but instead he drew his last breath surrounded by people who cared about him, who had done everything they could to help him back to health.
I became very attached to little Carson--it tends to happen when giving such intensive care to a kitten. There is a part of yourself that becomes entwined with them, and their victories are yours... their loss diminishes a little part of you.
Although his vision was limited due to the persistent crust solidifying his face into a narrowly-slitted mask, he recognized my voice after the first day and began to call out for me the moment he heard me speak. He had come to associate me with the yummy high-calorie recovery wet food I syringe-fed him every day. He loved to be held and to have his back and face gently rubbed, and although unsure at first, he had discovered the delights of the makeshift 'hot box' incubator that helped to maintain his body temperature.
Yesterday, for the first time in a week, Carson put his little paws up on my chest in typical kitten-style to be picked up and held. In fact, he scaled my chest in an attempt to get closer to me.
You can imagine everyone's absolute delight to witness this new action! Similarly, he raised one little paw to groom his face, which sent us into cheers. We were desperately hoping that this was only the beginning of more little victories to come.
Sadly, that was never to be.
We did the best we could for him, and we are absolutely devastated at his loss.
Rest well, little man. You are whole and healthy again and there were many others waiting for you at the Bridge. We will meet again one day...
We are a completely volunteer-based and volunteer-run organization with no outside funding. It is through your donations that we are able to carry out our ongoing rescue work. If you would like to contribute to the cause of the abandoned and abused creatures in our care, please click on the donate button. We are eternally grateful for your support!