To “Be the Change” means more than just donating money to a rescue organization. It’s more than just volunteering. Of course, donating and volunteering are important and you should do them. But let me tell you a story about something that happened in my human’s life a few years ago. It was a little incident — and it wasn’t.
It was Memorial Day. She forgets the exact year — 2005, maybe? She and her boyfriend were at somebody’s pool and barbeque party. She wasn’t having a great time, even though she got dressed up in her coolest clothes. In fact, she was kind of bored. Then the host’s cousin showed up and said, “There’s a cat wandering around. It looks like it’s hurt pretty bad.”
My human jumped up immediately and rushed out to the street to look for the cat. She couldn’t find it. “It went behind that house,” said the cousin, pointing up the hill. A flash of calico fur told her that he was right.
She went to the house and knocked on the door. There was no answer. So she did the only logical thing — she went around the back way into the backyard, trespassing in search of the cat. She found it walking around the patio, with one of its back legs wounded so badly that it was nearly hanging off. The wound was bloody and scary looking. The cat hissed at her. But it didn’t run off, even though it had been getting around pretty well on its three good legs.
Some people from the party were standing at the foot of the hill where the house was. My human came out and said, “I need a big towel” in a voice that demanded action. Somebody fetched one, and my human took it back to the cat and talked to it softly. The cat allowed my human to get closer, and then to pet it. Finally, she was able to bundle it in the towel, and she carried it down the hill. As far as she was concerned, the party was over, and she and her boyfriend headed for the emergency vet.
Surprisingly, the cat stayed in my human’s arms the whole time they sat in the waiting room and didn’t struggle at all. When the vet examined it, he said it would be very costly to fix the leg. Fortunately, my human’s boyfriend worked at a veterinary clinic and the vet said it would be okay for the cat to rest quietly in a carrier until my human’s boyfriend could take her in the next day. So that’s what they did.
Even though they brought the cat home for the night, I never got to meet her, which is just as well because later on, they discovered she was FIV-positive. The head vet at the clinic where my human’s boyfriend works was able to save the cat’s leg. Judging from the damage, he thought it was probably a dog or coyote attack. The party host’s wife put up flyers all over the neighborhood, but nobody claimed the cat, so the clinic put her up for adoption. Eventually a very well to do pair of women adopted her. They didn’t care that she was FIV-positive because they were still able to give her a good life. The funny thing is they named her Sparkle, even though they didn’t know anything about my human, or about me. The woman who brings the cat in for regular check ups told the people at the clinic that she is the best cat they’ve ever had.
Here is a photo of the “other” Sparkle, when she was still recovering from her injury:
Why am I telling you this story? Because my human was the change in this cat’s life. Who knows what would have happened if my human hadn’t bothered helping? Or if she had been afraid to get her cool clothes bloody, or thought that ugly leg wound was too gross to deal with? But my human didn’t care about any of that. She just saw a cat that needed help, immediately, and she did what she needed to do.
See, you never know when you will be needed to be the change in an animal’s life, and it doesn’t always happen at the rescue place where you volunteer, and it isn’t always about giving money to a group that is helping to save animals from a hurricane or an earthquake. Yes, the majority of you reading this come together to be the change in the larger scheme of things, and even the not-so-large scheme of things, like helping local rescue organizations such as Pets Without Parents, the focus of today’s blogathon (scroll down to the FirstGiving badge on the right to donate). But you must also be ready when the unexpected happens and you are faced with being the change for an animal in need that just happens to cross your path. That is my challenge to you! It may seem like such a tiny effort to help one creature when so many thousands of them are suffering. But it means all the world to that one you are helping.