The Kindness of Strangers
We had a cat bought in to us recently that had been found.
He was very underweight, elderly, not the prettiest of kitties. This cat had wandered into a house and the owners were very concerned that the cat was unwell and seemed disorientated. They contacted a friend who was a serious cat lover and also a volunteer at CPL (Cat Protection League).
The cat was bought in to Rappaw and the vets assessed him to be very unwell and unlikely to survive the night.
The care and compassion from the lady who bought the cat (now nick-named Peanut) in, was heart-breaking. We all understood the likely outcome for this cat, but based on the vets examination we believed the cat was a pet, although not micro-chipped, but well looked after. So the decision was made to keep the cat comfortable and out of pain and try to hunt down the owner.
Time was of the essence.
Social media went into overdrive with posts on the Rappaw Facebook page, door knocking in the area, listings on ‘pets on the net’ and posters on lamp posts and in shopping areas.
Peanut perked up within a few hours of being with us but this was to be a short reprieve. The cat deteriorated over night and there had been no success finding the owner. The Facebook post had been seen by over 2000 people and shared 80 times. This had become our biggest shared post to date. We had several calls to the clinic from people who thought they may know who Peanut might belong to. We followed these all up with no success.
Peanut’s kidneys were now failing and the vets saw no option but to put Peanut to sleep. We called the lady who had bought Peanut in to us and she understood the situation but felt deeply that she wanted to be with Peanut, and that Peanut went to sleep feeling loved. She came down immediately, driving some way to get to us.
Peanut died in her arms within minutes of her arrival.
Shortly after, we received a phone call from a gentleman who had seen a poster and thought it may be his cat. He came to the clinic and identified that Peanut was indeed his cat.
Although the outcome is very sad and the owner devastated at the loss of his pet, the generosity and heart felt care from strangers allowed Peanut to be loved to the very end. The compassion of strangers who went out of their way to help try to locate the owner, and the heart felt gratitude by the owner, that someone had cared enough for his cat to seek help, is what makes our job so rewarding and puts faith in our community and neighbours.
Micro-chipping your pet is one way of ensuring we can find owners quickly – but many people don’t realise you must have the micro-chip registered on an animal database. There are two main organisations used in NZ. The AAR (Australasian Animal Register) and the NZCAR (New Zealand Companion Animal Register). For micro-chipping or checking registration of your micro-chip, please contact the clinic.