Room at the Inn – by Shirley Zindler

As a rescue we get requests for help every day, sometimes many times a day. The scenarios are endless and the people calling range from desperate to demanding. We provide rescue and spay/neuter services based on the number of volunteers and resources we have. We are a foster-home based rescue, and we can only take in as many animals as we have homes to care for them. We help as many as we can but we have to say no a lot too.

A recent call came in for help with an elderly cat. A woman was losing her home and had no place she could go with her 16-year-old companion. She was frantically searching for a place she could afford that would allow her to have her cat but had no luck and had to be out of her home within days. While she had a relatives couch available to sleep on, she couldn’t take her cat and was essentially homeless. As much as it’s always hard to find a foster home for one more, and worse during the holidays, I felt that we had to help.

I met with the owner, who I will call Mary, out of respect for her privacy, and her sweet companion, who I will call Kitty. Mary was emotional, sad and embarrassed to be in such a position at her age and devastated to be parted with her sweet Kitty who means everything to her. Kitty and her belongings were passed off to me between many tears, hugs and promises that she would be well cared for while they were apart. It was obvious that Kitty was loved and adored and her food, bedding, litter and bowls were neatly labeled and immaculately clean. A long list of care instructions accompanied her and Mary offered up money for Kitty’s care which was gently declined.

Later as I got Kitty settled into a quiet room, I pondered Mary’s situation. Things can change so quickly and in different circumstances, any of us could be there. I’m hopeful that Mary and Kitty will be reunited soon but we are there for them as long as needed. Helping people and animals takes up so much time and it’s easy to sit behind a computer and point fingers but stepping out and doing something to help takes work. So we stroke and cuddle Kitty as she settles in, and we speak on the phone with Mary and comfort her as best we can. We ponder the spirit of giving during the holiday season and we make room at the inn.

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