9 days ago i walked into a pet shop to look at birdcages.
they were prohibitively expensive. while chatting with the owner of the petshop, explaining to him that i needed a 'catproof' cage, and complaining about the high prices of things in general, he asked me to come inside and look at his cats.
two persian cats in cages. one- fat and healthy and beautiful.
the other- a frail skeleton with half the hair on her face gone, lying in her own filth.
i gasped in horror and protested to the owner, 'why haven't you taken her to the vet?'
'there's nothing wrong with her,' he assured me.
sick to my stomach at the sight of this wretched animal suffering, i opened the door of her cage to see if she was too far gone. she staggered to her feet, crept to the door of the cage, and gave one frail cry. it was as if she said, 'please. this is my last chance.'
do i need to tell you what happened then? money changed hands...in ten minutes we were at the animal clinic just across the street, i was feeding her the boiled chicken from my lunch, and "penelope's" new life had begun.
it was a rough start. she was- still is- a very sick little feline. massive systemic infection. worms. protozoa. third degree malnutrition. and a dreadful growth in her ear that could be malignant.
a waste of money? possibly.
a hopeless case? maybe.
but all i know is that i could not walk away and leave her to certain death in that dark, dirty petshop.