Month: January 2018

Hobie’s New Year

Hobie’s New Year

New year, new you. Many people view the new year as a “fresh start”. A chance to start anew, declare resolutions, and blaze a new path towards being a better version of themselves. Some even see it as an opportunity to start a new life. Such was the case for one lucky kitten. This is the story of a tiny kitten, Hobie, who gives us a fate-filled, dominoes-falling-into-place, right-place-right-time, warm-and-fuzzy kind of adoption story.

Hobie may be the star of this story, but he’s not the beginning. In order to experience all the feels, I’ll have to take you back a week or so before his fateful “started from the bottom, now I’m here” adoption day. Just a warning, you’re gonna feel some sadness before you feel the warmth.

Veterinary professionals all know the well-recognized phenomenon of increased pet losses that occurs just before Christmas. December is typically a very difficult month, emotionally, for veterinarians and their staff. Our clay paws (or paw prints) stack up, and we almost have as many sympathy cards to sign as we do Christmas cards. It’s a tough time, and this December was no different. So, when a sweet, old kitty named Kira came in just before Christmas in rapidly declining health, we all got that sinking sorrowful feeling in the pits of our stomachs for her and her family. She underwent diagnostic testing and was found to be in advanced kidney failure. She received supportive care and lots of love and snuggles, but in the end she just couldn’t pull through, and her family said a tearful goodbye as she passed peacefully in their arms a few days later.

Senior kitty snuggled up

Although they (and we) were overwhelmingly sad at the loss of their beloved feline family member, their stress and sadness were eased slightly by the peaceful and purposeful nature of her passing. They had had time to say goodbye, she had spent her last days at home, surrounded by love, and we were able to help her cross over to the other side quickly and painlessly. Her family thanked us, and they went home to mourn the loss of their friend of 16 years.

A few days later, we received a phone call from the family. Their adorable and mischievous puppy, Allie, had gotten into something. We quickly checked into it, and had her come in to induce vomiting, just in case. She obliged us right away, and we rooted through her piles and found all the offending substance she had eaten. We knew she was going to be just fine. It was a happy day. We needed that win after the tragic loss this family had just suffered.  I brought Allie up to the lobby and handed her back to dad, and told him the great news. Naturally, the conversation quickly shifted to Kira, and how everyone was getting by without her. Dad mentioned they were toying around with the idea of getting a kitten soon, but wasn’t sure when they’d be ready. That’s where our buddy Hobie comes in.

Kitten getting his first bath

I wasn’t sure if I should even mention the small, sickly kitten that a good Samaritan (a client of ours) had brought in that very morning. He had seen someone throw this precious kitten from a moving vehicle, and stopped to scoop him up out of the road. A firetruck also saw the kitten and stopped, and gave the man a small plastic carrier that they keep in the truck for occasions such as this (insert huge “awwwwwwww” here).

He brought the kitten to our clinic, but couldn’t afford any care, and did not wish to keep him. So, we took the sweet boy in, gave him a bath, started picking off the fleas, and examined him for any injuries. He miraculously did not have any serious injuries, but did have an upper respiratory infection (a cold). He was very happy for a warm, dry towel, a good meal, and some human affection. He was about 4 weeks old, and incredibly sweet and adorable between sneezes. How someone could throw such a precious creature from a moving vehicle is beyond comprehension, and gives me waves of overwhelming rage and sorrow at the same time.

Warm kitty

I ignored my reservations, and kind of surprised myself when I got a bit giddy and said, “I happen to have a kitten”! As soon as the words left my mouth, I held my breath and waited to see how he would respond. Would he be offended that I was offering this kitten up so soon? Would they be ready? Would this make him sad? Angry? Joyful? I let out a huge sigh of relief when I saw his face light up, his eyes open wide and start to glow with anticipation. I knew at that moment that this poor little kitten already had a wonderful and loving home. This kitten, whose morning had started out so dismally, had a brand new life of love and companionship to look forward to. I was overjoyed. I asked him if he wanted to meet him, and he of course said yes. I brought him up and they were an instant family.

Dad and new kitty

Dad  had the same set of reservations as I did, and said he needed to call his wife first and talk to her, which he did before he even left the office, and they decided they would take him. We agreed that we’d keep him at the clinic for a few days to get him over the upper respiratory infection and make sure he’s healthy enough to go home. They called every day to check on him, and finally he was able to go home on medication a few days later, and he’s since made a full recovery.

The best part of this story is that Dad shared with me that he had always believed in finding his animals through fate (or they find him), and this little guy was no different. Was it fate that made Allie eat something that would likely be fine, but was just dangerous enough for us to recommend she come in? Was it fate that caused a vile human being to throw Hobie out right in front of a client of ours who immediately brought him to us that very day? Maybe you don’t believe in fate, but it’s hard to deny that everything lined up perfectly to help this grieving family find some peace and joy just before Christmas.

Kitty and doctor

So, as we start this new year, remember that no matter how bleak things may look, a better life may be just around the corner. We have a thing or two to learn from animals. No matter their dire circumstances, most manage to keep a wonderful and appreciative disposition. They exhibit no sense of entitlement or even resentment, which is amazing. This year, resolve to be more like Hobie. Better yet, resolve to be like Hobie’s family, and rescue/adopt an animal in need.

Sweet Hobie