Until the End – September Sanctuary Update
We all know it. It’s the hardest part of loving our canine and feline friends. They are so often gone from our lives far too soon. Given our mission to take in dogs and cats with medical and behavioral challenges and take care of them as long as it takes to find them a home, it’s something that we experience much more than we’d wish here at the sanctuary. But instead of seeing it as a loss, we’ve come to see such events as a gift.
As I’ve written about before, we see our work with these special dogs and cats as a journey, and journeys always have an end. We would love it if that journey always ended with a forever home, but that’s just not the reality. Some of the cases we take on have challenges that can’t be overcome, no matter how hard we try. In those instances, it’s an honor and a gift to shepherd them along the last steps of their path to a peaceful rest. We’ve had three recent passings at the sanctuary that were difficult, but will forever remain a part of us and a part of the Our Companions family.
Josie was one of the longest lasting residents ever at the sanctuary. She was a fixture here as permanent as any of the staff. She arrived here as a feral cat who had been taken in and needed extensive medical care for injuries sustained while part of an outdoor colony. She was also deaf. While she had no interest in ever having contact with humans, her goal was to be best friends with every cat she met, whether they liked it or not. While many of our cats had a tough time during the worst of the pandemic, Josie thrived. A quiet house with the predictable patterns of the staff and no one paying any attention to her was magic for her. She took up residence in the lower living room of Sebastian House and never gave it up, even when the volunteers came back in full force. She knew no one would bother her and she would just watch the action from one of her safe spots. She even developed a special bond with her kitty bestie, Elsie. But eventually, age and a hard life caught up with Josie, and we ran out of options for keeping her comfortable. Josie will always be remembered as a model for the respect and freedom of choice we allow at the sanctuary and the magic that can happen when a cat gets too just be themselves.
Gumball was an amazing guy. He had suffered so much abuse and hardship in his life, and yet he was so loving and fun with those in his life. He came to us in very poor medical condition, drastically thin and diabetic with poor eyesight, and had some behavioral idiosyncrasies as well. The staff and volunteers put our all into Gumball. Whatever care or special treatment he needed, he got. And yet, through many different treatment strategies, he made little progress. And then there was a breakthrough. He was treated for a tick borne illness rare in our area, and finally started to turn a corner. But unfortunately, it was not enough. His autoimmune system started causing extensive damage, and he declined rapidly. We put so much effort into him, but, though we wish things had turned out differently, the experience of caring so much for a dog that returned all of the love he was given was well worth it.
Wilfred knew what she wanted. She liked what she liked and liked who she liked. She felt no need to adjust to earn anyone else’s approval. And we would have it no other way. Somedays she would have one favorite food, somedays another. Somedays her medications went down with a simple treat, other days we had to get more creative. And her favorite spots to hang out often moved around her room. Wilfred’s decline was slow. Very slow. But that just gave us that much more time to find new ways to care for her and support her each day. And, of course, more time to earn our way into her good graces. A cat like Wilfred has so much to teach us as we care for her. It’s a gift to have gotten to learn from her for as long as we did.
It’s time for Feed The Beasts! As you know we’re a hungry bunch around here. And as I watch those food bills come across Jon’s desk, I get to see just what those kibbles and cans mean in dollars and cents. That’s where you all come in. Every year, we run a donation drive for food and treats for the sanctuary dogs and cats. And just to make a little more fun, we make it a competition between cat lovers and dog lovers. Whichever side gets the highest dollar amount of donations wins bragging rights for the year. And of course, those who love them both equally can donate to both. So spread the word to your friends, family, even strangers on the street! It will mean so much to the dogs, cats, staff, and volunteers of Our Companions. The winner will be announced at our annual Sanctuary Birthday party in October!
See you soon!
And of Course…Adoptions!!
Minnie’s Mews continues to fill up, but we’re also still working hard to get kitties home! Jisoo and her spectacular whiskers went to their forever home this month. Arriving to our care were Cider, Krinkle, Milton, Reuben, Wynken and Blynken, and Alladin. It’s a wave of adorableness flooding in!
Thank you all so much for whatever way you support us and our mission. We couldn’t do it without you.