Sophie's Choice

10/8/09

KittensThe burdens of the most difficult day can be taken away with one act of generosity from a friend. That is exactly what happened on Tuesday afternoon here at the shelter.

We'd had a hard couple of days. We had some confirmed cases of Feline Panleukopenia (often also called "Feline Distemper"). We had to assume that all of our cats were exposed to this potentially fatal illness. Cats that have been exposed to the virus are supposed to be isolated and observed for 14 to 20 days. The problem is at our small shelter we don't have any place to isolate the exposed cats.

We were put in the awful position of choosing to keep the cattery closed while we observed the cats (knowing cats in the community would die if we didn't open our doors to them) or euthanizing healthy-appearing cats that just happened to be here when other cats were ill.

I felt like I was in the middle of the movie "Sophie's Choice," where a mother had to choose which child to save.

And then we had the kind of help that only comes from a true friend. The Cat Adoption Team (which has plenty of cats of its own to care for) answered our plea for help. On Wednesday morning, they took our healthy-appearing cats to an isolation room in their shelter. They'll be kept safe and sound during the incubation period and then be adopted out from their facility. CAT has full-time veterinary staff that can watch for any problems and will give the kitties state-of-the art care if they need it.

I can't tell you the relief we all felt, knowing these kitties will be safe and well. We didn't have to make the awful choice. Thank you, friends at Cat Adoption Team. Thank you.