It was a warm July day when my daughter
and I saw a cloud of black smoke near our local hardware store. We quickly drove over to watch news being made as the store
was overtaken by fire. No sooner did we arrive then a puff of smoke came running out of the building into the hands of a paramedic.
Realizing it was a kitten, I followed them to the ambulance where it was dunked into a bucket of saline. If it doesnt
belong to anyone, I will take it. Relieved, the paramedic handed me a black, wet, glob of burned mess. The only thing
recognizable was a pair of eyes pleading for relief. It could not even mew.
We dashed to the nearest vet, praying
the kitten would live until we arrived. Please hold on, we pleaded. The black eyes stared at me without a sound.
The vet took one look and said, This cat is so badly burned his lungs are probably seared and his skin will turn to
leather and fall off. You need to put him to sleep.
What? You havent even tried to save him. Im
a cancer survivor who has proven you can beat the odds. I cant just put him to sleep. This cat may die, but it wont
be for lack of trying. Thank you for your time.
We dashed to another vet who gave the same line. On to a third,
who said what we wanted to hear, I think this kitten may have a chance. We then broke the news that we could not afford
much in the way of treatment, especially for a stray. Fortunately, by then, she was attached to the little thing and agreed
to free treatment if we would pay for the medications. If he is still alive tomorrow and his lungs have not filled with
fluid, we will give it a go.
Thats a deal! His name? Hmm
I think well call him Crispy
Thus began a 24-hour ordeal of treatments and sleeping with him on the couch cuddling, petting,
nurturing, and treating his severe burns. He made it through the first 24 hours and over the next several days much of his
skin died. Pieces began to fall off first the tops of his ears, then a toe, then half his tail, then another portion
of his foot. It was gruesome and we began to wonder if we had made a mistake; but, as we sat cuddling him looking into those
black eyes, we knew we had to keep trying. Soon we were rewarded with some quiet meows. .
Over the next four months,
while we continued to peel away dead skin and treat the burns, smoke inhalation left him with an asthma-like wheeze and an
intestinal tract that had little peristaltic movement meaning he could not move his bowels. Discouraged, we finally
had to admit that giving enemas to a cat everyday was not something we could continue. So with a heavy heart, we took him
to the vets ready to give up.
As we walked in, a relief vet happened to be passing through town. When he saw the scraggly-looking
Crispy, he exclaimed, What happened to that cat? After telling him the story, he said, I read of a new surgery
that might solve the intestinal problem. I was hoping to have an opportunity to try it and will do it for free; but you need
to know he may not survive. What did we have to lose? With tears running down our checks, we kissed and cuddled Crispy,
as we said our good-bye.
The next day we got the call from the vet Crispy is alive. He is ready to go
home. What a courageous cat he is. Only time will tell if he has turned the corner With both elation and tears, we rushed
to the vets to bring him home.
That was three years ago. Today, Crispy, the Courageous Kitten, struts around on his
toe-less feet with his half tail held high. His face is scarred, he has only half of his ears and he OWNS the house. He rules
over three big dogs, three other cats, and one bird.
a day goes by that I dont look at him as he perches on top of the birdcage and am reminded that no matter how difficult
the challenge appears, we should not give up without a fight. Too often we listen to our critics and lose hope prematurely.
I have a sign on my office wall that says, Hang onto your dreams, even when the world tells you they are impossible.
Do something, no matter how small, every day that moves you toward that dream. Remember, when we dedicate our mind, body,
and spirit to a goal, miracles really do occur.
IS THE AUTHOR OF THE MOTIVATIONAL BOOK, Ill Be Here Tomorrow Transforming
Tragedy into Triumph
An uplifting page turner for those days when life pushes you down. The reader rediscovers their inner strength with which,
through day-to-day struggles, they have lost touch. It will inspire your soul, tickle your funny bone, and stimulate your
mind. To learn more about the book, visit the page about
, on this website.
If you wish
to subscribe to this newsletter, go to the page titled "Motivational Minute".