Friday, January 20, 2012
He was the one
A few years ago I was informed that there was an uncatchable kitten with injured back legs not far from my home. I was horrified when I saw him for the first time. He was shivering under a car, tiny and scared, with his hind legs cut off just below the knees. I tried to catch him but he was shy, distrustful, and totally unapproachable. Despite his injuries, he was as fast as lightning. Deeply moved by his misfortune, I knew he’d change my life forever.
For about two weeks I had been trying to catch him, without success. Eventually, he somehow fell into the basement and got caught in a humane trap I had left there. As soon as I picked him up he went limp and I could see his horrible injuries were old. His hind legs were severed below the knee joints, and the vet discovered he also had a prolapsed rectum. It’s quite unbelievable how he managed to survive all alone on the street in that condition - it can be explained only by his enormous desire to live. He was a genuine fighter.
When I found him, Milance was about three months old. His first surgery was for the rectal prolapse repair. A month later, the skin was sutured over the end of the bone of each leg, forming stumps. Being a kitten, Milance was growing fairly quickly and the bone of his left leg kept protruding through the skin every now and then. He underwent several surgeries but that problem just couldn’t be solved permanently.
Milance had lived with me for a year and a half, but I don’t know for sure if he was aware of his disability. He was a cheerful, joyous, playful kitty, with vivid curious eyes, who fully participated in the usual cat activities. My apartment was completely adapted for a cat with special needs. He had his easy-chair on the terrace, his scratching post, plus he managed to climb onto the bed… he had many friends. He got along very well with the other cats, they were playing and sleeping together, always snuggling and cuddling. Sometimes, while he watched them running around, I thought I saw a shadow of sadness crossing his beautiful eyes but it lasted only for a flash – or maybe it was just my imagination
If none of these terrible things had happened to him, Milance would have grown into a huge, magnificent tomcat. That was the most serious problem. He was getting bigger and heavier every day and his stumps couldn’t bear his weight, so the wounds started to open up. One day I noticed that his left stump was swollen, but he wouldn't allow me to touch it. The next night, his loud purring woke me up – he was cuddling with me until morning as if he was saying goodbye. I knew I had held him for the last time.
I took him to the vet and it turned out that his thigh bone was broken longitudinally and he was diagnosed with sepsis. Nothing could have been done except to put him down. I remember just standing there looking at him with tears running down my face as the sorrow and overwhelming grief filled the room. His life had come to an end entirely too soon and way too abruptly, but I was sure he went to a better place and would be looking over me for many years to come.
Milance didn’t live long enough to see my shelter but I feel his presence everywhere. I miss him terribly but I am grateful to have had him be a part of my life. During his short time on this Earth he touched the hearts of so many and his story became a tale of courage, hope and faith. He will never be forgotten.
If I close my eyes, I can still see him…