Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Long and Winding Road

We've been too quiet lately, not because nothing worth telling was happening, but because too many things happened and we really needed some time off to be able to fully comprehend unexpectedly good news and to digest the bad events.
Success and failure, joy and sorrow, light and dark, I guess that’s how life goes …

Last year was a hard but fruitful one, with many ups and downs, big dreams and even bigger worries, filled with countless interchanging moments
of pure bliss and deepest sadness, accomplishments and defeats. In light of recent sad, tragic events I can’t help feeling totally drained, exhausted, mentally depleted and tired to the core, however I’m trying to make some sense of what was going on. This story
might take a meandering path, even though it would be way easier to start it with the end.

The good news, which is not really news anymore for many of you but it doesn’t hurt to summarize, possibly repeat and emphasize, is that
some major shelter repairs were completed last year. The roof above the kitties’ rooms in the backyard was renovated, new gutters were purchased and put in place, the metal part of the roof extending over the newly made concrete path to the
supporting columns that were built last spring was also added. Transparent window blinds were put up to protect the sheltered area beneath the roof eaves and also the corridor below the renovated roof mentioned above from biting and frosty
northerly winds. Several minor problems were successfully handled and many issues addressed while the massive repair work was ongoing and we’re honestly more than thrilled for accomplishing so much.
Unfortunately, last year’s phase of shelter repairs lasted forever and it wasn’t until mid November that we began to think of raising funds for the first tank of gas for central heating. Things couldn’t have looked darker until the awesome Laura Simpson and her very
impressive organization The Great Animal Rescue Chase & Harmony Fund stepped in and managed to raise almost the entire sum needed in no time at all. Thanks to all of the wonderful people who responded to our plea for help, none of the Felix kitties even
noticed the severe drops of outside temperatures in December as their rooms were properly heated and pleasantly warm. The first shipment of heating fuel is supposed to last until the end of February and then we’ll have to find a way to raise the funds
for another gas delivery.

We’ve been quite lucky this winter as to snow so far, we had two brief snowfalls and weren’t snowed in just yet. However, I’m not holding my breath as we’ve been cut off from the world by snow at least twice
every winter since the shelter was founded and the cold season is far from finished. Right now the days are cold, sometimes sunny and bright, sometimes dark and gloomy. The ground is frozen in the morning and night temperatures are below zero, but maybe
this winter will be a dry one, even though I can’t believe we’re that lucky.

Over the last few weeks we’ve lost all three kittens that arrived from Belgrade where they had been living at a construction site. They were all born
with incurable FIP and I still can’t pull myself together. I took them in last autumn wishing to give them a chance at a nice, fulfilled and pampered life here at the shelter, but I had no possible way of knowing they were all doomed from the start. My brave little sweeties put up a hell
of a fight and tried to stay with me for as long as they could, but the dreadful and most feared virus affecting cats against which there’s no known cure always wins. The deadliest cat disease has claimed three more angels…

Sadly, we all know
that misfortunes never come singly and when it rains, it pours. My gorgeous black panther Njanja, who’s been struggling with health issues for more than a year, finally gave up the fight. After all of the injections, UV scans, various drugs and treatments that we
hoped would make him feel better, he was just too tired and worn out to be able to fight anymore. He passed away peacefully in his sleep and took a piece of my heart when he left. Even though I’m totally shattered and the world is hollow, bleak and dark
without him, I know there is now a new star shining in the deep blue of the night…

But life must go on, there will be many more heartbreaks mixed with delights, more sorrow and more joy, new challenges and new demands, but
those who had to leave to where we can’t follow just yet, will never be absent from our hearts. And somehow, together with all of the others who are still brightening our lives, they too give us the strength to carry on, even when we think we can’t endure
another day. It’s the start of a brand new year and we must look ahead with optimism and hope that this year will be our best year yet.

No comments: