The groups that pull from the euthanasia list at BARC had already gotten everyone they were going to save that day.
But when our veterinarian reviewed the list about 2:00 pm, she saw they’d left one beaten up, emaciated, dehydrated cat who’d been shot in the back leg. He was scheduled to be put down at 4:00 pm.
Dr. Seelhoff called us and said “This is a FFL cat if ever there was one.”
We said, “You’re right. Let’s get started.”
A Tough Case Indeed
We saw immediately why groups may have passed him by. He’d been shot–and not recently. The bullet had shattered his back leg and the wound was open and deeply infected. We would come to learn after blood work that he had ZERO white blood cells after fighting the raging infection, starvation and dehydration. But fight he did. When he met Dr. Seelhoff, he lifted his boney face to rub against her hand. There was no way we were leaving this guy behind. He wanted to fight to live–and now he had FFL ARMY backup.
Porkchop (previously Charles) would have to be hospitalized for several days just to be strong enough to withstand the surgery. Dr. Trevino and his team at Bay Glen took great care of him. After assessing his damage, x-rays revealed there were still bullet fragments scattered through his ruined leg. His leg and tail sustained enough damage from the bullet fragments and infection that he would have to lose both to beat the infection.
We get it. You’re furious. So are we.
It is tempting to descend into rage at the excuse for a person who fired a gun into this bright, lovely soul and maybe even to descend into anger for the system that almost let Porkchop slip through the cracks–but we respectfully request this of you, dear readers–channel your passion to positive action. Too often posts about stories like Porkchop create FB fantasies of violent revenge. And that’s just poison we carry that saves exactly no one.
“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” — Buddha
The fact is, we can actually be punished by your anger. We will lose you as a force for a vision for something better. And Houston needs your vision not your vengance. When we started this program 15 years ago, we are told that no kill was a waste of time. We are were told we would fail. But we didn’t. Houston, you became our city and we became your no kill shelter.Together, we make up this FFL ARMY.
We become our thoughts. Our thoughts become our deeds. Our deeds become our lives.
We cannot reach the doer of the awful deed. Your rage cannot touch him/her. But you can make a difference for our tribe working on behalf of Porkchop and cats and dogs like him who don’t have advocates. Sometimes one of the reasons groups do not pull animals who require major medical intervention, like Porkchop, is that it is expensive. If some of you can help with that, we’d love it.
Donate to FFL. Team Porkchop: http://friends4life.org/how-to-help/donate/
But if that’s not comfortable for you, help a different way.
Become a foster parent.
Be a part of the the FFL ARMY and share this wider, kinder vision for our city.
Don’t let the doer of the terrible deed be the focus. Make the focus what we can do together right now.
Today, he is struggling to stay warm. The infection and major surgery have made it difficult for him to regulate his body temperature. He has a ‘snuggle safe’ warmer on him and our wellness outfitted him in a fleece cat hoodie sweater to insulate his tiny little, mostly shaved, body. He is on pain medication and antibiotics. The medical team has a constant, watchful eye on him.
He is on IV antibiotics and fluids with dextrose. He sleeping peacefully and will be monitored all night. Our veterinarian lead on this case is, Dr. Lori Seelhoff. Dr. Seelhoff happens to be a secular Franciscan. No matter what your faith–or whether you have a particular faith at all, maybe we close this difficult day and enter the long night ahead for Porkchop and Dr. Seelhoff with thoughts of peace, forgiveness and healing. No spare energy for hate. Not tonight.
It’s getting late and as we all tuck into our warm homes for the evening, it seems a good time to share a few words from the peace prayer of St. Francis, the patron saint of the animals.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy. We are far from out of the woods. But like Porkchop, we will keep trying.