Rescue of a Shelter Kitten
This is RJ.
This is his mugshot. He's around three months old in this picture, taken when he came into the shelter I got him from, and he'd been there three weeks, and in two other shelters before that. He got into the system from the Big City. He was being held as evidence, but no one knew what kind.
That is all we know of his past.
I had come to get Gobi. I had found him in Petfinder.com, by expanding my search for certain characteristics; the long hair and broad head that might hint at the mellow disposition I was looking for. An hour away. When I came into the shelter I was disappointed and elated to hear that Gobi had gotten a home the previous day. He'd been there three weeks, and I had gotten a long distance crush on him. But of course, as my friend pointed out, we had come here to look at kittens, so of course we had to look at kittens.
We looked at several kittens, so by the time we came to the kitten alone in its cage, he had woken up. I needed a kitten for easy blending with two middleaged cats and a husband with a chronic illness, and it had to be the right kitten, too.
This kitten wanted to make eye contact. A great sign of the friendliness and sensitivity I was looking for. I knew he'd been overlooked for a while, because, with his status as evidence, he wasn't on Petfinder, and there were younger kittens around him. When he turned around I discovered he was a boy, quite a boy already. His fur was skimpy and his tail resembled a rat's. He rubbed his face on the bars to show affection, and drew me closer, to pat my cheeks with nails held in and finished with a pat on the nose.
Okay, it was over.
I called the Big City police department and managed to get him sprung the next day. I deduce that he was taken from his mother too soon, because he nurses in his sleep sometimes. I saw that he was not like any of the other kittens in the shelter, and held in a separate cage, so whatever he had gone through, he had done it alone. I know he hadn't gotten enough to eat for quite a long time, because I brought him home with his eyes still sunken in their sockets.
I gladly paid the shelter fees and added extra. They were doing important work, not least keeping him alive and taken care of until I could find him.
Gobi found a home. Reverend Jim found a home. Perhaps Gobi and RJ are no more than birthday candles in a vast and indifferent darkness. We do what we can, and what we could do was find a wonderful cat and give them a home.
To keep that little candle from being puffed out.