We have 106 residents, 47 are senior or geriatric with 27 of those being over 15 years old. The hardest part about rescuing so many cats is that they will one day leave us.
It never gets easier and it tends to come in waves. It can feel too much to bear sometimes. But we know we have to continue, we have so many animals that count on us.
Even with all the heartache, we know we’re giving them a life of dignity and our job is to say good-bye while keeping that dignity intact. I feel so blessed to have the caretakers, managers and veterinarians that we do. They are so empathetic towards each animal and there is always love and appreciation for every individual cat, even as we say good-bye.
Sumatra the Bengal cat had come from a cattery that was shut down and was the mother to several other cats we took in from the same rescue. She was not only mother hen to her roommates but also to her caretakers.
She would peck other cats in the head when they rushed into the food bowl too quickly. She loved to be held by caretakers and then would give love nips to them – often on the nose. She did this the day we helped her pass. She was a lady you just had to love.
Sumatra was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth that was in her soft tissue and moved to the jaw bone. She was loving up until the moment we helped her pass.
During her last days, she was comfortable and cuddled up with her daughter Willow. She also received many loves and hugs from her caretakers. We weren’t ready to let her go, but we helped her go peacefully and before she was in too much pain.
Sumatra’s little wobble and love kisses will never be forgotten, and we feel true joy every time we think of her and the love she brought to the sanctuary.