Instead of finding a scene that matched the glowing words I had been told for more than 2 months, I found a stench that almost brought me to my knees in the patio room where the boys were kept. The "getting acquainted/sick room" was ripe with illness and some cats in obvious pain. The little cat with complete bowel failure, coated in its own dried feces, and the panting cat, coated in her own dried saliva (from a toothache, I was told) horrified me the most. The boys were in a cage together, still unchecked by a veterinarian. Blue had developed an eye infection. Creamsicle looked terribly frightened. I was told he was likely a feral cat.
I toured the other parts of the small shelter and met most of the 200 cats. Say that again, 200 cats. It was obviously an understaffed operation, with 4 volunteers and the owner, if I recall correctly, and one of the volunteers had just quit. It was easy to see the situation was overwhelming. But in putting together some puzzling phrases I had heard from the ladies over the coarse of those 2 months and seeing the shelter in person and hearing some obvious statements of defense while at the shelter and realizing the attempts to adopt out any of the cats were few and far between, it hit me. What likely began as an extremely well-meaning, big-hearted desire to help the displaced cats of the world, turned into cat hoarding.
After taking a few videos of the crowded, healthy-cat section (there are some gorgeous cats in residence), I left with a thank you and a smile on my face. That smile was utterly false. I drove away and burst into tears. My God, what had I done? I got home and called no less than 4 cat-loving friends, sobbing and practically begging them to help me figure out what to do for Creamsicle and Blue.
After returning from Istanbul, I went in search of help. On the first day of my quest, I found it. With luck, divine intervention and the willingness of 2 fantastic women, I formulated a plan...
Blue: april 2010
Creamsicle: april 2010