chesterOnce a week, I get up early and drive to the Sugarhouse area of Salt Lake City to volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society taking care of cats waiting to be adopted. Taking care means cleaning their kennels, feeding them (usually wet and dry food, because it’s not certain which they will eat), and giving them fresh water.   Cats mostly come in from other public shelters in the area.  We know certain cats will be quicky adopted … they are beautiful, healthy and friendly to all.   Others are traumatized after being abandoned or, as they say, surrendered by owner, ending up behind bars.   Some have been on the street for a while and need to be cleaned up and socialized.  Fortunately, BFAS has a large number of people willing to foster cats, which really helps with getting them ready to be adopted.  Some have health problems, ranging from injuries and parasites to feline diseases like Feline Leukemia.   These cats are lucky to land at BFAS because the Lifesaving Center provides veterinary care and medication.  And we get senior cats, who are often adopted by senior people because they are usually mellow companions.

If you look on the BFAS adoption homepage, here, you will find pictures of LOS (length of stay) cats that have been at the center for three months to over a year for a variety of reasons.   Their physical problems may require too much care or they may have a grumpy side.  They may not get along with other cats, or dogs of children.  You’ll see phrases like She’s definitely a lap cat and enjoys being pet as long as it’s on her own terms.   People who aren’t real cat people may not know that on her own terms applies to some degree to many catsOlder cats are sometimes disheveled, not as pretty as their younger competition for a forever home.   Believe it or not, black cats and tuxedos (black and white) are harder to place because of nonsense about bad luck or because they supposedly look bad in selfies.  Really.

Chester was a sixteen-year-old male all-black cat with kidney disease and arthritis, which required continuous medication … and he had been shaved from his waist down because of matted fur and skin conditions.  He was skinny and his spine was crooked from his arthritis.  Every week, when I cleaned his kennel he’d be curled up on his bed and he’d gingerly get up to come get loved, and we all loved him.  We hoped against hope that somebody would take him and give him a happy home stay, no matter how short.  Last week, when finished my shift, I went back to Chester’s kennel and spent 20 minutes with him.  He seemed weaker than ever, and I thought to myself, he doesn’t look like he’s going to last long.  I was right.  This week when I went to see him, there was a mama cat and five beautiful kittens in his place.  His ailments had become bad enough that the vet decided to put him down.  I could say he never found his forever home … but I choose to say BFAS was his forever home, where he got a warm bed, medication for his ailments, regular meals and most importantly, love, until his life was over.  But, jeez, I’ll sure miss him every Thursday morning.  Goodbye, Chester.

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One Comment on “Chester”

  1. barrythewiz Says:

    He’s waiting at the Rainbow Bridge!

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