Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Lesson In Hope

Three days ago, a friend sent me an email about 4 candles. The gist of it being that while Peace, Faith and Love can be blown out, the candle of Hope is the last one standing that can re-ignite the other candles.

Pretty cheesy stuff that I am usually not into but ironically today, a lesson in Hope was the order of the day.

I woke up this morning to find one of my cats, barely 6 months old, lying sprawled motionless on the ground in a pool of her own excrement. I touched her ice cold body and watched with desperation as she lay barely breathing. These were signs that I had experienced before and knew that her end was near. The only thing I couldn't figure out was how she got to this state when the previous night saw her full of life, prancing about with her sibling.

The only thing I knew I could do at that point was to make her as comfortable as possible so I carried her limp and almost lifeless body into a cage and set her down. That was around 10am. Through past experience, when they are at that stage, they normally die within an hour or so.

By 3pm, there was no difference. She was still breathing and occasionally would meow. I was feeling desperate and confused. I couldn't get her to a vet and knowing the clinic I go to, I knew exactly what they would do with her. In my opinion, if she wasn't in pain, she was much better off dying in a calm manner than dumped in a cage surrounded by howling sick animals.

5pm: I look out the window and she's out of the cage lying on her stomach. I rush out and give her a bowl of water. She struggles with all her might to stand up and manages to lap the water.

10pm: She's managed to wobble her way out of my backyard and onto the back lane. Although she's extremely weak and hasn't eaten, she manages to hold her head up.

Right now as I type this, she has gone and huddled herself in a corner. I really do not know if she will survive the night. Or whether, she would wander off to die on her own as some of my animals have done in the past.

But what I do know is that she has taught me an invaluable lesson in Hope. I have had to watch many cats that I have loved die slowly. Each time, I wished I had the strength within me to end their suffering. This morning, when I looked at my chubby Lacey, lying motionless, I again wished I had that strength to make it end for her quickly.

Her perseverance and determination to live, has taught me that regardless of past experience, Hope is always alive until the very end. And even then, Hope can still arise in the belief of a new beginning.

I am truly glad that I was too weak to blow the candle of Hope out. go girl! Whatever happens, I am so proud of you my little cherub.

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