The misadventures of a first time father

Tag Archives: animal shelter

IMG_0490Almost nine months ago, I poured my heart out after a frequent four-legged visitor to our backyard, whom Meg and I lovingly nicknamed “Monster” (for the extra toes that came with his Polydactyl nature) showed up again after one of his trademark absences, bloodied and injured.

Although we knew we couldn’t keep him with three feline sons of our own and one human baby running around, we got him into our basement, cleaned up the best Meg could and the next day, got him off to the Humane Society so he could get the help and care he needed. If you can’t tell from my original entry, my heart broke that day. Monster had been showing up in our yard shortly after we got our first cat, but he wouldn’t start showing love and affection until years later, following a lengthy disappearance. He really had become like our fourth cat, but was more like our equivalent of a barn cat, coming and going out of our detached garage, with me checking in on him before work each day, leaving behind food, blankets, some petting, whatever he would need to get through the times.

I figured it was time for an update on my buddy, Monster. Since that time, I have been making periodic trips to the Humane Society to check in on him, and wouldn’t you know it, he’s recognized me every time. While it’s made me sad that I couldn’t take him back with me, I learned quite a few things about him from the folks at the shelter.

IMG_1682First of all, he’s around 5-8 years old. And, his friendly demeanor, seems to be a permanent trait not just limited to me. I was frequently told as I’d visit that he became a sort of, unofficial greeter for all those entering the cat room at the shelter. He would meet them at the door, talk to them, show a little head-bunt love and show them around.

My trips continued whenever I could. I’d talk with him, pet him, tell him how glad I was that he was healthy again, and that, while I missed him terribly, this was going to lead to a nice new home for him.

I stopped by within the past few weeks for a visit, but things were different this time – he was no longer there.

I asked around and, while it took those almost nine months, our little Monster (his name changed once in the shelter, of course), has been adopted and given a home. I don’t know the details (it’s not the kind of thing they’d just release willy-nilly), but it’s a home. All those years of dodging dogs, cars and storms, looking for food or somewhere comfy to just rest are now gone. When I got home that day, I felt a twinge of sadness knowing that this now means I won’t ever see the little guy again, but it’s balanced out (or perhaps the scale is tipped quite heavily) with a feeling that my former garage-buddy can spend his remaining years being pet, keeping warm, and feeling the love of a household.

Shouldn’t they all get to feel that way?

Him getting the gift of a loving home after all that’s occurred is one of the greatest gifts I could be given.

Merry Christmas, little Monster, wherever you are, buddy. 🙂

Monster-Yeti-002

A professional photo by the shelter once he was back to health.

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To anyone who knows our family or reads this blog know just how much of a connection we feel with the animals we share this earth with.

We are all connected. From the grass we sit in, the trees that blow in the wind, to the deer that run through those green blades of foliage, we are all part of something bigger than ourselves. As we have driven down the road, coming across some poor animal that has been struck and killed by a motor vehicle, my wife has heard me mutter on many an occasion that “man was not meant to go this fast,” my heart hanging heavy.

I know I can’t save all the animals in the world, but we can make a difference, one by one in the lives of many of those we come across. Whether it be the ones we’ve saved and welcomed to our home, to the ones who’ve simply been passing through in need of a helping hand to their next step in the journey, we’ve done our best. Sometimes helping may not be as direct as that, but may be a donation of food, of supplies, or of our time. It helps maintain the inner connection between us and these many beings we share the planet with.

Feeling that connection to the world around me has made me a better person and a more compassionate one.

Compassion and charity are very important.

Whether it’s volunteering our time, our resources, or money, helping out a cause you believe in is something that we really hope gets passed down to our son.

I want him to understand that there is so much more in the world than us and that it takes only a little of ourselves to make a difference in the lives of others.

I hate to sound like the tobacco industry and say ‘hook em’ while they’re young,’ but we decided that it would be very nice if we could get out little guy involved early in his life with initiatives to help out others.

That’s why a few weeks ago, we, as a family, partook in a Run/Walk for the Animals that benefited an animal sanctuary in our area. Giving props where they are due, the run/walk was organized by my brother and his wife, who volunteer at the sanctuary and, being runners, wanted to do something that could help them raise some of the money they are in desperate need of.

The day itself was a huge success for a first-time event, with thousands of dollars brought in to help the animals. There was music, food, contests and more, and our little guy seemed to have a great time. In fact, he even brought out his ‘old man’ hat for the morning…

Buddy waving



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