A Paws For Pets — David will be remembered

By LaMoine Roth, York Adopt A Pet

Five thousand, three hundred and eighty-nine days ago, I met David. I haven’t forgotten him.

I don’t know if this was his name or not, but I thought it was a noble, strong name and every cat deserves a name.

It was a balmy Sunday morning in April of 2009. I had returned from church when I received a call from the police department. They relayed a call that a cat was found on the south side of a residence and was not moving. I dread receiving these calls, I never know what to expect when I arrive. I asked if the police could meet me there in case I had difficulty in securing the cat. As I grabbed some towels and a carrier, I said a quick prayer this would be a happy ending.

When I arrived at the residence, I found David lying under a bush. He indeed was not moving, but his eyes followed every move I made. As I knelt down, I reached out and stroked his head. He never raised his head, but he answered with a meow and his front paws began to knead. I gently lifted his body as I slid a towel under his front and back end. I took the carrier apart and gently placed him in the bottom half. He seemed to know I was there to help him. I could find no evidence of trauma, but something was causing his present condition. I called Dr. Jennifer who was working at then Gloystein’s Veterinary Clinic and she agreed to meet me there.

I placed him in the front seat and I continued to stroke his side as I drove to the vet. He was such a beautiful big guy. His ears were tattered on the edges, his fur was grimy and dull and his teeth were not white, showing his age as being an older cat. I knew he had been living on the streets for quite some time. He had that look. But I also knew he had at one time been a family pet.

He was neutered and declawed. His paws were big and even though he couldn’t move his back legs, his front legs continued their kneading with every touch he received. As Dr. Jennifer and I gently laid him on the examining table, he was calm and affectionate. I knew what the news would be but I was hoping I was wrong. I had only known this cat for approximately 20 minutes, but I knew I would not forget him anytime soon.  Dr. Jennifer could find little to no feeling in his lower extremities. After careful consideration it was decided that the kindest and most compassionate thing to do was to let this gentle giant be released from his pain and suffering.

Five thousand, three hundred and eighty-nine days ago, I said good-by to David. I haven’t forgotten him.

That day I saw another cat who was discarded when it was no longer convenient to keep him. He was left to fend for himself and even though he was a big cat, he would have a definite disadvantage by being declawed. The citizens who found him on their property thought they had seen him in the neighborhood at various times.

I will never know why or how David ended up under some bushes and left to die alone. I don’t think he had been there long, it had rained the previous night and his coat was dry. His temp was very low so that could have been from the injury, thankfully it wasn’t cold. I am sure he was nothing more than a gentle giant, with big declawed paws and kind looking eyes. He was a talker as displayed when you stroked his side and talked to him, he answered back with his soft meow.

That balmy Sunday I found a stray cat, was able to ease his misery, he didn’t die alone under a bush. He had a name, it was David. He will be remembered, probably not by his family who left him on the streets alone or those that saw him living on the streets, but by me. I will remember David. I will remember his kneading paws, I will remember the look in his eyes. I will remember how although I can’t save each and every cat or kitten, I can make a difference in the lives of  those cats who won’t have that chance to come to York Adopt A Pet  and who won’t have that opportunity for another forever home. That day, David left this life, but he had a name and he didn’t die alone. He has not been forgotten. And most important I truly believe there is a special place in the hereafter for all of the Davids of this world.

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