In rescue, there's love, and sometimes, there's tragedy. Sometimes we hear, "how can you love these cats, and then send them away to forever homes? I would keep them all!"
We do it, because we know that by loving them, and then sending them on to a family that will love them even more, we are giving the cats the best life that they can have. And sometimes, there's an exceptional family that loves a cat so much, that they don't stop loving him even when he's gone.
Our sweet special boy was an owner surrender to a Baltimore shelter. He was kept out of the euthanasia room by his sheer sweetness--the shelter staff loved him and hoped against hope that a rescue group would agree to help the sweet boy who loved to be kissed and purred on sight, He was the subject of multiple appeals to rescue groups throughout the greater Washington-Baltimore area, to no avail. On his absolute last possible day in late May 2015, Dipsy still had purrs to purr, cheeks to rub and head butts to dispense. And even though Dipsy was emaciated and diagnosed with thyroid disease and a thyroid-related heart complication, FFGW just couldn't turn him away.
He was initially hospitalized at one of our vets where he was doing very nicely, but needed more quiet and individual attention than they could provide: Among other things, sweet Dipsy wanted company while he ate, and it was hard for the doctors and nurses to find time for the leisurely meals he enjoyed. Since eating was essential to nursing Dipsy back to health, we needed to get Dipsy into a home ASAP. After a massive search, a wonderful foster opened her home to Dipsy. He settled in beautifully and earned the nickname Fred or Freddie and made friends with the family's two cats and especially liked their elderly dog: they napped together on the sofa companionably like two grandpas.
But it was the people who meant the most to Dipsy, and he showered visitors (and vets!) with head butts and purrs, and snuggled in bed with his foster all night long. A cardiologist evaluated Dipsy's heart murmur and said it was not worrisome and also declared Dipsy one of the sweetest cats he had ever met.
In September, the foster told us she was moving and could no longer foster. We mounted a search for a new foster home and found the foster family that would become Dipsy's forever family. Sadly their time with him was to be short. In their words:
When Dipsy came to our home just over a year ago he was on the thin side and in need of love and attention. Within a few weeks he established himself and became comfortable within the household; he began gaining weight, playing with our other cats and he endeared himself to us all. Up close, he almost looked like he was smiling simply because his facial features played out that way. It’s obvious from these pictures that Dipsy became fond of our youngest daughter Emilie and, like clockwork, sensed when Emilie’s bedtime was and went to her room and readied himself on her bed each night. Dipsy also became inured to our other cats and to our dog, who we introduced to the family just 4 months ago. You can see he made fast friends with everyone.
After this past Thanksgiving we noticed a change. Dipsy was losing weight and some of his eating and social habits changed. He still slept with Emilie on most nights though. Following a trip to the vet in December Dipsy began eating and gaining weight back. We were all encouraged and, even though his health fluctuated a bit in January, we kept hope alive. Not until the past week did we see rapid deterioration in Dipsy’s health and quality of life. Although he had lost a lot of his balance and the ability to walk comfortably, he was a real fighter. He spent his last 24 hours on a soft couch in front of a warm fireplace and had water and cream brought to him.
This is the story of Dipsy over the past year +……just a wonderful cat.
Yes the household is grieving a bit but we’re all focused on the love Dipsy brought to the family.
Yes, sometimes love hurts. But we're glad that Dipsy knew such love - and we're glad that we had the chance to know him. He made all of us a little better for it.
And that - is why we rescue.