On Thanksgiving night when most people were sleeping off
the effects of eating too much, our team was in the streets. Braving the harsh
cold and a brisk wind that gave the air a predatory bite, many animals were out
looking for something, any small scrap to feed themselves. As always, this was
no holiday for homeless animals -- life offered them no bounty for which to be
But the night was not completely without hope. A scrawny; kitten was in one
of the alleys; he moved with difficulty as if he hurt more with every step he
took. This was a kitten we had seen weeks before but who had stopped coming to
our call. On the occasions we saw him, he would not be enticed by food and he
still had enough spunk to evade capture. He was so young and thin, the weather
had gotten so cold, we thought surely he had succumbed to exposure. Yet, there
he was, out on a Thanksgiving night cold enough to keep many animals from leaving
whatever meager shelter they managed to find.
He couldn’t have been looking for nourishment because he never responded to
the scent of even the most tempting morsels; perhaps the hand of Providence guided
him back to the alley at just the right time for us to see him. By now he had
no spunk, no fight left at all in that tiny spirit All it took this time was a
firm hand on the scruff and his days of dying in the alley were over.
From the vet we found out the reason he didn’t want food. His little jaw was
broken in several places and X-rays showed the breaks had started to mend on their
own. This was not necessarily a good thing because the re-forming jaw bones would
harden so far out of alignment that he could not open and shut his mouth. Further,
the impact had not only broken his jaw but also sent his lower teeth through the
roof of his mouth.
By the time of this newsletter’s printing, our Thanksgiving kitten will have
had surgery to repair as much of the damage as possible. His jaw may never be
exactly right, and he’l1 go through life from an early age missing a number of
teeth, but he fought and won the battle of life and death - the rest will be easy.
Kindling is a gray tabby and will be up for adoption in January.