"Joy blooms where minds and hearts are open..."
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie
When Joy was born, I knew nothing about the stigma and superstition that surrounds black cats. All I knew was that she was the cutest little black fur ball I had ever seen. When she first opened her tiny eyes, she fixed them on me and began to talk. Silently. She would curl back her baby lips to show those needle-sharp baby teeth and scream. Silently. When her vocal cords finally developed, she made sure I heard her loud and clear, and we carried on many a conversation. As a baby, she liked to sit on my hand and play with my fingers with soft baby paws while I wrote my notes. I accomplished nothing but laughed for joy. That’s how she became Joy.
Over the next 17 years, Joy proved not only to be a kind companion to other cats who came into Silver Rescue but also lots of fun. She loves to be carried around on her back like a baby in my arms. When I brush my hair each morning, she demands to be brushed as well - one stroke for me, one stroke for her. She reaches out a paw and guides my hand back to her head if I miss a stroke. Silly cat!
When Joy needs a bath, she sits on my arm and we shower together. She readily comes to me even to take her dreaded medications. She resists in the cutest way - reaching and twisting around my side and hiding her head behind my back. She never tries to leave my lap, though, and once meds are done, she settles back in and forgives me as soon as I stroke her skinny little body.
Joy was never sick a day in her life until a few months ago when she began dying before our eyes. A great listlessness kept her from running to greet me when I came home and her eyes were full of tired sadness. She no longer groomed herself and her weight dropped to a dangerous five pounds. She just lay quietly in my arms drawing warmth from my body. Surely, the end was near.
Joy was diagnosed with lymphoma – cancer of the intestines. With a diagnosis, we were able to begin treatment – daily meds, twice-weekly chemotherapy and a special diet she is able to hold down. We know the lymphoma will eventually kill her but for now she’s holding her own. Her eyes are bright, she’s gained weight, and her grooming has her looking sleek again.
My years in rescue have taught me that black cats are the last to be adopted and are often the victims of abuse, especially during the Halloween season. Joy became a ‘lifer’, safe and loved at Silver Rescue where she will stay until the end. We give every animal we rescue a chance to live happily and comfortably as long as they can and want to. Only intractable suffering or poor quality of life will cause us to consider euthanasia.
Joy has kept her will to live throughout her ordeal, and we will continue to do all we can for her as long as life is good. Her medicines and specialty food are not cheap and we struggle each month to come up with the $150 her care requires.
Are you willing to bring Joy into your life? If you and just 14 others like you can manage $10 each month as a recurring donation, we can keep our promise of comfort and safety as long as Joy lives.
For tax deductible donations:
- Set up a recurring donation through PayPal using SilverRescue@gmail.com
- Mail a monthly checks to Silver Rescue, P.O. Box 111888, Nashville, TN 37222
- Call in credit card payments or send monthly checks in Joy’s name directly to Grassmere Animal Hospital 615-832-6535 3926 Nolensville Rd, Nashville, TN 37211.