Rescue is not always about happy endings and awe-inspiring before-after posts. Sometimes rescue is about being there for an animal’s final days, holding its paw as he crosses the rainbow bridge.
I am an optimist, and always will be. I see a rescue dog or cat on the brink of death and picture it months later, running around all happy and healthy.
That’s how I pictured Iron. He was rescued by SCARS on February 1, 2016. Someone had posted a video of him on the streets. He looked so terrible that made you wonder how it is possible that he was still alive. A volunteer picked him up the same day and we met at the vet a couple of hours later.
Iron suffered from almost everything a cat can suffer from: FIV, dermatological problems, a horrible infection in his eye, a broken leg, and a mutilated tail. He was emaciated and so week, and yet he kept trying to stand on his feet.
On the first post about him in the SCARS facebook page, someone commented that he had an iron soul, so we named him Iron. It took him just a few days to turn from a wild feral cat to a loving tender soul, that could stay in your arms forever. Literally, forever.
Powder was his best friend. Those two shared a room, they shared the food, the bed and a life. Iron stayed with us for three months and the recovery we were waiting for was like a Scottish shower. There were times when he would gain weight and times when he would lose weight.
Sometimes his hair and skin looked to be healthier and then a few weeks later he would lose hair and his skin would become rough. Lately he would spend the entire day in front of the window, sunbathing. It was his favorite spot, and we had built a small throne there only for him.
Yesterday was the last time I saw him. He was just sitting there, in front of the window, standing still, quiet, gazing at the street. He looked half asleep and so peaceful. I wanted to hold him so much, but Iron appeared to be lost in a solitude that cannot be disturbed. So I let him be.
He died this morning there, in his favorite spot. He died in the arms of the sun he loved so much. And now his throne looks so empty. The whole room looks empty and there is a huge gap right where our hearts used to be.