When Evangeline was found as a stray, her sweet and friendly nature made it obvious to everyone that this little old cat had once had a home. Her shabby condition and serious medical issues, though, belied the fact that she had probably been fending for herself for quite some time.
Evangeline wasn't one to dwell on the past. She acclimated quickly to the shelter, and got along well with the other cats in her social group at PAWS. The volunteers and staff alike quickly fell in love with this special girl. You can imagine how sad we were to learn recently that Evangeline was in end stage renal failure, and that she would not be with us for much longer.
That's when an incredible act of kindness, love and compassion provided a wonderful gift to Evangeline, and to all of us who loved her. Our friend and fellow PAWS volunteer Beth offered to provide hospice care for Evangeline, giving her the chance to live out her remaining days in a real home, with sunpuddles to lounge in, water to play in, new friends to make, and humans of her own.
On Evangeline's second day home, Beth wrote:
Evangeline is a beautiful and sweet cat who I now wish I had known before yesterday. It took only minutes for me to love her truly. When I brought her home yesterday she wasn't even the slightest bit nervous or afraid and is totally comfortable here. She's been exploring the upstairs and everywhere else. There are no rules for her here. She is free to play in the water bowl and there are no crates for her here either. She is free at last.
Six days later, Beth sent the following pictures, which showed that Eva was enjoying her sunpuddles, and even making new friends.
Only three days after that, Evangeline made her journey to the Rainbow Bridge from the comfort of Beth's arms. Beth wrote:
The doctor just left my house. Evangeline died peacefully in my arms. These photos are from not too long ago. I cannot explain how much I loved and enjoyed this cat. And I will miss her. Thank you from both she and I for this beautiful experience.
We will miss Evangeline always. But we also celebrate and give thanks for so many things that transpired since that fateful day she was rescued from wandering the streets...
We give thanks for places like PAWS, which take in animals like Evangeline who might not get the same chance elsewhere. We are thankful for the opportunity to know and love an amazing little cat, who left an indelible pawprint on us all. We are grateful for Beth's amazing heart. And we are thankful that Evangeline knew a lifetime of love and happiness in her 10 days with Beth.
Most of all, we are thankful that love matters, and that it makes a difference.
Happy Thanksgiving, and much love to all.