A tiny tabby and white male kitten died on the vet’s table today because no one cared enough. I didn’t have time to get to know him before he died, nor to give him a name to suit his unique self, so I named him Noce posthumously (an acronym for No One Cared Enough, pronounced Notchie).
How did he come to die there?
A friend called me around midday today. She’d arrived at work in Glengarriff to find a tiny kitten, maybe fourteen weeks old, in the car park, hardly able to move, eyes glued shut with mucus. But I was out of range of a signal and didn’t get the message till 1.30pm. When I returned her call she told me she’d tried to give the kitten water and food but he’d shown little interest. And she went out to check on him while I was on the phone (she’d left him where she found him) – someone had moved him under the wheeled rubbish bin – an attempt to give him shade? Or just getting rid of some poor broken thing, not worth fixing?
When I got there, about half an hour later, Noce was still in the car park. He’d moved out from under the bin and was lying motionless in the beating sun. Flies swarmed round his eyes while he made no move to protect himself. I brushed the flies away and he lifted his tiny head towards me. As I moved him into the cat basket he miaowed his anguish to me. He was just skin and bones.
So many people must have walked past him. I can’t believe this tiny thing was a burden too heavy for any of them to lift up – this tiny, ill baby. How could anyone with a soul walk past him and not help him? I don’t understand. I just don’t understand people. All he needed was a visit to the vet, a bit of medication, some care, food, water. But everyone must have been very busy. No time. Walk on. Walk by. Not your responsibility. Just a small, ill kitten. Doesn’t matter. Who cares if he lives or dies? Who cares if he’s in pain? Turns out I’m the only one within a fifteen mile radius with strength enough to reach down and pick him up.
Nearest available vet – Tim O Leary in Ballydehob (he is the best vet in the area for actually being available when you need one). I speak soothingly to Noce on the 40 minute journey. Tell him to hang on. Tell him I’m sorry it came to this. Tell him we’ll do the best we can for him. Tell him we care.
At Tim’s, little Noce wobbles to a sitting position and throws up bile when I stroke him to check he’s still alive. He’s miserable, pathetic. In the surgery he’s limp, barely moving. Tim lays him on the table and examines him. There’s not much hope, his heart is beating so weakly. I’m thinking maybe some sub cut fluids – sitting in the sun all day will have brought him miles down from where he could be. Maybe something, anything, could be done for this brave wee thing who’s survived so much. Tim’s saying Noce’s so far gone we would be kinder to euthanase. But I don’t have to make the decision. Noce’s heart has stopped at Tim’s words.
And Tim says, ‘If someone had taken him to a vet in the morning he would have had a chance.’
But no one cared enough.