It was still brisk outside. The sun had not warmed the earth from the previous day. The March winds were still roaring through the trees lifting fallen ones up once more to spread their petals. The crocus heads were peeping out of the ground adding just a touch of purple to the scenery. Daffodils were standing stately nodding their heads in the breezes.
I had taken the trash outside and was on my way back inside when I saw a tiny white ball all curled up on the cement. As I came closer I noticed it was a small kitten. Well when we see animals of any kind we rush to get food and water. So I did this time as well. He was starving and his ribs were very pronounced. I put the food in front of him and he tried to eat. All he managed to do was dip his face in it. I picked him up to take a better look and what I found was amazing. He had a cleft Palate and could not eat normally.
A cleft palate is a deformity of the upper lip. Cleft lip and cleft palate which can also occur together as cleft lip and palate, are variations of a type of clef ting congenital deformity caused by abnormal facial development during gestation. A cleft is an opening—a gap. It is the non-fusion of the body’s natural structures that form before birth. An older term is harelip, based on the similarity to the cleft in the lip of a rabbit.
Whiskers didn’t know what was wrong with him. He just knew he could not eat. He was unable to get the food into his mouth. I suppose our garage has been home to all sorts of critters over the years and so it was with whiskers. We began to feed him by hand until he was big enough to use his paws to grab hold of things. Then he began to chase mice and moles. He grew by leaps and bounds. He was completely white with no sign of any other color. He had the bluest of blue eyes and loved to be given attention. He would rub against your legs to let you know he cared about you and to thank you for helping him. He would lie in the sunshine and purr to let you know he was a happy cat.
Whiskers grew into a huge male cat and protected our yard from other cats. We had some stray cats that would try and take over his territory but he would fight to the death to protect the place he loved so much.
God tells us when we do something kind to even one of the least of His creations in His name You have done it to Him as well.
Eventually Whiskers shared the garage with a dog we rescued named Rocky and they shared sleeping quarters in the winter months. It was so touching to see the two of them all huddled up. They were both as white as snow and we loved them dearly. Everyone in the neighborhood knew and loved Whiskers. He would visit but when night came he was back in the garage again.
Whiskers lived to be an old cat. He finally lost his life by a speeder who had no respect for the speed on the streets or our beloved Whiskers who could not get out of his way fast enough.
Remember that animals often are born with things that are wrong with them. They are not born in a hospital with doctors and nurses around them. They live outside in the wild and they have to fend for themselves.
Many times they cannot find food and simply die of starvation. Many times people dislike them and poison them to get rid of them. People are born with many things wrong with them but we have good people to help us. It is up to us to take care of the animals around us. Food and water will help many times even if they have other things wrong you cannot help. Anyone can share that much with an animal that needs help. If you can’t help, then call someone who can. People are visiting the shelters daily to find a good pet. Help someone find a good cat or dog to love.
I hope if you have a cat like Whiskers you will protect him from humans. Speeders are most likely their worst enemy and ours as well. We buried Whiskers in the back yard along with all our other deceased pets. I’m just sorry we never had any little Whiskers to take his place. I’m sure he is in heaven with all the other angel pets of ours.
Here’s to you dear Whiskers! We miss you!
Question: Why could Whiskers not eat?
Written by Sybil Shearin
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