When you rescue a cat, so much happens.

The cat could be sick or injured. In some cases, you have to make hard decisions and euthanize the cat while dealing with pangs of guilt. Those who survive have to go through blood tests, x-ray, and medications and expenses mount up. You have to be prepared to spend; sometimes a lot. If everything is clear, then vaccinations and microchipping. After that fostering!

So much time, effort, love, and patience go into turning a CAT into a PET. Sometimes you are awake at night tending to a medical emergency or simply staying with a cat to keep company. Mostly abused and injured ones make into my home.

I was not an animal lover. I grew up in a tiny apartment in Mumbai and then moved to Hong Kong where space was a luxury no one could afford. There was no room for anyone else in my life. I was always focused on what I wanted, what I needed. A complete self – centered nut! Then when I met my husband who had grown up with cats, he eased me into meeting cats and then one day unannounced got home a stray cat that needed medical attention. I fought back hard.  But I knew deep down what he needed. And so, I bought books. Watched Jackson Galaxy videos, educated myself and the rest is history. Now I can’t imagine my life without cats.

A huge part of our lives is occupied with these souls. We constantly have to make choices – do you spend time with so-called friends gossiping over coffee or do you spend time with those who can’t talk but shower you with love?

Do you stay at home and write while keeping an eye on a cat that is recovering from a surgery or do you go shopping buying things that you don’t need?

You become a good juggler – job, family, cooking, writing, rescue work!!! Some days are bad, some days are good. But you cope looking at the bigger picture.

Over a period of time, you learn to put things into perspective. The fact of the matter is most of us who rescue, don’t mind all this – well most of the time.

You slowly realize the value of life, time, patience, and most importantly love. You realize how futile it is to please everyone and be in fake relationships. You realize how fragile life is and what unconditional love can do. And before you know it, you start to heal – from your trauma, your wounds, and your past!

These tiny creatures make you look within. And for the first time in your life, you don’t care about how you look, what you wear or who you associate with. You realize that happiness comes from within and by helping others.

Nothing in this world compares to saving a life or giving a voice to those who can’t talk. Not even a Louis Vuitton handbag!

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Shivani Adalja

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