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Ovation: Spending A Night In Jail To Save Your Cat’s Life.
I live with a seventeen-year-old yellow tabby cat that has been My Furry Little Roommate all of his life. He and I have lived in five different homes together and he has slept and shed beneath the warmth of Christmas trees in each of them. He’s seen me laugh, seen me cry, felt my grief and shared my happiness when love entered my life. And now he’s beginning to show signs of old age and I’m saddened to admit that it’s time to come to terms with the fact that he won’t be My Furry Little Roommate for much longer. I’m trying to be more patient with him when his claws dig into my thigh as he walks across my lap or when he consistently pushes open the door to the guest room so that he can lay (and shed a bit) on his favorite comforter and look out the window. Just last night he made me smile when I suddenly felt whiskers between my lips and the spoonful of ice cream travelling toward them.
There’s really very little that I wouldn’t do for him to make his last years as comfortable as they can be. But, I’ll admit, I would think twice about a trek through the Alaskan wilderness.
Last month, Kristina Clark of Copper Center, Alaska, had to make a terrible decision when her beloved cat, Ninja, fell ill. When she couldn’t find a local vet who would treat Ninja without a several-hundred-dollar down payment that Kristina couldn’t afford, she and her boyfriend put the sick cat in a car and began a drive to another vet, one hundred miles away in Valdez, who agreed to help without a deposit.
But before they could reach the accommodating veterinarian, the road on which they were travelling was closed by a series of avalanches. So they parked their car, wrapped Ninja in a blanket and started out to finish the rest of the journey, forty-two miles, on foot.
“We had to do something and that was the only option.” – Kristina Clark
After hiking for several miles down the highway, passing two avalanche fields, the cat-toting pair encountered Department of Transportation workers who advised them to turn around. They refused and continued on with Ninja in tow when, not long after, a helicopter stopped and picked them up, carrying them on a five-minute flight into Valdez. Once on the ground, however, police charged Kristina and her boyfriend with disorderly conduct and obstructing a highway for temporarily halting avalanche mitigation work, sent them both to jail and took Ninja to the local animal shelter.
Kristina, 22, used her one phone call to dial the veterinarian who retrieved Ninja and gave him treatment for what was a life-threatening infection.
“That cat wouldn’t have made it much longer. I have to commend them for doing something to get their cat help.” – Dr. Kelly Hawkins
After spending the night in jail, Kristina and her boyfriend were released on bond. “It was worth it for Ninja”, she said. A small price to pay to save the life of her cat.
The next time I find myself bothered by the fact that My Furry Little Roommate has thrown up during the night, chewed on a houseplant or pushed open a door that he’s supposed to leave closed, I’m going to remind myself that Kristina Clark hiked over two avalanche fields because she loved her cat and I’m going to scratch him behind the ears and tell him that I love him. Every cat should be loved as much as Ninja. I know mine is.
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