By Ed Kostro of Illinois
I often wonder if it’s chance or fate that leads me to the homeless animals I meet; and today, I still wonder about the day I first met the furry little face in the loading dock.
I was driving through an industrial area one early autumn morning searching for a lost dog when I happened to stop near an old loading dock behind a factory. As I glanced towards it, a tiny black and white face suddenly peeked out, and then it vanished as quickly as it had appeared.
I got out of my truck, approached the loading dock and peered inside. I couldn’t see or hear anything inside it, but I decided to leave a can of cat food there. I drove off, and when I returned later that day, my food offering had been gratefully devoured. And the tiny furry face that I had seen peeking out of it earlier that day had already been etched into my mind.
I Begin Leaving Food and Water Daily
I soon started visiting that old loading dock quite often after that first day of discovery, leaving food and water there, and the tiny black and white kitten inside it very quickly began to recognize the sound of my truck’s engine. The cute furry little face inside would eagerly peek out as I approached, and the feline it belonged to would soon eagerly hop down, gratefully eat dinner and then just as quickly vanish back into the safety of that deep dark hole.
Winter was now rapidly approaching, and the days and nights were rapidly becoming much colder, so I began worrying more and more about the plight of this loading dock kitten. When I would make a food delivery, I would now often bring an old towel or blanket with me, and I would shove it deep inside her hiding place.
I also spoke to a factory employee about this loading dock resident and I soon learned that a feral female had given birth under the dock and then had quickly disappeared. I also learned that all of her other kittens had perished, and that the furry little face I was now feeding was the sole survivor.
One Snowy Night…
This news saddened me greatly, and I soon decided to catch Furry Little Face and give her a chance at a better life. I managed to trap her on a snowy February evening, and I whisked her off to my vet’s office to be spayed and vaccinated.
When I brought her home my spouse quickly fell in love with her, and she immediately named her Valentina since she had noticed a heart-shaped pattern on her back, and it just happened to be Valentine’s Day.
Today, our little Valentina, the former furry little face in the loading dock is one happy and loving little feline. She is also now the best friend and surrogate mother of every other frightened, orphaned kitten that we’ve found and brought home since. They all love her immensely, as do my spouse and I, and she truly is a wonderful addition to our family.
I often wonder if it’s chance or fate that leads me to the homeless animals I meet, but whichever one it is, I’m extremely grateful that I met the furry little face in the loading dock. PHOTOS of Valentina today!
Do You Rescue Too?
As winter conditions will soon begin to advance on many, we must ask ourselves what we can do to help strays like this one. Have you helped an animal escape the bitter cold? Do you have a rescue story to share? Please post your story & photos on The Great Animal Rescue Chase or share your thoughts in the comments area below.