(Please visit http://www.haart.org.au/ to help me and others like me)
Central Australia is a harsh place to survive, for humans and even more so for Animals. The landscape is unforgiving, the weather is extreme and people living within remote communities are surviving on a day-to-day basis. Domestic animals are uncared for and left to fend for themselves, often resulting in devastating situations where these vulnerable creatures are abused, neglected, malnourished and often killed.
The situation, when one really witnesses this on a daily basis, is completely overwhelming. Overwhelming to the point where it’s sometimes easier to look away, blinding oneself from the horrific reality. Every day, we turn our attention away from countless voiceless lives, in fear that if we pay attention to one then we’ve opened the gate to the endless silent calls, which are so desperately asking for our help. Sometimes we find ourselves experiencing a situation in which we can no longer avert our attention. It’s these moments that are essential. These are the moments that reconnect us with our compassionate core and remind us that all beings are connected and deserving of a chance at life.
Monkey was that moment. Born on a remote community, only days had passed before Monkey was stolen from her Mother, at a time when all she needed was to be close to her. From the warmth and comfort of her Mother, Monkey found herself being ruthlessly treated as a toy in a severely abusive environment. Not even a week old, tiny Monkey spent her days in the firm grasp of the abusers, being thrown around and mistreated in ways we don't ever want to see or even know about. She was living in fear, unfed and constantly shaking. Due to such treatment, her young age and fragility as a new born kitten, you would think she was destined to die.
If that wasn't bad enough...
Within 2 weeks of being born, Monkey was twirled around in circles by her tail so severely that she acquired severe nerve damage to her back legs, which left her basically paralysed from the waist down.
Several attempts were made to rescue Monkey from this situation, which would have ultimately ended in death had she of not been taken to safety but so often those attempts failed.
In a fortuitous moment, one day Monkey was abandoned briefly by the family, and she was prompltly bundled up in a blanket and taken out of harms way.
Distressed, starving and suffering from severe conjunctivitis, Monkey devoured baby formula milk that was fed to her through a drip. Even though this would ultimately give her 'the runs' and leave her bloated and with some other health issues, it was also all that kept her alive and all a remote community could come up with as there were no other alternatives for food. The closest shops/ vets were over 700kms away and this in itself was discouraging.
Monkey’s love for the milk however, was encouraging and gave hope that she may possibly survive. With warm baths, hourly feeds, a comfy bed and lots of rest and cuddles, Monkey amazingly began to gain strength.
From a semi-lifeless kitten, who was small enough to be held in the palm of a hand, Monkey showed her strength in her continually evolving mobility, curiosity and affection. With loving advice and support from afar , 4000 km's away, Monkey’s rescuer continued to watch her personality flourish, as she became healthy and confident.
Like a monkey amidst the trees, she surprised everyone who came in her path, with her incredible strength using only her upper body to explore the red earth surrounds. In love with those who instantly gave her kindness, Monkey would do things like effortlessly climb up from the boots to the pants to the shoulders and constantly appear to crave affection and connection.
How she had trust in humans again, we will never know... but she did.
At 6 weeks of age, it was time for Monkey to take the journey to Alice springs, where she would receive her first check up from a vet who would determine whether or not she could fly to Perth for more constant and appropriate care. Through the harsh, sandy desert near the WA border to Uluru to Alice Springs, it was a beautiful road trip, as an unspoken energy between Monkey and her rescuer was present. An energy that was full of appreciation for life and positive hope for Monkey.
It’s amazing how in situations like these, everyone feels that they have the answer and ultimately the right to make a decision over the life of another living creature. It’s also quite overwhelming, how when one is in a situation of uncertainty, they can be influenced by the words of others.
Monkey made that journey and is alive today because the right voices were listened to.
Those voices had complete trust in the possibility that Monkey would survive and that she was deserving of life. Like your pet is, like my pet is. Why, because you were born in unfavourable conditions, does your life mean less than any other? It doesn't!
For 2 nights, Monkey stayed at the Vets, where she was assessed and diagnosed that there were very minimal chances of her having the use of her back legs again. The vets were hesitant to write a support letter for her to fly, due to her age and the fact she was so tiny. Though, Monkey won them over with her completely adorable personality and survivor attitude, leaving the vets shocked that she was still alive despite everything that she had gone through.
Monkey was soon enough sky high and on her way to Perth for the next chapter in her recovery.
It’s difficult to comprehend how scary the flight must have been for Monkey, though once she was collected from the freight department at Perth airport she was calm and full of happiness to meet the woman who had invested so much energy into getting her there... That 'voice from afar'... Kyleigh... and her 'soon to be' step-siblings Venice and Romeo (who thought Monkey was weird).
Monkey’s bright eyes, which by this stage were turning from blue to brown, captured everyone who came across her path.
Wrapped up once again, she travelled to spend the night by the beach, where for the first time in her life she got to meet other animals who lived an existence where they were cared for and loved. Something, in her short life, she had not yet trusted fully.
Everyone who met her, the dogs included, were fascinated by her ability to be so mobile despite the severe damage to her back legs.
Frightened at first by the 2 dogs that appeared to be instantly protective of her, Monkey showed her adorable attitude by putting them in their place and showing them who was boss, giving the most adorable 'Hiss' from this peanut sized little Monkey Kitten.
From the red earth centre of the Northern Territory, to the white sandy coast of WA, Monkey got to explore a different type of environment. She quickly became a short term celebrity at the coffee shop, captivating the hearts of the coffee drinkers that she came across (Please note that her Aunt was a Red Bull drinker - not a coffee drinker, so Monkey did NOT identify with the Coffee drinkers and never will)
The following day, Monkey was taken to meet her carer, who had lovingly prepared for the arrival of her 'Temporary stay' (Which lasted 5 minutes before that carer claimed Monkey was now a 'permanent member of the family' - Did we have any doubts Lyn?)
A comfortable bed, a safe crate, soft blankets, Monkey sized nappies, yummy food and colourful toys were waiting for Monkey as she finally arrived at the place where she could now begin either
(a) the rest of her disabled life.... or
(b) the hard rehabilitation process that was about to come.
Either was accepted by her new mum Lyn..... Lyn was in love and Monkey was not going anywhere.
Lyn was determined to gain more information around the damage to Monkey’s back legs. At first Lyn was told by the vet that Monkey's legs would never work again, but Lyn told herself otherwise and a friend who also happened to perform 'Bowan therapy' assessed Monkey which reconfirmed that she was suffering from severe nerve damage and that maybe, MAYBE with extensive rehabilitation, Monkey could regain the use of atleast ONE of her back legs resulting in a semi-normal life.
It has now been 3 weeks since Monkey found her forever home and she has been receiving Bowen therapy and red light therapy regularly. Coupled with regular exercise, the improvements in Monkey have been remarkable. There is no doubt in everyone’s mind, that Monkey will continue to regain more use of her back legs and she has amazed everyone in her new ability to take off her nappy and toilet herself in the kitty litter! Monkey has become quite the companion, accompanying her new mum wherever she goes, wrapped up, safe and completely in love with those around her who are showing so much patience, compassion and care toward her.
What Monkey doesn't realise, is that she offers people so much more than what they offer her.
Monkey is an honest to god story of hope. One which we all need.
Thank you to Tegan, Kyleigh, Lyn, HAART, Emma and all of those people who made Monkeys life worth something.
Monkey gives us ALL hope and we hope she gives you the same...
'You can't change the world, but you can change someone's world'
Thank you for reading....
Special thank to Emma for donating the first part of my treatment. You have helped me so much
DonationsSee top donations
- Nicole Linne Defreitas
- Cecilia Mui
- Philip Fowler