On the morning of our show in Marion, Indiana we were surprised to find a sickly kitten lying next to the dumpster of our hotel.
The heat index was over 100 degrees that day and she seemed barely strong enough to move around, had crusted up eyes and was severely emaciated. Despite this she didn't seem afraid of humans and allowed me to pick her up and purred to be handled immediately.
I knew I could not just leave her in the heat to die alone and frightened. I couldn't find any shelters or emergency vets open in the area.
During that day and the next, brave kitten seemed like she began to rally. We got her eating and cooled off and her eyes washed out. After the show she got in the van in a camera bag for a car ride home to Atlanta.
After a night in Nashville she seemed to have improved, even having the energy to climb out of her merch bin and insist on being held on the car ride. Plagued by flat tires and traffic the drive was long and she seemed to suddenly decline during the last stretch towards home. We rushed her directly to the emergency vet where they spent the night trying everything to get her stabilized.
Unfortunately tiny kitten simply couldn't rally. Damage to her organs had been severe and she was simply too weak to fight the infection in her respiratory system. She passed away peacefully, still faintly purring from pets in my arms at the vet this afternoon.
I know this isn't the end anyone wants to a story like this. It's certainly not the one I wanted. I know its more rewarding to donate to a save an animal when the animal actually ends up saved. But unfortunately, it's not any cheaper to lose the battle than it is to win it in this case.
This kitten died of starvation before we ever got to her. She died of being dumped like trash to fend for herself by someone who should have been looking out for her. She died because multiple people saw her in the days before we did, thought it was sad, and ignored her instead of helping, when even a little food would have helped stem the damage occurring to her liver.
In her last days of life though kitten was loved and safe. The was never alone. She got to sleep in a cushy hotel room bed. She got to have an adventure across the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia. She met her end easily and free of pain experiencing the love she probably didn't have her entire short life instead of lonely and frightened. Even though we lost the battle, that makes it feel like it was worth the try.
Please consider donating the considerable expenses I incurred from her emergency end of life care.
And remember to help those who are helpless when you can. As my cousin told me today after I left the vets office:
Love you give is never wasted, even if it only lasts a couple of days