Sometimes resources you didn’t know existed are right under your nose. I recently found “community” while I helped a neighbor. This tale is about a pet—but it could be about a person, a situation, any challenge you face that makes you feel all alone. Community can help you come together to solve problems.
I’ve shared with you that I advocate for animals. I received a message—had a very strong feeling—from a neighbor’s cat that something was very wrong, and after weeks of trying to ignore it, I asked “Judy.” She said that yes, her pet “has a bad tooth or something,” and I urged her to take her Tiger to the dentist. Almost two months later I asked for the third time about the cat, and she confided that she couldn’t afford to take him. I offered to help.
If you don’t ask
I live in an expansive 55+ community, and I contacted our local Cat Club—not a shelter, but a group of caring and proactive residents who help cats who can’t help themselves, obviously, or whose owners leave or pass away, also leaving their animals homeless. The club referred me to a local veterinarian who discounts his services when necessary, the club paid for Tiger’s first exam and a major procedure to clean out his mouth. Tiger, it turns out, has a soft tissue cancer and only a few months to live. The club then referred me to a foundation that paid for Tiger’s chemotherapy, and to a second foundation that is helping with his medications—I’m paying for them, too.
Just reach out
Don’t ask me why the owner didn’t or wouldn’t take him to a vet sooner, or why she seems to spend money on things besides her pets—including another cat and a dog, both of which need attention. That’s superfluous to the core story here about how to solve problems, although it troubles me greatly. I realize though, that I can’t change a person’s behavior or values, but I can help an animal in need. I did that by asking questions, reaching out and being willing to accept help on Judy’s behalf.
We hear a lot about community resources, but often we’re too busy or too proud to avail ourselves. Sometimes we don’t know how to “navigate the system.” Make that first call, ask questions and be surprised at how one connection leads to another, and finally, to help for you and your specific need. Life is full of surprises—many good ones. Your share is waiting.
(Photo courtesy: Krosseel)