Bark for Peace!
musings & ramblings, mostly about dogs, from a three being, three species family

Bark for Peace!

The Small Miracle of Setzer & the Parable of the Starfish

November 14th, 2010 . by lisa knaggs

A week ago Friday, SARK kitty was getting his rabies vac and I was enjoying a nice chat with our wonderful new Veterinarian, Dr. Justin Green.  We were exiting the exam room when Dr. Green threw out what sounded like a totally off-handed question: “You can’t take another really cool cat, can you?”  I sighed, shrugged, and said “No, I just can’t.  Why?”

“Someone dropped this cat off; they said he was a stray, but he’s too friendly; I think he belonged to someone.  I don’t want to put him down just because he doesn’t have a home.”  I sighed, again, and shook my head. My mind immediately became a swirl of internal video of homeless beings of all species, struggling for life and health.  “He’s in the back.  Take a look at him and tell me what you think,” is my memory of what Dr. Green said.  “He’s a cool cat.”

I calmly retreated to the kennel area of the clinic, a place I’ve spent a fair amount of time with dogs and cats recovering from surgery. I saw the index card clearly printed on the kennel door: “Stray Cat 11/5/2010.”

Stray Cat "Setzer" in kennel at Alpine Vet Clinic

Not being much the cat communicator, I probably used my best mother-ease doggy voice and opened the kennel door.  After snapping a couple of photos, I scooped this fluffy mellow orange feline into my arms; he began purring straightaway.  I rocked him a bit (remember, I don’t know much about cats!) and cooed and then turned to walk him past the dogs kenneled in the next room.  The dogs watched, silently; the cat calmly curled, still purring, in my arms.

I told Dr. Green that if it was ok, I’d send out an email.  I wasn’t very hopeful, but I was willing to try.  This is the poorest area of Colorado, and we’ve got more than an overpopulation problem with unwanted dogs and cats.  And frankly, it’s difficult for me to not get overwhelmed with the magnitude of need.  Dr. Green, who has a huge heart, said “I tell you what, if you can find him a home I’ll pay for his vaccinations and neuter out of my own pocket!”  Wow, this was certainly a generous offer, I thought, maybe this will help.

me and the Stray Cat "Setzer" at Alpine Vet Clinic

“We’ve got to give him a name though…” I said- “…he’s more than just a stray cat, how about “Setzer” for Brian Setzer, the lead singer of the 80’s rockabilly band, The Stray Cats?” (I know, I’m dating myself!)  Dr. Green had no idea who they were, but he agreed good-naturedly.

The long and short of this story is that I sent out an email to about 60 people here in the SLV, which was generously forwarded on to others.  I also posted on the Bark for Peace! Facebook page and in less than an hour, Setzer had multiple offers for a forever home; including an offer to transport him from Colorado to Texas to one of the kind people willing to accept him as family.  By lunch time on Saturday, there was a waiting list for this homeless kitty!  By mid-day on Sunday, Setzer had found his forever family, Rose and Albert- SLV residents.  They were together and by all accounts everyone is tickled pink!

Rose, Albert & Setzer, a Forever Family!

I was reminded of the parable of the Starfish again recently.  A little child is walking along the sea shore, picking up the beached starfish and tossing them gently back into the surf when an older gentleman strolls up and scoffs “Why are you wasting your time?  You can’t save them all, so it doesn’t matter.”  And the child, continuing to toss the starfish back into the sea one at a time replies, “It matters to this one.  It matters to this one.  It matters to this one…”

Through the small miracle of Setzer I have been reminded that although we can’t save everyone or fix everything, the actions we take and the kindness we extend does matter.  It matters to this one, and this one, and this one…

"This is my couch!" Stray Cat no more, a happy Setzer in his forever home.

3 Responses to “The Small Miracle of Setzer & the Parable of the Starfish”

  1. comment number 1 by: cindy

    Beautiful ending and beginning…….

  2. comment number 2 by: Cindy R

    Ummm … good mojo in the ‘hood that day! That’s when I met Cool Hand Luke, just as you were about to go into the vet clinic.

    This is a beautiful story and a reminder that what we do matters!


  3. comment number 3 by: liz

    So happy for the beautiful Setzer and his new family… Someone else already said it: a happy ending and beginning… Yes!

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