Christmas Kitten Needs Help From Guardian Angels
By Enza Interligi
December 24, 2004
After 21 years as an animal rescue volunteer, Denise Tao had never seen such a grim sight as in the case of two month old Macy.
The tiny black kitten was found curled under a car, clinging to a life she could no longer see because of a severe infection that had destroyed her eyes and was just days from claiming her life.
But during this holiday season, Macy has been given a second chance, at least one of her nine lives, though she'll need a few more guardian angels to ensure a long, healthy one.
THE PAST FEW WEEKS have been tumultuous for Tao, as she has taken responsibility for nursing little Macy back to health.
"When I got her, her eyes were hemorrhaging so bad they were practically falling out," recalls Tao. Macy was also malnourished and flea-ridden, she said.
Doing all she could to save her, Tao bathed Macy's eyes with chamomile tea solution throughout that first night, trying to soothe the kitten. "She's a trooper, she never complained once," says Tao.
Knowing that each passing hour was an hour closer to Macy's death, Tao got her first Christmas miracle three o'clock that afternoon.
A friend had managed to find a veterinary hospital in New York City that was willing to operate on Macy without receiving full payment on arrival.
"She called at 3:30 and said I had a 4 o'clock appointment. When I walked in, one eye was starting to come out," says Tao.
If Macy had not received the operation to remove her eyes, doctors predicted the eye infection would have spread to her brain, causing an incredibly painful death.
"Any doctor would have wanted the money up front, but St. Mark's was wonderful," says Tao. Once all was said and done, the veterinary bill came to a whopping $2000, not including upcoming treatments Macy is likely to need in order to properly heal.
TAO IS A VOLUNTEER for the non-profit organization Muffin's Pet Connection.
Volunteers rescue and find homes for abandoned animals, working mostly out of pocket and are continuously in need of monetary support from the community.
"I'll never be rich doing this," jokes Tao, who along with seeing to Macy's full recovery, is in the midst of trying to find a loving home for the kitten.
But Macy, who doesn't seem to stop purring, is dealing with two strikes against her, beginning with the handicap of blindness and secondly her coat of black.
"It's silly, but a lot of people are superstitious about owning a black cat," says Tao, referring to the classic superstition of black cats crossing your path leading to a stroke of bad luck.
But while Tao is desperate to find Macy the perfect family to adopt her, she admits parting with the kitten she helped nurse back to health will be very difficult, even though it comes with the job description.
"You always lose a little chunk of your heart when you say good-bye," says Tao.
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