Hazel: Beauty Burned with Boiling Water
It was a cold dark night and I was looking for some food. There were lights on in the houses, but I knew that the people didn’t want me there. But I was hungry. It had been three full days since I’d had anything to eat and that had been a meagre meal of a half-eaten mouse I’d found behind the bins. I’d had to be careful claiming that as well, because there were some very angry male cats who wanted everything for themselves. I’d found myself at the sharp end of their claws on a number of occasions. No matter how fast I ran, they could catch up with me. I was lonely since my only friend had become sick and died. She had been my rock.
I saw a door open and could smell delicious food. Perhaps the people would give me some if I was on my best behaviour. I crept slowly up to the door and poked my head round the corner and meowed softly. Suddenly, a woman grabbed a pot from the stove and shouted out, ‘get away!’ I turned to run and suddenly felt the worst pain I’d ever felt in my life. The woman had thrown boiling water at me and it hit my right side. The pain was searing. I knew I had to get away and dashed behind the bins. Already my skin was blistering, the fur gone.
I hid for a couple of days behind some planks. The pain kept me awake most of the time. I didn’t know what to do.
Eventually, despite the pain, I knew I had to venture out to find some food, or at least some water. As I was limping along the road, a man sat down on the pavement ahead of me and started talking to me in a gentle voice. He opened a tin of fishy smelling food and, despite the agony, my tummy grumbled. I approached him very tentatively. Would he hurt me too? But he continued to speak in low, gentle tones and put the food closer to me. I couldn’t resist. I ate hungrily and he stroked the top of my head. It felt good to have someone notice me, care about my situation.
He gently picked me up, being careful to avoid my burns, and put me into a little cage and into the back of a van. He drove me to TEARS where a wonderfully kind vet gave me an injection, which stung a little, but soon eased the awful pain. They gave me all sorts of treatment and medicine and soon I was feeling so much better and just happy to be alive. I didn’t want to go back to the streets, though, and hoped I had seen the last of them.
I was taken to a place with lots of other cats and the people there were kind and fed me delicious food and kept me clean and warm.
A lady came to visit one day and said she would take me to her home where I could recover in comfort. This sounded good to me. Off we went to her wonderful home with this lady, her husband and two daughters. They were all so loving and kind to me. I just knew that my recovery would be sped up in this little piece of heaven.
My burn wound started to hurt again. I licked and licked at it to try and relieve it, but it only seemed to make it worse. Marianne (the lady of the house) had noticed as well and contacted TEARS. I was taken back to the hospital and the vet said that my wound was infected under the skin and that I would have to have an operation to clean it all out.
When I woke up, I felt a bit groggy, but I could tell already that things were better. I had stitches now where the pain had been. It felt a little tender, but not the hot pain I’d been feeling.
I spent a couple more days in the hospital with everyone fussing over me, but I missed Marianne and the family. Imagine my delight when she came to collect me and took me back home. I knew that they were only going to have me with them while I recuperated, but I was going to make the most of it. I had never felt such love and been shown such kindness before. I was falling in love myself.
My wound healed quickly now and it wasn’t too long before I could have the stitched out. My fur started growing back and I really was beginning to feel like my old self again. Of course, that meant that my time with Marianne was drawing to a close. That made me really, really sad. But I could never thank her and her family enough for all that they’d done for me.
One day, we were all sitting in the TV room. I was on my favourite spot on the couch next to Marianne and she was stroking me gently. The whole family was there and they were talking about me. It turned out that, not only had they completely won my heart, it seems that I had won theirs as well and they said that they couldn’t bear to part with me. I was over the moon and started purring even louder than usual. They all laughed as I jumped off the couch and performed my favourite party trick, chasing my tail and doing roly-polies out of sheer joy. No more streets, no more pain. Just pure love.
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