Nadia died yesterday afternoon at the vet hospital. In the late afternoon, she quietly slipped away, peacefully and safely. This is the painful part of our work – having to face the fact that we can’t save all of the cats. Her death also raises the inevitable question of how we use our resources and whether it is worth trying to save a little cat like Nadia who was alone in the world and who didn’t belong to anyone.
Mary Jean, who was alerted to Nadia's plight and picked her up and drove her to the vet writes that "there are no easy answers for these questions, and we have to ask them over and over again. However, for myself, I am confident that we did the right thing for Nadia. She didn’t belong to anyone, but for seven hours yesterday, she was cherished by the Hyde Park Cats network; she was held in our hearts and surrounded by our compassion and love. She died in a comfortable bed, swathed in towels, warmed by hot packs (when she came in, her body temperature was 2 degrees below normal), and carefully turned by the vet techs at Hyde Park Animal Hospital. Having seen her sprawled at the bottom of a concrete stairwell, in the middle of filth and covered with flies and fleas, I have absolutely no doubt that we did the right thing in providing her a dignified and peaceful death.
The painful irony is that we can only do our work if we become deeply involved with all the individual cats that cross our paths, and yet maintain enough emotional objectivity to be able to let them go when the time comes – and still be willing to love the next one that comes along. Nadia’s brief moment in my life only strengthens my resolve to continue both loving and letting go."
To all who contributed to her care and to the rest of you who sent good wishes her way, thank you so much for these profound gestures of humanity. Nicole T., Norah O'D., Chelsea L ("Eemo"), Ruth A., Annika H., Kat H., Amy L., Marilee W. ("mom"), Heather S., Anna F., Alexis C., William M., Mamiko S.: together you have covered the bill for providing a quiet, warm, safe, and peaceful death for one small and vulnerable member of our community.
Nadia, rest in peace.