Prabhavathi’s landlord was breathing down her neck; the pandemic and the resultant lockdown had shackled her from venturing out. All her fears had lined up like a firing squad waiting to shoot down the last vestiges of her fading hopes. But she held on. She held on because she knew her cause was just. She held on, for she knew that she had found an able ally in Save Shakti.
The cat and the kittens
Living in a rented house at Avadi on the outskirts of Chennai, Prabhavathi struck a friendship with a cat. When the furry feline delivered a litter of four kittens in her house, Prabhavathi had more friends to play with. Being a vegetarian, Prabhavathi could not arrange for the high-protein diet the cat mother and the kittens required. It was then that she contacted Save Shakti.
Lockdown or not
Our volunteers braved the watertight restrictions to reach out to Prabhavathi and deliver the protein-rich food to the cat mother and the kittens. Prabhavathi was relieved. For nearly a month, our volunteers helped Prabhavathi feed the cat and her litter. But soon, her trouble began.
Ignorance and adamance
Armed with ignorance and half-baked knowledge, the landlord of the block decided that having the litter stay on the premises was dangerous. He wanted them driven out. When Prabhavathi protested, the landlord threatened to poison the cats, or scald them with boiling water. That animals are not responsible for the spread of the virus was a fact he was not ready to buy. Prabhavathi had no choice, but she was determined not to abandon the kittens.
Prabhavathi got in touch with our volunteers, who began spreading the word. Now, as is our custom, we just did not give away the kittens to the first responder. After a thorough screening process, we managed to find homes for three of the litter. By the end of the month, there was only one left.
The Pondy Connection
One of our volunteers was contacted by a family in Puducherry. The loving family had seven cats in their home and was eager to add one more. Finally, the little one had a home. Nearly…
Destination too far
Given the lockdown, travelling from one block to another had become difficult. Here, the kitten had to be taken to outside Tamil Nadu! We did not have any e-Pass; travelling restrictions were stringent. We were racking our brains for an answer when Mr Leo appeared like a ray of hope. A known Good Samaritan, Leo had a special pass issued in his name to carry out voluntary service, inluding rescue and migrant welfare. Not only he offered his car for the purpose, he volunteered to chauffeur the kitten to its prospective home.
Love transcends border
Leo reached Prabhavati’s place around 5 am and received the kitten from her. Then he drove all the way to Tamil Nadu-Puducherry border. At 11 am, Leo parked the car on the border as we were not allowed entry. As was planned earlier, Ashok Kumar from the Voice of Voiceless reached the border from the Puducherry side and received the kitten from us. He came true on his word of delivering the kitten to the eager family awaiting it.
It was not a rescue mission
In these troubled times when ignorance and fear threaten to damage the thread of humanity that binds us together, this rescue was an eye-opener. At a time when humanity is falling prey to our baser instincts, people like Prabhavathi and Leo rekindle our faith in each other. If people can unite for a kitten, work towards finding a home for it, and even risktheir lives to help it reach there, imagine what this goodness of heart can do for the world!
We did not just rescue a kitten, we rescued our soulthat was crushed under the weight of a deadly pandemic. We did not save a kitten, it saved us by uniting us.