Empathy and Love

Empathy and love is sorely missing from Facebook these days, replaced instead by the constant back and forth of why this political party or that one sucks to the delight of trolls everywhere. Is it just easier to be a troll on social media? Maybe it is. Takes more effort to call someone on the phone, and more guts to talk face-to-face. Thankfully, empathy and love are not dead in the real world.

Last summer Beth took in her second litter of abandoned kittens. As usual, she spent time with the cats, got them socialized, healthy, and ready for adoption. 2 cats didn’t get adopted on the assigned day, so Beth stepped up and adopted them both. Harley, strong willed, large and beautiful, is doing great. She’s a goofball, more dog than cat, to be honest. Davidson, as it turns out, got the short stick of the litter.

Davidson has FIP. At least that’s what the vets and Beth think. There is no real test for it, so diagnosis is all based on symptomology. Bottom line is that Daver (Beth’s nickname for him) is basically going through what a human with ALS goes through. He is losing all motor functions, he cannot eat on his own, but yet he is still alert to all that is going on around him.

Easy thing would be euthanasia, right? It’s best for the cat. Bullshit. Try telling that to Dr. Hawking. Daver knows what is going on around him. His ears perk up when he hears birds. He loves laying in the sunshine. He appears to still love, well, living.

Beth understands this. Everyday she feeds him formula via a syringe. She places him around the house so that he can see the sun and to be close to his sister as well as close to Maggie. Beth moves his legs and arms so his muscles wont atrophy. She talks to him and takes him to bed and pets him as he falls asleep. She feeds his soul… she loves him. Empathy and love in abundance.

I am not quite sure what I have done in this life to deserve being in the same room with this woman, let alone being her partner. Her capacity for love and understanding literally knows no bounds. I love her, and more to the point, I am damn lucky to have her in my life.

Daver may live on for quite a while, or he may give up tomorrow. Only God knows the answer to that. All I know is that his life, however short, has been made better by a human who has empathy and love for all God’s creatures.

Including this broken-down, gray-haired, old biker.


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