Caring comes with a price. At times it is a price of happiness and pure joy, other times it is sadness, anger and exhaustion. Having compassion is a good way to walk through life. Often times, having compassion leaves us with little or nothing to give.
Over the past years I have suffered from being exhausted mentally and physically from feral cat rescue and caring, especially when I give 110% of myself to save a life, then in the end slips through my fingers and nothing I can do can prevent it. Sadness comes when I constantly worry about those I have watched grow, and I loved with every ounce of my heart suddenly disappear, and no traces or signs are left to answer "what happened, where did they go"? There is a deep sorrow in my heart that drains every ounce of energy I have. My mind wanders and plays every scenario of all the possibilities that could have happened to that sweet little feral soul, that had come to eat breakfast and dinner everyday for years, then that one day arrives, he/she doesn't show up. I get no closure.
Trying so hard to save a life breaks my spirit when I lose that fight. Failure will eat at me, as I ask myself "what should I have done differently"? and my heart will be left with little hope, but I can never give up or give in.
Through all the hurt, the loss of hope, and sadness, I still continue to do what I do. Outdoors I am every morning and evening feeding the other feral cats and remembering the smiles they bring me, knowing I am making a difference in their lives, and shedding the tears at the memory of the ones I lost.
Being a caregiver for feral cats isn't easy. Tests of strength and weakness challenge me with every feral I try to help. Through all the heartache, caring for feral cats is a wonderful and beautiful experience. I would never turn my back on one of these beautiful little souls.