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THE END OF THE ROPE



The rain was coming down so hard that I could hardly see the road. I looked over at the box carrying the three kittens, and then behind me at the mother cat lying on the back seat of my truck. For weeks I had tried to find them a home. Two kittens were lucky and we found them good homes in the neighborhood. The mother cat was coming into heat again and every male cat within five miles was camping on our front porch. I had not slept for two days, and I was grasping at my final straw. As we already had five dogs and five cats in our home, there was no way we could bring anymore inside. For weeks I had tried to get the Humane Society or animal control to help, but to no avail.

Over the past five years we have saved many animals who were beaten and mistreated. Then there is little Cinnamon--who had her leg torn off by five teenagers. The cost to save her and the all the others wiped out our savings, as well as the money we had saved for our granddaughter's education. For almost a year I went off my own medications trying to save these animals. Now at the end of my rope, my son and I loaded the cats into my truck. I was heading to the local campground to drop off this family of animals. I just did not know what else to do.

By the time I reached the camp ground the rain was coming down so hard that I could not see the dirt road. Once again I looked back at the mama cat; she just looked and meowed quietly several times.

Trying not to look at the cardboard box, I felt the tears begin to roll down my cheeks. I slammed my hand onto the steering wheel as hard as I could, knowing that my heart was taking over what my mind was trying to get me to do.

Without thinking twice, I turned around and headed toward home. Unable to reach Judy on the telephone, I left a message on her message box. Unable to talk without almost crying, I left somewhat of a choked down message which I know was inaudible.

After reaching home, I fed the family of cats and walked next door to my son's house. I was told he had been on the phone begging his friends to take the kittens, but no one was interested. He then went into the bathroom and that is where he stayed--he would not come out. I walked outside and waited for about twenty minutes before Roger Jr. finally appeared.

"How do you feel?" he asked me.

"I feel pretty good," I replied.

"How can you feel good, Dad?"

I suppose because the mama cat and her three kittens are up on the porch eating their supper.

The boy's eyes got real big and he grabbed hold of me. I have received hugs from my son throughout the years, but never one like that!

"I'll help you Dad. We'll find them a home, I promise," he said, with tears in his eyes.

"Sounds good to me, son."

I suppose sometimes being at the end of your rope is really just the beginning of another rope. For some reason I have been renewed. I will continue my work to make sure than no child or animal is ever abandoned or mistreated, as we kids were in that terrible Jacksonville, Florida orphanage. I suppose you have to see the outside world from inside a cardboard box to really understand.



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