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A Teen's View

Second Chance

Kat Dart

(10/2011) At one point, everyone is guilty of turning away from someone that needs their help, and it doesn’t matter whether it is a human or animal.

If everyone cared a little more, there wouldn’t be abuse. There wouldn’t be harm to beings. There wouldn’t be a need for shelters and foster homes and for hopelessness. If everyone took a little more notice, everyone would get themselves a second chance.

Over ten years ago, my sister Elizabeth, my parents and I were at the SPCA to donate some cat supplies. One of the volunteers working there offered to let us in the back and meet some cats. To this day, Mom still doesn’t understand why she said yes.

We met a beautiful gray cat, who we later learned was thrown out of a moving car window outside the SPCA. Unfortunately, our Dad wasn’t looking to adopt a cat at the time, so we met the cat, pet him, then left and went home.

As we pulled into the driveway of our house, Dad turned around in his seat, asked us and our mom if we really, really, loved the cat, and received replies in the positive.

He actually turned the car around, drove all the way back to the SPCA, went inside and adopted the cat.

My sister and I named it Snuggles. As of today, Snuggles is seventeen years old, adores Elizabeth, and is a happy cat.

Six years ago, my mother’s beloved dog, Panda, had died. We went looking for a companion for her and the family, and ended up at a Petsmart.

At the Petsmart, we met Jackson, a friendly black cat who was abandoned in an apartment. The landlord had found him, and brought Jackson to the shelter.

My three sisters and I ended up turning teary eyes to Mom and Dad.

Jackson remains a social family cat, and believes he’s in charge of the house.

About four years ago, we were at the SPCA yet again. This time, we met a group of three little oriental black cats, each with six toes on their back paws. I was ready to adopt one with a little white "sock" on his foot, but he was too scared to live in a family of six humans and two cats.

We ended up adopting one of the other cats, after one of my younger sisters, Miriam, turned on the tears.

His name is Othello; he’s a high-strung little cat who adores jumping from place to place.

A few short months after that, Mom and Dad were out spending time together in town. She came back to the house with a blanket of yellow, black and brown tabby cat in her arms. The new cat was an elder female named "Bellowing Belinda", shortened to Belinda. Belinda was a cranky old cat, but she was sweet and loving if you didn't bother her. She passed on November 2010.

About three years ago, we were at the SPCA yet again. And again, the tears were turned on, by my other younger sister, Olivia, this time. She saw a fat, white and grey striped cat named Hollis. He was very sick, and was badly abused by a man - it took a year before he would stay in the same room as Dad. Other than that, he's the sweetest cat ever, puts up with being dressed up and carried around upside down, up and down the staircase.

Hollis now stays in the same room with Dad, and has let Dad pick him up occasionally.

Finally, about a week ago, two neighbor girls brought a kitten over to our house. They had found it outside, but they were not going to be able to have a cat in their home. Their mom sent them over to our house, and Olivia, Miriam, and I went outside. Mom joined us shortly after. Upon being faced with five sets of tears, Mom turned and asked Dad what he thought.

Dad decided that 9:00 at night was a perfect time for refilling his motorcycle gas tank.

So the kitten was brought inside, given some food and litter, and taken to the vet. She's fairly healthy, but is infected with worms. She's on the meds now.

Her name is Misty.

Misty, Hollis, Belinda, Othello, Jackson and Snuggles all managed to get a second chance. They are happy and living healthily. If everyone gave a second chance, the world would be so much better.

Everyone can start somewhere, whether it is as simple as helping someone who’s down, or adopting a cat, dog, or even a child. You don’t have to be extravagant to help someone out.

You just have to be human, and care.

Read Other Articles by Kat Dart