It was 10 p.m. on a winter night when I spotted a kitten by a bin of garbage cans outside the train station. He sat in a corner shivering from the cold and looked as if he was in terrible pain. Something was wrong with his legs and his meow was loud and painful.
Everyone walked past him, not even flinching. Not even a sigh of concern or glance of empathy. My phone was dead and I had nothing to carry him in. Even if I did, I had no idea where to bring him. I had to leave him behind just like everyone else.
When I got home, I looked online, called 311 and tried to find someone to pick him up. The only option, I found out, was if I brought him to Animal Care and Control myself. So I convinced my brother to drive me and my mom, to let us borrow the car.
When I returned, he was nowhere to be found. Then suddenly, I heard his meow. He had crawled into a bin filled with trash cans and I had to remove the trash cans to reach him. He was shivering from the pain and the cold, barely able to move, let alone fight me off.
The only place open in all of New York City was in uptown Manhattan… far from my house. The kitten was lightly breathing, but from time to time would poke his head up and meow. The center in Manhattan was kind and professional. They took the kitten, who I named Ollie, and immediately tended to him. I signed the paper to release him and that was it.
I don’t know if he made it, or if he had to be put down. But even if he wasn’t able to be saved, I am comforted knowing he died warm, without pain, and surrounded by caring people rather than inside a trash bin, cold and in pain. No one deserves to die that way, and I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I didn’t even try to help.
Story submitted by Jessica Pena from Ridgewood, New York.
This story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!