This I Believe

Sonya - Grand Junction, Colorado
Entered on April 18, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe you can see the soul through the eyes, and it has meaning.

I have always loved animals. As a child I usually had a cat, dog, turtle, even a pet rat…it is no surprise that as an adult I have taken in many of the unfortunate and unwanted.

I have a special friend – the most beautiful white cat I have ever seen. Beautiful in my eyes anyway… he is deaf, and has the funniest little snaggle tooth that sticks out due to a misaligned jaw. His name is Baker because of his dramatic display of kneading his claws, just like a baker passionately attending to a loaf of bread.

Baker wandered up to our doorstep one cold October night as a stray. Muddy, skinny, and obviously sick, I tried to turn my head thinking he was one of the other zillions of field cats living in sheds and eating mice, near our home.

I couldn’t do it. In tears he was put in our garage with a blanket, food, and water until we could get him to the vet for a checkup. Baker survived his first check up – no feline leukemia or other horrible disease – just a bad cold. He was added to our family of unfortunate rescued pets, apparently accepted only by us.

A week later and he was back at the vet. Sick as ever with no test revealing a specific illness, Baker was banished to an old 1950’s baby incubator. His lifeline was a tube protruding from his skinny legs. After a couple of weeks, those veins crashed – the only place to accept sustenance through his IV was the jugular vein in his neck.

Every day for 5 weeks, sitting on the floor by the incubator with his clear blue eyes looking up through the glass vault, it was apparent he kept hopes that we would continue giving him the love he needed to live. Many times we would ward off the vet’s recommendation of letting him go. If he was willing to fight, we were willing to help him.

In the 25 + years our vet had maintained his career, he had seen only one other case of feline distemper. Baker survived and was literally a miracle that lived through a disease virtually eliminated because of vaccinations.

Today my “special guy,” as I call him, does not meow, nor does he have the most sturdy of catlike gait. You can see the concentration in his eyes to jump up only a couple of feet to the couch. Due to his deafness, he is certainly not a typical feline, however, I still look into his clear-blue eyes today and see the hope he has and the love he needs to live…just as we all do in life.

It is said you can see the soul through the eyes – I believe that. I believe Baker’s soul, through his eyes, reminds me how delicate and beautiful life really is, and how much we should appreciate it every day.