"Yesterday was photo shoot day at the shelter where I volunteer as a photographer. Today is edit and recovery day. It’s a long drive home from the shelter and it snowed all the way, but I was glad for the delay. It gave me time to cry hard and still get a grip on myself before I walk in the door at home and start selling my story that the purex seems to be burning my eyes more than usual.
The girls that work at the shelter are young, sweet, and full of ideas they’re going to try and programs they dream of implementing. It’s a no-kill cat shelter and there is some wiggle room there, but not near as much as the public pretends to believe. I don’t go and take pictures as often as I feel I should. I don’t want those vibrant girls to know that I don’t have enough heart left to manage it. There’s only a little piece left and it’s important to keep it beating though sometimes I wonder just what for, exactly.
At every shoot, there’s 3 or 4 cats that threaten to destroy the little thread of control I try to hang on to while still walking the floor at the warehouse. Yesterday it came down to one male tabby named Damien. He was terrified, destroyed. He had come in a group of 3 cats a woman had to relinquish. One had been 20 years old, and already succumbed to the horrors and confusion of the vast land of fear and misunderstanding that they are bombarded with. Damien, was supposedly the closest....her soulmate. He hides behind some posts, but I managed to pet him. I could feel all the points of his backbone. They say he won’t eat. I pray he is adopted soon. I pray my pictures will help him. I mostly pray he doesn't die there. Sometimes I’m selfish and pray that I don’t die there either.
There’s a world of Damiens out there. They are the broken, betrayed, scared and confused victims of our lack of morality. I wonder how much heart they have left, and how long they will be able to keep beating."
If you live in Missoula, consider adopting him or one of the other needy cats.
If you don't live in Missoula, RUN don't walk, to the nearest shelter and save the life of one of Damian's counterparts all over this country.