Struck Down by an Archer and Shunned by an Uncaring Public for More Than a Year, Valentine Finally Finds a Home
"It makes you want to cry, it's so disturbing. It says a lot about society; it's heartbreaking. This cat was used for target practice and some people think it's okay."
-- Sheri L. Schneider of Simply Cats
Because she was blind and deaf on her left side and afflicted with the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), nobody in Treasure Valley wanted her. As a consequence, she was forced to spend the past thirteen months at a shelter operated by Simply Cats in Boise.
It therefore was with great elation that Simply Cats announced on February 16th that a two-year-old gray and brown cat known as Valentine finally had been adopted. No other details have been announced but the timing of her adoption would tend to imply that one of Cupid's arrows found a soft spot in someone's heart along about St. Valentine's Day.
Valentine made headlines on January 20, 2009 when she was discovered in the Boise suburb of Caldwell with an arrow in her left eye. Rushed to WestVet Emergency and Specialty Center in Meridian, veterinarian Sean Murphy was able to save her life but not either her hearing or eyesight on her left side. (See photo above.)
Later, a fourteen-year-old fiend admitted shooting Valentine because she allegedly was stalking quail. Local authorities apparently thought that he was justified in doing so because they let him off with a ridiculously lenient mandate that he pen letters of apology to Simply Cats and Murphy.
Although the evil that bird advocates and wildlife proponents harbor in their black hearts for cats can never be underestimated, regardless of their age, it is more than rivaled by their mendacity. Based solely upon the trajectory of the arrow, Sheri L. Schneider of Simply Cats believes that the maiming was the product of a botched execution.
"This was not an accident," she said shortly after the incident. "I think this cat had to have been held down. This person was a great shot to get it right through the eye. Either that cat was held down or tied down is my personal feeling." (See Cat Defender post of June 1, 2009 entitled "Blind and Deaf on Her Left Side as the Result of a Bow and Arrow Attack by a Juvenile Miscreant, Valentine Is Still Looking for a Permanent Home.")
Tant pis, while she was on the operating table Murphy found a pellet from an air gun lodged in her tiny stomach. It is thus clear that she was the victim of at least one prior assault, mostly likely by another youth if not indeed the same low-life scumbag that blinded her.
"It makes you want to cry, it's so disturbing," Schneider added. "It says a lot about society; it's heartbreaking. This cat was used for target practice and some people think it's okay."
Even in saying that much Schneider is grossly understating the indictment against society for its horrendous treatment of cats. First of all, Valentine was on the street because she most likely had been cruelly abandoned by her irresponsible owner.
Secondly, it is estimated that Valentine wandered around the mean streets of Caldwell for at least a week with the projectile embedded in her eye. Surely, any number of individuals must have noticed her plight but yet none of them had the decency to telephone for help until she was accidentally discovered by a good Samaritan on Redmon Road. If assistance had arrived sooner, it is conceivable that her eyesight and hearing could have been preserved intact.
Thirdly, despite the best efforts of Simply Cats, it took thirteen months before anyone in Treasure Valley could be persuaded to give Valentine a home. None of these events reflect very highly upon the denizens of the area.
Thankfully, Valentine had Simply Cats in her corner and it never once wavered in its heartfelt commitment to her. It insured that she received the medical attention and rehabilitation that she so desperately needed and it provided her with a home until she was adopted.
WestVet also is to be commended for treating Valentine without charge. By doing so, Murphy and his colleagues have put to shame their shekel-chasing colleagues who steadfastly refuse to lift a finger in order to save the lives of injured cats unless they are paid in advance.
Every year thousands of cats die needlessly because veterinarians withhold their life-saving services from the impecunious. Some of them are the victims of motorists who run them down for sport, others are attacked and left for dead by coyotes, fishers, raccoons, and other animals, and still others develop maladies that their owners are either unwilling or unable to have treated.
Veterinarians without a doubt are out for the almighty dollar like most everybody else but they surely must know that they would not go into cardiac arrest if they once in a while performed a little pro bono work. Of course, it is possible that they wholeheartedly agree with Rhode Island's top veterinarian, Scott Marshall, that all homeless cats should be rounded up and killed. (See The Providence Journal, March 1, 2010, "State Vet Cites Euthanasia to Cut Feral Cat Numbers.")
Not much is known about Valentine's current condition but apparently she has adjusted as well as could be expected to her disabilities and is at least able to get around by herself. (See photo directly above.)
If proper precautions are followed, FIV should not prevent her from enjoying a relatively good and long life. At least that is the hope of everyone who has followed her struggle to survive.
Hopefully, Simply Cats will not forget about either her or her legions of well-wishers both near and far and will instead continue to provide the public with periodic updates on how she is doing.
As for Valentine, godspeed, little girl!
Photos: KBCI-TV of Boise (Valentine with arrow in eye) and Simply Cats (Valentine on the mend).