The few days leading up to today have been rough – mentally and physically. It was as if I was expecting to hear about another disaster. My mind, in anticipation, kept churning up images of what I saw doing pet rescue. The last few days I restlessly fell asleep teary-eyed and exhausted or silently dropping tears randomly when I would see those images again on the news. The latest was in the gym last night, on the treadmill – they have tv’s there. Watching those images again, even my gym music piped through my headphones seemed far away.
My body, in anticipation, and being "fed" images through my mind, has not been keeping down food well and churning up my stomach when I did eat. I’ve had either headaches or body aches for no real reason, either.
Of course, I’m happy and relieved that today is a quiet hurricane day, with no hurricanes nearing the Gulf Coast. One would think that considering how I’ve been feeling about reliving it, I should be able to write more.. something more, but I can’t. Words seem to fail me when it comes to expressing my experiences doing pet rescue in the aftermath of Katrina. Nothing I write seems to capture exactly what I want to express.
So, instead, I am including a writing by Brenda Shoss of Kinship Circle. It was sent a few days ago for the people who did pet rescue, in anticipation of today. It was through Kinship Circle email alerts that I learned of the immediate need for veterinary technicians for Alley Cat Allies last year and why I knew I couldn’t sit on my ass and do nothing.
August 29 – One Year Ago This Day
By Brenda Shoss, Kinship Circle
August 29, 2006 marks the day, exactly one year ago, Category 5 Katrina cast people and animals adrift in a sea of loss and despair. When the levees broke, a singular scream arose from dark waters, drowning out reason.
Who would hear their cries, scattered over rotting roads and toxic heaps?
Who would see their desperation — locked behind doors, bound to fence posts, stranded on rooftops?
Whose hands would heal their anonymous pain?
At least 600,000 searched for familiar faces. But frantic eyes turned cloudy with despair when no one came. Broken bodies collapsed. Huddled inside bathtubs. Hiding behind walls. Their skin, now paper-thin, stretched over bones. A last tail wagged. An unheard purr rose from the rubble and merged with the wind.
Who would hear them?
Our government did not.
Who would see them?
Our law enforcers did not.
Who would return for them?
And with your eyes, they were seen.
With your voice, they were heard.
With your hands, they knew comfort.
With your conviction, they were fed, rescued, and reunited.
With your resolve, they found new homes.
With your mercy, they saw love before death.
With your empathy, all were cherished and remembered.
You came from California, Canada, Texas, Minnesota, St. Louis, Washington, Florida… even as far away as Sweden. A legion of the compassionate.
Shelter workers, veterinarians, students, cops, soldiers, moms, sons, daughters, grandparents… Giant burly men and fierce lean women. You left your jobs, your families and homes to salvage lives forgotten in the wreckage.
August 29, 2005 – August 29, 2006.
Our lives are forever united in tears, grief, chaos and renewal.