This is the story of a cat I named Faith. She was important not just because we loved her but because she taught some important lessons.

A box was pushed into the arms of Martha, our front office manager. Inside was a shorthaired brown tabby cat with a mangled and bleeding lower jaw. When Martha finally looked up, the woman was gone.

Martha and our early assistant knew what to do. They took charge. When I arrived ten minutes later, our first patient was already getting generous doses of I.V. fluids, warmth from the hot water circulating blanket that my good staff had wrapped around her, and some much needed TLC.

Our homeless cat had severe injuries to her head, her lower lip, and her jaw. By noon she was stable. Her jaw fractures and skin wounds appeared manageable. I’ve often felt that it’s been more than just skill and experience; maybe our work is part of something much bigger. Anyway, you can’t do much good with trauma cases if you’re not an optimist.

The other good thing about this little waif was her beauty. Once you accepted her as she was at that moment, you could see her lovely feline form, her fine coat, and best of all, her own optimism. She was ready to move on. I was on-board with her and so was everybody else. This brown tabby cat didn’t carry a credit card (no wallet or ID either) so our time and energy to make her well was on the house.

Faith got well and became our staff’s pet for many more years, the rest of her life, in fact.
Our cat Faith was a living, breathing reminder that short-term pain, however intense, can give way to healthy change.

Every week I post a video or podcast and a blog that I hope will make the lives of pets and the people they touch a little better.

Thanks for listening. I’m Dr. Jeff Nichol.