The sad news came in yesterday: Anne Fitzgerald from the Cork Animal Care Society unexpectedly passed away.

You might remember my two recent posts about the CACS.  Although I had spoken a few times to Anne on the phone, I only got to meet her in person ten days ago at the volunteers’ fair in Cork and had been in touch with her since.  They say that Anne was an inspiration and she was for me.  A few days after the fair, she sent a cry for help: she needed someone to foster two kittens as she needed space for some new-born kittens.  That’s how I offered to foster for Daz and Suds

Daz and Suds, two of the many kittens rescued by Anne

I again saw her a few days later as I met her in East Cork to go to collect a mother cat with her two-day old kittens at the vet and bring them back where they belonged (read the story here).  She had to go back the following day to collect that mum’s sister, who had been neutered.  She rang me that evening, she was happy.  The mum and her new-borns were doing well, her sister had been spayed and gone back to the garden where she belonged to and the sister’s four kittens were being rehomed by the vet and had had their sore eyes sorted.  A success story as she liked them.  Anne was also happy because the woman who had rung her about these cats insisted to pay the vet bill.  It was not a question of money, it was the fact that with it more kittens would be saved, but it was also a proof that some people cared and were ready to help making this world a better place for animals.  I’d like to imagine that she went away that night peacefully thinking that the animals could rely on other people to continue her work in helping the animals.

The new-born kitten we collected at the vet. These ones were lucky, they still had their mum. How often did Anne have to be the surrogate mother for less lucky kittens? (photo from the CACS facebook page)

Saying that Anne cared is not enough.  Anne was devoted to animals, she lived with them and for them.  No matter what time of the night, what day of the week, Anne was there for them.  She was always on the go, on her way to rescue distressed animals, and even when at home, she would never stop as she had so many kittens to care for.

When she stepped into my car on Friday, Anne was carrying a big cardboard box.  She turned to me with a smile and said: “do you want to see what I have here?”  Of course I did!  She opened the box and there was a tiny ginger kitten about two weeks old.  As I was driving, she got a bottle of cat milk out and syringe-fed the kitten who then went for a long nap while we were tending to the other cats and kittens.

Yes, Anne was an inspiration for all of us.  We won’t be able to replace her, but we must continue the amazing work she was doing by putting our efforts together.

This is my small tribute to Anne (read Albert’s wonderful tribute on the CACS website).  The last couple of days have been very sad for the animal world, but we must keep going on….

RIP Anne, you are sadly missed (photo, courtesy of Anne)