I never know how to structure a blog post. By work, fun, lessons learned? Chronologically? Pure word vomit? There was no way I was going to be able to write this blog post and not break it down day-by-day.
Wednesday will mark the launch of a live video that has been a marketing campaign push for TWS. “Daisy’s Pool Party”, as we branded it was a celebration/fundraiser for one of our miracle residents, Daisy. Daisy is a Tiger who is unrecognizable from her rescue video too now. She was in so much pain and could hardly walk at all. The condition she was first seen in is heartbreaking and is such a stark difference to who she is today. Daisy is now one of the most active residents at TWS, running, jumping, playing with boxes, etc. So we had to get everything perfectly ready for Daisy this week.
Made a guest appearance on a live video to talk about what projects I am doing as an intern and I took lots of pictures, did the usual tasks for the day and wrapped it up and wrote off another day.
The pool party is tomorrow at this point. Besides basic tasks to get ready, we also were working to totally figure out our Wifi system to ensure the highest quality possible. Lots of experimenting, testing and reconfiguring how it will work best. Things were falling into place. Creating the last little bits of enrichment I realized how much work and effort so many people have put into this. The caretakers and animal care interns have all been mowing, cleaning pools, etc. (per usual), other people making enrichment, teaching donations, getting the wifi prepped, and so much more.
We were ready. Everything was ready.
For the post titled “THE Week”, this would have been “THE Day”. There was a buzz on the property, knowing that it was going to be an awesome day. Tons of toys and enrichment were being taken and placed in enclosures. Wifi was being finalized to be able to run at the highest quality possible. Our supporters we so excited to join us for this live event.
Then the radio call moments before we were headed out to get set up and ready; “Burton has been loaded into his crate and will be heading to the animal hospital.”
Burton is one of our Bengal hybrids. A little guy that captured so many peoples hearts. He had such a hard life before coming to the sanctuary. I had no idea what was happening at first. Then I heard the conversation, Burton was found with no ability to use his back legs. I didn’t understand what that could be. But we had to focus on the event and hope for the best in that moment while a caretaker rushed him away.
The pool party went FLAWLESSLY. Everything went perfect. The cats were all having a blast. Every thing we had hoped for fell into place. We ended up surpassing our fundraising goal for the event. People were so happy. The wifi produced a crystal clear video to watch. It was the highest of highs because a plan came to fruition.
Back in the office, the news came through. Burton was not going to make it. He was diagnosed with Thrombosis, a blood clot that would be fatal. We lost Burton on this day. The highest of highs came crashing down to being there for my first death of a resident. Heartbreaking news to get while still fielding comments about how much joy the pool party gave to our supporters.
I had to stay a little longer at work to field twitter comments and questions while our director was on a panel of experts which was so interesting to be a part of!
When I got home, the house had bought ice cream and all the toppings. A way to cope with the day we all just collectively had. “It never gets easier” one of the lead interns told us. Of course it doesn’t. These residents capture our hearts in every way. No matter if you are caring for them or photographing them every day. Loss is a heavy thing no matter what. Thankfully we all had one another to lean on for it.
Burtons memorial will be this upcoming week. He will finally be forever free.
Today we allowed ourselves to take lots of pictures. I was able to get out and use the production camera for the first time and learn how to navigate that. We tested the wifi system as a whole again for the entire property. It was the deep breath I needed. Getting behind the camera and just being with the cats helped with the loss from the day before as well as reminded me how thankful I am to get to know the residents that are with us. Living in the now is so important yet so easy to forget. We have lots of great conversations, the cats and I that is. They are always very one sided, clearly.
I made my debut narrating a live video. Lets just say I can only go up from there, haha! It was not terrible, I just was not myself and let my nerves get the best of me! I will NEVER say “yeahhhh” again on a live video, I said it enough in that video to fill a lifetime. Luckily our fans are the sweetest and only had good things to say to me in the comments. Forever grateful for that!
That was THE week. The only picture I took of my daily life was the Sunday brunch I had! Tomorrow marks the start of week 5. Nearing the halfway point of this experience. Life is a ride isn’t it.