From time to time I volunteer at Home Fur Good a no kill animal shelter not too far from home.
During our great recession Phoenix was hard hit and when you find yourself sleeping in your car with a couple of kids in tow, it’s hard to put pets first. Hence some good hearted human being started the shelter. It runs on donations, goodwill and volunteers. This past Friday I was assigned to do paperwork.
Lynda, our tireless leader, sat me at the table in the large room where they keep the recovering pets and the coffee and donuts…hey, volunteers have to eat too.
I had 2 stacks of files in front of me, one for the cats, the other for the dogs. It’s a simple task, you transfer data from one page to the adoption packet that will go with the lucky pet and the even luckier family if and when the adoption happens.
The files were in alphabetical orders. I started with the cats. Picked up the first file, looked at the name and stopped. I felt like someone sucker punched me in the stomach. I kid you not. When I found my voice, I said, “Lynda is this correct? This young female cat is named Aria? You do know that’s Italian right?”
“Oh, I didn’t know it was Italian, I was thinking aria, like in music? It’s such an original name.”
“Humm, well, that’s what I thought when I named my cat Aria.” I said.
“You have a cat named Aria?”
“Sort of. You see, it’s not a real cat.”
I could tell Lynda was feeling a little uncomfortable. Probably thinking, “not a real cat? What does she mean?”
“Lynda, in my last book, Ashes of Autumn, the protagonist names a kitten Aria, the word in Italian means air, like the air you breathe, because she feels the kitten has become as important as the air she breathes.” I waited, Lynda nodded politely. Aye! So I took the next logical step, “Do you think I can see this Aria? Maybe I’ll take a picture with my phone and tell my friends about it, and my readers, yeah, they’ll get a kick out of that.”
“Could that help her find a home? She is so young and sweet..”
“You never know, all I can promise is that the more people know about Aria and the good work you do here for all these pets, the better the chances.”
So friends and fans, may I introduce Aria? The real one, the one in need of a home for good…she is as sweet and playful as she looks, only 8 months old, and ready to go. I have to tell you, if I ever had any doubt about my volunteering there—this was the sign from above.
I’ll be back and maybe by then Aria would have gone home with her forever family.