Cats of all characters, sizes and colors have always played an important role in my life. This spring however I discovered something that indeed changed my life. It was a pure coincidence but it has affected me so intensely. I was looking for some cute kitten therapy on YouTube when I stepped over Tinykittens for the very first time. Soon however I discovered that it gives me so much more than just some cute feline distraction from the sorrows of the everyday life. I have learnt so much about cats, especially about feral ones, since then and this whole process has brought my passion and appreciation to an unprecedented level.
Besides the fact that it provides you with online kitten therapy as much as 24 hours a day, it is Tinykittens’ philosophy that has touched me so much. Basically it is that every cat as an individual deserves the chance to live in dignity, no matter how tiny, old, shy, sick, young, feral, blind, or otherwise different than expected it is. Once you give him or her the chance to blossom giving it the time it needs to feel well in your presence, as well as the love it merits, it will give you so much back. It is a thoroughly positive and encouraging perspective that comes from Tinykittens and who has the power to affect people all around the world.
Through Tinykittens I have had the chance to meet a whole variety of cats through the internet, I have fallen in love with their individual characters that have touched me in their unique ways.
A little while ago a kitten as tender as tiny, whose presence alone resembled a miracle, appeared in the rooms of the Tinykittens headquarter. Too tiny for his age and covered with fleas he was found with this mother and his brothers. He seemed so fragile and yet so strong. It was a strength that went beyond the imaginable, how else he would have survived the rough environment out there in the wild, especially given his condition. He had the ability to conquer our hearts instantly even if for most of us he only appeared on a flat screen of a computer. However one short look in the vast and infinite universe of his curious and vivid eyes was enough to get enchanted by Nanofloof, the tiniest kitten of all. The tiniest kitten that nevertheless showed an incredible will to live and to survive. So we followed all the tiny steps of progress of little Nano, wondering how it would be to touch his extremely fluffy fur, thinking on the other hand that he looks so fragile, perhaps too fragile to be touched…
All the days we were admiring his tender existence, hoping for the miracle to continue, so that we could watch him grow in the loving care of the Tinykittens staff, so that he would eventually mature to a healthy adult cat. However there was a bitter sensation that it might not be like that. The way he reacted to invitations to play from his siblings and the humans around him, reminded me too much of a certain kitten I had met on my own, that turned out to be sick and therefore left this world before getting adult. It was not that Nano did not want to play, he showed the will to play in his tender way, the will to be a normal kitten as all the others around him, but yet it was as if he knew that he was not healthy enough to jump around as much as the others around him. Unfortunately it turned out to be a unlucky but true prediction of the future. After one week in hope and trepidation the undesired turned out to be true: the tiniest kitten of all was too tiny to live. This was a moment of devastating sadness as this tiny and yet so strong feline somehow had touched the hearts of every single one who has had the chance to meet him both in real life and virtually.
However that might have been the reason why he was meant to live, despite his condition didn’t allow him to live on any longer. Maybe the purpose of his existence was indeed to transform something inside, to inspire us to save other cats instead, to carry along the love that was in his big blue eyes and share them with other felines around the world in his name.
My first words after knowing Nano had passed away were the following:
Thank you, most precious cat of all that I had the chance to get to you although only through the internet. You were an enrichment for all of us and you will continue to live on in our hearts…. There is a reason why you were there and why you showed up in our lives
And in this sense I mean that instead of mourning death, it has come the time to celebrate life, as Nano himself during the week he shared with us was a pure expression of life and love, in the most innocent and genuine of ways.
May we remember Nano in that way and praise the cats alive, the ones we can share our love with, may we help the ones who need us most. That way he will live on in our hearts and our deeds.
There are many ways to keep Nano’s legacy alive. Tinykittens itself has started a campaign in the name of the Nano-Effect which again shows the importance of every single cat, no matter where it came from, as Nano himself demonstrates that feral cats as well as feral born kittens are much more than just seemingly undesired felines. After all they are cats as any others and they deserve a chance.
My first small step is to dedicate this very first part of projects which is really dear to me. I have thought about collecting cat stories in the form of a blog for quite some time, but it was Nano who encouraged me to dare it.
Dear little Nano, I am glad you got to know love, you who had so much love to share, may you look over all the cats out there as their guardian angel. ♥
The drawings of Nano
Drawing cats is another passion I discovered this summer. Therefore it was soon clear to be that I this would be the way to honour this tiny miracle of a kitten. The first one was made during a lesson university after knowing how critical his health was, whereas the second one was drawn in his memory short after the news of his death.
What others wrote about Nano
The official notification on the Tinykittens Facebook page was the following:
It is with a broken heart that I report our sweet Nano has crossed the bridge. Dr. Sakals and the entire team at Canada West Veterinary Specialists performed heroically and put their whole hearts into loving him and trying to save him, and I am so very grateful. ❤
I promise each of you who loved Nano that I will make sure his life has the impact it deserves. Nano’s miracle is that he will leave a legacy that opens people’s eyes to the importance of spaying and neutering, and proves how remarkable and worthy feral cats are of being saved.
Nano was loved like crazy, and knew nothing but comfort and snuggles during his last week, and that is a tiny miracle in itself. He didn’t have to spend his last days starving to death or unable to breathe in a rainstorm, consumed by fleas.
Rest in peace, Nano Wolverine. Your fight is over, and I have no doubt you are stuffing your belly with a big bowl of tuna for the first time, as you are welcomed by Bobbles, Sibby Sibs, Jaggy Jags, Dove, Cindy Lou Mew, Toothless, Tadpole, Taps, Socks, Fender, Jack, and so many others. ❤
You will live on in our hearts, and in our actions as we continue our work. You mattered, and I will make sure many, many cats and kittens will be saved because you lived.
Jeanne Berry commented a video posted some days later indicating that the place where Nano and his family used to live now was torn down:
I really believe that Nano’s job here on Earth was to save his family. His mother, miraculously, did not reject the little sick deformed kitten, but took care of him and kept him going. Nano stayed alive through formidable odds until someone noticed and alerted Shelly. Nano stayed alive until his entire family was brought to safety. His reward for his effort was an uninterrupted week with mom, relief from the fleas and other things making him sicker, and learning about love and warmth and happiness from humans.
But I don’t think he intended to live a long life. I think he was always going to leave us, it was just a matter of how long it took to save his family. Nano was a hero. He accomplished his mission. Look at all he did in a mere few weeks. He is a miracle. I know we are sad that he could not be saved despite the vets going above and beyond, but he knew. He was an angel in the form of an odd little kitten. He was their angel.
And looking at that face, those eyes with wisdom beyond the ages, I think he was perfectly OK with his journey this time.
Doesn’t make it hurt any worse that he’s gone, but… he was a hero.
For more information about the project of Tinykittens please visit http://www.tinykittens.com/
“The smallest feline is a masterpiece.”
― Leonardo da Vinci