Touched By An Angel
By: Dave Cole
Walking home alone one day from her class in New
York City, something stopped her. A noise, a faint,
very faint......pathetic mewing.
As the young pharmaceutical student pushed aside
the weeds in this abandoned lot and knelt down, she
found this pitifully emaciated, obviously dehydrated,
little orphan Coon cat.
Little did our hero realize just how serious the trouble was.
The kitty was feverish, her eyes watery and barely open.
Her natural black coat with it's chest bib of white was a
lifeless, rat-colored gray, matted with excrement and dirt.
The symptoms were frighteningly familiar and heartbreakingly
Our young student petted her tentatively. Weak as the
kitten was, it somehow managed to raise her little head
and look at the student....it was a look of gratitude and
a plea for help that the young college student never, ever
Without hesitating, our Angel of Mercy picked the kitty
up and raced to the nearest phone booth. Frantically
leafing through the Yellow Pages she called the first
The situation was explained and the kitten's symptoms, but
to her dismay was told there was nothing she could do.
Call after call to every vet in the book returned the same
response. Finally one veterinary clinic agreed to see her.
Distemper was in those days routinely accepted as being
virtually incurable for cats, for kittens it was a death
Wrapping the little orphan in her sweater, she raced for her
car. The little kitten tried to push her nose against the
arm of this lady seeking comfort and reassurance. As
the young lady started driving to the clinic she named the
little kitten, Tashi.
Upon arrival at the clinic she felt like crying. It was wedged
between a butcher shop and a laundromat in a run down
section of Brooklyn. From the outside the place looked like
a flophouse. The waiting room wasn't much better.
The doctor, Dr. Goldberg led them in to the examining
room immediately. Before Tashi could even be put on the
table, the doctor was preparing a syringe and gave her
an injection. Examining the kitten from head to tail the doctor
only shook his head.
The young student, lips quivering and heart pounding asked....
"Will she....?" she couldn't even finish the sentence.
"You must force her to eat." came the reply. "There is
nothing more I can do." "Bring her back tomorrow,
if she is still alive."
Back at home in her tiny apartment, this young lady
spent the entire evening hand feeding Tashi at regular intervals.
Distemper is known for causing cats to refuse to eat or
drink and therefore, unwittingly starving them to death.
Tashi seemed to view the nutritional ministrations as
cruel and unusual punishment. It broke the students heart,
yet she couldn't really blame Tashi.
The student ignored Tashi's feeble protests and sustained
herself by repeating, "All's fair in love and war." This was war
and our hero was in love.
At 5 in the morning battle fatigue set in. Tashi seemed no
better for all the love and attention. Totally exhausted
this Angel of Mercy fell asleep alongside Tashi. She
didn't even want to think of waking up.
Three hours later she had no choice. Two white tipped
paws were patting her nose, the black tail was tickling
her chin, and a warm furry head was rubbing against her chest.
Our hero was euphoric!
Tashi had made it through the night.
Every day that first week she made a trip back to
Dr. Goldberg. Every day, the doctor sadly shook his
head and said, "Bring her back tomorrow, if she's
Within 4 weeks the scrawny Brooklyn back lot orphan
blossomed into a five pound bundle of boundless energy
and remarkable beauty......and this young lady's life
was forever changed.
Jane Bicks no longer wanted to be a pharmacist.
God had sent an angel in the form of an almost dead kitten
and placed that kitten in a spot where He knew Jane
would find it.
Jane Bicks had found her calling in life.
Taking Tashi with her to Italy, Jane graduated summa
cum laude from veterinary school at the University of Parma.
Dr. Jane Bicks has served as the President of the Veterinary
Medical Association of NYC, served on the Advisory Board
of the Cornell University Feline Health Center, helped set
up the largest animal shelter in the world: the Center for
Animal Care and Control, has authored 3 books on pet
care, appeared as veterinary expert on CBS' "48 Hours",
ABC's "Good Morning America", and many, many other
national TV shows. At present she is veterinary expert
for the Animal Planet series, "Petsburgh".
She has won numerous awards in her line of work including
three Presidential Citations. Dr. Bicks is one of the pioneers
of veterinary nutritional/alternative medicine and is
recognized nationally as a foremost authority in the
natural treatment of animals.
Currently Dr. Bicks is the Executive Director of New Product
Development and Education for HealthyPetNet where
she oversees all product development and supervises
a board of veterinarians and pet industry experts who
ensure HealthyPetNet's cutting-edge formulas meet the
highest standards for quality and effectiveness.
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