It’s all about Frank.
I am a freelance Cinematographer and Photographer. On August 5, 2010, my wife found a litter of kittens underneath some bushes in our backyard. They were crying for their absent mother and it was clear from their size that they were not much more than a day old. After some unsuccessful phone calls to a few local organizations, we knew we wouldn’t be able to find anyone who had the resources to care for these little monkeys and keep them alive. WE were the only ones who could keep them from dying.
We proceeded to bottle feed our 5 new charges every 3 hours, round the clock. Not having children of our own we enthusiastically assumed this challenge with a sense of untapped parental responsibility. What we didn’t know then was that the following few months would be the most exhausting, deeply heartbreaking, and wonderful times of our lives. We did our best and sought counsel from our vet, who cared for our 2 adult cats. Over the course of the next few weeks, we lost one kitten after another, mostly to lung infections, each loss more crushing than the last. We were down to 2 survivors: “Gray Boy” and “Yellow Boy.” We finally felt that we had turned the corner and that our last 2 boys were growing more healthy and robust by the day.
As I was bottle-feeding Gray Boy one morning I heard a familiar wet cough after he finished only half of his normal formula. My heart sank to the floor. I knew from the other kittens that this meant the beginning of a swift and fatal decline. Gray died later that night. We were utterly devastated. We returned to caring for Yellow Boy with a sense of determination bordering on desperation.
That’s when I heard it. The wet cough of doom. We rushed Yellow to our vet, who kept him hydrated in an oxygen tent in an effort to strengthen his lungs. He stayed in there for 24 hours with no improvement. Our vet gave us the awful news that there was nothing more to do except take him home to be comfortable in his last hours. We all knew he wouldn’t make it through the night.
As of this writing, Yellow Boy (now known as Frank, or Frank Tom Petty, or Franklin Delano Thomas Pettigrew III, for short) just had his second birthday, and he’s officially a hooligan. Frank not only made it through that awful night, but he proceeded to make an inexplicable recovery. Our vet calls it a minor miracle. We call it a regular old miracle.
This experience made me wonder how many other little lives and stories will never be told, and how many other lives can be helped. We started Poindexter not only as a way to use our very specific skills to artfully photograph the stories of our beloved critters, but also to help other causes that benefit animal welfare. Our goal is to help, and along the way show as many beautiful stories as we can.