By: Aundria Arlandson
In 2009, I heard about a kitten called Timmy that was living with permanent damage from an over the counter flea and tick product manufactured by the same company as the powder that was draining the life of my sweet Oliver. After only moments, my bond with Timmys human, Claudia, was instant. We had the same agenda: to make sure pet parents knew of the dangers of these retail poisons.
Bearing the weight of Timmy’s world along with the her own pain upon her shoulders, Claudia stayed firm as Timmy’s backbone, flag bearer and cheerleader, holding up the strongest set of shoulders I have encountered in this lifetime. With the support of the loyal and devoted T.O.Y Army, Timmy’s story and name was passed throughout the world via social media and the press, which led to the first (and now annual) meeting in 2010 with the EPA Office Of Pesticide Programs and Congressional and Senatorial leaders in Washington DC.
When Claudia first told me of Timmy’s illness, I held onto knowing he was going to be fine. After all, he had been down this road many times and came out the conquerer. Claudia, on more than several occasions when things seemed bleak would say that when it came to Timmy, things always seemed to work in his favor. And, throughout the six years of his life we saw how Timmy thrived in the face of his own mortality, motivating all of us to continue advocating in his name to protect our beloved furry friends. He wasn’t supposed to make through the first six months after his rescue, yet here is was. He’d be fine.
I never met Timmy but I know that he knew that I loved him. I know this because Claudia has and will continue to channel our light and love through her and pass it to him by continuing on with his journey with her devoted grace. His name will forever be connected to and remembered as amazing. His success from his struggles made him our champion. He was our soldier. He is a hero.
When Oliver was slipping away from this life, I promised him that I would do everything I could to prevent another one to be hurt. Amid the rocks that cover my sweet Olivers grave under his favorite tree in my backyard, Timmy also rests. Together, these incredible animals fueled a fire and created a wave that has and will save so many for years to come.
Timmy, your life inspired and helped me to believe that there is good in the human spirit and that despite hardship and against any odds, we can accomplish anything and change the world. I can say, with absolute certainty our sweet Angel, that there will never be another one like you. Ever.