Sometimes courage comes in small packages. This tiny kitten is a survivor of hurricane Katrina. While working from a boat on a story in a flooded New Orleans neighborhood, I heard "meows" coming from a fallen tree. This kitten apparently had been separated from his mother and had been living on his own for at least nine days. He seemed to be telling us: Don't you dare leave me behind! The light was fading and a curfew would soon be in effect, but I was determined to rescue him. Neither the polluted water nor the prickly branches he was in dissuaded me. Although he wanted help, he was afraid and kept retreating just out of reach. Fortunately, we found a Pop Tart to tempt him with, and I was able to grab him and drop him safely into a carrier.
Most people who needed help had been evacuated by the time I arrived in New Orleans, but Humane Society volunteers were still rescuing the many animals left behind. Telling the story of the aftermath of Katrina was exhausting and emotional. I grieved for the beautiful city and its citizens who lost so much. It can be traumatic for journalists covering these sorts of stories, but helping rescue this tiny creature was therapeutic for me. "My" kitten is now living happily - and with much spirit and mischief - with a friend I made during the rescue.