Holiday Spirit Alive in Santa Cruz

By Shawn Brouwer
|  Monday, Nov 30, 2009  |  Updated 10:45 AM PDT
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Holiday Spirit Alive in Santa Cruz

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SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- The holiday spirit is alive and well in Santa Cruz where an unemployed veterinary technician and other community members recently helped treat homeless man's cat that was going blind.

One look at the Krusty the cat -- who lives on the Santa Cruz Harbor with his caretaker, Zachary -- and Chris Robarchek knew he had to do something.

"The cat was virtually blind. He had so much goop in his eyes. He couldn't see at all," Robarchek said.

Robarchek, who is currently unemployed, treated the cat for a couple of days at his own home, where he had some antibiotics.

But the cat was still not healing. So, Robarchek asked Santa Cruz veterinarian Craig Evans for help in treating the feline.

"You can imagine walking around with eyelashes floating in your eyes all the time and how irritating that is. (It was) times ten for what this cat was feeling," Evans said.

Evans decided that Krusty needed eye surgery immediately, but neither Evans or Robarchek was in a a position financially to pay for the surgery out of pocket.

So, Evans and Robarchek decided to share Krusty's predicament with its caretaker, Zachary, by writing out the prognosis in long-hand and taping it to a bench where Zachary was known to frequent.

The exchange was read by employees at Save Our Shores, a nonprofit based at the harbor.

The group was so touched by the effort that they decided to pay for Krusty's surgery in full.

"He's got his eyes wide open (and is) looking around," Evans said. "It was a whole new day for him."

Robarchek, meanwhile, said the attention he has received for his effort has been humbling, and is hoping the tale illustrates the power of what can be done when people work together toward a common goal.

"It's nice to see everybody coming together," Robarchek said. "If we try and take care of each other year round, instead of just at the holidays … you should try and help."

Evans said that Krusty is healing nicely and should make a full recovery within a few days. Once healed, Krusty will be reunited with Zachary.

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