You may have never heard of FatWallet.com, a website for one-of-a-kind coupons and deals, but recently it made one of its greatest achievements -- and it didn't include a coupon or a deal.
FatWallet is essentially a community in which users share special deals they have found on a message board for everyone to enjoy. Their promise: "Best Deals Made Better." The message board deepens that very promise by holding discussions on fiscal advice, tips, and valuable information. And yet over time its membership's interests have led to companionships and communities that have expanded beyond their established threshold. Sometimes the users on FatWallet stand together and try to do something more. As an old Ethiopian proverb goes, "When spiderwebs unite, they can tie up a lion." In this case, save a cat.
On June 10, a message board user by the handle 77Rus was pulling into the driveway on his way home when he hit a stray cat. He knew the cat was a stray, since he had given her food from time to time. Unable to bear the sounds of the wounded cat after it had been trapped between the car and the gravel driveway, he placed the cat in a cardboard box inside the house to protect her from dangerous animals and took her to the vet the next morning. Upon arrival at the vet, he was faced with two options: put the cat to sleep for free or have the cat receive an X-ray and exam for $200 to try to save her.
It was determined that the cat had a broken leg in need of surgery -- a $500 procedure. He called several animal shelters only to find that the cat could only be euthanized. So he did the one thing he could do for the cat: try to get her a good deal. He posted the story on FatWallet, asking for advice from its users.
Initially several of them replied with the same advice -- he should just put the cat down. But upon seeing pictures of the cat, others began to come forward and donate money in an effort to save the cat. Within two days, Amazon and Paypal donations were enough to cover the surgery, which was scheduled for June 16.
Unfortunately, the medical procedures and tests brought more grim discoveries. The cat had ulcers and cancerous tissue spreading through her organs. As the surgery began, the cat underwent cardiac arrest and later passed away. The cat was suffering a great deal and just gave up, explained the attending veterinarian.
77Rus took the cat, now forever-christened "Catwallet," and made a grave in his backyard under the raspberry bushes. Much of the donated money, a total of $1,350, was refunded with the exception of around $400, which users asked Rus77 to keep.
As 77Rus put it, Catwallet spent her entire life with "all the months of straggling with heat, cold, Alabama wilderness, illnesses, looking for food and love." And though she suffered, she was able to inspire and organize those faceless heroes on FatWallet. Catwallet showed what strength and perseverance, even in the most unusual of circumstances, can accomplish.
Image: Catwallet by 77Rus