Again it all started with a video of a stray cat that someone posted on Facebook It was one of those animals that make you wonder how it is possible they are still alive. Two of our volunteers picked him up the next day. I first saw him at the vet clinic. He was already sedated when I entered the room, lying on the table while the girl was shaving him so that she could have a clearer image of what was really going on in his tiny body It was so silent in that room All you could hear was [the] noise from the electric shaver as we kept watching this precious little soul with our stomachs tied in knots He was immobile, and he looked so fragile and so lonely Apart from his bad eye, his broken leg, his mutilated tail, the dermatological problems and the starvation He also suffered from FIV, and his immune system, already weakened, was struggling to fight off everything that was wrong with him. An hour later, although still sedated, he started trying to stand on his feet. That’s all he knew so far: making it on his own without help from anyone. When we posted about him on our Facebook page someone commented that this little one has an iron soul, so we named him Iron. We put him in a crate in the cattery. It only took him a couple of days to turn from a wild, feral cat to a loving, tender boy. Iron craved for human attention. He kept complaining every time he saw any of us around, asking in his own way that we open the door and pet him. Powder was in the crate next to him, also very sick and just as amazing. And those two enjoyed each other’s company so much that every time we would let them loose they just walked around side by side as if they belonged together. A couple of weeks later we prepared the room just for the two of them. There was no reason to keep them apart anymore. Both of them were infected with FIV, and they had made it very clear how much they needed to be together. They say that male cats can never get along. Neither Iron, nor Powder were neutered. Their health did not allow them to undergo any kind of surgery, so I don’t know what it was it made them need each other so much. They did everything together. They would sleep together, eat together. Iron looked so tiny next to Powder. If you didn’t know that they were both males you would think that it’s a mother cat nursing its fragile little kitten. We knew how much Iron loved to sunbathe so we built a small throne for him right in front of the window. Every time we checked on him, there he was, alone or next to Powder, and as he was lying in the sun, you could see every detail of his face, every detail of his body. It was as if you could see right through him into his pure crystal soul. Iron stayed with us for three months. With more visits to the vet, antibiotics, special diet, there were days when he looked so much better. He regained usage of his shattered hind leg, and he would even jump on the highest shelf and look at us from above. And then there were days when he appeared to be getting worse. He would lose weight, shed, and his skin was so irritated that it would become so rough we were afraid to touch it. There were days when he would follow you around the room yelling and demanding a cuddle and days when he wouldn’t leave his spot next to the window, no matter what was going on around him. By mid-April, Iron started closing in to himself. He was always a tiny cat but suddenly he started looking even smaller. He started losing weight and his beautiful gray fur never grew back. Every day he would spend more time alone in his favorite spot under the sun, less time with us or with Powder. No matter what happened in his room, whether our volunteers or other cats were coming or going, Iron would not leave his spot. He wouldn’t even check around to see what was going on. I saw him for the last time on April 25. His room was busier than ever, with Hope running around, Powder following me everywhere and Morgan recovering in the crate, but Iron didn’t even turn around to see who it was at the door. He was in his throne, looking out the window and facing the sun the entire time I was there, as if he couldn’t decide if he wanted to sleep or stay awake. I wanted to hug him so much, but he looked so lost in his own world, that I didn’t dare disturb him. The next morning on April 26, Iron fell asleep there in the arms of the morning sun and never woke up. So maybe he was gazing out that window trying to decide when the right time would be for him to fly away. He came into a world too busy and too hectic for someone that fragile and discrete. He lived his life in the margin and he left as quietly as he had come, with a dignity you rarely seen in us humans.