The Reappearance of Alex

About ten years ago, I rescued a kitten (feral) and brought him home. I worked with him, socialized him, fell in love in him and decided to keep him. Seven years ago last November, he escaped from the house and we looked for him all over but could never find him. A year later, I stopped putting food outside in the feral feeders because the skunks and coons had moved in and I figured at that point, this was all I was feeding.

Last night I came home, to find Alex on the freezer eating! He is pencil- thin and has fresh wounds on him that are not bleeding- a matter of grave concern as this means he is anemic. He has no flesh on him at all, but he is eating and drinking, so the feline specialist feels that keeping him quiet and watching him is preferable to stressing him out and running him to the vet. I can’t even get him fluid as he has no fat anywhere! He isn’t hiding from me- he was matted and smelly and I took my clippers to him this morning and removed all the mats.

Tomorrow, I will worm him, and then I will just watch him carefully and try and get some weight on him. But oh my gosh! He came back home after all these years! I am encouraged that he has an appetite- because this means that wherever he was, he was finding food or being fed and feline hepatic lipidosis hadn’t set in. I don’t know if he will make it or not- but time will tell. I have him on antibiotics and nutritional supplements. I am sad because I do not know what he went through the entire time he was gone, but I am so elated to have him back with us!

Sad Turn of Events

Tonight, when I went after work to feed the feral video kitty- I found her dead in the parking lot. I suppose it was just a matter of time as she would cross busy roads and shopping parking lots in the middle of the night in search of food. Try as I might, I could not find her nest- and would only see her navigating the main streets crossing and I would hold my breath and pray she made it safely. The trap has been fetched- it has been sitting inside the large cement pipe where she often hid, but she never once went into it. Instead, I would find her lying on top of it, or cleverly pushing the food out with a cautious paw. I am sorry little girl- you deserved so much better than to meet your fate under a car tire. :( I couldn’t even bring her home to bury her as the ground is frozen. I did place her in some shrubbery in the middle of the field- That is the best I can do for her.

My Mother……

25 REASONS I OWE MY MOTHER

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE .
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL .
” If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
” Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me..”

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

7. My mother taught me IRONY
“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
“Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA..
“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
“Stop acting like your father!”

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
“Just wait until we get home.”

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING .
“You are going to get it when you get home!”

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE..
“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.”

19. My mother taught me ESP.
“Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.
“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT .
“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
“You’re just like your father.”

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE
“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.

As for my mother and our disastrous visit last year? We found peace with each other in our last phone conversation. I finally got up enough nerve to approach the subject and let her know how much she hurt me. She said she doesn’t even remember saying those things, but she did apologize. For that, I am grateful. I can let the sorrow and anger go now, completely.

Clogged with fog

The fog outside is the consistency of pea soup and I am grateful to be inside right now, even if it means that sitting in my computer chair also requires me to not be able to lean back, because Everest has snuggled into the seat for the night.

I would also give any computer teacher a heart attack, because I am not maintaining proper posture. My feet are not flat on the floor because of two pups who are snoozing comfortably wedged somehow between the chair’s rollers. My head isn’t even facing the screen, I am sitting sideways with the keyboard in my lap as Charlie is napping on the deskspace where the keyboard normally rests.

It reminds me of a creative college course in writing where the instructor set us up in front of a darkened screen and she told us to just start writing our thoughts without looking at them first. It was an interesting assignment and showed a lot of creativity just under the surface that finally broke through during the second hour of the assignment.

So I am essentially typing blind, with an erect back (otherwise I would smash Everest) “Why not just move the cat?” Someone may ask- I would counter- “Why move him just because I am uncomfortable?”

I have been absent from this blog for several days. Some may speculate after my last whining post that I was off feeling sorry for myself, but if I was feeling sorry for myself it had nothing to do with a lost friend, but more with a tooth extraction that went horribly wrong.

I am still in pain though the darvocet takes the edge off at least for now. With my extensive medical history (5 major surgeries in four years) my body doesn’t respond quite the same with pain medication as other people. It takes a lot to knock this type of pain out for me.

The extraction was Weds and I am hoping by Tues I will be fit enough to venture out into public and go to work. I have a lovely bruise that looks like Mike just socked me right across my cheek, and my lip droops like a Saint Bernard’s lip droops after he slurps water. The drool also rivals any a Saint Bernard can produce and is quite embarassing.

My dentist is “upwardly mobile.” He doesn’t just go in and pull a tooth, instead he has to push the darn thing out (less trauma to the gums) so he says- although I wept the entire ride home from the pain, enough so Mike was ready to go back and beat the guy up for not giving me any anesthesia. Not true about no anesthesia, but Mike spent the time out in the parking lot with the dogs in the truck and he didn’t understand my new speech pattern…

“Noth dear, heth gav me somethingth for pan” however, to his credit, Mike is also 80% deaf in the ear directed at me when he drives his truck and I am the passenger.

My speech impediment is gone now, but my lip still curls downward when I smile. I look like a demented Doctor Demento! I know that soon the pain will also leave, I just wish it would depart immediately instead of hanging around reminding me that I am indeed mortal!

Monday, we welcome another resident into the house. He will be my first cat hotel resident. His name is Wilson and he is a Mackeral Tabby who can’t find a forever home and is currently in limbo waiting for a someone to love him.

He is a former feral rescued from a colony in Bend Oregon and even microchipped! But all efforts to notify his owner have been in vain, and he has somehow ended up in Washington State. I was emailed his story, and I told them I would take him- his photo is displayed.

He will be in the bedroom with Fiona and I hope the two of them get along. Time will tell I guess. He is a handsome boy-

I posted on a forum I frequently visit about my desire to open a retirement home for cats. I asked the members to help me come up with a name, and one special lady sure did that! I will keep the name under wraps until I achieve my non-profit status then I will tell you. But the name encompasses everything I am trying to create for cats that people no longer want because their “cuteness factor” has faded and they are growing old. Here, they will grow old with us and know love and comfort until they draw their final breath.

More cheese with my whine…..

I don’t recall where I first heard that saying, but I believe it was a work after a fellow employee had dumped her latest heartache on the table of the breakroom. One uncaring individual simply asked her if she wanted more cheese with her whine. I thought at first he was asking her to share a bottle of wine, when someone clued me in that he was talking about whine-

So, I guess this is my whine moment but one of the ways I deal with disappointment, heartache, or loss is by writing about it. I believe by writing about it, I can compartmentalize the experience and deal with the emotional aspect easier.

I lost my best friend the latter part of last year, and no, she doesn’t walk on four feet, she walks on two (except maybe after a hard night of partying we “used to be” known for)! I have known Mo over thirty years. We met at a job, competed for the same position, got hired at the same time and then competed again for a better position- got hired as “guinea pigs” for this experimental program and hit the road together traveling from branch office to branch office.

I have been with her through her’s (and my) failed marriages, her childrens’ issues, breast cancer and all sorts of life-changing events. She has been my buddy, my confidante and someone I could always count on.

A year ago, she lost her sister and she called me and we talked. It was an unexpected death, took her completely by surprise (brain tumor) and for me it was also a complete surprise. After that initial phone call, I didn’t hear from her for quite awhile. I sent messages and emails and letters but she never returned my call. Knowing that the death of anyone loved is difficult, I backed off and let her have spac.

When Mike became ill, I attempted to contact her, valuing her expertise in the medical field. We connected and we talked but it was strained (to say the least) There were a lot of pregnant pauses in our converstation, and again, I wondered about where she was in life.

To make a long story short, I finally just pushed the issue and emailed her telling her that it felt like we were strangers when we talked. That is when, she told me about something she claims I said when she told me about her sister dying. Something, so uncaring and callous that it made me cry. Something that I would never be capable of saying to anyone, especially to Mo! But she swears I did say it and it made her think about where I stood in her world. She said that there didn’t seem to be a place for me anymore. And so she walked through the grief alone, which breaks my heart.

The only thing I can think of is that years ago when I was in that horse wreck, that it has indeed messed with my brain and I do say stupid things from time-to-time and never remember saying them. This could be one of those moments- because honestly, I am drawing a blank here.

I’ve tried everything I can to apologize to her.To let her know how much I have missed her, how much I have thought about her, prayed about her, but although she says she has forgiven me- the friendship has a wide gulf between us now and a bridge I am unable to build.

It shouldn’t be this hard to be best friends. For two people who know each other secrets, there should be a give-and-take between them. I wish she had just jumped down my throat at the time of the stupid comment and yanked out both of my tonsils. Then perhaps, the pain would be easier to deal with.

I think that is why I gravitate more towards cats then people. Even when you scare a cat by taking them to a vet and stress them out with surgeries, procedures and invasions of their personal spaces, they will remain forgiving. It might take a few days, but pretty soon they are back in your lap, purring in your ear and telling you all is right with the world.

For Mo, I wish her the best. I wish her long health and happiness and I miss her but I understand that in her world, sometimes forgiveness is hard to come by.

Reflecting……..

First off- thanks to the readers who have taken time to email me about what importance this blog has been to them when it comes to rescuing kittens or cats. That alone, warms my heart.

I don’t know if I can leave rescue permanently, so I have been praying, thinking and writing privately about how I feel. I believe that a re-direction is in order. I want to open up a retirement home for senior kitties. The ones who get tossed into the shelter because the “owner is suddenly allergic, or “the cat bit the baby,” or the family has lost their home.. Then, the only thing these cats have to look forward to is languishing in a cage most of the time to small for anything to live in- or a quick trip to the room where the needle or gas awaits them.

But because I have a way with the ferals and strays, I want to take it to the next level and open up a retirement home for older strays. I know by experience that the only place for older stray cats is a barn or the pound- so…by the end of next month, I may be coming into a bit of money- sent to me by someone I helped a few years ago via email to save a small kitten. They live overseas and quite recently, their relative passed away and in gratitude for their now healthy and mischievous cat- they want to send me a bit of the inheritance.

The money would allow me to make some improvements on the enclosure- including putting on a decent roof instead of the cra* fiberglass we used initially. It will also allow me to go non-profit which means I can actually become a public fundraiser for the sake of the cats. Mike and I have been talking about the possibilities and when I told him I wanted to open up a Senior Cat Residence, he was all for it.

The money would truly be a godsend, coming during a time in my life where it is desparately needed. All the vet bills would be paid and that would be lovely and good things could come from this generous gift. But time will tell if it will actually come to pass. The people who I have mentioned this to have all said the same thing- “it is to good to be true and must be a scam..” That was my first thought when it was offered to me as well. Because after all, come on, this is the Internet.

But that is what I want to do- provide a safe, comfortable place for senior strays and other forgotten cats to hang out. Not expecting them to do anything other than live here and knowing full well that this will be the last stop in their lives- because no one adopts the seniors- everyone wants a kitten.

So thanks again to all of you for your compassion, your sharing of your stories about the strays and ferals in your lives. You all touched my heart in a very deep way and made me realize that I can’t stop rescuing and sharing my stories. I can however change my focus and leave the kitten rescue to others better equipped to deal with the unique problems that sometimes accompany the wee ones.

Another loss

This morning, Toots went to join her last owner, Ernie. I woke up to find her lethargic, cold to the touch (her paws were like ice) She had hitching breath and her eyes had checked out. As we were bundling her up into a blanket to run her to the vet- she took one last shuddering gasp of air and was still.

Toots came to us early last year. Her owner had died unexpectedly of the flu and no one wanted a senior cat with no teeth who drooled all over the place. My friend Eddie told me about Toots and so I told her that I would take Toots if she could place two of my kittens. Eddie found a wonderful home for the two kittens and Toots came to live with us.

I think Toots knew her time was coming to an end, because yesterday, she was out of character- coming up to me every time I entered the bedroom and wanting to be loved and petted. Normally, she was reserved and lay in her bed coming out to eat or occassionally to be petted. We had a wonderful time of loving on each other, and I believe she was saying goodbye.

Bye Toots- you were loved and I am grateful your end was quick and relatively painless. I know you are walking next to Ernie where you truly belong. Say hello to the gang for me- and when you see a young man with bright red hair- tell him his mom misses him bunches~ You will be missed-