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  • #653

    luvpets
    Participant

    There once was a cat named Mr. Blue who came into my life not by choice, but I do believe it was fate. He was unlike any other cat I had ever known. From his little bear-like face that always seemed to be fixed in a smile to his calm and peaceful nature. He welcomed other cats that came into our home with open arms. They were instantly his brothers and he loved them.

    Mr. Blue was my joy and my sorrow. With his disabilities of deafness and deformity, he never once let it change who he was and maintained his love for me and everyone in our household. Another cat might have been bitter, but not him…he was too special, too loving.

    When his time came to leave us, he honored me with one last act of his never ending kindness and love by laying his breaking body across me like he had countless time. I believe it was his way of telling me it was okay for him to go.

    He had been happier than he had ever been. He had been rescued, freed from a cage housed in a building of inevitable death, and loved by all. He returned that love equally, until his last moments on earth.

    I will never find another Mr. Blue. Even though his death was tragic and his time with me much too short, I would not have missed having him in my life for the world. If there is an afterlife, I hope he is the first one to greet me. Thank you, Mr. Blue.

    #550
    Dr.Stephanie
    Dr.Stephanie
    Keymaster

    Take a moment to look at one of your favorite photos of your deceased companion animal.  Spend some time reflecting on what your life looked like when it was graced by the presence of your pet. I then invite you to compose a eulogy to your beloved pet. Honoring the life of your deceased pet in this way and sharing gratitude for having such a special pet as part of your life may provide some comfort for you during your time of grief. I invite you to share with us the eulogy and photo of your companion animal.

    #695
    Dr.Stephanie
    Dr.Stephanie
    Keymaster

    I am sharing with you today a story that will tug at your heart strings submitted by Terri Rimmer. As you will be able to tell by her story she is one of many individuals no longer permitted to follow through on her heart’s calling to take care of the feral cats in need. Forced by her unsympathetic neighbors and Code Compliance cats are now suffering. This suffering has a reciprocal effect and can be felt by caretakers as well. Anytime we are mandated to follow cruel ordinances such as being forbidden to provide food and water to feral cats, pain is inflicted on both cats and their caretakers. There needs to be a better solution. Check out Alley Cat Allies https://www.alleycat.org/ for helpful suggestions on how to advocate for community cats.

    How I Became a Cat Lady
    By Terri Rimmer

    I’ve been diagnosed many things but the nickname I hate the most – “Crazy Cat Lady,” – is not one of them, though my neighbors would beg to differ.

    Oddly enough when I was in my 20s and writing for a small town newspaper, The Camden County Tribune, they published a column I wrote about what different lives my sister and I lead. She’s a therapist and I was the creative type, she was a neatnik and I was messy. But I also addressed the fear that I would one day grow up and be like the crazy cat lady who lived across the street from my mom and step dad at the time.

    Now this woman was not a Crazy Cat Lady. She was unmarried, morbidly obese, worked, single, and had two cats. But in that neighborhood there were no feral cats. You might run across a stray once in a blue moon and if one had darkened her garage door she probably would’ve fed it but no one in the 80s would’ve said a word.

    It was a different time.

    My fear of becoming the Crazy Cat Lady wound up being unfounded, so I thought, as I met and married my husband and later had a daughter, though my husband and I eventually divorced.

    But a year before my boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer, although I’d always had a cat of my own, a stray cat named Gypsy showed up. I named her that because she was homeless, like a gypsy. Someone once told me once you name them, they’re yours but I knew I couldn’t keep her because I couldn’t afford to feed both cats, my indoor cat, Chaplin and my dog, Ripley.

    Ruben died only two months after being diagnosed with cancer and more cats showed up. I went to great lengths to not only make sure they had enough food and water but from October through April every year to make sure they had enough shelter. This involved spending tons of time building shelters of blankets, towels, forts from all kinds of materials, boxes, bags, baskets, stuff people would throw out that would make deep beds like suitcases; anything like that.

    The stores got tired of me asking for boxes eventually.

    Every time I had extra money I was buying blankets for the cats. I went through three comforters to keep them warm from ice storms which eventually got ruined from the weather and disintegrated I hurt myself dragging van seats, heavy furniture, some of my own furniture I was no longer using, and even pulling out dresser drawers to keep them warm from the brutal winter.

    Eventually when it gets so cold there’s nothing else you can do but pray.

    I was always relieved when spring would come and I could take it all down.

    But then summer would come and there was nothing I could do to keep the cats cool except offer them ice in big bowls which the kittens thought were toys and would bat around.

    So many prayers were said over these guys.

    Several people offered to help me find them homes.

    Out of over 25 cats only two found homes since 2004.

    Last month I faced my biggest fight regarding the cats yet.

    My new neighbors called Code Compliance twice and I was being forced to turn one cat over a day to the Humane Society or I’ll be fined $2,000 per cat. I was not allowed to do TNR because the neighbors wanted them completely gone due to the cats pooping in their flower beds.

    A kitten died on my porch recently and I took the first cat into the Humane Society who told me that most ferals are put to sleep.

    She was only ten months old and black, the least adoptable color.

    I’ve always been sensitive when it comes to animals and my daughter is, too.

    It goes back to when I was ten and my father abruptly told me were taking our female cat, Tigger and her kittens somewhere.

    He loaded us in the car with no explanation and stopped the car at this apartment complex parking lot, ordering me to get the mamma cat and kittens and put them out.

    I felt like my heart and guts were caving in but I did it as I begged him not to make me, crying hysterically.

    He was not moved in the least by my tears or emotions.

    As we backed out of the complex, he simply said, “They’ll be all right. Someone will get them.”

    I cried all the way home.

    That memory still haunts me though I’d actually forgotten about it till last year.

    The blunt force of it came to the surface yesterday when a kitten I was taking care of died on my front porch because Code Compliance ordered me to stop feeding her or I’d be fined.

    So, just like my dad, the old adage of: “Someone else will feed them. Someone else will come along” is simply not true.

    That baby cat was used to me feeding her several times a day.

    It’s just like how we do with people: “Oh, someone will take care of them. Someone else will do it.”

    Someone told me “You’re stronger than you think you are.”

    Well, if I get strong enough to watch a cat die every day and be okay with it, I never want to be that strong.

    That would make me a sociopath.

    I believe we are put on this earth to take care of God’s creatures.

    Why wouldn’t we be?

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