Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘abandoned animals’

In Search of Homes for All

I am still in the waiting game with the bank. They want a bank statement that won’t be generated till June 7 and not available till June 10. The want it June 3. I see why so many people choose to rent. I will if I must but the rents here just went up another $40 a month. Wow! Supply and demand. If everyone trying to buy a home, even one like I’m trying to buy has this much aggravation, I understand the rental demand.

On that note, I’ll tell you about a few others that needed a bit of help to find a home. My daughter and I were coming back from our Sunday errands and saw little kittens poking their sweet faces out from under the apartment building across from me. The neighbor who lives there is not fond of cats, especially feral cats. I just can’t seem to mind my own business. So I brought down a little tin of food and a small, soft cat kennel. Those frisky little guys are like stealth jets. Lunging for food, then retreating into the hole. I finally managed to snag one and pop it into the kennel for a trip to my guest bath. My daughter took one look at (her) and gifted her the name Smudge.

Any question as to why she got her name? She also ran the show.

Any question as to why she got her name? She also ran the show.

It took another day to collect two more and while I was sitting on my neighbor’s porch trying to catch the last two, I was being observed by a gentleman in his car. He had apparently been keeping track and feeding the mother cat. He and his wife were going to attempt to get her spayed if they could corral momma. That was one big cat and I was not going to mess with her. I know almost nothing about them other than I wanted to find them homes.

Smudge got her share first, then the other 2 ate. I think that's why Smudge was the biggest.

Smudge got her share first, then the other 2 ate. I think that’s why Smudge was the biggest.

As it turned out, the gentleman and his wife came to my place and decided to call Smudge their own. They took her to their vet while I took the other two to mine. Ironic that I have a vet and own no animals. I thought about keeping one or two but I am surrounded by packed boxes with little room to walk, much less keep track of wily kittens. One wrong move and they would be gone again. On top of that, the vet determined they needed some extensive treatments which I didn’t have the resources or energy to do. Smudge had the same problems but her family were in a better position to take care of that. The vet fosters kittens so she took them in for treatment and would then place them in good homes. I was sad and happy at the same time.

Cinder and Puff (of smoke) outside the hard kennel. Door was open but they felt safe in there.

Cinder and Puff (of smoke) outside the hard kennel. Door was open but they felt safe in there.

It had to be about what was best for the kittens, not what would entertain me. I won’t have the time to devote for a while so it’s best for me to wait and see. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to keep wrangling strays when they cross my path.

Puff was larger than Cinder. At 7 weeks old, they are just too tiny

Puff was larger than Cinder. At 7 weeks old, they are just too tiny

Is there any solution to the abandonment of unwanted pets that leaves them to fend for themselves? If we can’t make some people responsible for the children they’ve brought into the world, how can we persuade them to be responsible for the animals they leave behind? I’m trying hard not to rant here, but I really want to.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Easing the Ache

I had to remove this part of last week’s post on celebration. I’m sure you’ll understand in a moment.

My daughter was at my apartment both days the weekend before to finish her very first skirt for a wedding Labor Day weekend. As she was getting ready to leave Saturday evening, I walked out with her. There was a cat sitting on the step outside my door. We have lots of cats loose around the complex so I paid it little mind. It didn’t budge as we walked by. Sunday morning the cat was still sitting there when I looked out in the early morning and when my daughter came back for the finish work. It sat at the top of the landing as we left to shop for a top to go with the skirt and remained when we returned. We asked the neighbors but no one knew anything of this seeming friendly cat.

She of course, like her mother, never picks an easy pattern for a first try.

She of course, like her mother, never picks an easy pattern for a first try.

As my daughter left happy with her completion for the evening, this cat reached up and stretched itself up my pant leg to be petted or picked up. I did both. There were no front claws! Outside for days with no protection and infested with fleas to the point of fur in the ears and eyebrows being worn away. I was horrified and angry. First thing Monday morning, I called a vet down the block that saw cats only. They had to be good if they specialized, right? I made an appointment and picked up a cardboard carrier for $10. Then I checked with the office to see if anyone reported their cat missing. There were posters up near our mailboxes for lost animals but this one was not there.

She was cool and comfortable at the wedding. It was 94 that day.

She was cool and comfortable at the wedding. It was 94 that day.

The Vet determined that this was indeed a female between age 3-12 and infested with fleas so she treated with a deluxe dose of flea killer and prednisone for the itch. I had secretly longed for a companion but have been reluctant because of my location and the cost of caring for an animal. That this cat was female and declawed were bonuses, though I would not declaw a cat.

We confined our newly named Gracie to the bathroom and she allowed me to gently comb her with a flea comb regularly to speed up the process. She ate voraciously as she had while still outside my door. I always keep cans of food around for strays and have for many years. We’ve even managed to get many back to their rightful homes. Gracie had no chip or collar. I claimed her and paid the vet bill. I expected the pet deposit would be next.

By Wednesday, she was flea free and I opened the bathroom door putting her in the bedroom window where she could look out. A few moments later, I found her back in the bathroom on the counter where her towel was. She remained there till my sister made out the futon for the night. Gracie slept with her. I noticed her breathing was a bit labored and wondered if it was the meds. The next morning, the breathing was still labored and her heart rate was high. She seemed to be trying to cough up a hair ball from too much grooming with all those fleas. My gut said we needed a different Vet that day and I made the appointment. My sister went to her job and Gracie and I took a ride. The Vet did X-rays and called me. Blood tests wouldn’t be needed. Well over age 12, she had lungs full of fluid, a tumor under her extremely arthritic ribs. There would be no saving her. She had bitten me already three times as I tried to gently pet her. Every bone in her poor body hurt.

gracie

The Vet was kind and gently recommended an end to this poor, very old lady’s suffering. Fortunately, my sister was able to be there with me and Gracie in her last moments. The tears still sting at the loss but I could not let her hurt one moment more. Gracie is now in a gentle state of rest. She came to my door and asked for help. I did the best I knew how, hoping for a different ending. My job was to invest in this sweet creature’s peaceful journey. She has carved a deep place in my heart and I must write her story. The timing was obviously not right for me to keep her but for me to help her go. It brings to mind a picture of coming to the end of life alone. I have tried to make this shorter and happier, it just can’t be. Gracie deserves the space and the ache. I wish her story were unusual, but it’s just too common. When will we stop abandoning animals?

Have you had an animal that put that kind of ache in your heart in a few days?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself