Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Creatures Great and Small

I had lost my reverence for life for a while. I felt that I was surrounded by people who were uncaring, unkind, and bent on venting their anger at every turn. Angry gestures in traffic, people assuming the worst without giving you a chance, and, most especially, the man who felt it was okay to shoot at and throw firecrackers at a starving animal.

I felt that intimidation, rage and even evil were all around me. It felt like the bad guys were winning.

And then I started to sink. One thing I have always held on to is my faith that good wins out, that God--whatever name you choose to give that force--was the animating spirit in all things good and kind and compassionate.

But when I could only despise my neighbor, I sunk into the same anger that surrounded me.

And then Boo showed up. Despite his bad treatment, he was willing to trust. Did he have any choice? He was starving. He had to chance it. And that is when my little furry, whiskered, black-and-white teacher offered me the chance to change my view.

I got him to the shelter and after the director settled him into a safe crate, she turned to me and said, "There are good people out there." It was matter-of-fact, out of the blue. And still I was skeptical.

Then a wonderful lady told me she would take Boo into her home with her two other cats. Her home was so peaceful. She is a very patient, kind person. She cares for her kitties the way she cares for everything living. It was like balm to my wounds. I think maybe her soothing voice coaxed me out of my sadness just as it coaxed Boo out of his crate.

Then as I turned to leave, I told her, "You're an angel." She smiled and said, "There are lots of good people out there just like us." It was the second time in three days that someone had said the same thing to me. I knew a message was being delivered. I peeked at Boo, who was snuggled on a soft afghan an I felt my heart open again, as if a tight band had been released.

Yes. There are many good people out there. People who sent encouraging words; people who prayed; people who kept their faith that things would work out when I was struggling to believe it.

I thank you all from the bottom of my renewed heart. And I am thrilled to share the following email from Johnny's (aka Boo) new Mom:

hi wendy.............GOOD NEWS! our little guy is clean! infections or feline aids or he had his nails his next set of shots..and we're good to go for one year...johnny weighed in at 6.8 lbs and dr. pam believes he's abt 2 1/2 years old soooooo on feb. 18, 2011 (that's the feast of st. bernadette, one of my favorites) he will be 3....he's a great little traveler...hardly mewed...right now he's napping upstairs on my bed while joey and honey are down here with me...last night was his turn to sleep with me...tonight it will be honey's turn...gotta be fair....oh how i love him...doc says we must fatten him up...split a can of tuna packed in water amg the 3 kitties once a week...boy, does he loooove that

have a peace full day and God bless you real good...
you are johnny's godmother

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A New Beginning?

After two weeks in a very crowded shelter, Boo went to his new home. He now lives with a woman who has two other boy cats in a peaceful, loving home. Hopefully, this is his happy ending. Boo has one more serious hurdle--tomorrow he goes for his feline leukemia test. If he passes, his new life commences. If he tests positive for feline leukemia, Boo will be put down.

I'm hopeful. The shelter director said that his gums did not look pale. That's a good sign. What shows up in his blood, however, is the deciding factor. If he is positive, he would put the other cats at risk. And the prognosis for a feline leukemia cat is bad.

So, cross your fingers, say a prayer, and hopefully I'll be giving you the final good news.

On a more positive note, Boo seemed to take very well to life in a home again. He uses his litter, he snuggles on an afghan to sleep (except for the night he jumped into bed with his new "Mom"). He loves to watch the birds out the window, safely from inside, thank you!

He's quite the talker and seems to have a lot to say. He likes the furry boy Joey. He has not warmed up to his other brother yet. Fingers crossed that if good news comes from the doctor and he has a little while to settle in that he will decide to get along with both of his new brothers.

In the meantime, I've posted a picture of Boo snuggled in the Afghan. I think a soft, snuggly surface is something he hasn't enjoyed for a long time. For now, he is comfortable, fed, loved, and safe.

Isn't that the most any of us can hope for?

_ _ _ _ _

More photos of Boo's favorite shelter pals to follow! New pictures of Boo at the botto of the page.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Waging Peace

It's been a difficult day. I received a call at work today from the rental agency that owns my townhome. I was told in no uncertain terms that if I continued to feed the cats, I would be evicted.

Her frustration and upset were clear. They've been waging this battle for 20 plus years. They spend a lot of money having skunks removed.

I'm thinking, well, if your strategy hasn't worked in 20 years, doesn't that tell you something? And if you're spending money to have skunks removed, why not neuter the cats?????

So I find myself confused, a bit angry at being threatened straight away, and heart-achingly sad.

Boo showed up looking for food. I threw some into the woods. He started to eat and the neighbor came out and threw fire crackers at him.

I cried.

He came back later, sitting quietly on my patio step, patiently waiting. I went outside, picked him up and held him in my lap for moment. He settled quietly and looked at me as if to say, "What did I do?" I sat there while he ate some food I held, and then I let him down and he trotted into the woods.

After I gathered myself, called a former Humane Agent. She will help me get him neutered and get his shots tomorrow night. Here's hoping he shows up long enough for me to get him into the safe carrier. I will gladly pay for his shots and the procedures. I pray it gets this little guy one step closer to a home.

The Humane Agent is going to help me formulate a plan. Part I is to meet with the rental representative and get her story about what she has tried in the past and where it went wrong.

After the neighbor threw the firecrackers, I went down and talked with them both (his wife is absolutely lovely), and invited them to sit in on the meeting tomorrow evening.

I think that cruelty and anger are probably the result of many years of frustration. There is something in me that would like to say "they just didn't care enough to try harder." But I know from the phone calls I made it disheartening at best. I will choose to believe these are basically good people who feel frustrated and stuck.

The problem is that Boo, who never ask for any of this, is suffering while people fight. He doesn't have a choice. He still trusts despite all his bad treatment. And now I feel I'm letting him down too. I will not allow it to happen. This has to be a success story. I need it to be a success story.

A friend said today, "Do you really think Americans are a peaceful people? Look at our's violence. We value domination. We cheer when one team beats the tar out of another. We spend enormous amounts of money on it. We are a dominant, aggressive people with Wild West mentality."

I'm praying she's wrong. I'm praying we are not the worst of our nature, but striving toward the best of our nature. And a home for one little black and white cat would go a long way to restore my faith in just that.

Please spread the story. You never know who might be the connect to A Home for Boo.