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May. 4th, 2008

Reassurance, that there is no such thing as coincidence

The last few days for me on an emotional scale has been up and down... despite everything that is happened I knew that I would need to eventually pick up another cat as a buddy for Smudge. I know it's only been a short period of time since Mouse's passing, but I went to the Arizona Animal Welfare League to look at kittens... just look.

As it turns out they didn't have any kittens, at least not very young ones (8-12 week old range). After wandering for a while playing with the various older cats in several of the shelters different rooms, Zakk and I stopped into the special needs kittie room. The cats in this room either have special dietary needs (being overweight) or are on a special prescription food (for intestinal issues). One female in particular (named Margaret) hopped up on my shoulders and began rubbing herself all over me, and frankly took me by surprise, most of the females I've seen and/or dealt with over the years have always been rather aloof. I petted and played with her for 5-10 minutes.

Not really wanting to mix a male and a female cat, and after look at every young cat in the shelter I decided it was time to leave, until...

A small black cat came wandering out I hadn't previously noticed.. he was smaller then the "kittens" (8-9 month olds) in the room. Now normally I'm not an all black cat kinda fan.. but I picked him up and placed him on my left shoulder.... he immediately began purring, rubbing himself all over my face, and licking me. I placed him near several other cats that had been hissing at passerbyes, there was no reaction, he simply acted as if nothing was wrong and never budged an inch nor made a sound in return, despite a negative response from the other cats. His fur was also the silkiest, softest coat I had ever felt... I was hooked. Zakk had similar reactions from the kittie, and we both decided after spending 10 minutes or so with him that this was going to be the cat we were taking home. I sent Zakk out to speak to he woman we had spoken to that was in the room earlier that worked for the shelter, she informed me it was indeed a male kittie, and that his name was Valin (pronounced Veil-Lynn). After informing her of my intentions to adopt, we proceeded to the office to fill out the necessary paperwork on my end.. with one small snag.

Due to the fact I rent, they require that I show proof that I am allowed by the landlord to have pets present in my home. So I called James and asked him if he could please bring a copy of the lease he had signed which stated pets were allowed. During that time period they told me about Valin's special needs, he apparently had a bit of diarrhea, which had stopped, but needed to be given the special intestinal food for a while, which they provided (enough for about a week or two). About 20 minutes later he showed up and they finished filling out the paperwork. Due to some new software they had just started using, it took several attempts to properly process the paperwork. On top of that I was to be giving a copy of his medical records, including his shots. There appeared to be some confusion as to whether or not he had received one of them or not. So I waited for some time until they could contact the person responsible for record keeping to make a determination on his need for the shot. Turns out he needed the shot, so I was again patiently asked to wait while one of their tech administered the shot to him, after which point his records would be turned over to me and we could leave.

We waited in the front lobby for them to bring Valin back from his shot, when an elderly couple (in their late 70's or older from their look) came into the front lobby of the shelter. The woman had something small wrapped in a towel in her hands... it was a 7-8 week old kitten, that had been dropped off in the bushes of her home, and had been there for 4 hours before they decided to take the kitten to the shelter. They brought Valin back to me about the same time as another worker at the shelter came out to inform the couple that they were overflowing with kittens right now, a fact I was told when I arrived when I asked where all of the smaller kittens were, my response was all of them were still too young to be weened from their mothers. The rather attractive woman I had been talking to on and off since my arrival at the shelter was trying to inform me that all was well and that I could not finally take Valin home. However my attention was diverted to the elderly couple who clearly were distraught over not being able to place the kittie in the shelters care, that they would instead have to turn the kitten over to the county shelter ( a death sentence for the little guy here). I could even see it in the eyes of the attractive woman I had been talking to, she wanted to help, but no one was there to make that decision today and their hands were tied. The couple left, and I handed Zakk the carrier Valin was in, and James the bag of food they had given me to feed him... I ran after the couple.

By the time I reached them the woman was crying, I told her I would gladly take the kitten in... her response was "You won't put him to sleep will you?". I assure her I had no plans to do anything of the sort, that I had in fact just adopted a cat from the shelter, and that if I didn't keep the kitten myself after fostering him for a while, that he would receive a good home. The elderly man shook my hand and said "I wish their were more people like you in this world".

To think, had not all of these things gone wrong, the software delay, the issue of his shot records, and the actual administering of the shot to Valin, Goober (as I named him, he had yellow gooey stuff in his eyes) would most likely be in the hands of the county shelter... to be euthanized.

I do NOT believe in my heart this was a coincidence... whether or not he remains a few days from now is yet to be seen, James has become rather taken with the little guy, but we have decided to segregate him from the other cats for a while. Just to make sure he doesn't have anything the other cats could come into contact with.... and catch. Aside from a bit of dehydration and being VERY hungry (he's already eaten 3 times since we brought him home at 4pm) he appears to be in good health.

I have always held it my heart that things in life happen for a reason, I could not in good conscience allow harm to come to that kitten, not when I am able to help, even if it's only for a few days until a suitable home could be found for him.

I'll post pics in the next day or so of Valin.. he's such as sweetie....

May. 1st, 2008

The morning after....

After fighting the urge to sleep I finally shuffled off to bed around 1am, waking up every hour or so until around 5am when I decided enough was enough. I called for Smudge to come to me, I laid in bed and petted him for 10-15 minutes, then got up to start my day.. only something was missing... my normal routine...

Prior to Mouse's illness I would start my day by trying to get out of bed... after several snoozes on the ol' alarm clock, Mouse would come over and "assist" in waking me up... meaning he would try to rub himself all over my head and hand in an attempt to gain my attention. I would head myself to the bathroom.. with him just underfoot... and during my morning three S's (Shit, Shower, and Shave) he would sit patiently waiting for me. When I would head back to my room to finish getting dressed he would hop up on my bed and begin vocalizing to me, we would exchange several minutes of "meows" back and forth and would continue to do so until I payed at least 2-3 minutes attention to him before I left for work.

The house felt empty without his presence, although there has been two occasions in my life where he was staying with friends when I was unable to have pets; he was always accessible when I wanted to see him. But that is no longer the case... and a part of my heart died when he passed.

Despite my loss there is one thing I cannot deny, the fire that ravaged my friend Ruthanne's apartment in December of 2001 took the lives of five of six cats in the apartment.. Mouse was the sole survivor. Ruthanne lost all three of her cats, and I lost two of my three. For whatever reason Mouse was spared, I was given the opportunity to share nearly another 6 1/2 years of my life with my baby...

Mouse was 12 years, 9months old to the day when he passed, and I wouldn't trade a single second of my time with him for anything in the world. He loved unconditionally, and despite all the bad things that have happened to me over the years, he was always there when I needed him. The hole in my heart I know will never fully heal, but the pain of his passing will lessen in time...

When I owe nothing more to this world, and if there truly is an afterlife I hope to be able to see my friend again..

That isn't so much to ask... is it?

Apr. 30th, 2008

Today I said goodbye to a dear and loving friend

Although it's been quite some time since I update anything here, after the day I had.. I felt the need to post this..

At 4pm today I had to euthanize my oldest cat.. Mouse

He had contracted an upper respiratory infection nearly two weeks ago, but had already been showing significant signs of weight loss during the last month. This past Sunday he took a dramatic turn for the worse.

Today when I got home I found him lying down, stretched out , his breathing was heavy and labored, and was crying out as if in pain. I rushed him to the vet and discussed options for treatment with the doctor, considering how much in pain he was in and his poor prognosis for recovery, I talked it over with my son and felt releasing him from his pain was best for Mouse.

Zakk and I spent his last moments petting and letting him know how much we loved and will miss him...

For my baby.. Mouse.. I love you... you will be dearly missed.

(07/30/95 - 04/30/08)

Oct. 1st, 2007

How best to describe my weekend...

Quote from the movie "Office Space":

"I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything that I thought it could be."

That pretty much summed my weekend, I slept over 24 hours in 2 days, and was a complete couch/computer potato the rest of the time...

I'm liking this not working 90 hours a week... my kitties are alot more happy... I'm actually home to pet and play with them...

Ok I really should be in bed now... I have to be at work in a few hours.... funny though I don't feel tired... wonder why that is... LOL