Saturday, October 30, 2010

Celebration

What a wonderful life Cattyhop had, once saved from sure death as a kitten. What a joy it was to know her, to watch her find friends and grow and flourish in love. Her days were short but she had no shortage of love or fun. Not here. No one, not even the wildest most beat up shaggy ragged ferals, wants for love here.

Cattyhop made so many friends. She loved the cat yard and the cat runs. She usually came in nights to cuddle on the bed with me and with her friend, Electra. She was in awe of Miss Daisy, but all the cats here want to be Miss Daisy's friend. Miss Daisy is a rock star here. So is Zach now. Sam is too.

Cattyhop will be missed more by Comet, my insecure big male, one of a bunch of kittens I took in from one driveway in Heatherdale trailer park, right as my back was failing. Then I had to have surgery. I was trying hard to adopt them all out before my back failed totally with the inevitable surgery. I was in such terrible pain. The kittens took my mind off that searing white lightening pain so bad I couldn't walk in the end. I was happy I found almost all of them homes. Except for Comet.

Comet's mom went to an old man in Corvallis, who later died, and his neighbor, a cat woman also, took in Molly, Comet's mother. Comet's mother had been adopted out unfixed as a kitten at Safehaven, then gone on to reproduce a zillion other cats, like Comet. I am so glad Safehaven is fixing their kittens now prior to adoption. That Heatherdale situation and Molly were a big reason I started bugging Safehaven about adopting out unfixed kittens.

Comet adored Cattyhop and they were rarely apart for the first couple of years. That didn't change much except Cattyhop added many other close friends to her circle. Comet also loves Miss Daisy and wants more than anything, a good grooming by her, should she decide to spare the time for it. Everyone wants near her.

I think about time and Miss Daisy's life and I can't imagine life without Miss Daisy. But that time will come too.

Cattyhop found her place here and she had a great life. She added her own nature to the mix, enhancing life for all of us here in Catland. We will miss you, blessed girl, beautiful soul. We certainly will miss you.

This morning, not long after Catty's death, the doorbell rang. I saw two kid bikes laying in my driveway and knew kids were at my door, so I did not even check through my eye spy door hole.

It was two Hispanic kids from down the block. The one kid and I have off and on battles. He likes to play in my yard. Sometimes I'm harsh chasing him out but he has a severe fascination with my yard.

"We're selling tamales," he said. "How much and where are they," I asked, skeptical. "At my mother's," was his reply, as the other little boy stood on his tip toes to whisper into the much bolder brother's ear. The younger brother had on a white hat with eye holes that he sometimes pulled down over his eyes, to hide them, if he felt too shy.

The older boy was persistent, but not about the tamales, about the cats. He'd asked me before. He said "Are you a cat woman?" With his question, I did not feel the usual hostility or mockery associated with the label. "Yes," I said.

"Why?" he asked.

I told him the short version. I told him I was homeless once and had nobody to love and that a family of cats came around me and gave me love and became my family, so now I help them.

I described spay and neuter to them, after asking if they knew what those words meant, which they didn't. I said "It's so they can't make babies anymore or fight, because I bet you know there are too many cats." They knew.

The older boy persisted, "Why don't you have any family? Where are your mother and father and all your brothers and sisters?" I knew Hispanics especially would be unable to comprehend the isolation of most Americans and the lack of real family values or love. "They died," I said, to make it easier to explain. And "I miss them."

"So you have cats because you don't have a family?" He wouldn't stop.

"That's sort of the reason." I then explained about going to people's houses and picking up cats to take for surgery. I asked if they knew what an animal doctor does and they did. I told them sometimes, when I pick up cats, I find other cats who will die if I don't help them and bring them here, get them well, then try to find them homes.

"Oh, that's really good," the boys said. But the littler boy was on his tip toes whispering into his brother's ear again, with urgency. I said, "You can talk out loud." The older boy said, "We have to sell tamales."

They're trying to keep afloat, I imagine, so their mom is cooking tamales and has sent the boys out to recruit customers.

I couldn't figure out how it worked. "If I want to buy a tamale, do I go to your house?" One boy nodded "yes" and the other shook his head "no".

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