Sunday, October 17, 2010

Real Hope

Hope exists. She not only exists but is well loved and extremely happy.

I met Hope in August of 2007. I was helping get cats fixed fed near 5th and Railroad down town Albany. The yard of the boarding house, where so many cats tried to live was alive in fleas while the boarding house itself was alive with a high alcohol using population. Behind that house was a smaller house. That's where Hope had lived with her man until he moved and left her, with her three kittens, behind.

I got Hope fixed in the first load of cats from that location. I had no room to take in more cats, so I returned Hope. A tenant in the boarding house took her in after surgery with her kittens vowing to care for them and find them homes.

Wasn't long after that I got a call from the good neighbor. Hope was badly injured. An eye was hanging out and they couldn't get her out of the house, where she once had lived. The tenant who had vowed to take care of her had almost immediately kicked her and her kittens back out.

The good neighbor had called police who had been unable to get inside the small house, where Hope had once lived, to help Hope. She was inside, with her kittens. The house was under maintenance. There was a large hole in the floor. Hope had entered through the foundation hole then went up, with her kittens, through the hole in the floor of the house itself.

When I looked through the front window of the house, this is what I saw:

Her eye was bulbous, blackened and awful to behold, even from a distance. Her kittens crouched around her. She had, in her desperation, retreated into the only place she could halfway call home, where she had lived with the man who left her like trash. She was still caring for her three kittens.

There was a note on the door of the house, left by police, requesting the owner call the police, about the injured cat inside. The neighbor had also called the owner, trying to get him to come, but he did not respond. The Corvallis woman who had shoed up went and tried to get a reporter from the paper to come over, hoping that would provoke a response to help get inside to help her. But the reporter she talked to scoffed at the idea, she said. Apparently he was not a cat liker.

I knew I was going to break a window to get in, if nothing else, and had already gone over in my mind the idea of sitting in a jail cell for helping a cat and accepted that outcome. I was already mad, that the man who left her wasn't in jail nor would the person who did this to her likely ever face justice.

But first, I tapped on the window. She saw me through the glass. I called to her. She remembered me from when I took her for spay. She trusted me. I motioned to the back. "I'll meet you at the back," I said, and moved to the back of the house, to the foundation hole.

It was not Hope who came out, however, it was her kittens. She shoved them out first to me. I put them into a carrier. Then out came Hope herself. I put her into a live trap.

The Corvallis woman who had showed up, offered to get her to her vet and took off with her. She graciously paid for Hope's eye removal surgery. Afterwards, I did not get many updates on her recovery. The woman also had said she would find Hope a home.

I couldn't get replies and finally found out Hope had gone into foster with a student, recruited by the other woman. But when I contacted the student, she was angry at the other woman, whom she said had not tried to find Hope a home and that Hope was not getting along with her cats and had to live in the garage, which she was having to pay to heat to keep her in there. She was there a few months. I made arrangements to pick her up.

But then, an Animal Crackers employee found her a home with a customer of theirs. Sadly, after a short time, that home failed. The man loved her but said his cat and Hope did not get along.

I brought her back here. She got along with everyone here. I knew she would. And, within two days of posting her on my petfinder site, I had a hit. A couple in central Oregon wanted her badly. They travel several times a year by RV. Hope would travel with them. They delayed coming to meet Hope because a snowstorm snarled mountain roads. But they came in February, of 2008 and Hope went to a GREAT home, as you can see by the constant stream of updates and photos I get from her adoptors. They just sent me more.

Hope is far better travelled now than I ever will be. Does she not look grand in the window of that motor home? She's been everywhere!

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