Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Storm

I cried my eyes out last night, watching on TV parents reunite with kids who didn't die in their school when the monster tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma.  I cried my eyes out to hear of teachers who covered kids with their own bodies to protect them.   It was too much for me, to hear of kids in trouble and people trying to save them.  Stories like these build up in me and overflow.  I don't know why.  But it's ok.

This morning it's the same.  TV on, the storm stories, the tears.  I was glued to the Sandy Hook shooting story in the same manner, searching the tragedy for bits of brightness and beauty.    The shooter is only a dark shadow barely visible in my memory of Sandy Hook.  The bright faces of the children who lived and of the teachers who gave their lives to save them stand out in my mind like the sun.

My Boston marathon brain remembers people running toward the blast, all kinds of people, charging as one into the debris cloud.   Makes me think I could do better.  I don't want to be a dark shadow on the earth.  I want to be like the people who ran back into the bomb zone.  I want to be like the teachers at Sandy Hook and like the teachers in Oklahoma, who shielded the children with their own flesh and blood.

The story of the American woman, in Somalia, there to do good, to save children, kidnapped by bandits with another aid worker, also made me sob when I saw the story on 60 Minutes.  She was held a long time, forced to make videos.  She was in bad shape at the end, suffering from a severe urinary tract infection, eyes sunken and dark, in that last video.

She described that night, when it all ended.  The face of one kidnapper, on guard that night, suddenly turned to total terror.  Moments later, all the kidnappers lay dead.  What caused the guard such fear?  The sight of American Navy Seals, surrounding the camp.  They took the woman, and her coworker, across the desert, then.  At one point, she said, they heard something, and six of them lay atop her, to protect her with their bodies.  They were kind, she said, and very polite. When the helicopters arrived to extract them, the seals vanished.

There was a hint of what had gone on, at the inaugural address.  Obama greeted his secretary of defense on the way in to give his speech then said "Good job tonight".   No one knew what he meant then.  Now we know.  The woman's plight was discussed at the highest levels of our government.  At some point, Obama said, "Go get her."  So the seals did just that.  She and her coworkers were there to save children, putting themselves in harms way to do something good.  When she became a victim of violence herself, she was not forgotten.  Bring me to my knees in tears, these stories.

KATA called me a couple days ago.  We discussed a couple of kitten posts on craigslist.  One said, Take all or None.  Said their toddler was harassing the mother and her kittens something awful.   So V of KATA called that one, and they still had them, so I said I'd go get them.  I drove on out, into the coast range, to pick up a darling torti mom and her four young boy kittens.

Mama Mia, the torti mom, of four boys, with two of her beautiful kittens.  Sunday is the orange tabby and Scooby is the Flame Point.

That's Jaguar, in the back, Jaggy or Jag for short, and Sunday in front.

Mama Mia nurses Scooby while  Panther, a medium hair smoke boy, and Jaguar, the black, eye me.

Heartland will take them, which leaves KATA a bit of breathing space for the next heart wrenching call.

I kept them in my garage until today, when they go, along with Hobo, the Lebanon old stray male, who was fixed last Friday at Heartland.  He's old and a sweetheart.  Last night, I brought him into my bathroom, to give him a confidence boost.   He strolled around, but just a little.  Behind those shaggy aging eyes, is a worried soul.  He's not sure what is going to happen to him.
Hobo, before some of his long soft hair was shaved, due to matting.

 My fear for him is the combo test.  He's roamed Lebanon unfixed for years and that's not good.  Too many people up there don't fix their cats, but especially not their males.  The males fight.  They catch then spread FIV (feline aids) at high rates through bite wounds.  His only salvation might be his pacifist nature.  He's a lover not a fighter.  What if he's positive, what should I do?  I can't keep him, but to put out an FIV boy, to live as a stray, that's not right either.  Well, let's hope he is negative.

Heartland took a chunk out of area unfixed cats with their low cost clinic Sunday.  They fixed 50 local cats.  I salute them!

Go adopt Hobo at Heartland!  Please!!!  He needs somebody and he's just a sweetie, no trouble at all will he be.  He wants a warm place to nap, a lap, some petting, food and that's about it.  He'll need groomed and brushed, with his long hair, which is now mostly shaved, due to mats.

Jake was back this morning.  I think he lives nearby.  I think I saw him on a porch five blocks from here, but am not completely sure.  He still returns to fight with area cats.  My neighbor said she broke up a fight between him and Simba late two nights ago.  Simba used to be the one fighting with everyone.  I got him fixed three years ago.  He's owned a street away.  Now he's Mr. Peaceful and it is Jake rabble rousing.  But he's settling down some and when he showed up this morning, I gave him some wet food that arrived yesterday, in a huge box from Amazon, sent by a friend in Canada!
Jake visits this morning.  His nasty bad boy behavior seems on the wane already.
One scene of storm destruction yesterday, showed two dogs, roaming, searching for their home.  Another scene, reporter was describing destruction and two horses inexplicably wandered behind him, amongst collapsed structures and twisted cars.

Many animals lost their lives yesterday.  Others are lost and will never be found by those who loved them.  It's up to others to love them now and help them.

The storms will always come.  There's no stopping them.  I was amazed at how anyone could survive that twister that ripped apart part of Oklahoma yesterday.  It is inconceivable flimsy soft shelled humans survived while sturdy structures were ripped apart, digested and spewed out in the dark swirling innards of atmospheric chaos.

Update:  Hobo is dead.  He was positive for leukemia.  I wondered about it when I first picked him up and his tongue was so pale.  I had hoped his anemia would be parasite caused and his lack of energy from a laid back nature.  But no.  That area is a feline leukemia hot spot.  Around the corner across the canal where I got 30 or so adults fixed, two males tested positive for leukemia and were euthanized also.

At least Hobo did not suffer a prolonged difficult death out there on his own.  He was once owned, if you can call it that.  He was covered head to toe in fleas, and his ears, crammed full of ear mites and ear mite debris.  His long beautiful hair was matted and dirty.  Yet he was so kind and so grateful for help.  Damn those idiot people who got him, probably as a cute little Siamese kitten, then forgot him, left him to fight, become diseased, and suffer.  Damn them to hell.

What a beautiful sweet boy was Hobo.  Rest in Peace my friend.

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