Home Again

*This and a few following posts, the exact number unknown at this time, are a retelling as accurate as I can give of the several recent dramatic events of my life which have been full of some of the most traumatic experiences that I have ever made it through, but which also  lead to some of the most profound and startling realizations and epiphanies of my life.  While these entries are not directly about animals themselves, the animals in my own life were impacted greatly by the events that occurred, as well as many of these events causing me to examine the predicaments of  the various animals that come into “shelters” and animal control centers everywhere.  I have chosen to be brutally honest, and realize while some may judge me, others will appreciate my honesty and hopefully a few will maybe learn something from my experiences.   The specifics of which ALL  will come to be revealed in the the telling of my story.*

trailer

from the outside, my trailer appeared the same.  the door as well, but it was what was on the inside that would leave an impact.  as i opened the door and reached for the hall light, the first thing that hit me was the smell.  my sisters said that Shyler had let go her bladder when they came in saturday, and that she had done the same thing again when they arrived on sunday.

Shyler is a large dog: a new foundland mix.  she’s very sweet, but has always been leary of strangers.  back at the previous home, she had developed a bad habit of running out into the street and barking at people as they walked by.  i had begun putting her on a tie out when i was out in the yard with her, because i was worried she would take it farther than just barking, but when confronted inside by someone she doesn’t know, submissive peeing is one of her responses.  it was also obvious she had pee’d more than just twice, as a narrow trail was visible across the carpet.  there was also dark brown smears of what could have been blood on the carpet as well, altho my sisters didn’t know where that came from.

the next thing to hit me was visual, and it was blood.  my sisters had told me about Kelly Jo’s tail, and i had already known that she was prone to “worrying” on it when in her crate while i was at work, but nothing could have prepared me for what I was now seeing.  there was blood sprayed on the door, the walls, on the side of the cubbards, and counter.  there was blood on the sprayed on the kitchen wall, the “back” door and even down the wall in the hallway and also the shorter hallway to my room.  and her crate, there was blood everywhere on the sides, inside the crate.  i swallowed hard.  i felt awful and could only imagine what Kelly jo went thru, not to mention having to be put back in the crate when my sisters left saturday.  my one sister said she couldn’t figure out why she picked at her tail saturday after they left when they were coming back sunday.  i explained to her that Kelly Jo didn’t know that.  all she knew was that she had to go back in the crate, and for all she knew she was going to be left there forever.

“oh” was the response.

blood

the odor and the blood put my dogs and what they had gone thru at the forefront of my mind.  that wasn’t all tho.

slowly kitties were starting to appear here and there.  Teddy was behind the curtains on a window ledge.  the look on his face was one of fear.  the kitchen’s cubbard doors were all open, and the drawers had all been pulled out and were in a stack.  doors to the closets in my room were left open, and even the closet in the spare room that was closed off from everything was open.  things were knocked over and disheveled.  that’s not to say that things aren’t already kinda a mess and chaotic in my house but this was moreso than usual.  (i feel that i have some kind of chaotic organizational way of doing things that makes sense to me but no one else).

the twins, Emily and Charlotte, wouldn’t let me near them, and Charlotte didn’t look good at all.  Azzy was keeping everything and everyone at a distance too, and it would take a good 24 hours before we all got back to something closer to our usual routine.

i was surprised by how affected Teddy had been by the whole ordeal. he kept crying every once in awhile, and I had to reassure him everything was ok both vocally and with a few pets: this from a cat who usually didn’t wanna be touched!

Teddy

Teddy

seeing the chaos, blood, and the odor upset me.  what upset me even more was that having someone in here to catch the cats had been more of an exercise in “cat terrorism” for them, than anything else, and i swore they would never experience something like that again.  i was also not very happy with the shelter gen either, as i really didn’t feel that it was necessary to be in such a hurry.  setting up live traps with food would have been much easier on them.  what was he in such a hurry for?  they sure weren’t going anywhere!

i was relieved i was home.  i was also glad i would be picking up my kitties tomorrow.  they had 4 in custody.  Moose, Pannda, Ashley and Bethany.  and i knew that the animal control officer wanted to see me.  he’d left messages a couple of places for me.  i would be calling him first thing in the morning.

it got late quickly and i knew i needed to crash and get up early to deal with the many items on my plate that were still hanging.  the state of the trailer as well as the look of shock on the kitties faces made it difficult to fall asleep, tho, and Teddy would cry periodically and need reassurance from me that everything was going to be ok.  that night, he slept at the top of the pillow above my head.  something he’s never ever done before.  i had never seen him like this before!  it was apparent that having the animal rescue people in the house and them trying to catch them, pursue them, had been very traumatic.  course, these kitties were inside only kitties and not exposed to alot of people, living with me.

i was very concerned about Charlotte as well.  she wouldn’t eat and just curled up on the bed and went to sleep.  she had staggered about earlier looking spacey.  thsi was not like her as she usually had a good appetite, and would even beg for nibbles of anything i was eating.  Charlotte and her sister Emily weighed about 5lbs, max, each and probably less, more like around 4, so i was going to be up and down checking on her through-out the night as well.

Charlotte

Charlotte

oh lordy!  my poor babies!

tuesday morning came and with it me up at around 9 or 10 am on the phone making calls that needed to be made.  one of the first was to the eagle county animal control to find out when would be a good time for me to meet up with Shaun, the gentleman who had taken the dogs and 4 cats into custody.  i knew he wanted to talk to me, and i also would spend a good part of the day, off and on, thinking about my dogs.

i was also extremely worried about my cats he had in custody.  i knew that of the 4, Pannda would be having the hardest time in the shelter environment.

the eagle county shelter didn’t have rooms that let the cats be free roaming.  all their kitties that were up for adoption, were in glass cages with their beds, food and water on display for the public to see.  i didn’t care for this environment for kitties, and i was pretty darn  sure that they were in cages in the back too; not much unlike what i had experienced at the jail but with even less room to move around in than i’d had proportionately speaking.  Pannda was a big kitty too, weighing in at 18 lbs approximately.

Pannda

Pannda

i spoke briefly with the animal control officer and we set up for me to come by later that afternoon after 3pm.

meanwhile, i would be busy making phones calls to various organizations that i had to make, and also, first thing that morning, i had my unemployment hearing to appeal the decision for denying benefits from my last job.  ironically, my former employer didn’t even show up for the hearing, so overall it all took about 37 minutes!

My "pack" with foster dog Pixie in the hat (Kelly Jo my pibble mix, Shyler, and Avé Maria the border collie mix)

My “pack” with foster dog Pixie in the hat in ’11(Kelly Jo my pibble mix, Shyler, and Avé Maria the border collie mix)

it was strange not having the dogs here, and the state in which Kelly’s crate was in was almost haunting.  strangely, i could not bring myself to start cleaning the blood off the walls either.  it was like if i ignored it, then maybe i wouldn’t have to accept what all had gone on here. in between every phone call i made and the various people that i spoke to, tho, my mind was preoccupied with my surroundings and how the previous events had managed to push one of my dogs to the brink.  i felt so anyways.  and tomorrow.  tomorrow when i went back to work, i would have to crate Kelly Jo again so that she didn’t get into mischief or eat something that could potentially hurt her, and yet, how could i put her back into the exact same predicament that drove her crazy?  even if it meant i was going to be home later?  i pushed the thoughts to the back of my mind and focused on the tasks at hand.  it would work, for various periods of time, with reality sneaking back in.

i eventually showered and got dressed, and at 2:45 i headed east down the road, in my car loaded with crates, to eagle to pick up my missing family.

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73 Hours

ja ail

*This and a few following posts, the exact number unknown at this time, are a retelling as accurate as I can give of the several recent dramatic events of my life which have been full of some of the most traumatic experiences that I have ever made it through, but which also  lead to some of the most profound and startling realizations and epiphanies of my life.  While these entries are not directly about animals themselves, the animals in my own life were impacted greatly by the events that occurred, as well as many of these events causing me to examine the predicaments of  the various animals that come into “shelters” and animal control centers everywhere.  I have chosen to be brutally honest, and realize while some may judge me, others will appreciate my honesty and hopefully a few will maybe learn something from my experiences.   The specifics of which ALL  will come to be revealed in the the telling of my story.*

while glenda worked at getting her concerns taken care of by the guards, i continued to monitor the clock and make calls when i could.  i had been out of the cell for some time again talking with people, when one of the guards, mindy, let me know that she needed me to get back to my cell.

she used my name that i go by, and i wondered if she remembered me.

“of course i remember you!”  she said.  “stella called me concerned about you and your pets.  i’m an animal lover too, so i can understand the worry.”

way back in the day, over 20 years, mindy, stella, and i had all worked at  larger retailer together.  i hadn’t stayed in touch with her over the years, but our mutual friend stella had.  stella was one of my closest and dearest friends, and she had apparently contacted mindy; concerned about my predicament.

“sometimes it’s an ackward situation when people we know wind up in here, so we don’t say anything or necessarily acknowledge, ” she said.  “i’m rootin’ for ya tho!”

it felt good to have someone who was in what i considered the “enemy’s camp”, on my side!

by now it was after one, and i was trying like crazy to find out if they were going to have me appear, by phone, in court tomorrow or if, god forbid, they were going to make me wait until wednesday of the following week to deal with my situation.  i had managed to get one of the guards look up when court was usually held in rifle, and it turned out it was the first and third wednesdays of the month.  i was walking on pins and needles, anxiously waiting to find out what my fate was going to be.

meanwhile, glenda had determined which members of the detention staff were NOT being helpful to her, and were razzing them from inside the cell; banging on the door, and talking loud enuff for them to hear her remarks.

i’m sure my anxious state did nothing to help her, but i could understand her frustration.  her kid was soon going to be getting out of school and there wasn’t going to be anyone to pick him, much less provide him care, etc.  if it were my kid, i’d be feeling and acting the same way.

anxious

Two o’clock came with a deputy opening our cell door and providing glenda with the answer she was looking for.  the child’s father had been contacted, and when school got out, he would be picking up the boy and taking him back home to where he lived until things got straightened out and glenda got out.  the relief was visible on her face.

meanwhile, i was pacing and anxious.  what about my pets?  i had talked to someone earlier, can’t remember exactly who, that had told me that they had managed to catch 4 of my kitties and along with them, had taken my dogs to the shelter for care.  meanwhile, live traps had been placed in the trailer for catching the rest.

i kept track of the activities going on outside the cell in booking, and that’s when i saw one of the guards get off the phone and state that i would be appearing by phone before the judge at 3pm today.  TODAY??!!  were they serious?  had i made a mistake in what i’d heard them say??

i began making a racket on the cell door.  a guard stepped to the front of the door and i inquired if they were speaking of me.  yes! they were!  and i would be appearing by phone before the judge at 3pm which was just half an hour away!!!

i was absolutely elated!  this meant the very real chance of getting out of there today!  of being able to go home to my family today!!!  TODAY!!  of course, i had no money, no car, and not even my cell phone to call someone to come get me, but i could easily figure that out as soon as i was out of there!

today

TODAY!!!  what a beautiful word it was to my ears!  those 30 minutes, from 2:30pm to 3, were some of the longest minutes of my life!  at 2:58, i made sure that the guards remembered my appointment.  i had to wait for the court to contact the booking room tho.  i wasn’t to call in.  i DID get them to let me out of the cell at three tho, and sure enuff, shortly after the phone rang.

it was handed to me, and my heart was racing in my chest, emotions came rushing at me and welled up in my throat; tears starting in my eyes.

the judge went thru his official stick that takes place at every official court hearing, and then he asked if i would like to speak to the attorney before an official ruling was made.  i said yes most definitely.  i was so angry and was determined to get my point across!

the female city attorney simply could not get it thru her head why i hadn’t followed thru with the payment arrangement:  why i wouldn’t just take her word that the inclusion of the fines and fees in my bankruptcy were going to be thrown out.

i argued that they had unfairly imprisoned me; someone who was completely destitute, had just started a new job, and had not a dollar to her name, and now they had put me in jail and were jeopardizing my ability to get back on my feet.

why hadn’t i made payment?  because i had told the judge that the issue was going to be included in my bankruptcy filing and that i would take my chances with the federal court concerning the matter; that the judge had given me additional time for this specifically.  she doubted that, and if that were the case, why had i signed the payment arrangement?  because the judge had not given me a choice. it was either sign the agreement or go to jail.  so what was i to do?

oh but she knew better!  she was an attorney who knew the law and because of that, i should just take her word that it would be thrown out and figure out a way to make payments!

conceitedwoman

i argued how dare she have the audacity to question the process of the federal courts, and that just she was an attorney, of some backwoods little town i might add, didn’t mean she knew squat about what the federal courts would do and if they had been so concerned, why hadn’t they filed a relief from stay?

it was then that she asked me what my attorney had advised me and i said that i didn’t have an attorney and had used a bankruptcy filing service.

i said that they, meaning the city, were acting the roll of a big bully, picking on someone who was literally destitute over civil fines, and that all of this was jeopardizing my new job and the chance to get back on my own feet.  i have no idea why, but she agreed to wait on the federal courts; to release me on a self recognizance  $1000 bond with the understanding that i would follow up on the matter at a later court date of june 19 , 2013.  i made it very clear that i have never failed to show up for court, and that i hadn’t been trying to “flee” anything, and that yes i would make sure to be present.

the judge came back on the line, and went thru the technicalities of court procedures.  he said that the paperwork for my release would be completed shortly and then i would be free to go, but to make sure that i appeared in court come june.

free to go!!  i was free to go!!  i would be home that evening with my furbabies!!  i got off the phone and cried with relief!

mindy was on the ball with getting my paperwork processed and ready to go.  i had taken a shower earlier and so it was just a matter of getting everything together, letting me change, signing some documents and then i was out the door.

by 4:30, i was back in the clothes i had arrived at the jail in, the previous friday.  i looked at the clock, it was 73 hours from the time that i had arrived at the garfield county jail that friday afternoon.  papers signed, what personal items and medication i had there given back to me, i was escorted to a door.  more doors, and yes, i went thru three of them before being let out the final door out and into the cool late monday afternoon.

freedom

the door closed behind me, and with it all that had previously unfolded.  except for the reality of where i was standing, it was almost hard to believe all that i had previously endured.  i began walking, and tried to figure out a place i could go and use the phone.  i knew that if i contacted one of my close friends, stella or hilary, that they would come get me, most likely even feed me, and take me home.  but what phone could i use?

i began walking, and then began crying and hyperventilating; the trauma of the past 73 hours overtaking me.  for all i knew, i coulda been in shock.  it wasn’t everyday that someone like me was taken to jail and held for three days.  it was a huge shock, and most definitely was triggering my PTSD.

the company that i had started the new job with, had a local office.  i knew i could use their phones, and decided that the very first thing i would do is call my boss and find out if i still had a job-i was pretty sure i did-as well as to let them know i was ok and able to come back to work.

i continued to hyperventilate and cry while walking towards the office.  it wasn’t far, and i stepped into the front reception area, looking like i mess i’m sure.  between breaths, i explained that i was a new staff member at the corporate office and asked if i could use the phone to call my boss.  it turned out she was in this same office working that day!  i asked to speak with her.

my boss was surprised to see.  it was blatantly obvious i was upset, and she took me to a more private area to talk.  as it turned out, family had called and left a message that there had been a death in the family.  my boss had no idea as to what truly had transpired.  i told her the story, and that i literally had just gotten out and had walked over here to call her and use the phone as i had no money, no transportation.  not even my cell phone.

she thanked me for being so honest and expressed sympathy for what i had just been thru. she then let me use the phone so i could call a friend to come get me.  i was relieved.  she also said i could come back to work that wednesday, giving me one day to get caught up on things that had been left hanging due to my “misadventure”.

while on the phone, i also attempted to contact eagle county animal shelter to speak with the gentleman who had taken my dogs and some of the cats into the shelter’s care.  it was too late tho, after 5pm, and the matter would have to wait until tomorrow.

i reached my friend hilary, who was going to be leaving work in about 15 minutes and would head my way to meet me and get me back home.

i took my time walking to our agreed upon rendezvous point.  i arrived first, with her showing up a few minutes later; me sitting on a bench waiting.  i didn’t mind the wait.  freedom.  i was free and had all the patience in the world to wait for her arrival.  the airy was cool,, but not chilly.  it was about 5:30pm when she arrived.

our rendezvous point was the parking lot of the local village inn.  she asked me if i was hungry.  i told her i didn’t care where we ate as anything was going to be an improvement over what i’d been given in jail.  we quickly settled on village inn.

i ordered a chocolate shake.  heaven!!  and over the course of the meal, i filled her in on alot of the details surrounding my experiences of the last 3 days.  we discussed my pets, and she took up the issues that my oldest sister had brought up and agreed with her actions: that things were far to strained for me to be trying to care for so many pets; that my trailer was in bad shape because of them; and that i needed to get rid of the majority of them.  i heartily disagreed, and suggested that for the sake of everything that we agree to disagree considering everything that i had just been through and what was yet to come, considering i had no idea.

fariends

she drove me back to the trailer park.  i was to stop at the trailer park manager’s home to pick up the keys.  it was almost dark by the time we arrived, and it turned out the park manager needed to speak with me, so i told hillary to go ahead and head back: that i could walk to my trailer.  it wasn’t the far, and once again, the freedom of being able to walk anywhere i chose was perfectly fine by me.

the park manager told me that the animal control officer had contacted the owner of my trailer and had spilled everything.  the number of my pets, the condition of my trailer, everything.  great!  she said that the owner was debating whether or not to evict me and that the back lot rent and trailer payments i owed…well and with this on top of it, the situation wasn’t good.  as a matter of fact, when i arrived she was on the phone with him, but got off in order to speak with me.  she said she would have to let me know tomorrow what the decision was.  great.  i definitely wouldn’t be getting much sleep that night.  she eventually conceded to calling him back, and 10 minutes later gave me two conditions i had to meet within the next 24-28 hours or eviction would be emanate.   the requirements weren’t impossible to fulfill, and i knew that my employer would help by giving me a letter stating the terms of my employment.

i walked home somewhat relieved.  i knew that i was still walking a bit of a fine line where the future of my housing was concerned, but after everything i had just been thru, i felt that all was not lost and being able to get everything back on track would not be impossible, but that it would just take some time.

about that time, i had arrived at my trailer.  unlocking the door, walking in and turning on the lights, i was instantly aghast at what was before me.

And Then Came Monday!!

femaleprinsoner

*This and a few following posts, the exact number unknown at this time, are a retelling as accurate as I can give of the several recent dramatic events of my life which have been full of some of the most traumatic experiences that I have ever made it through, but which also  lead to some of the most profound and startling realizations and epiphanies of my life.  While these entries are not directly about animals themselves, the animals in my own life were impacted greatly by the events that occurred, as well as many of these events causing me to examine the predicaments of  the various animals that come into “shelters” and animal control centers everywhere.  I have chosen to be brutally honest, and realize while some may judge me, others will appreciate my honesty and hopefully a few will maybe learn something from my experiences.   The specifics of which ALL  will come to be revealed in the the telling of my story.*

the woman being escorted into my, now our, cell was younger than me.  She stood about 5’6, thin, and with short dark hair.

“oh i get to be on the floor?” she asked the guard.  “awfully cold down there.  can’t i have a concrete bench like her?”

“sorry ma’am” said the guard. “there are no available cells.  concrete’s concrete” and he closed the door.

the woman sighed, wrapped herself in one of their blankets and laid down on her mat.  we began to share stories.

her name was glenda and she was arrested for an outstanding warrant while reporting a recently purchased vehicle of her’s as stolen.

“talk about luck” she stated.  “they got the guy that stole it tho”.  I expect to be out of here soon.  my boyfriend’s working on the bail as we speak”.

i didn’t want to ruin her “hope”, but i had a sneaking suspicion that she would be there awhile, at the very least, late into the night.  it seemed like the bail bondsman were taking their time these days, and didn’t even really wanna work the weekends.  you would think they’d been all over that what with the economy, but with as many people so broke these days, it also was a much bigger challenge to come up with the money as well.

glenda lived in glenwood springs and was a beauty school student.  she also had children, one just 8 years old and who she was very concerned about, since she wasn’t home.  a friend of hers was aware of her situation tho, and was with her youngest.

glenda had the misfortune, or fortune depending on how you viewed it, of missing dinner that had been served earlier at 4:30pm.  It was now approximately around 6pm and i was in the midst of going in and out of the cell to make some follow up phone calls.  i had been trying repeatedly to get a hold of a friend of mine who always gave sage advice, and i also was keeping track of time again, intermingled with reading, as i was to check in with my sisters around 9pm.

ondafloor

glenda was hungry and cold.  sleeping on the floor had to be chilly, not to mention it was right next to the sewer drain of our cell.  i felt for her, and had some crackers and gave them to her.

i then told her my story.

“i think if i had pets like you and were at risk of losing them all, i would never have pets again” she said.

“i don’t have children or a husband, so they are family to me, i said.  “i would do just about anything for them, and right now that means getting out of here as soon as possible”.

eventually she shared with me her warrant and the circumstances of why she was there.  exactly what it was, is her business and i choose not to share.  like me though, it was a similar set of circumstances.  glenda was attending beauty school to provide a better future for herself and her kids.  she was  a single mom, and had no idea that there was an outstanding warrant for her.  like so many of us, just when things were going well, something popped up and threw  everything into chaos in our lives.

so many years ago, i had wanted to play a part in the legal system; going after criminals and getting the bad guys as initially i was prelaw when i was pursuing my bachelors.  this experience tho, not to mention the last year, had taught me alot of things; mostly that the people who won when it came to the legal system, were the people that could afford our legal system and it’s process (while attending bankruptcy court earlier this last year, it was amazing how much respect those declaring bankruptcy got if they were represented by a lawyer versus those, like me, who weren’t).  it seemed that there were alot of good people who were being penalized severely for some really stupid reasons; my legal scenario with the city of rifle i give as example 1.  someone who’s practically destitute, who didn’t have a job, was on food stamps, and had been denied unemployment, not to mention had filed bankruptcy, and the former city they had resided in was “putting the squeeze” on them for some weeds, dog poop, and refuse violations.

cashwhat most people felt should have been a couple 100 dollars fine, was basically 65 times that, and many friends and family felt it was an extreme abuse of power.  in the midst of one of the worst economic crises in our country, and the little town of rifle colorado has determined that it’s number one priority is it’s “beautification process” and enforcing whatever it took to make sure certain selected individuals abided by “the rules”.   another example, i had known of one person who had a business and who’s building caught on fire, and so she was running her business out of her home; the city fined her for violation of the zoning code of her neighborhood which didn’t allow that kind for that certain type of use of of your home.  in other words, try to get back up on your feet in the city of rifle, and if it’s infringing in any way whatsoever on municipal code, you’d better watch out.  or maybe it was just a way for the city to make money.  it was one of the few towns on this side of the mountain that wasn’t operating in the red.

glenda got up and banged on the door.  “Hellooo!  Can I get another blanket?  I’m freezing!”  It took a good half hour, but her request was finally met.  Back on the floor, tossing and turning, she finally passed out for a bit.  I was on the slab reading my book, and anxiously awaiting for 9pm to arrive.  (the book wasn’t very good by the way. apparently it’s one of the requirements of jail that they have a million different versions of the bible, even in foreign languages, sucky books, but no good books whatsoever).

altho i had a view of the clock, i knew when meds were distributed that it would also mean the arrival of 9pm-oh and i must say here that i was extremely grateful for daylight savings time which arrived that previous sunday (yesterday). any reduction in waiting time i was happy for!  soon the nurse was knocking on my door with my medication.  i took it and asked if i could use the phone.

“it’ll be a minute” the guard replied.  of course, it always is.

by 9:30am i was back banging on the cell door again, and was released to make my call to the tune of both the guard’s and glenda’s complaining the guard due to my relentlessness, and glenda because i woke her up.  someone picked up the other end, but charges weren’t accepted.  they must not be home yet.  i would try a few more times despite the guard’s and glenda’s complaining, but had no luck.  i would have to try again in the morning.

both glenda and i spent the night doing our fair share of tossing and turning.  her anxious about her children and not being able to get word to them; wondering when she would be able to get out, and me wide awake, from all the previous sleep i’d had, and wondering anxiously what tomorrow would bring.  i didn’t manage to pass out until around 1am, and the nurse showed up again sharp at 4am with my medication,  followed shortly after by breakfast.  i woke glenda up.

breakfast that morning was a big disappointment and pretty gross.  i didn’t eat much, and allowed the anxiousness and energy for what the day would bring, fill me up instead.

both glenda and i fell back to sleep, but were awakened at 9am by a guard wanting some paperwork filled out by us for the eventual moving upstairs to “better” accommodations.  around ten am, the same guard knocked again and opened the door.  i had a phone call.  it was the eagle animal services requesting my permission to go into my trailer and remove the cats and dogs.  yes of course i said!  i’ll be able to get them back tho right?  oh yes!  i was told.  if it was only a day or two they had them, they wouldn’t even charge me boarding fees, but if it went beyond that, we would have to figure something out.  at the time, the fact that my animals were going to be taken care of, was a great relief to me.  the gentleman said i would be able to get them back, and so i had no worries.

i finally spoke with my sisters and updated them on all that was going on.  i also spoke with a friend, a good friend, who not only had been trying to get a hold of me all weekend, but who even had camped out by their phone in hopes i would call.  i had been trying their cell phone, thinking that they wouldn’t be by their office phone.  my sisters told me that the attorney that they had initially spoken to, was not able to take my case.  they had requested that he take my case pro bono or with a large discount, and his superiors said it couldn’t be allowed.

great.  i was on my own, but the friend who had been waiting to hear from me, gave good advice. it would heed me well when the time came.

my friend’s advice charged me up. i headed back to the cell, to find glenda extremely frustrated and very concerned about her kid.

femaleriot

“if you want to get them to take your seriously, you’re gonna have to get that door and start making some noise girl” i said.  “it’s the only way they’re gonna start paying attention.  if there’s one thing i’ve learned this weekend, it’s that we are not their number one priority in here!  the only way to get noticed is to make some noise!”

apparently that was all the encouragement glenda needed.  i didn’t know how her knuckles could take the beating she gave ’em, but it sure did the guards attention!

Sunday Sunday

*This and a few following posts, the exact number unknown at this time, are a retelling as accurate as I can give of the several recent dramatic events of my life which have been full of some of the most traumatic experiences that I have ever made it through, but which also  lead to some of the most profound and startling realizations and epiphanies of my life.  While these entries are not directly about animals themselves, the animals in my own life were impacted greatly by the events that occurred, as well as many of these events causing me to examine the predicaments of  the various animals that come into “shelters” and animal control centers everywhere.  I have chosen to be brutally honest, and realize while some may judge me, others will appreciate my honesty and hopefully a few will maybe learn something from my experiences.   The specifics of which ALL  will come to be revealed in the the telling of my story.*

Tony.  My mom's cat.

Tony. My mom’s cat.

i slept well into the afternoon, waking up about 2pm.  my body ached, especially my hips as what little support there was in the bed roll was gone.  my fibromyalgia had kicked in as well, and everything was the stiff.  the first thing i did was pick up the phone to check in with my sisters.  they had arrived back at the trailer and had taken the dogs for walks and fed everyone.  soon they would be back on the road heading home and my furry family would be left on their own.  they told me that they had made the decision to move Tony to the Eagle Valley Humane Society; that that was at least one less animal for me to worry about/take care of.   i was not happy with this decision but didn’t voice my objections.  i knew it would do no good, and if i really wanted to raise a stink, i could do so to get him back once i was out of jail.  i had been caring for him; feeding him and running him to the vets when needed since about april of last year, so regardless whether my sisters had power of attorney for my mom or not, he had been in my care long enuff to provide substantial argument he was my cat.   there was no written agreement between us and I knew that he would technically be viewed as my property in the courts.  the one slight edge i had over my sisters was that i had previously taken several paralegal courses, and one of them had been contracts.

i reflect on the irony of Tony’s situation.  last summer when he moved to my home, my oldest sister would “gush” about how she knew they had made the right decision in having me taking him, and that i would do right by him (the greater the hypocrisy of all this would become even more obvious with what would develop later).

while on the phone, i tried again to talk my oldest sister into contacting my friend to care for the animals.  again, she refused.  she said on their way back home they would drop off the rest of my meds at the jail so that i’d have them just in case.  i said i didn’t need them as i was certain that since tomorrow was monday, i would be out sooner rather than later.  my oldest sister wasn’t so sure about that (talk about boosting my confidence!)

i said good bye.  pounded on the door and requested that i be allowed to take another shower.  the guard said it’d be a few minutes.  in the process of turning around, i accidently knocked the rubber cup they give you into the toilet.  it flushed away and went down the drain.  uhoh.  when they came to get me, i informed them of the cup’s fate.  they said they would take care of it and escorted me to the shower.

jailshower

the shower was not hot and nearly as comforting as it has been previously.  it was chilly actually and so made for a quick cleansing.  after changing into my new uniform, i knocked on the door to be moved back to my cell.  i was escorted back to a new cell due to the fact that the old cell’s toilet now had a problem.

the new cell provided me with a much better view of things.  i could see the clock on the wall, so i didn’t have to inquire nearly as much as to the time.  however, i no longer had a phone that was in the cell and i could use whenever needed.

i had also put in a request for a second bed roll, to help with my hip pain and fibromyalgia but the intake officer had failed to document my fibromyalgia and the guards told the nurse that i was lying, so my request was denied.  the response was “they would have to verify my fibromyalgia diagnosis with my medical caregiver on Monday” and so the request was denied until verification was achieved.

the detention officers that worked the night shifts both Saturday and Sunday nights, i called the Shawshank Redemption team.  They weren’t very friendly, very accommodating, and pretty much considered anyone and everyone who was in there, deserving to be there and guilty as hell.  one older gentleman-deputy i should say, and when i say old he had to be at least 55-60, was of the “old school” mentality, and which he didn’t make any effort  to hide.  a program came on their tv, and he kept making comments that the woman on screen should do them all a favor and take her top off.  and making the comments loudly.  (in this day and age, considering that there were two females that worked on  the same shift as him, that kind of comment would definitely have been considered sexual harassment).  also, time apparently moved slowly for them too when not busy, and they spent their time “surfing” on the web.  there were three computers at the booking station and usually 2-3 officers per shift.  not a bad way to earn $21.60 an hour when things are slow: ordering pizza or other carry out and surfing the net.  hmmm….our tax dollars hard at work!

i knew how much the detention officers at the Garfield County jail made, because not only were they constantly advertising for help, but as a former employee of the state employment agency, i had worked with their recruiting team on special promotions and job fairs to try and beef up their hiring needs.  yes small world.  of course i never imagined i’d get to see them at work up close and personal!

another coincidence was the gentleman who finger printed me on Friday when I first came in, was also my former neighbor when I did reside in Rifle.  he lived just down the street, and upon first seeing me, the surprise registered on his face.  it’s a small small world.

by now it was 4pm, and meds were being delivered.  at 4:30 dinner would be served. a bit of tension was easing from my body as i told myself i was in the “home stretch”.  tomorrow was monday and not only was i sure to get some answers, but was also told that if not released, i would be moved into the light security women’s ward where there was more freedom and more to do.

femaleinmat

suddenly keys were in my cell door and the door opened.  was something happening?  was i going to be released?  i saw the guard carrying another bed roll and thought maybe their mistake had been corrected and i was finally getting that second bed roll.  but then a woman walked in, dressed out in the same jumpsuit as me.

i was getting a roommate.

Counting Hours

*This and a few following posts, the exact number unknown at this time, are a retelling as accurate as I can give of the several recent dramatic events of my life which have been full of some of the most traumatic experiences that I have ever made it through, but which also  lead to some of the most profound and startling realizations and epiphanies of my life.  While these entries are not directly about animals themselves, the animals in my own life were impacted greatly by the events that occurred, as well as many of these events causing me to examine the predicaments of  the various animals that come into “shelters” and animal control centers everywhere.  I have chosen to be brutally honest, and realize while some may judge me, others will appreciate my honesty and hopefully a few will maybe learn something from my experiences.   The specifics of which ALL  will come to be revealed in the the telling of my story.*

clock

i found that being held “against my will” basically, led to find anything to use in order to pass the time.  while it wasn’t like i was going to be held forever, i still didn’t know when for sure i’d be able to see the judge, when i’d be let go, or even if for sure i would be released. and other than books, there was nothing to do.  the male cells; the community cells that offered no privacy whatsoever to male inmates also had tv.  the female inmates didn’t have access to tv. unless you include the tv in the booking room that the guards watched day and night when things were slow.

one of the tools for “managing to keep cool” was counting time.  for instance, using various measurements of time to get you thru it; like it’s 3 hours until lunch.  then meds will be distributed 4 hours later….if i can make it just the next 3 hours, lunch will be served and that will preoccupy me, i know i can make it til then!  in my case, i also used certain times of the day to make phone calls which also helped keep me somewhat distracted and busy.

somehow i did manage to get up, and called my sister at about 7:30am that Saturday.  my thinking was clearer and i new they would need better information to find my car quickly and get it back home.  the call was quick and short.  upon the conclusion of the call, i knew that it was  roughly 4 hours til lunch.  i used this next time measure as a goal to focus and keep me patient.  at noon i would check in with a friend, who somehow had managed to get their cell phone set up, prepaid with the collect system so that i could contact her.  she would also help be a go between twix me and my sisters who were on the road, and who i wasn’t able to get a hold of on their cell phones.

i knew the weather was going to delay them.  i called my friend after lunch to check in.  she was going to drive into town and get one of my medications. by about this time, not only had she picked up my medications but she had contacted and met with my sisters to give them the meds.  My friend had tried to bring them to the jail, but had no idea who to contact to drop them off, nor what door to take them to, and the garfield county staff would not be helpful to her in any way whatsoever.  so it would be easiest to just meet my sisters and give the meds to them for the drop off, who know more whereabouts to go at the jail.

the hours continued to tick by slowly.  my friend had informed me that my sisters were first going to go get my car, and then would make their way to the trailer to check on the animals.  my small personal items had been signed off on to be given to them, so they would have my wallet, keys and cell phone.  at about 2pm, i was informed that my medication had been dropped off.  i also was informed that that med would be provided that evening.

meds

the medication was for restless leg syndrome, and the previous night i had really struggled without it.  i had fallen asleep the night before friday without taking my meds, and so was now two days without my restless leg medication.  what little sleep i had gotten friday night, was constantly interrupted by the overwhelming desire to move my legs.  in all, i had gotten about 3-4 hours sleep total.  and so those hours i was up the chronic need to move my legs was so severe, i literally kicked the wall, the bed roll, and even got up and would kick the cell door.  i figured if they were going to make me go a night without my restless leg medication, that staff of the jail  would get to endure with me. 

the exact time of phone calls made that day, as well as the total number, i can’t recall exactly.  i do remember the majority of the conversations the calls, and what was discovered once my sisters had arrived at my trailer.

i believe the first time i spoke with my sisters’ it was approximately 4pm.  the oldest sister picked up the phone and accepted the charges.  the first thing out of her mouth was declare to me that the trailer smelt awful; of animals, and that it was made worse by the fact that Shyler my Newfie mix, who’s very shy, let her bladder go when they came in (an act of full submission in doggy language).  Kelly Jo, my pitbull mix, was in her crate; had been in her crate well over 24 hours, more like 27 hours to be exact!  not only had she pee’d in her crate, but she had had been nervously licking her tail.

Kelly Jo has an immunity problem that shows itself in her ears and the tip of her tail;  all areas of sensitivity.  i had already noticed her “worrying” a bit on her tail, and had taken steps to try and calm her with increased activity when i was home, and also giving medical attention to the tail, but being locked up for so long had pushed her to the edge and her tail was now a mess!

When let out of her crate, happy to see somebody anybody, Kelly’s tail wagged like crazy.  excited at being free as well, she ran everywhere, her bloody, wagging tail sending blood flying on the walls, appliances of the kitchen, doors, and anything else in the way.  my oldest sister’s rendition of this i only half believed; she had a knack for exaggerating most of the time and i found it hard to believe it was bad!

Kelly Jo in happier days with fellow Planet Kitty cat Merry.

Kelly Jo in happier days with fellow Planet Kitty cat Merry.

my third dog, Ave Maria, was ok.  she had an “iron tank for a bladder” my sister said, but was happy to be out and just could not get enuff affection!  classic Ave` actually!

my sister further went on to chastise me over the condition of the trailer; the cat dishes on the floor, the litterboxes, as well as anything else she could think of.  prior to heading up, i had forewarned them; i had told them umpteen times that the catboxes needed cleaning, that the house was a mess and needed a very good cleaning, and that both Moose and Azzy with his litterbox issues, had also created some problems.  Moose was spraying due to rivalry with other male cats in the house and Azzy true form, had taken up his litterbox issues and was urinating outside the box.  all of this with the recent depression, severe depression i might add, that i had experienced over the loss of my recent job, had contributed to a big fat mess.  i had forewarned my sisters about all of this, and upon just starting a new job, had planned on using that friday for running errands that were absolutely necessary and also for getting caught up on all the cleaning and repairs that needed to be done at home.  none of this registered with my sister.  no matter how many times i told her.  for the time being, what with more urgent things needing to be taken care of, we agreed to disagree.  i had no idea though, what was really going on here, and of course, had no way of knowing, nor a way to defend myself.

a picture of Kelly's ear showing how her immunity issue affected her ears.

a picture of Kelly’s ear showing how her immunity issue affected her ears.

my sister said that they would be staying the night in Glenwood Springs, and then would come back up to do more care for the animals the next day, and hoped to be on the road by late Sunday afternoon.  they were going to drive down again to glenwood that night to drop off my other two medications, but because of the weather i told them not to bother; that i’d b ok without them and they could just drop them off the next day on their way out of town.  i was trying to make things as simple as possible on them.  my sister said i needed to figure out what to do about the animals if i didn’t get out of jail by about 5pm monday.  i had a contact in my phone that could be called, a friend, to see if they would come up and handle the animals a day or two until i got out.  my sister refused.  she absolutely refused to asked anyone to stay at the trailer in the condition it was in, or to negotiate anything less such as my dogs being taken to the local animal services where i could then get them back later, and the friend, who worked on this side of the canyon and lived on the otherside; who drove by my house everday, could stop by and check/feed the cats.  nope.  she refused.  and then she launched into “you’re a hoarder sis!  you have a problem and these kind of conditions are not fair to you or the animals!  it’s time for an intervention!  this has to stop!”

“really?!! you’re really going to use a time like this, when i’m in jail, i can’t do anything not to mention my mental state, to perform an “animal hoarding” intervention when i had told you the state of the trailer and that it needed to be cleaned!!!   when i’ve talked to you so many times over the phone and you knew how depressed I’ve been!!  after the dogs have been locked inside for over 24 hours without being taken out, fed, or anything else.  really?!!”

“yes” she replied.  “it has to be done!”

i went around and around with my sister for a good ten minutes, and mind you, the collect calls were limited to 20 max.  we ordered a truce, and got back to rescue groups that they might contact to try and help, because my oldest sister refused to call my friend!

what was i to do?  i only hoped that i could get out of there as soon as possible, return home, clean up the trailer and resume caring for my pets.  i also pray that there wouldn’t  be any kind of fall  out as i had no idea just exactly what else my oldest sister might be up to, and keeping her mouth shut wasn’t her strongest point!.

a few more calls would be placed to the trailer to speak with my sisters, but we avoided the obvious.  i had to explain to them how to feed the animals, not to mention how to feed the dogs and then the cats as well as the kitties who were on meds and with special needs.  my mom’s cat Tony being one of them-who i now considered my kitty.

the biggest comfort of that day, was actually the shower i was allowed to have.  the water was nice and hot, as the cells were chilly.  to be warm and clean was a great comfort!  i was also given a clean jumpsuit but in jail, you’re not allowed deodorant so body odor added to the various smells of booking.

9pm came, and my restless leg medication was brought during med distribution. being held in booking, is almost like being held in isolation; you don’t have tv, you don’t necessarily have anyone else to interact with.  there’s no computer, no nothing except for a small collection of books to choose from to which you have very limited access.  therefore,  i took the med thankfully, and slept not only thru the night, but also a good portion of sunday; well into the afternoon for which i was also grateful.

Prison

prison

*This and a few following posts, the exact number unknown at this time, are a retelling as accurate as I can give of the several recent dramatic events of my life which have been full of some of the most traumatic experiences that I have ever made it through, but which also  lead to some of the most profound and startling realizations and epiphanies of my life.  While these entries are not directly about animals themselves, the animals in my own life were impacted greatly by the events that occurred, as well as many of these events causing me to examine the predicaments of  the various animals that come into “shelters” and animal control centers everywhere.  I have chosen to be brutally honest, and realize while some may judge me, others will appreciate my honesty and hopefully a few will maybe learn something from my experiences.   The specifics of which ALL  will come to be revealed in the the telling of my story.*

i  continued to dig in my arm with the end of the comb to try and hit a vein.  something like a cord of muscle or something kept brushing against the comb’s bristle and i began to wonder just exactly how long and how successful this was going to be.  i had planned that once the bleeding started, i would strategically allow it to squirt in several different areas of the cell, for greater impact, as well as the small window.  i didn’t know how much blood i could loose before i would pass out and actually risk bleeding to death, so i would have to act quickly.  the hole was small, red and raw.  JESUS!  why couldn’t i hit the vein!!??!!  it appeared huge thru the skin, a dark blue trail thru my pail irish skin.  how long was this going to take?!  I had …HAD to get out of there and home!!

suddenly fear surged in me.  what if i did hit the vein and bled out so fast i wouldn’t get help?  dying was not my goal here.  getting home to my furbabies was.  what if it wasn’t enuff blood and they just put a bandage on me and stuck me back in here?   the sudden reality that i could die made me stop.  this was a line that i had never reached before, and being dead wouldn’t help any of my animals.  i threw the comb across the room.  DAMMIT!!

another two hours passed with the anxiety eating away within me; chronically crying.  my stomach ached from all the cramping of crying.  what was i going to do.  then the chest pains began to hit.  sharp, burning.

i banged on my cell door, and no one came.  i banged harder.  a male guard responded.  “what?”

“i need to see the nurse!  i’m having chest pains!”

after briefly discussing it with his partner, the nurse was radio’d.

nurse

the crying and chest pains, continued.  soon i was hyperventilating as well.  that’s just about when the nurse finally showed.  they opened the door to my cell, and the nurse had me follow her to a med room.

” so what’s going on?”  she asked.  “you need to calm down.  you need to learn how to relax yourself in times when you have no control. ”

i would try and respond but everytime i did, i started to cry.

“have you never been in jail before?”

no i shook my head.  ” i just wanna get home to my pets.  my family! this is stupid why i’m in here!”

“i know you do” she said, “but the reality of the situation is you’re stuck here and you’re gonna have to ride it out until you can see the judge.  you have anxiety pretty bad don’t you?”

“yes.  and depression.  i’m just coming out of a very difficult time.  i just started a new job this week.  prior to this i’ve been almost destitute;  HAVE been destitute!  i was denied for unemployment from my last job, and i’m on food stamps.  i’m worried about my pets!  i have three dogs and there’s no one there to let them out or feed them or my cats!  this is cruelty!  by holding me and not able to reach anyone who can help them [my pets] immediately, this jail and everyone associated with holding me here, is guilty of animal cruelty!!  not to mention you’re jeopardizing my new job!   i wanna go home!”

‘i know you do, but that’s not the reality of the situation” said the nurse.  “what’s that on your arm?  that wasn’t there earlier!!”

“i tried to punch a hole and hit the vein there.  i figured if i started bleeding like crazy, they’d have to take me to the hospital and let me out of here, but it didn’t work”, i responded.

“you don’t wanna do that” she said.  “would take a whole lot more than that for us to rush you to the hospital, and you really don’t wanna be on suicide watch.  i’ts not fun.  they put you in a little green suit.”

“what kind of green suit?” i asked.

“ok from now on i’m going to be watching you really close.  i know you don’t have your meds here, but we have an antihistamine that can help with the anxiety, and also help with your head pain as well (i had been complaining of a sinus headache too).  how about if we try that?”

if it meant i could calm down and maybe think a bit straighter, which might lead to me getting out of here quicker, i was all for it.

“sure”.

“i’ve placed and order for them to move you into the lower security level upstairs.  there’s alot more freedom and real beds.  plus i think being able to socialize a bit with the other girls will help”, she said.  “someone to talk to.”

“there aren’t like, any serial killers or anything up there?  i won’t have to fear for my safety?” i asked.

“no nothing like that, and we all have our troubles.  no one’s hear to judge” she said.

“ok”

“lemme get that med for you” she said.

meds taken and placed back in my cell, a good 45 minutes later and i was able to think much clearer and be calmer.  it was late, and i hit the phones again to check in with my sis to see what was going on.

my brother had contacted a bondsman in California where he was to make inquiries about the one placed on me.  he couldn’t afford the full $6500 but the $1000 he might be able to pull off.  the bondsman called him back explaining the “cash only” stipulation.

i started crying again, but this time softer, and not so out of control.

“hang in there lu” my sis said.  “we’re doing everything we can”.

i climbed back onto my “bed” and began wondering what time it was.  i got back up, pounded on the door until the guard came.  midnight he said.  breakfast, for some ungodly reason, was served everyday at 4:30am.  i saw a bunch of books on a cart, and asked if i could  have one.  he let me out.  i hastily grabbed one and went back in my cell, laid down, and attempted to read, but it was no good. the emotional part of the anxiety i felt was taken away by the medication, but my gutt was still tight and my mind  still racing  a million miles a minute.

anxiety

somehow, i drifted off to sleep for a bit.  when i woke up.  i was more calm.  i hopped off my bed again and pounded on the door, inquiring as to the time.  3am the guard told me.  it was chilly in the cell, and sewer odors were coming up from the drain in the floor.  the jail was located close to the city sewer treatment plant (everyone thinks the town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado is so beautiful and yet they have one of the worst sewer treatment plants with an odor problem!  you’d think with their tourism desire they would put this on the top of their list for a resolution but no!) which was notorious for an odor problem!  this also contributed.

also the cell next to me was occupied.  actually the two cells next to me were all occupied, one with two women, and anytime either one of them used their toilet, thanks to the heating system, the odor moved onto the next cell, so not only did i get to “smell” my neighbor’s toileting, but his neighbor’s as well, since i was on the end of the line.  lovely!

i wrapped myself with one of the blankets i was given and moved back to the door to watch the goings on in the booking lobby.  for 3am in the morning, things were awfully busy.  granted, it was a friday night.  i thought maybe i might be able to learn something via observation  and my assessment was correct.

any person brought into booking, like myself, went thru a process.  they were searched, given a change of “jail clothes” put in their cell and then when the guards were ready, they were brought back  out for finger printing.  upon conclusion of retrieving the prints, an inmate was returned to their cell again.  booking wasn’t finished tho, as the inmate’s items and clothing were vacuum packed in a large air tight bag, with a deodorizer i would later find out when opening mine, and small items were laminated to a piece of cardboard.   all items were then deposited into a hanging bag of sorts, with the prisoner’s name and assigned number on a sheet attached to the bag.    the staff, or guard that night, in booking was just two: one male and one female.  the place was hopping and they were busy.  not only were they charged with processing the new detainees coming in, but they also have the ones already processed who would periodically bang on their cell door to ask a question or make a request.

not surprisingly, inmate concerns were not a priority and so guards weren’t always the quickest to respond.  with some of the staff, it was apparent that it wasn’t because they necessarily assumed our guilt, but because they were so busy.  with other staff:  we were guilty and we could sit and wait.  period.

found an actual picture of booking at the GarCo county jail via google!  the officer on the left DOES still work the sheriff's office and worked some of the shifts while i was there.   this also shows the actual inmate jumpsuit.

found an actual picture of booking at the GarCo county jail via google! the officer on the left DOES still work the sheriff’s office and worked some of the shifts while i was there. this also shows the actual inmate jumpsuit.

Garfield County Jail, where I was held.

Garfield County Jail, where i was held.

after awhile i got bored with the goin’s on outside my cell door, and wondered back to my “bed”.  i wondered how my animals were doing especially my 3 dogs, two of whom were crated, and all 3 of which hadn’t been outside to relieve themselves for well over 12 hours now.  my sis said they would be leaving around 9ish in the morning and with having to retrieve my car, which was on the side of the highway and which there was only a limited amount of time it could be retrieved before being towed, coming back to the jail with my meds, AND the snowstorm that was passing thru, I knew it was going to be quite awhile longer before my animals could be attended to.  the medication that helped with anxiety was in full working order by now, and it kept the panic from coming on.
catcage  i began to think about my predicament and the many animals everywhere who were also imprisoned at various animal controls and shelters through out the nation.  in comparison to the standard “cat cage” as I call it, I had a bit more room.  I could pace about and at least burn some energy, whereas your standard shelter cage, didn’t give as much room for a cat.  once a litterbox, food bowls and bed were placed in one of these cages,  it really didn’t leave much of  any room to move about or stretch at all.  the bedroll i was given, was about 2 to 3 inches thick.  i knew that once i was able to sleep, it would eventually condense and i would feel the concrete. any bed a cat was given in these cages, might do the same.  i wonder how they adjusted to sleeping on such a hard surface.  the light in my cell, which i was informed would never be turned off, was extremely bright and made it very difficult to relax, much less sleep. i was sure that in many a city shelter and animal control these same type of lights were used as well; making it difficult for them to rest- or least be well rested.  the activities in the outer booking general area, made alot of noise.  from the guards talking to each other, to the equipment that was used to vacuum seal clothing and laminate personal items.  some detainees were very verbal and loud.  all of this, making it extremely challenging to be well rested.  however, in the cages, the cat’s food, bedding and litterbox are so close, they are sure to be intermixed, thus deteriorating any chance for the animal to live in any kind of clean and healthy environment.  no wonder animals were extremely stressed in such an environment!!  no wonder they got “cage fever”!  and no wonder they could quickly deteriorate to URIs and numerous other common infections and ailments.  the very agencies and organizations that us humans had built to help animals, was a major contributor to increased stress, fear, and illnesses of the very animals we were allegedly trying to help!  i now moreso than ever felt for the many animals “incarcerated” at the numerous city pounds, animal controls, and alleged shelters that were everywhere. i could totally relate via my current experience to what so many animals might feel.  ( let me interject here, that like the shelter residents, new detainees being brought in, also contributed to the spread of illness in the booking area, despite the fact that we were separated from each other- days after i was released, i came down with a virus).

i pounded on my door again and after several knocks, a guard relented and came to the door.  time i asked?  4 am and breakfast would be served in half an hour.  i had no clock in my cell, no windows to help indicate the time of day, and was not able to view the clock on the wall in the booking area.  so my only recourse, was to keep track via the guards.  my purpose behind this wasn’t solely my own curiosity, but because i was going to try and call my sisters before they got on the road.

similar to the breakfast that was given in jail

similar to the breakfast that was given in jail

breakfast arrived at 4:30am sharp.  cheerios, milk, toast with jam, and a banana were on the menu.  i’m a bit unique in that breakfast is my favorite meal, and i liked cheerios stemming all the way back to childhood, so in this instance, in a strange way, my breakfast food was familiar and a bit of a comfort.  i wondered if animals in shelters and pounds were able to take any comfort in their meals, if the food they were given was the same kibble they were given at home.  that problem depended on whether they came from a home to begin with.

i ate, and finally, well after over 12 hours, had a contented full stomach that finally stopped growling at me.  it was now 5 am, and i had three hours to go before checking in with my sisters.  i laid back on my “bed” and began to read, but instead, drifted quickly into an uncomfortable and restless sleep.

Doors

*This and a few following posts, the exact number unknown at this time, are a retelling as accurate as I can give of the last five days of my life which have been full of some of the most traumatic experiences that I have ever made it through, but which also  lead to some of the most profound and startling realizations and epiphanies of my life.  While these entries are not directly about animals themselves, the animals in my own life were impacted greatly by the events that occurred, as well as many of these events causing me to examine the predicaments of  the various animals that come into “shelters” and animal control centers everywhere.  I have chosen to be brutally honest, and realize while some may judge me, others will appreciate my honesty and hopefully a few will maybe learn something from my experiences.   The specifics of which ALL  will come to be revealed in the the telling of my story.*

prisondoors

if there’s one thing there’s an abundant supply of in jail, it’s doors.  on the way into the Garfield facility, i would go thru three of them, and on the way out when being released I would go thru three more.

upon arrival at the garfield county jail, the transport van pulled into another garage where upon i was unloaded and escorted into the initial booking room.  here they find out preliminary information about you such as any health problems, medications you’re taking, birthdate, address, social security number, etc.  they also go thru any belongings you have on you, search you again, and then have you go thru a second set of doors into the room where you issue you your inmate clothing.

thru out this entire period of time, my anxiety disorder was kicking in full time.  i couldn’t stop crying and also couldn’t stop panicking over the fate of my furbabies at home.

upon arrival, the eagle county deputies who transported me figured there was enuff time to see the judge and get everything straightened out.  the female deputy even patted me on the shoulder and said not to worry that it’d all get straightened out.  no so.

after changing into prison garb, a chambray jumpsuit in light and dark blue stripes and orange tennis shoes, i was handed a thin mattress that was to be my bed for the next 3 days, and two blankets.  i was told at the big booking desk, that i wouldn’t be able to see anyone that friday.  and most likely i wouldn’t go before the judge until monday or tuesday.

“my pets!”  i told them.  “i have pets!  two dogs are in their crates at my home!  you can’t just leave them like that or not feed my pets!”

“we’ll see what we can do” they told me and placed me in a cell.  this is when i went thru my third door at the jail; the door to the little room that was going to be my home for at that time, an unknown yet to be determined period of time.

identical to the door of my cell.

identical to the door of my cell.

the room i was placed in was about 12 feet deep by 12 feet high and about 8 feet wide.  it came with a toilet and small sink that were connected.  at the back of the cell was a concrete bench where you placed the bed roll they gave you, or me actually.  on the wall, there was another one of the phones like i used back at the previous sheriff’s office.  it didn’t have a handset, just a general speak to speak thru and a dialing pad to call anyone collect.  you pushed a black button, waited for the dial tone and then punched in the number.  you couldn’t call anyone direct.  regardless whether they were local or otherwise.  all calls were collect and they were thru a special company that charged outrageously by the minute!  i ran thru people thru my head and could think of no one who had land lines i could call.  finally my sister’s home number dawned on me and i dial.  she accepted the charges.  when they put they call thru, they tell the party you’re calling that your an inmate of whatever jail you’re in, so you can imagine what my sis was thinking.

“Lu Anne??!!  it says your an inmate of the garco jail?”  my sis asked.

“yes”.  i explained the situation, the charges, that they were saying i couldn’t use a bondsman because it was a cash only bond, and no bondsman would touch it.  she couldn’t understand.  it was all so bizarre.  i hadn’t caused any property damage to anyone’s property in Rifle, and just could no figure it out.

my sis said she was going to have to call our other sister and brother and would see what they could find out and do.  i hung up, and then began calling bondsmen again to see if by some miracle someone couldn’t get me out.  i had to get home to my furr family!!

it wasn’t long before word got out to all the local bondsman that my bond was cash only and they couldn’t help.  from paying some attention to what was going on out in booking and the phone calls coming in.  most bondsmen didn’t take the phone call charges to speak with u, just found out your name and called booking to find out the details of the bond.

while on the phone, dinner was served, but i wasn’t interested.  too upset, crying jags like crazy, and still trying to figure  a way to get out of there.   i called me sister back to get an update.  i was a mess!  she told me that they had found out more details on the charges and that it was what looked like a warrant brought by the city in attempts to try and pursue criminally a settlement on a law suit they had brought against me earlier last year for failure to remove weeds and refuse at my old house.  i had told the judge at that time i was going to be moving and i had also told him i was filing bankruptcy and that this would be included in the bankruptcy filing.  the judge had even given me extra time to file the bankruptcy and to see how it would turn out.  apparently tho, the courts and the city’s patience were not one of their better attributes and so they decided to put out the warrant in january.

similar to our jumpsuits

similar to our jumpsuits

my sis also said they had found an attorney, his name, and that he was looking for just this kind of case.  they said that he would call monday with the number to reach him at and i could call him collect.

“monday??!!”  but my pets!!!”

“we’re probably not going to be able to get you out of their until monday or tuesday” she said.

sis said that they would heading up to my home tomorrow, saturday afternoon to take care of them, and keep an eye on em over the weekend.  this was no small feat for them, as i was about 4 hours away from where they lived, and a winter storm was moving in.  i was to call them 8am the following morning if i could to check in and update them on any other info they needed.

while i managed to control my anxiety somewhat while on the phone, there were periods where the crying was so hard, it caused my stomach to cramp.  my sister tried to comfort me as much as possible, but that’s pretty hard to do over a phone.

we hung up as they only allowed calls to last 2o minutes max.  i started crying again and laid down on my “bed”.  i wanted out of here!  i just wanted to go home to my animals!  pet them.  pull them close.  climb into bed, and have the kitties crawl on top and around me like they did every night!

a kitty pile up on my bed.  one of their habits i find extremely comforting especially when i'm included!

a kitty pile up on my bed. one of their habits i find extremely comforting especially when i’m included!

tossing and turning on my mat, i continued to cry.  my nose ran like crazy, and there was nothing but the blankets or suit to wipe it on.  no matter how hard i tried, i couldn’t calm down!  my babies!!! my babies!!!  i had HAD to do something to get out of here!  hospital!!! if i was injured severely, they would have to release me to the hospital.  i looked around for something sharp.  anything.  i examined my arms, creating a plan.  i recently had blood taken at the dr’s for routine testing.  it was nothing for them to puncture the skin and hit a vein on the inside of my elbow.  it just might work!!!  there was no mirror or any kind of sharp edges in the cell that could be used.  then i saw the cup that they had given me with soap, a small toothbrush, toothpaste and a small comb.  i grabbed the comb.  the end of it were sturdy enough that they might be able to serve my purpose.  i began digging at the skin with the pointed end.  the small plastic pik end, broke.  great!!  i examined the other end.  it was a bit thicker; more solid.  and sturdier.  i began digging again.  of course, it wasn’t pleasant.  it hurt.  but i was determined, and the end of the comb was working!!  i continued to work a small hole in the skin of the inside of my elbow, searching and hoping to soon hit a vein………..