*This is the final post in the series concerning recent events that directly affected me and the animal residents of Planet Kitty. These entries 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 daunting task of just exactly who was to go and who was to stay was heartbreaking, but by the end of that first weekend home, i had made my decisions. of the cats i decided to move, i worried most about Pannda and Aslan due to their special needs. and my concerns were justified. was not an option because the park manager had pretty much made it clear that the kitties that had litterbox issues were not an option in staying, and part of the initial requirements to continue to stay here, were that specific criteria had to be met as far as pets and upkeep with the trailer along with before and after inspections.
my plan, and hope, was to find the more special needs kitties foster homes until some of my networking might work out into adoptions for them, or, for them to be taken on by foster homes that were well enuff acquainted with special needs kitties that they would grow attached to them, and eventually the fosters would become foster failures.
the first to be moved to rescue, aside from Tony who my sisters had removed while i was in jail, were the foster twins Sebastian & Sabrina, who i’d been trying to find a home for, and then Moose and Teddy. Moose had issues with other cats in the house, and because of this had taken to spraying. i knew that the spraying was a direct result of stress, and i knew that long term, it really was only fair to him to find better living arrangements, despite how much i had grown to love him. he was a big sweet drooly, loving codependent- as dependent as any kitty i’ve ever known- bear of a kitty who loved to be hugged and held, and who would find a home really fast too!
Teddy, i knew, would take a bit longer. he could be a bit standoffish, but with the right person he would bond and that “right person” would appreciate not only his finer qualities, but his good looks, and as i previously found out during the first days after i came home from jail, Teddy could turn into a big baby and need reassurance when feeling insecure. with the right person, these characters would endear him even more to them (at the rescue, Teddy would also continue his role as a lady’s man and would often be found cuddling with a few of the female residents of the rescue as well!
all four of these kitties were moved to Eagle Valley Humane Society, a no kill rescue with a free roam room, and have since found homes.
as previously mentioned, my top concerns were Pannda and Aslan. Sherlock was also a strong concern because he had a challenging personality. i had decided to also move the Orange Sisters, Emily and Charlotte, to a foster situation until things mellowed out and with the plans of moving them back later in the summer after things had gotten back into a routine at home, the bills were caught up, and i had been at my job for a time. i had discussed the possibility of the girls returning with the park manager as well who posed a “wait and see” response, but i felt that once things calmed down, this would be possible. i also considered the possibility of Sherlock returning as well, but also considered the idea that perhaps with his issues, if i could find someone cat savvy enough, Sherlock might be better off in a home where he was the only kitty. he was very territorial, and had a very difficult time being in a multi-cat household, and often picked on anyone that came close to him; except for Bethany who for some strange reason, he got along with.
i created virtual flyers for Pannda and Aslan. i could have chosen to keep Pannda as he didn’t have litterbox issues, it was Aslan who did, but knew that that wasn’t fair to Aslan who needed him more then me. and so, i looked for a solution where they could stay together as well as some place that would continue to be committed to keeping them together as well.
as cute as they are, Emily and Charlotte were the next to be moved. a friend further west in Grand Junction offered to take them in, but then another friend just 30 minutes from me, also offered to take them for as long as i needed. i chose the closer option as it meant that i could see them. this person said i was welcome to visit any time; as long as it was reasonable, and i even have access to them if the friend goes out of town.
i probably called about 14 different organizations and spoke to even more where Pannda and Aslan were concerned. i had been given a two week deadline, and time was running out. their predicament was networked wide and far on facebook, along with Sherlock. (Sherlock and the girls were also advertised in the local papers and that’s how i found a foster for Sherlock who i hoped would work into a foster failure-more on that later).
meanwhile, during all this chaotic networking to find other living arrangements for the cats that were to be moved, i had to deal with getting the trailer as “neat and orderly” as possible because the park manager was to do a walk thru and take pictures of the so called “damages” that my sister claimed were present. this came the following monday after work, after i’d been home a week and after the conversation i had with the trailer park manager.
i decided not to make a major effort. instead, i wanted to see her reaction to basically what my sisters saw. so other than removing the blood from my dog Kelly’s tail from the walls, and cleaning the cat boxes, not a whole lot was done to the place. she knew about the situation with the carpet in the living room; the dogs being left over well over 24 hours without being fed or let out to relieve themselves. i was certain that she would not determine that my house was that of a hoarder, like my sister had accused me of.
monday came, and i met the trailer park manager at my trailer after work. she came with a camera, but upon entrance, remarked that she couldn’t understand what my sisters had been talking about. yes the carpet needed to be cleaned, and yes it was cluttered-i had moved into the place and without much storage, things were still in boxes sitting in the living, and a pile of dirty laundry was on the floor of my bedroom.
“i count 6 litterboxes” she said “so of course there’s going to be some odor. i don’t quite see what your sisters were talking about.”
the look on her face was a bit dumbfounded.
i was instructed to just go ahead and get the carpet cleaned and then “clear” up the clutter and she would come back a cppl of weeks later to take after pics. (it was actually more like a month or longer before she came back to take the pics, which was fine by me. she didn’t even feel the need to walk thru the whole trailer after and do a “full inspection”).
back to the cats…where Pannda and Aslan were concerned, the networking on facebook worked! a very dear friend of mine, and someone i consider a cat hero, connie, crossposted Pannda n Aslan’s flyer to a wall of a small no kill rescue down in southern colorado near where her and her husband lived. (connie and i go all the way back to grade school, and a few years ago we reconnected via facebook0. connie and her husband charles are true cat lovers, and it is because of her that SoCo Spay/Neuter and Rescue contacted me about the boys. connie spoke highly of the rescue, and i knew her word was to be trusted! after speaking further with the manager of the rescue, i determined that that was where Pannda and Aslan would be safe and cared for. SoCo specializes in special needs animals, were committed to keeping the boys together, had a free roaming kitty room, and fully vet any potential adopters as well. Pannda, and Aslan especially, would never be at threat of euthanasia because of their needs, or because they were not adopted right away. i breathed a sigh of relief.
i had another two weeks before they would be moved, and that time was what i needed to come to terms with letting them go. meanwhile, the trick was working out a transport for them. once again, being the heroes that they are, connie and charles offered to make the 7-10 hour drive (each way) to come get the boys and transport them, and not only did they make the drive thru the night, but made the drive back thru a lovely colorado snowstorm! and the drive wasn’t an easy one either! they entailed two very high colorado passes; one of which passing thru the south park area-of noted fame from the tv show.
Aslan, who’s usually absolutely terrified of people, was surprisingly the stronger and less fearful of the two boys. he would even let Connie approach him while spending the night in their bathroom before being moved the following day to rescue! this surprised me! i always thought it was Aslan who needed Pannda but turns out it’s the reverse!
previous to Pannda and Aslan’s departure, Sherlock has been placed with a foster who i was hoping would become a foster failure. as i had hoped, his more aggressive tendencies mellowed once he was in a living situation where he was the only kitty. kirsten, the lady i had vetted before moving him to her care, found him to be affectionate and VERY playful, just as i had told he was despite his almost 8 years of age. i told her that i would consider no news good news, and she said ok. towards the middle of april tho, i received a call from her. he was just too active for her to take him to her parents place in minnesota where she’d be staying for the summer. her parents weren’t really kitty people, and sherlock would be forced outside all day and spending his nights in the garage. for a kitty of his age who has spent pretty much all of his life indoors, this was not an option, and so i once again placed an ad in the paper for him, as well as networking him. in the his last two weeks with kirsten tho, Sherlock had taken to throwing quite a bit. the food that i has given her to continue him on, wasn’t the greatest but was all i as currently able to provide him with what with just getting back on my feet financially. however, concerns were that he might have anything from thyroid issues to diabetes or kidney failure, and so rather than move him to another home, i decided to speak with Eagle Valley Humane about taking him. they had done a fine job with Tony-my mom’s now 16 year old cat who had jsut been adopted-and so i felt sure they would do right by “Shay Shey” my nickname for the little guy. (his full name is actually Shamus Sherlock O’Malley). a few days before leaving, kirsten transported Sherlock to vets that Eagle Valley uses, where he was examined adn some tests were run. fortunately, it turned out the problem was food allergies, and in just five days, Sherlock secured himself a permanent home! this was a relief for me! i spoke with the rescue about his adopters, and am at peace and happy for Sherlock in his home.
so what cats stayed at Planet Kitty and what was my rationale for the ones who did stay? well first and formost, it was pretty much a no brainer where Ashley was concerned. Ashley is Eli’s sister and long time companion, not to mention my “pester buddy”. Ashley was here long before any of the other kitties, and is my kitty. not to mention keeping her thru her senior years is my joy and responsibility. my second choice, was Bethany. she’s a full albino kitty, and i was just far too concerned that if she were adopted, someone would “feel ok” about letting her go outside, despite the fact that doing so truly does put her at risk for sunburns and skin cancer. ( plus, she is also my baby and has been my constant companion ever since Eli’s passing! i kid you not! everywhere i go in this trailer, there she is! whether it’s my morning shower, or going to bed .i sware she’s decided that that’s her job!) and not to mention a close companion and snuggle buddy of Eli’s and need i say the recently chosen mascot of this here blog?
Merry was the 3rd kitty i chose because being another special needs kitty, she can have eye issues due to health problems from back in her infanthood and youth of severe exposure to the elements as a kitten-it was her and her brother i found in november of 2010 curled up under a sheet of plastic back at the old place. her brother was dead, and Merry very close to it herself.
in a few months, i anticipate the return of Emily and Charlotte, as planned. while initially i had seriously considered stopping rescue of any kind, i find myself falling back into old habits, like concerning myself with the kitty who has taken up residence next store in the partially torn down trailer. i have given him the moniker Cassanova, only to have even more recently, tonight actually, slightly adjusting it to be Catsanova. i have also spoken with local rescues about trapping him and getting him moved into rescue. he keeps hangin around more and more, and tonight i gave him a can of food that he wasted no time in “nomming” up. i am worried about him. he doesn’t seem to be in the best of health. however, no new kitty residents will be coming to reside with me at Planet Kitty this i have resoundingly decided.
the whole left by the previous residents was large, and it’s taken quite some time to heal. but the kitties that remain and my one dog Shyler are doing all they can to help with the healing process…. as well as keeping me entertained. i hope to some day once again provide a home for a retired racing greyhound, and can occasionally be found prowling greyhound rescue websites. however, it’ll be some time before that occurs. (both my other dogs, Ave’ Maria and Kelly Jo, have since found new homes since this whole fiasco started for which i’m grateful!)
as far as the whole lawsuit mess with the city of Rifle,….well it’s still not over. court is scheduled june 19 next month, and we shall see what develops. it is the one remaining shadow i have hanging over my head presently.
and as faras the status of the old place? this weekend was spent moving the last few items i had back at the old house to here, as well as dismantling the 6 ft privacy fence i had there, to be re-purposed here either as another fence for this property, or as a wood floor for the livingroom to replace the carpet. (i hate carpet!) the old house forecloses next wednesday, may 22nd and with it, all ties to the old town of Rifle Co will be forever severed. (i have not lived at the house for like 8 months now, and despite that absence, a neighbor came out and complained to the gent-who i hired to tear the fence down-about the weeds and my dogs…. i guess some things will just never change…..altho i must say i wonder what on earth will they ever find to complain about once the house is foreclosed? i’m sure they’ll find SOMETHING!)
meanwhile, as each day goes by, a little bit more of me forgives my sister and for all that came from her actions. make note, i say forgive, not forget. there’s a difference. she is my sister, and some day i know this will all be behind us. she will apologize and i will accept it because she is my sister and i do love her. until then, more time is needed. time. it’s what’s required for healing to occur, and that’s just what is going on here at Planet Kitty. for all of us. we breath in, and out. in. and out. in. and out…..