From the Founder

To Everything There is a Season by Donna Wilkins

015I didn’t grow up a passionate animal lover.  I can remember 2 dogs from childhood and certainly NO cats! But when my daughter was around five, two Siamese, Pywaket and Titchiba, became members of our family.The cats provided our daughter, Heather, a constant in a volatile home.

They were inside cats and every time they got into trouble they hid in the bottom of an antique milk can that stood in a kitchen corner.  Shortly, Pywaket’s head would appear, reminding me of a wise old owl, slowly surveying its territory to make sure the coast was clear. Titchiba was lithe and ladylike pretending she was above misbehaving

I came home from work one afternoon and discovered my daughter cuddled in her dad’s lap, both of them crying… Titchiba had escaped the house and died in the middle of our busy street.

Then Pywaket became homeless, he and my daughter victims of divorce

Later, having gathered myself, I brought Turquoise home, tucked away in a tote as a surprise for Heather. A solid black female with green eyes whose name was shortened to Turkey…poor thing!  Turkey loved cheese. The ends of her coat on her right flank were burned brittle after she romped around a lit candle sitting on a table.

Later, Turkey worked her wiles on Winfield, a “I love you and Heather but I can’t live with a cat” guy, convincing him he could. Turkey was Heather’s love from the time she was 10 until she left for college.  I would send her cards with Turkey’s paw print as a signature.

One evening when Turkey was 12 she did not come running down the hall when we called, “are you hungry?” We searched everywhere inside and then called a friend who had come into the house while we were gone that day.  She said she had left the side door open some 5 hours earlier while she moved packages from the drive into the house.  After that amount of time, frantically calling for Turkey as we searched the neighborhood and rode up and down the highway was futile.

Thoughts of Turkey enter my mind and hurt my heart even now and I am still bummed that a “friend” who knows your cats are inside cats would be so careless and, quite frankly, so unsympathetic when she learned that Turkey was missing.

We’ve had other felines: Little Bit came to us when our daughter left home…she and Turkey, after a little adjustment,  became good friends.  After eighteen years and 2 strokes, Little Bit had to be put to sleep. Sadie, a beautiful solid grey girl, arrived on our windowsill every night at dinner and wooed us until we let her inside. We found her passed away in our laundry room one November morning…I still ask myself why.

Miss Kitty cardboard box

We are now allowed to live in the same house with Miss Kitty, a lovely calico who had been plucked from the side of an Alabama highway. She still rules the roost and my husband gives up his favorite chair if she wants it.

 

tess 2

 

 

 

Our latest is Tesswho came from a shelter.  She types words like  “a3ja89*)#)” when I play scrabble online and sleeps curled up around my cold hands when I watch TV.

But then one day  I really looked into the eyes of a homeless dog……

Everything changed for me. I went from being an animal admirer to an animal advocate because all I saw in those dark brown eyes was pain. I felt both extreme sorrow and guilt for past transgressions against animals. I had abandoned Pywaket during the divorce, letting my daughter down at a time when she needed her cat the most.  I had not put Turkey in a closed room or advocated for her when I said, “Don’t worry about it” to a friend, who had carelessly left a door open all the while knowing our cats stayed inside.

Staring into that dog’s sad face, my grief turned to anger at myself.   Those things would not have happened had I been a better caregiver to the living beings I had brought into my space.  And the only way I could ease the regret was to do something about it.

I’ll admit, on some days, when I’m on the down side of the emotional roller coaster ride that I Could Have Been Adopted is, I think about karma …you know…”what goes around, comes around”.  But to soften the blow I must look at it as “to everything there is a season.”  So, in the winter of my life, it’s suddenly raining cats and dogs and I find myself singing and dancing in the rain…..most of the time.

I Could Have Been Adopted?  It’s for Pywaket, Turkey, Titchaba, Sadie, and that sad abandoned dog.  It’s for a dog or cat who doesn’t have a  forever home or one who got lost somewhere along the way.