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Home2Cats.org - Spring, 2010

THE  SCRATCHING  POST

Issue #43, by Barbara Stanley, home2cats@aol.com

Home 2 Cats, P. O. Box 752671, Memphis, TN  38175-2671

 

Mews You Can Use

Mimicry

Mimicry is when one species of animal looks and behaves like another species. Can you guess what creature our furry feline resembles in the picture? Your cat and a snake use the same facial expression and both are able to expel their breath in a loud hiss. They both deliver a very clear message of warning...back off or else. Thank goodness a cat didn’t use this evolutionary strategy to learn how to silently slither.

Hissing is one of the many ways your cat will communicate with a newcomer that he or she feels threatened by or perceived as needing to learn pecking order/house rules. Newcomers, especially kittens learn quickly: don’t mess with the top cat!! The same is true for humans invading their space – based on experience and observation, I have learned to read this message quite clearly!

 

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Cat Tails

It Never Gets Easier ...

Some of you may remember Conchita’s story from a year or so ago. She was my daughter’s beloved Calico. Kelly returned to Los Angeles after a family Thanksgiving in Arkansas and found her precious baby had died in her absence (though tended by thoughtful neighbors during Kelly’s trip). Kelly was heartbroken and I, her mom, was 2000 miles away.

The grieving took many forms and included all the doubts, second-guesses and what-ifs that occur to all of us at such a time. Conchita was the younger of her two and the assumption had always been that Pedro would "go first." Pedro was a couple of years older and the more aged and frail of the two.

Kelly had just completed college at Memphis State and Pedro would be her first feline as she entered the adult world. I made the trip with her to the Humane Society in Memphis to pick him up as a kitten. Pedro experienced all the growing pains associated with living with a young adult just entering the job market. He was a delightful, quirky kitten and adolescent. He developed muscles beyond his stature – he learned to use his paw to open the refrigerator and help himself to whatever tasty tidbits he could find. Kelly resorted to keeping heavy furniture braced against the refrigerator while she was at work or asleep.

As brazen and strong as he was in that regard he was equally a wimp in other regards. When we visited Kelly we had to sleep on an inflated air mattress on the living room floor. Just the simple act of blowing up the air mattress and propping it up against the wall was enough to send Pedro up an opposing wall – the "boogie" mattress was the feared nemesis. We would spend each visit only glimpsing Pedro darting from one safe place to another with that look that said "If I’m not vigilant, I’m toast."
 


 

Pedro moved to LA with Kelly in 2002 and adjusted well to being a Left Coast boy – indoors with open windows – what more could one ask? He thrived, he loved LA and he loved Kelly as only that "first cat" can. His favorite places were her armpit (while sleeping) or chest (while watching TV). We all know only too well how unique and predictable these babies can be.

In the past few months Kelly’s phone calls home often involved expressed concern for Pedro. He’s losing weight, he seems less active. What should I do? Trips to the vet yielded no serious news. "He’s just getting older, Ms. Cook."

We planned a trip out this year over spring break. Pedro continued to grow more frail through the end of winter and Kelly’s worry increased. We had long talks (so many of you know these talks) about knowing when it’s time. "How will I know, Mom?" I assured her as best I could from a distance that her heart would tell her and that Pedro would second her heart’s call. We planned our trip and it appeared that the call would need to be made while we were there. I was not able to hold my child close when Conchita left her. I was prepared to hold her close while she said her good-byes to Pedro.

The vet told her a transfusion might help but that his bone marrow was involved and there were no guarantees. So they transfused him and he rallied just a bit. He was eating little, slept nearly all the time and was so very frail. We got to spend those few days with him saying our own good-byes. I knew when we left LA that we would not see Pedro again in this world. Two days after we returned to Atlanta we got the call – Kelly was at that decision making point that we all dread. I found myself once again holding my child close in her difficult hour as best I could from 2000 miles.

She called me from the vet’s office on April 9th. She was making that heartbreaking decision and needed the assurances from her mom that she was doing the right thing. She prepared herself and said, "I know what I have to do." She asked me to stay close to the phone so that she could put me on speaker while the vet carried out this humane act. That way she was not alone – I was in the room with her. We talked and cried together while she said her goodbyes to Pedro.

A month has passed now and she has gained insight and knows that her decision was an act of love and selflessness. Her head is clearer now though her heart is still heavy. She sees the bigger picture that depicts our life experiences with our furry babies and knows Pedro trusted and loved her enough to share that incredibly rich 18-year journey.

She is without a furry feline for the first time in these 18 years. She knows it will take a while but she also knows in her heart that she has the love to share again. And I know she will.

Conchita and Pedro are now reunited. Age and frailty are no longer factors. Rest in peace and love sweet babies.
 


--Dody Cordes

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Animal and People Recognition

While losing a companion is one of life's greatest sorrows, never having one is to miss out on years of loving companionship.

 

In Memory Of Animals

Holle Noel
In memory of my sweet, cuddly, loving, lively, busy body Singapura cat.
I will be so lonesome without her (but she & Phoebe are back together.)
--Ruth Blann Cartledge

Holle Noel
Beloved companion of Ruth Blann Cartledge.
Holle Noel had a big heart and faithfully supported rescued animals.

--Larry & Barbara Stanley

In Memory of my sweet, shy, special Phoebe.
--Ruth Blann Cartledge

Phoebe
--Holle Noel & Avery Okey

Chaos
Beloved dog of Tom & Miya Nakao.
--
Larry & Barbara Stanley

Stripey
Beloved cat of Bill & Rita Vandenburgh.
--Steve Meyer

Josephine
Lifelong companion and confident of Peter & Lisa Sopka-Flaster.
--Bill & Rita Vandenburgh

Elvis
--Kelly, Joanne (Rhodes) & Walker Askins

Elvis
Beloved rescue cat of Kelly, Joanne (Rhodes) & Walker Askins.
--Larry & Barbara Stanley

Snickers
He wasn't with us long, but he endeared himself into our lives and hearts.
--
Jo-an & Art Larson & Shirley A. Davis

Pedro
Kelly's constant, loving companion for 18 years.
--Bob & Dody Cordes

Pedro
Beloved cat of Kelly Cook.
--Carolyn Akin

Pedro
Beloved companion of Kelly Cook.
--Larry & Barbara Stanley

 

In Memory Of People

Ted Cartledge
In memory of my beloved Ted.
--Ruth Blann Cartledge

Patricia Dawson
Beloved Mother of Anissa Liberto, Vicki Kennamore, Robin Zubia,
Darren Burgess and Jim Burgess.
--George & Linda Bond

Patricia Dawson
Beloved Mother of Anissa Liberto, Vicki Kennamore, Robin Zubia,
Darren Burgess and Jim Burgess.
--Billy & Cecelia Howell

Luke Dawson
Beloved cousin of George & Linda Bond.
-- Kay Joest

Pete Evans
Beloved husband of Sharon Evans.
--Kay Joest

 

In Honor Of Animals

Katie
In honor of Katie’s birthday, January 18th.
Loved dog of Kimbrough & Susan Gregory.

--Laurin Gregory

Katie
Happy 15th Birthday!
--Kimbrough & Susan Gregory

In honor of our many ‘comfort cats’.
--Sue Domian

In Honor Of People

Home 2 Cats, Larry & Barbara
In honor of all you do for those not as fortunate as Holle & Avery (and as Phoebe was).
--Ruth Blann Cartledge (Holle Noel and Avery too!)

In honor of Hannah Brewer who turned 10 yrs old March 18th and for her love of animals!
--
Mama

In honor of Hannah Brewer on her 10th birthday.
--Savannah Thompson

Larry & Barbara Stanley
To honor and acknowledge the work you do.
--Michele Brewer

Larry & Barbara Stanley
For all the hard work you do. Thank you.
--Sue Domian

In honor of the people who helped me most in Pedro’s last days.
I couldn’t have done it so gracefully without them.
Melinda Newman Dave Peters Shari Basch Bob & Dody Cordes
VCA Miller-Roberstson Animal Hospital
--
Kelly Cook

 

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A Word from Home (2 Cats)

Happy 11th Birthday, Home2Cats !!!

Perhaps you have noticed that our quarterly newsletters have been late over the last year. It is not because we have been sniffing too much catnip. (Just wanted to clear the air!) We just sometimes find it necessary to prioritize projects in order of importance and it goes without saying that the animals always come first. Just think of The Scratching Post as being on ‘cat time’…it will come but not when called.

Some of us are blessed to have jobs that give purpose to our lives. Larry and I feel this way about our work with the animals. Even though rescuing and working with the animals is our passion, it can be physically and emotionally draining at times. In addition to the challenges of this job, this last year we were faced with a family loss and personal medical challenges.

Along with monetary support, emotional support is also important. Many of you have written short notes when sending donations that gave our spirits a lift. As the saying goes, timing is everything, and many of those notes came at just the right time in our lives.

You also lift our spirits in other ways, such as Hannah Brewer requesting donations be made to Home 2 Cats in lieu of gifts for her 10th birthday. Wow, how inspiring is that?!

We have come through the year and like our feline friends, we have landed on our feet. We may not have landed on four paws, (and personally, I think we would look ridiculous with four) but have landed nicely on two and are facing our challenges.

Thank you for all the support and encouragement.

 

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Our mission is:
To provide food, medical care, love and sanctuary for injured, disabled or abused animals.
To educate the public in what constitutes responsible cat care and ownership.
To engage in other activities related to animal rescue and public education about cat care and responsibilities.

 

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Home2Cats | Newsletters | Photos | Lynx
Please send email to:  home2cats@aol.com
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P. O. Box 752671
Memphis, TN  38175-2671
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actioncat.com
Graphics from CatStuff
Microsoft Office Online: Clip Art
*NaNcY*'s Cat Animation Gallery
Lucky Cats portraiture by donaldmoon

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