Aug 25, 2011

All for the Love of Animals

     My husband and I love animals. Our first cat together was Bagheera (from “The Jungle Book.” He was a very large tiger striped cat.  I worked beside the Dayton International Airport at the time and he roamed up to the warehouse. People were being mean to him so I brought him home. He slept all the way to the house on my car seat. He was a true “gentle giant.” Bagheera loved the outdoors. He would hunt during the morning and lay in a sunbeam in the afternoon, in the yard. His favorite activity was sharpening his claws on our split rail fence.

      We have 18 cats now. Seven were found in a trash dumpster (Frodo, Arwen, Daffy, Tigger, Algernon (named after a mouse in the story “Flowers for Algernon.”), KoKo (named after the gorilla who knew sign language), and Lady). Their eyes weren’t even open yet. We bottle fed them every 4 hrs. and they all lived. Three were from one litter and four from another – found 1 week apart). About that same time the neighbors brought a cat home and turned her loose and then went off to Florida for the winter (Sneezy). Later Miss Sneezy, as we call her, found us, she was cold and hungry and also pregnant! We took her inside and she soon had 4 babies on our brand new loveseat! (Petey, Fuzzy, Patches, and Cassie.) Cassie died from a thrombosis in her legs.

      While having a cookout at our house we had a sweet cat show up during one summer. We named her Elsa after the lion in the book “Born Free.” Elsa had such a wonderful temperament. She never hissed or fought with any of the other cats. She fit in perfect with the others. She died a couple years ago from what they said was Feline Leukemia (although all our other have tested negative). Elsa is buried near a row of Cedar trees. She rests beside our bedroom window along with her sister Cassie. Also buried there is a kitten someone dumped then ran over with their car, a yellow cat that showed up starved and injured, and a black cat we found nearby after the harsh winter snow had melted.

     A couple years after all of the above we took a trip to Missouri. In a field in the middle of nowhere, with 2 shiny black horses, we found 2 small kittens (Solomon and Sheba). They were eating horse feed and grasshoppers. We ended up bringing them back to Ohio with us. We’ve since added 2 that were found abandoned at the county park. One was a grown cat (Raven)and the other, a year later, a kitten (Stardust). In the mean time we also had another neighbor bring one home, the neighbor ended up in the hospital for a long stay, and the kitten ended up on our doorstep (Abby).

     One evening while looking at Freecycle on the internet I happened to see an ad about someone's mother having died and the daughters were trying to find homes for her cats. This is when Sparky joined our family. All white, with only three feet - Sparky was originally called "Stumpy." My husband felt that the name was just too degrading so after petting Sparky one night in the dark, a spark shot up from the static electricity - thus the name "Sparky." Now we have a new edition a small gray striped kitten who found his way onto our property and was found sitting mewing under our window. (Alfie)

     We also have Charlie (black lab mix), Teagan (chocolate lab), and Leia (white German shepherd). Charlie came from down the street. We got him from a neighbor who had a litter of pups born. We are convinced if we wouldn’t have adopted Charlie that his life would have been very short.

     Teagan was found alongside a country road in a cardboard box. She had been abandoned as a puppy.

     We did have a beautiful white shepherd called Sheba. An old gentleman was dying from cancer. He asked us to please take her and find a home for her. We drove 2.5 hours to get her. She was such gentle dog. She rode excellent all the way home in the van. Sheba was only with us though for a few months. She came to us somewhat neglected. We gave her a good bath, good, food, and even took her for vet exams right away. They said she was fine, but in a few months time she started having digestion problems. We took her back in and they discovered she had a large tumor in her spleen. Their suggestion was to remove the spleen. She came through the surgery fine and they sent her home. The following day Sheba died in our arms in our bedroom. We later were told that it had been an aggressive cancer and that she would not have lived long. We were so heartbroken. We buried her beside the raised flower bed in the backyard. It was right before Christmas and my husband with the help of my young nephew helped dig her grave. We were so impressed by Sheba that I looked for another white shepherd. This is where our girl Leia came in.

     Leia's  owner had went in to the hospital, but he ended up dying. He had left her at the dog pound with the intention of picking her back up when he returned home. Since he died she was scheduled to be euthanized. A German shepherd rescue happened to stumble upon her. She was huddled in a corner, terrified, covered in urine. The rescue saved her from destruction. Someone from the rescue group advertised Leia online and I contacted the group about her. We adopted her once we met with her and saw what a lovely dog she was. All this time no one had bothered to check for a microchip. Right after bringing Leia home we got a call asking what we were doing with someone else’s dog. Here Leia, when only a puppy, had been surrendered to a pound for destruction. Her and a sister had been bred but not had any human contact. A lady from a place that trained dogs for the handicapped happened to see them (micro chipped them). She adopted them both and worked with them for months, even nursed them when they both contracted parvo. Luckily both young dogs survived. Leia was even in the prison system working with prisoners to get her used to people. My husband and I drove many miles to meet with the person who had originally trained Leia. She saw how wonderful Leia was being treated and we were allowed to keep her.

     These are our family. All are spayed/ neutered, and shots. We have tried very hard to give these wonderful creatures the very best of homes. We love them all and they are all special and unique. If anyone would like to see any pictures please check out:

No comments: