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wee hopeful bug

Posted: April 30, 2007 at 10:23 pm

i was thinking about wee hopeful bug today and i came back to the blog to do a search to remember some of our time together. and there is nothing written here,  i realized that hopey had died before we had the blog to journal our memories. this made me sad because hope was such a huge force in the realization of saints and many of the people who come here to share our stories, never had the chance to get to know her. so…here is the difficult journey of wee hopeful bug and how this tiny wrecked creature changed my life.

wee hopeful bug came into the cat shelter i was managing along with her brother romeo. they were about 4 months old and were distemper survivors whose intestinal tracts were permanently destroyed by the disease. some animals are not meant to survive, and hope and romeo probably shouldn’t have either. but they did. and they needed a place to live and be loved and with their profound lack of bowel control, it would never be a regular family home.

we knew right away that we couldn’t manage hope in a shelter environment without access to constant bathing. she was on a special diet and her medications were complex and she needed constant weight monitering too. i took hope home. it took months and months to even get her to grow, and by the time she died she still weighed less than four pounds. every single day was a burden and a struggle and the mess that surrounded her continually was a terrible challenge. my family called her “poopy cat” and that used to make me mad. no one would let her near them because she was always dripping feces and her smell was the worst smell of all. and oh my god, i loved that cat. she was emaciated, sick, tiny and stinky. but she loved me more than i have ever been loved before. she would lay on my chest on a towel and place her paws on each side of my face and make this odd, loving hopey sound. and some days she would be so playful and spend hours chasing a twist tie across the kitchen floor and others she would scream when she had a bowel spasm. i cried alot til we got the spasms under control.

hope didn’t know she was a mess, she didn’t know that she looked and smelled a horror, because i never told her she did. i used to let her out on the patio at my old house, she liked to roll around on the cement and play with dried leaves. when i wanted her to come back in, sometimes she would come to me and sometimes she would run and hide under the bushes and play catch me if you can cuz i am not done playing yet. one day when she was about a year old, she disappeared. i looked everywhere for her, and combed the entire nieghborhood and put up posters hoping to find her.

after 4 days i realized she was gone forever and all i could think of was i had lost all my hope. i cried non stop and i realized then how much this tiny cat meant to me. i can’t say my family was sorry that she was gone because she made such a gross mess everywhere, but they felt really bad for me. anyway, on the fifth morning i looked out the sliding glass door and there was her tiny little face silently “ehh’ing” at me and i have never been so thankful and relieved in my life before. after that i wouldn’t let her out anymore which somewhat pissed her off.

romeo became problematic at the shelter because while he was never as bad as wee hopeful bug, he still was bad enough. some of the volunteers were  close to revolt and insisted he either be put down or confined to a cage, so i brought hope’s brother home too. they had been apart for a very long time and weren’t that interested in each other at first. but eventually these two cats remembered themselves and became the best of friends.

now my family was pretty close to revolt, they barely tolerated hope but her brother too was more then they could handle. and the fighting and the arguing started and really in all fairness they all had a point. hope and romeo could not be managed in a family home. and so saints was born to give all the ones who just couldn’t live in a home with a family, a home that was theirs alone. and we moved to the first saints site which in retrospect was horrid, but at the time, it was a place where they could all just be who they were.

hopey continued to be my best friend, but having a friend like her was really hard. she would get into my closet and sleep on the shelves and everything in there would wreak of sweet hope. i remember one day one of my nursing friends, told me my clothes smelled like shit, they were clean but the had absorbed wee bugs odor. i was so embarrassed, i moved all my work clothes into a wooden chest and bought bottles of smelly fabric softeners to add to my laundry and boxes of fabreeze soaked dryer sheets to toss in too and spray bottles of fabreeze that i kept in my car so i could spray my clothes before i walked into work. and she liked the linen shelves too, and i can’t count how many times we unloaded piles of clean linen that she had soiled that added 20 loads of laundry to the daily laundry loads. it was horrible living with her but there was nothing i could do. she was alive, and happy and she loved me thru and thru. i couldn’t kill her just because she smelled so bad. but honestly, secretly,  sometimes i wished she would die.

and she did. one night when she was three years old, she slipped away in the middle of the night in her bed. she wasn’t any sicker than she had ever been, and the evening before, she had been happily purring on my chest and biting me as i combed her out after her bath. the vet told me she probably perforated her ulcerated bowel and in her frail condition would have turned septic within a few hours.

so i lost my hope, this burden that i carried for so long. and almost a year after her death, the tears are starting again to come. i buried this true heart of saints, deep in the heart of saints because i could not bear to actually let her go. and i hung her windchime in the center of the gate so that each time we enter, we enter saints with her above us.

there were lots of people who met hope and thought that i should have just put her down. but there were a very few who were lucky enough to see that very special, and very alive cat inside that wrecked body. one day romeo will pass like his sister because neither one of them should have ever survived but they did. and saints is here because they both deserved a home for as long as they needed one.

wee hopeful bug was not just the heart of saints, she grew her heart inside me too. life is not always easy, it is not always pretty but it is what we are given so we live it the best that we can. and of all of the gifts that this life has ever given me, the best was the burden of loving wee hopeful bug.



Posted: April 30, 2007 at 7:06 am

you know…..i have very little personal space here, 2 kitchen cupboards (which the cats go into), one closet (which holds a litter box and food and water bowls), one bathroom (which has a cat in it, but he’s my cat so i guess he doesn’t count), one bedside shelf thing, a computer desk (which boo pukes hairballs on and knocks my stuff on the floor when she wants more room)), a couple of book shelves (that they all climb over and sleep on) and my body shape upon my bed (of which the cats still lay on when i am sleeping and take over completely the second i am out of bed) i selfishly laid claim to a foot and a half of extra floor space, under and just in front of the bedside shelf thing, to store the several different and expensive pairs of shoes that i just bought so i could walk better. and there i leave my worn but comfy mephisto slip on’s that i shove my feet into every morning so i can safely make it to bathroom, tea kettle and mop first thing every morning.  some little bastard pee’d on them, ALOT, last night. so now i am in a bad mood because the first thing i felt this morning was both my feet in a huge puddle of cold pee.

as i am washing one foot in the bathroom sink and thinking very unkind and violent thoughts, hook comes out from his bed in the cupboard to say good morning, sniffs my still one unwashed foot and said….”””ohh, that must really suck.”

i haven’t even gone back in there yet to see if whoever got all my new work footwear too, oh i will be so pissed off if whoever did. that was just plain mean and stupid and if i knew who actually did it, that animal would be in very big trouble. what a pissy way to start the day. i freaking hate leaky animal rescue!

(life would be easier if i could just walk on water…sigh, actually the reality is…i walk in cold urine instead. hook is right, it sucks)

we made it thru the day in one piece.

Posted: April 29, 2007 at 8:39 pm

it ended up being a good day today. the animals all had a nice day. the work all got done with some very generous help. i sold a few more tickets to the fundraiser.(i think we have about half of them sold now) my kids took me out for sushi for my upcoming birthday and gave me some nice bath stuff to enjoy in my nice new bathtub, some music and speakers for my computer. i really enjoy being with them all, they grew up into really good folks!

dex was choked when i got home because he got gyped out of the evening run. he laid out on the cement staring at me and refusing to come in. eventually he figured the walk was a no go and then barked to be let back in to his bed. sorry dex, i know you don’t have alot of evening walks left, but you had like half a dozen runs in the fields today!

tunie was great when i went to get the barn guys supper ready. she sat at my feet and contentedly chatted away. her back leg is quite sore for the last week or so, and i was trying recoverery without much improvement. janice said i could try her with bute or asprin, but i decided to use the quatrosol instead since it is easier on the stomach. she did have a small walk out in the empty pasture, and i am cutting her evening feeding back even further. since she is even less mobile then she was before, her weight is just not going down. so i gave her a very few pellets but supplimented it with some banana and apple and then sprinkled a bit of her favorite melba toast on top and she was quite happy with her supper. janice suggested i bulk up her meals with lettuce but i keep forgetting to get some. i will try to remember tomorrow.

tom fell in love with emma today (she adopted jenny the cat awhile back) and i think the feelings were reciprocated too. she is going to check with her strata council about possibly fostering tom for us too. i hope they say yes cuz tom would love it with her!

maudie is finally settling again so i will be booking her surgery for within the next week. i want to get her done and taken care of because i am getting too old for worrying about geriatric dog fun and games. lol…i know she is settling and ending her heat because she is finally looking and noticing me again, i have been virtually invisible for the past couple of weeks.

i have to say that despite others claims, it is wilbur who has the worst farts in the world. he is laying in his basket underneath the computer desk and just about gassing me to death. i am thinking about hanging one of the pine tree car air fresheners under there with him in self defence.

have i said today that i am so thankful for ellie and percy and i don’t begrudge their part in my meatless existence one bit. percy is just too darn cute, soft and sweet. and ellie is like having some kind of alien but equal friend. amazing creatures these two, what a wonderful gift they were to all of us here at saints.

AND…it was a beautiful day with a ton of warm sun for us all to enjoy AND the pasture grass is finally growing really well now. (i am still waiting for the front and back yard patches to sprout and grow too, the seed bag said 5-7 days!)

whining and complaining

Posted: April 29, 2007 at 7:54 am

some days you just know are going to be a challenge before they are barely started. PMS, a very sore back, a slightly sore ankle and not a drop of bleach or milk in the house. i should have gone to the store yesterday afternoon, but i was too tired and now this morning, too tired sounds a heck of alot of better than today. oh well, i can fix 4 of of the 5 things that are bugging me with tylenol and simply driving down to safeway. i guess i won’t complain too much cuz that is like an 80% improvement over this particular moment i guess.

where did the sunshine go? everyone told me it was going to be sunny all weekend. well my weekend ain’t over yet until i go back to work tomorrow so the sunshine still oughta be here right now!

cole had me up twice last night. he was sleeping in front of the dog room door again so rocky and bill both snuck out past him but wouldn’t come back in while he laid there and stared at them.  i had to get up and stand in front of cole so they would come back in the door. rocky is a bit of a worry wart goof, but bill knows his way around the world pretty good.  i know for sure that cole while laying there so quietly, was sending out messages that said they couldn’t come in and bugger on off. he is such a toad.

dexter, michael, and jess are still on the watching list. jess while a little bit better is just not throwing off her lastest cold. her eye is still bad and yesterday i added drops before the ointment to see if flushing the eye is more effective at getting to all the inflamed surfaces in there. gosh she is a worry right now. she is on antibiotics, antivirals, autoimmune boosters and still not making a whole lot of progress. this is starting to remind me of shades of hester’s and lola’s final battles and this worries me even more. and jess has been fighting her ill health for more than 4 years, she is going to get tired of fighting it one day too. this sucks.

dexter had a great day yesterday. several walks, lot’s of sticks, and some swims. at one point i saw him toddling down the hill after his ball. he had perogies twice for a snack plus his full canned lunch and whatever everyone else fed him around here yesterday too. he slept alot when he wasn’t eating or having fun but he is still comfortable i think at least he feels good enough to do the things he loves.

michael has started with this gross diarrhea thing. i thought it was dexter but nicole saw yesterday it was mike. it is pretty foul. so i started him on flagyl just in case it helps. but i suspect it is a bigger problem then that. his stiffness and twisted arthritis is making it harder and harder for him to walk. he pretty much just gets up to go outside or to switch from one bed to the next. very rarely does he guard the food bowl anymore, altho sometimes he still does just in case we forget. another couple of weeks, a month maybe? we still have room to move up his meds as needed so we will see how he feels with a new increase, hopefully well enough to hang around and be a troll some more.

ok…better go and get dressed and buy the bleach cuz ain’t no cleaning happening til it gets here.


ok…i have the world’s smartest dog

Posted: April 28, 2007 at 9:29 am

tyra (my dog) is patiently standing by the front gate, resting her chin on the slats. it is almost 9:30 on saturday morning and she is waiting for mo to arrive. phoebe, who is also smart, (but not as smart as tyra jane cuz she cannot tell time or the days of the week) is sitting quietly behind tyra while she waits because phoebe knows that tyra knows more than she does.

omg, i love my dog!

hooked by a hobbit

Posted: April 28, 2007 at 6:49 am

it is insidious…you aren’t even aware. one minute he is a pain in the butt weiner dog and the next he has the cutest warm blooded tiny furry turtle feet and you a slave to a turtle-foot hobbit wearing a sweater vest. it is because their will to own you is so strong. i am easy, i willl love anyone, i actually do love them all and most everyone loves me right back (ok so hank didn’t, and the rabbits like eva better). but the ones who decide that they own me, like lexi, maudie, ellie, percy, pops, rainbow, sam, endora, frodo and tom…those are the ones who really get to me, cuz there is such a huge burden of responsibility when you are truly owned. most of them are like buddy and sissy, they want me when they want me and the rest of the time i am free. they are the easiest to care for because they are ok sharing as long as they don’t need me right then.

tom now just assumes i will provide for him, every single thing that he wants, every single moment of each day. and if i am busy or ignoring him, he just follows me around, reminding me of my job and his priority of needs.

others try to own me too, like bonnie and phoebe. but they are unsure of their own personal power and therefore question if they actually caught me forever or not. it is that uncertainty that occasionally lets me off their hook. and i can remain objective to some degree and get some work done. i hope they and some of the others don’t ever figure it out, because between my own animals and the ones who already own me, i am stretched pretty thin as it is.

ratz…i thought i could resist the hobbit, he started out as such a pain in the neck, weiner with feet. oh well tom, don’t think for an instant that i won’t still place you. i will find you a better person to own than just me if i can.


heads up on dexter

Posted: April 27, 2007 at 7:32 pm

he is dropping tons of weight almost over night. he is still eating like a horse but he is becoming skeletal now. i think the cancer is literally eating him alive. he is comfortable on the pain meds, he still trots and swims and he is still a stick and ball  manaic through and through. but the end is no longer creeping slowly upon us, it is speeding forward much too fast. dexter belongs to all of us here, every single one of us adores him.

it takes exactly 3 hours and 45 minutes….

Posted: April 27, 2007 at 5:51 pm

to clean every cat box, change every wet bed, sweep and wash every floor, fill every food and water bowl, feed every cat and frail dog, canned food, wipe down every counter, couch and surface, bleach out the cat run cement, feed and put the barn guys to bed. i know this because i started at 2 pm and i am just finished now.

and i would have been even faster if gideon and ellie didn’t mess me up. i went out there tossing bits of cheese buns so i could get at the barn door and ellie who has figured out my trick, grabbed a mouthful and made a mad dash to beat me there before i had even gotten the door open. so i led her back to the bootie which had mysteriously disappeared down gideon’s throat, what freaking horse eats cheese buns for gawds sakes? and now i had nothing to distract ellie from me. she barreled right in the barn with me, but good petunia stopped her dead in her tracks which was just long enough for me to close that inside gate, and GOD!!! i love that freaking gate!!!!!

Eva is here after a long day of working elsewhere and is doing up the rabbits. and lynne came and took copper for a walk, scooped and pooped the dog yard and even took home a couple of loads of stinky, wet laundry…that all helped ALOT!!!!

and that is why it only took 3 hours and 45 minutes to get all the basics done!

happy things

Posted: April 26, 2007 at 3:22 pm

when i want to be distracted from too many not so great things, i think about happy stuff, so here is my happy list for today.

i gave jack a bath yesterday cuz she smelled like urine since now she just lays where she pees and OMG instead of getting upset like she usually does, she actual;ly enjoyed herself for a change. when she was clean and rinsed, i emptied the sink and layered the sink bottom with towels. so she rolled all around and rubbed her little face and really was quite helpful with getting dried off. she was so freaking cute! and she still smells good today too!

deb put the barn guys to bed last night for me and witnessed ellie’s full infantile rage. this sweet little pig has the same arsenic/dinner hour tantrums as small human children do…i wonder if for both it is caused by low bloods sugars. i am going to try to remember to give ellie a mid afternoon snack just in case. and since anything and everything about ellie makes me happy, she gets to be on my happy list today.

and the best news of all is the arrival of “sonny crockett extrordinaire”…i commissioned his making from a friend of mine as my contribution to the silent auction. just wait til you guys see him, he is without a doubt, the absolutely COOLEST sock monkey in the world! i am expecting a flurry of hot bidding for this one and only hot sock monkey ever made. (i might just bid on him myself!)


good lord!!!

Posted: April 26, 2007 at 2:53 pm

i was only gone from home for 5 and a half hours (there was a very bad accident that closed off lougheed hwy so it took a long time to get home….((hopeful, caring thoughts to any victims and their families)) and nine senior cats and one special needs cat, need a place to go. the nine are the result of a death of a senior citizen, animal rescuer with a very good heart…hmmmm, how on earth are we going to squeeze in nine, and how on earth can we not? the special needs cat is pretty special needs and maybe even more specialized then saints can take on…hmmm….

i am truly tired right now, i will wait til tonight to think about it some more.