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My Calico Kitty Angels

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi, Everyone--

Pam Jackson of Carocats in Columbia, SC, has been helping me with a feral colony of cats and kittens (some positive, some negative for felv) that I have been caring for and trying to find homes for. At the moment we are slowly testing and spaying them all. I say slowly because my heat pump (air conditioner/heating unit) in my house is rusting out and needs to be replaced. They are putting a new one in on Tuesday and Wednesday, which includes ripping out all the old ductwork under the house, to the tune of $6100.00. So my feral cat funds are limited.

We are trying to find homes for the positive and negative ones, and if you know anyone looking for a very sweet, pretty new cat or kitten send them this link www.bemikitties.com/carocats/pg7.html

I mention this because I want to tell you the story of my two calico twin kittens. We didn't test the kitties originally for felv because they are all so fat and happy and energetic, no runny eyes or noses, and eat like hogs. A very nice lady called Pam and wanted a calico kitten to be an outdoor cat with her two other mature cats at her home which sits on 7 acres. Pam didn't have one that could be an outdoor cat at the time, but both of the calico kittens I had were tree climbers and live in the woods behind my house, so we thought it would be a good match. I had raised these kittens on my porch since they were 5 weeks old when their mother first brought them to see me, so they were tame. Now they were 3 and a half months old and gorgeous. The lady decided to take both when she heard they were twins, and I thought all went well until I got a message two days later on my answering machine from her sadly telling me the kittens were dead. She had taken them to her vet, and they had both tested positive for felv, and he suggested to her that they should be put down immediately. I was devastated because if I had been called first I would have taken them back in a second. The next day was the first signing for my book at Books on Main in Newberry, SC (I am a professional poet and my 30th book THE YEAR OF THE CAT is about this feral cat colony and my 4 housecats). I had cried all day after I received that message, and it was all I could do to get it together to do the book signing the next day. But I kept thinking of my precious calico kittens as my kitty angels that had come back to me and would be with me at the book signing and forever. And I believe they were.

From the fist moment I heard they were gone I began to write a poem called WEDNESDAY about them as a memorial so they wouldn't be forgotten. I sent a copy of it to Pam when I finished for her kitty memorial board. When I take some of these cats in to get them ready for adoption I keep them in the bathroom next to the kitchen. There I give them baths and flea treatments and train them to use the litter box, etc. What was particularly hard for me was the fact I had spent the day before in that bathroom doing all this with the calico twins and telling them how lucky they were to be going to such a wonderful new home. I had no idea I was sending them to their death. Here is the poem I wrote (I named the tiny kitten Rosebud and the chubby one Azalea). I am including this poem for those of you who have gone though a similar experience or who have lost a precious fur child recently. I hope it makes you feel better. Much love to you all, Laura


(c) Laura Stamps

Almost four months old,
ruddy as rosebuds or azaleas,
they scuffled on the porch
every evening, the tiniest
one turning to slap her paws
against the glass door, as if
she were swimming. Twins,
they huddled together in the
corner of the bathroom that
afternoon, a puddle of calico,
their eyes content to converse
in the silent consonants and
vowels of cats. The heavy
one only howled when the
other, sweet as the scent
of a spring blossom, stood
in my lap, her paws on my
chest, eager to kiss my chin,
as if she knew they would
surely return to me on Friday,
ribboned with velveteen wings.
post #2 of 9
Cool Cats!
post #3 of 9
I'm so sorry to hear about the two calicos. All your kitties in the links are beautiful! I wish I was in a position where I could bring one home. Good luck finding forever homes for all the kittens!
post #4 of 9
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of those beautiful calicos. I was recently astounded to hear an animnal control officer in my area - a woman who loves cats and has 7 of her own say all the kitties they get with feline AIDs are put to sleep. Of course this was the SPCA but I was amazed that anyone who seemed to love cats that much would have that view. And her cats do not wear collars b/c they are all indoors but as we all know (and she should very well know more than most since she unvestigates homes and picks up strays.
post #5 of 9
I am sorry this happened. Rest in peace little calico kittens. You were loved.
post #6 of 9
Your poem was beautiful. It is truly tragic that two wonderful little lives had to end so abruptly. Your poem truly touched me. It will carry on their memory forever. I am so sorry for your loss.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just got a chance to get back to the site after I posted my poem and story about my precious calico kitty angels. I am deeply touched by all the comments from those who responded. Thanks so much for your care and concern. We are still in the process of spaying and testing and finding homes for both the positives and the negatives. And we are finding quite a few negatives in this colony. Yeah! It seems many of them have thrown the Felv off, since they have all eaten together from the same bowls and nursed off various positive moms and groomed each other since they were born. This is very encouraging. Felv is an immune issue, and it seems if you can build up their immune systems many will throw it off, so that's what I have been doing with a special "milkshake" I have been giving to them every day for lunch filled with various herbs and nutritional supplements that strengthen the immune system. I've been doing this for over a year before I knew I had any felv in this colony, and it seems to be working, because many are negative, and those that are positive seem to have strong immune systems and are very healthy. So far so good! And it is encouraging to know that many in the cat community are learning that felv is not an instant death sentence. That there is hope for recovery if they are healthy and have no symptoms like all of the cats in my feral colony. I think there is so much we don't know about felv and so much more we have to learn about it, and I'm glad so many are keeping an open mind.

If anyone wants to know what I am putting in my immune-system-building-milkshake, let me know and I'll be happy to give you the recipe. I am not using any drugs, just vitamin, herbal, and nutritional supplements, because I prefer to go that route rather than the drug route.

Much love to you all and your precious fur children!

post #8 of 9
Bless you in your rescue efforts, Laura! As for Azalea & Rosebud, they did go to a better home, once they crossed the Bridge and at least they had a peaceful passing, which would have been unlikely had you not taken them from the wilds. I am glad that they did not know the suffering of being unowned, unloved, pregnant while still a kitten, or suffering complications during delivery, or sick, starved, wet & cold, etc.
Growing up as a country girl, I have always been exposed to the cycle of life & death; I am just very, very sad that Rosebud & Azalea were denied their allotted seasons on earth, spent as beloved, sheltered & comforted pets...RIP, little ones.
post #9 of 9
What a lovely tribute to your 2 sweet babies.....I`m so saddened for the loss of them that I cried when I read this. I`m so sorry!
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