MY BLOG WAS FORMERLY KNOWN AS, "STONEY HILL CABIN", BUT WE'VE MOVED TO THE COUNTRY AND I NO LONGER HAVE A BACKYARD CABIN. THIS WONDERFUL OLD HOUSE WAS BUILT IN 1919 AND I OFTEN WONDER ABOUT HOW THIS AREA LOOKED BACK THEN. WE'RE JUST DOWN THE ROAD FROM THE SMALL TOWN OF LIBERTY AND SINCE WE HOPE THIS WILL BE THE FAMILY GATHERING PLACE, I DECIDED "LIBERTY HOMESTEAD" WOULD BE A FITTING NAME. OUR BIG RED BARN IS NOW A SAFE HAVEN FOR OUR RESCUED CATS AND THEY SEEM TO HAVE ADJUSTED WELL. NEIGHBORS WAVE AS THEY PASS AND WE LOVE WATCHING THE TRACTORS, PLOWS, AND COMBINES ON THE ROADS AND IN THE FIELDS AT PLANTING AND HARVEST TIMES. THIS FEELS LIKE HOME.

Monday, June 10, 2013

BITTERSWEET

Each time I consent to foster kittens, I know there will come a time to let them go. My head tells me it's the best thing for them and for me. My heart tells me otherwise.
 
During the 8 to 10 weeks I foster a mama cat and her kittens, I grow very fond of them, even though I've told myself I wouldn't become attached. I don't remember a time when I didn't love cats and kittens. I used to carry a "free kitten" part way home from a friend's house and let him down to walk when I was almost there. That way I could tell my mom, "Look what followed me home!". She always knew what I'd done, though I thought I'd been clever. I was the kid who always spent the whole weekend at my grandmother's farm, trying to coax the feral barn cats and kittens to come to me. To my stern grandmother's dismay, I'd often succeed and she'd scold me and shoo them away from the house, and my heart would be broken. So, my love for cats has been a lifelong preoccupation and I can't stop myself, not that I'd want to. I was never allowed to keep a cat or kitten for very long. Mom was convinced that I'd not take care of it properly, though no one ever showed me how to clean a litter box and I didn't have any idea about spaying or neutering back then. Even though I was just a child, I would have done my best, but I was never able to convince her that I would care for my cat if only given the chance. Mom grew up in a time when animals were not allowed in homes and if they didn't earn their keep (by catching mice) they were of no use. Every time she took away one of my beloved cats or kittens, I'd tell her that when I grew up I'd have as many cats as I wanted - and look what happened! 
 
This weekend I traveled to Columbus to work on clearing out Mom's house and to deliver Misty, Simon, and Sofie to a friend who had found homes for them. Dustin (now called Murphy) had been placed in his forever home on Thursday and though he was the first to go, it wasn't such a difficult adjustment since Misty still had two babies over which to dote. I am absolutely sure he will have a wonderful life at his new home. He has a loving human mama now and a big sister, Bailey.
 
On Saturday, just before they left me, I took some final photos of the kittens and Misty and for the very first time, Sofie actually seemed to pose for the camera. She had been camera shy most of the time so I think that was her parting gift to me. I held my emotions in check until the cats were in the car and pulling away, then the tears came and my heart ached. I think it was especially bittersweet since I was alone in my mom's house going through more of her things and trying to decide which were going to be kept and which would be discarded. Mom must have saved just about every greeting card she'd ever received and the last ones I found were the sympathy cards she received in 2000 when my brother died at the age of 46. There were many beautiful cards and I was puzzled as to why my sisters and I had never seen them. I looked at each one, read every handwritten note, and in a small way, grieved for my brother again.
 
So it was indeed a bittersweet day, but I'm truly at peace knowing my mom and brother no longer suffer pain or discomfort, I'm reasonably sure my mama cat and kittens have loving homes, and very soon we'll have Mom's house ready to be listed for sale. Things are progressing as they should and life goes on, as it must.    




3 comments:

Rita said...

We understand your love for cats. We each have a dog. My daughter has 4 cats. Beginning with one and 3 others came as strays a year or two ago. Two are black and one seems to have a bit of simese blood in her. Toby is the big black cat very kind and a loner. Eli has a baby face and he is not sure where he fits but he finally fits in now and they all act like a happy family. They fill our lives with much joy. One was a kitten dying from fleas so she got a flea dip and the other had a hurt paw that was fine after $180. We buy them the best food and they are rarely sick. Love em to pieces.

Kady said...

Hi Rita, it's good to meet another cat lover. How kind of you to take them in and make sure they received the medical care they needed. I'm sure they have a very loving home with you.

Merilyn said...

Oh! Kady!!! I can only imagine how you must be feeling, I hope these dear little lives have the love the care they deserve, I would be heartbroken too!!! I love my rescue cat Miss Mini, she is a treasure!! I've rescued cats too over the years, but only one or two here and there, I'd love more but have limited space and time nowadays.
It must seem strange to walk a familiar yet unfamiliar path of memories, going through the thoughts and keepsakes of another person, I guess it will happen to us one day too!! I often think I should tidy things up first LOL! I hope things go smoothly with your Mum's house!!!!!