Monday, October 15, 2012

Blog the Change for Animals: My Rescues

Blog the Change
Blog the Change is a chance for bloggers to write about something they are passionate about. I am passionate about anything that protects and defends animals, but first and foremost I want to promote pet adoption.

This is the first time I've joined Blog the Change for Animals, and wanted to focus on the kitties I've rescued in my life. I come from a long line of cat ladies. My great-aunt May, who I never met, always made sure she had money to feed all her rescue cats before she took care of herself. My mother likes to joke that I am her reincarnated, because animals mean more to me than anything. Growing up I would lay in bed with a pile of books in one corner, and a cat in the other. Over 30 years later I am still always surrounded by books and cats...they are the true bliss in my life.

My first cat was Patch, a beautiful orange tiger that my parents rescued when he was 3 months old, dumped at my father's family farm. My childhood companion was with me for 15 years until he passed of a brain tumor. Next we took in Sebastian, an older gentleman left behind when his family (our neighbors) moved away. He was only a part of the family for a few years until we lost him to renal failure.

Sashi was the first cat I adopted at the shelter. She was 9 years old, brought to the shelter because her family could no longer keep her, and overlooked for a long time because of her age. Week after week I passed by her cage at the PetsMart adoption center until I finally realized she was waiting for me. She was my perfect little girl for almost 8 years. Her passing in 2006 tore my heart into a million pieces. She was the first cat that was truly mine, and I felt like I had lost a child.

A little over a year later I found myself again roaming the aisles of the PetsMart adoption center when the most beautiful tortie lady made me gasp. I knew she was the one. Tara was 7, brought to the shelter as a stray, and has been with me for a little over 5 years now. She has many health issues now and I know when I lose her another piece of my heart will be gone forever. But I also know that after a period of grieving my heart will start to heal and I will find another furry soul mate that will need me.

These are just the cats that have been a part of my home. Many others have been in my life. Neighborhood cats neglected by their owners know they will always find a meal at my door. One summer a stray kitten started living in a square birdbox in my yard. I named him PopTart because he bounced around every minute. At this time Sashi was in my life and she hated other cats, so when fall came around I had him neutered and brought him to the shelter. I cried all the way there when I dropped him off.  I really loved that little guy and hope he found a beautiful life. Mooch was another stray that came to my door for meals. I would periodically bring him into the house but he would never stay. One day he disappeared, and my heart broke again.

I wonder sometimes why I'm constantly putting myself through the heartache of loving and then losing all these cats. I can't live without them. So many animals are in need, and the truth is, they save us just as we save them. It always makes me so angry when someone I know goes to a breeder for a pet when so many beautiful animals are waiting in shelters to find their forever home.

Adopt...Don't Shop!!!



Kristine said...

Cat adoption! Such an important cause and I thank you for sharing the story of your feline family members. It could not have been easy taking PopTart to the shelter but sometimes it is the right thing to do. I am sure he loved his new home and family.

Anonymous said...

I love this post. Melissa you have a huge, generous heart for letting dear felines into your heart.

All three of my cats at home are rescues, from my 5yo Maine Coon who still has trust issues to my adorable little 9 week kitten, who is a recent recruit.

I'm so lucky my husband understands that when I buy two boxes of cat food, one is for the local shelter and the other is for my cats. I'm not sure my cats are as understanding!!

BtC4animals said...

Welcome to Blog the Change, and what a fair maiden post it is! Personal stories are always most compelling and - don't tell my husband - but reading yours makes me want to get ANOTHER Cat.

As for why we put ourselves through the constant cycle of love and loss, the answer is easy. The beautiful days and memories with these creatures far outweigh our sorrow at their loss. We know we've played some small part in making this rescue pet's life better while they have rescued our whole heart in return.

Thanks so much for Blogging the Change!

Kim Clune

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

Thanks Kristine, I hope so too!!! 10 years later I still think of him often.

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

What a huge, generous heart you have as well! Thank you so much for helping to feed the shelter kitties!

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

Awww, you made me tear up...thank you so much for the sweet words. (And go adopt another cat!!! LOL)

Pup Fan said...

I loved reading about your kitties... what a wonderful post. :)

Be the Change for Animals
I Still Want More Puppies

KimT said...

Kudos to you for all your work with fosters! It's not easy, but you're right - the rewards are great. And we both know there are some very grateful kitties out there, thanks to you!