Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A New Beginning

Turtle passed away October 2006. The next couple of months I spent getting Mama comfortable with having Ashley and Delilah in the room with her. All the while mourning the loss of little Turtle. Mama quit playing. She clearly wasn't happy anymore. She hissed, growled and swatted at Ashley and Delilah anytime they would get close. They were good girls though and never hissed back, they just tried to keep their distance. Often times I would doubt myself, this wasn't going to work. They were all feral together outside and Mama was clearly the alpha even while outside, but she was inside for a year before I brought Ashley and Delilah in, so bringing them in was like bringing two strange cats in, and now without Turtle, she was on her own.

Months pass, things finally settle down and all three girls are getting along fine. I can finally relax, knowing it is all working out, but deep within my heart I still had the guilt, the ache of not having little Turtle, the room just wasn't the same.

In January 2007 a big orange tom started spending more time in my shelter. I first spotted him five years earlier roaming the neighborhood, often coming into the shelter for a bite to eat, and quickly leave. He never stayed around long enough to think about trapping him. He was very unpredictable. I wouldn't see him for weeks at a time, and when I did see him, it was never a set time. Many times he was seen wounded. One particular time his neck had a huge slash through it, at least a couple inches wide. Several people in my neighborhood referred to him as Oscar the Grouch, because of all the fighting.

First Video leading up to his rescue.

Oscar started sleeping in the shelter, more and more and only leave when I would approach. He never bothered my other ferals, he just wanted to sleep and be left alone. Unfortunate for him another Tom Cat in the neighborhood had other plans for Oscar. Fights between the two became constant. Everyday, this other Tom would hunt Oscar down. Many times Oscar would be sleeping in a kuddler minding his own business, and out of nowhere. the other tom would jump and attack him.

I struggled for two months to trap Oscar. I soon realized he wasn't a fighter. He really was a good boy, and just wanted a safe place to sleep; he didn't want to run anymore. Part of me was afraid to approach him, and attempt to pet him. Each day as I was outside sitting in the shelter talking to him, getting the courage to reach out to him and clean his wounds, I would often cry. Seeing the look in his eyes, what he had gone through, all the battle wounds. I was falling in love with this boy. I told myself no, I lost Turtle, and many others, I don't want my heart broke again.

The end of that 2 months, I was able to just scoop up Oscar ( he was no longer the grouch) and put him in a carrier. My friend who helps me with rescue took him for his neuter, vet check, and to recuperate at her house. When I first set out to trap him, I had all intentions on releasing him back outside. Instead, because he was so good and so sweet, my rescue friend was going to put him up for adoption for me.

Oscar recuperating after his neuter and bath at my rescue friends.

During the two months of struggling with taming, befriending, and trapping him, I had a very special friend that lives in another state that kept me going. I was silently falling apart. I just didn't want to rescue anymore. I didn't want to go through the pain of losing another one, possibly failing again. She kept encouraging me with Oscar. She supported everything I was doing with him, and gave me the courage everyday to do what I was doing. When I was told that my rescue friend was going to find another home for Oscar, I wouldn't have that. All I went through with him, I knew he had to come back home. He belonged with me. My good friend encouraged me and convinced me everything will be ok. I need to open my heart again. Losing Turtle was not my fault. So, with her encouragement; Oscar came home.

Oscar in his forever home, my cat room

That is where it began. I was lost for awhile, I did not rescue Oscar, he rescued me, or perhaps we rescued each other. He was sent here for a reason. At the time I was giving up, he came into my life. He also brought my good friend to me too, as I did not know her well until Oscar came around and she reached out to help, even miles away.

I still miss Turtle, and it took a long time for the guilt and the hurt to go away, perhaps the hurt is still there, but the guilt left.

Stay tuned, and you will all see what Oscar and Turtle have to do with a special little kitten.
To be continued.....


caroline said...

sorry for your loss of turtle. Oscar is a beautiful cat. He is very lucky!

Stacy said...

Ooooh I can't wait for the rest of the story!!!!

Dog_geek said...

I'm so glad that Oscar found his way to you (or was sent to you, as the case may be.) Animals are so good at rescuing us. I can't wait to read the rest.

Mrs.Ruiz said...

His last video looks very different from his first.

Betty said...

I'm on my way out; just stopped for a quick look; I'll have to come back to see the videos. Gonna post the 'rest of the story' soon? I'm on pins and needles. Thanks so much for sharing this story with us.

Katt said...

Awww, they always know how to worm their way into your heart, no matter how closed we try to make it. Your stories remind me of a lot of mine; one rescue leads to another and another...they're all intertwined.

Carolina said...

Is it just me? I'm all teared up again and have a great big lump in my throat seeing Oscar in the first video *sigh*

You are LOVELY!
I will buy some handkerchiefs this afternoon and await the rest of your story.

Jane said...

This is another great story! Animals can soothe the soul in wonderful ways.


Fireblossom said...

Oscar and you needed each other. It's amazing to me, how when we most need them, friends and creatures come into our lives, often under the guise of their needing us.

I've joined your followers, if tha's all right. :-)

Betty said...

Okay, I made it back to see the videos..amazing! He looks so pitiful with his wounds in the first one; then he looks so much better in the second one; beautiful and happy he is in the last one! He found you for many reasons; you found him for just as many reasons. I'm so glad it worked out for both of you. The world of feral rescue would be a much sadder place without all your good works! Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.

Anonymous said...

That is the sweetest story. Im so happy you found each other.
I have a question for you if you have time. I have a large female cat I have had for years. Just the past month I notice her trying to tinkle and a small amount coming out. She has always woke up and went to my bathroom tub for some reason. I saw a drop of blood the other morning. I read cats get stones easy,but there isn't much you can do. She hasn't changed the way she acts at all and doesn't seem to hurt if I mash on her. Any advice?

T said...

I will send you an email.

Jan said...

You are a true cat lover. I have never known one like you. Keep up the good work.

mge said...

I admire people who care so actively about animals, plants and the environment in general. They are my personal heroes.

I remember trying to save an injured pigeon once but it didn't work :(

Good job!

DayPhoto said...

I am so glad you have Oscar. Turtle is a was a beautiful femine cat, and even though her life was short is was short with you in a place very few cats get to enjoy.

Oscar is safe now and that is good. Safe with you and you with him.