Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Story of Turtle

Very few people know Turtle's story. Turtle was born feral. She was Mama Cats baby. I tamed her enough when she was just about a year old, to be able to bring her and Mama into the house. My cat room was created just for her and Mama. Little did I know that soon more cats would come to call that room their home too.
Turtle was a very unique kitten. She carried alot of the feral personality while inside. She and Mama Cat had an incredible bond. Mama often groomed her and they slept cuddled together quite often. What ever Mama Cat did throughout the day, Turtle would follow suit and mimic Mama. It was always fascinating to watch her behavior, and finally start to develop her own unique personality.

After one year of her and Mama Cat being inside we began to have problems with a neighbor poisoning the cats. Not just the ferals but any pet cats that were aloud to roam. In an attempt to do my part and protect the cats, and also discuss things with the neighbor I decided to bring Ashley and Delilah inside too. It took two years to befriend Ashley, and Delilah was pretty easy after the first year. So, inside they came. I handled things wrong, and was quite ready to give up on all the ferals, just to keep peace in the neighborhood. It was a struggle, and adjustments had to be made, but we made them.

The four cats inside developed upper respiratory infections. Turtle never recovered. She spent 4 days at the vets on IV's and antibiotics, but in the end her little body couldn't fight the infection any longer, and we lost her.
I have lost a lot of pets during my lifetime, but losing Turtle was a heart wrenching loss for me.
I felt guilty, as if it were my fault. In my mind I felt if I hadn't tried to save Ashley and Delilah, I would not have lost Turtle. I cried for weeks. Mama mourned the loss of her baby. I couldn't go into the cat room without breaking down in tears, and would have to rush out of there. I felt I let Mama down. I was suppose to protect her baby, and I failed. I failed Turtle, and I failed Mama.

I vowed to never bring another cat inside. I wasn't going to do feral cat rescue anymore. I closed my heart off and wasn't going to care. Just feed the ones outside, and that was it. No more. I couldn't get close anymore. The guilt ate at my soul, and I was determined to never let that happen again.

Then came Oscar. My angel boy. The special orange tom cat that was always beat up. He had different plans for me. (his story in a few days).

So why I am telling Turtle's story. Well, in a way, this isn't really about Turtle, but another unique special little kitten. To be continued.......


Stacy said...

Oh, I teared up for you!!!(ok...I'm at work...no crying, no crying...breathe)
It's hard to remember sometimes but I have to think that Turtle was needed elsewhere, it was meant to be. I believe that with all deaths that are sudden or don't make sense...they are needed elsewhere. It still SUCKS hard when they go, it's been 5 months since Sable left us and I can still cry so easily that it takes me by surprise. (damn it I'm doing it now!!!)
Anyway...we'll see them again! And I'm absolutely positive that Turtle doesn't blame you for anything!

Betty said...

Her tortoise shell markings easily explain her name. After our conversation, I feel as though I really knew her. And, yes, Lacee does resemble her...their little souls travel and find their way home, don't they?

Forget the guilt; you have done so much to help so many that you have every right to focus on the positive. Take care.

Jane said...

It is very difficult to say good-bye to a pet. I lost my wonderful Niko at Christmas. I look forward to the rest of your story,


Mrs.Ruiz said...

Thats how I feel today:( The vet called and the cat tested positive for distemper. I exposed all my pets. 2 have expired distemper vaccines. I scrambled to get them vaccinated and disinfected my house. I threw everything away outside. Now we just wait and see if they get it:(

Phyllis said...

Hello, T. I found you through Betty's site.

This is a sad story and I understand your guilt, but please forgive yourself.

I screwed up in a major way last summer with dogs and allowed a very, very dangerous situation to be created. Two dogs had to be euthanized and it was my fault.

Even though we try our best to save the animals that so many people couldn't care less about, we are still going to mess up. Turtle still had a far better life while she was inside with you than she would have otherwise. Not to mention, she could have died from poisoning - a very painful death.

Dog_geek said...

Aww, Turtle was a beautiful cat. I'm so sorry for her loss, but I hope that you don't blame yourself any more. It is easy to feel guilty about decisions when you have the benefit of hindsight.

Carolina said...

Oh will you please STOP making me cry all the time?! Dear me. I'm all choked up now.
*deep sigh*
How is your mother doing?

(And I can't wait for the foal to be born too, due in April, and already I can't sleep. Worried! Hope that it all goes well and mother and baby are healthy and happy, you know what I mean. Fingers crossed!)

Fireblossom said...

Carolina told me about your blog, so I came for a peek. :-)

I loved reading about Turtle and the other kitties. But I've got to say, that neighbor needs a heart transplant. That's monstrous.

While I like cats, I have always owned dogs. My favorite of the five I've owned was feral when I met him, too. And he never entirely lost that, nor did I want him to. He was a Belgian Shepherd named Sundance. Anyway, when our beloved pets die, it is extremely hard not to feel guilty. They have looked to us all of their lives for everything they needed, and to not be able to save them is one of the most painful experiences there is. When Sunny died, at 15, I felt I'd let him down, I really suffered. It wasn't my fault, but it took some time to realize that. And i felt like, I'll never dare to love like that again. But ten years later, along came a Border Collie I named Bosco...and he is the light of my life. Big hearts break the hardest, but they do love again, and old friends are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. Thanks so much for sharing about Turtle.