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The Crazy Cat Lady
The Ultimate Cat Mama
In the Beginning There was "Baby"
In the Beginning, There was "Baby"
I wrote an article not too long ago on a person's unique niche. I spoke about how one finds their particular niche. What I did not explain was how sometimes your niche might fall into your lap at the most unexpected time.
An article I found today on felines by thewritingwife.com from Philadelphia, prompted me to write about my escapes with feline rescue over the last 25-years. Felines are a niche of mine that I had not mentioned in my article.
Not only do the writing wife, (www.thewritingwife.com) and I have felines in common, but we also have Philadelphia in common which is where my son and daughter-in-law live and work. I have come to know and love Philadelphia a great deal. Since this author and I have these two things in common, I felt it befitting to write this article.
My husband and I have three children, and these children had three friends who found their way into our hearts and home. We were so close to these kids we call them our 'adopted kids.' My husband a television and computer technician and I a nurse always worked 40-plus hours per week, and in addition to this, there was still a host of kids at our house either living, staying overnight or just visiting for the day. Our home was busy indeed.
Therefore, you can imagine that when the kids all moved out, we were appreciative of the quietness of our home's surroundings. Well, my daughter had not entirely moved out, yet. She was 18-years old and declared she would never move out, ugh! She worked full time and kept a busy life. One day a small all white kitty with a prominent V at the top of her head came to our front door and my daughter begged us to give "Baby" a home. "Baby" was living in the garden next door to us. She had already named this sweetie. However, I just did not want pets as I was beginning to appreciate our nearly new quiet life.
After begging for several hours, my daughter bought some flea bath treatment to remove the fleas on this kitty, and "Baby" soon became a permanent fixture in our home. "Baby" had been with us for several weeks when we noticed she was gaining weight, and we found she was pregnant.
Mama Beebe and Her First Litter of Kitties
It was not long, and "Baby" became "Mama Beebe." Beebe had a litter of two kitties; one was a male, brown and white long haired baby we named Bitzy because he was so tiny. The other one was a female, white with short hair with a black V on her head. We called her Itzy because she was smaller then Bitzy and this seemed to rhyme with Bitzy.
Mama Beebe was a highly intelligent mother and was flawless in her care of her babies. However, she would not let "Itzy" feed and mama paid her no attention to her, shoving her to the side. We did not know that "Itzy" had congestive heart failure and was soon to pass away. Mama Beebe knew, and this is why she would not feed her. Felines are highly intelligent critters.
We took Itzy to the doctors several times, but there was nothing they could do. I wanted to give her as much of a chance at life that I could give her. Besides, the doctors could be wrong.
I took Itzy to work with me, and when she had hard time breathing, I gave her oxygen. We enjoyed Itzy and made her as comfortable as possible until she went to sleep never to awaken again. RIP Itzy. Itzy’s death was my first heartbreak with losing a beloved pet. Little did I know that there would be countless more heartbreak in the future? If you do not have a particular love for a pet, you will never understand how it feels to lose one.
We planned to get Beebe spade as soon as she was able, I now had three cats in the house and this, in my mind was utter insanity. Unfortunately for us, we did not get Mama Beebe spade quick enough as she got pregnant again.
Jimmy, Vesta and Pudge were Male, Female and Male
Mama Beebe and Her Second Litter of Babies
Pudge was a black shorthaired male baby with a dot of white under his neck.
Pudge, aka Papa Pudge Bear, was a brother to Jimmy and Vesta. Pudge was laid back but had a roving eye for the female felines, and later we changed his name to Papa Pudge Bear. Papa Bear died at 18-years from Kidney Failure.
-RIP Papa Bear 1993 to 2011.
At this point, I thought we had lost our ever-loving minds. But, there was no way that I trusted anyone to take these babies. Besides, Mama Beebe doted on these babies and ran from one to the other meeting their needs. The babies filled her lazy days with a lot of work. We did not have to do anything except help feed them and keep the litter pan clean, so we had the best of the deal.
The first of Mama Beebe's babies was a male, Jimmy. He was a short hair white kitty with a black V on the top of his head.
Jimmy was a special cat to our doctor and his receptionist. Jimmy expected the receptionist of kissing him on his head with her red lipstick. When Jimmy saw Sandy the receptionist, he would hold his head down so she could plant a kiss on his head. Jimmy died at 16-years from Colon Cancer.
-RIP Jimmy 1993 to 2009
Vesta was a female, white shorthaired kitty with a V at the top of her head. Vesta was as sweet as they come. She was a climber and many times we found her on our roof. She could get up on the roof but was scared to come down, so we always had to rescue her with a high ladder.
We did not know how to cure Vesta from Climbing up the tree and jumping on our roof. My husband thought that as long as she got on the roof, she could work her way down.
One night we left Vesta there to see if she could get down. When morning came Vesta was still there, so my husband got the ladder and climbed up to get her and brings her down.
We found out that she would not, under any circumstances get down on her own. We kept the ladder in place for a long time after that as we knew that in a short while we would be up there again. Vesta died at 15-years of age from kidney failure.
-RIP Vesta 1993 to 2008.
Mama Silly, Papa Pudge Bear, and Ebby, Elly, Shadow, Diamond, Doc, and Wyatt Make Eight
At the time we were going to get, Pudge neutered, our eldest son Jeff brought home an adorable white longhaired female kitty named "Silly." This kitty belonged to his girlfriend at the time.
This girl went to the same college as our son and kept Silly in her dorm room. She was afraid that the school would find she had a pet in her dorm, so our son asked us to take care of Silly until the semester ended and his friend would come and pick up Silly.
This girl told us how grateful she was and that she would pay for all vet bills and care. It did not take too long for us to become attached to "Silly." It also was not too long after we made Silly a home, my son and his girl broke up.
We never heard anything from her again, nor did she offer to pay for anything or reclaim her pet. I was relieved that this happened because this girl told us in the beginning when Silly was only a month old this young cat had been kicked and abused by her prior boyfriend. This incident was unfortunate and broke my heart. I was not going to take a chance of this happening again. As far as I was concerned Silly was now my cat.
This decision was all right with us, because by now Silly was a big part of our family and got along well with our other kitties, so well, in fact, that we soon discovered Silly to be pregnant.
We were in the process of scheduling this new group of felines from Mama Beebe to be neutered and spade. but, before we knew it we found out after a few months Silly was pregnant!
It was not until Silly delivered her litter of six babies that we suspected Pudge as being the father. Silly had two white, shorthaired males we named Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp. They had a distinct black V on their head the same as Mama Beebe. Silly delivered two black females, Shadow, and Elly, and two black males, Ebby and Diamond.
These white kitties looked like Beebe, and the black kitties were mirror images of Pudge. We concluded that Pudge was the daddy. Silly, bless her heart was not an overly attentive mother like Beebe. She did her best but would instead not do too much, so Grandma Beebe took over all the extra attention she thought was lacking for her grandkits.
Pudge became Papa Pudge Bear. We just knew that Pudge must be the father because Papa doted on his babies, and it was interesting to see Papa Bear teach his babies how to hunt and climb.
Pudge Bear was always right there to help the babies if they needed help. Silly fed and bathed her babies, but when she completed her motherly chores, and I think as quickly as she could, she doted on herself.
Her life did not seem to center on her babies was Beebe’s custom. Silly reminded me of a socialite and preferred to sit and groom herself and do her own thing.
I just think that if she could have had a nanny, I believe she would have hired one. These babies were born in 1995. By 2000, the babies were big cats, except for Shadow. Shadow was very small and petite and through the years became my companion.
In 2000, the woman who lived across the street came to my door and told me that she thought one of our kitties had passed away on her front lawn.
I immediately went to check it out and there laid Silly. There were no marks on her, nothing to give me any reason that a car hit and killed her, or an animal or human attacked her. She had no cuts, scrapes, blood, abrasions, nothing!
The neighbor told me that two big white cats were with her for quite some time. I think that these were Doc and Wyatt. I believe that Silly's sons remained with her during her passing.
These cats are what brought the neighbor's attention to Silly. The neighbor said that by the time she got to Silly the other two cats were gone.
Silly's death was a very dark and hurtful day for me. My heart ached for Silly. Silly began our feline cemetery on the side of the backyard in the rose garden along a tall privacy fence around our yard installed after her death.
We did all we could to assure this never happened again. We protected our feline family as best as we could. We soon learned that if a cat wants out, they will get out. We had three cats that jumped that six-foot-high fence and went about the neighborhood.
Silly's cause of death when she turned four years of age was unknown. I have to wonder if Silly died instantly from Cardiomyopathy like her son Doc the next year in 2001. Did she pass on this trait to one of her kids? We will never know.
-RIP Silly 1996 to 2000.
There is a Season for Everything and Everyone
With every kitty illness and finally death comes increased hurt and tears. When a pet passes on, they take a small piece of your heart with them.
Ebby was a short-haired back kit with a white bow tie at his neck. Ebby was only four years of age when I noticed that he was having a difficult time catching his breath. I took him to the doctor and found that he had lung cancer and there was nothing the doctor could do except to keep him comfortable and when needed pull the extra fluid from his lungs.
One day while Ebby was at the vet and ready to come back home and I got Ebby in the car he fought to breathe. I took him immediately back to the vet. We laid him on the exam table, he let out a quick scream and died, and so did my heart.
-RIP "Ebby" 1997 to 2001. We love you.
Elly was about five years old when she started to have seizures. A CAT scan determined she had an inoperable brain tumor. The vet gave her antiseizure medicine to take and told us it was only a matter of time. We brought her home and cared for her until the seizures would not stop, and the vet felt it time to put her to sleep.
-RIP Elly 1997 to 2002.
My husband went on his first fishing trip in Northern Michigan with friends. It was on his first day away that we noticed that Wyatt could not breathe.
This breathing difficulty came on in a matter of seconds from being a healthy cat. My son and I rushed him to the nearest vet where he died in my arms before I could get him through the door.
The vet did an exam the next day found that Wyatt died of Cardiomyopathy. This diagnosis is a condition where and without warning the normal flow of blood to the heart backs up and pools in the heart. Human beings can also have this sudden situation.
-RIP Wyatt 1996-2001
Doc, our precious Doc, died of bladder stones. One day I noticed Doc entering the litter pan and he could not urinate. Our vet or was in practice with three other vets were treating him for these stones. Our vet was out of town when Doc ran into problems.
The vet on call tried to run a catheter into his bladder and gave him medicine to dissolve the stones to no avail and strongly recommended I put him to sleep, yet another heart-breaking decision. I went to visit Doc a few times, and he looked at me with his big green eyes as though asking me to please relieve him of this madness. His sad eyes is an image forever branded in my memory. I can never forget his pleading eyes.
When our regular vet returned, he was shocked to find out what happened and told us he could have helped Doc and was not pleased to hear he was gone.
Pet owners only do the best they can do and relies on experienced doctors to take care of problems. My vet's statement was an honest statement, but one that put an enormous amount of guilt on me, because I felt like I failed our Doc. I still have not gotten over the guilt.
-RIP my Doc 1996-2011
Shadow was the runt of Silly's litter. Shadow required a lot of attention and love and soon become my side-kick. Shadow went everywhere I went and slept on my pillow at night. I loved her so very much. She did live to the ripe age of 18 years. In her 17th year, she started to show blood in her urine. The doctor treated her and kept her comfortable she had tumors throughout her bladder that was inoperable. We finally put Shadow to sleep on quiet Sunday afternoon at the vet's office. I dearly loved everyone one of my felines. They were all unique. However, Shadow was my sole-mate.
-RIP Shadow, Mama loves you
Diamond had a mind of his own and an agenda, unlike the other kitties. Diamond was mostly a tall, lanky, loner. In 2015 Diamond celebrated his 20-years and was the last one of Mama Beebe’s line. When a feline reaches at least 15-years, you do not want to put them through too many medical interventions unless you are assured it helps them live longer and makes them comfortable.
One day I saw what appeared to be a seizure that lasted for a few seconds. I took him to the vets, and the vet began to follow his actions and finally put him on seizure medicine. Diamond did well most of 2014, and the seizure was infrequent. Going into 2015 the seizures become much more frequent until we finally had to put Diamond to sleep. The vet felt that diamond had a brain tumor. I will miss this kitty just as much as all the others that passed on.
-RIP Diamond, you are special
Undescriable Grief that Only Pet Lovers Understand
With every kitty illness and finally death comes increased hurt and tears. When a pet passes on, they take a small piece of your heart with them.
We loved every one of our family pets and gave them the best home and medical care possible. They were waited upon and spoiled. We fed them the best food, and they all had their pillows and blankets.
Our kitchen table became a sickbed for those who grew ill. As long as Mama Beebe was alive, she would go from one ill kitty to another administering a bath and give loving attention to each. Beebe did this until her health started to fail and she could no longer carry out these dedicated chores.
Our kitchen table was the center of our home, in front of a large kitchen window where the kitties could sit and watch outside or bask in the noonday sun.
This table became a comfortable bed for the kitties that were ill, and this made it easy for Mama Beebe to nurse them. This table hosted cushy blankets and became the choice resting place for most of our pets. Cats prefer to be at eye level with people. We ate our dinner where ever, but it was not the kitchen table as long as kitties had control, they were not disturbed.
A True Heavenly Encounter
Only the very devoted pet owner whose heart is right with God and who considered their pet part of their family can understand what I am going to say.
God gave me a unique insight to offer me comfort. Throughout the years God allowed me two visions of heaven. I embraced these visions as they brought me comfort during the passing of two of my cats. Hopefully, my experience gives you comfort as well. Hopefully, my two experiences give you hope for reconnecting with your deceased, beloved pets.
When Wyatt died so instantly I was so distraught that I believe God gave me a reassuring peek at just where our beloved pets go when they die.
I believed that my heavenly Father allowed me a vision of my deceased mother in a long plain white gown with Silly standing at her side. They were looking into the horizon; I believe waiting for Wyatt. This vision was real and lasted only seconds, but none the less gave me great comfort.
A few years later I had another vision come to me. This image was not a dream, and yet I cannot fully explain. I envisioned my deceased dad sitting in a chair in his Navy uniform with Bitzy sitting on his lap.
I could not figure this out until my husband said to me, "Don't you remember that when your dad came to visit us, Bitzy always jumped into your dad's lap and was content to sit there?" I have to say, "No, I don't remember this." My husband reaffirmed for me my vision and somthing I was not aware.
Felines are brilliant creatures, and I think they posess a heart, spirit, and soul, just as much as any human being. I know this is contrary to what some clergy believe. However, since these visions took place, no person can convince me otherwise. I will see my feline family again.
My story does not end here. I will follow this article up with another article about all of the discarded stray kitties that filled our home and hearts with a different kind of love and joy.
Thank you for reading and understanding just how much pets mean to this "Crazy Cat Lady" and the many families in society who love and honor the lives of so many beloved pets.
I believe God reassured me that someday I will reconnect with my beloved pets and that my precious feline family is waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.
The Rainbow Bridge
By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait, and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge, they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start and sniff the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over, together at last.
(Inspired by a Norse Legend)
I believe that my beloved feline family is waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge. Where I once had my doubts, these doubts are replaced with a firm knowledge that my pets are happy and content, and I will see them again.
I have done much research on when our family pets pass on. The question many pet owners have is, "Where do our pets go when they die and will we see them again in heaven?"
A minister once told me, "Animals do not possess a soul or spirit. Therefore they go nowhere when they die." This minister's belief was troubling to me for many years.
While many people believe pets do not go anywhere when they pass on, including some clergy professionals, there are just as many people and clergy who say that our beloved pets indeed pass over into Heaven.
I find this comforting to me to believe that one day our loving brood of felines will be waiting at the Rainbow Bridge in Heaven for us.
I know that Mama Beebe is running all over Heaven taking care of her family and is happy as a little clam. I know that the day will come that I can once again give that award-winning mama a big hug and kiss.
How can I be so confident? God gave me a unique insight.