The Crazy Cat Lady
The Ultimate Cat Mama
In the Beginning There was "Baby"
I wrote an article not too long ago on a person's special niche. I spoke about how one finds their special niche. What I did not explain was how sometimes your niche may fall into your lap at the most unexpected time. An article I found today on felines by thewritingwife from Philadelphia, which 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 does thewritingwife and I have felines in common, we have Philadelphia in common which is where my son and daughter-in-law live and work and 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 were always kids at the 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 for 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 very small. The other one was a female, white with short hair with a black V on her head. We named her "Itzy", because it rhymed with "Bitzy" and she was even smaller. Who would have ever guessed that one? "Mama Beebe" was a highly intelligent mother and was flawless in her care of her little babies. However, she would not let "Itzy" feed and mama paid her no attention, 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. We took "Itzy" to the doctors several times, but there was nothing they could do. I took "Itzy" to work with me and when she had a 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."
We planned to get "Beebe" spade as soon as she was able, unfortunately for us soon was not soon enough as she got pregnant again. When the time came, "Beebe" gave birth to three of the cutest babies and I was not willing to give them away. I just could not separate family and "Beebe" was such a loving and supportive mother, this would have broken her heart. "Bebee" never stopped catering to her kits or her grandkits.
Mama Beebe and Her Second Litter of Babies
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. "Vesta" was a female white shorthaired kitty with a V at the top of her head. "Pudge" was a black shorthaired male baby with a dot of white under his neck.
At this point I thought we were insane for having five felines in our house, 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.
Jimmy, Vesta and Pudge were Male, Female and Male
Mama Silly and Papa Pudge Bear
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 college would find she had a pet in her dorm, so our son asked us to keep "Silly" until the semester ended and his friend would take "Silly" back. This girl told us how grateful she was and that she would pay for all vet bills and ya da ya da...It did not take too long for us to become attached to "Silly". It also was not too long after we took "Silly" in that my son and his girl broke up. We never heard anything from her again, nor did she offer to pay for anything.
This was all right with us, because by now "Silly" was part of our family and got along well with our other kitties, so well, in fact, that we soon discover "Silly" to be pregnant. It was not until "Silly" delivered her litter of six babies that we suspected Pudge as being the father. "Silly" had two what shorthaired males, "Doc Holiday" and "Wyatt Earp". They had a distinct black V on their head, two black females, "Shadow", and "Elly, and two black males, "Ebby" and "Diamond". These white kitties looked like "Bebee" and the black kitties were mirror images of "Pudge". We concluded that "Pudge" was the daddy.
We had taken Pudge to be neutered, but we were not quick enough. "Pudge" became "Papa Pudge Bear". "Papa" doted on his babies and it was interesting to see "Papa Bear" teach his babies how to hunt and climb. He 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, she was done. Her life did not seem to center around her babies. "Silly" reminded me of a socialite and preferred to sit and primp and do her own thing. If she could have had a nanny, I believe she would have hired one if she were a human. 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 personal 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 went to check it out and there laid "Silly". There were no marks on her, nothing to give me any reason she that a car hit and killed her, or an animal or human attacked her. The neighbor told me that there were two big white cats that were with her for quite some time. These cats are what brought her attention to "Silly", but they had left. I think that the two cats must have been her kids "Doc" and "Wyatt". This was a very dark and hurtful day. My heart ached for "Silly". This began our feline cemetery on the side of the backyard.
With each and 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 each and 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 own pillows and blankets.
Our kitchen table became a sickbed for those who became ill and as long as Mama Beebe was alive she would go from one ill kitty to another administering baths and loving attention to each, until her health started to fail and she could no longer carry out these chores that she was so dedicated at doing.
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 resting bed for the kitties that were ill, and this made is easy for "Mama Bebee" to nurse them. This is where most of our pets are comfortable and this is where they were allowed to rest. We ate our dinner where ever, but it was not the kitchen table as long as kitties had control, they were not disturbed.
The Rainbow Bridge
I have done much research on when our family pets pass on. The question is do these pets go to Heaven? While many people believe they do not, including some clergy professionals, there are just as many people and clergy who believe that our beloved pets indeed pass over into Heaven, and this is 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 Bebee" is running all over Heaven taking care of her family and is happy as a little clam.
Inspired by a Norse Legend
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 in 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 at 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.
Not only did this family of feline touch our hearts but we have had strays that we have taken in through the years and I believe that each of their stories need to be told. They meant just as much to our family and I will follow this up with another article in the near future. Thank you for reading and understanding just how much pets mean to many families.