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Delight is Not Happy

delightOkay, you people, listen up because I have just about had it, do you hear me?

I came here as a kitten with my brother Oreo after my mom died, and a week later he disappeared. They told me he’d been “adopted.” Sure. They killed him and stuffed his body somewhere.

So time goes by – I don’t know how much, okay? I’m a cat; it’s not like we wear watches or anything – and they’re feeding me wet stuff and there’s lots of cats here to talk to, although none of them knows where my brother is beyond that “gone to his forever home” thing, which sounds ominous to me. Still, being here, it’s not all bad, is what I’m saying. Or it wasn’t.

They kept trying to touch me. Some weird human fetish, I guess, they wanted to “pet” me, which means they bothered me when I was eating. Although I admit that spinal swipe thing feels kinda nice.

Anyway, one day they put down the wet food like always, and I start in, and suddenly the chick is behind me – there’s two chicks and a guy do most of the cat stuff here; don’t ask me about the relationships; humans are weird – and she grabs me. Hard. Tight. Scary.

I scream and struggle but she stuffs me in this box, and then we’re moving, and then I’m in this place full of barking dogs and this other lady has this needle – like two feet long, I’m telling you – and she STICKS IT IN ME!!!!

Next thing I know they’re all dancing around saying “she tested negative” and telling me how great this is, but I’m back in the see-through box with the hard sides, and my leg is killing me, and I’m just plotting how I can take them all down in one good karate bite-kick-chop. I’ve got moves these girls haven’t seen yet.

But I let it go, because they take me back to the place with all the wet food and cats, and the other cats, some of them got stuck too, so we’re all limping around trading war stories, and I’m a little more careful after that. No more unexpected grabbing.

And then….. and then…..

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, right? This morning when the chick puts down wet food and gets all sweet and sneaky standing nearby, I know something’s up. I don’t bite. Literally. No wet food for me. And I think that’s the end of it.

Do you know what that bi–chick did? She waited until I was IN THE LITTER BOX. Is NOTHING private any more in this hellhole?

She grabs me – mid-stream, mind you – and I’m fighting for all I’m worth but the other chick appears from nowhere, and it’s back in the hard box with the see-through sides, and we’re moving again, and I think I’m going back to the barking dogs and scary smells place but after a LONG time (and I can hear other cats as we’re moving, but none of us know where we’re going) suddenly we’re in this bright room, and it’s again with the needle, but instead of it hurting the room starts spinning, and then it’s dark…

..and I wake up on this soft mattress and this lady with red hair is saying I was “so brave” and “everything’s fine” and I’m thinking “you don’t know for fine, bitch, just put your face a little closer to those bars.”

The other girls who came here with me, they’re all waking up too, and we’re exchanging notes, and we’ve all got sore tummies and little scars, and one of ’em, she heard from her mom, this is called “spraying.” We’ve all been sprayed.

I did not sign a consent form. That said, I don’t object to the idea I’ll never have to worry about raising kids. I saw how Mom struggled with Oreo and me before she got sick, how she worried about us as she was dying. All she wanted was for us to have it better, so no, I don’t want that responsibility. Still and all, it would have been nice to be asked. And that litter box scoop? No. Just, no.

Goes to show, you can’t trust anyone. Think I’ll be letting my guard down, that human hands will ever touch me again? Ha. No. Nyet. Not this little tuxedo cat. Nope.

I’ve got my eye on you, people.

Editor’s note: it is assumed by the staff cats and humans of the Little Bookstore that Miss, ehm, “Delight” will be staying with us indefinitely. While we welcome inquiries into her adoption, we recognize that it would be difficult to catch her in pursuit of such an option. Also, her personality is… challenging. Thus she may spend her days in our basement, eating, sleeping, and coming and going as she pleases. We have been advised by Owen Meany, esquire, that she has sought his legal counsel and an injunction has been filed against further caressing, touching, or medical procedures.

Good thing we got her spayed. That’s all that matters.

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, humor, Hunger Games, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch, writing

Alfie Ruminates on Life, Love, and the Joys of Clean Feet

003 adoptables 033 Alfalfa 020 Alfalfa 022Hello there – I’m Alfie. I like having this name. The nice nurses at the hospital gave it to me, and some of them were REALLY cute. But it hides something that’s sad, and a little bit embarrassing. I’m only sharing here because I think it might help people understand something important about shelter cats.

I went to the shelter with a lot of sores on my feet and my tongue. I had what’s called an autoimmune disease, which really means my body was so stressed out, it couldn’t fight off something simple. Like when you get a cold, but you just had an appendectomy, so you get wind up in bed with pneumonia.

So when I showed up at the shelter, well, there’s no nice way to put this: I smelled bad. Like rotten hay. Because the sores on my feet and in my mouth had gotten infected. And those nice nurses, they took one look at me, and they knew what to do, and they fixed me right up. Plus gave me my name: Alfalfa.

Let’s face it, what chance does a cat who smells bad have in a shelter? Zippo, nada, none. That’s why I’m very grateful to the pretty nurses who got me all set with those salves and that shot (which hurt, but given the alternative I don’t mind).

I’m not gonna need any more medicine, because now that I’m not scared and hungry all the time, my body has taken care of the problem. I just needed a chance, y’know? A chance to rest up and not worry about anything and put some weight on. And I want you to know, if you had anything to do with helping me, or any cats with a little bit of damage like me, we’re very grateful. Cats aren’t famous for saying thank you, but when there are so many of us, sometimes people think they should give up on the ones with something wrong. I’m living proof that, if you’re willing to take five minutes to help us fix the problem, we will make it worth your while with a lifetime of love.

Now that I don’t smell bad, people like to hold me, and that’s my favorite thing in the world. I remember what it was like when they backed away with their faces all wrinkled, so I make sure the people know how much I’m loving being cuddled.

Oh yeah, I’m adoptable. I have fur that everybody says is really unusual and pretty – look at it one way and it’s stripes, but from the other way it’s spots. And it’s silver, changeable like mercury. So if you want to adopt me, I’m hanging out at the bookstore with some other cats who got a second chance. We’re none of us babies –  I think Izzy is the youngest, and she’s five months old. Real brat, too, if you ask me – but we’re all great purrsonalities. So come visit the bookstore and while you’re there be sure we get in a cuddle, okay? ‘Cause I wanna say thanks.

 

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA

Iman Bowie Says Hi

DSCN1640Well hello there – my name is Iman Bowie, and although that may sound superstar lucky, my beginnings were anything but, let me tell you.

I won’t go into the early months, but let’s just say I’ve been looking after myself for some time now. I gave birth to two lovely boys a month or so back, and although times were tough, I did my best. We were living in the parking lot behind a department store, near a heating vent. Not a lot to eat, but I could keep them warm. Two ladies came by with food from time to time, and that helped a great deal.

So you can imagine how I felt when Tom and David disappeared: beside myself. Temperatures were plummeting and I was out there searching everywhere, calling them, and suddenly SWOOP! Some sort of net cage fell over me and, well, I figured that was it. I’d never see my boys again.

But my captors were the ladies who brought me food! They took me to some sort of facility, and wouldn’t you know Tom and David were there–just leaving, but so long as I knew they were safe and happy. Both have been adopted into loving families, as it should be. I’m so pleased to have done right by them.

Just in time, too, because after a few hours at the hospital, I began to feel woozy. And then–ehm, we needn’t go into details here; let’s just say there were many things inside me that needed to come out. And they did.

As I lay there in my hospital bed, groggy and nauseous, a face appeared. Wearing one of those Queen Cone collars. A white cat, squinting at me, asked, “Feeling better, ducky?”

imanThat’s how I met Sweet Pea (Queen Bee, as I call her, because of the collar, you know). She showed me around the hospital when I was back on my feet again, introduced me to the staff –such nice girls– and gave me pointers on where to get extra blankets and what to do if I wanted more food.

You know how it is, one minute someone is showing you the ropes, all business and efficiency, and the next you’re sharing cups of tea and talking nine to the dozens and you can’t remember a time you weren’t friends.

SPQB (sorry, my little joke) is such a sweetheart. You know, she can barely see. Her own life was even harder than mine; some of her kittens died of preventable illness before they reached the hospital, and she’s not sure what happened to the rest. SO hard for a mother to bear. Plus, her eyes. She caught a virus–and yes, it would have been treatable, but when one has no resources…. ah me. The long and short of it is, she’s left with a permanent squint and some vision loss.

She isn’t blind, of course; you should see Ms. Pea Bee bat a jingle ball! (We are Lady Cats, but perhaps when the staff aren’t looking we’ve been known to kick a few field goals.)

So really, my life improved in ways I couldn’t imagine since coming to hospital. My fur is long and silky again – with the children and the cold I just didn’t have time to care for it properly; the boys are set for life; and I have a new best friend.

I couldn’t imagine not being there for Sweet Pea. To separate now would break our hearts, and besides she needs me to help her find her collar in the mornings, and sometimes she thinks furniture is people, silly old girl, so we are counting on a home together. Surely someone out there wants two confirmed bachelor girl cats (still beautiful so celibate by choice, I hasten to add; we’ve had it with Alley Cat promises and stale catnip bouquets). We’re not much trouble, fastidious about our toilets and perfectly content in each others’ company. We love a head rub and a cuddle now and again; it’s lovely to sit together in the same lap.

So if you’re interested in us, please drop by Powell Valley Animal Hospital and ask for Mandy or Kendra; they’ve been our primary care team here, such sweet souls. We look forward to meeting you, Queen Bee and I. Now I think she’s got the cards and the teapot out, so we’re going to play some Speed Poker. (I don’t know who taught her, but she’s wicked good at it.) I must go, but I’ve enjoyed this little chat and look forward to meeting you.DSCN1664

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, humor, Hunger Games, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

WHEN IRIS EYES ARE SMILING

December folder 047We all know that cats taken to the shelter have a 1 in 8 chance of getting out again, but let’s not forget there are people who want to adopt them. (And get them spayed so their kittens don’t go back to the shelter later.)

In the spring, when so many cats flood in with little time to assess their medical needs, eye infections run rampant. Mostly these are a nuisance that will run its course, but in a shelter, every day counts. Eye discharge can cause a cat to miss his chance. Who wants to adopt ol’ Crusty Eyes (who looks sicker than he really is) when there’s a cute fluffball in the next cage? Except Fluffball has about 36 hours before she too has green gunk streaming from her baby blues.

Enter a chance to make a difference. There’s this medication called Terramycin, comes in a tube like toothpaste (only much smaller and considerably more expensive). It’s a wonder drug for eye infection. It would make everybody a lot more comfortable while they wait. And prettier, cuter and more adoptable.

The Administrator said if I could keep them supplied with Terramycin, then their staffer Beverly (a sweet girl who cares about the animals) and a couple of trained part-timers and rescuers legally allowed to be in the shelter (up on shots and all that sort of thing) would be happy to put Terramycin on the eyes of any kitties with crusties.

eye kittenPut simply, for about $300 per year, we can up adoptions. Not to mention make the babies and senior citizens more comfortable; they are the most likely to get lasting eye infections from other cats who just shake it off in a day or two.

If you can afford it, give Powell Valley Animal Hospital some money for the SHELTER TERRAMYCIN FUND. We guarantee all Terramycin bought with this fund will be used on shelter kitties only. PVAH is giving us a discount. Just put what you can in there. This is a one-time request for 2016, we hope. We will let you know how it went and ask again in 2017. Also, please note the following:

  • Don’t donate if it causes hardship to your family. We’re not wanting to take food off your table. If you’ve got a bit left over, great.
  • Don’t take away from other activities on behalf of animal rescue to donate. If you’re already working in rescue, formally or informally, please don’t take from that or harm yourself to try and stretch to this. We’re looking for people who can slip us a $20 without breaking stride. Thank you for all you already do, and God Bless.
  • All donations will be anonymous to PVAH, no thank yous sent, so please know HOW MUCH we appreciate this help.

Here’s how: If you don’t live in the area, you can call them to use your card at 276-524-1214, or mail a check to Powell Valley Animal Hospital, 4501 Aerial Way, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219. Donations are accepted all year long, but unless we get really stuck this summer, we won’t ask again. We APPRECIATE your help in reducing the number of cats who don’t get adopted from the shelter. And in making all of them that wee bit more comfortable as they wait.

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch