Tag Archives: rescue cats

Juanita Tries to Figure out Humans

15134332_1371938282817232_41046199_n-copyHi! I’m Juanita, and I am staying at the bookstore with my friends until my forever family arrives. We are having a very nice time. There’s Milky, she was found on the streets. And Frosty, he was from the shelter, like me, but he was later. And there’s Delight, nobody’s really sure how she got here. And Pear, her family moved and left her. And then there’s some kittens from the work farm at the prison; the warden asked if they could come live here.

We all live here together. We look really different and we’re all different ages and even purrsonalities. Delight is really shy and Pear doesn’t like to be carried. Me, you could carry me into next Christmas and I’d be okay with that. I love to snuggle and sometimes Milky and I have to share spaces when the humans sit down. There’s only so much lap space in the world, but we work on it together and we always fit. It’s not hard.

So the humans here, they’ve just had an electric-nation, I think is what Dad said, and they’re all worried. It must be hard to be a human; there’s a lot more to pay attention to than just eating and sleeping and playing for them, I guess. That wouldn’t be any fun.

Mom and Dad  say that it’s hard to just be yourself these days, because maybe some people are going to be mean to others, and you have to be nice to everybody, but if you’re nice to everybody, you’re nice to the mean people and the nice people, and that means no matter what you wind up being mean to somebody.

I don’t understand any of it. Mom and Dad are nice to cats, so I guess they’d be nice to people too, and since people are in charge of stuff–you know, like tuna, and where the sunbeams are–they have to be nice to each other, or some people won’t have enough stuff. I remember at the shelter, when cats didn’t get enough stuff, it went from friendly to mean real fast.

The world has a lot of room in it, Mom says, and some of it is for me, and some of it is for the other cats, and we’ve got enough room and stuff for everybody as long as nobody says only certain cats can have it. But why would anybody do that?

So I hope the humans can learn to get along. Mom says sometimes it has to do with what color you are. Which is like the dumbest thing ever. I’m black and white, and Pear is striped, and the kittens are all solid orange. But we don’t have any trouble. Mom says I have to think of it like one cat saying only orange cats are good, and the others have to do what he says. And I think, weird. If you don’t like a cat, you stay away from him. Mom says that it doesn’t work that way for humans, but I shouldn’t worry. And that I’m gonna get adopted soon.

I hope so. I got plans for sharing my space with other cats in a big happy family. Come see me and maybe we can talk about that.15174405_1371938066150587_670575587_n-copy

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

Angus still Sees Clearly from One Eye

DSCN0455Good morning everyone. My name is Angus and I’m a foster cat at the bookstore. I’m the last one here, and Mom says not to be upset about that; it’s just that people don’t understand black cats. She says someday soon somebody’s gonna walk in here and pick me up and find out what a great snuggler I am and how pretty my purr is, and they’re gonna take me home.

She says it a lot. I think she’s trying to make me feel better.

See, I have this wonky eye. My left eye has kind of a second eyelid over it. It doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t bother me much, since I don’t have to hunt for food anymore. When I was a little kitten out with the feral colony at the high school, it was kind of a problem, so I used to be pretty skinny. Mom says now I’m “solid.”

But the eyelid is, well, it’s kinda ugly so I know people look at me and then look away. Mom says the way I lift my head to see on that side is endearing, and somebody’s gonna love me for that. Again, I appreciate her efforts to keep my spirits up.

Being a black cat – with just a few white chest hairs – and having a bad eye, and then being about 13 weeks old, it’s like three strikes in a one-strike world, y’know? Is anybody ever gonna love me?

Although, I do have one thing going in my favor. I’m neutered. Didn’t hurt a bit. Worst part was skipping breakfast. Mom took me to the clinic and this pretty little blond nurse held my paw and told me to be brave, and then I got sleepy, and then I woke up and could have all the food I wanted. Nothing to it.

Mom says lots of people are looking for boy cats already neutered, and any day now…..

Yeah, yeah. I don’t mind what kind of home it is. I like dogs and I like other cats, (that’s me with my foster brother playing Boxes) and I LOVE people. Carry me, cuddle me, pull my tail (gently, you know). Just don’t call me late to dinner. I got a lot of love to give, y’know? I just wanna get started.042

So, maybe sometime soon, someone will walk in here like Mom says, and look at me, and I’ll look at them, and that’ll be that. I’ll be ready. I’ve got my favorite jingle toy all picked out – Mom says I can take it with me -and maybe a blankie. I’m ready!!!!

 

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

Ruth Thinks Certain Things would be REALLY NICE

DSCN0446Hey y’all, I’m Ruth. Yes, I’m a girl. Yes, I’m an orange tabby. Yes, I’m unusual.

Now we’ve got that out of the way, lemme tell you, we’ve got an unusual life here. It all started when we were born, see. My two brothers and I got taken to a place called a “shelter” when we were three days old. I don’t remember that part, or the part about Mom not coming with us. The first thing I remember is this lady bottle feeding us, and then we slept, and then we got more bottle. Which was very nice, and then the stuff in the bottle was in this big plate on the floor and it had this delicious stuff mixed in, called “solid food.” That was REALLY nice!

DSCN0459And then one day she put us all in this box and we went in a car and we got out at this place FULL of books. And other kittens. And the two ladies talked, and we stayed at the book house. Which was also nice, because she had the same food for us, plus there were other kittens there to play with. We all swapped stories – none of them had moms either. Some of the stories were kinda sad, but then the place where we were was nice: clean, bright, all the food we wanted, plenty of toys, and people kept coming in and cuddling us and saying things like we were adorable, and cute, and brave, and all that. That was REALLY REALLY nice!

Then one day the second lady, the one from here, she came in and sat us all down and explained that we didn’t live there forever, that one day we’d get in a car again, but maybe just one or two at a time, and go live someplace else, and THAT would be our forever homes. We all looked at each other; we like playing together! But then, you know, a forever home. That would be REALLY REALLY REALLY nice. So I guess that’s okay.DSCN0476

You should come visit us. THAT would be REALLY REALLY REALLY nice too! We love to snuggle.

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management

Beulah Plots Revenge

beulahGood morning. My name is Beulah, and I am the shop greeter at Tales of the Lonesome Pine Used and New Books (The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap).

No doubt news of my recent lawsuit has reached you by now, so allow me to provide the untold half of this story. People tend to side with their own species so quickly….

Yes, I am suing my employers for compensatory damages after emotional distress, and punitive damages. Owen Meany has assisted me in filing the needed legal briefs with Mr. Kallen, the lawyer across the alley.

Here are the facts of the case: On Thursday last I was taken against my will to a local animal hospital. In a carrier into which I was stuffed headfirst. Like a sack of potatoes. Despite my best efforts, which I assure you were considerable.

At said hospital I was drugged, and this was done to me.

beulah shaved IIGo ahead, laugh. I’ll add you to the lawsuit.

As I came groggily to myself, an unspeakable procedure called a “fecal exam” was performed. I added the animal “doctor” to my lawsuit. Don’t let that sweet little smile fool you; this woman is a sadist.beth More about her later.

One would think enough suffering had been inflicted, but on my return “home” I was locked in a room for three days, while vile concoctions were mixed into my food, something called “panacur.” First it was in milk. When I rejected this, they brought tinned food, again with the horrid stuff. I don’t know which was worse: having this thrust at me, or their belief that I was unintelligent enough to fall for such simple bribery.

But then they brought chicken. Lightly poached in its own juices. In tiny shreds. My willpower weakened from two days of confinement…..

I ate the chicken until I detected a foreign substance in my mouth. Ejecting the small pink pill (which they’d so “cleverly” smeared with chicken fat) via a ladylike “ptui,” I continued my meal.

The next day, a plate of tuna awaited me. As I loathe tuna, I followed protocol and covered it with cat litter. (Did I mention they’d provided me with a nasty little portapotty?) The unhygienic humans removed the pill–now looking very unappetizing indeed–and came toward me.

The phrase “fought like a wildcat” is incorrect. I fought like a calico. When three of them finally got the thing in and held me down, I waited. And waited.

I am very good at waiting. When they released me with murmurs of “good kitty, sweet kitty” I looked up at the ringleader and spat out the pill.

Their curses were as music to my ears.

By then I had been in confinement for three days, enduring the vile panacur mixed with chicken shreds. The humans, apparently satisfied with this torture, released me.

And then…. SHE came back!!!!!beth hood

As I sat at my old familiar post, greeting customers, Miss Priss trotted across the lawn, and before I knew what was happening, she had grabbed me and forced a whole new pill down my throat. I resisted, I fought, and then I waited. And waited.

But so did she. My mouth filled with saliva. I thought I would drown. And still she waited, smiling. Oh, that smile……

Finally instinct took over, and–curse all the dogs of this world and the moon–I swallowed.

The Evil One released me at once. And. Patted. Me. On. The. Head.

“Was that so hard?” she said, and as the door closed, I heard her say, “No, no problem at all. She’s a little lamb.”

I moved her name up in the lawsuit to primary defendant. You’ll get yours, Missy. Just you wait.

Owen tells me it may be next summer before my case comes to court. That’s fine. Revenge is a dish best served cold. I am very good at waiting….

 

 

 

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, humor, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, reading, small town USA, VA, writing

What has it got in its Pocketses?

golumnPeople who own bookstores wind up with the most amazing things in our pockets at the end of the day. Here is an inventory of mine from yesterday:

a broken cat toy – Saw it on the floor, didn’t want a dog to swallow it, picked it up just as our first customers walked in, so stuck it in my pocket until I could get to a trash can.

guitar picks – Jack is often asked to spontaneously entertain bookstore guests, and he leaves these everywhere after.

wood screws – Ditto. I don’t complain; he puts up shelves every week, just about, or does some other repair. Sometimes I think he leaves the screws so I’ll know he was working there….

a crochet hook – This is the only thing I deliberately put in my pocket that morning. Because you never know when you’ll have spare time.

various receipts and school photographs – People are forever leaving these in books. I’m pretty sure I never bought “vg lmn ast 2pk $4.99” from a place called “Far and Away” in Levington, MT. (IS there a Levington, MT?)

a mangled paperback cover – Our foster kittens sleep in the mystery room. Usually they understand the rules of correct behavior, but yesterday they’d had a go at poor Herman Wouk. I grabbed the shredded evidence from the floor because I was on my way to showing customers where Sue Grafton’s books were, and I didn’t want them to see what the kittens had done.

a lettuce leaf – We had several people eating buffet style yesterday. I don’t help serve, but was up there getting a glass of water and the leaf was just sitting, enigmatically, on a low shelf of food-themed murder mysteries. I picked it up, intending to throw it away, but someone was in the bathroom so I stuck it in my pocket until I could get to a trash can.

two pencils, a pen, four paper clips, and a pencil sharpener – Straightening a couple of shelves, I noticed some books didn’t have prices, so grabbed a pencil. Apparently about an hour later, I did the same thing, plus the sharpener. I grabbed the pen to tally a customer. I don’t know how the paper clips got in there.

a child’s sock – I found it in the children’s room, on a shelf. I don’t know why. I don’t know what to do with it.

two business cards – People come in; they tell you about their services; you tell them they can put a flyer up in the “local business” section by the door. They thank you, give you one business card, and leave. They never bring flyers. I don’t know why.

assorted bottle caps – Customers who come into the store with soft drinks or bottled water are usually very taken with the kittens, and give them the caps to play with. No problem, everyone likes this, but throughout the day I tend to rake in quite a haul.

a 500MG Tylenol – I meant to swallow it surreptitiously in our private kitchen, but when a customer asked a question, I pocketed it for later, and then it got mixed up with the pencils and the lettuce leaf, and the sock…

So, what’s in your pockets?

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, crafting, home improvements, humor, Life reflections

The Monday Book: WHERE THE MOON ISN’T by Nathan Filer

moonPart of the fun of the Monday book is how a volume reaches me. We can admit that acquisition sets up expectation –a friend you admire recommends a book, and you track it down. You find an intriguing title in the bargain section of a second-hand shop, and you think, “Nothing to lose.” How you get the book starts you down the path.

So I knew I was in for something good when my editor, Nichole, mailed me this one with the single comment: “This book is very close to my heart.” (She edited the American version.)

Published in the UK as Shock of the Fall, this is a book about mental and physical illness. Matt’s brother, a physically handicapped lad, dies tragically, and it’s pretty much Matt’s accidental fault. Matt loses himself, as does his mom, but they cope and recover in different ways.

Matt’s voice is so clear, his character so well drawn, that I found myself in the happy position of looking forward to bedtime each night, so I could see what happened to the poor kid next.

Nathan Filer’s background as a psychiatric nurse really shows in his writing; he knows whereof he speaks. In fact, the book recently won what used to be called the Whitbread Prize (now Costa) in the UK–which is a BIIIIIIG good thing–and one of the repeated phrases of the judges was how amazingly “sure-footed” the writing is for a first-time novelist.

“Sure-footed” encapsulates what captured me about Moon. You totally believe in Matt as a person, have known people like him, but also get glimpses into what it must be like to realize you have a mental illness, to be self-aware and intelligent about it, and yet still be sick. Brilliant, this book was, at making the strange normal and the normal strange.

Just so you know, Nichole has recommended books to me in the past that I didn’t like, so my glowing review is not because she’s our shared editor. As witness, I present the fuzzy picture at the top of this post. That dark blue book is Where the Moon Isn’t. I took it with me on a recent trip to DC while promoting Little Bookstore (the fuzzy beige book below Moon). See that cat in the suitcase? (Yeah, the fuzzy white thing in the middle.) That’s Owen Meany, named for a book Nichole recommended highly in fairly authoritative terms. I hated A Prayer for Owen Meany, and still do. (Heck, call that a plot?)

So that cat is the only way Owen Meany will ever grace my personal bookshelf, Nichole, but you were right about Moon; it will stay in my heart and mind for a long time.

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Filed under animal rescue, bad writing, Big Stone Gap, book reviews, humor, Life reflections, publishing, reading, Sarah Nelson, Uncategorized, what's on your bedside table

Ask Me ANYTHING about Law & Order….

scarfWes is our first-call shopsitter. He watches the store at least once a week, so that Jack can pre-record his radio programs in Johnson City (Celtic Clanjamphry, available Sundays at 9 pm on wets.org if you’re not within listening distance) or work on home improvements, perhaps even a weekend getaway for us here and there.

Wes and his lovely wife Rachael were the first couple to get married at our bookstore. Valkyttie attended the ceremony, and blessed the union by napping on their marriage certificate during the vow exchange.

They’ve been with the firm practically since the beginning. Wes bottle-fed several of our sick foster kittens, while Alexander, their 22-pound gentle giant, was one of the bookstore’s earliest fur babies.

As Wes won’t take a dime for minding the shop, we have a standing arrangement regarding birthday and Christmas presents. They take what they want from the shelves (including new books, consignment crafts, whatever) and we hand it over with gratitude.

This Christmas sorta snuck up on us all, so it was Dec. 1 before Wes and Rachael came to dinner with a list that ran heavily to handcrafted items. In short order I found myself promising to crochet four spay-and-neuter afghans, three Dr. Who scarves, an American flag quilt, a wreath and a potted houseplant.

scarf2I offered to do five gold rings as well, but no, they were cool. And yes, you can crochet potted houseplants. Check Pinterest.

By Dec. 12, I had congratulated myself on knocking out the afghans while binge-watching Seasons 1-3 of Law and Order on Netflix. On Dec. 16 I was swinging onto the last of the scarves and knew with certainty that assistant DA Claire Kincaid wore only five blouses the whole of seasons 4 and 5. The new Lieutenant had but two work jackets.

A message came from Rachael; nix the crocheted houseplant and do an “elegant” scarf in Christmas colors. That gave me a leap forward. Dec. 20, the night before Jack and I were leaving on our week-long hideaway vacation, I was seven rows from finishing the last flag and really sick of Jack McCoy’s know-it-all attitude.

socksMy own Jack made a heroic trip to Walmart (a place we normally avoid, but desperate times call for desperate measures) at 5 pm on the last shopping Saturday before Christmas, returning ashen-faced with white felt from which he cut a circle of 13 stars–after a steadying whiskey, of course. That took some pressure off. Sunday morning I whipped out the final rows on the final project and slapped a heating pad onto my right shoulder. If anyone at the Christmas service noticed my hunchback ensemble, they didn’t comment.

Because we’d do anything for Wes and Rachael,  who have done so many things for us. Valkyttie doesn’t approve of just anyone, after all.flag

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Filed under Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, crafting, humor, small town USA, Uncategorized