February 13, 2010


In the mid-80s I was out riding my bike with a friend in the Iowa countryside. We had come to an intersection and I felt very strongly that I wanted to make a right turn on the intersecting gravel road. Soon after we began down the road, my eyes caught movement in the ditch, it was a little beagle-mix black and brown puppy, probably no more than 8 weeks old. As I was unable to carry her on the bike, I biked home, got my car and came back to get her. She was terrified. I waited patiently until she felt ok to approach me, then picked her up and put her in the car. As I rode home I kept praying that my two other larges dogs would accept her into the fold. Well, they did! Sweetpea had serious trust issues and was afraid all of her life.

She purred when I picked her up for the first time as a little girl and I knew it was love at first sight! Me and my kitty have been happily together for 19 years since and counting!

12 years ago when coming home from work I noticed one of my students looking down into what I thought was a box of garbage, only to find 3 tiny 2 week old kittens looking up at me. I called my husband and told him we had to change our plans that day. I placed the box on my bicycle basket and took them home. We worried they might not survive at such an early stage. In the end we had to push their little heads into a bowl of milk to teach them how to eat without their mother. Luckily George, Missy and Ofelia are very smart cats and took to the milk without too much fuss. That was in 1998. George was named after one of my favorite books... Curious George, cause that was exactly who he was. He was the first to eat, first to make his way out of the box we kept them in to be safe, the first at everything. Missy was our little dainty girl, a real "miss" and Ofelia has had a tragic struggle in life, first being abandoned, then having fleas drink so much of her blood she needed a blood transfusion. To her current state of being diabetic, anemic and having a brain disorder that has resulted in one eye being ruined, but she is a fighter and still kicking 12 years later. These are my "furry bodies of love". They come to greet us when we come home from work, they calm us when we have had a bad day and they give us unconditional love everyday.
Now in 2005 we planned to leave Japan and move to my husbands home country of Sweden. We had to get the cats inoculated for rabies before we went as Japan does not have the disease. After, that the cats had to be tested for antibodies against rabies. One day, a couple months from the move I got the news, the girls had past but George did not as he had rabies and could not build enough antibodies to defend himself. I came home worried, knowing what I wanted to do but not sure how my husband Thomas would feel. When I told him George had not passed, he said the one thing I wanted to hear. "Well we can't go then!" Exactly my thoughts, you wouldn't leave your child behind, so why would you leave your pet?
I can honestly say I have never loved my husband more! We are still in Japan because of my dear boy, even though he was killed by a car two years ago, I have never regretted staying. His sisters have a new brother, found in a park last March, Indy (named after Indiana Jones, for his adventurous nature and love of excavation of the cat toilet) has brought a whole new life to our house. Along with Bob, the dog I found wandering the streets of Osaka abandoned by his owner for being too sick. We now have a house filled with love! What more could a person ask for?

I’ve never been in a serious relationship so I didn’t know what love felt like until I got my Cat Precious about 6 years ago. I love Precious so much. I always look forward to spending time with her, looking after her and discovering what her quirks are. She also keeps me company when I need someone beside me. She is the best cat anyone could ever ask for and I truly don’t know what I would do without her. I could be having the worst day and just thinking about her and seeing her puts me in a good mood. She has really taught me what it feels like to love someone.


Standing at my stove absent-mindedly stirring my oatmeal and thinking
about the day ahead, I automatically turned toward the flash of white that
caught my eye at the far end of the backyard. Looking out the long windows
at the back of the kitchen into the back yard, I scanned the newly emergingferns, thinking I had seen one of the lilies setting a bud but it was too early
in the spring for that. Then I saw it again, a moving flash of white.
Standing very still, holding my breath, I saw her. She was looking straight at me
with her huge golden lion eyes, almost hidden by the returning fern sprouts. When
I moved toward the back door, she disappeared.
She returned the next day, showing a little more and a little more of herself, a small, compact black and grey cat with American Shorthair whorls on each side, a white lower face, white chest and white paws. Her thin body made her legs look like stilts. I began taking small bowls of fresh water and dry kibble out to her. She would withdraw to the back fence when she saw me, but when I went back into the house, she crept toward the bowls and ate ravenously until all was gone.
Each day, I filled the food bowl with more kibble and set it, along with her water,
a little closer to the kitchen's backdoor. Most days, she came, creeping closer and ate it all. When it was finished and after drinking a little water, instead of running
away, she sat and looked at me watching her from inside the kitchen before turning and walking away.
I soon realized that I knew her. She had been a kitten the spring before, the latest addition to a feral cat family that prowled our neighborhood. I had seen her several times as a newborn when her athletic mother, whom she resembled, carried her in her mouth, flying straight up tree trunks, across fences and roof lines. Soon, the kitten was walking near her mother as they prowled the neighborhood. One day, when she was about six months old, her mother disappeared and never returned, but I would get occasional glimpses of the kitten.
I forgot about her after awhile. Then, full grown, she appeared in my back yard among the ferns a year ago. I began thinking of her as Lily.
Time passed. Some days she did not come and I drove to work with a heavy heart, worrying that some predator or some car had killed her. But she always returned.
By summer, she was coming into the covered porch behind my kitchen. Her body filled out and she looked healthier. She began to allow me to stay in the porch when I took food and water out to her. I sat on a low stool and talked to her very quietly as she ate. She was purring by the time she came into the porch and would rub against my leg, letting me stroke and talk to her, even before she turned to eat. One day, she climbed on my lap and, as I whispered to her, she leaned her head against my chest where she must have heard my heart racing.
As the days turned cool last fall, my thoughts turned to the coming winter and wondered whether she would let me bring her inside and whether my older two cats would accept her (and she them). I started putting her food bowl inside a
cat carrier, the door left open. She did not like this and resisted going in, even punishing me by disappearing for a few days, but then returned. She would go into the carrier but leave her long tail and one hind leg out, stretching to reach
the food, making me smile at her wiliness.
I folded an old blanket and some old towels on the floor of the porch for her to sleep on and usually found her curled up there early in the morning. When I opened the back door, she would stick her head inside and then withdraw, unwilling to come in where it was warmer, yet curious.
Then, one chilly day in late October, after going missing for a few days, she came.
As usual, she climbed on my lap when I came out with her food, but seemed distracted, turning repeatedly toward the back yard and crying. I checked her body for something hurting, but found no cuts or other wounds, but she continued
her intermittent little cries. Finally, I turned to look where she was looking toward
the browning ferns leaning from the fern bed into the porch floor. And then I saw:
a tiny grey and white face with huge blue eyes, pink nose and little mouth open in a responding cry. Lily jumped down and went to her kitten, nuzzled her and then
sat down to nurse her. I watched in amazement that she had been creating this beautiful little kitten.
Lily and the kitten, whom I named Blue for her blue eyes and distinctly blue aura, were soon ready to be checked by my vet, spayed, brought in and gradually introduced to Muffin and Hallie. All four little formerly ferals, ranging from four months to fifteen years, are now part of my household and part of my heart.


We start the day together, very sad to part, I pat you on the head, you give me a bark. I’m off to work, your back to bed, dreams of puppy play fill your head. My day is long, but yours is too, so much time, and so little to do. I’m home at five, your happy at the door, I look behind at the mess on the floor. I thought work was over, but this is just the start what I call disaster, you call art! My house is a wreck as it is everyday, all from boredom and puppy play. You smile at me and wag your tail. you’ve got to be really cute to make this one sail. You see me laugh, you lick my face. My love for you has always been your saving grace.

It didnt start off as love at first site. He was a puppy, i was a girl in her late 20’s. He liked to pee in his crate and sleep in it so he had to get a bath at 6am every morning…I liked to be up late at night, out with friends, and sleep in…but we found each other and for six glorious years, he was my best friend, my defender, my smile and my laughter and my joy. he was fear aggressive and would attack everyone but a select few – to me, he was just expressive and taught me that there was no need to bite when a growl would do. He was always so afraid of what could be coming up behind him that sometimes on walks, he would walk into a car and set off the car alarm — which taught me that the more you focus on what is behind you, the less you see what is coming…he was my dog – and this march 8th, 2010, it will be 3 years since I lost him to cancer. it didnt start out as love at first site..but, in the end, it was a love that burned so deeply in me, that i will never be the same – thank you to my Jixxer

Date: November 4, 2009 Location: Wissahickon Walk Park Philadelphia, PA While out for an evening walk with our dog Jax, I heard the faint sound of a cat’s meow. I stopped and listened and out of the forest, an orange tabby kitten appeared. This kittena came running towards Jax and me meowing all the way. Smitten by her big, brown eyes, I scooped her up and carried her home. It was cold out and I just could not let her stay in the Wissahickon. Jax was quite proud of our “find” and kept looking back on our journey home. Although, we already had 3 cats and a dog, something told me that I could not leave this tabby in the forest. I brought her home and everyone immediatly fell in love with her. There’s something special about his kitty, who we named Anahata (heart chakra) and she has really brough a nice balance to our animal menagerie!


On Saturday August 25, 2007, at 4 pm Athena, my gorgeous calico girl kitty died after a courageous battle to get her diabetes under control


Love is unconditional and wonderful if you have animals!

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