Monday, May 16, 2011

Two Forever Homes

One forever home belongs to Kiltie; the other to her human.

Two bits of good news...

Last Tuesday afternoon, I'd made a heartbreaking appointment with the vet to arrange euthanizing my beautiful, loveable, 11-year-old companion, Kiltie.

Kiltie had saved my life too many times to count. Just by being there and needing my care, she had prevented my following through on my suicidal thoughts. I owe Kiltie and it breaks my heart to have to live without her or not to be with her to the end of her days.

How will I adjust? I'll no longer have to step carefully, always with the knowledge that a little furry critter might be underfoot. I'll never again go through the loving motions of caring for Kiltie when she is sick or feeding her twice a day. I'll never again have her soft, warm body on my lap as I type at the computer - she's here now.

No low-income seniors housing in this community, or virtually all communities throughout BC, will allow pets. Despite that, given my housing situation here, I had to make the decision I'd put off for so long. Kiltie and I must part, although not by my choice, and we must both be found forever homes.

Friends and I set about trying to find Kiltie a new home. That was top priority before anything else could be done.

There were no bites. I called the no-kill SPCA. They were over-capacity and had 16 cats on the waiting list. I contacted Cowichan Cat Rescue. But their mandate is to save feral cats; Kiltie isn't a feral cat - yet. Finally, I contacted a woman, Lori, who'd been referred to me by another cat rescue group (can't remember which one now). Lori and her husband specifically care, with emphasis on the 'care', for senior cats; they tend to and love them to the end of their natural lives. I'd contacted Lori before, about Brodie. At that time they also were over-capacity.

Lori emailed me last Tuesday evening - from Utah where they are vacationing - to say they would take Kiltie. They arrive back home late this month and will take Kiltie on or before June 1st. I am hoping to visit Lori's place once or twice, with Kiltie, before leaving my companion there permanently.

Second good news... As I was composing my weekly email check-in with the local low-income seniors housing project to which I am hoping to move, I received an email from the manager there. She asked that I contact her ASAP to make an appointment in order to proceed with the second phase of the application process: provision of proof-of-income and completion of the application form. She wrote: "I may have some good news for you!!!"

Am leaving shortly. So very excited! And very sad.

ETA: Accepted! Move-in date July 1st. And it's a one-bedroom! No more living in a single room. First thing I did once I got home was write up my Notice to Vacate. Done. Delivered. Ahhhh.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Seniors Housing and Kiltie

Am in the process of applying for local low-income seniors housing and prospects are good that accommodation will be available sooner rather than later. It means that Kiltie and I must part, which breaks my heart; but the situation in this building has so deteriorated that it's no longer just about my needs but hers.

Over the past two years, as old tenants have vacated the premises, new tenants of a rougher sort have moved in. We've had so many police cruisers arriving so many times at all exits of this building over the past 18 months or so that I've lost count. Ambulances too, to deal with overdosed addicts.

There've been numerous violent incidents and I'm fairly certain, due to the high traffic at certain times of the day, that drug dealing is occurring next door. Constantly, doors are opening and slamming shut and loud voices in the hallways. There's total disregard for other tenants.

The couple managing this building seem not to care. In fact, conversations with them suggest they envision this residence - which has several longterm tenants who are seniors, most with health issues - becoming something like their own drug rehab centre. Which in one respect is fine, but their judgement in terms of who qualifies as a reliable, quiet, recovering addict vs. one who is not and/or someone who still deals drugs is severely in question.

The couple also seem to have a division of labour policy. He manages the grounds - and is doing a decent job and appears to enjoy it. She is responsible for the interior.

This building of 31 units is filthy.

To compare... I live in a bachelor apartment. I vacuum once a week. I dust everyday, clean up spills as they occur, and wipe down the floors at least once a week. I live alone and am 60 years old. I have osteoporosis, and chronic back pain, which is worsening.

The resident manager and his wife are middle-aged and able-bodied. This building gets vacuumed once a month, if we're lucky. I can't remember the last time the sticky, dirt-encrusted stairwells were washed. I am loathe to touch the handrails, but to maintain my balance, I must.

I love my bright, open, little bachelor apartment. I hate this building. That wasn't always the case, back when it used to have an excellent reputation.

The noise in this place has not only affected me, it has affected Kiltie. We've both been used to peace and quiet. Now all is in upheaval. The poor little thing no sooner falls asleep than unfamiliar, loud noises wake her up. We're both anxious and not doing well.

Because no low-income seniors housing anywhere in this community allows pets, there's no choice but for us to part.

This has been coming a long time and I've put it off because it was always about me, my health, my stupid back which keeps getting worse, my guilt.

With the help of friends, I am told Kiltie will find a new forever home, one perhaps close and compassionate enough to allow me to visit Kiltie. That's the hope anyway.

My friends have helped push me to this necessary decision, but it's hard. Now it's only a matter of how long it will take to find Kiltie her new forever home and another one for her human.