Monday, June 27, 2011

Ocean's Move

At last, Ocean found a new home. On the first floor of a low rental unit, it's easily accessible to town for shopping, medical services and is next door to a lovely park.

It took great courage for Ocean to ask her friends for help. She was trusting enough to walk out of the old place and leave the entire job for us. We packed everything, arranged a truck with two helpers, employed a cleaning person to tidy up and then reassemble everything in the new digs. Another kind soul in the community donated the funds necessary to pay the cleaner, the only one to (rightly) receive financial remuneration.

Everything went 'swimmingly' and was complete, even to having the bed made, shower curtain hung and some prepared dinner in the fridge, in five short hours.

I feel honoured to have been a part of such a terrific team effort and am now blessed with Ocean's delight and appreciation.

I only hope I am as brave as she when it comes time for me to relocate.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kiltie Update Umpteen

Further to this, euthanasia will not be necessary even if the good people at Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue (LCAR), Lori and others working to help are unable to find Kiltie a home by June 24th.

Lori, who is a board member, tells me that the LCAR has a no-euthanasia policy. Unless the cat's health warrants it, euthanasia is never considered. Therefore, Kiltie should have as long a life as her little body allows.

Within an hour of arriving home last evening, Kiltie had eaten, re-christened her litter box, checked out her favourite haunts, had some serious cuddles with her original human, and consumed at least one ounce of water. Given Kiltie's size that amount of water is fantastic - the average human, at 150 lbs, is 50 times her weight. Imagine drinking 50 ounces of water in one sitting!

Kiltie had a good night, although she kept trying to get closer to her human. Said human, meanwhile, kept trying to find positions less painful (don't know why I bother) thus disturbing traumatized Kiltie unfortunately.

Kiltie tried to get me up at 3am. No dice. I was too much in pain and too damn COLD, this 14th day of JUNE, 2011 - seven days from the summer solstice.

(When the heck are we going to get SPRING?)

Kiltie - Find the Cat

Anyway, I think Kiltie may be on the mend. She had another decent visit to her water bowl this morning (and since) and ate a full breakfast - I cut down the amount somewhat for fear of her overdoing it. Now Kiltie is in her favourite spot for undisturbed sleep.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Heart Breaks: Kiltie returns, temporarily

Received this email from Lori regarding Kiltie:

Hi Ocean,

I hope this letter finds you well. I know you are preparing to move, and I send my best wishes your way.

I am sorry to have to tell you this, as I never like to cause worry and stress, but Kiltie has had to go back to the vet twice in the past week. She stopped eating and had a fever. Her saliva pocket also filled up. She is terrified of the dogs, even though they leave her alone and do not bother her at all. All of the dogs keep their distance from the cats. But dear, sweet little Kiltie is just not coming around to being comfortable. She does come out of hiding at night, as when I get up she will come to me then. The other senior cat who came at the same time has adjusted well, as she lived with a big dog before coming to us.

The vet gave Kiltie antibiotics to bring her fever down and fluids, as she was dehydrated from not eating/drinking. Things were better for a few days but now she has started to decline again. I love your little girl but it is clear she is not thriving in our home and I fear she will die if she continues to refuse to eat/drink. Also, the vet bills were $400 and this is not something that I can continue to do if she continues to refuse to eat due to stress.

I am a board member at Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue. My opinion is that for Kiltie's sake, the society take on her care and she goes up for adoption in PetSmart, with specific instructions that she is not to go to any home with dogs. This is my suggestion, so that she can enjoy the rest of her life in peace. Do you have another idea? If so, I welcome your suggestions....

Take care,

Have written extensively about Kiltie and the problems of finding properties in this province whose owners allow renters to keep their animal companions.

The residence for low-income seniors I am going to won't allow me to keep Kiltie. Such is the same for ALL low-income seniors homes in this community and throughout most of BC, including facilities subsidized, even run by, BC Housing.

The same is not true for residences run for well-off seniors, but then of course that's always a different story, isn't it? After all, the well-to-do are clean, whether they've animal companions or not, while the majority of poor people are dirty, slovenly, and live in filth, right?


In any event, it seems best to me that Kiltie come back home for the remaining days before I must move, which is the 25th of this month. Lori, Lake Cowichan Rescue and Prevost Vet Clinic will try in the meantime to find Kiltie a suitable, quiet, loving home, one without dogs. If they are unsuccessful, I will have Kiltie euthanized June 24th.

That's the only decision I am left with, isn't it? Because I'm poor.

* This low-income, disabled woman who lives with an animal companion happens to maintain the cleanest unit in the building.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


For this move and the last one, I have needed others to do the move for me.

In 2002, my back wasn't so bad, but I was a few months into what would be a prolonged major breakdown (it lasted until early 2005).

Back then, most of the packing I could and did do myself; and all of the cleaning. Organization I needed help with. My mind was falling apart.

Back then, I had more stuff; hard-cover and paperback books, for example, leftovers from my graduate years. Still, it took the movers only 30 minutes to move me out and into my new place, this little apartment.

Now I have e-books and an e-library. No books to consume box after box, or to haul.

Now, my back limits what I can do; and the pain and the medication for it combine to discombobulate me as much as my breakdown did in 2002.

Some light cleaning and dusting I still insist on doing.

Damn it, I enjoy taking care of my little home! And I hate a dirty - or disorganized or cluttered - place. Therefore, given there's no choice, I'll continue doing light housekeeping until this body refuses my will's determination.

I concede that major cleaning, though, is out. Packing also should be out, given the micro movements involved.

(Would you believe me if I told you that folding laundry is one of the most painful activities for me? No, I didn't think so. But it's true.)

To hell with the back; I will pack two boxes anyway. There are two empty ones sitting right here. They're too tempting to leave alone. They'll therefore be packed ahead of my friends Daphne and Daisy arriving; who, together, have organized the entire move for me.

Let me not forget Peter and one of his buddies either: 'the movers'. Or Pam, who lives in the same building I'm moving to and who will be hosting yours truly while friends Daphne, Daisy and Peter take care of everything else. Or a person whose name I do not know; someone who, I hear from Daphne today, will donate to have this place professionally cleaned - so that not a dime of my deposit is withheld by my current landlord.

I was going to do as much cleaning as possible before my friends arrived on moving day, June 25th. This is despite Daisy having told me that she and Daphne were going to do the cleaning and I was not to do it. Perhaps my friends knew what I would do and that's why the professional cleaning is to be arranged.

Regardless, the news comes as a tremendous relief.

I admit it. I hated the idea of my friends having to clean up after me. Which is why I would have pushed myself beyond endurance. By the end of that week, I'd have been so hunched over and crippled by my activities, it would have taken another week to straighten myself out.

Phantom Kiltie

The phantom limb is a common phenomenon experienced by amputees. Despite a limb or organ having been removed, an amputee's brain will maintain its mapping to that body part and keep sending signals, seemingly from that limb or organ, until the brain learns to unmap it.

I have a phantom Kiltie.

Before Kiltie left, whenever I would lie down to rest or sleep, Kiltie would jump onto the bed, then begin kneading my belly in preparation for her own lay-down. After properly preparing her bed, she'd stretch out along my torso. Back paws would point toward my nether regions; front paws would tuck under her chin and mine.

We'd lay virtually nose to nose. I'd feel Kiltie's breath tickling my face and she would twitch as my breath tickled her whiskers.

Soon, I'd start my seemingly endless shifting, trying to find a position that wasn't painful. Kiltie would eventually move and settle in with her back pressed snugly against my thigh.

We'd always be touching, until morning came or my rest was over.

Now as I doze off, I feel Phantom Kiltie's wee paws kneading my belly. At other times, it's her warm, soothing back against my thigh. When I sit here at the computer, out of the corner of my eye I sometimes see Kiltie peeking at me from behind the drapes, as she sits on the windowsill. Or while I walk across the main room, I'll spot her with her Sparkly in her mouth.

I don't know how long Phantom Kiltie will remain with me. I hope it's awhile.

Kiltie Update

Kiltie has gone. She went to her new home with Lori at 4pm last Friday, May 27th; and she is adjusting well.

When I visited Lori at her office Monday morning to deliver Kiltie's drinking bowl, which I'd forgotten, she told me that whenever she enters "Kiltie's room," my wee girl begins to purr and doesn't stop throughout Lori's visit. She winds and rubs herself through and about Lori's legs and has clearly made Lori her new human. The adoption has therefore gone in both directions, as I'd so fervently hoped.

Lori is very slowly, very gently, introducing Kiltie to the other residents of her new home - one other human and, presently, three male cats and four dogs. The first introduction was to Fable, a 17-year-old cat who has an ultra-calm demeanour.

As expected, Kiltie had a prolonged hissy fit. She just kept hissing and hissing at poor Fable. He observed and heard her; and remained unfazed.

When Lori peeked in some time later, she saw the two cats touching noses.


My heart wilts and I am ecstatic.

Kiltie sorely missed Brodie when he went away six or so months ago. Now she has another furry male companion to ignore, boss around or cuddle up to.

I may be able to visit Kiltie sometime next week. If not then, there'll be other occasions.