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Pet People

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

God watches over sparrows, stray cats

If you've ever watched the TV show "Miracle Pets," you know there are otherworldly forces touching the lives of animals.

I've had several spiritual animal experiences over the years, one involving a stray cat named Frank. Frank appeared at the home of my retired neighbors. They didn't want pets, as they travel extensively, but felt sorry for Frank and began feeding him. They even built him a warm cat house for winter.

When they were away, I fed Frank - and fell in love with him. He was the most affectionate cat I'd ever encountered. When we first met, he leaped into my lap, rested his head against my chest and purred.I worried about him, because he sometimes disappeared for a few days. I talked to the neighbors about the importance of neutering, but the husband didn't want to spend money on a pet that "ran off." I explained that an intact male will roam more, which neutering would help, as well as prevent unwanted litters. The wife and I eventually took Frank on the sly for the procedure.

One day she called and said Frank had to find a new home. Her husabnd was irate because Frank scratched a hole in a window screen. I was upset, because I was sure Frank just wanted company. I also knew how hard it is to find an adult cat a home. But I told her I'd do what I could. She said there was no rush, and to tell you the truth, I didn't want Frank to go. I thought I'd take my time and they'd change their mind. I wanted him myself, but I'd just added a second cat to our family, and The Boss was still griping.

But something compelled me to send an e-mail about Frank that very day. For some reason, I didn't notify all my pet friends, just two. I didn't expect a response, as each already had plenty of pets. So I was shocked when I heard immediately from Charlsie Hand Lankford, who said she'd be interested if Frank got along with other animals. Charlsie is a long-time supporter of animal rescues, a true angel with a soft heart who quietly gives financial support to animals in need. Even though I didn't know if Frank liked other animals, she agreed to take him, and I gave him a ride.

The next day, she called said Frank was going to the bathroom outside of the litter box (he was kept in a room by himself until he got used to his new surroundings). I told her sometimes outside cats who've never used litter don't like it. Some don't like a covered box, the type she had. So she got several litter boxes and filled one with sand, one with dirt and one with mulch to see if that would work, and she also removed the lid on the covered box. Lid removal did the trick, and Frank went where he was supposed to.

Because of the accidents, Charlsie kept a close eye on Frank's toilet habits. Then another problem arose - she noticed nothing at all in the box. Being an experienced cat owner, she knew something was wrong and quickly took Frank to her vet.Frank had a severe urinary crystal blockage. If Charlsie hadn't acted promptly, he would have died. After several days at the clinic and hundreds of dollars later, Frank was fine. He has to eat special cat food, but other than that, he's hale and hearty.

Frank's journey amazed me. What made him scratch a screen that day, which in turn made his caretakers say he had to go? What compelled me - knowing there was no rush to find him a new home - to send out an e-mail that same day, something I normally wouldn't have done, especially to Charlsie, whom I hadn't spoken to in ages? What made her say yes? She later told me, "I don't know why I said I'd take him; I have enough pets!" What if he hadn't had bathroom problems that made Charlsie closely monitor the box? All these things happened in a short period, and if just one hadn't occurred, Frank would have died a painful death in the woods.

Two years later, Charlsie says Frank is "a great kitty." His favorite buddy is Smokie, a rottweiler mix who wandered onto the Hand farm years ago as a scared, skinny, flea- and tick- infested pup. Charlsie says Frank and Smokie love to hang out together, maybe because they both came from sad beginnings and now appreciate the good life they share. Charlsie says Frank also loves their Boss, who says he doesn't love cats. Charlsie, however, says he does -he just won't admit it - which goes to show all bosses of pet-loving women are pretty much alike.

I know some force was watching over Frank. Always listen to your inner voice, your gut, your heart, because that universal spirit one day may urge you to help one of God's creations too.

posted by Sandy at 9/11/2007 03:21:00 PM


Blogger Skeeter said...

That is such a wonderful story! I have a story on strays but not such a happy ending. I will share that one here soon...

Last night at bed time, I went into the sunroom to give the girls their Mid-night Snack (when we were kids we use to get a mid-night snack form our grandmother, it was two crackers with peanut butter and a tiny glass of milk, So I call the girls treat time a Midnight snack)... Anyway, as I was getting their fishy treats ready, I noticed a shadow in the planter by the bird feeders. It was what we think to be CC the black cat from next door. He was staring at the feeders and being very still. I was pondering running him off. Should I leave him alone and find a bunny in three pieces in the morning and be sorry I did not run him off??? Should I run him off and be sorry for not letting him catch moles and voles??? Should I not run him off and he catches a flying squirrel?? I finally let him be and decided to let nature takes its course. I did not find any dead bunny’s nor flying squirrels in the yard this morning... What I don’t know, don’t hurt me, right....

I have a real funny to share on the Saint.... He was the one which taught Sheba the "trick" of drinking fresh water out of the faucet in his bathroom. Well, last night he got a surprise. As she was drinking from the faucet, she switched sides of the sink and her butt was up against his tooth brush! I told him that she had been brushing her butt with his toothbrush all along and now he has cat butt teeth! Thank goodness, she does not do that little trick on my sink! Or does she??? Okay Sandy, you eat off the floor at times, how do you feel about a cat brushing its butt with your toothbrush??? LOL

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 5:20:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Sandy, to alll you said all I can say at this time is AMEN!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 8:38:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Skeeter, I MUST include that toothbrush story in my next blog column for Wednesday. Next week! I was thinking of writing about training pets husbands and that story will fit right in! LOL.

I know how horrible it is to find dead creatures killed by a dog or cat. I am still traumatized by the image of Tarzan with the squeeking squirrel in his mouth! And the dead headless bloody rabbit I found in the back yard. I know Scooter killed it, but it's head probably got eaten by some other creature during the night, as the dogs have killed rabbits before, but never at at them.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger jdt said...

Hey all, sorry I haven't been on in awhile, life has just gotten in the way. I wanted to let everyone know, my hubby and I found out we are expecting a little boy near the end of January! We are ecstatic as we both were hoping for a boy. We are currently in the process of training our little monsters, since we have been very lax in this department up until now. We are hoping to be able to limit the excessive barking and aggression on Zander's part. What do you guys think of the Dog Whisperer's techniques for creating a "balanced dog?" My hubby really likes the guy and wants to use his techniques. Even though we have a big fenced in yard, we have been taking the little monsters down to the dog park on our days off early in the morning. The monsters really seem to exercise so much more there, even when they are the only ones there. After they get some running in they are so tired they are better behaved.

Any suggestions for preparing for the baby?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 7:07:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Congrats on the baby boy Jennifer! I have been wondering how things were going with you. You have not posted in such a long time I was a bit worried about your pregnancy and all. Don’t know you personally but feel like I do when we chat on here so you were missed....

No human babies in my house so no advice on that subject for you. And please don’t ask Sandy for advice on this topic. I think we all know how she feels about kids! She would probably say something like lock the kid in a room until it is 18 then set it free! LOL Am I right Sandy??? LOL

Even though you will have a baby to dress soon, never stop putting those cute little shirts on the Fur babies! (Shut up Dragon) You need to send in more pictures to Sandy of the "Monsters" we have not seen them in a while...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 9:00:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I LOVE the Dog Whisperer and agree with everything he does and says. He KNOWS dogs and everything he does has that fact in mind: Their nature. Too many people, myself included, tend to treat dogs like people, but they have different needs based on their core nature. He says little dogs can have the worst behavior issues, because people tend to pick them up and coo at them when they are bad, which just reinforces the behavior.

And I wouldn't say lock the kid in a room. You can just shut the door without locking it. LOL.

Amy, K9rescue who often posts here had three big dogs when she had her first baby.She has two kids now, poor thing. LOL. She often posts here and maybe she'll have advice. I guess it's important not to shove the dogs aside but make them aware they simply have a new "pack" member! I'm sure there are Web sites too with tons of advice on integrating baby and dogs.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger jdt said...

I am guilty of being one of those people who treat the monsters like little people. We have been integrating some of the Dog Whisperer techniques over the past week or two. It is really tough for me because I feel bad when Zander "submits." I dont' want to break his spirit. My husband says I am not and he needs to be "balanced." I have to say what we have done so far seems to be working. Zander used to go nuts barking and trying to get my hubby whenever he would walk through the house or get up if I was sitting in the room. My hubby says he only behaves this way when I am home. When I am not home he says they are peaceful so I know I am really the issue.

I am anxious about the baby because I don't want my monsters to feel displaced. They are still our kids too. We have already agreed that when the baby comes we won't put him in our room since the monsters sleep there. We want them to feel like it is still their home too. Of course, our child will have no choice but to love dogs. We are doing the nursery in puppy dogs and so far all the baby clothes we have gotten have dogs on them too! I am so looking forward to our first picture with all the dogs dressed up sitting around the baby!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Jdt. congratulations on the baby boy! It is going to change your life but in a good way. We didn't have any pets when we brought our baby home from the hospital but my daughter did when they brought home the grandbabies. The best thing to do is to take a baby blanket or other article of the baby's to the hospital after it's born and put it on the baby. Bring it home for the little monsters to sniff and get used to so when the baby comes home they will see it as familiar. After baby is home continue to put items with the baby's scent on it around where the dogs sleep and etc.
Our granddaughter that just turned a year old on Monday has been licked in the face by Roxie dog since she came home from the hospital. The cats have always sniffed her and rubbed on her, now she loves all of them! You just have to make the animals be careful and not too aggressive around the baby so as not to hurt him.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 2:24:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

I was looking at kitty Franks picture again and noticed that he was assuming that Cat Yoga position! Our girls do this a lot but with them being Black it is difficult to snap a good picture of them. We say they are doing Cat Yoga! Stretch that leg, hold that stretch....

Friday, September 14, 2007 9:11:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Cat yoga? That's a playboy pose if I ever saw one. HA!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007 1:18:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Oh no Adrienne. I have the ultimate Play Boy pose for you from our friends Sheppard/Lab mix Lobo. I am not sure the Blog Police would allow it to be Posted so I will send it to you (Via Email) for your viewing pleasure.... Well, maybe Matty and Stella’s viewing pleasures…. Tee hee…

Saturday, September 15, 2007 9:06:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Hey, send it to me too and I'll let you know if I think it's okay according to my bosses! Sounds like it would be a conversation starter!

Sunday, September 16, 2007 10:53:00 AM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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