Remembering my foster furbaby...

Discussion in 'Anything Goes' started by NutMeg, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    WARNING: This post is about the passing of a beloved pet. I know many people (including myself) are sensitive when it comes to sad stories about animals. Some of us need to mentally prepare for them, while others avoid them altogether. I know there are fellow animal lovers on here, including some who are also experiencing their own heartache over furry family members, so I felt it was important to give a heads up.

    That said, this is mostly just a loving tribute, with plenty of humor. There's only one part that I believe could actually be disturbing to some, but I feel strongly that it's important to include, because it involves a worthy cause. However, I'm going to post it in a separate comment below this one, and format it using the "spoiler" tool, so you can only read it if you click the button.

    Also, there are cute pics at the end to look forward to. :D

    -----

    If you follow me on Instagram, you may have learned that I'm the official Crazy Cat Lady™ of my neighborhood. (In which case, you probably don't actually follow me on Instagram anymore.) I only have one "furbaby" of my own - Gus - but over the past year or so, I've basically become a surrogate mother to all the cats on my street. I guess one of them realized they could get cuddles and treats if they came by my house, and apparently the word spread. So now pretty much every day I go out to the porch and chill with random cats.

    My favorite was, and always will be, Howard - or as I called him, Howie. I was the only one who called him that... For the past year, hardly a day went by when I didn't walk into my kitchen and see him perched outside the window waiting for me. He would perk right up when he noticed me - he'd sit up straight, his eyes would widen, and although I couldn't hear him through the glass, I'd see his mouth make the shape of "mew!" I actually have to stop talking about this now because I can feel myself about to cry again.

    [​IMG]

    What I can manage to say right now without becoming a snotty mess (I'm an ugly crier, not gonna lie), is that I truly considered him my own pet. I always referred to him as "my foster cat," like a foster child. Because tbh, I think I took care of him more than his real owner... She's a very nice lady - she always gushes about how pretty I am, so she's obviously pretty damn astute. ;) But she's also a big daytime drinker, and I don't think I've ever had a single interaction with her where she's been sober.

    "I don't think I've ever had a single interaction with her where she's been sober."
    "I don't think I've ever had a single interaction with her where she's been sober."
    "I don't think I've ever had a single interaction with her where she's been sober."
    "I don't think I've ever had a single interaction with her where she's been sober."

    [​IMG]



    Huh... ok, yeah. I might not actually be that pretty, you guys.

    Lol, I thought we could use some more humor there. xD Anyway, Paris (my neighbor who might actually need an intervention now that I think about it, let's put a pin in that for now), doesn't retain information well and seldom remembers our conversations. So I'd sometimes worry that she might forget to feed Howard. Gus has a pretty dainty appetite (he's just a lil guy after all), while How ate like a horse, so I eventually had this nightly dinner routine worked out where I fed them both at the same time, from the same can. They usually dined al fresco, in the patio section. A few scoops for Gus, and the rest for Howie, plus Temptations treats for dessert. I always made sure he went home at night with a full belly.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Yep, Howard and Gus were good buddies. Because their names are more suited for old men than cute kitties, and because they'd sit on the porch together just shootin' the breeze, I dubbed them the Grumpy Old Men, after the movie. All they needed were a couple rocking chairs and some kids to yell at. (For those not familiar with the infamous Gus, he's down there on the right, in the bandana kerchief - always snazzy and fashionable. Howard had a much more classic, understated look, but their styles complemented each other well.)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This photo might be my favorite.... "Moooooooom, go away!! You're embarrassing me!!!!! Stop taking pictures!!!"

    [​IMG]

    Sorry, Gus, but I'm glad now that I took so many pics of you guys - I wish I'd taken even more.

    Howard was buried over the weekend in Paris' yard, and last night she let Gus and I come over to have a little memorial service and say goodbye. I read a short eulogy, and Gus even wore his little tuxedo. By sheer coincidence - she didn't know what time exactly we would be coming over - Paris had "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac playing on her stereo...

    I know plenty of people will roll their eyes at the idea of a "funeral" for a pet, or even the mere idea of grieving a pet like a family member. But I'm sure others will understand. Pets provide such innocent joy; offer a fulfilling friendship unlike any other; give us unconditional love, even when we don't deserve it; and touch our hearts in a special, gentle way. How can we not acknowledge and be grateful for their impact on us after they've gone? How can we not pay some tribute to their season in our life? Those seasons are so fleeting...

    Howie often borrowed Gus' toys when he came over for playdates. His favorite was this coil spring on a baseboard, with a fuzzy white mouse attached to the top. He always drooled when he was happy, and man, did he slobber ALL over this thing, like the germy kid at day care. Gus is a bit... well, OCD. Needless to say, he wouldn't go near the toy again after Howie had his turn. From then on, this was referred to exclusively as HOWARD'S toy. I wanted to leave something at his grave, and this seemed fitting...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I glued silk flowers around the mouse, then took a string of fairy lights; I started by winding them up around the coil, and when I reached the flowers, I finished by weaving the remaining lights under the petals to create a glowing effect. Then I painted his name onto a stone and attached it to the baseboard to weigh the whole thing down, and glued some lavender stalks around it.

    The lights are on a timer; they switch on automatically at 8:50 PM (right about when it gets dark currently in Northwest WA; I'll have to adjust it when the days start getting shorter), then they shut off automatically before morning, and the process repeats daily.

    When you peer over from my house, it looks a bit like a glowing cross...

    [​IMG]

    Anyway... thank you to everyone who has read this far (or even just skimmed this far, ha.) I've been having a really hard time with this, and my mom said to me, "Do something that'll make you happy. Go on your pin forum." I think it's so sweet that she thought of DPF when trying to cheer me up. And yes, she knows several of you by name. ;P

    Thank you again for letting me vent. I know there are plenty of others on here struggling with hardships, and I hate to burden you with my own. I just find it difficult to let myself be emotionally vulnerable, even with my family. But I knew this was one thing I couldn't keep bottled up like usual. And sometimes it's easier to vent with people online rather than the pressure of face-to-face, you know? Especially when I know from experience how compassionate so many of you are.

    Also, I really just wanted other people to know what a special little guy Howie was. :)

    Phew. It feels good to get some of that off my chest. And now I'm going to go look for happier threads, so that I'm not just contributing sadness to the forum. xD And to make sure this thread doesn't end on a completely depressing note, here are cute pics of my Guswy, as promised...

    Here is my suave gentleman in his dashing tuxedo:

    [​IMG]

    Here's the little guy with a mouse toy that I gently placed on his head, and which he apparently did not notice, since he just sat there with it until I finally took it down like 5 minutes later:

    [​IMG]

    Here's when he thought he was hiding from me in a window, but forgot about the dead giveaway of his huge raccoon-like tail:

    [​IMG]

    Busted!

    [​IMG]

    "Oh hi Mom, were you looking for me...?"

    [​IMG]

    His squishy snuggle face:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And finally, with grandma....

    [​IMG]
     
  2. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    K, here comes the part that may be disturbing to some. This is extra painful to talk about, but I feel it's important, and I appreciate those who are willing to read on. But I completely understand if you would rather not! No judgment! Self-care is very important. That's why I used spoiler format. Please click the button below only if you can handle some sadder, more serious stuff:
    Someone is currently shooting cats in my neighborhood. At least two shootings have been reported to the police so far. Both cats survived, although one is still in recovery; he will have to live with a pellet lodged in his ribs for the rest of his life. The other cat had to have a leg amputated. These were separate shootings that occurred weeks apart, yet happened only a block away from each other. Only a block away from ME.

    You may have noticed that I said pellet, not bullet; that's because the shooter is using a BB gun. While obviously less dangerous to humans, these can still maim and kill small animals. The choice of weapon is significant because it suggests that the shooter is a kid or young adult, and a seriously deranged one at that (hurting animals is one of the major indicators of a future serial killer.) It could even be a group of sadistic bullies trying to impress each other. Either way, it means the cruelty and violence will only escalate. It may already have.

    I don't know how Howie died; I couldn't bear to look at his body. Neither could my neighbor. Her friend quickly wrapped him up and buried him. We only know that he was wounded. And he was found in an alley between houses - not in a street, where he could have been hit by a car. I have a terrible gut feeling that poor Howie may have been the latest victim of this sicko. Again, the owners of the first two cats have filed police reports, and the community is taking this seriously. We've already raised a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest. There is also a GoFundMe page for additional donations. I'm going to reach out to the owners, tell them about Howie, and see how I can get involved. I'd like to print flyers to advertise the reward across town, especially near middle/high schools (I promise I won't traumatize the elementary age kids though, lol.) But hopefully someone will have heard of another student who brags about having a gun or sets off other red flags. If anyone has other tactics to suggest, lay 'em on me (but please do so via PM, so that those who avoided this section aren't exposed.)

    And if you feel like donating, that would of course be amazing, but please don't feel bad if you can't! Simply having emotional support from you guys has already helped me before on other occasions. I'm also aware that some people prefer not to donate through GoFundMe (though I'm not familiar with what the complaints are exactly), so if you do want to donate, just not through GoFundMe, let me know and I'll see if something else can be arranged. In fact, I might even suggest just waiting to donate at all until I've touched base with the other women and figured out all the financial needs - if it's mostly just for the reward, if they need funds for the cats' medical bills, if they're organizing anything to raise awareness/warn pet owners, etc... If you'd like to be made aware of possible donation opportunities and/or stay updated on the situation in general, let me know and I'll be sure to keep you posted - but again, please stick to PM. We can potentially start a group convo. Thanks so much for reading this. <3
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
    teddy_ruxpin and watzshakinbacon like this.
  3. momin.ator

    momin.ator Well-Known Member

    Rating - 100%
    78   0   0

    I laughed and I cried when I read this. RIP Howie.
     
    NutMeg likes this.
  4. Sami

    Sami Well-Known Member

    Rating - 100%
    27   0   0

    So sorry to hear about your foster baby, its always sad when something happens to them, especially when they weren't ready to go. *hug hug* hope you and the owner are doing ok. Glad you had so many picture to remember him by.

    I did read the spoiler and that is just horrible, this is the second case I've heard where people are hurting other peoples pets and it's just disgusting, there is a special place in hell for people like that. ***insert more angry words here***


    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
    NutMeg likes this.
  5. watzshakinbacon

    watzshakinbacon B for Belle or B for bacon?

    Rating - 100%
    120   0   0

    I’m sorry to hear that, but I’m happy howie had a foster mama like you. I also read the spoiler and it just makes me sick! Who does that?! I hope they are caught


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    NutMeg likes this.
  6. xdattax

    xdattax Well-Known Member

    Rating - 100%
    58   0   0

    You have both my sympathies and outrage. We had our dogs, puppies, poisoned years ago, and one died. People are gobshites.

    I do wish someone had looked Howie over, so a police report could be filed. The more charges the better when they find out who this subhuman piece of garbage. Perhaps get with the local newspaper or station and bring it to their attention. Someone shot a local friendly stray in South Beach with a crossbow a while back, it got attention and I’m pretty sure who did it got caught. Whoever is doing it might be bragging and when sufficiently motivated those who know might turn him in. Like i said, the more charges the likelier something sticks and he (because it’s probably a guy) will have to face justice.

    ::hug:: I’m glad Howie had you for the time he did.

    Also, Gus isn’t an outside cat right? He should stay in to avoid the same fate.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    NutMeg likes this.
  7. CCofRR13

    CCofRR13 Well-Known Member

    Rating - 100%
    108   0   0

    I could not bring myself to read the spoiler but I get the idea from others' posts. I am so sorry for your loss. It's heartbreaking for sure. ((HUGS))
     
    NutMeg likes this.
  8. slbrabham

    slbrabham Well-Known Member

    Rating - 100%
    38   0   0

    I'm sorry for your loss. I'm a cat auntie and would miss the assorted furr babies.
     
    NutMeg likes this.
  9. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    Thank you all so much for taking the time to read about Howie, and for your kind words. It really is comforting. I'm going to pass the sentiments along to my neighbor as well.

    *hug* I'm so sorry for your loss as well. I'm sure even years later the pain is still there. I hope whoever did that got a taste of his own medicine. Literally...

    And yeah, same. I wish I could go back in time. But I actually didn't even know what happened until the day after. Gus was starting to whine for dinner and I told him "Hang on, I'm sure Howie will be over soon." My mom was a few feet away in the living room and suddenly said "Sarah... come sit down." And I just knew immediately. :( I'm sure she was having a really hard time trying to figure out how to break the news to me, but yeah, he was already buried by the time I found out. And then it was a whole other day before I could actually bring myself to go over to his grave. /:

    The local paper did run a story about the first two cats a couple weeks ago, but that's a really good idea about contacting the local station. KOMO Seattle has a whole "Problem Solvers" segment just for community issues like this, and it seems like the exact kind of story they would run; even if it doesn't actually help with an arrest, it would definitely raise a lot more money for the reward and create more public pressure. I'm definitely going to e-mail them, thanks. And I agree about the bragging, especially if it is a teenager... I want to put the flyers up around schools because I really think that in this day and age, students are a lot more perceptive about behavioral red flags from their peers and are more likely to report things that concern them. I mean, schools are a scary place right now.

    And yes, Gus is 100% an indoor cat, don't worry! You can see in most of the pics that he wears a leash whenever I let him out on the porch for fresh air. I've always been really protective of him, even before all this, because he's a total scaredy cat. I mean, seriously, the dictionary definition of a scaredy cat. Just last week he was playing with his favorite duck toy in my room and accidentally nudged the door; when it started to close shut behind him, he FLEW onto the bed and spent the next ten minutes staring at the scary door monster that had suddenly come to life. Another time I was standing in our old backyard watching him sniff around the fence, when suddenly a dog barked on the other side of it; Gus ran back and hid behind my legs like a little kid. <3
     
    Sami and teddy_ruxpin like this.
  10. teddy_ruxpin

    teddy_ruxpin Well-Known Member

    Rating - 99.6%
    267   1   0

    I'm so sorry that Howie isn't in your life anymore and you have my deepest sympathies.Thank you for showing the photos so we could share the cuteness and the great life he had! You made his life very special and he'll always be a part of you.
    I read the spoiler part and those people are pure evil ,They should be locked up in Arkham Asylum!!

    Gus seems like an amazing little guy and really cute,I'm sure he'll be missing his friend too so try and spoil him for a while!
    Big hugs and pixie dust! If you'd like someone to talk to then please let me know.
     

Share This Page