Sunday, January 29, 2006

Do You Know who I am?

Please Help me find my way back home!





I have been hanging out a nice lady's house in Metairie, LA . I have been staying there since the really bad storm made me get lost......a nice lady feeds me and there are a few other lost kitties like me. It's not so bad, but I miss my family.....can you help me find them? I will trade all the kittie treats in the world if I can go home again!

My sex: I don't know and I haven't let the nice lady check on that just yet

My age: I think I am a young cat, maybe between 2 and 6

My color: This is where I fool people....at first, I look like
I am grayish/silver,but if you get real close, you can see I
am more champaigne looking and to make things real interesting,
I have tabby markings on my face, my paws and I have the prettiest
raccoon like tail....it's got rings around it!

My tail: Speaking of my tail, it's really cool....it curls up under me.
The nice lady thought I had a short little tail, but I fooled her!
I think my tail is about the length of all the other kitties
(well,maybe a little bit shorter, but not much) but I keep it curled
at the end so you can't see my raccoon rings, neat, huh!

My eyes: I do have the most beautiful, crystal blue eyes
which make me the prettiest(or handsomest) cat on the block, really!
Sometimes, at night my eyes almost look like they have red pupils
which is kind of weird

I am quiet: I don't talk too much, in fact, I don't think the
nice lady has ever heard me meow, ever!

Food: I eat dry food, but boy, will I come running for canned food!

Quirks: Okay, I'll admit, I do have one strange habit......
I sniff all other cats' rear ends before having supper.....I know,
I'm working on it! I do have one other strange thing, but if you
think you know me, you will have to tell the nice lady what it is;
take a guess!

Collar: I have one, but it is weathered pretty bad, so the
nice lady really does not know what color it used to be,
maybe red/white, I just don'tknow!
I used to be a little thinner, but now since winter is coming
I'm starting to get that thick overcoat
like all kitties outdoors do so it's harder to see my collar...
maybe I'll let the lady take it off soon just to see what it looks like
Today was first time I decided she is okay enough to get some pictures
of me up close!


If you want to help me get back home (please say you will help!)
you can see some other pictures of me as I "strike a pose"........
go to www.kodakgallery.com and sign in under lisejimmy@cox.net
with the password, palomine. There I am, under the 2006 albums....
I have 3 of my very own! Ain't I pretty!

If you talk to my mom and dad and they miss me too,
please call the nice lady at (504) 299-2236 or
e-mail her at lisejimmy@cox.net.
She is really nice to me but she and I have decided that
I really should be back home with my family since I miss them so much!
Oh, and the other kitties in my pictures, they told me to ask for help
for them too! I think the lady is going to take their pictures too
but they don't always pose as good as me!

Bye now!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Endings are just New Beginnings


On Sunday, January 15, 2006, exactly 20 weeks after Katrina turned her life upside down and sent her into exile in a lonely abandoned area of New Orleans, my Christmas miracle breakthrough dog, Hope, the Shepherd/Husky mix, went home with a wonderful family who drove nearly 6 hours from Alabama, just for her!

After all paperwork was in order, I insisted on being the one who would introduce her to them......it was a wonderful fit. My Hope was renamed Bella, which of course means beautiful...and she is; I couldn't believe it when I watched her respond twice when her new Mom called her Bella....possibly her former life name was similar. At any rate, once I was sure that they were sure....they came because of my story about her, but I wanted them to truly want and love the dog, not her story.....once I was sure and they were sure, I kissed the dog who has to Hope no more and without a look back, left her to her new life.

I will be forever grateful to a local hero, Marilyn McGee, an extraordinary animal rescuer who has rescued countless animals in New Orleans, St. Bernard and other areas in and around this city for being the “perfect link” in the chain between Hope’s rescue and Bella’s happy ending.
Marilyn is a dedicated rescuer, but also somewhat of a “dog whisperer”.....she has spent much of her time in working to obtain the trust of emotionally wounded animals and she was just what my Hope needed in order to find the perfect family, and find them she did.

Any concerns, worries, what ifs or doubts I may have had for Bella’s future, completely evaporated on the day I saw her respond to her new mom, her new family and her rightful name. Bella had learned to trust and so now I was the one who would have to make that leap, for her sake. It was the best leap I have ever taken.....Bella’s new mom has been so gracious and I am blessed that she has not only Bella’s happiness at heart, but mine as well. Because she is truly compassionate, she has given me reason to laugh with joy as I read through her updates on Bella. With the exception of a rough patch brought on by thunderstorms, Bella has so easily blended into and with her family, that it is as if she was meant to be there. She even accepts some feline brothers and sisters with no complaints. Bella is truly, truly blessed with a second chance at happiness and she is doubly blessed in that her family loves her enough to make adjustments for her quirky, hurricane-survival behavior....her mom tells me that she hasn’t given up the habit of hiding her food throughout the house, her food because she makes it hers! Although the turkey and cheese sandwiches set briefly on the table ended up in Bella’s tummy, the cream cheese seemed like the sort of thing to hide for later.....in the couch! Bella’s family knows what she managed to survive and are willing to patiently work through her lingering fears. No, I don’t think I could have scripted a better and more complete ending for Bella .

In the end, Bella taught me something that I truly needed to learn......animals are creatures of beauty and we can't possess them, no matter how hard we may try. Bella showed me that you can love without possessing, without control, without your agenda and with another’s heart in mind rather than your own. Bella taught me that there is truly such a thing as an Ending that is Happy.........endings are just new beginnings. For Bella, a new beginning to let life embrace her, through the love of a wonderful family, and, for me, a new beginning, one for me to embrace life and whatever it brings, instead of planning it.

Ciao! Bella, beautiful girl, thank you for making my heart a little more beautiful...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

New Orleans Residents: Who will tell her that all the animals have been rescued already?




Do you have the Heart to tell her that all the animals in New Orleans have already been rescued?

Very soon, the animal rescue efforts in New Orleans will cease to exist in any large-scale capacity.....please don't think that it is truly over for the animals in New Orleans. If it is really over, and all of the animals have been rescued, will you be the one to feed this little girl or will you be the one who tells her that she wasn't on the list? If you are a local, please search your heart and find the courage to see beyond the devestation to your own world and help those who need it the most. Can you find it in your heart to give something more precious than money....your time?

When the animal rescue organizations leave our city at the end of February, there will still be a very real need to continue the supportive care to the animals that still remain on our streets; these animals, many feral, yet many, former pets who have remained elusive to the traps, but still in need of a daily meal while they await for the return of civilization. If you agree that these innocent creatures have endured so much, and you would like to give some of your time to a worthwhile and life-changing (theirs and yours)effort, please send your Full name, Street address, city, state, zip, Cell phone, land phone, and Email address to JaneGarrison@comcast.net Although no longer on the ground after February, Animal Rescue New Orleans is currently recruiting local residents to continue the long-term feeding program which it began shortly after Katrina devestated New Orleans......because of this program, so many animals, many of which are former pets still on our streets, were able to remain alive despite all the odds. If you can help feed an animal in need, or if you would like to offer your time with trapping efforts, please help make a difference and give some of your time to your home, New Orleans. We all watched with gratitude from Houston, from Atlanta, from all over this country, as the rest of the world came to rescue our beloved animals.....can you find the compassion to help now, when it is needed the most?

Hope Springs Eternal



"Hope" as she was named by her rescuer, is a very special dog. When her local "guardian angel" found her it had been two months since Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast Region. When she was found one November morning, "Hope" appeared to be the only living creature amongst the ruins of Lakewood South, one of the more decimated areas of New Orleans. The desolate wasteland that used to be a thriving community neighborhood, abutted the 17th Street Canal at the Metairie/New Orleans line........the area, still without electricity, had taken a direct hit when the levee was breached and subsequently, very few, if any animals were rescued from the subdivision. We are hopeful that most of the residents were able to evacuate, with their pets, prior to Katrina.

The occasional construction/clean-up worker would attempt to befriend her during the first two months following the flooding, all to no avail. And so, over the period of time, she would receive pizza handouts from the workers......they always looked out for her, no matter that she was unapproachable. When a local feeder/rescuer came upon her in early November, 2005, it was clear that this dog was not only starved for nourishment, she was starved for human attention and whatever trauma she suffered before, during and after the storm, was preventing her from reforming a bond with any human. With that in mind, the local set up a proper food/water station and began what would become an eight-week journey......a journey full of setbacks and breakthroughs, full of tears of both joy and frustration, full of lessons taught and lessons learned......all stepping stones and road-blocks along the journey which ended with a very special friendship between dog and girl.

It took two very long months of daily visits and chats (some, ignored on the dog’s part) and coaxing and sometimes just sitting and watching and letting "Hope" do the watching too. Over time, that milk-bone didn’t look quite so ominous, as long as it was offered to the ground first; then, the hand attached to the milk-bone looked like it might be okay to take a treat from.......and finally, on Christmas Day of all days, that hand looked like it might be nice if it scratched behind those tired, but ever-alert ears.......Aahh! yes, and wow, that felt so good, a belly rub might be in order!!

"Hope" was leashed by her rescuer, without a struggle, on December 30, 2005, in the very same spot in which the two had met eight weeks earlier. The differences that time had brought were visible and audible.......birds were chirping on this sunny day and Joe, the neighborhood security patrol, watched with his jaw open wide and a lone house worker grinned with delight because finally, she would be safe. The rescuer’s only regret was that the kindly gentleman who gladly shared his water-logged, sun-dried remnants of his front and side yard of 5636 Cherlyn Drive, was not there that day to see his timid tenant finally take that walk like all carefree dogs do. I know that during her four months in exile, "Hope" did take some comfort in his daily comings and goings and this rescuer believes that the hospitality he showed to her, instead of attempts to catch or run her off, made all the difference in the world in her progression back to Trust.

As her rescuer, feeder, guardian, and most of all, friend, I named this girl Hope because even with no trust in her eyes, it was clear to see that she never gave up hope. I came to realize that she stayed put for so long because she was ever-hopeful that her family would find her....eventually that hope changed direction, it was never lost, but she somehow managed to redirect that hope and let other humans in and hope for more than she had been. She is a delight to be around......she loves and is loved and she so thoroughly experiences joy as I visit her now, at her temporary home at Celebration Station, Metairie, LA.

So, now, at what is surely the end of our journey together, it is I, her rescuer, that is "hopeful"I hope she finds her family, but, if not her former, than one who will love her just as much......I hope she never again has to find her way back to the loving, exuberant, and playful creature she truly is. Selfishly, I hope she never completely forgets me, but, because I love her, I hope she forgets me as much as she needs to in order to find her forever family and happiness with them.

I’ll never forget, Hope........