Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fostering Cats: Compassion in Economic Recession

I got nostalgic tonight and was paging through old emails from the foster kitties I had in 2007. I was remembering the joy I had in new little kitten noses pressing in on you from morning 'til night. And the immense happiness I had to get them from shelter to sheltered. Protecting them deep into the night. Feeding them when they were sick. I reminisced about that compassion I felt, sometimes exasperation, when they wouldn't eat, but forcing them to live. To just get past that line to life.

I shed a few tears. Remembering those moments. How precious life is, but also how close death is. How we should strive to live every moment like that. Fighting for the very things we love.

A few of the kittens touched my heart so it's so wonderful to see snapshots of them all grown up and to know I was a part of that. The joy that the cat gives his or her new family.

I have my own bundle of kittenhood, but he's growing up fast. Caspian, darling, I love you too. He was the foster I couldn't let go.

I saw the posting on the Los Angeles Animal Services Website. His picture was posted there and he looked so scared, so frightened. So, we went there to the county shelter. L and I approached the cage, nestled between hundreds of kittens at the height of kitten season. All of them were small, 8-week-olds who had such a greater chance for rescue. This four month old kitten, abandoned by his previous owners as an "unwanted gift" (their words, not mine).

So we got him home and he was just the most loving kitten of all. Friendly, purring, and happy and more beautiful every day.

Please consider fostering a cat. The California Siamese Rescue needs foster parents. All you have to do is donate your heart for a month or two. The compassion is worth it in these economic times. Please help!

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Lynnsey Dennis: Rest In Peace, I'm Sad

It was a long hard week. The news broke on Sunday evening. A tragedy. That SUV traveling down the 101 freeway, the one on the news, the one that was broken, the body of the young woman in the wash, that, that was Lynnsey. That was a part of your heart breaking. Shock, mingled with the tears of caution, of 'how can this be?' and still you breathed, but barely.

You went to work, but you're not sure how you got there. You arrived and it was different but the same, and somehow that confused you. This was real. More real than anything. You needed to get through the day, through the silence, through the aching, through the awkwardness of not knowing how to get through a day scarred by sadness. And yet you did. And you helped them get through it too.

You were lost. You got through the second day, but you weren't sure if you could. No one and someone understood, but it consoled you only a little bit. Sometimes you forgot but then you remembered and it all rushed in like the rain pounding on your window last Saturday night, when she was probably singing along to some song or other. When you stayed inside your warm room, staring out the window at droplets flooding the Venice streets. You were safe; she wasn't. She was lying out there. Left for dead, because she was. It hurt some more when you thought about that.

Then you went to work and a lady talked and it felt better but somehow it didn't change the past, the history. It was still tragedy lying out there in a heap of sadness, tears, laughter, joking, remembrance. But you held on because she wanted you to. You saw her in heaven and you knew she wanted you to love, to laugh, to live. 'Cause she was

Then it was Thursday and everyone felt better, but not the same, and not happy, not yet. You read some more of the Facebook entries, and cried again. But you tried not to. You had brought them to a memorial to dedicate to her memory. Because, that, at least, was still strong. Still echoing through the streets of Hollywood, of Encino, of Las Vegas, of Culver City, of Sherman Oaks, of California. She was a dream. And yet she was real. The memorial was nice. You sang for her, to her. You put a cup o' simulated coffee, a grape-flavored blow pop, a picture of a rabbit, an angel, a red rose-scented candle, and some mock flowers on the ground at the crash site, and somehow they were enough, but not enough. The insides of you crushed your lungs; you tried to breathe, but you couldn't forget the morning chatters: "press the on button, anything for you, don't be a debbie downer" - the dancing and lemonade-vodka blowpops until late at night, - the rabbit teeth faces on days when you didn't want to wake up - the angel who was she. And it hurt to bring in air and you wondered if that was you reliving what she went through that night. And you cried some more.

And you barely made it through the nights, but you slept, not well, but you did. And you weren't hungry, but then you were and you ate a lot of junk food because somehow sugar reminded you of her. It was happy and soft and it got you through another day. You held her picture against your chest; you read some more blogs about her and you realized you hadn't written yet or that you'd been avoiding it. Your words were choked up inside, release calling, none too comforting. You were afraid, but you knew it was a matter of time and if you didn't start now, well what were you waiting for? Time was short. Didn't she teach you that?

And so you Wrote.

And then the phone rang. And God knew you needed to breathe, to sleep, to live. It was a celebration of life on the phone. Then you hung up and heard the firetrucks pass your window, another accident, another life unlit - day in and day out, life goes on, ends, and returns.

When will God call me home? I don't worry about that. But I know I've been touched by an angel. And that satisfies my broken soul. Death is just a gateway to the next; I will miss her; I will miss me around her, yet now I know I can draw strength. My written words, God, my friends, and the knowledge that I have to move forward.

It'll be months before I think we'll be able to write, sing, remember - without crying. We'll think fondly, and love completely.

Lynnsey, darling, thank you.

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