****** Graphic – May be Disturbing ******
This week would have marked the 1 year anniversary of the adoption of our kitties from the no-kill St.Francis Rescue Shelter. It was close to 10 months after our beloved Marshmellow of 24 years had traveled over the rainbow bridge. Our hearts were beginning to accept our loss. We decided it was time to get another fur child to fulfill our lives. When we entered the adoption room at the St. Francis Rescue Shelter there were cats and kittens everywhere. We knew it was going to be impossible to pick just one. BabyGirl, the white faced kitty, jumped on my hubby’s shoulders and held on tight. No amount of coaxing was going to get her down. She touched his face and played with his hair with her unusual polydactyl paws as he sat in a chair and enjoyed every minute of it.
I had never seen a polydactyl cat before. Polydactyl cats have 5 toes or more. It’s a genetic mutation. Many people know them as the Hemingway cats. The author, Hemingway, rescued one from a fishing boat that had docked at the marina in Key West, Florida. The cats are known as good hunters. Fisherman had them on board ships because their large paws were able to catch rats easily. He was fascinated with their unusual paws and made one his pet. His home in the Keys is a cat sanctuary for them and a big tourist site to this day.
After spending quite some time with BabyGirl, we knew she was the one for us. We rang the bell to let them know we were ready to leave the cat area. Opening the door without ringing the bell could create a major escape for many of the cats who are looking to do that. We told the woman BabyGirl was coming home with us.
“Not so fast,” she said.
“Is she unavailable for adoption?” we asked.
“Oh, she’s available but she must be adopted with her twin sister”, she said with a giggle.
I thought she was joking and said sure where is she.
She pointed to a kitten lying on a carpeted shelf sleeping soundly. There she was surrounded by people talking and cats playing or jumping but she was asleep.
I said, “I’ll take her too”.
After lots of paper work, personal history details, a large monetary adoption fee and an oath to never have them declawed or left abandoned, we left with our two adorable new fur children.
BabyGirl cried unless my hubby held her, we felt this name was appropriate. Sateen loved to sit on anyones lap that was available for her to be petted. I thought the name Sateen fit her well.
Oddly, each one had a different greeting for us each morning. BabyGirl loved to jump up and snuggle on my husbands neck while Sateen had a sweet gentle purr sound she made as she would approach me. I was rather amazed that they only scratched on the scratching pads we had provided for them. They never jumped on counters or furniture; just laps. In the evening, they would jump onto their individual spaces on their tower and go to sleep. We could not have had better fur children.
But my world was turned upside down several days ago. BabyGirl and Sateen, my two loving fur children, were mutilated and left in pieces on the lawn. Only their upper bodies were left. My neighbor called to let us know that one of them was left dismembered in her backyard. They were not outdoor cats. Their outdoor adventures were on my lanai. If you’re unfamiliar with Florida lanai’s they are enclosed patio areas that are screened in. We had cat doors everywhere for them to go in and out from the house. They loved going outside and watching the birds flying right outside the cage. They would catch, now and then, an occasional gecko lizard that would wander in somehow. This was their only contact with the outdoors and nature. I’ve lived here since 1989. Most realtors will advise you to keep your pets indoors or on a leash always especially at night. It’s known that alligators love to eat small animals. Living on a lake and in a wildlife sanctuary I take those warnings very seriously. We have bobcats, raccoons, snakes, egrets, eagles and other kinds of wildlife right outside our little caged world. We’ve always known that we are the ones caged and that they are free. We never complained. We love seeing them forage in the wooded areas and wander into the lake for fish. It’s nature at its’ finest.
But, it looks like the wildlife is unhappy with our presence and is starting to fight back. Wild animals are invading neighborhoods all over Florida, now. This past week a bear was captured and relocated while another is still wandering and escaping capture in a neighborhood in Naples, Florida. They’ve been scavenging for food in garbage cans or breaking into lanais to kill small animals. This was our first thought when we were faced with the torturous deaths of our beloved pets. Since our screen was broken we knew they were taken from our patio. After a great deal of insufferable pain from burying them and boxing their items, we concluded they were taken by a bear.
Two nights later, we discovered they were not. A loud noise of cans falling and rummaging awakened my light sleeper hubby. When he turned on the light to the lanai he saw there was a huge raccoon ripping through a bag of cat food we had forgotten to box with the other items. The light scared him off. Curious about raccoon behavior I googled for information. It turns out that they aren’t omnivorous as I had thought. They do eat snakes and small animals including cats.
Their signature killing is to leave the bodies in pieces and without their bottom half of the body.
It is gruesome.
Needless to say, we don’t want this creature here anymore. He’s broken our screens several times so he’s determined to find something here. We’ve telephoned Animal Contro but, so far, we are still waiting for them to bring a cage. When we’ve determined how wildlife and domestication will live in harmony again – I will post. For now, sleep well my precious little angels. You are deeply missed.
BabyGirl and Sateen R.I.P. – Love, Mommy & Daddy
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…. Anonymous
BabyGirl and Sateen R.I.P. – Love, Mommy & Daddy
Michelle offers a pet photo challenge. To join click here
Every week, Frizz, is walking us through the alphabet. This week is the ‘Letter W’ to join in click here –