pretty calico cat

Saying Goodbye

pretty calico catAbout 12 years ago, my precious kitty died. I was heart broken, and so my husband brought home a kitten.

Except she wasn’t really a kitten. It turned out that this cat had been turned into the shelter the day before we got her. She’d been given her shots, fixed and chipped, and was still somewhat sedated when my husband brought her home. She was stunningly beautiful. The only note on her chart was “likes to play rough.” Of course, I didn’t find any of this out until months later when I went back to the shelter and asked what was WRONG with this cat???

The guess? She was probably feral.

My dreams of another snuggly kitty quickly evaporated into scratches and tooth marks. I took her to the vet. He explained that cats who look like this one tend to be somewhat schizophrenic.

Being me, I didn’t give up on her. Her name was Elf, which I am certain was short for Evil Life Form.

For years, I worked to connect with that cat, eventually bringing four other cats into the house so that I could have feline companionship, because I wasn’t going to get it from Miss Elf.

My best friend made me watch episodes of My Cat From Hell. Self-proclaimed crazy cat-lady that I now have become, I went out and bought cat toys. The others loved them. Elf adored my husband.

And then a few months ago, I woke up with a cat snuggling me. I petted her and realized that the fur was MUCH longer than any nice kitty we had. I carefully turned on the light to be greeted with this face:

eek mad cat



To put it into perspective, here is her cuddling my husband:



From that day on, Elf cuddled me, too. She would sit on my lap for hours.

It didn’t take long for me to notice that she was ill. She lost weight.

Special food followed, which she would deign to eat if I’d hold the bowl for her.

She’d drink the special water spiked with pedialite — if I’d hold the bowl.

Yesterday, I had to say goodbye to my dear Elf. I was deeply touched that in the end, she turned to me for comfort and love.

She will be missed…

…except for the scratches.

The Dead Have No Names

In Sisterhood, there is a scene where a young boy is put in the back of a pickup truck with the older male workers and sent off to begin his life of slavery. Kevin, the hero of the story, can’t watch quietly. He drives out of town, finds a secluded spot, and screams out his frustration at being unable to save that child.

In a twist where life imitates fiction imitating life, I came across this Time magazine article.

The article tells the story of a horrific pickup truck accident where 15 people died. 7 others were left in critical condition. A girl about 8 years old was among the victims. The passengers of this truck had no identification. The overloaded vehicle was one of many slave-transports passing through that area of Texas.

The coronor’s office is struggling to identify the bodies, based on missing persons calls coming in from all over the world. Families who have lost track with their loved ones and believe they may have fallen victim to trafficking are searching desperately for information, struggling to find some clue. To the traffickers, they’ve lost an easily replaced cargo. To the families, they’ve lost loved ones … kidnap victims, victims who were lured by promises of good paying jobs, people desperate to provide for their families. Dead. Many of them may never be identified.