... And so a wonderful chapter in our lives has ended.
We are fully in our new apartment, with our two remaining cats, Tatiana and Obsidian. The snow is fallng outside, Mandy is in class at PSU (a senior now). Jaime is starting back to PCC, a challenge to her busy life, but she is determined. Doug finished his day at Geekoids.com, and is picking her up after class. I'm listening to my laundry churning, glad that I no longer have to manage the stairs with each load. Leftovers from a homemade lasagne meal are waiting to heat. It's a new kind of life for us.
We closed Coonpanion Maine Coon cattery, but really it collapsed two years ago when the calici virus hit. With two kittens that survived to nurture, I could not continue to show or breed. I took solace in the successes of my friends and the next generation of cat kids making their mark, and the news I would get of the cherished pets sharing other people's lives.
We've struggled in this economy to grow a business with heart and potential, but that potential is still unrealized. I have a job that I love, but after I took a serious fall and could not work, we were on the path to the foreclosure that took our big, cat-filled house away.Although I returned to work as soon as I could, it was just not enough. At the end of November, our home was sold.
When we knew there was no option, we began to look for homes for our cats. At first, it looked like ten days to our move and I was truely panicking, but the new owner worked with us until our final date of 1/9/11.
So we were searching for a new home. We had twenty-one cats, and despite all of us searching, we found no hope but to end with just two cats
Our friend, Amanda, did what Doug did not have time to do: she rebuilt our website to get the word out about the cats needing homes.I can't adequately express my gratitude to her. Words just can't share my heart's feelings. Not only did she excute frequent updates while studing for exams, but she and her husband, Josh, took our shy little black girl, Lois, and are drawing her out of her shell. Yesterday they added Juliet to their household.
At times I was inundated with contacts. Our urgent need wasposted, shared, tweeted and re-tweeted, and calls and emails offering homes, advice, and just support came in from across the country. I was trying to keep the cats local, but knowing that there were homes out there if needed lightened my load considerably. I never knew how strong I could be until I began to understand that even strangers cared about what was happening in my life.
To the wonderful people who opened their hearts and their homes, you have amazed me. Seventeen cats are in safe, loving arms. I know your generousity wil be rewarded with chirps and head butts, with play and purrs. Maybe I am a bit prejudiced, but I hope you will find adopting on of these cats was incredibly rewarding.
In the end, two cats were not able to be placed, nor could I keep them. Their health issues were too much for anyone else to take on, so yesterday I said a final farewell to my beloved Nightpool and Topaz. May their next life be filled with fat mice and slow birds.
I did all I could, with the help, kindness, and love of others. I may hold sadness, but I also have joy in the successes we've managed in a most difficult situation.
You know who you are, and you are wonderful. I look forward to seeing many of you so I can thank you in person. I so appreciate our new extended family, who came and took the furry guys to new, loving homes. The essages and pictures have helped me through a dark time.
I will always remember fondly those I may never meet: the couple in the east who wanted to offer TC a home because the wife liked cows; the woman in Utah who was considering driving to Oregon, the woman who called in tears because her landlord said no, and to the wonderful offer of the woman in San Diego who said she could offer a home to our oldest cat most in need of a home. Please know that all those cats did find purrfect homes.
If you have a Coonpanion cat, I woud very much love to hear how each is doing (and grandmas do love pictures!)
Two are here with us.