There are some animals who bring a light so great into our lives...
That even after they leave
their light remains
I don't believe in coincidences.
I believe we are meant to be in that moment when synchronicity happens.
This happened to me on a hot summer day in mid August of 2013.
I decided to walk down to the mailbox at the bottom of my long driveway.
It was nearly 100 degrees by noon and normally I would wait until it cooled down as the trip back to the house was uphill.
But on that day, something or someone prompted me to go despite the heat.
About 3/4 of the way down the driveway, the trees recede and the lower pastures open to a wide expanse of green.
A large slash pile is about 100 yards to the right. A slash pile is all the discarded tree branches and limbs from logging years ago. The giant slash pile is about the size of a motorhome.
As I walked down the drive, I heard a very loud and distinctive cry. Even though the logs were pretty far away, the sound was clear. Was it a bird? There is was again. No, it wasn't a bird. It was the distress call of a tiny kitten.
I made my way to the north end of the logs and saw movement. Three abandoned kittens scurried back into the depths of the slash pile and disappeared.
Two of them came out when they thought I was gone. They looked sickly so I carefully grabbed them and held on as they hissed and batted at me.
They were terrified. These two tiny balls of fur fit into one hand. They were so fearful having never seen a human. They were about 5 -6 weeks old at that time as their eyes had not yet fully opened.
I tried to imagine how scary it must have been for them. Alone, helpless, and barely able to see.
They were dehydrated, malnourished and covered with fleas. On that hot summer day, they were likely not going to make it much longer.
The momma kitty had either abandoned them or was killed. The boy kitten was black and silver with tabby stripes.
I noticed he was missing his rear left leg most likely from a congenital birth defect.
The girl kitten had all four legs and had beautiful markings like a calico/tabby mix.
I brought them back to the house and fed them, cleaned them up and instantly fell in love. I headed back to capture the last kitten with a can of smelly cat food. If that didn't draw him out, nothing would.
I placed the bait in front of the small opening in the logs. I waited patiently but no kitten emerged. I took a few deep breaths and imagined the kitten coming out and eating the yummy food.
Suddenly, a small head popped out and approached the bait. I had to wait for the right moment so he could not escape back into the logs.
I felt a sense of desperation after seeing how malnourished the other two kittens were.
If I didn't catch this one, he just might not make it out alive.
I decided to make my move and snatched up the tiny fluff ball. He hissed and slashed at me fighting for his life. I wrapped a towel around him and headed back to the house.
That last kitten, Birdy, was a handsome tawny colored tabby. He looked like a baby mountain lion.
He was also missing his rear left leg. I had to teach him how to climb and jump. His shy personality touched my heart. He suffered so much trauma as a kitten
yet found great love and a caring home with me.
He would have died in the slash pile had I not rescued him.
I had no idea how much that tiny kitten would change my life.
He grew into a gorgeous, loving, boy.
Together, we battled a myriad of health issues. He suffered from pancreatitis, urinary infections, kidney infections, and was also diagnosed as diabetic when he was about 6 years old.
I won't let that define him but it was a challenge for both of us.
Special food, insulin injections, monitoring blood sugar levels, that was all new to me.
We found our way through it with many bumps along the way but also years of joy and pure bliss in the beautiful gardens.
He loved the raspberry garden.
When he left this Earth, a huge void filled my world. I learned so much from this angel.
He will always be my boy, and my blessing.
The oldest living cat resident on the ranch left us on October 25th after 19 1/2 years.
Charlotte was one of the original residents of Painted Rain Ranch and was born in June 2003.
Rescued from a neglectful home as a tiny kitten and she was so sick her eyes were sealed shut from the infection.
She and her three littermates had upper respiratory infections and were weak and malnourished.
We didn't think they would make it but all survived.
We lost her brother Jack earlier this year, and her two other brothers, Merlin and Billy, several years ago.
Small but mighty, Charlotte was a force to be reckoned with.
Nothing slowed her down. Deafness was not a problem either. She lost her hearing about two years ago but she always knew when I was opening a jar of baby food.
She ruled the roost here on the ranch and will be missed every day.
Rest peacefully, sweet girl, in the arms of angels
Gentleman Jack sweet angel
We love you!
Always happy and smiling
Run like the wind sweet boy
Sweet Crazy Lil
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Additional information is available by calling 800-332-4483 or visiting sos.wa.gov/charities.
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Painted Rain Ranch - Animal Sanctuary - EIN 86-3212046
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