6 years ago when I lived in Burnaby, my apartment faced a park, I have always been a cat lover,my oldest cat is my Siamese, he`s 25 years old,my all black tabby is 16 years old, but my youngest, Shady Lady, let me tell you the story.
In Burnaby there were feral cats, there was one local adult feral cat, well she gave birth to kittens, how many I don`t know but this tiny little scruff of a cat was identical to the feral cat was hanging around, a cute little thing, but cats born to feral cats are a problem,they are basically wild, the coyotes would go through the park and alleys late at night and I always worry about my guys, no night time prowling, I was also concerned about the little wild kitten,I would leave food on my bottom floor balcony and the kitten was feeding there, she even snuck inside the apartment and was sleeping near the heater, but if I moved towards her she would bolt out sliding door, so here one evening the kitten was eating food on my balcony,I could see her feeding, anyway, I heard a clunk and the kitten bolted, along my balcony 3 raccoons were chasing the kitten.
So I get to my feet head to the balcony(It was about 10:30 PM) and there is enough park light for me to see the kitten zoom up a big tree, but about this giant tree is, there are no low branches, the lowest branches are about 20 feet up and then it`s heavy thick evergreen, so up the tree the kitten goes, and to my amazement the 3 raccoons went up the tree too, oh oh, so here it is night time, I can`t see up into the tree the foliage is too thick,but what I heard, the racket,the noise, the battle I could hear but not see, it was horrifying, my neighbors on the second floor,third floor came out to their balcony`s to find out what the ruckus was about, I was literally in tears, I couldn`t see anything but the image of this little kitten getting shredded and eaten by the raccoons was to much too take, there was nothing I could do, a thick fat tree with no branches and my leg was still thrashed with a metal extruding bar holding it together.
The battle lasted about 5 minutes then silence, the tears rolled down my cheeks,the kitten is dead, life,nature, but then, after a few minutes of silence the tree battled raged on again, the growling,the hissing, well friends I couldn`t take it, I remembered one of my neighbors had a double extension ladder on his van in the underground, I hobble down there, I didn`t ask(No time) I unhook his ladder and head to the tree, I extend the ladder to it`s full extent and it just reaches the bottom branch, yikes, and I hate ladders, it was a ladder accident did my leg in the first place, never the less, the ladder is up, now what?....
I grab a golf club, a flashlight and head up the ladder, even with my bummer leg I head up, manage to get onto the lower branches, most of my neighbors are on their balconies checking out the scene, so now I am in the foliage of the trees,with a flash light,golf club and start climbing up and up, well friends the tree is getting thinner and thinner, above me near the top are 6 glowing eyes from the raccoons, and a kitten somewhere, I have never planned for this type of situation, how are these raccoons going to pass me, what to do?, well, I keep climbing, I start barking like a dog, growling while climbing this tree!
I can just imagine what my neighbors are thinking, a nut in the tree with a golf club,flashlight and barking like a dog at 10:00pm, so near the top, the raccoons are clearly bewildered, I lean way back to one side, start swinging the golf club and barking, the raccoons start moving down,they can`t go up, friends I was indeed nervous with 3 adult raccoons moving down the tree within a foot of my hands and feet, I barked real loud, they gingerly moved below me and kept going, pheww,what a relief, now where is the kitten, there she was dangling out near the end of a tiny top branch, well I can`t reach her but I have to get out of this tree, so down I go,I toss down the golf club, reaching the ladder was difficult,going down was harder than going up,so I reach the ground and turn around and the kitten was on the ground seconds behind me....SUCCESS!!!! I was so happy!!!
Meanwhile, 2 months later I left for the sunshine coast, but before I left I set up a string pull balcony door trap, I lured the kitten with food near the door,but to reach the food she had to come in, well,pretending to be asleep,one eye on the food, in came the kitten and I pull the string and the door is shut, I have her trapped inside my apartment, now what? Well between my dad and I,the next day we chased her around my apartment,threw a blanket over her,put her in a cage,took her to the vet to get fixed....
Picked her up 2 days later on my move to the Sunshine coast and brought the wild feral kitten with me and my other cats.
I kept her inside for months, this kitten won`t let me pat her, or touch her, yet she loves my adult cats,my Siamese and other cats fight for space to sleep on my chest,I am always waking up to a mouthful of fur, yet the kitten will only get within a few feet of me, she likes me, she talks to me, she asks to go outside, but she won`t let me pat her.
Well friends, that was 6 years ago, I have a new outdoor cat that found me,GIN GIN is his name,he was covered with tree sap, knotted fur,a scruffy cat that has been outside for years, now Gin Gin is a beautiful Maine Coon cat, so smart, so friendly,loves to be petted and held.
6 years gone by, the tree cat who I named Shady Lady to this day still won`t let me pat her,touch her,hold her,but she sleeps by my feet and talks to me,she loves and cuddles my male cats, and that`s good enough for me,we have an understanding, I feed her,take care of her,protect her, and she gives me the cold shoulder,sounds like my ex!
So as for why I fight, speak up for the voiceless, stick my nose in, get involved, because it`s just the way I was raised, the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few,or the one.
I will fight for the HST initiative whether it`s binding or not, I will make "Recall in the Fall" a success, I will never surrender whatever the cost may be!
I give you my condolences Kootcoot for the recent loss of your cat, I shed an extra tear for her.
The Straight Goods
Cheers-Eyes Wide Open