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Hurricane Katrina/Chris is ALIVE and moving to N.O. - Part 2


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#1
Kris S

Kris S

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Link to Part 1


Topic was copied and pasted from our old community on 7/22/06

  IMOM.org - Community Forum
    > General Discussion
        > Hurricane Katrina/Chris is ALIVE and moving to N.O.
      
Judy Leathers  
Registered User
Posts: 3554
(10/14/05 7:40 am)
Reply    Re: Going home/China
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Chris, I am so sad to read about China...tears are just welling up...both for you and also China...poor baby...

Kayla always LOVED cats so I know that she has befriended China and they are best of friends...

I hope that you are able to salvage some of your things this week end. I'll check back to see on Monday.

Also, I am so glad that you posted about Kim and Kay. I knew they were going but didn't want to mention it without their permission...

Can you believe it...Amanda and Keith and Kim and Kay made it down to help the poor animals that needed their help so badly... to them all...

Nancy, what a wonderful link you posted for help with the vet bills!  ...Judy



paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 976
(10/15/05 5:41 am)
Reply    Re: Kim and Kay
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Chris,
i am so sorry about China another one of Katrina's victims.how very sad.
with the insurance people and hoping that you find some of your ferals.could be a new group as everything was swept down the street. your group may have been relocated a few streets away. Anyhow good luckwith the salvage operation.
p    

restnwolf
Registered User
Posts: 1
(10/15/05 8:10 am)
Reply    lakeview
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hi paula found this group from a post u left me on lv group. chris kept mentioning her pet group, just didnt resister and then i remembered u left the e mail address so i thought id visit. great 2 know people like this are all thruout the country. how chris ,david ,and i got together, i really dont know, dont remember. am as curious as everyone else. i think u had something to do w/ it. i guess chris will have 2 tell us. if she gets a movie deal maybe shell let me play myself. my big break. no more alpo surprise. although its an aquired taste and once aquired ur hooked. kinda like oysters. would be good fodder for the tabloids. before stardom he was no "man of means" he ate alpo...................and liked it. steve v

paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 977
(10/15/05 2:57 pm)
Reply    Steve
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hey steve, glad you came for a visit. Everything back to normal after Rita?well as normal as it ever gets.if you read the threads i think there are 3,Chris is writing the story of her survival during the flood and the rescue of her cat.hopefully she can get it published.look around the site lots of nice people here.
p    

Edited by: paulajmnj at: 10/15/05 6:40 pm

Linda IMOM  
Committee Volunteer
Posts: 1877
(10/15/05 6:19 pm)
Reply
    Re: Kim and Kay
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A BIG Welcome to Steve!      

I am so glad to see you here!!!  
Collie Hugs - Linda aka ellgee

Please click below to visit my furbabies
community.webshots.com/album/134598199QrXRlg

Please visit Monty's memorial page
www.svcsr.org/notforgot/monty.htm

Although I can't seem to make this "clickable" heres Monty's IMOM forum when he was a PINkid
http://p088.ezboard.com/fimomcommunityfrm3...opicID=88.topic

smalk50
Registered User
Posts: 458
(10/19/05 11:06 am)
Reply    Got back from N.O./ Welcome Steve!
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Hi all,

I ended up staying an extra day and didn't return until last night - deliriously tired! I'm just quickly updating a few things now until I can get into the details more later.

Mama Minx is still there  - she looks good and allowed me a few fleeting pets before skittering off. I counted 3 other ferals in my back alley and they all looked amazingly good.  The food that I was leaving out was always gone so hopefully others are okay too. There was no sign of Emerald and I still fear that she drowned on the first day  - but you never know!

In my neighbor Maria's alley - she has yet to see any cats but the food is always gone  and the water is clean - which usually means no raccoons.

Maria has moved back to N.O. but in a different area. She will be able to leave out food and water for her missing cats and for my ferals - including Mama Minx. I hated to leave her but she was pretty feral to begin with and I know that she will survive until I can figure out a plan - moving back to La. near the country and trying to relocate all of the ferals? Don't know yet.

On a bright note, I found my camera up in the closet and it still works - I am working on getting the pictures from it - I was taking pictures while the water was coming up in the house! I also found my photo album that I had also put up into the closet! That is fine. I had a pair of DKNY boots that also survived! And about 100-150 of my books are O.K. So, I am pretty pleased at what I was able to salvage from my house.  

My Mom's house was a total loss - all three insurance people (along with a very nice FEMA person) seemed to agree that the house was too bad to fix up any kind of way. We are waiting now for them to get their reports in and come to a conclusion. The house had not been opened since the flood - we had to sledgehammer the front door open - mold of ceilings, etc. I was able to recover my Mom's family Bible (from 1901) but it was a soggy mess. I lugged out her wedding present china (from 1936) and am about to try and clean it.

I filled up 3 disposable cameras with photos and will have those developed today - I didn't dare take my good cameras to N.O.

There were lots of people in town - mostly workers and contractors. Metairie (next county/parish over) was packed with locals and most things were open.

And I wanted to welcome my hero Steve - he found his way to this forum! Thank you so much for posting! And as I told you before - you are Pedigree all the way!    

I will post more soon - must go and start cleaning, etc. Thanks to all for your good wishes!

Chris

Judy Leathers  
Registered User
Posts: 3577
(10/19/05 1:44 pm)
Reply    Re: Got back from N.O./ Welcome Steve!
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Chris, I believe it's a miracle that those ferals are still there!! I am so happy to hear that you saw them and now someone is caring for them until you have a plan...UNBELIEVABLE...

Also, I'm glad that you were able to recover some of your things...I know that means alot.

It's hard to believe in all that tragedy that there is still much happiness...I know you were thrilled to find the ferals alive and looking good...

I'm glad that things are settling down and people are beginning to get back to their homes.

I'll keep checking in to see what you're doing and how the kitties all are...I am so happy to read this  ! Judy

smalk50
Registered User
Posts: 459
(10/19/05 11:37 pm)
Reply
    Home pictures
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Hi,

I've been busy with the new pictures - had to scan the ones from the drugstore - most of them did not come out too well. I had been taking some pictures when the water started coming up during Katrina with my old camera. I put them onto webshots along with a few that I took this past weekend at my house with the diposable cameras. Only one of Mama Minx came out and the ones of the ferals didn't come out at all. But here's what I've got:

During Katrina


I've also been scanning the ones of my Mom's house and that has taken awhile. I'm just about all done with the photos for one day!

Tomorrow, I start on relisting the books online - it still looks like around 150 books that I was able to get okay. And they seem fine - no smell - they didn't get wet! And since I left my house open since my rescue, the mold is not bad at all inside - just on the floor and on the damp areas - none on the walls or ceilings.

I was also able to find a few CafePress items - I did find Catina, Memphis and Oscar's tiles along with some Bumper Stickers that were up in plastic bags in one of the cupboards. I am very lucky to find anything at all here - I don't know what I must have been thinking when that water was coming up! I really don't remember except thinking that the water was going to go down soon - once they got the pumps going - the water was going to go down!  

Anyway, I'm exhausted and about to go to bed - I've had no trouble sleeping these last few nights - too tired! I soaked and washed my Mom's wedding China today and tried to dry out her Bible and a few personal papers - I had four big plastic bins of my books that I lugged back inside - poor Mom - she had a catless 4 days and now she's got the cats again, containers of books, smelly relics from our houses and a pile of depressing pictures from her former home.

Thanks guys and will try and update sooner!

Chris

Juli IMOM  
Board of Directors
Posts: 1815
(10/20/05 5:44 am)
Reply    Pictures
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As they say, pictures are worth a thousand words. I'm so glad you and the kitties are safe. It was so good to see a picture of Mama Minx. I was worried about her. I'm really glad your neighbor will be feeding her along with the other ferals. You had a really nice neighborhood before Katrina.

JeanKBBMMMAA  
Registered User
Posts: 813
(10/20/05 8:45 pm)
Reply    Re: Pictures
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Over and over and over...I try to keep up with this thread just so I can be amazed. WOW. Chris thanks for sharing all of this. My condolences to you and your ex-husband in the loss of your  .

Linda IMOM  
Committee Volunteer
Posts: 1902
(10/20/05 9:15 pm)
Reply
    Re: Home pictures
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Chris - I am just amazed. Just swimming from the house to the carport but have been a huge ordeal - by that point, I am sure you were physically exhausted. The photo of the message "no animals found" from the 18th, even though I know your 9 survived, it just made me feel so sad about China and Emerald.

Mama Minx looks good! What a surviver she is!!!  


Collie Hugs - Linda aka ellgee

Please click below to visit my furbabies
community.webshots.com/album/134598199QrXRlg

Please visit Monty's memorial page
www.svcsr.org/notforgot/monty.htm

Although I can't seem to make this "clickable" heres Monty's IMOM forum when he was a PINkid
http://p088.ezboard.com/fimomcommunityfrm3...opicID=88.topic

paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 995
(10/22/05 7:21 am)
Reply    Re: Pictures
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Chris,
kNow i understand why the people from your neighborhood
miss it so much. very attractive must have had a great sense of pride and community.i also understand why you want to go back-- i would miss it also.
Glad to were able to salvage some things.The pics are great.
for sharing. Mama Minx just amazing --ferals are tough--at least you saw three.did you see the little black one you had just TNR'd? well i'm glad one of your neighbors will be watching over the colony who know in a month you may see more of them.i'm sure they are terriffied to come out until long after dark. poor babies.
p    

smalk50
Registered User
Posts: 462
(10/24/05 8:33 pm)
Reply
    Stuff
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi All,

I have been so swamped with everything that I have not had time to post at all, let alone work on the conclusion of the story - if it ever gets finished!  I am so glad that I got back my Amazon books but it has been a lot of work to get them back up and running - I had to delete about 170 of the 300 books that I did have and I had to edit some of the ones that survived Katrina. Amazingly, the ones in the closets were mostly fine - no smell at all! - some just got bumped up on the trip back to Birmingham. And I sold my first book yesterday - my first post-hurricane sale!  

Other good news is that my old computer survived too! I've been transferring all of my files and pictures over to the new one in case it does crash. I even have all of my CafePress designs and pictures! As if I have time to work on my shop right now too. Amazing! And did I mention that all of my cat pictures in my photo album survived too? It had pictures of cats from 20 years ago in it - I was so thrilled.  

I just spoke to Maria, my neighbor in N.O. who has been feeding my back alley ferals - so far she has seen 6 of them and all match the descriptions of my guys. We did talk about the possibility of new cats being around too - people's pets that survived and other ferals that might have found the food source. Maria made me feel so much better about the ferals - at least they are being fed and watered too. Maria still has not seen any of her alley cats - but the food is still disappearing every night. Hopefully, they will eventually come out too.  

I've been getting encouraging news too from N.O. in that there is now an organized approach to feeding all of the cities' remaining feral cat colonies - the city is being broken up into different sections with each colony being noted, so that they all can be cared for. Also, SpayMart and other groups are all trying to take advantage of the lowest number of feral cats in the city in recent history, by trying to organize a massive spay/neuter drive. There will never be a better time to fix as many cats as possible as there is now. I wish that I could be back there now to help!

I did get an email from Heidi (from St. Francis) that a position at Kitty Village was open and if I was interested, I would also have a place to stay - with my cats. I immediately emailed her back - what kind of position? , etc., and she wrote back that she would get in touch with me soon with the details. That was on Thursday and I haven't heard back from her - very frustrating but I know that she's swamped as always. Best Friends is still there of course, but I believe that other groups are also bringing rescued animals there too. I know that I'm not up to any kind of physical stuff but they had mentioned me helping with the website months ago - I just don't know what's up? Kind of frustrating!  

A family friend was in town for the weekend - he's very fond of my Mom! He took us out to dinner and lunch a few times and we all had a big dinner at a local Chinese Restaurant last night - the Birmingham relatives and cousin Eddie. My Mom wanted to thank everyone for their kindness to her since she has been here. It was a nice weekend but it has put me even further behind in the 1,000,000 things that I have to do.

I'm trying to get my Mom all squared away too - getting her established with new doctors, involved with a senior center, finding discount pharmacies, all of the above so that when I do leave here, she will be all set. However, the possibility of assisted living is also very possible in the next year - she's doing O.K. now, but she has a lot of problems with getting around.

I've been feeding two cats outside in our apartment complex. I have seen a lot of cats in people's windows so I don't really think that this is a very strict no pet policy place. One of the cats that I feed is fat and all the people that I ask about her says that she belongs to someone - who apparently lets her out at night. She nibbles at the food but mostly wants to be pet. The other cat is a longhaired sweetheart, but he is extremely thin underneath his fur - people have also said that they have seen him around for a long time. If he belongs to someone, they either do not feed him or he has health issues to be that thin. I've been checking around to see who he does belong to - if he's a stray, I'll try and find a rescue group for him. He's such a beautiful sweet guy!

I'm also updating in the Behind the Scenes forum about Panda - her ear initially looked like it was healing but there was a pus-filled discharge from it last night - I almost cried. And sweet Woody is having problems too - she has lost a lot of weight these last couple of weeks - all of the others are gaining weight -some to the point of fatness! So, she is going to go to the vet too.

I went today to the doctor to discuss all of the tests that had been done on me two weeks ago - all my blood work was pretty good but my liver enzymes were kind of elevated again - hopefully, just the recent stress and relatively poor diet have contributed to that. The doctor was not very good - just kept pushing me to take the interferon treatment for the hep c - even tried giving me a video about it. I had told him that I had belonged to 2 support groups and knew a great deal about the disease but he was a "doesn't listen to his patients" kind of MD. I'm lined up for an Ultrasound on November 1st but after that, I am finished with that hospital.
I'm also trying to get all of my medical stuff out of the way - don't know what kind of health care to expect now in La.

I did get some new glasses - I had the eye exam last week and new glasses were selected. I was able to get them at no cost but had been told if I wanted any nicer glasses that I could just make up the difference. Well, I can't - I need bifocals but I have to get the kind with the line across the middle. They wouldn't let me pay for the ones' without. Oh well, at least I'll be able to see - these drugstore specials are O.K. but I can't really see too well with them. They are supposed to call me when they are ready.

Well, that's what's been going on - I wish that there were more hours in the day! Thanks again for your help and support - it is so wonderful to be able to talk to you all.

Chris

paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 1004
(10/25/05 5:57 pm)
Reply    Keeping Busy
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Chris,
well i'm glad to see your not just moping around with nothing to do Congratulalions on the book sale,excellant.
the rise in liver enzymnes not a big surprise with all you have been through and are still going through. The most improtant thing how are you feeling and are you taking your vitamins. hopefully with proper rest and a good diet it will give your liver a chance to heal. .No smoking your liver needs as much oxygen as it can get know.Does Milk Thistle help at all. Do you take any of the meds for treatment or are you strictly holistic?
Believe St Francis needs help with their website. or maybe nursing the sick and babies at the Kitty Village.one way or another i suspected. you would end
up there.after all the 200 cats would love to see you back
take care hopefully you are dwon to 799,999, things left to do sending prayers for Woody and Panda that whatever they have can be taken care of easily.
p    

smalk50
Registered User
Posts: 464
(10/25/05 10:30 pm)
Reply
    Re: Pictures
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi,

Paula, I started taking milk thistle religiously about a year ago and my liver enzymes went back to the 30's (normal range) in April of this year (during what I used to consider the stress of moving the 200 cats to St. Francis). I also ate a lot of veggies from a whole foods market almost every day and had not been drinking for almost 3 years.

Dr. Jill, the Thibodaux vet, actually brought me some Milk Thistle and L-lysine on the second day that I was at the church shelter. I think that it really played an important part in me not getting really sick in the days after Katrina. BTW - I tried to get in touch with her at the Thibodaux vet but they said that she is now teaching at Nicholls State - guess that I could find her there - I owe her a world of thanks for all that she did!

The "getting rest" part has been over with for the last two months - living with Mom and caring for her has become almost a full time job. I love her with all of my heart but it gets frustrating - she's getting very hard of hearing - when I first get up in the morning before I have any coffee, Mom has the Today Show blaring at top volume. Not a good start to the day. But what makes it frustrating is that she refuses to get her hearing checked. None of her friend's hearing aids helped them so why should she spend the money? is her way of thinking. But it is driving me insane!

My ALT was back in the 70's which was a drag but my viral load was almost a million - sounds very high but it can go up to 100 million! I kind of knew that too - I can feel it when I overdo - and I haven't stopped since the stupid hurricane. Plus, I had been occasionally having a beer or two (especially back in N.O.) and smoking a great deal - so it was no big surprise that the numbers were so high. Anyway, no more drinking and I'm working on ditching the cigarettes (again!)

We just do what we have to do but some times it seems like too much. I just know that this situation is temporary but sometimes I lose sight of that.

Yeah, I could be sitting in a shelter somewhere now without my cats, or any possessions and wondering where my Mom was - so I am extremely lucky in my current circumstances - I guess that it is a sign of things getting back to normal that I feel comfortable enough to complain.  

Well, back to the books  

Chris

paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 1008
(10/26/05 9:57 pm)
Reply    Re: Stuff
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
chris,
the hearing aid thing is so funny. Older people thaink that way.what nothings wrong with my hearing,those things don't help.it's called denial.i believe they think if they need one it's a sign that they are getting old you know we all feel younger than what we are and the reminder of aging such as hearing aids can be hard to accept.My grandmother same way..when i was out visting my mother i todd her she needs a Miracle ear appt. Mom doesn't believe she has hearing problems she has hearing difficulties,after all her hearing was tested about 15 yrs ago.  
i think with everything you were exposed to in terms of toxic waste etc.another source of irritation and inflammation. but you know what to do and will adjust accordingly.Hope the kitties are doing well. Woody eat and gain weight.
p    

smalk50
Registered User
Posts: 465
(10/31/05 12:16 am)
Reply    Katrina Animal Rescue Pictures
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Hi all,

I've been keeping up with the news in New Orleans and have been checking out all of the animal rescues still going on in N.O. and the surrounding areas online. And even though the press and most people have moved on from Katrina, thousands of animals are still in need of rescue.

I was struck by these photos that were on nola.com - I don't know who these people were who spent a week in New Orleans, but their photos are haunting. The animals that they rescued are very lucky but it is a miracle that many of them made it until they were rescued.


Katrina Animals - Rescued!


These pictures serve as a reminder that the rescue is far from over on the Gulf Coast - volunteers are still desperately needed as are shelters to take in the animals. Thousands of animals are still alive amazingly but there isn't much time left for them.

Kim had spent some time in St. Bernard - I believe that the two dogs that she rescued came from there? and both were heart-worm positive. St. Bernard is an extremely poor area of town and many animals there were not spayed/neutered or given flea/heartworm preventative. So a lot of them were not in good shape to begin with.

But, I just wanted to share the pictures with you all - just a reminder of the horrors (and a few happy endings mixed in) still going on in La. and the gulf coast.

Chris


Edited by: smalk50 at: 10/31/05 12:20 am

smalk50
Registered User
Posts: 470
(11/2/05 8:15 pm)
Reply
    StrayGray
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi all,

Here are some photos of StrayGray, the handsome fella that I've been feeding out in our parking lot. I sent them to Friends of Ferals up in Huntsville and got a response from those nice folks - they are working on finding a place for him. But like so many Rescues, they are overloaded with Hurricane animals and space is very limited.

I had contacted several Birmingham groups and none have gotten back to me - I did talk to the local shelter and was told that they were a "kill" shelter. I'm worried that StrayGray might have health issues because he is so skinny and am afraid that he might be put down if he does. The group in Huntsville would hopefully go the extra distance to place him even if he was sick.

I am waiting to hear back from them - I told them that I am leaving for New Orleans on Sunday but would be happy to drive him up to Huntsville anytime between now and then. I don't want to leave him here while I am gone. A no-pet apartment complex parking lot is not the safest place in the world!

Here are his pictures. Isn't he handsome?









Keep your fingers  for him!

chris


paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 1047
(11/2/05 8:41 pm)
Reply    StrayGray
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
he sure is a good looking guy.hoping that a foster home opens up and pronto. he deserves a chance.
p    

Edited by: paulajmnj at: 11/2/05 8:41 pm

smalk50
Registered User
Posts: 471
(11/3/05 7:33 pm)
Reply
    StrayGray going to Huntsville!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi All,

Well, after numerous emails, StrayGray is going up to Huntsville tomorrow  after I get back from bringing my Mom to the beauty shop. Friends of Ferals, who are an offshoot of the Huntsville Humane Society, called me this afternoon and told me that they will take him. I am to drive him up to the Humane Society where he will be seen by a vet and then placed into a foster home. Seems that people saw his pictures and there was a very positive response to them and to him.  

When Linda called me this afternoon, I was out running errands and I had to tell her that StrayGray had not shown up this morning - I was a worried wreck! But he was waiting for me when I got home, very, very hungry.  (this emoticon kind of looks like him)

He is now inside, in a large closet that I fixed up for him. A nice soft bed, a litter box, food and water and a nice little night lite for him. I had planned on putting him into a carrier - ala Juli's Callie - but saw that the closet would be better for him as he's got a long wait until noon tomorrow. He's a little unsure of his new surroundings but at least, is not howling - just a few little peeps now and then. I'll go visit with him soon with some catnip and a brush and comb. His beautiful long fur is tangled and matted from being outside.

I am so grateful to Friends of Ferals - like most rescue groups, they are swamped with their own animals plus Katrina and other hurricane refugees. They are taking him in and Linda said that they will give him every chance - even if he does test positive for something bad. What a great group of people!      

Well, just wanted to share some good news about StrayGray! I'm sure that he will soon have a much better name! He's much too regal for anything so mundane. And finicky too. He turned up his nose at dry food and Friskies canned. Nothing but Fancy Feast for him!

I'll update about him once I get back from Huntsville - about a 100 miles from here. Fortunately, it is straight interstate from here and not too long of a drive.

Chris

Juli IMOM  
Board of Directors
Posts: 1853
(11/4/05 5:50 am)
Reply    StrayGray
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Good news that the Huntsville rescue group will take StrayGray. I hope he liked his closet apartment.  My sister lives in Huntsville. She makes the drive from Huntsville to Birmingham often. I hope it is a nice one. Did you say you were going back to N.O. soon?

Linda IMOM  
Committee Volunteer
Posts: 1974
(11/4/05 10:18 am)
Reply
    Re: StrayGray
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stray Gray is very handsome!!! I am so glad you have him placed.

Thnks for keeping us posted - you are sooo busy, I think about you and your kitties everyday.
Collie Hugs - Linda aka ellgee

Please click below to visit my furbabies
community.webshots.com/album/134598199QrXRlg

Please visit Monty's memorial page
www.svcsr.org/notforgot/monty.htm

Although I can't seem to make this "clickable" heres Monty's IMOM forum when he was a PINkid
http://p088.ezboard.com/fimomcommunityfrm3...opicID=88.topic

smalk50
Registered User
Posts: 472
(11/4/05 11:16 am)
Reply    StrayGray/New Orleans
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi,

Yes, I'm leaving here Sunday morning and coming back Tuesday afternoon or evening. I have to meet again with another insurance adjuster at my Mom's house on Monday - seems the first inspection was done "incorrectly" and the house needs to be redone. When I called the insurance agency I was told that the first adjuster "didn't go into the house to inspect it." What?, excuse me, but I was in the house with him while he did his job! So something funny is going on in the insurance world. Hopefully, it'll all get straightened out by 2007.  

Then, on Tuesday, I have to go get the stuff from my Mom's safe deposit box - her bank was flooded and her box was near the floor - fortunately she didn't have anything really valuable in it - just very sentimental stuff - maybe more valuable than anything monetary.

StrayGray (hope they rename him)! is such a sweetheart. I had him out last night (with my cats locked up in the back)! and he immediately jumped up in my lap and curled up. I combed him and tried to get out some of the mats on his tail and back feathers. He didn't like it in the closet at all but I guess that it was better than the carrier all night. I let him out this a.m. to stretch his legs and he went by the back door and meowed - like "Let me out of here"! He's back in the closet now but I am bringing him at noon for the trip up to Huntsville - about an hour according to MapQuest (huh Juli?) - thank goodness for MQ! It's the only way that I've been able to navigate this place!

I really don't mind bringing him - these people at Friends of Ferals are angels to take him anyway. Plus I'll have one less thing to worry about when I leave to go back home. It brings great peace of mind to know that he will finally be safe and well cared for.  

Must go,

Chris



goofygirlinva
Registered User
Posts: 1
(11/8/05 5:18 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
   Re: StrayGray/New Orleans
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chris,
I just found this website and have spent the last hour or so reading through your story. What an amazing tale and what an amazing woman you are to have gone through Katrina and done all you have for your cats and StrayGray! It truly warms the heart to hear of a good story coming out of the Katrina mess. How did the trips to Huntsville & NO go? I realize you're probably just getting back from your trip; like so many on this board, I hope it went well and that you and your mom can start putting your lives back together again...

Best wishes,
Kelly
GopherIce

restnwolf
Registered User
Posts: 2
(11/11/05 12:00 pm)
Reply    katrina lost dogs
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hi chris hope all ius well. please foward lakeview group post #4959 to imom group. i would but not sure how. ned gonzales, a new orleans police officer stayed on duty, to protect and serve, thru the tragedy of katrina, and has been seperated from his pets because of it. he has had to take a leave of duty because of this tremendous loss. he and his family have lost their home and all their possesions and all they feel they are missing are nemo and lucky. PLEASE HELP. steve a vicknair

smalk50
Registered User
Posts: 475
(11/12/05 7:58 pm)
Reply
    New Orleans Visit #3
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Hi all,

Perhaps I was spared the full horror of the animal situation in New Orleans and in my neighborhood on my last visit home 3-4 weeks ago. I couldn't find most of the feral cats that I cared for but had seen 4 and knew that others were eating the food that was being left out. Plus, I had seen Mama Minx, who managed to survive for 7 weeks in the water and on her own after I had been rescued on August 30th. She wouldn't let me pet her but I had wanted to grab her and take her back to Birmingham. She was fat and being fed regularly so I decided that she would be better off in N.O. until I could come up with a better plan. My neighbor would be feeding her and the other cats and my mind was put at ease about their well being.

I got to my home around 11 last Sunday morning. I wanted to take more photos of my house as the ones that I had taken with the disposable camera didn't come out too well. I took a few of the front of my house and in the front two rooms. When I moved into the gloomy bedroom, I heard insects - flies buzzing - I looked down and Mama Minx was laying on her back -dead. I was horrified and it didn't hit me at first that it was her until I saw her white tummy. It was Mama Minx! I burst into tears and knelt by her sobbing - she looked like she had been dead for over a week. It also looked like she had a deep bite wound or other type of wound on her hind end and side. I think that a starving dog or other animal chased her and she was able to get inside after being attacked where she died of her injuries and shock. She was right in the doorway, I guess so that I could find her. Poor, poor baby cat!

I went back outside in shock and despair - I should have made her go back to Birmingham with me last time. But she was pretty feral and would bite if handled - she was tiny but very dominant and tried to bully all of the other cats - they all hated her. She had started spending time inside last winter when it was cold outside and had to learn the rules of living inside - which was an ongoing struggle with her. But she would try and jump on the bed at nighttime and be pet - she loved to be pet - until one of the others would chase her down. I keep remembering the sweet side of her now but I had chosen not to take her last time because of the situation here - I thought that she would stress out the other cats even more while she would be unhappy stuck inside all of the time. But at least she would be alive!

A little while later, I went out to the car and got gloves and a mask and set about burying poor Mama Minx. I dug a place in the old flowerbed and went to get her from inside. It was awful to get her up as you can imagine - she was half lying on one of Kay's "cat mats" that she had knitted for the cats at the 200 Cat Rescue last year. Somehow, it had ended up on the floor in my bedroom where Mama Minx died. I kind of rolled her up in that and got her outside and into her grave. It was heartbreaking to put her there and I cried for her and all of the other cats that didn't make it.

I had called my neighbor and told her that I would feed "our" cats that night as I wanted to see if I saw anyone that I didn't see on my last visit. So, later, I walked over to her back alley but cut through the old man's house where one cat colony hung out. I used to feed them in the driveway every morning. So far, none of those cats had been seen by my neighbor (who fed them at night) since Katrina. I walked around the house again but this time saw two of the cats - dead under the house. They both looked like they had been drowned there on the first day of the flooding. It was Old Mama Siamese and L'Orange or what was left of them which was mostly skeleton with fur attached. I dug a hole for them but could not get them picked up - they were so badly decomposed that I stopped trying.

It was one thing to not see any missing cats and suppose that they did not survive the storm and flooding, but to find them dead was such a horrible reality check - especially on top of finding Mama Minx dead. I went ahead to leave food out for any of my neighbor's cats in her alley - most of the bowls still had food in them. I only saw one cat from further down the alley. I have to conclude that the 15 or so cats back in that alley and at the old man's house are all dead now.

And in my alley, I only saw two cats - two tabbies. One is Monster Cat, who has probably sired most of the cats in my section of Lakeview - he took me years to trap and was a terror. The other tabby is kind of the alpha female from the alley - I think that she is Woody's Mom. And two younger cats that I tnr'd a couple of years ago also survived in my back alley. Maria said that she has also seen a black cat besides Mama Minx - who she said that she has never seen since she's been feeding back there. But all of the others are gone - at least 8 more.

Most of them died by drowning I'm sure - what happens is that the cats climb up underneath the raised houses. Most of the houses have little nooks and crannies that they get up into and when the water rises, they are trapped on them or in them. Most cats don't know to dive down in the water and go underneath something to get outside. They just keep going higher or end up in the water and drown or the are in the water and paddle around until they are exhausted. Others died up in garages, trapped or drowned by the water or by starving.

I have posted Mama Minx and the other feral cats over on the Rainbow Bridge forum. They will help me to close up this period for me - I have been in mourning since Katrina but I have been mourning the loss of Mama Minx, the feral cats that I loved so much, my home and my life as I have known it this past week while in New Orleans. I now do not think that I will return there - it is too painful to go back now.

I sat out on my porch for about 3 hours the other day to mourn and to say good-bye. I thought of all of the cats that had been there, all of my neighbors and all the many good things that we all took for granted for so long. I cried and I realized that I would not be back here.

Well, thank you all for listening to this - it is very painful for me as I'm sure it is to read.

I am happy to be back in Birmingham with my cats - I keep telling them over and over - you don't know how lucky you all are! We all are to have survived Katrina.

Chris, the 5 miracle kitty survivors and her 3 traveling buddies.

Linda IMOM  
Committee Volunteer
Posts: 2035
(11/12/05 9:00 pm)
Reply
    Re: StrayGray/New Orleans
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Chris, despite all the saddness you are enduring right now, you did a wonderful thing for the ferals. It wasn't in vain, there are only a few survivers, but those lost had a better life because of you, because you cared and because you took the time to make a difference. You did an incredible job for so many cats.
Collie Hugs - Linda aka ellgee

Please click below to visit my furbabies
community.webshots.com/album/134598199QrXRlg

Please visit Monty's memorial page
www.svcsr.org/notforgot/monty.htm

Although I can't seem to make this "clickable" heres Monty's IMOM forum when he was a PINkid
http://p088.ezboard.com/fimomcommunityfrm3...opicID=88.topic

laurieadrienne
Local user
Posts: 707
(11/12/05 11:47 pm)
Reply    Re: New Orleans Visit #3
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Oh Chris, I'm so sorry to read about Mama Minx, Old Mama Siamese, and L'Orange. I know how very much you care for all of your kitties, socialized or feral, and know your heart is  .

Laurie


paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 1103
(11/13/05 2:06 am)
Reply    Re: New Orleans Visit #3
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Chris,
yes you were very lucky and so were all of your kitties.It sounds like you saw the place as it is today.Through clear eyes.You were probably still in shock the last time you wrere there,you know how you move through the area thinking well it isn't so bad,well they could fix this up.somehow denying the reality of the situation.It's strange how you had to make that last trip there. "What I've already been there and have to return to do the same things that i already did?" Now it has beome clear why you had to make the trip.To close the book on your old life.To find Mama Minx and the others.And to lay them to rest.to answer the question of what did happen to the others. you cannot progress into the future if you hold onto the past.You are ready for the next chapter in your life to begin and the opportunites that are just around the corner. now that your eyes are opened you will be open to change.I am sorry for the loss of what has been. But while you were there those cats had a better life because of you..because you gave a damn..
p    

Edited by: paulajmnj at: 11/13/05 9:21 am

Kim  
Local user
Posts: 5581
(11/13/05 7:15 am)
Reply    Re: New Orleans Visit #3
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Chris, I don't know what to say. Here come the tears.

Mama Minx, after surviving the storm and the flood....

L'Orange....

All the others....  When does the pain from this GD hurricane end???

I am off to the spay clinic and will wear my L'Orange t-shirt today. A reminder that all we can do is focus on the cats who are still here, to honor the ones who have had to leave us.

Paula's right -- your trip back there was for a reason.

Juli IMOM  
Board of Directors
Posts: 1882
(11/13/05 10:44 am)
Reply
    Re: New Orleans Visit #3
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Oh Chris, I too read your post through tears. Mama Minx tried so hard to survive. She is a very brave girl. May her days be filled with sunshine at the Bridge. She earned a nice quiet spot there where she could do the things she loved all day long with out any worries.

My heart breaks for Old Mama Siamese and L'Orange too.

I'm really sorry this happened to you and your feline family.

Hug and kiss the survivors for me.

Juli


Frankenmuth2
Registered User
Posts: 3081
(11/13/05 12:38 pm)
Reply    Re: New Orleans Visit #3
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Dear Chris;

I too read about your last trip to N.O. in tears.

I'm so sorry that your story isn't unique, that so many many people and animals have suffered and died and SURVIVED just like you and yours.

For you it is a nightmare lived and that will never be forgotten, for others (Like Kay, Kim and A & K) it is a nightmare seen firsthand and so very shocking, for others like myself and many more here at IMOM it's a nightmare we can only try to imagine and pray that we will never have to face. No matter who you are it is one that we will never forget!

I wish the clock could be turned back and everything put back to "normal", but since we all know that can't happen, I pray that your incrediable strength carry you forward into a once again happy future!

God Bless You!

Nancy



Judy Leathers  
Registered User
Posts: 3624
(11/13/05 9:05 pm)
Reply    New Orleans Visit #3
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Chris, I am so sorry for what you are having to deal with. I am so glad you can come to the forum and know that you can tell us how you feel and what you went through and know that we understand and are here for you. I hope that gives you some comfort.

I wish that you did not have to deal with all this heartache. We are here for you and please know that I will try to help you in anyway I can...Judy

smalk50
Registered User
Posts: 478
(11/14/05 6:58 pm)
Reply
    Re: New Orleans Visit #3
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Hi all,

Thanks for the kind words. You're probably right Paula - I was still in some kind of shock during my last visit home - it is just so strange to even be in N.O. If you drive through certain parts, you would never guess that Katrina even happened. But when you drive through other parts of town - most of it - all that you see are block after block, mile after mile, of the same thing. Ruined homes with ruined belongings, refrigerators, washer, dryers, etc. - all piled up in the streets - everywhere. It just goes on and on.

I had been supposed to meet my Mom's second home owner's insurance adjuster on Monday. I called him and he said that his wife was sick and he was going home. It took the insurance company until Friday to assign another one. I raised so much hell with them that they sent my Mom an additional check for the expenses incurred. I had only booked a room for two nights and ended up having to find another room while I was there - and only the very expensive ones were available. Anyway, I'm glad in a way as it gave me time to reflect on what was going on with me and my old home and life.

I guess that I was so fixated on getting all of my usable stuff out and running around doing things for my Mom, that it really didn't hit me how horrible things really were. But this trip did it for me - helped to close that long chapter of my life.

I also learned that my Mom is extremely underinsured and that we might end up with an attorney before this whole mess is over with. I am trying to get a blue roof for the house where the tree went through the roof. But the house doesn't qualify until the tree is removed - which the insurance company pays for but cannot do until the inspection and settlement are complete. Then, we are waiting on FEMA, the city of New Orleans, the Army Corp of Engineers and all of the other hapless organizations to decide on what houses can be rebuilt, what houses are condemned, the flood level plain and whether one will have to raise their house before being issued a permit to rebuild. It's a fiasco and a mess. And now with the possibility of the levees not being properly built in the first place, no one knows what to do. No one is safe anywhere in the city. And Congress is dragging their heels in helping with all of Bush's big financial plans for the city. I loved his speech from Jackson Square - knew that it'd be a hard sell to everyone else.

I did call FEMA today and they told me that I had been assigned an inspector for my home in Lakeview - I should be hearing from him soon - and I will have to meet him at my house in N.O. So, it looks like I will be back there soon to take care of that unless FEMA changes the rules again - like they seem to do every day.

I am happy to be here - I never thought that I'd say that - but now that things have settled down, the cats are much more relaxed here and my Mom has accepted them. When she doesn't see Cayenne (boy), she'll ask me "Where's Cheyenne at? I miss her" And she tries to pet them sometimes - she's like a little kid and pets their hind ends. I'm just happy that the cats and my Mom are safe and mostly okay.

And on a brighter note, I heard from the folks that took in StrayGray - he's now temporarily GrayBoy and living in a home with his own room. He thankfully tested negative for leukemia and FIV but seems to have a heart murmur and bad kidneys. The vet thinks that he is between 8-10 but I thought that he was a lot younger. They are bringing him to another vet for his heart and they are going to treat his renal problems with diet until they get him settled down and get some weight on him. They'll recheck him then and decide on what to do. At any rate, they will have him for as long as he lives unless he is lucky enough to find a home. You never know - he's so beautiful and sweet that lots of folks might want him. I'm just happy that he is off of the street, especially as it's starting to get really cold here.

Thanks for letting me ramble (again) and thanks again for everyone's kind responses and support.

Chris and the gang

Kim  
Local user
Posts: 5637
(11/29/05 6:59 pm)
Reply    Re: Bill Harris and Miss Kitty
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A bittersweet ending to the story of Bill Harris and Miss Kitty.
Bill passed away and Miss Kitty has gone to live with her rescuer in Canada:
www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10241592/


smalk50
Registered User
Posts: 515
(12/6/05 3:41 pm)
Reply
    Re: StrayGray
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Hi All,

I just got this email from Mary of Friends of Ferals in Huntsville:

I'm back again & will try to do a quick synopsis for you on Sweetheart. I decided since every time I talked to him I'd say "Sweetheart" that it made sense for that to be his name -- he was hearing that more than anything else. And - he's truly a sweet, sweet kitty...and he has the most musical, lyrical, voice. The day after he arrived here you may
recall he went to Dr. Wendy. He was declared negative for FIV,FIP, etc., and was given a treatment that killed the fleas almost immediately. For about the next week, of course, I was combing dead fleas, flea dirt and miscellaneous trash out of his coat. His fur is beautiful now. At the same time Dr. Wendy diagnosed that he had kidney disease and a heart murmur and was fragile since he was only skin and bones covered by fur. He was immediatley put on Science Diet KD - and mercifully - he really likes it. Since he had almost starved to death, his stomach had shrunk - so for about the first week, he didn't eat very much. But by Nov 26 when he went back for his 2nd round of shots, he had gained one/tenth of a pound. I think he's continuing to have a better appetite and eat more. So I'm looking forward to having him weighed this Saturday (12/10) when Dr. W gives him his second tapeworm
treatment.

Hopefully eating all he wants and not supporting fleas/tapeworms will let him put some meat back on his bones. To know the heart treatment needed, the cause of the murmur had to be determined. So, Nov. 29th, he
was given an echocardiagram by Dr. Ackerman. (I'm learning things I never knew about before. Dr. Ackerman is a specialist from B'ham and comes up here on a regular basis to test/analyze problems. I'm not sure if he does heart only - or if he does ultrasound in general. He doesn't prescribe treatments - just analyzes the condition. ) Sweetheart has
advanced heart problems - the muscle around his heart is twice as thick as it should be which can cause high blood pressure - and all of this can further contribute to the kidney problems. So after talking with Dr. Ackerman & seeing the film from the ECH, Dr. W prescribed Atenolol (sp?). This tab is TINY - and he only gets 1/4 of one per day. With some problems the next a.m. I got the first one down him. Then, I had cheese toast for my breakfast. For the first time he went absolutely wild to have something...cheese. Every a.m. now (with Dr. W's blessing)he wolfs down his miniscule cheese treat containing his heart medicine.

Last night he conned me out of a very tiny bit of catfish (probably not on his diet - but - it was only about 1/8 teaspoon.) Dr. W wants to see him the last week of December to see what effect the Atenolol has had.

So - meanwhile - he has the run of the house - a sunny window seat- sleeps in/on the bed with me - has KD 24/7 - dearly loves a Cosmic Catnip pillow toy* - and is beginning to trust that Katie and Sugar are his friends. (*this is an old one that was well used that he found shortly after he got there. Thinking he'd like a nice new one of his very own - I bought an identical new one -- he ignores it & loves the
old one...but as long as he's happy...that's what matters.)


I was so happy to hear that he's got his own home and gets to sleep on the bed! I was thinking about him last night when the temps here were in the 20's.

Sounds like he's got some serious health issues but Mary is doing what she can for him - and he sounds so very happy!

I sent Mary some informative links and also IMOM's info - hopefully, she'll come over and visit.

But  to Mary and Friends of Ferals for taking "Sweetheart" in - I'll be forever grateful to her and to them!


Chris


Edited by: smalk50 at: 12/6/05 9:22 pm

LynnR0
Registered User
Posts: 341
(12/6/05 8:35 pm)
Reply    CRF
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Hi Chris :-)
Did you send your friend this link?
www.felinecrf.org
It is really the ultimate tool in dealing w/CRF.
If theres anything I can do to help, I would be more then happy to help w/questions etc.
There is also a Yahoo! Feline CRF Support Group she can join. The link to that is:
groups.yahoo.com/group/Fe...F-Support/
~Lynn & Hope

smalk50
Registered User
Posts: 516
(12/6/05 9:21 pm)
Reply    StrayGray now Sweetheart
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Hi,

Lynn, I was so happy to hear that StrayGray had a place of his own out of the cold and that Friends of Ferals via Mary had actually taken him in, that I kind of overlooked the feeding of Science Diet (one of my pet peeves!) I did send her the link to Cat Nutrition and IMOM's link but I didn't want to overload her with info. I didn't want to seem like I was telling her what to do and that she was doing things wrong. Which she's not - she has saved the cat's life and is lavishing him with the love that he so sorely deserves.

But you are right - the CRF site is one of the best and I will send it to her too eventually. It's kind of a thin line when a Rescue group takes in an animal when they are filled up to the seams - and then hear back from the person who they took the animal from that they should do this and that with the cat. I am just so overjoyed that he is not still out in the parking lot, starving to death with a heart condition and kidney problems! Plus, I have only spoken to Mary one time on the phone and exchanged a couple of emails with her.

Thanks though Lynn, you have been so helpful to so many on this forum with your knowledge about health issues and nutrition - hopefully StrayGray/Sweetheart's health will improve with the care that he is finally getting now.  

Chris

Edited by: smalk50 at: 12/6/05 9:35 pm

LynnR0
Registered User
Posts: 342
(12/7/05 8:45 am)
Reply    Re: StrayGray
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Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But you are right - the CRF site is one of the best and I will send it to her too eventually.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Yes it is :-)
Did you know my little Hopes story is on the site?
Here it is:
www.felinecrf.org/success...n_and_hope
Thanks for finding a safe and sound home for that sweet boy - he certainly wouldnt have made it much longer without your intervention!
Hugs,
Lynn

Linda IMOM  
Committee Volunteer
Posts: 2471
(1/17/06 12:23 am)
Reply
   Re: Hurricane Katrina/Chris is ALIVE!!!
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Just thought I would share this with everyone!


Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This was from the redcross.org website

Animal Safety
Pets and Disaster: Be Prepared

The following information has been prepared by the Humane Society of
the United States in cooperation with the American Red Cross

Our pets enrich our lives in more ways than we can count. In turn,
they depend on us for their safety and well-being. Here's how you can
be prepared to protect your pets when disaster strikes.

Be Prepared with a Disaster Plan
The best way to protect your family from the effects of a disaster is
to have a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, that plan must
include your pets. Being prepared can save their lives.

Different disasters require different responses. But whether the
disaster is a hurricane or a hazardous spill, you may have to evacuate
your home.

In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important
thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too.
Leaving pets behind, even if you try to create a safe place for them,
is likely to result in their being injured, lost, or worse. So prepare
now for the day when you and your pets may have to leave your home.

1. Have a Safe Place To Take Your Pets
Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of states'
health and safety regulations and other considerations. Service
animals who assist people with disabilities are the only animals
allowed in Red Cross shelters. It may be difficult, if not impossible,
to find shelter for your animals in the midst of a disaster, so plan
ahead. Do not wait until disaster strikes to do your research.

* Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check
policies on accepting pets and restrictions on number, size, and
species. Ask if "no pet" policies could be waived in an emergency.
Keep a list of "pet friendly" places, including phone numbers, with
other disaster information and supplies. If you have notice of an
impending disaster, call ahead for reservations.
* Ask friends, relatives, or others outside the affected area
whether they could shelter your animals. If you have more than one
pet, they may be more comfortable if kept together, but be prepared to
house them separately.
* Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who
could shelter animals in an emergency; include 24-hour phone numbers.
* Ask local animal shelters if they provide emergency shelter or
foster care for pets in a disaster. Animal shelters may be
overburdened caring for the animals they already have as well as those
displaced by a disaster, so this should be your last resort.

2. Assemble a Portable Pet Disaster Supplies Kit Whether you are away
from home for a day or a week, you'll need essential supplies. Keep
items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy containers that
can be carried easily (duffle bags, covered trash containers, etc.).
Your pet disaster supplies kit should include:

* Medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof
container) and a first aid kit.
* Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets
safely and ensure that your animals can't escape.
* Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.
* Food, potable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and can opener.
* Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior
problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you
have to foster or board your pets.
* Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.

3. Know What To Do As a Disaster Approaches

* Often, warnings are issued hours, even days, in advance. At the
first hint of disaster, act to protect your pet.
* Call ahead to confirm eme

Edited by Kris S, 22 July 2006 - 12:20 PM.


#2
Kris S

Kris S

    Certified IMOMer!

  • Members
  • 736 posts
Topic was copied and pasted from our old community on 7/22/06


  IMOM.org - Community Forum
    > General Discussion
        > Hurricane Katrina/Chris is ALIVE and moving to N.O.
      

paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 1327
(2/4/06 11:22 am)
Reply    Welcome Back
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Kris,
glad to see that your trip was fruitful and that you seem rested. I really like the cat in that pic and i see the city is gearing up for Mardi Gras. lol
can't wait for your  
p    

laurieadrienne
Local user
Posts: 777
(2/4/06 1:29 pm)
Reply    Re: Back to New Orleans
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Chris, what a great pic! It really cracks me up. What lovely local "flavor."

Laurie

smalk50  
Registered User
Posts: 577
(2/4/06 8:10 pm)
Reply    Moving back to New Orleans
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Hi All,

Well, I am officially moving back to New Orleans!  I found an apartment kind of by accident and it was so good of a deal - under post Katrina circumstances - that the next thing that I knew that I was whipping out my checkbook and soon had the key to my new digs.  

My visit started off by staying with my friend Donna, who had found a leaky upstairs apartment in a quiet uptown area, close to Audubon Park. Most of that area had little flood damage but there are a few blue roofs around.

When I was driving down, I saw that from about Meridian Ms on, about 200 miles from N.O. that you could still see downed trees, or cleared areas where trees used to stand or trees that were still snapped in half. Upon reaching New Orleans city limits, I was again struck by the devastation as seen from Interstate 10. I drove through a lot of sections of town and saw the same thing as last time. Ruined houses but much more signs of people either trying to rebuild or people who have at least gotten all of the stuff out of their homes. Many were still sitting in the same condition as they had been since Katrina.  

At any rate, I was struck by the difference once I crossed a main thoroughfare that goes into the uptown area of N.O. Not too many signs of damage at all. I had to pass a school that had just let out - it seemed like just as many students as before Katrina. And soon, I got to Donna's and started getting all of the stuff out of the car. I looked across the street and I saw that a resident had a picture window that was decorated with a Mardi Gras theme. I crossed the street to look closer at it and saw that a tabby cat was stretched out in the window too.




I had to post that photo again!


Well, this was just sheer New Orleans - I took several pictures of that. And once I got settled in at Donna's charming old apartment, we went out to dinner at Frankie and Johnny's, a local neighborhood hangout. I had the best shrimp po-boy (dressed of course) with extra tabasco sauce - that I've had in a long time. And perfectly fried onion rings and some gumbo - boy it was a big-time tonic to eat these foods again. And they are not the same anywhere else in the world - only New Orleans has this food - I told Donna that my trip was a success - just because of that meal.  

The next day, I tried to take care of some insurance stuff but ended up firing my own adjuster. I was reunited with Steve V  (my hero with the boat who brought me to rescue my cats) He and his partner are doing house work in N.O. so we had agreed to meet at my Mom's property. It was good to see him and we spent about an hour talking about the house and what to do with it. Steve busted open my Mom's dresser from her bedroom and we were able to retrieve some of her costume jewelry - but no pearls. He said that once that they start gutting the house, he will be on the lookout for more of her things.

The rest of the day, I pretty much just hung out at Donna's (who unfortunately was working the graveyard shift from 10 at night until 6 in the morning) soaking up the local feeling again.

On Saturday, I decided to go to an Estate Sale held in an unflooded area of Mid-City. When I left there, I decided to go up a street that I hadn't been on before since the storm so I went up it. A block or so up, I saw a house with a For Rent sign on it so I stopped and wrote down the number.

I called and spoke to a guy who told me how much the rent was and yes, he did allow cats. But the apartment was available now and I told him that I would have to call back. I wasn't really prepared to rent an apartment now - I had been thinking about mid March or so.

So I went on to Lakeview where a bunch of residents and members of Yahoo's Rebuild Lakeview group were meeting at a local hang out. It was good to put faces to some of the names on the forum. I also saw David M,  who was on the Lakeview Boat Ride, and met his wife. They are living on the West Bank but David is working in Baton Rouge.

I went back to Donna's and we ordered a pizza (again from a local N.O. spot) that was just delicious. We just sat around and watched t.v. They started having these "Severe Thunderstorm" warnings flashing on the bottom of the screen.

I had mentioned that it would probably be a test for me to go through my first rain storm in N.O. since Katrina. Plus, Donna's apartment roof leaked and she had lined the floor in various areas with plastic. The roof is/was being fixed when I left last week. At any rate, Donna went off to work and almost as soon as she left, it started pouring and thundering and lightening. The rain was splattering into one of the rooms and made a loud noise.

But I was pretty calm and it didn't last long. However, a little while later, the power went out and I had to go search around for candles. It was pretty eerie as Donna's apartment is probably one part of one very old house (think Skeleton Key) and has long hallways and spooky nooks and crannies, particularly by candle light.

Fortunately, I was so tired that I ended up going to sleep for the rest of the night. When I got up, the power was not yet restored but came on about an hour later. Donna said that N.O.'s power system is all screwed up and once one grid goes out, a lot of the city does too. Anyway, I thought that I did pretty well under the circumstances.

But the thing that I was thinking about the most was the apartment for rent that I had called about the day before. I couldn't stop thinking about it and was kicking myself for not at least going to go look at it. So I called the number back but couldn't get anyone. I kept calling and finally a man answered and said that he was about to show the apartment to someone - could I be over there in 20 minutes? So Donna drove me over there and we got there before the other folks. It was kind of weird because it was very, very similar to my old place on Woodlawn. Of course, most of the "shotgun" type of houses do have pretty standard features, but this place was very close, even to the extremely high closets!











It's furnished with a fridge and stove and the man offered to put in a washer/dryer that he had. The last tenants had their own w/d. He also offered to rent me the place but start it from February 15th on instead of having to pay for the full month. I put up a pet deposit (told him I had 4 cats.....) and pretty much decided in 5 seconds to rent the place. The other people had showed up and they wanted it so the guy asked me if I wanted it, so I said yes. Donna thought that it was a good deal too and thought that it was kind of a karmic kind of thing. She had been looking for an apartment for two months and she knows a lot of people. So she got a kick out of me being able to rent the first place that I looked at. We also said that had we been 5 minutes later in getting there, the other people would have rented it.    


At any rate, I was/am ecstatic about the place and cannot wait to get back and start fixing it up. It is one block from City Park (all of it was not destroyed as widely reported), two blocks from where one of the "Super" Mardi Gras parades, Endymion rolls, and is half a mile from where the Jazz Fest is held. Now, normally I haven't really participated in any kind of celebrations involving alcohol for a long time. But the neighborhood itself - at least my street - seems to be bursting with life - Mardi Gras flags and decorations all over. People and lights and cable in every home. Oh yeah! I made sure that I could get my internet before I signed anything! But anyway, it is a big relief to know that I will have a nice place to live in once I get back.

I pretty much took it easy for the next day and spent my last day in N.O. at my old home. It still is in the same shape that it was and is supposed to be gutted soon. But I took some more photos and managed to salvage a few more things. Actually, I happened to look into one of those plastic storage bins and discovered all of my pictures from the last 15-20 years and older, were all in that bin. They all looked pretty good and I was very happy to have found them. I posted one over on Pandas thread as it is a picture of a cat with one ear who I had found back in 1994.

Then, I sat on my porch again and tried to just spend some more time with my memories. I was really struck at how peaceful things seemed. There was heavy machinery noise coming from the next block over but if it hadn't been for that, it would have been very pleasant sitting on my porch. Birds were chirping and there was a different feeling about everything - like Emerald, Mama Minx and the others were at peace with the whole thing. Maybe it is me that is more at peace now - in fact, in the midst of my memories, I kept thinking about my new place - what color curtains should I get? what furniture do I need? And things like that. And I realized that I was finally looking forward to things again instead of being mired down in a nonstop flashback nightmare.

Here are some final before and after photos and one of me (self taken) by the water line on the wall:









And the last thing:



That's one thing that I will never forget.........


Now that I'm back in Birmingham, I have been going nonstop. The home health aides that Mom had in my absence were great and Mom loved them. She also has a physical therapist who comes in once or twice a week for her. We are trying to find a place for Mom at a nearby assisted living facility as I plan on being back in N.O. around March 1st or so. So this has speeded up plans a great deal and as you can imagine, I have 5 billion things to do. And one of the first things is to somehow get a "hurricane vehicle" - some kind of SUV that can take all of the cats and my computer the next time that a hurricane looms.

My list of things to do is beyond belief but now I'm really being spurred on so that I can get back HOME as soon as I can. I hated to have to come back here..........

But it looks like I will need to have more help in the house while I am here as well. This morning when I was working on this, I heard a crash from the kitchen and Mom had fallen again. Not hurt and I went outside and got a workman to come in and help me pick her up. She's okay and later went out to play cards with the "girls".

I'm glad that I went (am now having extremely fond memories of sleeping late and eating such good food) and I'm just taking things as they come. Take care everyone and thanks again for the support!

Chris and the miracle kitties

paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 1329
(2/4/06 8:47 pm)
Reply    Re: Welcome Back
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chris,
what a great time you had and the reunions well what can one say Yes it is nice to have the future laying brightly ahead of you and you deserve it no doubt about that. . you know interesting things always happen to you. Meeting Steve again and David and just happening upon a place to rent that takes cats and you can afford.hmmmm
The place is beautiful i just love the wood floors. and you don't have to do a thing to it except move in.the landllord is even going to through in a w/d what more convincing does one need. don't worry a car will surface,you know those Geo Trackers are nice,cheap to run and will probably fit eight carriers and a weeks worth of provisions.I am so glad you had such a great time and had some good food,yeah B"ham is ok but No is FANTASTIC
P    
ps all i can say about that last pic,you are a survivor and some things are meant to be.I also like your new glasses


Edited by: paulajmnj at: 2/4/06 11:00 pm

Diana S IMOM  
Board of Directors
Posts: 4060
(2/5/06 2:39 pm)
Reply
    Re: Back to New Orleans
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Chris - what totally awesome news!!! I am so thrilled that you found an apartment - and have something to look forward to. I think getting a "hurricane vehicle" is a great idea - number one priority. Furniture for the apartment can wait. I pray you will NEVER have to use that vehicle in a hurricane, but it is good to be prepared!

Good luck in finding a place for your mom. Are you looking for someplace "close" in Birmingham, or "close" in NO? I wasn't sure what you meant. I know you'll find a good place - and that she'll be happy.

I can't believe how much you cheered me up. I was feeling kind of down, but reading this, has brightened my day!

Lots and Lots of  







Linda IMOM  
Committee Volunteer
Posts: 2608
(2/6/06 12:26 am)
Reply
    Re: Moving back to New Orleans
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks for all the news Chris - I have ben concerned about you. Looking forward - it must be a good feeling after all that you have been through/

My sister is back in NO too, she went back a couple months ago and was staying with friends in Hammond, but over stayed her welcome,  but is moving into a house mid month too. I have no idea where Covington is, but they just picked up a house for a song. My brother went to Slidell several days after Katrina to look out for my stepmother's house (I have no idea hos he managed to even get there from Houston - where he evacuated to). It 's first level was flooded out and they had to gut the first floor, so he has been overseeing the progress on that. The insurance adjusters have also been more problematic, and gave them 10 days to gut the house after Katrina, course Erik didn't have any help, and did the work all himself, then he had no place to dump the debri and piled it up in the driveway - now the insurance company doesn't wasnt to foot the bill to remove it! Then the insurance compnay just wanted to "total" the house after it was gutted to settle - Erik hit the roof, he literally worked day and night to meet their ridicoulous demands - and he did it, and now they just wanted to bulldose it? Now we will see if they will accept Eriks bill for clean up (since its not HIS house), but the house is still standing, Erik thinks that everything will be okay, but they are replacing much more lumber and windows than they ever anticipated, and the insurance adjusters buck them every step of the way, but all internal wood that was wet is being replaced. And the debri pile is still there!!! At least they now have workers, so progress is being made.

My sister Emily is doing somekind of a concert this month, she's very happy to be "doing music" again. Slowly her other band mates have returned, so they have been able to practice. Erik has been drumming with her too, when he can, so they are getting along beautifully, still not sure if he's drumming for Emily on the upcoming concert (Emily already has a drummer and Erik is working full time so he doesn't always get to perform with her). I wish I remember the name of their concert (plus several bands) and where it's going to be held (poor memory!).

Can wait to see pix of the new house when you are all moved in and settled!


Collie Hugs - Linda aka ellgee

Please click below to visit my furbabies
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constantine john
Registered User
Posts: 16
(2/11/06 5:45 pm)
Reply
    Re: Welcome Back
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Glad you and your babies made it safe thur that Hurricane. I know what you went thur. I went thur Hurricane Opal and she wasn't playing around. They say the 2006 Hurricane Season is going to bad as last years season. I hope not. I donated to help all the animals and people who lived there. And in Miss and Ala.

paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 1370
(2/21/06 5:31 pm)
Reply    Re: Back to New Orleans
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Chris,
you back home yet? hope all is well with you and the kitties.
p    

smalk50  
Registered User
Posts: 579
(2/22/06 2:03 pm)
Reply    Re: Moving back to New Orleans
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi,

Still in Birmingham but the movers are coming on Wednesday - can't believe all of the stuff that I've got now. But that is mostly due to Mom moving into Assisted Living last Friday and being unable to take a lot of the furniture that we had. So I've inherited just about everything in our apartment except for her bedroom stuff and it's a lot.

Mom is adjusting to her new home and seems to like it. She has a big sunny room and round the clock care. It'll just take her a little while to get used to the rules and schedules. I have just been so swamped in getting her moved and trying to get my stuff packed and together. I didn't realize that I've managed to accumulate 300 books again and all kinds of kitchen stuff besides the furniture. All will be a big help once I get back home but is a pain to pack right now.

The bad thing about moving (and there are many bad things!) is that my moving company is telling me that they can load up my stuff next Wednesday but can't guarantee delivery until Saturday. So I'm a bit worried about when I get there next Wednesday with the 8 cats and not having anywhere to sleep or, more importantly, a place where the cats can hide under until I do get all of the stuff moved in. Heck, I'm just worried about getting them all in carriers before the movers even get here next week.........

I also haven't gotten a car yet but was supposed to meet with someone at the lot who had leased us the Camry later on today - however, it is pouring down rain so I don't know if it'll all happen.

I had planned on being able to go back to N.O. before I moved so that I could get some things moved in but it is not to be. My Bham relatives have been out of town for the last two weeks so I had to handle everything myself. Fortunately, they are coming back today.

So that's the story. The cats are fine and Panda's fur has grown back completely. I'll need to go out and get another carrier or two for the trip - after Woody escaped from the soft-sided carrier in the car that time I don't trust it at all. But a lot depends on the kind of car that I end up with. I want something that can hold all 8 cats, my computer, clothes for a few days, ice chest, in other words - an evacuation vehicle. Something for living in New Orleans in.

Will try and update again but am in an impossible race against time right now.............

Chris and the Miracle Kitties

paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 1376
(2/22/06 3:42 pm)
Reply    Re: Welcome Back
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Moving Is awful. packing ,lugging,throwing stuff out,keeping stuff Then unpacking Yuuuuuck.The good thing the place is move in ready,yes no painting, yippee Well at least your Mom is settled in to a nice place,that will give you peace of mind.She has people who will lokk after her.
The kitties are fine that is also good to hear.well good luck with the drive and getting settled in.Mardi Gras is just around the corner.Hopefully you will be there for that.
p    

Linda IMOM  
Committee Volunteer
Posts: 2754
(2/22/06 10:26 pm)
Reply
    Re: Back to New Orleans
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Chris, isn't moving the WORST!!! I don't envy you.

Can you get an aerobed? we have one and it's very handy and not bad to sleep on - it surprised me!

When we moved form California to NY, the furnature was supposed to arrive the day we were, when we showed up at the rented house, it was empty (the landlord did leave the heat on, it was in January). When I called the movers, they told me they couldn't get across the Tappanzee bridge because of the weather so we wiated 3 days!). We ate out and there was only one room in the whole house with carpeting, so we camped in there. Thankfully we had pillows, blankets and warm dogs! And it snowed so we were pretty much stuck indoors, no TV, no radio, no books - BORING!!! When we did venture out, we got lost and had to ask folks how to get back! When we first arrived here, it was like a whole different country - everyone here had horrible thick accents (they have improved since I got here!  ) and I didn't know the names of simple things like the main roads, everything was route something, so I get these directions like you take route 9 to route 9a, the take route 100 to route 120..... Folks here never use north, south east or west, it's only right and left! I like to know which way I am facing!

Happy packing - I hope you'll beable to post some pix when you get moved in! I hope you mom is doing well, I am sure it's an adjustment for her.
Collie Hugs - Linda aka ellgee

Please click below to visit my furbabies
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Kim  
Local user
Posts: 5835
(2/24/06 3:55 pm)
Reply    Re: Moving back to New Orleans
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Hey Chris -- I'm glad to hear that your mom is settling in OK. What a weight off your shoulders. I bet she'll make lots of new friends in no time.

for an SUV. We never want you and the kids not to have the ability to evacuate ahead of a hurricane again!

Well, we all know that the response to Katrina was a Federal-State-local clusterf**k, but this column in the Washington Post is a nice reminder that some folks DID do an exemplary job under horrible circumstances:

Acts of Heroism Shine Through Homeland Security's Humiliation
By Stephen Barr
Friday, February 24, 2006; Page B02

Wiseguys at the Department of Homeland Security whisper that the brass has decided to rate the performance of employees on a five-level system:

Role model, outstanding, exceeds expectations, average, and "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

Jokes with a political barb are commonplace in federal offices when times are tough and morale is low. That appears to be the case at Homeland Security, which has been battered by a spate of reports portraying it as ineffective and slow in responding to Hurricane Katrina.

Yesterday, the White House issued its history of Katrina, but some of the most interesting findings in the 228-page report are in Appendix B -- "What Went Right."

It's on Page 129 that we learn that Coast Guard Petty Officer Jessica Guidroz returned to work after the hurricane passed through New Orleans. Guidroz led "a squadron of eight boats and crews in the evacuation of approximately 2,000 people from the campus of the University of New Orleans. Like many of the [Coast Guard] station crew, she lived nearby and lost all her personal possessions to the storm, yet put her duty first," the White House report says.

Petty Officer Moises Rivera-Carrion served as a rescue swimmer on Coast Guard helicopters. He was on duty for three days and confronted such hazards as downed power lines and contaminated floodwaters. "Rivera-Carrion tested the limits of his skill and endurance while rescuing 269 survivors trapped on rooftops and balconies throughout New Orleans and southwest Louisiana," the report says.

Much of the Coast Guard rescue effort hinged on the skills of Petty Officer Rodney L. Gordon . According to the report, he landed in the first aircraft to return to New Orleans, even though strong winds were tossing debris across the Coast Guard station.

Gordon "immediately began a series of complex electrical and mechanical repairs vital to sustaining what quickly grew into the largest air rescue operation in Coast Guard history," the report says. He cannibalized broken machinery to repair emergency generators and power lines, including lines to the Naval Air Station control tower that dispatched rescue sorties. Gordon "single-handedly performed a complex rewiring" of emergency generators at the base's aviation fuel distribution plant, a feat that permitted "hundreds of aircraft to continue lifesaving missions," the report says.

Overall, the White House report says, nearly 6,000 Coast Guard personnel played roles in the Katrina search and rescue missions. They retrieved more than 33,000 people along the Gulf Coast, including more than 12,000 by air.

The White House report points to other agencies that performed well, including the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service forecast office in Slidell, La., which transmitted "real-time hazard information" until it was shut down Aug. 28 by the severity of the storm.

One of the lessons that the White House drew from Katrina is the need for better training so that agencies deploy personnel effectively in a crisis. The report calls on all agencies to develop "battle rosters" of trained personnel who have been certified as having key skills and who can be sent quickly to catastrophic events. "At all levels of government, we must build a leadership corps that is fully educated, trained and exercised in our plans and doctrine. Training is not nearly as costly as the mistakes made in a crisis," the report says.

"Equally important, this corps must be populated by leaders who are prepared to exhibit innovation and take the initiative during extremely trying circumstances," the report says.

To help develop federal leaders, the White House directs the Department of Homeland Security to establish a National Homeland Security University, similar to the military's National Defense University.

If Homeland Security can cut through the red tape and reinvent itself -- a big "if," to be sure -- then the "Brownie" jokes should fade away. In the meantime, let's not forget that numerous Coast Guard, military and civil service personnel reacted to the Katrina catastrophe with clear heads and courage.

Linda IMOM  
Committee Volunteer
Posts: 2771
(2/24/06 8:06 pm)
Reply
    Re: Welcome Back
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Kim, thanks for sharing this.
Collie Hugs - Linda aka ellgee

Please click below to visit my furbabies
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smalk50  
Registered User
Posts: 581
(2/25/06 8:18 pm)
Reply    Re: Back to New Orleans
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi All,

I saw part of that report Kim but was getting too angry to keep reading it.  It'll be a long, long time before I can get past the "Brownie" jokes and the failure of the major agencies responsible for the post Katrina tragedy. So thank you for posting about the people and groups that could and did help out. It just makes you wonder though, how they could all get into the city and FEMA, the Red Cross and others could or would not?  

The real first responders were the local residents who had boats. That's who rescued me and my neighbor from our house and brought us up to the train tracks. Next, the Coast Guard was there - and the Missouri Coast Guard at that. The levee broke on Monday morning and I was rescued on Tuesday morning. How did the Missouri Coast Guard get there so fast? How did the press get there so fast? Where was FEMA?

At any rate, that part is over with and hopefully, all of these reports will somehow help when the next disaster occurs. I just hope that it won't be on the Gulf Coast again anytime soon.  

I have to admit that I am having all kinds of feelings about returning home. I am afraid and I sometimes think that I might be making the wrong decision. I feel like a parent must feel in taking their kids back to N.O. I never want to go through that again or put the cats in any danger ever again. And at first, I was never going to move back there - maybe somewhere further north of the flood zone or even to Mississippi.

I think about the levees and how much of our coastline is no longer there. The coastline and the marshes used to protect us from so much damage. "Normal" hurricanes would lose most of their strength by the time that they got near us because they'd be slowed down. Now, even tropical storms cause huge problems.

I worry about my health too and the lack of medical care in New Orleans now.

But as time has gone by, I realized how much that I miss my home. That last trip there was very special and it filled me with such happiness to be back. And the way that I got the apartment was pretty karmic - everyone says that it sounds like it was meant to be. My landlord is a doll too. He has an extra washer/dryer that he has installed inside of the house for me. And he took my arrival date in stride too - I had originally told him that I'd be there by Feb. 15th. I told him that I'd mail him March's rent check but he said that he'd just swing by on the 2nd and pick it up while he brings over the lease. The mail service is still terrible there.

And I realized too that I have merely been going through the motions here. Oh, very busy, but doing things that I needed to do - especially with my Mom. But I just feel that my life has been on hold and it is now time to move on. Yes, it is a great weight off of my shoulders now that Mom is in Assisted Living and it is going to be sad and hard on her when I do leave. We had a long talk about this and she said that she has always known that I was not going to stay here.

So I am returning on Wednesday as well prepared as I can be. I did get an SUV (thanks to some of the insurance money) the other day - a 2003 Honda Element. It looks like a mini-Hummer and will be the perfect vehicle for New Orleans. Loads of space for all of the cats, my computer, clothes and whatever else that I might need to take in case of an evacuation. All that I will need is a little bit of luck in that it won't break down two days before the next hurricane comes.




I think about that too sometimes. How the Kia broke down right before Katrina. That car had never given me (or it's former owner) any trouble of any kind ever. I sometimes think that it was karmic too - that I was somehow supposed to experience what I went through for whatever reason....

But at any rate, the next time that they tell us to evacuate, I will.      

I somehow feel that my destiny is in New Orleans now and I am trying to have faith that it is just meant to be. My halfway plan is to live in my new place for at least a year and see how it goes and then maybe make plans to move out to the country somewhere - maybe up near St. Francis. I do know that I will end up in cat rescue again whether I want to or not. There are just too many of them still in the city to not do anything about. And since I will be living a block from City Park, I'm sure that I will be seeing lots of cats in my new neighborhood. Besides helping my old neighbor feed the very few cats left in my old neighborhood...

I am just wishing that I was there and all moved in. I was sick today as I have been overdoing it this past week, trying to wrap up a lot of loose ends with Mom's stuff. And I still have so many things to do before Wednesday rolls around. So I just took it easy today and did not go out - it was raining and miserable here all day.

I think that I can get an Aerobed from Donna once I get there. I'm just concerned about the cats having some place to hide for the first few days. I don't believe any of the rooms had doors on them - someplace where I can close them up in once the movers do get my stuff there - hopefully faster than they got Linda's stuff to her (that really sounded awful!) But I am probably worrying over nothing and things will work out fine - I hope. It has been a major undertaking to even get through to the power people, cable and phone - each call seemed to take 45 minutes of holding. And usually, any kind of service call during the week of Mardi Gras is a bad idea - I think that it'll be different this year though... I was hoping to get back there to see at least one parade. Oh well, they'll be having Jazz Fest soon - a half mile from my new digs! I will definitely be in attendance for that!  2

So, that's the story from Birmingham. It's been very strange living here without my Mom and most of the tenants have moved out due to the switch to condos. I can't wait to get out of here - construction going on from 7AM to 7PM - it's very unpleasant. The cats have gotten to the point where they aren't bothered by all of the noise anymore. They used to all go under the bed when it first started. Now, they just sleep right through it. Wish I could.

Will be packing up my computer on Tuesday night and I'm not sure when I'll have my internet service back up. They are supposed to come on Thursday afternoon. We'll see.....

Thanks again to all for your help and support,

Chris and the miracle cats



Edited by: smalk50   at: 2/25/06 8:22 pm

paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 1379
(2/25/06 8:53 pm)
Reply    Re: Moving back to New Orleans
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chris,
with the move and getting reestablished.Yeah you must be experiencing a flood of emotions right now(pun intended ).Once you get back to Nola i think you will be more at peace and feel "yes this is where i belong".You just need some extra rest you have been pushing yourself since the Hurricane,the marathon pace is almost done.The new car looks great and roomy.Feels good to have some new wheels.
Thinking positive and sending you good wishes and energy to help you through this last little bit.For anyone who hasn't been The Jazz Fest is GREAT! Have been 3 times,usually i link it up with a conference.And if you like cats, i may know of someone you could crash with
p    

Edited by: paulajmnj at: 2/25/06 8:55 pm

Linda IMOM  
Committee Volunteer
Posts: 2774
(2/25/06 9:33 pm)
Reply
    Re: Welcome Back
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Very cool car Chris! Let's see how many cat crates can one fit into an Element????

Actually, I am so releived you have a car big enough to load up all your pets if you ever need to again. It's reassuring to know you are "good to go".

Emily (my kid sister) is trying to restart her life back in NO as well. She and her BF did evacuate, and stayed with friends, but the house was horribly damaged by Katrina, I am sure if it was a stick house it would have been smashed, but the brick structure kept the giant tree from completely crushing the house. She said there wasn't a tree standing after Kartina, and all the roads were completely blocked by downed trres and powerlines, plus all kinds of debris which had landed. She never saw an official looking person, even when they were leaving NO (a week later), the local folks were the ones doing all the road clearing. Everybody was siphoning gas from abondoned cars to run chainsaws and keep gas in their own cars running . They ate mostly "Top Ramen", they ran out of clean water and boiled the gunk that came out of the tap. Emily still recalls this as more like a bad dream and feels detached somehow. She says it doens't seem like she lived it, but feels like she was watching a movie of the whole ordeal.

New beginings Chris, this time it's a positive adventure!!! Post pcitures when you computer is up and running again.

Check out this link Cats roaming Lakeview NOLA


Collie Hugs - Linda aka ellgee

Please click below to visit my furbabies
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Please visit Monty's memorial page
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Edited by: Linda IMOM   at: 2/25/06 10:46 pm

Kim  
Local user
Posts: 5839
(2/26/06 1:49 am)
Reply    Re: Back to New Orleans
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Chris, I worry about you moving back too - for all the reasons you stated. But Birmingham never felt like home to you and so I hope that going back to NOLA will feel "right." Also, it'll be great to have another experienced cat trapper/rescuer in town because there's a whole lot of spaying/neutering that needs to be done.


Quote:
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I'm just concerned about the cats having some place to hide for the first few days.
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Ah, but once you unpack some boxes........ voila!  

Oooooo, a Honda Element!  

ps) I was really happy to read the Panda update.  

Kim  
Local user
Posts: 5840
(2/26/06 1:59 am)
Reply    Re: Welcome Back
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Linda, thanks for posting the link to those photos of cats in Lakeview. It's so hard to tell which are ferals and which are left-behind pets, but you can see in the photos that at least a few of them are ear-tipped. Bless the ARNO volunteers and anyone else who have kept those feeding stations going.

Lori Domingos  
Registered User
Posts: 3784
(2/28/06 9:39 pm)
Reply    Re: Welcome Back
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I hope everything goes well as you make this move. I will pray that God will keep you and the kitties safe and in good health. All my best to you all.

Take care and God bless you.

Love,
Lori, Princess, Queenie, Dutchess, Sylvia and Prince in spirit    

smalk50  
Registered User
Posts: 583
(3/3/06 12:44 pm)
Reply    Good to be Home!
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Hi All,

Just a quick note to let you know that everything is okay - got the net back up last night but was too exhausted to post.

Hoping that my furniture comes today. I have the keyboard on the floor and it is hard to type.

The trip was very stressful. I had sadly underestimated how much stuff I had and the car was crammed - I could barely see out of the windows. And I left a lot of stuff behind - some plates and dishes - the old 13" TV - some clothes - and stupidly, my makeup. Anyway, I went out yesterday to get cleaning supplies and detergent and spent most of the afternoon cleaning up the kitchen and bathroom.

But anyway, we are here and adjusting. I love the neighborhood and the cats are getting used to the new noises. There are a lot of closets and cabinets that they have been hiding in - I'll have plenty of spots to put them once the movers get here. And I pray that they do. I'm much too old to sleep on my sofa cushions on a hardwood floor.........

Will update later once I have my desk back.

Chris and the miracle kitties

Frankenmuth2
Registered User
Posts: 3274
(3/3/06 1:47 pm)
Reply    Re: Welcome Back
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Glad you are there safe Chris. Hope the furniture arrives in the same condition!

Nancy

Linda IMOM  
Committee Volunteer
Posts: 2822
(3/3/06 8:29 pm)
Reply
    Re: Welcome Back
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Good to hear that you got the cats moved safely. I know you are exhausted, I hope you can manage to get some rest.
Collie Hugs - Linda aka ellgee

Please click below to visit my furbabies
community.webshots.com/album/134598199QrXRlg

Please visit Monty's memorial page
www.svcsr.org/notforgot/monty.htm

Monty's IMOM PIN page
p088.ezboard.com/fimomcommunityfrm3.showMessage?topicID=88.topic



paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 1387
(3/4/06 9:03 am)
Reply    RE:Good to be back home
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Chris,
glad to hear you all got there in one piece. It is always amazing to me how much stuff we accumulate even over a short period of time.well it must feel good
to be back home and experience the sights and sounds and of course the smells. hope you are up off the floor soon,and enjoy putting your mark on the apartment.
you are in a great location so much to see and do,a great place to feel the pulse as the city rebuilds.
p    

smalk50  
Registered User
Posts: 584
(3/7/06 6:32 pm)
Reply    Back in New Orleans
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Hi All,

Sorry that I haven't posted but I've been feeling really lousy - very tired - more so than usual.

My furniture didn't come until Saturday morning and by that time my back was in sad shape. Anyway, all of the stuff is inside and in place. The cat's are ecstatic that they have their bed back as well as their couch and recliner.

However, I noticed that I had a painful welt on my back near where it hurt from laying on the floor for 3 nights. I went to the doctor today and found out that I have shingles. The doctor said that she's been seeing a lot of it due to the stress of Katrina - even in children. The good news is that it seems to be localized to that one area and not spreading all over. She prescribed an anti-viral, Famvir, but after reading about it, it says that it is only effective if taken within 72 hours of the infection. She also wanted me to take a mild steroid which I am debating about. Meanwhile, I've just been loading up on lysine - tablets, capsules and skin cream. And trying to get some rest until this virus goes away.

What a bummer to start things off like this... I have so many things that I must do...

Hopefully, I'll recover fast and be able to get on with things. And thankfully, the cats are doing wonderfully well and are adjusting to the new noises. My next door neighbors are in a FEMA trailer and the ones on the other side of my house seem to work all of the time - are never there - but all are nice and each have dogs. I have seen (and heard at night) a few cats around and want to look into that soon.

This is just so frustrating to finally get here after 6 months of constant stress where my health held up and now get sick now that I'm here. Well, at least I'm here! And I'm trying not to let this recent health setback ruin the wonderful feeling of being back home. And it is wonderful. These next few months are the best time to be in New Orleans and I intend to enjoy every one of them! I'll worry about June 1st later.....

Thanks again everyone,

Chris and the miracle kitties

paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 1416
(3/7/06 6:51 pm)
Reply    Re: Welcome Back
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chris,
I am so sorry that you have contracted this..Yes that can be
painful,take care and make yourself number one project for now. three days on the floor would do anyone in. Give the cats extra pets from all of us.Take care.
p    

Linda IMOM  
Committee Volunteer
Posts: 2857
(3/7/06 8:21 pm)
Reply
    Re: RE:Good to be back home
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Aw Chris, I am sorry you aren't feeling well. Feel better soon.
Collie Hugs - Linda aka ellgee

Please click below to visit my furbabies
community.webshots.com/album/134598199QrXRlg

Please visit Monty's memorial page
www.svcsr.org/notforgot/monty.htm

Monty's IMOM PIN page
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mcduck
Unregistered User
(3/7/06 9:29 pm)
Reply    shingles
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Hi Chris, glad you are finally moved in and have furniture.

FYI on the shingles. Taking the antiviral can also decrease some of the potential for post herpetic neuralgia. This can be a long term pain (months and months, even over a year)in the affected nerve. This neuralgia can be quite devastating and many people suffering from it end up on multiple meds including potentially addictive pain pills and meds like neurontin or lyrica. The 5 days or so that you would have to take the antiviral (even if it is a little late starting) may save you alot of trouble in the long run. (yeah, I admit, I am in the medical field).

Hope you heal quickly, Joyce

Diana S IMOM  
Board of Directors
Posts: 4262
(3/9/06 7:48 pm)
Reply
    Re: Welcome Back
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So glad you are HOME!!! Hopefully the shingles heal quickly, and everything gets back to semi-normal as quickly as possible. Looking forward to the days when things are normal!!

Lots of hugs,







Linda IMOM  
Committee Volunteer
Posts: 2907
(3/12/06 10:46 pm)
Reply
    Re: RE:Good to be back home
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Chris - I hope you are feeling better. I hope you are settling in and the cats are helping you unpack.

I spent some time this evening perusing the IMOM Bridge kids and came across Oscar's thread. Such a special boy he was, but I know he brought you to IMOM, he is the one who has shared you with us - and myself, that being a unknowledgable cat person (yes, we have had cats, but they were healthy housepets), I have learned so much from you and your incredible work, you have shared a huge part of your life with us and I have to say, your strenght and wisdom, your determination to battle the toughest battles and win, you are such an inspiration to so many of us. I have to thank Oscar, for bringing you to us, and thank you for for never giving up, thank you for giving Oscar the dignity he deserved and thank you for just being you.
Collie Hugs - Linda aka ellgee

Please click below to visit my furbabies
community.webshots.com/album/134598199QrXRlg

Please visit Monty's memorial page
www.svcsr.org/notforgot/monty.htm

Monty's IMOM PIN page
p088.ezboard.com/fimomcommunityfrm3.showMessage?topicID=88.topic



Judy Leathers  
Registered User
Posts: 3942
(3/13/06 7:34 am)
Reply    Re: RE:Good to be back home
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Linda, what a great post...that's exactly what Chris is... for writing that.

Chris, I hope that you have rested up some and gotten some things in place. Remember, you have time now because you're home...don't do yourself in...

I hope you send some photos of your new place...Just thinking of you and the kitties... , Judy

paulajmnj
Registered User
Posts: 1439
(3/21/06 6:39 pm)
Reply    Hi Chris
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Chris.
hope you are feeling better and are settling into your new home.  to you and your kitties.update us when you can.

p    

smalk50  
Registered User
Posts: 586
(4/12/06 4:27 pm)
Reply    Living in the "New" New Orleans
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Hi all,

I started writing this 3 weeks ago............

Sorry that I haven't been posting but a lot has been going on and I was sick for most of the first month that I was here. Bummer. At any rate, after finally getting into a medical clinic, my health seems to be improving and I'm starting to feel good again - and very happy to be here!  

Anyway, being back here has been very strange. The "New" New Orleans is a very different city - certain areas are bustling and crowded - where others still are dark and very much like they were months ago. My neighborhood is very cool and we have most of the regular services - cable, phone, etc. However, we only have trash pickup once a week - a drag with the cat litter - and no recycling of course. The mail service is very spotty. Some days it comes and other days it doesn't. And if I sell a book, I must ship it Priority or it won't get to the person for weeks. But there is a Post Office nearby and it's never overly busy. Some of the others are an hour wait to mail a package. UPS and FedEx are back to normal. And I have my beloved newspaper delivered to my door every morning. I never realized how much I missed having my coffee (without the TV blasting at full volume) reading the paper and watching my favorite morning news show on WWL. It's been so NORMAL just to be doing that. And comforting!

And I believe that the rent that I am paying is probably what it was pre-K - my street is two blocks over from a major Mardi Gras parade route and is within walking distance of the Fair Grounds where the Jazz Fest is held.  So, the rent is about right for this area. But you wouldn't believe the price gouging on the housing - one bedroom apts. are going for $1000.00 and up - and they are getting away with it.........There is actually an apartment for rent on Woodlawn, my old street, but it is for $1750.00 a month!  

Speaking of Jazz Fest - they have an incredible line up this year: Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Fats Domino (who is alive and well in N.O.!), Paul Simon, Little Feat, Dave Matthews and hundreds of other great acts. I think that I'm going - I'd love to see Springsteen! Pre-K (everything is pre-k or "afterwards" here) I only went a couple of times - the crowds being a little too much for me, but this year is very special. They originally weren't going to have it at the Fair Grounds (N.O.'s horse racing track which was closed for one of the few times in it's 130 year old history this year) so I really want to go this time around. No one knows what kind of crowd to expect this year either. Hotel rooms are more plentiful but there is still a great shortage.........

I feel very fortunate that I found this apartment. I really love it! And the cats couldn't be better too. They really seem at home here - they have so much more room! They have a 60 foot straight-a-way through the house - the house is a typical shotgun, probably 75 feet by 12' - and they play chase throughout the night.    In Alabama, they mostly laid around and put on weight - some too much weight I fear........Hopefully, the exercise will set them right.

Here, Cayenne and Sky (as usual) are going at it:





Mr. Magoo was one of the miracle closet kitties and he is doing very well. In this photo, you can actually see his blue eyes - usually, he squints so much that you can't see his eyes:




However, he is one of three of the cats that has discovered how to leap up into the 7 1/2 high closets. Sky can get up there (another closet cat) and so can Rosemary, who was one of the traveling buddies. Maybe they just want to know that they can get up into a safe place? Well, they'll never get another chance to find out. Next storm that comes, we are gone!




And thankfully, all of the cats are really doing well. Panda is fine and continues to gain weight. It seems that it is easier for her to chew now. Woody looks as good as she ever has - no more liver problems for her. Here's a photo of Magoo and her:






I was having "garden withdrawals" since I got back here. This is the time of the year where I used to be out in the garden a lot, planting things or caring for my plants. This place has a small yard but it needs a lot of work. I had to do something with the front "yard" - it was so sad looking before:






So, right after I started feeling better from the shingles, I tackled the front. And I overdid it doing that and put my back out for about a week. Anyway, I'm glad that I did it - it is so much better! I'm about to do the side beds but have learned to pace myself - I don't have to do everything in one day.






There are long lines everywhere but many more places, post offices, and groceries opening daily - sometimes without phones. A brand new Sav-A-Center replaced the flooded out one and reopened on March 15th - about a half mile away. Before, I'd have to go to Metairie or Uptown for food. I still go out to Whole Food when I can - both of their stores are back open thank goodness. And I think that over 200,000 people have moved back - of the original 450,000. The others are homeless or have moved away.

I ended up going to the Medical Center's health care unit that is now in the old Lord & Taylor department store which is next to the Super Dome. It was very strange to be looking for medical care in a place where I once shopped... The wait was a few hours but it was made shorter by listening and talking to people around me - the stories people are still telling each other! And a couple of the hospital staff had been at work at Charity throughout the storm and it's aftermath. They are adamant that Charity hospital be reopened as it provided the only health care in the region for uninsured folks. The State wants to demolish it.

Last week, I ended up at a Medical Center clinic and was pleased to find out that they had most of my records. The doctor insisted that they rerun some of the tests that I have already had in the past just to be on the "safe side." I hate words like that and I am a bit apprehensive as to the test results - I have to go back on Thursday. At any rate, the test's will rule out anything scary - I hope. BTW, when I got on the scale at the clinic the other day, I weighed 124 pounds (with clothes) which is a far cry from the 101 that I was back in September.  

The trip out to get my driver's license and car registration was another 3 and a half hour ordeal. But the same thing happened. Different people would tell their stories - it was very comforting to me to be among people who are going through the same thing. One young woman told me that she lived in New Orleans east - a very hard hit area - and she said that she is almost ready to move back in. She did most of the work herself and said that she learned to put in hardwood floors by working with a pro for a few days to learn. Once her electricity is back on, she said that she is moving back in. I admire her but don't know if I'd have the guts to do it - she'd be the only one on her block.

And I must confess, that I did have a couple of dark hours when I first got here. Of course, I got sick almost immediately upon arrival and felt really bad for the first couple of weeks. But I was very worried that I might have made a mistake in coming back here. Was I crazy? The levees aren't safe and probably won't be until the Feds and their Army Corps of Engineers (who the real blame lies for the 17th st. canal/London ave canal/kenner canal breaks) get off their butts and fixes them properly.

Was I losing my mind in coming back? The health care is spotty and stretched thin, being around lots of mold and construction isn't healthy, putting the cat's lives at risk again, etc, etc. I came up with lots of reasons why this was a bad idea. But I finally realized that the main thing bothering me was not all of the obvious stuff, but the underlying feeling of fear. I was afraid. And I don't like that feeling at all! So I must be here right now or I think that I will be afraid for the rest of my life. It would be so much easier to be someplace "safe", far away from tropical storms or hurricanes or flooding. But how many places are really safe? And really, at the worst, I will have to evacuate with the cats and whatever else I can take. If the city floods again, then that's it. I'll just move. But in the mean time, I'm here and trying my best to make a go of things.

And reading the paper every morning was depressing. Page after page of hurricane recovery stuff and yet more reports about how unsafe the levees are. And the heartbreak of reading the obituaries. Even now, over 7 months after Katrina, there are still notices of people who died on August 29th. Or, more frequently, folks that have died in faraway places after "relocating due to Hurricane Katrina." This one was in today's paper: "complicated by the devastation of Katrina and the stress of litigation". He was 73.  

There are still 1000 people missing and they are still finding bodies in houses - most in the lower 9th but they did find one old soul in Lakeview recently still in the attic. Most of the bodies remain unidentified. Hundreds more have probably been washed out onto the river or into the Gulf. Suicides are way up as is an almost a city wide chronic post traumatic stress syndrome.  

My old home as well as my Mom's house still remain as they were after Katrina struck. Most of the neighborhood is like that but there are more and more FEMA trailers in folks' front yards and driveways. And nonstop construction. Still, there are over 60,000 requests for trailers from FEMA, but few have been delivered. Other people have trailers but no keys. So a lot of people are staying in tents or even in their old, ruined homes.

The bad thing about trailers is that they offer little if any protection during a storm. So, the city is already calling for the evacuation of the people living in trailers - even for a Tropical storm!  


The city will be broke in a month and the mayoral election is at the end of this month. Nagin was pre-K a heavy favorite for reelection but now faces 23 opponents. The election had been postponed from February and the dates for the rescheduled one is under fire. Many feel that there are not enough registered voters back to make it a true election. At any rate, we will be voting soon...........


And I haven't seen one cat from my old neighborhood.  They might still be around but they are probably so traumatized by the dog packs that plagued the area in the months after Katrina, that they are laying low. I saw a few other cats in the area and they are being fed regularly. ARNO came out and trapped a few from a 10 block area - pregnant females and possible tame cats. Some were TNR'd and others were taken in by various groups.  

I've been feeding two tuxedo cats in my back yard - one that is an ear-tipped feral that one of my neighbors trapped several years ago. And there is a young tom - he is on the short list to be trapped and neutered - but I am wondering if he was a Katrina cat - I think that he was still a kitten 7 months ago. He calls a lot, besides his tomcat yowling, but he is very scary. I haven't been able to get any good pictures of him yet - I will post them on the animal forum soon. And there are a lot of cats in the area - most seem to be feral cats - and a lot of them need to be fixed - soon. I am going to be working on that soon.


But despite all of the negative and depressing stuff going on down here, I am still so thankful and happy to be back. The weather has been beautiful, flowers are blooming everywhere, the ruined trees are sprouting green branches and the people's spirit is pretty much unfazed. There is an air of adventure and optimism even in the midst of continuing disaster and ruin.


I took one photo of some sunflowers but it didn't come out too well. Sunflowers are popping up everywhere, in the midst of a ruined house, in people's front yards, on neutral grounds, everywhere - the result of folks' bird feeders that flooded and scattered the seeds everywhere. Some people view the sunflowers as kind of a sign of rebirth. Or maybe it is just that it is spring and everyone just feels renewed and optimistic. Or maybe it is just not wanting to face that Hurricane season starts on June 1st?

Anyway, I am thrilled to be here right now and am feeling almost back to normal. Hopefull

#3
Chriscat

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I don't know if I am posting in the right place - I'm so thrilled that "Katrina" was copied over - however, I am having an extremely difficult time in posting or even knowing if I'm posting in the right place.....

I think that in my last post, I was about to become involved in Alley Cat Allies Feline Frenzy - the free spay/neuter program for the New Orleans cats. Well, I have not stopped since then and go out every night to feed/trap. - There are so many cats - many of them working on their 3rd litter since Katrina... And so heartbreaking because there is no place to take them. All shelters are full and out of state transports seem to be few and far between. Most of the cats that I've been catching have been ferals but there have been many, many tame or once tame cats - not to mention the dozens of kittens. And sadly, we end up turning most of them back loose again after they have been s/n.

Dog attacks still continue - and not just out in the east or St. Bernard - this is happening in my old Lakeview neighborhood - and even though there is a lot of new construction going on, it is still very much the wild, wild west. I'm glad that the National Guard is out there at night when I'm out trapping....

Here's the link to my Photobucket album - if you click around on it you can find different N.O. photos - though most of the photos are of cats that I have trapped or are feeding. There are a few from the cemetery where there is a colony of cats living - I walked about 20 miles one day to find and trap 3 kittens - the 2 others got away.  So many stories to mention.

[url=http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v174/chriscat/Lakeview%20and%20MidCity%20Animals/]

Well, hopefully the link thing will work as will my post..... I'm not even sure how to get it to post.

Thankfully, my 8 cats are doing well - Panda is doing wonderfully well.  None of them are too happy with me right now as I am fostering 4 kittens - 3 older ferals and a 6 week old. They've taken over the house which totally disgusts the resident cats.

Well let me try and post this - I've missed you guys!!!!!!!!!!

Chris

Edited by Chriscat, 18 August 2006 - 04:39 PM.


#4
LaurieR

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Hi Chris, it's so great to hear from you -- I've been wondering how you've been doing!

Your post came though just fine. It's great to read your update. It's hard for me to really comprehend just how wild things still are in N.O. I'm thankful that you are there working to trap and s/n the animals -- at least when you have to release them again as they have no place to go, they are not breeding.

So glad to hear that Panda and your other furkids are doing well, even if slightly fussy that there are "intruders" in your home.

We've missed you too!

Laurie

#5
Baila

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Chris, You have an amazing thread and now the update on this heartbreaking S/N  work you're so devoted to.  You are one very impressive CCL that is much needed!

Martha Jane and Baila

#6
Chriscat

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Hi All,

I'm so glad that my post worked! I just wish that I had a better report on the animal situation here in New Orleans. No one knows how many animals were killed during Katrina and it's aftermath but the survivors are sure reproducing fast!!!!

Most are ferals but many of the cats that I have trapped are the 14-24 months age. Some were probably people's pets but were too young to have been spayed and neutered. Unfortunately, most are no longer tame and end up being turned back loose.

There has been some organization amongst the chaos. ARNO - Animal Rescue New Orleans - that has been the mainstay of the rescue from the get go - has been having a hard go of it lately. Since it's creators turned it over to the locals, it has fallen on hard times. Nonetheless, they are still providing valuable resources for the community.  Their food/water maps have turned into this great system - it does take a minute to load but is worth the wait:

http://www.zzcat.com/katrina/ARNO_maps/roaming_pets.htm

  If you scroll down to the Section numbers - 25 and 26 is the Lakeview area - where I used to live and visit every day.

There are other maps too:  

Lakeview Missing Cats:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yepitsme770/s...57594145119153/


Lakeview Pets Roaming:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yepitsme770/s...57594070227997/


But the problem is that there is no where to bring the animals too. Out of state rescues are full or have been so stressed by already taking in Katrina animals that they have been forced to turn away animals from their own area.

Southern Animal Foundation is a wonderful group - it received a grant from the HSUS and they are doing free/low cost spay/neuter/vacs for all cats brought in. Their site is:

http://www.southernanimalfoundation.org/


I will update again soon - must go and do an early feed of the Lakeview cats - this week is so busy because of "Anniversary of Katrina"....  I've even subscribed to HBO so as to be able to watch "When the Levees Broke" tonight.  I plan on having a box of tissues and all of the babies cuddled around to watch it.  I'm mostly okay but still burst into tears at any time.  Folks do this all of the time around here - standing in line at the grocery or post office - people will just lose it and start crying.

Thanks so much for responding to this - it means so much to us all.

Chris and the miracle survivor kitties
  


#7
Chriscat

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Hi All,

Last year at this minute, I had probably climbed up into the closet to escape the rising waters in my home. All day long, I have been thinking about the horror of last year and thinking about where I was at each minute of the day last year.

This has been a very strange day and the end, I hope, to a lot of bad memories, feelings that I have found in the past week, I really am not ready to deal with. All of the press coverage, the one time threat of Ernesto, and the anniversary of Katrina have just about sent me over the edge. I cry one moment and laugh the next. But of course, normally, I cry several times a day anyway - that's what one does down here.

New Orleans is very much like a third world country and very vulnerable to any kind of tropical storm and I had a near break-down on Saturday when the projected path of Ernesto would bring it very near to us. I was ready to hit the panic button and hit the road.  And this is from someone who a year ago was fearless. Katrina has turned me into a quivering ball of nerves. New Orleans and trying to deal with everything has been overwhelming and trying to rescue these poor animals has turned me into an isolated wreck. I feel very alone. The animals have been abandoned except for the very few people who remain here doing any kind of rescue. It is a sad , sad situation and will only get worse.

I wanted to mark today as the full cycle of this thread. I cannot ever thank any of you who have helped the cats and me through this disaster. I am very sorry that I have lost touch with all of you - I haven't received an email since I moved back here - but I do know that I have not really been sending out any myself. I am a completely different person than I was pre-Katrina and I have no time whatsoever to post regularly anywhere.

I am happy to be back in New Orleans - it has been my home for my entire life. But living here is very hard.... I will never be the same - I will live with this for the rest of my life.. I am sorry if I have offended IMOM or any of you by not posting - you all are the main reason that I have made it this far......

Thank you all again and goodbye,

Chris and the 8 miracle cats

#8
Nancy

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Dear Chris;

On this Anniversary date, I'd like to make to you the same offer I did a year ago.  If you should ever need to evacuate again and need help, please contact me.  A year ago I searched frantically for a way to get you out of N.O. and found no one to help :(    That won't happen again !

Many here have mixed feelings about me and that's OK, just know that I meant it a year ago and I'll mean it forever....I'm here if you ever need help again!

Don't feel alone Chris,  You are a survivor and a hero to many people and animals!  You should be proud and not sad!  N.O. will come back, but it will be a slow and long process...hang in there!

Hugs;

Nancy

#9
Kris S

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Chris,
It's amazing that it's been a year.  Your journey has been heartwrenching and remarkable.  There are just no words to express how much I admire you - you have prevailed in spite of every single obstacle that was set in front of you.  And your mission to help the animals continues and I know will continue forever.  They are very lucky to have you.

I think of you often as I have the glazed tile you sent me with Kimberly Ann's picture on it right here in front of me on my desk.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't see her beautiful little face and wish for what might have been.

Know that we will always, always be here for you.  Post when you can.  I've missed your stories.  My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your kitties...

#10
Guest_Linda IMOM_*

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Chris - Many of us worry about you  and your 8 miracle kitties.   It's so good when you stop in - even to say "hi".  What you went through certainly life altering, yet, you have such an increbile strength - you never gave up on your kitties and you didn't let anything stop you.  

On this anniversary date, I am sure you are having many overwhelming feelings, I just wanted to let you know, I am thinking about you during this time.  Be sure you snuggle the kitties for me - they are indeed miracles, but you made the miracle a reality!

Edited by Linda IMOM, 29 August 2006 - 10:33 PM.


#11
LaurieR

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Chris, a few days ago I watched the HBO special "When the Levees Broke" by Spike Lee, and kept thinking of you.

The documentary was excellent, but of course I watched it with much sadness and a very heavy heart -- it was so hard to see so much devastation and suffering.

It's completely impossible for me to fully comprehend what you and your loved ones (both human and furry) have endured this past year. You are an incredibly brave person.

I hope you know your extended IMOM family is always here, thinking of you.

Laurie

#12
Kim

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Chris, if it's possible to celebrate on the anniversary of such tragedy, we should celebrate the fact that you're still here with us a year later.  I remember what wrecks we were, wondering if you were alive or dead, dying from dehydration in an attic, or waiting for help on some damn rooftop.  And what we felt wasn't 1/100th of the trauma you went through.

Of course you're not the same person you were pre-Katrina.  How could you be?  It irrevocably changed lives.  But no matter how fragile you might feel sometimes, you ARE forging ahead and that is incredibly admirable.  

Please know that Emerald and Mama Minx and all the other innocent souls are not forgotten.  

Hugs,
Kim

#13
Diana S

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Chris,

Please know that even though I have not been posting much, I often think of you.  Anytime anyone brings up Katrina, I tell them your daring rescue of your kitties.  Your strength is admirable.  

It's also completely understandable to cry many times throughout the day.  You've been through such tragedy, and see such suffering every day.  So many people left N.O., but you returned.  

Sending lots and lots of hugs,


Diana S

#14
Chriscat

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QUOTE(Diana S IMOM @ Sep 7 2006, 01:54 AM) View Post

Chris,

Please know that even though I have not been posting much, I often think of you.  Anytime anyone brings up Katrina, I tell them your daring rescue of your kitties.  Your strength is admirable.  

It's also completely understandable to cry many times throughout the day.  You've been through such tragedy, and see such suffering every day.  So many people left N.O., but you returned.  

Sending lots and lots of hugs,



Hi All,

I  guess that it'll be easier for me to update on this thread rather than starting a new one. The anniversary seemed at the time to be a good place to end the "Katrina" thread. But things just don't seem to end in New Orleans.

When I last posted on it, I was having a very hard time here. It was around the 1 year Katrina anniversary and I had an unexpectedly miserable time with it.  I spent the day at the 17th St canal breach trying to talk to the press that had congregated there.  The breach area is also part of Lakeview (my former neighborhood) that is overrun with cats.

While I was talking to one reporter, a young cat stuck it's head out of a ravaged house and I tried to tell the press about the animal disaster.  They weren't interested.  In fact, no one seemed to care anymore about the animals here and how many died or were still out there starving. It was very frustrating.

"When the Levees Broke" was a masterpiece of a documentary but unfortunately, it led folks to believe that the only place that flooded was the lower 9th ward (above sea level BTW) And it also set off my poor mental state for several months - just could not handle things at all.  The cat rescue was a purpose - every one that lives here now has to do something!

But then I got sick.........

Trapping was one thing but I ended up fostering several litters of kittens - for weeks at a time. Also, the trappers had to do everything. Trap them, bring them to the vet and keep them overnight. I had 14 cats in traps on my porch one night... and 15 inside!  Too much.

One thing led to another and I ended up at the doctor. The blood work that they did showed that my liver was not doing too well. My enzymes were 5 times as high as they were - even when I was first diagnosed in 2002.  So I had to scale things down quite a bit.  I am now feeling a lot better but my blood work is just not good.

During that time, I had 4 kittens with me, along with my own crew.  3 from one litter and 1 from another.  The 3 kittens had all of the usual kitten stuff - various worms and coccidia - and it took awhile to get them all dosed. But once they had their second vacs, they would be ready for adoption and I took them back to the vet for their shots. However, they did stool samples and this time, one of the kittens (Velvet) tested positive for lung worm. She and all of the other kits had to be treated for another 10 days.  There's been all kinds of strange stuff being found out on our streets. I believe that lung worm is transmitted by snails.

At any rate, I ended up keeping the kits for quite a long time (over 3 months) and of course, grew quite attached to them, as you might imagine. But when I got sick, I knew that I couldn't keep them much longer if they were ever to be socialized to other people. BTW, I ended up keeping them so long because at the time, the city's animal rescues were overrun with kittens and there was no room for my guys.

I took the two tamest ones to ARNO - Animal Rescue New Orleans - where, sadly, they had to sit in cages for a couple of months before they were transported out of here. It broke my heart and each time that I went out to see them, I ended up crying and wanting to take them back home with me.

Black kittens

Mom and Miss May

I ended up keeping Velvet and Smoke(renamed Thumper) as they were very scary and not as good candidates for adoption as Slick and Miss May.  Also, black cats are pretty hard to adopt out (especially in N.O. with so many others to choose from...)


3 Kittens


Thumper

Thumper was renamed as he is a tiny boy with extremely short legs. He kind of scuttles around but sounds like a herd of elephants when he runs on the hardwood floor.  Kind of looks like one of those specially bred horrors - forgot their name - the cats with the short legs? Munchkins?  But he's fine - coming out of his shell but still pretty scary.

Velvet, on the other hand, is big - long really. She was always the biggest kitten and has grown into a lovely girl - very long legs - reminds me of one of Kim's cats - the one with the long legs - She has an absolutely gorgeous coat, very shiny and sleek. She's also a chow cat!!!!!!!

The other cats, of course, hated all of the kittens. Except for Sky - she thinks that they are her own personal toys.

Big Brooks unexpectedly turned into a "kitten magnet" and absolutely loves Velvet:

Brooks/Velvet

Love

Now, all the cats get along fine. Cayenne gets a little upset sometimes and he is having a few problems with urinary crystals - he's much better now, thankfully.

Living here is pretty hard and has gotten very expensive. The electric bill has gone through the roof as our utility company is trying to get out of bankruptcy. This month's bill was $268.00 - 3-4 time as high as it was pre-K.  Part of the problem (other than our colder than normal winter) is that the floor furnace in this apartment was wiped out by the flood. My landlord gave me two electric gas filled heaters (like the kind at the 200 Cat Rescue) and they suck up power!  Other costs are skyrocketing and I won't be able to live here much longer. In this house, I mean. I might have to move to the next parish (county) where the cost of living is half of what I'm paying now.

They are making it very hard for the true New Orleanians to live here.  And I am one. I love New Orleans but never realized how much until this last year.

After I was sick and feeling better, I got involved with Levees.org.  They are one of the many grassroots groups formed after Katrina (the only groups that are getting anything done here...) and it's mission is to hold the Corps accountable for the flooding of 80% of the city.

Levees.org

Everything that you want to know about the levee breaches is on this website.  The Corps of Idiots already accepted responsibility for the flooding - they said that our federally built levees were a sham.  However, they admitted this on June 1st, after countless independent studies had found that the Corps was to blame for their shoddy designs, months earlier.

I hate to turn this into a soapbox, but one of the most upsetting things about this whole disaster (the U.S.'s worst natural disaster as well as the "Worst Engineering Design Failure in History") is that no one seems to know this.  We in New Orleans are mad as hell!!!!!!!!!!  The federal government's cheaply built flood control failed and now, we are the idiots to want to try and rebuild here.  The lack of information, apathy and ridiculous government (on all levels) response - or lack of it - is to blame for our problems. The national press is a joke, with a few exceptions - NY Times, La Times, Washington Post have provided a few in depth articles.  The worst, USA Today, started things off a few months back by running an OP-ED about why New Orleans shouldn't be rebuilt:

USA Today OP-ED

My response is toward the bottom.

The government funding has gone to our La. Road Home program which is a total joke. We call it the "Road to Nowhere".  My Mom and I applied back in August and I finally got a meeting in December. My counselor explained our options. It basically comes down to this formula. You take the pre-K value of your home ($325,000K in our case), subtract any insurance/FEMA money (@$150K - (which took a year to collect from the heinous insurance company!) and the program is supposed to get you up to the cap of $150,000.  Of course, there are all kinds of rules about how you can get the money but my counselor said that we should be able to sell the house to the Program for the $150K.  The thing is that out of over 100,000 applications since July of 2006, only a couple of hundred have been paid off - with an average award of 72,000K.  Countless others have received award letters stating that they will get nothing.  So, I am not to hopeful about getting any kind of money for the house.........Another source of anger!!!!!!!  That house was my nest egg - I was going to either sell it for 325K or live in it and rent out the duplex apartment for the rest of my days.  Now, even if I get the full 150k, I'm still not in a very good place.  My Mom is using the insurance money to live on and she doesn't want to try and rebuild.  Our contractor said that it would take almost 200K to rebuild the house as it would have to be elevated to current standards (cost around 90K to elevate it)


My Nest Egg

It looks slightly better now - was taken a few months back - it had 9 feet of water in it for 18 days.......

My old rented apartment was finally torn down last month. I don't know what was worse - going there every day and seeing all of my stuff still inside or seeing it torn down........:


Before


After

Note the white garage in the back of the lot. That's where I feed the two remaining survivors from all of the cats that I used to feed on the block:

Cat feeding station

The front cat is Happy - my Rosemary (and Memphis's feral brother) and Woody's Mom is in the back.

Dogs still frequent the area:

Rottie

Dog under house

The Rottie girl was spotted a few weeks ago about 5 miles from where this photo was taken - she now has puppies hidden somewhere.  The dog under the house is also her son.

Of course, all is not bad here.  We just had a very successful Mardi Gras and my beloved Fair Grounds (horse racing track) reopened on Thanksgiving day:

Fair Grounds

They run until the end of March. I live around 6 blocks away - it's also the place where the Jazz Fest is held - coming up in late April.

On another note, I will be going back to Birmingham in early March. I was just up there a couple of months ago to see my Mom and she was doing fine then.  But, she recently had some tests done and it was found that she has colon cancer.  Thankfully, she is in otherwise very good health (at 89) and the surgeon believes that with minimal surgery, she will be okay.  She does have to spend 5 days in the hospital and that is always troubling no matter how old you are.  I am very worried about her - though she seems to be taking this in stride - as she does everything.  She was very happy today as one of her friends from N.O. was in Birmingham today with family and they were going to visit.  My Mom has only seen one of her friends since Katrina.....

Well, thanks for your patience in reading this - that's what I get for not posting more........ lots to update!!!!

Thanks again for everyone at IMOM - you guys rock!!!!!!!!!

Chris, the miracle survivor cats and two newbies




#15
JeanKBBMMMAA

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WOW-I need to go back through and check out all the links but I just wanted to say hello and glad to see you here! I also think of you every time Katrina is brought up.
IPB Image

#16
Kris S

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Chris,
It's so nice to hear updates from you.  I hope you're feeling much better soon.  What a time you've had.  You are amazing and I'm always awed by the challenges you are faced with, yet you keep on marchin'.  I thought you would enjoy this picture.  The minute I saw the pic of Brooks and Velvet, I thought of this one of my Taz and Jacki...

[attachmentid=1877]

Take care of yourself and all those precious babies and come back soon with updates...

Attached Files



#17
Chriscat

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Hi all,

I can't tell you how many times I was going to post in the last couple of years - but as time has passed by, it just seemed so hard to do.  So much to update.......and I feel horrible that I have lost touch with you all..

Life in New Orleans since Katrina has been very hard, especially with Hepatitis C and many cats - on the bright side, my health has improved a bit and I am now actively seeking part-time work to supplement my Social Security disability payments.  I still sell books online and cat sit occasionally.

The worst news is that I lost Brooks - my big semi-feral boy, last year to CRF.  I wrote a post about him to this forum when he was first diagnosed in early 2009 - but never sent it.  At the time, I still had a few dollars saved up and I thought that I could handle the costs of his fluids and meds.  It was awful - I cried for many months about his diagnosis - he was only 8 years old.  But it sent me into a deep depression when I realized that no matter what I did and no matter that we had all survived Katrina together, that I could not save him.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the cat's story, after my rescue from my roof with 3 of the cats, I had to leave behind 5 of the others...they were put up into high closets that the water, thankfully, never reached.  Brooks was in one of them.  In retrospect, I should have posted about it - it might have helped keep me from going into the downward spiral of depression - but so much was going on with my health at the time, and other things.

In the beginning, I had to bring Brooks to the vet as he was so feral that I could not do the fluids by myself on him.  I still have a few scars from his bites from those early days but he eventually allowed me to do it.  And though he was uncomfortable towards the end, he was not unhappy and still very mobile - he was still able to jump up onto the 5 foot high bookcase up until the day that he died.  I had to bury him out in the garden as I did not have the money for cremation.

The other cats are hanging in there though Panda (now 14-16) went blind last fall. But that is another story for another time. Woody, who was also in one of the closets and was close to liver failure following Katrina, had another brush with liver problems last fall as well.  That was another time when I composed a post to this forum but never sent it.  I was out of mind - Brooks was near the end, Panda goes blind and Woody was near liver failure.  Fortunately, she recovered.  Panda just had blood work and everything was "normal" - none of the vets can figure out why she went blind - they tested her for toxo, her blood pressure, everything - the eye specialist thought that her cancer might have progressed and had worked it's way behind her eyes - but since her labs are o.k., that doesn't really make any sense - none of it does.  Another post that I wrote but did not send here....

Cayenne, Rosemary, Tortie Miss, Mr. Magoo, and the two youngest ones that I took in after I moved back here - Velvet & Smoke, are all thankfully doing fine - I'm almost afraid to talk too much about their health - afraid that I might jinx them...  Tommy Tom is still with me - he was one of the feral cats that came with this apartment when I moved back here after Katrina.  Tomasina, the female feral, got sick a couple of years back  - she showed up one night looking horrible - I grabbed her and tried to get her into a carrier to take her to the vet, but she got away and I never saw her again..  However, following Hurricane Gustav a couple of years ago, another tuxedo feral cat showed up and he never left.  I trapped him and took him in to be fixed - he has some kind of ongoing mouth/gum problem going on that is being controlled with antibiotics.

The other bad news is that I am now completely out of any funds - the money from my family's Katrina insurance money has run out.  My Mom (now 93) is still in assisted living in Birmingham but she has had to apply for Medicaid - she is still waiting for a decision.  The folks at Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) thankfully donated 6 months worth of flea meds and a couple of bottles of antibiotics last weekend - so that is one less worry.  They are struggling as well, especially now as so many people affected by the oil mess in the Gulf are having to give up their pets - it's heartbreaking.  It seems that everyone here is having a very hard time.  I can deal with not having enough food for myself or now being in complete credit card hell and unable to pay most of my bills, but I am horrified at the prospect of not being able to take care of the cats as I have managed to do for so many years..

Well, I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to update on the "Hurricane Katrina Miracle Survivor Cats"....I don't know - it's unbelievable that we are near the 5th anniversary of that awful time.  IMOM and the folks on this forum were such a source of comfort and support  -  I can never thank any of you enough for helping the cats.  

Alright, after 77 drafts and meaning to post over the last 3 years, this is it - I am posting!

Chris M

#18
Chriscat

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Hey Judy,

I got your message but when I tried to reply to it, I kept getting a message that it was not allowed.  Just wondering if you got it?

Am working on getting Panda to the vet as her anal glands are impacted again - and very painful.

Thanks for your response Judy!


Posted Image

Edited by Chriscat, 30 June 2010 - 04:47 PM.


#19
Chriscat

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View PostChriscat, on 30 June 2010 - 01:58 PM, said:

Hey Judy,

I got your message but when I tried to reply to it, I kept getting a message that it was not allowed.  Just wondering if you got it?

Am working on getting Panda to the vet as her anal glands are impacted again - and very painful.

Thanks for your response Judy!


My blog details life in New Orleans with the cats, Hepatitis C and Celiac disease - Panda is going to the vet today - thankfully!  but we sure could use some help!  Thank you so much!

Please Help the Cats!


Chris and the kitties


Posted Image


#20
Chriscat

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Panda is going to the vet later on today to be put down.  Along with her heart problems, her cancer has spread to her brain.  She was put on Medicam a couple of weeks ago, which kept her pain free and relatively happy.  Now, the Medicam has caused kidney issues and there is nothing more to do.

Panda has been with me since 1996 and it is very hard to say goodbye - but I must.

She will be buried alongside Brooks out in the garden as I cannot afford cremation.

Thank you all for helping her, and the other Katrina cats, 5 years ago.  You helped Panda live a happy life by making her 2005 ear surgery possible - almost 5 years more than she would have had.  And that is priceless - thank you IMOM!

Chris and the kitties

#21
Cindy/IMOM

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View PostChriscat, on 04 October 2010 - 11:32 AM, said:

Panda is going to the vet later on today to be put down.  Along with her heart problems, her cancer has spread to her brain.  She was put on Medicam a couple of weeks ago, which kept her pain free and relatively happy.  Now, the Medicam has caused kidney issues and there is nothing more to do.

Panda has been with me since 1996 and it is very hard to say goodbye - but I must.

She will be buried alongside Brooks out in the garden as I cannot afford cremation.

Thank you all for helping her, and the other Katrina cats, 5 years ago.  You helped Panda live a happy life by making her 2005 ear surgery possible - almost 5 years more than she would have had.  And that is priceless - thank you IMOM!

Chris and the kitties

Aw, Chris, I'm so sorry to hear this.  I remember Panda and her ear surgery, and while I am so glad she's been with you all this time, I know it's never long enough.

Panda had a wonderful life with you, and will be waiting for you at the Bridge.  Godspeed, sweet girl.

Cindy/IMOM
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#22
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View PostCindy/IMOM, on 04 October 2010 - 08:32 PM, said:

Aw, Chris, I'm so sorry to hear this.  I remember Panda and her ear surgery, and while I am so glad she's been with you all this time, I know it's never long enough.

Panda had a wonderful life with you, and will be waiting for you at the Bridge.  Godspeed, sweet girl.

Cindy/IMOM


Thank you Cindy - Panda passed last night at 12:45 - and blessedly very peacefully.  She basically went to sleep in the afternoon and I chose to let her be and not take her to the vet in the end.   She was next to me on the bed when she passed - something woke me up and I was able to stroke her silky fur as she took her last breaths.

I buried her next to Brooks in the back yard -  and yes, it was her time and I knew that it was coming, but she has taken a big chunk of my heart with her.

Thank you all again,

Chris

#23
Kim

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Chris, as sad as it is to say goodbye to Panda after so many years together, I'm glad that she died peacefully at home and right by your side.  You went through so much together that it seems fitting that you would be watching over her as she started her journey.  Also glad that we were able to help give her those 5 extra years with you.  

Please know that your babies are never forgotten.  I wore my L'Orange t-shirt to spay clinic on the 5th anniversary of Katrina and told the other volunteers about him and about you.  

Thank you for letting us know about Panda.  Wish we could be there to give you a hug in person.   :heart:

#24
Chriscat

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View PostKim, on 05 October 2010 - 12:56 PM, said:

Chris, as sad as it is to say goodbye to Panda after so many years together, I'm glad that she died peacefully at home and right by your side.  You went through so much together that it seems fitting that you would be watching over her as she started her journey.  Also glad that we were able to help give her those 5 extra years with you.  

Please know that your babies are never forgotten.  I wore my L'Orange t-shirt to spay clinic on the 5th anniversary of Katrina and told the other volunteers about him and about you.  

Thank you for letting us know about Panda.  Wish we could be there to give you a hug in person.   :heart:


Thanks Kim.  I was truly blessed to have Panda in my life - and yes, so many adventures since 1996 - I've been reflecting on all of the events in my life during those years - and Panda seemed to be right there with me for most of them.

It was somewhat comforting (to us both) to be with her at the end.  I had fallen asleep earlier to the sound of Panda's purring - she's always been one of those cats who purrs under any situation - she had been kneading the pillows with her paws while she was asleep (or in a dream-like state) and purring.  I thought back to how many nights and years that I had fallen asleep to that very sound - and even laughed when I thought back to a long ago boyfriend, who had complained that Panda made too much noise in bed. Needless to say, that boyfriend didn't last much longer...

Cayenne seems to be the most upset today, but that's pretty understandable - he's almost 12 and Panda had been more like a Mom cat to him.  The others know that something is up and have been crowding around me every time I find the time to sit down.  

OMG, you still have that t-shirt?  Seems like in another world......but thank you for wearing it on the "anniversary".   It means a lot.  My Mom still asks about  you and Kay from time to time.

I don't know what I would have done without IMOM and the tremendous amount of support that was given to us during that awful time - we will never forget it.   Panda had a mostly happy life since her surgery - a life that she would never have had if it wasn't for you guys.

Thanks so much again - and for remembering Panda - she's a special girl!

#25
Kay

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Chris,

Kim sent me an email with the news about Panda.  I am so sorry - you two fought the brave fight and I'm so glad you were able to be together for as long as you could.  Saying good-bye is so dang hard, though, no matter how much time we are given with our furry ones.

Panda was, indeed, a very special girl.

Kay

#26
k9sign

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Oh, Chris I am so very sorry.

I don't know if u remember me-Tucker and Justice's mommy (they have been PIN's here for several years--actually Tucker was the PIN when u went thru Katrina).

Your descriptions were so vivid and heartwrenching of u and the kitties experience. My Tuck was going thru so much at the time, and sometimes I wavered in my strength and hope. But in ur despair I found u had incredible courage. Your courage was a lesson that I needed at the time.
I just wanted u to know that u made a difference for me.

I wish I could make a difference for u now. I am so saddened for ur loss of Panda. I remember Panda's ear surgery. I know Panda left on her own terms, and what a comforting way for her to go to The Bridge.

My heart aches for u.
Thank u for all u did for me...


Sadly,
Cindy, Tucker and Justice
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#27
Chriscat

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View PostKay, on 05 October 2010 - 07:10 PM, said:

Chris,

Kim sent me an email with the news about Panda.  I am so sorry - you two fought the brave fight and I'm so glad you were able to be together for as long as you could.  Saying good-bye is so dang hard, though, no matter how much time we are given with our furry ones.

Panda was, indeed, a very special girl.

Kay

Hey Kay,

Thank you so much - and thank you again for your timely donations towards Panda's vet bills.  That veterinary care also added on a few months towards' Panda's life.

I know that you had a horrible time when you lost your dear Tabby - also to squamous cell - and my heart went out to you.  Like you said, it is never easy to say goodbye, no matter how well that you think that you are prepared.

I keep looking at Panda's bed and talking to her whenever I walk through the bed room - it is still unreal that she is gone - she's been such a constant in my life.  But I am also happy that she is free of pain and whole again - and back with her good friend Emerald, who perished during Katrina.  And I know that she is waiting for me at that Rainbow Bridge.

Take care and thank you so much again!

Chris

#28
Chriscat

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View Postk9sign, on 05 October 2010 - 09:08 PM, said:

. I know Panda left on her own terms, and what a comforting way for her to go to The Bridge.


Of course I remember you - and Tucker!  I feel so bad that I have lost touch over the years.......our own time on the IMOM forum bring back such great memories, even though a lot of the circumstances were unhappy ones.  The support, caring and love that came through the lines will never be erased.  I learned so much about strength and character - from the people who make up this forum, as well as the many pins who have come and gone.

Yes, Panda did leave on her own terms!  A few weeks ago, when she started having such pain from her brain tumor, I took her to the vet with the purpose of having her put down - she was so miserable and I could not stand to see her suffering.  But once at the vet's office, she would perk up and act completely differently than she had at home - this is when the vet suggested trying the Medicam to see if it would help.  And boy did it - overnight whe was a different cat - from just laying around, not eating or doing much of anything - to being able to get up and down off of the bed, making it to the room with the litter box and water/food dishes - and still hissing at the cats who foolishly got in her way - she was still the boss cat til the end.  Not bad for a blind cat with an enlarged heart and a brain tumor.   My vet and I even discussed this - that Panda was not about to be told when it was time for her to go.

She fought so hard, but in the end, her little body simply gave out.  But she did it her way.  This photo was taken a couple of days after she started the Medicam:


  Posted Image


When I was saying goodbye to her this morning, I was really amazed at how silky and shiny her coat still was - yes, a very special girl!

Thank you so much for posting - I always think of you as "Tucker's Mom"  and what great care you took of him and your other furbabies.

Chris

#29
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In my haze of grief, I finally remembered that Panda died on the same day as Brooks did last year - and also the day of the "Blessing of the Animals" by St. Francis - October 4th.  Perhaps a reason that her passing was so peaceful?  At any rate, a great comfort.

As some of you might remember, the cats of the 200 Cat Rescue of New Orleans, were all taken over to the St. Francis Animal Sanctuary in early 2005.  I will never forget the peace and tranquility that filled me as I passed through their gates.

“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.”

Thank you all again!

Chris

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In my haze of grief, I finally remembered that Panda died on the same day as Brooks did last year - and also the day of the "Blessing of the Animals" by St. Francis - October 4th. Perhaps a reason that her passing was so peaceful? At any rate, a great comfort.

WOW! Chris, I got goosebumps! It may indeed be one reason Panda' s passing was so peaceful.

I've been thinking of u and Panda a lot the last couple of days. I am glad u realized that Panda died the same day as Brooks-the day of the "Blessing of the Animals". I understand why that would bring u comfort.

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I always think of you as "Tucker's Mom" and what great care you took of him and your other furbabies.

Thanks Chris, I appreciate that.
Thankfully Tuck is still going strong (10yo now!). Still has seizures fairly often, and now needs an inhaler for a lung disease--but the angels here have held Tuck in their hearts since 2004, and have always made sure he can get his seizure meds.
My other little guy, Justice, is also an epileptic and a PIN here- the angels hold both boys tightly in their wings, and never let them fall.

I know u fully understand the angel power here at IMOM.

I have to tell u I have met Kay several times--she is a very special angel, and touches people in the heart wherever she goes.

Take care Chris. I hope u can pop in from time to time and let us know how u are doing.

Hugs,

"Tucker's mom" Cindy
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