Monday, January 16, 2012

Jan Lockett and Her Cats - An Update from Ila Abernathy

Dear Social Action folk, and a few others:

I don't think Jan would mind being mentioned in company with cats and cooperation.

Jan -- Robin Jorstad-Donaldson reports that Jan's condition continues to deteriorate, rapidly. Prayers, maybe a little hand-holding for those who know her well and feel called to visit. At TMC palliative care. I'll repeat the benediction sent out earlier: "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)

Cats -- So many cooks we spend most of our time e-mailing! Plans have shifted as the situation alters. The e-mail flow will slow.

Flash -- Ana, the neighbor who has fed Jan's cats, telephoned this morning to report that "Flash" was now confined in the humane trap Francha and I had set Saturday (he got food one day without springing it). Plan was to take him for shots and neutering tomorrow morning, but he would have had to stay in the trap overnight. Instead, one of The Hermitage board moved heaven and earth for an immediate placement at the Hermitage. I took him over and signed him in this afternoon. Though unsocialized, he's behaving very well -- frightened but curious, occasionally inquiring what's going on, but not yowling. Gold. I'm wondering if he's polydactylous (extra toes). Anyone interested in him now or later will need to go through the Hermitage. He's probably between 6 and 9 months old, box-trained, never been outside. Here is what Mother Clare says about him: "Finally met Flash--what a gorgeous gorgeous cat--liquid copper eyes. He was quietly resting in his kennel watching everything with big eyes but not hissing when we came close. This is a good sign to my way of thinking. Is it an ideal placement? Certainly it's his best hope for now. I tried to tell him that today was the luckiest day of his life."

Sweet Pea -- Spayed today, courtesy of Spay and Neuter Solutions. She was going into heat, so it was a bit more complicated than it would have been otherwise. Resting overnight at the vet's. Tested negative for leukemia. Tomorrow she gets her leukemia shot, last of her series, and will be released. I discover, after having had her in my house and seen her miraculous ability to get along with my cantankerous cats, that I'm not quite ready to sign her over to the Hermitage, after which all arrangements reside with them. Will bring her home for a few days of R&R, and hope that that perfect permanent placement with friends of Jan (or friends of friends) will materialize. The Hermitage is waiting and will receive her if there is no permanent placement, but I don't want to strain that patience. Please let me know if you are interested, preferably before the weekend. At this point a free cat, up to date on shots, short-haired, tortie, world's best easy-care model -- and, as everyone says, very beautiful. If you don't have the photos Karen took, e-mail me and I will forward. [Note -- keeping her with me a few days will not hurt Flash, as they would be in different sectors of the Hermitage.]

Hermitage adoption record -- I was really impressed with the young adoptions coordinator, who told me the Hermitage accepted approximately 497 cats last year and placed approximately 376 in adoptive homes -- just over 75%. I think that's phenomenal. Of course, kittens are adopted first.

DONATIONS to honor Jan and thank those involved:

Make a tax-deductible donation to The Hermitage (5278 E. 21st Street, Tucson 85711, or Spay and Neuter Solutions (P.O Box 762, Cortaro, AZ 85652, or, noting "Flash" or "Sweet Pea" and "Lockett" on the memo line. Sweet Pea's spay cost $60, and I paid for the immunizations. I estimate that neutering and shots for Flash through the Hermitage will cost $150 to $200. If you can, give a little extra for another pet in need.

Music: Jan loves music and once sang with Masterworks Chorale. Among her belongings we found over a decade of their programs, carefully filed. A donation to Tucson Masterworks Chorale or to St. Michael's Choir honoring Jan would be much appreciated.

COOPERATION -- Karen B. has worked nonstop on Jan's behalf. Meanwhile, I am amused that Mother Clare and I seem to operate on the "you say tomayto and I say tomahto" principle: she knows the Hermitage, I know Spay and Neuter Solutions; she volunteers for Humane Borders, I volunteer for Samaritans. Between us, and among the others involved, we cover a lot of territory.

Extraordinary neighbor -- I'd like to find a special way to thank Ana Rivera, neighbor of Patti and Jan. She knew Patti more than Jan. Arranged for Patti's 4 dogs to be relocated to homes when Patti failed significantly, and has fed and talked to the cats for months. She also visits Patti in a closed unit for dementia patients, more or less weekly.

Thanks also to Miller Pet Hospital, that gave Sweet Pea a free examination and accepted the reduced rate for spaying.