Life’s Lessons

This is simply amazing. It tugs at my heartstrings in so many ways. My love for the ocean, my love for sea life, my once in a life time experience with both mentioned.
It will put a smile on your face.
I promise.

Have you ever felt pain you couldn’t get past
Have you ever wondered how long it will last

Have you ever taken more then you give
Have you ever questioned wanting to live

Have you ever known a love to be true
Have you ever hurt someone close to you

Have you ever failed knowing you tried
Have you ever counted the tears that you’ve cried

Have you ever felt alone and betrayed
Have you ever regretted choices you’ve made

Have you ever just wished that time would stand still
Have you ever found words to express how you feel

Have you ever cried in the cold, dark night
Have you ever looked fear right in the eye

Have you ever walked alone in the sand
Have you ever felt pain you didn’t understand

Have you ever felt you have reached the end
Have you ever mistaken someone for a friend

Have you ever felt you just didn’t belong
Have you ever found comfort in words from a song

Have you ever wondered how your life would be…
if you had all the answers
to set you free

Have you…

…continued part 1, part 2 and part 3

Part 4
When I arrived home the following day, a banner that read ‘Welcome Home Filthy’ was hanging above our front door.

I had received a phone call that afternoon while driving home from picking my youngest son up from school. I was instructed when and where we could pick up ‘our’ cat. Our efforts had not gone unnoticed, nor had our tears been cried in vain. As we drove to pick her up, we laughed, we cried and we sped (a little) (just saying’.) After I reimbursed HER for the vet bills, SHE handed me a box. As I opened it I saw a familiar black ball of fur and two big gold eyes looking at me…she was shaking uncontrollably. As my son started petting her I picked her up and held her close to my chest, she was confused and terrified. I whispered “Filthy McNasty, we’re going home.” Her whole body went limp as she clung on to me. As she lay in my son’s lap on our way home neither of us said a word, (aside from the 83 phone calls I made) because a- were just so happy to have our princess back. b- I was trying to figure out a way to explain to my bank I used the money for my car payment as cat ransom. Either way, it was a phenomenal day. Our whole silence, (aside from the 83 phone calls I made) embrace the moment thing was soon interrupted by a phone call.
“Hi Heidi, I spoke to you last week about your cat.”
“I am so sorry, I have tried everything…I have contacted everyone…there is nothing that can be done. You signed your cat over…”
Blah, blah, blah liar.
(Smirking while staring into those big gold eyes) “Well thank you for all your efforts, some things are just meant to be.”
“Yes they are, I’m sure she’ll be well taken care of.”
“I am positive of that, thank you!”
“You bet.”
See ya dude-that-has-no-clue!

It took Filthy and Rex about .04 seconds to get reacquainted and Filthy about .05 seconds to reclaim her bed.

After having to fend for herself for so long, having oral medication administer via her ears, recovering from being so sick…and surviving a kidnapping, it was clear this little girl had a will to survive. No longer did she have to worry. She was loved, had a permanent home and a family to keep her safe…kinda.

Don’t judge…there’s a story behind it.

to be continued…

I saw this at the groomers yesterday and had to copy it….

1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful. You are my world.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me. It’s crucial for my well-being.

4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment. I only have you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you and yet, I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old and weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can’t bear to watch. Don’t make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there…because I love you!

I think every pet owner need to read this at least once!

Remember last week I did a post entitled, Snagged At Sea? Included in it were details of my encounter with a shark Pitbull. A freak accident that involved his tooth, my thigh, a trip to E.R. and stitches. There are a few people that think I’m a freak as well (o.k. maybe that’s not such a news flash!) because 2 days later ‘Paulie’ a.k.a. the shark Pitbull and I started our 5 day bonding session, alone. I had already committed to dog sitting him and never had second thoughts about following through with that commitment. It wasn’t a malicious act, I have known him since he was a puppy and I knew we’d be just fine, (well, I did pray really hard that we would be…just sayin’) and we were.

Here are a few pictures that I took with my cell phone, there are about 4,261 more but we’ll just start with these. Your welcome!

As I sit on the pool steps (because I can’t get my stitches wet) Paulie joins me, gently resting his paw on my hand as if he were saying, friends? My heart may have skipped a beat.


Another day while relaxing on a lounge chair, (did I mention I couldn’t go into the pool because of my stitches?) I was sleeping on my tummy and opened my eyes to this. He was standing at my head, resting his next to mine. Precious, I know. He had a ball in his mouth and was waiting patiently.

After a few days I was finally able to down size from a body cast to a bandage. (I’m totally kidding) (kinda) This is something Paulie did every morning, although he seemed particularly interested on this day. My guess is because it was more accessible sans cast. He is checking my shark bite sore. Awww…Paulie!



I knew he meant no harm and did not intentionally hurt me, and these past few days only confirmed that. There was never a moment I questioned his next move or felt uneasy. I think he actually went above and beyond to show his remorse, and he succeeded. (How many sharks can you say that about?) Although I obviously would have preferred to forgo being ‘snagged,’ I can’t think of a happier ending!
I get my stitches out tomorrow, and soon there will be little or no evidence of the shark attack encounter. However, the memories, lessons, trust and bond will remain infinitely!

(Did I mention, as of tomorrow I can go back in the pool?)

*Update- within weeks after this incident, I returned back…to live! Paulie is the best roommate ever!!!

I had every intention of getting Don’t Judge…There’s A Story Behind It
-part 4 up over the weekend, I really did…I was so on a roll! The weekend, however didn’t exactly go as planned.

I spent Friday in E.R. with a friend, as it turns out he was passing a kidney stone. I have all the sympathy in the world, but as a woman who gave birth to a 9 1/2 pound baby you just kinda want to shake them and say ‘Really? It’s like a 4 ounce pebble, and no…you don’t need an epidural!’ Pain is pain though and nobody likes it, so ya I was compassionate. Kinda. Friday night was a little party, then out with friends (non of which had kidney stones.)

Saturday was one of those days…situations…you would never in a million years expect to happen to you, your family or anyone you know. You just don’t. My cousin and dad were in a plane crash. Thank God both are and will be fine, it really does make you think though. You realize all those other little stressors in your life are just that, little. (Although you can probably bet, I’ll still complain about them. I know…working on that!)

Sunday was a great day spent barbecuing and swimming with friends. Good weather, good food, good grief. By 9:30 p.m. I was in E.R. I was kinda wishing I had been a little more sympathetic on Friday, because guess who took me? Ya…the kidney stone guy. I do gotta say he was very supportive and very sympathetic…probably only because a kidney stone paled in comparison to this! Seriously, something like this could only happen to me. Who else could get their thigh ‘snagged’ on a sharks dogs tooth? Told you. And not just any dog, a Pitbull. It wasn’t huge, but it was pretty (graphic pic) deep. Seven stitches and a bandage later we were out the door. He calls me a trooper, I talk smack about him on my website. That’s just wrong…

Now because it’s really hard to explain to people how you snagged your thigh on a dogs tooth, I was in search of a different story. A better one. One that made sense. A few friends saw the pictures (because I have to take pictures of everything, apparently.) and immediately said it looked like a shark bite. Hello? I do stand in the ocean taking pictures. My story was born. The following is a reenactment, some names may have been changed to protect the innocent. Note: graphic picture at about the 13 second mark. Just sayin’.

(Don’t you kinda wonder who would just happen to have pictures with those facial expressions…on hand, laying around? Scary I know…)

It was an eventful weekend. It didn’t go exactly as planned, however I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m seriously just thankful that everyone is healthy and happy, except of course…the shark.

Be sure to read the follow up, Making Amends here!

We go to bed each night assuming we will awake the following morning and continue our daily routines. We hug and kiss our loved ones good-bye assuming we will see them again. We take life for granted, we assume too much, we forget just how unpredictable it really is…until we are given a reality check.
Yesterday my dad and my cousin were in a airplane crash. They walked away with just some broken bones and stitches, which the responding emergency crew considered a miracle. They were lucky, we were lucky.
A reality check, it put things into perspective.
I came across this a bit ago. Yesterday was a really good day to pull it out and reread it, I am not sure who the author is but it’s definitely worth sharing.

Laugh until it hurts…Love until heartbreak…Live until death…

…continued part 1, part 2

Part 3
We’ve had Filthy for 8 months, after finding her way her way into our hearts, we took her in and made her a part of our family. She was a joy to have and brought much happiness into our lives. She came to us hungry, cold and dirty (Filthy). Afraid of people, she hid when we offered her food and refused to have contact with us, however, she was at our door daily. Within a few days she had begun to trust us and had assigned herself a bed on our porch. After failed attempts to find her owners, it was clear that Filthy McNasty had found herself a home and a family that had fallen in love with her! As much as we enjoyed having her, she enjoyed and thrived on being a part of our family. She became our personal escort when taking out the trash, our companion on walks, our greeter when we arrived home and a friend after a long day. She gave us all she had to give. After learning she had been de-clawed, it was clear we either needed to find her a good home or commit to having her stay inside with us. There was no decision to make, she was at home. We went for a much-needed bath and haircut, got rid of her ‘bed’ on the porch and made her a new bed inside. Once she realized she was home for good she went to work making a few changes of her own. She decides she did not like her ‘new bed’ and moved her way on to my pillow. When she would awake, it was time for me to get up as well and she would lick my face until I did so. Our other cat, who was twice her size, must now wait his turn to eat. He didn’t care, he loved her as much as we did and was thrilled to have her company. She was a petite little girl but was full of mischief and energy. It was obvious she was having the time of her life, she had found a family that loved her and that’s all she wanted.

Last Thursday, (May 23) we noticed she was not feeling well. She had diarrhea and was spending much of her time sleeping. The Vet recommend holding food from her for 24 hrs. that seemed to help with the diarrhea yet she still did not seem herself. By Friday evening she had diarrhea again, worse than before. I sat up with her all night talking to her and making sure she was comfortable, she was restless and kept looking at me as if she were apologizing. I noticed what appeared to be urine in the bathroom, it had a pink color to it so I couldn’t be sure. As she urinated through the night, it was apparent as the color became brighter, it was blood. There was no question. Being early morning, I was having a difficult time contacting the appropriate resources for help….I was scared, I was extremely emotional, I needed advice, I needed answers and although I knew it didn’t look good, I needed someone to tell me it was going to be O.K. When I heard the Vet say these were all symptoms of Feline Leukemia, my heart stopped. I was not in a financial situation that would allow me to provide her treatment for such a disease. I was told there is no treatment, if it is Leukemia she is going to die. I advised them I had another cat as well……yes it is contagious. I was home alone and terrified, I could not quit crying but knew I had to make a decision. She did not find her way into our hearts for this to happen, yet I could not let her suffer and I had to think of the well being of my other cat. Because of my emotional state I knew I could not drive and began making phone calls for someone to come and get her. I reached a dispatcher for the Humane Society and through my tears explained my situation She was very patient with me and said she was going to send someone out for her. I kept telling myself this was the best thing I could do for her, I could not let my “Princess” suffer, we could not watch her suffer. I had a special bond with her, for reasons only a few know, I not only wanted her in my life, I needed her. When the field officer from the Humane Society arrived, I explained to her I was not financially able to put her through testing, treatments, I had another cats well-being to consider etc…I needed to have her put to sleep, I had to do what I thought was best for her. She talked with me for a few minutes and assured me she would not suffer, it was simply a shot and she would go to sleep. I went and got her my beautiful, black, Persian, Filthy, she looked her over and asked if she could see her urine. It was very bloody and she asked if I was sure it was urine, I was. As we walked outside I could not look at my cat I was barely able to control my emotions as it was. I stood on the porch as she put her in the truck. My neighbor walked over and hugged me she loved Filthy too, everyone around us had fallen in love with her. When the field officer came back, she told me that normally she would go find a quiet place and give the shot right after she left. She however questioned if this was Leukemia. “We don’t normally do this, I’m going to run her by the shelter when I leave.” As she is talking to me I signed a sheet of paper stating I am signing her over to San Bernardino County, I am requesting she be put to sleep. “I don’t want you to get your hopes up, but I am going to try to get my hands on a test. I can’t guarantee anything, I’ll see what I can do.” I was thrilled to hear what she was saying, yet in my mind I was still convinced this was Leukemia. She gave me a door hanger with her name and a phone number on it, told me to call later that day and I would be able to find out what happened. I got a hold of my boyfriend and explained the morning events, he was shocked, he could not believe she was gone. This had all happened so fast it was hard to comprehend it was real. Emotionally and physically exhausted I relayed the phone number to him and asked if he would call them for me later, I could not handle any more. I laid down and cried, did I do the right thing? What am I going to tell my kids? What if my other cat becomes infected with it?

When my boyfriend got home that evening he told me he wasn’t able to get a hold of anyone, he had called several times through out the day. The number on the paper I was given had the wrong number printed on it, it was now after 6:00 we would have to wait until tomorrow. My boyfriend called again the next morning, I could not bring myself to do it. I tried not to listen when I heard him inquire about Filthy, I could tell he had been put on hold, and then heard a loud, excited “Really?” after that I couldn’t really hear what was being said. He came in a few minutes later and told me they had been able to get a Leukemia test and she tested negative. She had Toxicity and was going to be fine. Thank God was all I could think, she is alive. Then he told me the lady he spoke with at the shelter said she was keeping her, she was her cat now. He had talked to her for a while but did not go into detail about the call at that time, we were then just thrilled she was going to be O.K. I decided to call her myself I needed to find out how Filthy was and until we figured this out make sure she was going to be taken care of. I spoke to her for quite awhile, she was friendly but on guard at all times. Filthy was going to be added to her family of 2 other Persians and 2 dogs.…she was going to be kept in a kennel for a while until she adjusted….she hadn’t been named yet. etc… I told her how much I loved Filthy and how hard this was, she told me it was obvious, she could hear it in my voice. She told me the field officer knew that she would want her the minute she saw her. She added that we’re welcome to call her at anytime and see how she is doing. After I got off the phone, my boyfriend and I talked about Filthy and our conversations with the lady. We had discovered the information we had been given had a few discrepancies, none of this was making sense to us. I was so confused, this all happened so fast. Why did this lady have Filthy, was I stupid?

Knowing the situation, I assumed the field officer was trying to help me. If the test came out negative, we would have options, we may have been able to keep her, why did she tell me not to get my hopes up but she would see what she could do? I honestly believed she saw and felt my pain and her intent was to prevent me from having to have her put to sleep. Would she have told me all of this if her intentions were different? ……I’m going to try and test your cat, if she’s o.k. I’m going to give her to someone else… don’t get your hopes up…. It has been a little over a week since this nightmare began, our home does not feel complete without her.

I have told my kids I will do everything I can to bring her back home, and I will. There has not been an hour this week that I did not think about her or miss her. Our cat sleeps at the front door, waiting for her. We have felt a great sense of support from our friends and family. Our story outrages not only animal lovers, but anyone who has ever loved. I often wonder had she not been a Persian would any of this happened? Was there not any homeless kittens or cats at the shelter she could have adopted? This person who represents the Humane Society spoke to us on the phone, knowing how heart broken we were yet showed no compassion. Filthy is not just a Persian, she is cat with a big heart and a lot of love, it’s what’s on the inside that made her so special. That could never be measured by her breed.

Before I sent this, I had contacted any and everyone I could think of, with no success. Had I failed her? I was struggling physically, mentally and emotionally. Friends, family and neighbors had stepped in offering to organize protests, contact the media, anything they could do that might help. We had also set up a website called “Lets Get Filthy.” There were, of course the naysayers that reminded me I had signed her over and they were right, I had. At the same time, I did feel a sense of betrayal. (*I had been informed that legally, she should not have been adopted out to anyone for 72 hours. I was also informed there was a “back up” adoption list for her…all of which were Humane Society employees.)

Whatever the outcome, I knew I had to fight as hard as I could for her, for us. I could not let those big, gold, beautiful, apologetic eyes down…they were all I thought about. “…she was going to be added to a family of 2 other Persians and 2 dogs.…she was going to be kept in a kennel for a while until she adjusted….she hadn’t been named yet.”

I received a call one morning from a friend who had came across a phone number he thought I should try. After talking for a few minutes, I took a deep breath and dialed the number. The gentleman I spoke to…listened. He not only listened, he…heard me. He assured me he would contact the responding SPCA Officer and take a report from her. As we ended the conversation, he gave me an email address encouraging me to send the same information we had just discussed. (i.e. the above email)

Feeling like this could be my last recourse I knew at some point, at some time, I needed to realize I had done all that I could. That I had fulfilled my promise to the kids, to her. I needed to be able to let go of Filthy McNasty. I needed to be able to think of those big, gold, beautiful, apologetic eyes…Ninja Kitty…and the Chow Mein Noodle with a smile, not a tear.

…continue part 4

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