Fill-in Statements: Week 102

FFBadge

Each Thursday, my co-host, Ellen of 15andmeowing, and I provide Friendly Fill-In statements. On Friday, we post our answers with a link-up for you to join us with your own responses. We hope you will copy and answer these on your blog, but please remember to link up here. If you need help, please let us know. If you don’t need help, just say Hello, so I will know you were here.

Week 102: April 20, 2018

1. New                  are                           .

2. I love to                   on the                    .

3. When I was a child, I loved to play                   .

4. One                   , I                      .

disdalife

A-Z: The Queen

Oddibe came first. He watched me from across the road, as he sat beneath the old cedar trees. Our eyes met; we bonded. It didn’t matter that I already had two indoor cats and two dogs. I became Oddibe’s human.

Oddibe

He was already an old tomcat, and obviously not neutered. He was King of the Road. I called him “Oddibe”, because he “ought to be” somewhere else. He would come to my window at night. Sitting on the porch rail, he would tap on my window screen. He knew I would then get up and go outside to feed him. Our midnight rendezvous began right after we bought our rural lake house. Neighbors swore they had never seen him before.

Soon, Oddibe brought his Queen with him. She was a petite little thing, and very young. Quite feral, she trusted only Oddibe, following him everywhere. She quickly learned that food was found at our house. She became “Echo”, because she kept coming back.

Young Echo

By Spring, Oddibe and Echo had a little grey kitten. She would blend into the shadows of the cedar trees, so she was called “Shade”. Echo would bring her shrews and chipmunks. She tried to teach Shade to hunt. They were entertaining to watch. By now Echo trusted me. She taught Shade to come to our porch and eat from the bowls, too.

Oddibe & Shade

During the day, Oddibe would go off to do his tomcat business. At night, he would still come to my window. He also watched over his family. Elusive, existing in the shadows, for the most part, they lived this way for a couple of years. Survival was their mindset; I was their safe haven.

Then, there came a time when Oddibe was missing. The girls came alone for several weeks. When Oddibe finally appeared on my porch, he was emaciated and very weak. I quickly put him in a crate, which was never a possibility before. I knew it was serious when I took him to the vet that Saturday night.

The vet grimly told me that Oddibe was probably close to twenty years old. He then gave me the diagnosis that I feared. Oddibe had cancer. At his advanced age, surgery was not a realistic option. He would not survive even the anesthesia, but the cancer was obviously too advanced. Late that night, in the vet’s treatment room, I lost a very special friend.

I cried all the way home, and throughout the funeral we held for him. I missed him. Echo and Shade surely did, too. They would sit under the cedar trees as if waiting for Oddibe to join them. They looked somehow lost and lonely, their little faces questioning me.

For years, they came together, alone, and sometimes with kittens. We rescued many of those kittens, finding forever homes, and keeping some. But, others would just disappear. After a few years, Shade disappeared, too. It broke my heart.

Echo would stay away when in heat or when she had kittens hidden. We were never able to trap her. Her sense of survival and dedication to her family was acute. Tomcats came and went, though none were like Oddibe. Most were haggard, mean, very wild, and entirely feral.

Queen Echo
When Echo was about 12, she went missing for about a week. I knew she did not have kittens and became very worried. Then, one morning quite early, she appeared. She was as happy to see me as I was her! I quickly filled her bowls with food and water. Watching her eat, I assessed her health. I noticed her rear left leg hanging at an odd angle. It seemed to be very loose. I knew something was very wrong.

I scooped her into a crate. Though her first time, she did not fuss. We went right to the vet, where Echo was overwhelmed by the entire experience. However, she was the regal Queen. An exam and x-rays showed that there was nothing but bone chips between Echo’s hip and foot. Her foot was intact, and her hip was fractured. But, the entire leg had been shattered by a hollow point bullet.

Hollow Point bullet:
Note the mushrooming effect

 

 

Hollow point bullets are used by law enforcement and military personnel. Their purpose is to kill in a drastic, surefire manner. A hollow point bullet increases its size once it enters its target, and it remains there. It expands inside and does not pass through, creating extensive damage. This usually results in blood loss and/or shock, and thus death. Echo was a six-pound cat. She was also a miracle.

I had a choice to make. Echo had to be put to sleep or have her leg amputated. She had lived outside her entire life, free, doing whatever she wanted to do, wherever she wanted to do it. I saw her living the life of a wild thing, and happy to be that way.

If Echo’s leg was removed, she would become our indoor cat. She hated other cats. We would have to make her a home in the secure basement. She would be safe under our supervision. Could she be happy this way? Could we put her down, let her go because of someone else’s cruelty? We had loved her and been trusted by her for over 12 years!

There was no choice, really. She had the surgery and came home to live out her last five golden years inside our warm house. Echo had her favourite pillow and blanket. She took over the sofa in the basement. She flew up and down the basement stairs. She maintained immaculate litter manners. She appreciated it all.

We promised her she would be safe and secure for the rest of her life. She was special. We were amazed that she made the transitions so easily. From outdoor to indoor cat, and four legs to three legs, she never changed. She was the same little, petite, sweet, gentle Echo that she had always been.

When Echo passed over the Rainbow Bridge, she was well over 17 years old. She developed cancer but went quickly and without pain. We were left with the pain of her absence. Her loss was felt deeply.

Aging Echo

Echo’s life had been full. We had kept our promise to Oddibe, by keeping watch over Echo. Her golden years were also safe and secure; we kept our promise to her. And, The Queen’s memory still echoes in our hearts.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

Q

“My Writeful Heart”:
A= Acknowledgments
B= Believe
C= Camouflage
D= The Drought
E= Exist
F= Final Departure
G= The Guardian
H= The Horologist
I= Impasse
J= Joseph
K= Knowing
L= The Loan
M= Mirror
N= Number
O= Ozark
P= Mr. Peabody

 

A-Z: Mr. Peabody

Everyone knew that Mr. Peabody was living in the old car. It was obvious; all of the signs were there: the mess and the odor.

They tried to evict him for months, but he was an elusive old guy. He stayed in there,  eventually dying in that very car.

They found his little dead mouse body up against the blower motor fan blades.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

Written for a five-line fiction writing prompt, this tale is really a true story.  I named the little deer mouse Mr. Peabody, in part due to the musky smell that lingered in my car. We knew he was there by the little signs of decorating he was doing. I found bird seed in my trunk, though there had been no bird seed put there by us. My Kleenex box was suddenly a fluffy bed for someone very small. The foam under my seat was chewed into a small pile.

We did try to evict Mr. Peabody. I had the dashboard removed to clean out the vents. The car was detailed, twice. I also put repellents put into place. Mothballs, dryer sheets, and citrus-scented objects were put in the places that he frequented, to no avail…until nature took its course. When my air conditioner needed to be maintained and recharged, we found Mr. Peabody, just as my story says. He was then quietly laid to rest.

P

“My Writeful Heart”:
A= Acknowledgments
B= Believe
C= Camouflage
D= The Drought
E= Exist
F= Final Departure
G= The Guardian
H= The Horologist
I= Impasse
J= Joseph
K= Knowing
L= The Loan
M= Mirror
N= Number
O= Ozark

 

A-Z: Ozark

They moved to a mountain to be closer to God,
leaving behind the world with a nod;
no luggage or baggage, no worldly possession,
virtue their only goal of obsession.
Back to basics, souls purified;
their vision of heaven sanctified.
Seeking perfection through self-sacrifice,
surrender their key to paradise.
They welcome others into the fold,
who eagerly believe whatever they’re told.
A preacher, a teacher, a prophet, a sage;
the blending of spirits he hopes to engage.
He calls to all, a message to preach,
their trusting souls in evil’s reach.
He preys upon what they hold dear,
and in their hearts, he strikes pure fear.
“One for all, and all for me;
only my truth will set you free.
Do what I do, do as I say;
the rewards you seek you’ll receive today.”
They didn’t find God in the man on the hill,
they didn’t gain heaven by doing man’s will.
He laid them down in one final control;
his kingdom bought with their mortal soul.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

Life is a journey, a mission of mysteries. We all seek purpose and meaning in our own journey. As a teen, I had friends who left family behind to join communes in hopes of finding a purpose. Some of these communities were of a spiritual nature. Others seemed to attract lost bodies and minds. I was intrigued by the idea of people coming together for common goals. However, I was very cautious about the actual reasons.

It was about this time that the Jonestown tragedy hit the news. There have been other communes that have come to similar catastrophic ends. Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Heaven’s Gate were sadly misguided groups of people who seem to have never found meaning.

I never heard from my friends who set out to find purpose in an unknown community. I hope and pray that they found real answers, and that they are safe in body and spirit.

O

“My Writeful Heart”:
A= Acknowledgments
B= Believe
C= Camouflage
D= The Drought
E= Exist
F= Final Departure
G= The Guardian
H= The Horologist
I= Impasse
J= Joseph
K= Knowing
L= The Loan
M= Mirror
N= Number

Sparks: 28

It is my intent to post an inspirational thought each Monday. It becomes my weekly meditation. I hope that perhaps it can feed another’s spirit as well. With that in mind and heart, I invited others to join me.

There is an obvious universal need for more positive energy. The negative energy in the world has become thick and oppressive. Social media has become a part of this dark, negative storm. But, we can change that.


I believe we are meant to be lights in this world. If we allow our light to shine, we can see where we are going. It is then that we can begin to truly see each other clearly. There is hope. Together, we can light up the entire world! 

 

Yin and yang is the balancing act of life. The yin in life is the sorrow. I believe that these sorrows are given to us for reasons. We may never know why, but that does not matter. What matters is that we grow from them. We need to take these sore places where life has dealt us a blow and own them. They become our battle scars. We can become stronger at the broken places if we allow it. Because, yes, I believe Rumi got it right. Namaste.

 

Sparks28

Sparks is open Monday through Friday each week. When joining, please post a positive quote, poem, or some inspirational words. Be creative but be positive! Please add the Sparks badge to your post so others can see it and find your Sparks. Then, link your post to ours here. And, shine, shine, shine!

badge-smClick here to add your blog to the Linky list.

A-Z: Number

Call me number,
for I have no name.
The absence of feeling
and thought you proclaim.
A statistic on paper,
I can’t be denied;
facts and answers
are all you provide.
You took what I said
and filed it away,
but it’s only an image
of life you portray.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

This poem speaks to the way we have dehumanized mankind in the name of progress. What was supposed to make life better has essentially diminished the very things that make life worth living. This is something that we cannot reverse, I fear. We must remember the things that make us all human. It matters; we matter.

N

“My Writeful Heart”:
A= Acknowledgments
B= Believe
C= Camouflage
D= The Drought
E= Exist
F= Final Departure
G= The Guardian
H= The Horologist
I= Impasse
J= Joseph
K= Knowing
L= The Loan
M= Mirror

For the Love of Chloe Jo

hospitalvisit

Chloe Jo is having a rough time. Her last vet visit did not go well. The exam revealed some problems that needed immediate attention. She had to stay in the hospital for treatment and monitoring. One of her vet techs took this picture of her seeking refuge under the cage paper. Chemo has been increased. Thankfully, she is home, now.

2

Chloe Jo’s prognosis is very limited. If we can stabilize her, she may have up to two years. Our main concern is her quality of life. She deserves to be happy every day of her life. That is what we will be working on. It is all about her. It is all for the love of Chloe Jo. Always.

God is God

Today is Sunday. We are halfway through the A-Z Blogging Challenge. So, this is an Intermission of sorts. I am taking this opportunity to share one of my favourite songs, by one of my favourite singers. Written by Steve Earle, Joan Baez sings this best. Enjoy.