into our lives? I had gone to the farm store
to get cat litter for Chai. This was back when
we still lived out on the Wildlife Refuge,
just Chai the Bengal Cat and me.
At dusk, he and I would walk to where
deer brought their fawns to graze. The
fawns were so curious they would wander
over to Chai (in his harness and leash) and
he would roll over on his back in the dusky grass
so they could safely sniff his belly and not be afraid
...this was his submissive "I'll let you touch
me and you won't get hurt & by the way you long-legged
things with spots like me, what kind of cats are YOU?"
position. We both got ecstatic meeting wildlife on our walks.
Back when there were walks, before the "head-falls."
on a mission to get him everything on his list.
Sitting on the floor of the Farm Store downtown
was a cage containing the most pathetic looking,
unkempt, fur-gone-rasta, lonely, sad, guinea pig.
Someone had simply walked in and dumped him
(in his cage) on their floor: wanted no more!
(and make no mistake, he knew it, too.)
Perhaps he had once been a child's pet and the child
had lost interest. Perhaps worse. You never
know with rescue animals...sometimes it's
better that way.
just east of Seattle, his owner (a DOCTOR!) even signed
forms allowing him to be euthenized! He was only two
years old, a purebred Bengal, but bred WAY TOO CLOSE
to the original Asian Leopard Cat to qualify as "domesticated,
pet quality." Those are C4's, bred FOUR GENERATIONS
OFF the original Asian Leopard Cat. Chai could be a C1
or a C2, he was too wild, bred purely for beauty and
prestige, to impress an egotistical person's desire to own
an exotic animal the people she invited into her home would
admire, and admire her for owning such a precious thing.
(And obviously, she knew NOTHING ABOUT BENGALS!)
I came home with more than his food and litter.
It was love at first sight.
became deathly ill, as a matter of fact. And when he
lost his kitty friend, he starved himself nearly to death,
although he did manage to pull out, chew, and swallow
the $$$ feeding tube the vet had inserted in him to
keep him alive. He needed companionship.
When I brought home this dear guinea pig, Chai took
it upon himself to personally befriend, love, cherish,
and care for him as if he was Chai's own kitten.
it turns out those we "Rescue" really RESCUE US!
Please look over these photographs and you will see an
amazing true story unfold: when Chai became ill, PandaPig
would nudge him with his nose to get him to move.
PandaPig cuddled him, encouraging Chai;
loving him while uninhibitedly offering
this exotic feline predator all this guinea-pig had within
him to give: unconditional support, friendship, and loyal companionship...
Probably things PandaPig never had himself before now.
And that it was serious. He communicated
this to me and we ended up all going down
to a specialized animal hospital in Seattle...
Good thing, too, because we also had an
extraordinary HEAT WAVE and nobody
up here has Air Conditioning so many animals
had heat stroke and at least we could take
ours to this fabulous hospital.
In fact, our next-door neighbor, a woman only
somewhat older than me who was wheelchair-bound
actually died due to the heat, not one of her children
(who lived in the area) checking on her until it was
too late...what a shock it was to return home
safely, all of us, only to learn we had lost her
saving our animals while her children had not
been able to save her.
But he stuck with PandaPig, not me...
And, when he finally regained his strength,
what did PandaPig do to this potentially
there by his side where they had little talks,
gossiping about their crazy mama and how
lucky she was to have them, even though she
plank boardwalk surrounding where we lived, a walkway
that had not been maintained for thirty years and was covered
by Pacific Northwest moss that was covered by October leaves
that was covered by rain: on a treacherous spot where the boardwalk slants down, I slipped...Chai stayed by my side.
People came. It was serious. I had fallen right on my head.
And gotten up immediately, the worst thing you can do after a concussion followed by even brief unconsciousness.
Six weeks later in Seattle, the same exact thing happened at my
doctor's office on her concrete floor covered only by thin carpet...
This fall on the exact same place of my head was a game-changer:
Chai had to eventually move back down to Seattle and live with Edwin and Sami (his spicy tortie girl-friend)
because he couldn't be walked anymore. Or visit fawns.
PandaPig missed him so much that one day
he received a BIG SURPRISE named Yum-Yum!
AND THE REST IS HISTORY AND YUM-YUM
IS STILL WITH US IN ALL HIS GLORY!
Do animals have emotions?
Just look at these two. It's why I am a vegetarian.
They have spiritual dimensions and the capability
to love, forgive, forget, and take chances on trusting
another human despite horrific treatment in their past...
How many of us are that angelic?
OH, PIGGIES, I KNOW, I KNOW! NOT ME,
SHHhhhhhh now, and I'll bring you a midnight snack!