A tribute to some missed friends
Memorial to Signe
In memory of our most wonderful , beautiful , rescue cat ,Signe , that we will dearly miss.
We dedicated ‘’ Margarita , one fair Lady ‘’ a Harness Racing wonderful beautifully written childrens book, to the veterinary hospital where she lived her last two days .
This will make Signe a reminder of our mission this year, to market and promote Harness Racing, in places we spend time outside of the Harness Racing sport. Please do the same.
Memorial to Baloo
My name was Baloo. I was a horse racing stable barn cat for as long as I can remember. The barn had dirt floors, and I used to sleep under a wheelbarrow. People would sometimes give me some hard food, but nobody ever put out any water for me. I was hungry most of the time, and I was dirty because I was sleeping on the dirt floors. People didn’t really care for me much. They didn’t have any compassion for the fact that I was a cat that didn’t have a home, and I was always looking for love. But nobody gave it to me.
I was living with another male cat and a female cat and her kittens, and they kept having kittens together every year. And then the kittens would just disappear—I don’t know what happened to the kittens.
One day a lady came to the stables and picked up my male friend. She said that it wasn’t good running around making kittens. So my male friend disappeared. A couple of weeks later, the same lady came to the stables and took the female cat, who had two kittens at the time. She said that it was not good for the female cat to get pregnant again and that it was not good for the kittens to live in dirty stables. I was left alone in the barn. The lady came and fed me every day so I had food. But I was still dirty, and I was still lonely, and I was still living under the wheelbarrow.
I kept looking for friends, but I couldn’t find any. There were a few feral cats around at night, but none of them wanted to be my friends, so I kept living by myself. One day, I got an allergic reaction to something in my skin, and my skin started to bleed. I was in real bad pain. The people in the horse racing stable barn didn’t care. They would just walk by me and not do anything about it.
Finally one of the people that worked in the horse racing stable barn went to get the lady and showed her my skin sores. The lady said, “Are you going to take him to the veterinarian’s office?” And the people in the horse racing stable said, “No, we don’t want to take him to the veterinarian.” So the lady said, “Here, just give him to me, and I’ll take care of it.” Then I was so happy, because finally somebody cared about me. After all these years of being lonely, I finally had a chance to have a home and live with somebody that might possibly love me.
The lady took me to the veterinarian’s office in Wrightstown, NJ, where they looked me over, checked my temperature, and tested me for feline leukemia. I also got a vaccination for rabies and distemper, and they started to treat me with antibiotics for my skin sores.
The lady took me to her house, and in the house were 18 other cats. I was so happy, because now I finally had friends. When I first came to the house, the lady took me in the bathroom and gave me a shampoo bath. Ooh, I did not like that very much. But she scrubbed me so all of my white hair that was black from living on the dirt floors finally became white again. And she also rubbed my sores with iodine and put some cream on them. She even clipped my nails. And you know what else she did? She clipped my whiskers. She said that she had to clip my whiskers because she had so many cats in her house that all the whiskers had to stay clean after going into the litter boxes. So that is why she clips the whiskers.
The lady also said that because of harness racing she was able to keep me and the other cats in her house. She said she was making her living filming national television productions to market harness racing and educate people about the harness racing sport and harness racing horses. I am very grateful for harness racing and the harness racing horses that made it possible for me to have so many friends and have a home and food and good care and everything else that I appreciated so much every day.
Every day there was food in our eating bowls. There was hard food in the bowls; there was soft food in the bowls; there was clean water; and I had clean beds and sofas to go and sleep on every day. And every morning I was brushed and cared for.
The third day I lived in the house, I even got my own collar with my name on it and a phone number. That made me feel so good, knowing that I now had somebody who cared about me and loved me so much that I had my own first collar in my entire life. And even with the phone number on it.
Somebody that worked for the lady came in every morning, and she told me that the name of the lady who was being so good to me was Monica Thors and that I lived in Columbus, NJ, with my 18 cat friends. Monica had people working for her who came in every morning, and every one of us cats was lined up and put on a special grooming table. On the grooming table, I was brushed every morning with a beautiful brush that made me feel so good, and I also got my eyes cleaned with lukewarm water on a clean baby towel. Every Monday and Thursday, I got my ears cleaned. It was wonderful to get my ears cleaned every week because my ears were always dirty when I was living in the barn from all the dust from the dirt floor in the stable.
After the brushing, I always got cleaned with a baby towel or cat towel, and they always made sure that I didn’t have any problems anywhere. Then I always got to go and spend time with my friends and sleep in special made cubbies that were only made for us cats that were living at Monica’s house. About 2:00 in the afternoon, one of the people that worked for Monica came and took my collar off, because they told me that they needed to make sure that every one of the cats was in the house. None of us were ever allowed to go outside.
In 2010, we all moved to Mullica Hill, NJ, because there were cat limit laws in Columbus, NJ, and Monica was not allowed to have more than four animals in her house. And we already were a family of 25 cats and actually had two dogs living with us also. The names of the dogs were Moon and Cocoa. I was told they were both cocker spaniels. They were not big dogs, and we cats liked that. Moon and Cocoa were very friendly, and some of us cats used to sleep and rest with them.
But the township evicted Monica because she had too many cats. Luckily there was a very nice lady in Mullica Hill, NJ, where we could rent a beautiful house where we could all go and live together.
This was a beautiful moment of our lives, when we knew that we were able to move and everybody was able to stay together. Monica had to fight very hard to find us all a new home. When we moved to Mullica Hill, there was a big living room, where Monica set up nice cubbies where all the cats could live, and we also had a beautiful large picture window where a lot of us loved to lay and sleep in the sun. We also had large cages where the Feline Division Executive Director and her helpers who worked for Monica would put us after our morning brushing, and I could rest and sleep with my friends. I especially enjoyed those times when there were 10 or 12 of us in the big cages, and we would all be sleeping together and cuddling up. Just knowing that I had so many friends always made me feel really good.
I especially liked to watch television with Monica when she had time. The moment she went to sit down on the couch, I was the first cat there to sit with her every night she had time to sit there. I used to fight with her dog, Moon, because she wanted to sit with Monica, too. And I would not let her, because I wanted to sit on Monica’s lap. Monica was my hero because she came and saved me from a terrible life, and now I had this beautiful life living inside with all these friends. Beautiful people. Warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
A few weeks ago, I started to feel really bad. I think I was an older cat. Monica wasn’t sure about my age, but I think I had been living for more than 12 years. One day, I started to get really sick. I started to lose weight, and I started not to feel so good. I lost my energy, and I didn’t really have an appetite. So Monica took me to the veterinarian’s to see what was wrong with me. They were not sure what was wrong with me. The only thing they knew was that my liver was not functioning well.
Monica took me home to the house, and I got special attention and special food and a special place to rest, and every day the Feline Division Executive Director, Deysi Moral Vasquez, gave me food on a spoon to make sure that I was eating and getting all the nutrients into me. I still did not become very well, and I knew I was dying. Monica took me to several animal hospitals to see if we could figure out what was the matter with me. They even gave me fluids and vitamins and minerals through an IV to see if they could possibly make me feel better.
Monica and the people in the house kept telling me to be strong, be strong. So I tried to be strong. And I stayed strong for about five weeks, living with my friends, sleeping, eating and enjoying my life until one day I was too weak to stand up, and I was starting to have stomach aches. I could barely lift my head. Monica spent the whole day with me and tried to talk me into getting stronger. But I knew I couldn’t. And everybody in the house got together and tried to cheer me on to feel better, and everybody sat with me for a little while, scratching me and trying to make me get stronger, but I couldn’t.
That same night, Monica called for the veterinarian to come to our house to make me go to sleep forever, and she sat with me on the couch by the television, where we always used to enjoy sitting together. She then told me it was ok to go to a different place. So I said ok. And when Monica went to check on her harness racing horses, and one Thoroughbred and one goat, I decided that I was going to go to sleep forever on my own instead of having the veterinarian help me go to this different place that Monica talked about.
Ofelia Vasquez Florez, Manager of Feline Kitchen Operations, another nice lady that works for Monica, was in the house checking on all the other cats when Monica was not there. Ofelia found me on the couch. When Monica came home, I had peacefully gone to sleep forever in my favorite place of all-- the couch where Monica and I sat together so many happy times. Ofelia was crying, saying that I was dead. Monica started to cry also.
She took me in her arms and sat down on the couch. She told me that I had been the best of the cats because I was never angry, and I was a good cat. And I never ruined anything, and I never fought with the other cats. I never peed on anything, and I never did any trouble at all. I was a really number one cat, she told me. Monica wrapped me in a special blanket that I used to sleep on when I first came to her house in Columbus. Then she put me in one of the cages where she had put Casper, Grey and Cocoa, two other cats and one dog that had died in her house before me. She said she did that out of respect for all of the good moments and everything I had given her while I was living at her house.
The next day there was a memorial service at the harness racing stable, where all the people prayed for me and told me I had been a good cat, and they wished me well in my new home. Then there was a memorial service at Monica’s house, where all the people told me to go to a good place and always remember them. There were over 25 people saying goodbye to me. I must have been a really good cat. Monica said that I’m going to go somewhere nice, but she doesn’t know exactly where it is. If it is as nice as her house with all of my cat friends, it will be truly wonderful.
Thank you, Monica and all the people who loved me. Thank you for saving me and giving me a life of peace and comfort all of the time we were together. I will have many beautiful stories to share with my new friends wherever I am going, and I am sure we will all be together again someday.
My wish for all feral cats and all cats that have no homes is that they will find a beautiful house to live in and wonderful friends and loving people to share it with. Just like I did.
Dec 11th, 2011:
Grey passed away today, peacefully, having faught death and old age for over two months.
Grey was my first cat.
Grey came into my life about 9 years ago
He just decided that I should take care of him as he had no home. Grey was hanging around my barn, looking at me every day until I caved in and started to feed him and his friend Blackie.
I was not a cat person at the time, only having dogs by my side.
Little did I know at that time that Grey, number one rescue cat, was going to turn into 52 rescue cats in my house until it was 2011.
Grey moved around with me and my Harness racing horses.
In 2003 I had decided to educate myself on how different training facilities for Harness racing Standardbred training farms looked like and how different training techniques was being used.
Grey was always in my car, moving from farm to farm.
In 2006 , I took Grey to my house , one winter night when it was too cold in the stables . Grey never left my house since then,
Grey , taught me a lot of how to take care of cats and how to safe guard my house from climbing cats and playing cats.
Soon thereafter, a few more kittens left behind by their mother , moved in too and I understood what a great grand father Grey was to all small kittens.
Grey was a friend to everyone,
He loved children and would be patient with us all.
Grey was a grand father to about 30 some kittens that came into my house from garbage containers, haylofts, roads, farms.
Kittens would soon after moving in feel the love that Grey had and always be drawn to him, to sleep and rest with him.
Grey will be missed by all of us , very very much . Sadness in my heart for him not here. Joy for what he gave me, a life full of cats.
To the bravest cat I have ever known, Goodbye.
Grey died from old age today peacefully, 12-11-11
In memory of Cocoa and Moon.
Thank you for years of friendship and fun.
In Memory of Casper, 2009-2011. Miss You.