Debbie was one of at least two dozen cats rescued from an older woman who was what is now termed as a "Hoarder". Back then we just used to call them "Cat People". It was hard, too, because so many people dumped their cats when they moved to a new place that didn't allow pets or they didn't have the money anymore to care for them or the cat had kittens and they couldn't handle them all. Debbie was rescued and taken to my Veterinarian in Portland along with many others. She was given a health exam, fixed, given her shots and de-fleaed. But where to place her? She was "feral", not used to people because she had lived all of her life in the woman's attic, as far as anyone knew, and wouldn't let anyone near her. I was finishing my appointment with my black kitty, Max, my fixed male short haired black kitty who loved to follow me around and converse with me. He would even follow me as far as the corner when I'd leave for work and wait for me in the evening at that corner at the right time, and walk me home and we'd talk about our day. He was the "talkiest" cat I've ever had and I'm guessing he had some Burmese in him, although I got him at a pet shop I frequented for $10.00. He was one of my two "planned" cats. Max was at the vet for his shots & to check up on him & he was doing just fine. I was writing out the check when the door to the back hospital area opened and I saw a technician holding a lovely black and white kitty who just looked terrified. They told me all about Debbie and how they didn't know how they could possibly place her because she was so wild. I asked them to let me try, to give me just a couple of months. I don't know why except I felt something connect with her. I had just gone through some significant changes in my life and was dealing with past fears myself. My other kitty, Simon, was surprised when I came home not only with his brother, Max, but also with a new sister, Debbie. I got out food, water and a cat box and placed them in the middle bedroom which was the guest room and not used. Then I brought her into the room, opened the box and laid down on the floor. Debbie jumped out of the box and dashed under the bed. I laid on the floor and talked to her very quietly for about half an hour, then dimmed the light and shut the door. I came back a few hours later & nothing had been touched. I laid down again and talked to her again. After a few days, I'd lay down and extend my arm. Within a few days, she came up to my arm and let me touch her. A few weeks later, she let me pet her for at least five minutes at a time. I started leaving the door open and she finally came out of the room and eventually would jump up on my lap and let me pet her while she purred happy kitty songs and I rocked in the rocking chair. She got out once, had never been outside, didn't know anything about it and hid under my neighbor's house. Poor girl was so afraid she let me carry her back to our house. Then one day I was rubbing her face and found blood from inside her mouth-- her gums were bleeding. We went right to the Vet and tests were taken. I waited in agony for the tests to come back as Debbie started acting like she wasn't feeling at all well. We went back and the Vet said something about feline leukemia and how it was like AIDS. I was familiar with AIDs as I was a Public Assistance Worker and dealt with disabled people, one or more having AIDS. This was before the vaccine for the cats and the Vet said Debbie had Feline Leukemia and wasn't doing well. She said my other cats could get it from her and there was nothing they or I could do except keep them separated. I couldn't believe what I was hearing and took Debbie and went home. I kept her in her room and spent lots of time with her, cleaning myself after I'd spent time with her, just so I wouldn't spread it to the other cats. They didn't have all of the information they have today; the 1980's were a lot like the Dark Ages for both Feline Leukemia and AIDS. Much of the research they did on Feline Leukemia helped them develop medications used today by patients with AIDS. Debbie's condition continued to deteriorate and I finally took my little girl back to the vet and we said our good byes. I held her in my arms while they put her to sleep; I could feel when her little Spirit left her and she was gone from this world but it was so hard to let go of her. I had her cremated and scattered her ashes among the Bleeding Hearts in my side yard. When I saw this kitty among the tokens I immediately thought of Debbie and how much my little scared girl helped me because I was scared, too, and I finally came out and let myself get close to people again.
I don't even have a picture of her except in my mind but when I close my eyes I can see fleeting pictures of her. Miss you, Debbie.
********When I went thru my photo albums I found that I had, indeed, taken pictures of Debbie, but when I tried to enter them onto FaG, they wouldn't take. I finally found a person who helped me with the correct codes to be deleted and now I am finding her pictures to enter onto Find A Grave so I can see her whenever I come across them. They are such a joy to behold. My computer bit the big one in August, 2013 and I had to learn how to "crop" my photos that had been put into boxes in the basement when I had my house refurbished when I quit smoking on Feb 17, 2007 and realized that smoking in my home for 30 years had taken it's tole. I had to move out and have my house cleaned and repainted, spending @$15,000. It was worth it, though. I can breathe without wheezing, don't cough when I wake up in the morning, and feel better with every anniversary. I haven't gotten lung cancer and my house no longer stinks of stale cigarettes! Oct 19, 2013.
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Specifically: buried under the bleeding hearts in the side yard.
Created by: Kathie L. Webb Blair
Record added: Jun 25, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 71976423
I found a darling photo of you that I hadn't remembered for a long time. It is so lovely, I just had to share it. I love and miss you, my Debbie girl.|
Kathie L. Webb Blair
Added: Apr. 28, 2017
Added: Mar. 15, 2017
Thinking of you, sweet girl, and how much time we spent together, getting to know each other when my computer room was a spare bedrooom. I still think of you, dear Debbie, and how much you meant to me at a turning point in my life. I'll see you at the Rai...(Read more)|
Kathie L. Webb Blair
Added: Jan. 24, 2017
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