Thinking About Jewel

Great Kitty Rescue Cat Jewel relaxes

Great Kitty Rescue Cat Jewel

Jewel was a lovely Siamese Snowshoe cat with a good deal of cattitude. From the very beginning she let us know that she really didn’t belong with all of the other cats from the Great Kitty Rescue. She always maintained that a terrible mistake had been made.

Up at Rescue Village, she did spend a lot of time hanging out with Jim, one of the other Siamese cats. He was more easy going and seemed to calm her and give her some comfort. However, she showed a trait back then when entertaining visitors that continued throughout the years. If people came to visit, she wanted all of the attention to herself and would snap at Jim if he came too close to get his share of the loving.

Great Kitty Rescue cat Jewel has blue eyes

Jewel Blue Eyes

Jim was good about it and would let her have her diva time. After Jim was adopted late in 2010, I think Jewel missed him and was a bit lonely.

Over the years when we visited Jewel in Niblet’s Nest, she would recognize us and respond to us. But she could be moody and it could take some time for her to turn on the charm for pets and treats. At other times, she would hear our voices and run over to say hello head butting and allorubbing as she purred up a storm.

Last year Jewel had a sore on her front leg that would not heal. Ultimately, they found that it was cancer and the decision was made to amputate her leg in the hopes that the cancer would not spread. After her surgery, Jewel was moved to the lobby.

This video shows the first time we visited Jewel in the lobby after her surgery. She was a total joy to be with that visit and as you can see she seemed to like having us around.

Jewel got along just fine as a tri-pod kitty and would scoot around the lobby without a care.

Sadly, the care taken to try to insure that the cancer did not spread was unsuccessful and Miss Jewel was crossed just months after her surgery.

As with many of my GKR feline friends, I miss seeing her when we return to BF to volunteer. I understood and respected her moods and attitude and enjoyed every second of her warmth and charm when she chose to bestow it on me.

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A Farewell to Popper

It is always sorrowful to hear of the passing of one of the cats that survived the Great Kitty Rescue. And when they pass at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary it adds another layer of sadness.

Not because Best Friends isn’t a wonderful sanctuary – it most certainly is. And the caregivers are fantastic with the cats, taking such good care and loving them all. Still, it is a sanctuary and not a home.

I feel regret and guilt because the cats that pass while living there have never gotten back to living in a loving home if they had one or never experienced it if they didn’t.

Although we are not supposed to have favorites among the cats, the truth is that we do. Some bond with you more, some you’ve had special interactions with, some tug at your heart a little more for some intangible reason – there are many ways a cat weaves its way into your heart to become a favorite.

For me, Popper was one on my list of favorites and it was with great sadness that I heard of his passing.

It was all the more difficult because he was crossed just days after we had seen him during our last trip to BF and he had looked and acted fine. The first and last photographs above are from that visit.

In fact, his caregivers were surprised too and had this to say:

Popper crashed and we had to cross him this morning. He was doing fine yesterday. It happened so fast with toxins dumped into his system from kidney shut down that it affected his brain. He was neurologically affected.

Popper was one of the cats that you could tell had been someone’s pet at one time. He was tame, but scared and confused about the road his life had taken. Over the years, he became less fearful of his human caregivers and became courageous enough to come to me and lick baby food from my finger when I sat on the floor in the yurt.

He went through another readjustment when Rescue Village closed and the remaining cats were moved down to Cat World. Popper was assigned to a room in the Colonel’s. He initially reverted to being shy and running, but after a while he began to exhibit that calm confidence of his.

Popper was a gentle soul, you could see it when he stared into your eyes and gave his bashful smile. Yes, Popper had a smile for us and it touched me deeply when he sent one my way.

Bob and I traverse Cat World when we are volunteering, going from one building to another and we frequently passed the patio where Popper hung out. Each time we walked by, we would call to him, Aurora, Tootsie, Tonto and the others. Popper would come to the edge of the fence to say hello and give us sweet eyes.

When we visited with Popper and our other feline friends in his room, he would steer clear of us at first, yet still giving us sweet eyes and listening to all we had to say. Once I pulled out the treat bag, he would tentatively make his way over to me. And when he remembered our routine, he would sit beside me waiting his turn for a treat.

I will miss spending time with my feline boyfriend and I will cherish the memories of this kind and handsome boy.

Farewell dear Popper – you were truly a cat worth knowing and I thank you for blessing me with your attention.

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Judy Bobzien

I just learned today of the sad passing of a wonderful friend of the cats of the Great Kitty Rescue.

Judy Bobzien lived in Pahrump and was a walk in volunteer who quickly became one of the many “regulars” volunteering 25 or more hours every week to help the cats. Judy was there right at the beginning and stayed until all of the cats were adopted or moved to Best Friends and the grounds of the former FLOCK compound shut down.

Unfortunately, I do not have a clear photo of Judy as she always stayed in the background in her desire to showcase the cats. This is a photo of Judy when KVBC-TV went to cover the “end” of the Great Kitty Rescue – yes there she is behind the cage petting Cassie.

judy bonzien at the great kitty rescue

Judy passed away quietly on Monday 1/23/12 in her home as was her request after losing her battle to cancer. Those close to her and with her at the end tell us that she was strong through it all and continued to be a kind and caring person to the end.

Her wishes were that no services or memorials be held for her. Instead she asked that anyone wishing to honor her make a donation in her memory to her two favorite no-kill animal charities:

Best Friends Animal Society, Tax ID # 23-7147797, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah 84741.

Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Inc., (“Nevada SPCA”) Tax ID # 88-0187383, 4800 W Dewey Dr., Las Vegas, Nevada 89118.

I think Judy must have gotten a huge reception up on the Rainbow Bridge. I like to think of her petting and playing and loving all of those cats from the Great Kitty Rescue who have left us all too soon. Thank you Judy for all you did for the animals…

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GKR Orange Brigade

I have known Great Kitty Rescue survivors Nachos, Kudos, Yam and Tommy for about 4 years now.

GKR Orange Brigade

GKR Orange Brigade

At first I had trouble telling these four orange tabby boys apart. Now that I know them so well, it seems odd that their identities were not readily apparent to me. As I got to know them better, I saw their physical differences and since their personalities have blossomed over the years, I can see that they are decidedly unique individuals. Continue reading

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Nova

You may not remember Great Kitty Rescue survivor Nova. Many may have never met her.

Great Kitty Rescue cat Nova

Miss Nova June 2010

We do not know how Nova ended up at FLOCK, but we do know her story after she was rescued.

Nova was one of 18 cats “adopted” by a small cat rescue group in Buffalo, NY. When faced with the enormity of caring for and finding homes for over 700 cats, the Cat Adoption Team at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary did all they could to place the cats in homes or with other rescue groups. Continue reading

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Sylvester’s 3rd Anniversary

Happy 3rd Anniversary Sylvester!

Great Kitty Rescue cat Sylvester is confidentWe celebrated Sylvester’s third anniversary with us on September 30, 2011. He seemed unfazed, but liked the special treats.

I on the other hand still marvel at how far he has come and what a happy, well adjusted cat he has blossomed into.

I was looking back at Sylvester’s Blog and reminiscing about the various milestones: Continue reading

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Great Kitty Rescue Cat Dice

“Our” Miss Dice has been adopted and I couldn’t be happier for her and her new mom!

From what we’ve been told, Dice’s new mom volunteered in Pahrump during the Great Kitty Rescue and fell in love with Dice. She has thought about her all this time and finally decided now was the ideal time to give Dice her forever home.


Continue reading

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Kermit’s Anniversary

Three years ago today, we adopted Kermit, loaded him into the car amid tearful goodbyes and brought him to his forever home with us.

Great Kitty Rescue cat Kermit on white

Kermit, Bob and I have all come so far from that day – all of us growing in understanding, trust and love. I marvel at his transformation from a frozen, terrified kitty to the purring ball of fur that snuggles close to us in bed making bread on whatever body part is closest.

I am in the middle of putting together a video tribute to our boy, but in the meantime I thought I would share some photos that illustrate Kermit’s growth. Continue reading

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Kendra, a feline friend

I have had a very hard time sitting down to write about Kendra. Perhaps it is due to the suddenness of her crossing. Or maybe it is because I had just spent a long weekend with her at Robin’s house when she suddenly left us. Or maybe I am in a bit of denial that she is really gone.

I do know that the only way for me to continue is to focus on the positive and there was so very much positive about Kendra and her effect on those who knew her, both human and feline.

And so that is what I will concentrate on here, the positive light and energy that were the lovely Miss Kendra.

From the beginning, Kendra was a favorite with her sweet gentle ways. Kendra loved to be petted and to nestle in your arms purring the entire time. However if you pulled away before she said it was okay, she would quickly reach out her paw and grab at you.

Kendra’s chart noted that she was in early renal failure. In addition to surviving the Great Kitty Rescue, Kendra fought many health issues – respiratory problems, ring worm and depression.

Still her sweet disposition shone through and humans and cats alike were drawn to her positive energy and fell in love with her.

Here are some of the comments from people who knew her:

Oh, this makes me so sad. I didn’t even know the little sweetie wasn’t doing well (though I began to suspect when she went to foster care). I am so glad that she had at least a little time in a home and that you got to spend some special time with her, Corinne. Carrie Fosters

Oh no. I named her after my niece. She was such a lover. This saddens me. Tell Robin thank you for taking her in and loving her. XOXO Fletch

Oh my God!! This came as such a shock, even though I knew you and Robin were worried about her when I saw you on Sunday. Thank you so much for letting me know; I will say a little prayer for her and for Robin too. I don’t know how many more of these she can take! Rest in peace little Kenji-butt, and if you see Dexter, tell him I said hello. Pollie

I am so sorry to hear about sweet Kendra. She was such a loving and gentle soul and deserved many happy years. I was happy to hear she found a home with Robin and felt love and companionship at last.

How is Robin? It must be so tough on her to first loose Snow and now Kendra – Hope she can stay positive and see all the joy and love she brought to both. She truly is a very special person. Please give her my love when you talk to her. Gilla

Awwwwww Kendra.

Shelley and I rushed her to Vegas on New Year’s Eve that year and she was always very special to me. Sweet and special.

I loved her so.

Kendra who looked at everyone as if they were her favorite person in the whole world.

She will be missed. D

Yet another one that brought tears to my eyes as Kendra was always one of my favorites…She will indeed be missed.

I also take some measure of comfort knowing that she was very much loved right up to the end… Shari

I believe that Kendra knew peace and fulfillment in her foster home with Robin and her fur babies and that she felt her life was complete.

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Princess Leia was loved

Up at Rescue Village, we never called Princess Leia by her full name. It was only after she was transferred to Niblet’s in Benton’s that we had to use her full name to distinguish her from the Princess currently residing there.

Princess Leis was always a bit of an enigma. At first she was very fearful and would frantically run whenever someone got too near. Over time she gained some confidence and she became calmer.

She spent a lot of time with her buddy Patch before he moved down to Cat HQ – I think she missed him when he transferred.

But, she was social with the other cats and formed feline friendships with the others.

She still ran whenever she felt you were too close, but she wasn’t as panic-stricken as she once was. And she became a bit of a tease. She would scamper just out of reach and then sit and look right into your eyes as if to say “I could let you pet me if I wanted to.”

I believe that she really was curious to be petted and was working up the courage to let her caregivers lavish her with pets.

Of course I wish that she had known the warm feeling of a human petting her, had experienced elevator butt and the rumble of a purr in her throat in response to those pets.

It saddens me that she did not reach those benchmarks…and yet I know Princess was loved by many both feline and human. And I truly believe that she knew that.

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