Wednesday, December 31, 2014

As 2014 Comes to Closing Time...


In roughly 5 hours, the year will come to a close here on the west coast. It hasn't been an easy year, but but it has been a year of significance.

In January I lost my beloved 12 year old cat, one half of the Panther Brothers, Hektar. He passed away in the cold night after escaping my attempts to keep him in the house so I could assess the need to take him to the vet. His brother, Inari, became more clingy and remained that way through the year, other than some strange adventures to a neighbor's house later in the Fall.
In March I shaved my head and then 3 of our cats were shot near our house. Sparkle and Kuro were both shot in the head and ended up losing their right eyes. Twitch was shot in the thigh. But our community and beyond came through for us and thousands of dollars were raised towards their vet care and our ability to care for them through the tragic ordeal.
In May I began a journey of trying to help a friend through mental illness that tried my patience, my health, and the resiliency of my family.
In June we took in two feral kittens, now named Amelie and Trouble, who were brought to us by a neighbor. We've grown rather attached to them and they've found their way into the hearts of almost all of the critters living here.
In July I joined forces with Lucid Dream Lounge Productions to help with the opening of the historic Palace Theater not far from our house. I also learned the hard way that I have epilepsy. A few things ended up pulling me away from the amazing work of the theater however...
In August my youngest child started 7th grade in a public charter school after nearly his whole life being spent homeschooled. He was very excited when it began but later we would learn that the semester would end with hard feelings from bullying, distance from his homeschooled buddies (his best friend also moved out of the state), and other learning interruptions of public schooling.
In October my divorce finally came to a close after over 4 years of struggling towards that end. But, we also said goodbye to my sweetie's beloved canine companion, Miss princess Biscuit. Many tears were shed and everyone here still misses her terribly.
In November I took part in the Pantheon Foundation's first online conference, which was devoted to Pagan Activism. I spoke on the Care and Feeding of Pagan Activists panel as a disability rights activist. It was a frightening and amazing experience all at once, but we made it through the tech issues and the conference was very successful. I am looking forward to participating again next year.
The end of November and all of December exploded into demonstrations, marches, riots, vigils in Oakland and Berkeley as well as across the nation and even around the world. Solidarity across the globe became visibly through the internet and I hit the street to reclaim my place in the world of social justice action. I learned to be the kind of ally I would want to have, following the lead of the east bay black community.
December ended with my 38th birthday, auditioning for and being cast in the Vagina Monologues for V-Day 2015, and some major shifts in my children's lives and futures.
The year also held the further decline of my physical health and many various medical tests.

So that's my year in a (kinda lengthy) nutshell.

Every year one of my friends from way back in my Fresno days (pre-motherhood) does something called One Hour. "Take at least one hour for yourself - your own agenda, your own desires, your plans and hopes, map the progress in your life you hope to make in 2015. Ask yourself the hard questions. Face your fears. Look ahead to being that person you most want to be - it's a new year."

This is my One Hour here with this blog post. (It has already taken me over an hour to get this far).

So what does 2015 hold for me? So much richness, love and intensity, no doubt. What better way to begin a new year of intention than to witness the vigil tomorrow for Oscar Grant at Fruitvale BART where he was shot, unarmed, on New Year's Eve 6 years ago. I stand committed to the end of police brutality and the police state. I will stand up for black lives, brown lives, red lives, disabled lives, queer lives, trans lives, all the lives of people who face oppression, if I am able to. I'm not afraid to shout in the street that black lives matter. I'm not afraid to stand up for the rights of sex workers, who now face the possibility of eviction in Oakland for merely the suspicion of being a sex worker. I will grow as a person, furthering my spiritual/magickal practice. I will grow as a mother, now of two teenagers.

In 2015 I will also marry my amazing sweetheart, Esa, who continues to teach me how to take care of myself, holds me to my own high standards as a parent, manifests with me our mutual dreams for the future, keeps me laughing, and helps me fill our lives with many critters to love & care for. Some days are just epic naps or endless restraining ourselves from hanging the kids by their toes, but I will take them all.

It's now been over two hours since I began writing this and only 3 hours remain of the year. The house is a flurry of laughter, music, play, barking, cats chasing each other, dinner being almost done (and Mom sitting here typing away saying "leave me alone, I'm writing!"). I haven't said everything I have in mind for 2015, my secret plans and dreams in process of manifestation, but I don't need to. I have spoken those words to myself, vowing to honor them to the one person I will always hold myself accountable to. In 2015 I will continue to become more truer to my Self, the me I want to be. Hopefully my whole family will find that trueness for themselves as well. Whatever happens, this man & these teenagers & all our critters will continue to hold the deepest and warmest spaces of my heart.

Come forth 2015. Come forth with love, justice, revolution and reverence.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Accessibilty for Pagan Activists, Part 1


Over the weekend of November 21st-23rd, the Pantheon Foundation held an online conference in which they asked me to discuss issues of disability and accessibility on the Care & Feeding of Pagan Activists panel. Presenting on the panel with me were John Beckett, Soli Zat Johnson, and Rion Roberts.

Though we'd done a practice run with the conference software, I found that the more people who were logged in, the slower my connection was. So the chat window was severely lagging, sometimes even stopping, and the video had a slowly increasing lag as well. What really threw me off, though, was the audio. I figured out that I could use my phone to call in since my laptop's mic wasn't working, but the lag in the software meant I couldn't unmute myself when it was time to speak. But restarting my computer finally fixed the problem...

Watching the video of the presentation later, I realized that all my public speaking training in college had flown out the window and I "um"ed a lot. I also did some unintentional name dropping. I think I got very thrown off by the technical difficulties and using my notes and outline just didn't happen. I was nervous. I learned what I need to work on, though, by watching it and I think I will be better prepared next time. Hopefully my computer will be too.



It became clear during the panel that we could easily do a 90 minute panel JUST about accessibility in Pagan/activist spaces. That makes me happy. It means that people really are interested in making ritual and political action spaces more accessible, which means people like me, as well as people with more restrictive limitations, will be more able to participate. It also showed me how much more society needs to be inclusive, not just accessible.

In Part 2 I will go over some basic ways that public groups can be inclusive and accessible...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Crowdfunding For Love

We are having a wedding/honeymoon fundraiser in lieu of a gift registry for our commitment celebration that is happening in March 2015. 


If every one of our friends on all social media platforms were to donate $5, we'd get somewhere in the range of our goal. Can you donate just a little?


Much Gratitude & Love,

Rhiannon & Esa


http://gogetfunding.com/project/esa-rhiannon-s-wedding

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Rented Urban Homestead


As the season of rain yet again creeps up on us, I am reminded that our roof still leaks into our attic, into my son's attic bedroom, and into the garage where the rabbits live right now. I am also reminded that I never finished rainproofing the chicken coop. Apparently our landlady is on the same thought wave, as she now wants to fix the roof. All I can think in response to that is how much RIGHT NOW does not work with where we're at with other projects. But it would be pretty awesome to not have an even leakier roof this winter.

She has other projects in mind for the house that also complicate and conflict with where other projects of ours stand currently. But, we are very lucky to have an easygoing landlady when it comes to certain aspects of urban homesteading like the animals and vegetable gardens. When I think about ways to incorporate greywater systems, I am confident that I could even have that conversation with her, which I couldn't have done in other places I've lived.

As a renter, each new aspect of urban homesteading has to be weighed against possible homeowner objection, lack of permanence, etc. For example, I wanted a chicken coop that could be removed from the backyard without destroying the coop or the gate/fence. That didn't work out, but it's still a goal of mine since we aren't going to live here more than another year or two. The rabbits are another aspect that I'm still nervous about. How do we make a raccoon proof enclosure for their cages that is nice for them AND easy to move? How do I keep the chickens enclosed but also give them enough space without building a permanent fence? Do I put back in a raised bed when I might not be here through another growing season?

What improvements are worth making that you can't take with you? For me, I see my intended drip irrigation project for the side yard being less of a headache for us, as well as any future tenants, which will keep the plants alive and happy and the neighborhood more beautiful.

This is the blogpost where I want to hear from others, so spread it around and repost it till we get a conversation going...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Apples For Idunna

Every 3rd Sunday of September, Solar Cross holds an apple harvest and Idunna blot as an all day version of their usual 3rd Sunday morning devotional. This usually involves a community effort to harvest apples, press them for cider, and make apple butter. We also barbecue and have a potluck feast. 


I'm usually the "apple butter queen." This happens to be my anniversary of canning. I'd wanted to can for a long time and had the tools to do it already, but hadn't yet dove in till Thorn brought apples up to Stone City and I decided that would be my perfect start. That year I called it Thorn Apple Butter, after the bringer of the apples. Every year since, I've made the same apple butter but have called it Idunna Apple Butter for the goddess we honor as I'm making it. 


(If you are reading this and are unfamiliar with the goddess Idunna or what a Heathen blot is, I'd like to tell you what I tell my kids: "The internet is your friend if you use it right. Google it.")


This year was Terran's first time being there for the harvest and blot. He did a great job of helping harvest from up in the apple tree. So great, in fact, that a demand had to be made that he cease apple picking before we all drown in apple pulp and cider...


Here's this years recipe before I forget: 

A full pot of apple pulp, post pressing
7 cups sugar
Some water

Cook that down till it starts looking like apple sauce. Add spices:

3 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves

Keep cooking till it doesn't slide off the spoon. (How's that for scientific? I'm not sure how to explain it better.) 


If you were there and we're able to take home some apple butter, please offer up some feedback. I always like to hear how a batch turned out. If you were there and didn't get to take any home, come over sometime for coffee and toast (gluten free options always available at my house) and I'll get a jar out to share with you.


By the way, steam burns are awful. Always open your steam bath canner away from your body. I'll be nursing this burn for a while...


For more about Solar Cross Temple, go here: http://www.solarcrosstemple.org

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Coq a Vin & The Broody Hen


On Thursday we culled our two Speckled Sussex roosters. Esa and two of our friends did the deed while I waited inside ready to scald and pluck. One friend was able to share some useful tips with Esa, who'd only helped me with the one rooster previous to this, while the other friend was learning the whole process fresh. We got a late start but things went well.
I improved my scalding and plucking techniques this time, scalding hotter and getting the hot water into all the feathers by dunking the bird repeatedly, then only quickly dipping into the ice bath before plucking. I did half of one bird, taught our two friends how to pluck and then finally ate my dinner and went to bed. I giggled in bed, listening to my friends talk while getting sleepier and sleepier over their plucking work.



So, now that her two boyfriends are gone, we've found our Speckled Sussex hen, Ora (short for The Oracle), sitting on a clutch of eggs. Well, Esa found her actually. Last night after putting the hens away for the night, he brought in a bucket of 25 eggs!! I got my flashlight and did some rough candling. 5 looked like newer eggs or just yolks, 13 looked like truly half-baked chicks, and the rest I wasn't sure about. We put the 5 newer ones in the fridge and fretted over what to do with the rest. I looked up ideas on Backyard Chickens, but it was 1am and I had limited options. We put the 20 eggs in my wool hat and went out to put them back under the mama hen. Since she had them hidden in the yard and we don't want the rats to take them, we moved her & the eggs into a separate box in the coop to basically force her to sit on them again and keep the other three hens from bugging her.
This morning when I went out to let the hens out and feed them, Ora had rearranged the eggs, half of them across the box from the others. She was fussing with them even as I opened the lid to give her food. I decided to prop the box open to let her out for a bit.
I am a little worried she won't sit on all the eggs now that things have been moved. So, since the stores are open now that it's day time, I am going to grab a few supplies and make a nesting hen simulator type of incubator. (Thank you Backyard Chickens).


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Vet Check Up Day


Today we took Kuro and Sparkle back to the vet to check on Sparkle's eye and to get Kuro's pain meds patch removed. Just before we got the cats in their boxes, Kuro got the cone off of herself. She used the time in the car to thoroughly bathe.

Inside the vet office, we took each cat out to be weighed (they've both lost weight, understandably). Afterwards, Sparkle was still on the table when she noticed the painting of a cat hanging on the wall. She hid behind her carrier, wide eyed, before slowly peeking up over the top. Then she slowly crept around the side of the carrier, watching that cat on the wall very closely. Well, as closely as she could, considering she probably can only see clearly out of one eye. Her right eye has been full of blood intermittently, and today she actually had it open fully so we could see how bad the rest of it still looked. The doctor gave us more pain meds for her as well as a round of antibiotic eye ointment.

Kuro, in the short time she'd had her cone off, managed to pull a couple stitches open, but not too bad. The clinic staff got the cone back on her. We got more pain meds for her as well. She has 9 days left till stitches are removed.

Our vet bill has now passed $1500 total.

Today I finally got the chance to talk to the Oakland PD sergeant who handles animal violence investigations, so progress is being made on that front now too. Right now I have paperwork to file an official report, as I guess the vet clinic didn't do that part.




Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Operation: Inside Cat Enticements

Now that things are slowing down and we have a better idea of all of this will play out for our kitties, it's time to focus on keeping them inside and happy. Sparkle and Twitch have been inside cats since they came to live with us last summer, but Inari and Kuro are used to having lots of outside time and are both rather cranky with the new arrangement.

Our long term plan is to build an outside cat enclosure, or catuary, that they can access through a window. But, until then, we needed something. So we found some really great windowsill cat perches. First we just bought one and put it up today. Inari and Kuro both tested it out and completely approved. So, then, we went back and got two more. They attach to the windowsill with a velcro strip that you stick onto the sill. They also have removable washable covers. (Bonus points!) They were also cheaper than the carpet covered window perches that require putting holes in the walls. Then we bought them more treats, catnip, and those cardboard scratchers. Twitch loves the scratchers!

I know it's going to be hard for Inari and Kuro to adjust, but I think they'll be happy with the catuary.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pictures - One Week Later

Twitch perched on the kitchen window sill, enjoying the fresh air.

Sparkle is recovering quite well.

Kuro says "no pictures, please."

Here's Inari, who feels left out of all the excitement.



Saturday, March 22, 2014

On The Mend


I took a small break from updating here because I got a little overwhelmed when the week caught up with me and all I could do Friday was cry and cry and cry even more.

Kuro had urgent eye surgery on Friday because the swelling had gotten worse and there was a high risk of infection. She's now home and resting in her box (the cat carrier). She mostly sleeps, but is also eating and drinking water. She purrs when she's touched and really just wants peace and quiet. She will be our one-eyed cat. Perhaps we will call her Captain Kuro...

Sparkle is still doing a lot of sleeping but she is looking so much better. When she looks at me now, I see two clear eyes peering out, though she seems to still be working on focusing. She walks around the house, insists on eating in the bathroom and talks and enjoys the love we give her. We still have her on pain meds & anti-inflammatories but I suspect she won't need them much longer. I am wondering if this incident might have mellowed out her high and mighty diva personality just a bit.

Twitch is beginning to be up to her old tricks. She knocks things off the kitchen counter and tries to jump into the cat food bin. She cuddles up with me and has her incredibly adorable whisper-meow back! We almost have our crazy, chip-fiending, lunatic kitten again! She hasn't wanted to play with Nutmeg, her bunny friend, and he seems a bit put off by her absence, but I suspect she'll be ready to play again soon. She's off the pain meds and definitely out of the shock state where she spent most of the week.

On Friday when we picked up Kuro, the nurse told us she had sent a picture of the bullet taken out of Sparkle's face to a friend of hers in forensics (and animal services maybe?). Her friend said it was from a .22 rifle with a scope, shot from long range. I've done a little research online and had confirmation from a friend that this seems to be true. Our house happens to sit on a hill that goes down towards Peralta Creek. On the other side of the creek is a shady neighborhood that gives me the creeps. The way that everything sits, parts of our house and backyard (and our neighbors' houses and yards) are in view of the apartments across the creek. The rest is blocked by trees. I am wondering if the shots came from over there. That brings the creepy neighborhood a bit closer.

It's getting too close. We need to move.

The nurse also congratulated me on my blog. The clinic is proud of us for finding a way to pay for our cat's care. This wouldn't have been so successful without all of you. My gratitude is abundant.

Friday night we finally headed out to get some dinner away from the house and do our laundry. We had our first nice dinner date out in months, which unfortunately ended with getting in a fight with a gas station attendant who seemingly enjoys picking on disabled people. The laundry didn't get done. But bit by bit everything is getting better. I can't wait to get entirely past this horrid episode, take with me the lessons, and have more years with our sweet feline companions. I shudder to think what we would have had to do without your help.

I will update with pictures soon. Maybe not of Kuro yet, even though she is looking better.

Blessings & love to all of you...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Bit About Love


Some horrible disturbed person or people hurt my family's beloved kitties. The rage you and I both feel over this comes from a place of love. That love is why you are helping us pay for the kitties' care and recovery. The love we feel for our kitties will guide them through the healing process. They all came home knowing they were safe here in our love. Whoever is responsible for their pain and injuries isn't getting this kind of love and community support that we have.


Imagine what could transform if we all turned our rage to love and sent that energy to their attacker(s).


I've always done my best to lead a life guided by love and compassion. Not as a weakness, but as a strength. As others offered violence as resolution, I struggled inside to come to terms with everything. Yes, my fur-babies are hurting. Yes, whoever did this needs serious help. But the most effective help won't be an eye for an eye. It will be the flower placed in the barrel of the gun. It will be love.

Thursday Morning Update


Blog Post Recap:
Our Sad Kitty Story
Sparkle & Twitch
Kuro
Wednesday Morning
Waiting For Sparkle
X-Rays


We picked up Sparkle (mama cat) from the vet last night and I didn't get a chance to post a full update on how that went.

They gave her fluids since she hasn't been drinking water. The bloodwork all looked good and the only abnormalities were in line with her being dehydrated. The nurses said she was "feisty" and fought with them, but would relax when she got pets. (We warned them that she prefers to be called "fabulous" and "beautiful" - not "pretty" - and loves to be admired.)

They sedated her for the x-ray. The x-ray showed a metal pellet just under the skin in her right cheek, so they made a small incision to remove it. The doctor showed it to us and said they'd hold onto it for the report to OPD's animal services. The dr explained that the pellet went in the top of her head, through the bone, around her eyeball and landed in the cheek. There's blood actually inside her eyeball, so we have to wait and see how that heals to know if she'll need it removed or not and if she'll be able to see ok or not. They've got her on antibiotics, pain meds, and anti-inflammatory meds.

We'll find out Wednesday next week what the long term prognosis is for Sparkle, but we're definitely out of the waters of whether or not she's going to live through this (huge sigh of relief). It also doesn't appear that she's significantly brain damaged, but she obviously can't see well and is still confused and not eating.

As we said goodbye to the vet, she said to Sparkle "Congratulations, you just survived a gunshot to the head."

On our way out we made the appointment for Kuro's eye surgery for next Tuesday. The estimate for the surgery is $650-800. Until then we need to watch Kuro for any signs of infection.

I just did the round of pain meds for the morning. Sparkle can tell when I'm approaching but doesn't seem to have a clear view of what is coming at her. She sniffs at food and relaxes when I pet her, but still no eating. I'm going to try some syringe feeding with her today. Kuro is staying solidly put in her carrier but received pets and meds graciously. Twitch has been wandering around the house like she's just checking where everything is, but prefers her spot on my suitcase under our bed. She fought as Esa & I teamed up to give her pain meds and the fresh scratches she put on my arm still sting.

The donations made directly to Esa & I or directly to the vet clinic have totaled $2300. Kuro's previous daddies have raised an additional $485 on their gofundme page. Some of you have told us to go ahead and use the money as we see fit, so here's our plan: All vet costs will be paid, easy to eat/ premade foods on busy days, gas to and from the clinic, a couple trips to the laundromat since our dryer broke right before all this happened and kitties need clean towels, and whatever the kitties will need for long term comfort and care as a result of this incident. We plan to donate the excess funds back to the SPCA or put them towards any other neighborhood cats that are targeted by whoever did this. (If anyone else's cats are victimized, we will add them to our fundraiser and updates.)

Much love and gratitude to all of you.

(Sparkle enjoying a bellyrub from Esa this morning.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

X-Rays

Here's Twitch's x-ray. While the wound is on her right thigh, the pellet is on the other side of her left knee. Weird, isn't it? The dr was baffled.

Here's Sparkle's x-rays. She was shot from the top of her head towards her right cheek. The pellet went around her eyeball but her eyeball is full of blood. This also explains the blood in her nose and mouth.

Here's Kuro's x-rays. You can see the metal pellet in her head. It's directly behind her eye. The vet thinks it's possibly lodged in bone. They'll know more after Kur
o's surgery.



The Waiting Can Be So Painful...


I'm sitting here at home waiting for the call about Sparkle. She's been at the vet clinic since we left her there at 8am this morning...

So far we have received $2,135.54 for vet costs, food and gas. Kuro's former daddies, Mark & Marcin, have made a gofundme.com page as well that has raised $30 so far. My initial blog post about this has 354 views and I've received donations from several people I have never met, including employees of Pixar Studios in Emeryville after our story was posted to an internal email list.

We feel blessed.

We are able to eat and stay functional, with no worries about gas money to get to and from the vet clinic.

We are asking the vet to do whatever is needed to give our kitties the best of care. Yet, still, the fate of the fabulous diva kitty, Sparkle, is still a question lingering heavily in the air...

Wednesday Morning Update


This morning we got up early and, after all 3 cats got another dose of pain meds, rounded up Sparkle for her 2nd vet visit. Sparkle is the one the vet is most worried about. She is showing signs of possible brain damage, as she was shot in the head possibly more than once. But she was looking around and checking things out when we were waiting there this morning, definitely seeming more aware of her surroundings. Today she gets x-rays, fluids, and blood work. So, we'll know more after all that. Now it's time to go on with our normal day's routine, take care of Kuro and Twitch, and not fret too much over Sparkle until the vet calls.

We've gotten more donations since I posted last night. You all have given our kitties a total of $1,095.54. Plus the $200 we've put in, that meets the starting vet bill estimate. We're expecting the estimate to go up today after Sparkle's thorough check, so I will update about that when I hear more. It means so much to us to feel like we can help her rather than just have her put to sleep.

Really, truly, you all are amazing. The money, the love, it all helps.

Something that we realized last night is that we're giving all of our energy to the cats right now. We haven't been sleeping well since Sunday, and we have been having a hard time cooking, eating and cleaning. With both of our disabilities, we already have a hard time keeping up with things. The dogs aren't getting the attention they need and Terran is kind of bored (though incredibly helpful!). We splurged last night on take out, not something we can usually afford to do. We may be doing this for a while as Esa and I both deal daily with the extreme fatigue of fibromyalgia. We sincerely hope you all don't mind if we use some of the funds for easy food as well as gas to get to the vet clinic. (I'm talking taco truck cheap easy food, not fancy restaurants.) But we're also open to help with meals, gift certificates to local restaurants, or offers to help us clean the house and take care of the dogs. I do have someone I've hired to clean a few hours a week, though, too. (So looking forward to her being here this week!)

Meanwhile, Maia is away taking care of a best friend whose family just had to put their dog down due to advanced cancer. They were, strangely, at the vet clinic at the same time as us yesterday. So much animal companion pain going on right now.


Good morning Sparkle. Time to go back to the vet...


Twitch has found a comfy place to rest under our bed.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kuro


Kuro is Esa's cat who supposedly doesn't like females. Thankfully I have enough masculine energy to get sweet Kuro cuddles.

Meet Kuro:




Kuro likes to lick Esa's face obsessively...










Unfortunately, Kuro's injuries are far too graphic for me to post a current pic of her.

Sparkle & Twitch


Mama & baby came to me from a lady in San Jose who had found them but couldn't keep them...





Twitch has become such a sweetheart and loves to stretch out on the bed with me...



Twitch even loves our bunny boy Nutmeg...




Twitch on her way to the vet today...


Sparkle, ready to head home from our first vet visit. She can give a death stare with only one good eye...


Sparkle at home again. All she does now is sit and stare blankly...

Our Sad Kitty Story


On Sunday we were leaving the house, running late, and Sparkle and Twitch got out and we couldn't catch them to put them back inside. We'd also noticed the Kuro, Esa's fluffy black cat, had been missing for a few days. She used to disappear occasionally when she lived in West Oakland before Esa moved her to my house, so it wasn't terribly weird, but it was still concerning.

Sparkle and Twitch are the fluffy black & white mama and baby cats who were found in a field, sick and malnourished, and brought to me last summer. I intended to get them fixed, vaxed and rehomed, but time went on and none of that had happened yet. I still had the vax and spay planned and was working on getting them appointments. They have been much healthier and Twitch has really stolen everyone's heart, including our bunny Nutmeg who loves to hang out and play with Twitch. Sparkle, the mama cat, seemed put off by sharing a home with other cats and I was hoping to find her a good home where she could be a well-loved solitary indoor cat. I was keeping them inside but they'd found several escape routes out of the house.

So, Esa and Terran got home Sunday afternoon and Sparkle showed up at the front door crying to be let in, blood in her mouth, nose, right eye and on her head. Esa thought maybe she'd been hit by a car and sent me a text. They got her set up and comfy in Terran's room before coming to pick me up. We returned home around 4pm and then Esa found Kuro in the back yard, her right eye swollen and looking horrible with crusted blood and such. She was dirty and covered with feces. (Kuro is normally a tidy cat who hates dirty litter boxes.) This is when we started to suspect foul play...

I called Oakland Animal Services. They said I needed proof that someone had intentionally hurt the cats. I called around looking for financial assistance for the vet and got found the SPCA Humane Advocate program.

Twitch was still missed. My heart sunk. By Monday night the pain of not knowing where Twitch was got to be too much and I had a crying breakdown. Shortly after that, Maia spotted Twitch out in the yard and ran out and pulled her from underneath a bush. At first we couldn't see any damage, but she was obviously in a state of shock. After a while we realized that there was a puncture wound on her right thigh. She was acting as if she had a concussion and having trouble getting to the litter box.

Today we finally got through to the SPCA and told them our story. They said they could only help with a portion of the bill, but they would do what they could with whatever money we showed up with this afternoon. We posted on Facebook, and talked to everyone we could, including the neighbors. (I've already posted to the neighborhood website that there is someone targeting cats in the neighborhood and some of the neighbors had come by to talk to me on Monday.)

As of right now, 9pm on Tuesday, our family, friends, and even friends-of-friends have donated $787.55. We have $200 of our own that we can put towards the bill. The SPCA is able to give us a couple hundred and they are shaving costs for us wherever possible.

We went to the SPCA vet clinic this afternoon. Kuro and Twitch got x-rays. Everyone got antibiotics and pain meds. Tomorrow we take Sparkle back for blood tests and x-rays. The total estimate for everything in the plan, including the surgery to remove Kuro's eye, is approximately $1200. So the prognosis so far is, yes, this is foul play. The x-rays so far show metal pellets. Twitch has a pellet lodged in her left leg. Since the wound is on her right thigh, the pellet must have passed through her bladder, which explains her peeing and sitting issues. Kuro has a metal pellet behind her eyeball, possibly lodged in her skull. They will try to remove it when her eye is removed. Other than the loss of an eye, these two are expected to pull through ok. Sparkle, however, has a few head wounds and very possibly major brain damage. The vet isn't sure she will make it.

Someone was trying to maim and kill our babies.

How do you even start to comprehend that?? I feel so sick...

We're home now and the kitties are home too. Everyone has had their pain meds and is resting (including Esa and I). I'm going to eat some dinner now, finally, and then I will post some pictures of the kitties. I'll keep posting updates both here and on Facebook. Feel free to share all of these blog posts.


Btw, I love you all. Thank you for showing so much love to our fur-babies.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pagan Kids Pictorial


I found some old pictures of the kids at ritual gatherings and Pantheacon, so I thought I'd share a few. Coincidentally, the kids and I are getting ready for another year of Pantheacon this coming President's Day weekend...