Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Suzanne's Story

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well to me this one speaks volumns. Everyone that looks at this picture I am sure will see something. It might be the same thing I see or it might be something different. What I see is the purest form of love there is.
The love of a person for a animal and a animal for a person, in this case a cat.
Plain and simple love. No expectations, no requirements, just love in the purest form. 

The person in the photo is Suzanne and the cat is Treasure. Suzanne to me is a person that I came to know myself through the BCR Ustream channel. She was one of the moderators that made me feel welcome when I myself first discovered BCR a couple years ago. She also was one of Treasure's sponsors before he passed on to the Rainbow Bridge from FELV. 

After Treasure passed, Suzanne went to BCR again. She wanted to sponsor 
another kitty. She spent several days there getting to know the newest kitties to see
if anyone picked her out. Along came Ziggy, also a FELV+ kitty.
Suzanne sponsored him and spent time with him at BCR. 

Sadly Ziggy also crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge. He was not with us long 
but he touched our hearts as did Treasure. 

Again Suzanne made the journey to BCR recently and stayed for several days. She was
hoping once again for some special kitty to pick her and so one did. His name is Jerry. 
He has just recently joined the BCR family. 

After Suzanne came back home, I had the chance to ask her
how she discovered BCR. I also ask her what its like actually going there and 
volunteering and staying at the guest house as well as what BCR means to her.
Below is what she wrote to me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

A few years ago, a Facebook friends feed had a picture of a pretty cat who appeared to be smiling at the camera with eyes closed.  I had never seen an expression quite like that before, so I probably clicked on a link.  I was taken to a website:  Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary.  There was a tab that said “Meet the Cats”, and so I began to investigate.  That cat was Angel – the longest resident at BCR, and she was blind.

Both of my cats (an enormous Maine Coon with fangs and a very vocal Siamese mix) had died some years ago, so I became hooked by the idea that I could give me support to a place that provided a Forever Home to blind, FIV+, and FeLV+ cats – the ones that would otherwise be euthanized at animal control facilities.  I continued to follow BCR online.

In the summer of 2014, I drove from Maryland to St. Pauls, NC to volunteer.  Upon arrival with a bottle of Kahlua for Alana in my arms, I entered one of the buildings and there was Mack! – big as life – in person!  There was something unique about seeing one of the cats I had been following in real life.  He was just lying there and began to chirp with that ‘tweety birds’ sound of his when I started to pet him.  I was delighted!

I stayed at the Guest House that visit (and all subsequent visits) with Julia, the college intern from Germany.  Precious and Lisa were there too.  Going around meeting all the cats and befriending one of Alana’s cats named Brian was a treat!  Lisa took a photo of me walking back to the Guest House with Brian.  I keep that photo as my profile picture on Facebook because it shows the beauty and peaceful surroundings of BCR.  It is a memory I cherish. 

Sponsoring a cat was a challenge for me because I couldn’t pick just one!  In time, I decided to let one pick me as a sponsor.  That kitty was Treasure.  What a wonderful experience!  I live in an apartment building that does not allow pets.  Tuning in to BCR multiple times a day including playing youtube videos and live feeds for my students (I’m a high school science teacher) continued to feed the connection I felt to Treasure.  He took the place of a pet albeit virtually.  Leukemia finally took its toll and Treasure mercifully went back to his maker via the Rainbow Bridge with Alana holding him.  I still get misty when the song Radar Love plays on the radio.  It was ‘our song’ as any of the BCR chatters know.

Next I sponsored Ziggy.  One night during chat /boxes, a new kitty was being named.  Ziggy was the name chosen.  Another moderator and I joked about David Bowie and Ziggy Stardust.  Next day I saw the headlines that David Bowie had just passed.  In a too-short time, leukemia claimed Ziggy too.  I miss his antics and slightly-crossed eyes.
Again, I decided to let a kitty choose me as sponsor on this most recent visit.  It was close as a few really vied for my attention including Rusty and Tom.  But Jerry won out – with that unique way of meowing at me and moving his head to watch me in the lobby.  Chris said that he can be silent until I come in the door and he starts with that crazy meow of his!  It sounds like a feline ‘yoo-hoo?'!  

I’ve made several trips to BCR to volunteer and to be refreshed.  When the school year is over, I can hardly wait to get to BCR and do some physical work to get the stress build-up out of my body and let the healing purrs soothe my soul.  The location is so beautiful and peaceful too.  Yes, life does slow down and I feel as though I become a whole person again – caring for nature and basking in the unconditional love of cats.

Thank you so much Suzanne for taking the time to send this to me, for everything
you do for BCR and for sponsoring Jerry.
(Gena Anderberg)

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