Monday, December 27, 2010

chani and chailin

Monday 27 December 2010
Turners twits

In 2008 I was writing posts about the fourteen animals who had been taken. Writing poems for them too. I did get all the poems written, but not posted. And the notebook with those poems still sits rotting, I guess, in a person's barn, and will I ever get it back. Another project never finished back then was the prose writing. Twelve of the fourteen got done, but before I could finish, I lost my ability to write about these stolen friends. I can write about any other animal, but for more than two years, writing about those fourteen has been nearly always impossible. Far too much pain involved.

And yet there are two who have never been done, who've never had much of anything said about them in my blogs, and it gnaws at me that this job, this tribute, is incomplete. Especially now at the holidays.

So today I try to say whatever small things I can manage about Chani and Chailin.

They weren't related to each other. Chailin, when she finally finished growing, turned out to be the largest female cat I've ever had. She must have weighed near twenty pounds. Not just fat, either, but a big frame as well. Like her mother and brothers, she was very shy, and a one-person cat. I was the human in her life, and she wasn't in the least interested in any others. She remained close to her mother till the day the deputy came to evict us, at which time she was twelve years old. When I went out for evening dog walks, she would very often sit in a certain windowsill and watch for us to return, and sometimes I'd stand outside with the dogs, tapping on the glass and thanking her for watching out for us. Sometmes she would answer me.

For a while in 1998 we lived with someone who did not want my cats inside, so they had to be outdoors all the time. This wasn't a terrible ordeal, as there were lots of trees and lots of land and a barn, and the street was very small with little traffic. It was just that my cats had never been denied access to me and to the inside before, and that part was hard on them emotionally.

Chailin and her two brothers all developed the habit of hiding somewhere on this property for several days at a time. They never vanished all at once, all three of them, but one at a time. One would be unseen for two or three days, reappear, and then a different sibling would go missing. When the BOYS showed up again, they would walk right up to me, say a few words, let me know they were back. But Chailin had a different approach. I'd be out on the property calling her, she would answer me. I always knew it was her: her voice was very much her own. She would answer and answer, but she would not show herself. There was a lot of woods on this property, and even though I could hear her, I was determined each time to see her with my eyes and assure myself that she was okay. So I'd have to go hunting. Following the sound of her voice as she spoke to me, until I finally located her. Sitting up straight and tall in some patch of woods, and looking up at me as if to say: Hey, ma. Where've you been for three days?"

Chani was another extremely shy cat, though she had completely separate parents. And in contrast to Chailin, Chani was very small-framed, less than standard for a cat. She was so shy that sometimes I felt as though I hardly knew her, since she was much more a cat-cat than a people-cat. About once a week she would have a great desire for me, come to me and walk all over my chest, rubbing and purring and being petted by me, but otherwise she kept her bonds to her two brothers as the primary ones in her life. On the day she was stolen she hadn't yet had her eighth birthday.

While her mother was still alive, Chani also maintained a very close relationship with mom. In fact, I'd say that her bond with her mother was the deepest one Chani ever had.

I was never one to try to change too much about my animals' behavior (unless it was dangerous), especially with cats. Since a little girl I had respected the independence of the feline nature, and had pretty much let them be who they were. Cats who were aloof were allowed to find their own spot to curl up in all by themselves. Cats who were people-mushers were allowed to crawl on me and sleep on me and lick me and so on. And cats like Chani, who were cat-cats, were allowed to form their deepest ties with other cats. It cost me something, of oourse. Now that Chani has been stolen and killed somewhere, I wish I had had affection with her more than once every week or two. At least about half of me wishes I'd sought her out and made her tolerate my attention for a few minutes every day. But the other half of me is still glad that I accepted her as she was, and that I let her be herself.

On eviction night, it was decided by a certain Turners lunatic and her smarmy, lying, sneaking priest that my animals should be kept overnight in one of the smarm's two garages, till the animal officer could come for them in the morning. It was also decided by them where I myself should be kept overnight: in a hotel in Greenfield, far from my animals. Though I asked permission to feed my animals their supper, I was not allowed. The lunatic and her equally mental son would do that.
Because they were both loons, and because they had no experience with animals, the feeding took from eight o'clock till midnight (I was told the next day), and five of my animals were allowed to escape. One dog off running loose in Turners all night and all the next day, and maybe more. Chailin and Chani and her two brothers escaped into the other garage, which was packed to the rafters with crap for a yard sale. The four cats were uncatchable in all that junk. Our eviction was in mid-March. A full two months later, I was told that the cats were still in that garage. No heat, no love (was there even a litter box?), nothing at all that was known and comforable and normal. I can still hardly withstand thinking about it.

There are people in this poisonous town who finally got those cats out and took them somewhere and had them euthanized. They will not tell me. My need to know where my loved friends were taken, and where and when and how they died, is absolutely irrelevant to these sick-minded christians. They keep their secrets locked up tight from me as effectively as any mafioso keeps his secrets. I wish them misery every single day that I breathe. No, I ain't one of them airhead forgiveness dudes. Those who do evil, to me or to someone else, are held accountable in my heart and in my mind.

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