In April of 2002, PetsMart announced that they were closing the AcmePet message boards.
The following messages were posted by some of the regulars at Acme's Cats Window, to try and express their feelings about the loss of a wonderful community. PetsMart relented and kept the boards open temporarily, but in January 2003, the message board that brought so many together, united in their love for cats, disappeared into cyberspace forever.
But the Acme Magic lives on....
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by Cody and China's Mommy on April 17, 2002 at 09:46:10:
Cody, China and I would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the past few years. I know that I could never have gotten through all of Cody's problems without you. You have helped us through many hard times, times of heartbreak and times of triumph. I believe Cody is still with us because of the outpouring of love from his "Acme family". You have helped my little "miracle kitty" to create miracles( "Cody's Little Girl"). You have cheered him on and shared in his daily life(internet birthday parties, pet chat, etc.). Alot of you have met him personally and have come to love his joy of life. You have gotten me through China's health problems and more recently her surgery. I have shared laughter and tears with most of you. My gratitude is beyond words, but you know how I feel. Please keep in touch with us, my email address is DolphiD5@aol.com. If you know which board you are going to, please email me and let me know. Again, thank you for the love and support you have given to Cody and China. China sends you many hugs. Cody, as always, sends his "Cody Magic" to all. Love, Cody and China's Mommy
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by sabrina on April 17, 2002 at 11:46:14:
back in late 97...might have been 98....I had rushed my darling Rascal to emergency vets with a blocked urethra. After very short time, we found his problems were so much more serious, so I went looking for information...anything. A web search brought me here, where I posted his troubles for the first time. I remember it well. Lisaviolet was the first person to reply, and through his ordeal, she kept me going, and led me to more information than I hoped to be able to find. When Rascal died, everyone here sent lovely email, posted the kindest things...it helped me so much to have my broken heart carefully picked up by the people here. You all held those pieces for me til I could put them back together. I will forever be grateful for that.
A year after that, Heather, my short haired persian lost her brief fight with liver disease. Again I was shattered, and again you all were there.
And this past fall, we lost little Squee to liver cancer. Though she was a fairly recent addition, and we were well aware she didn't have a lot of time, it was still sad, and painful. A simple quiet late night post was met with such compassion and caring....again I was bouyed by the spirit of this place.
This past January 4th, I found myself here at 6 am posting that my mother had died unexpectedly. Email poured in, my phone rang shortly afterwards...and you guys got me through those first shocking hours in ways you can't possibly understand.
This board is closing, for whatever stupid reason, but there is a spirit here that will never leave me. I will never forget the kindness here, and the love shown for one another. The selfless acts, the support, the caring and concern.
I can never forget this place. KTW posted a picture of a scrappy looking, bloodied tabby, with the story that he'd been squashed quite rudely, by an 18 wheeler. I sent a little something to help with his care, because his haunting green eyes, and little pink nose reminded me so much of Rascal, the reason I came here. Not long after that, this woman I'd met here and spoken to via phone a mere few times was on her way here with that same kitty in a carrier. Sampson is a joy, and a wonderful reminder of what I, personally, have found here, and what I will take with me.
Acmepet, Petsmart, whoever, can take these boards away, but we're a part of this place, and we'll echo long after they pull the plug. We made a real community here, they only provided a forum. Were the people here not who they are, this place would not have been...
I'm deeply sad about the state of things, and I will miss this place. I will miss Bendy and co, and Lucia, Razpy and the girls, the foofy club, the DaFurr faction...mornings over coffee I read your words and smiled....nights I couldn't sleep, I'd peek in...
We're losing something really special...but I wont forget that for a while, there was a miracle each and every day waiting to be shared, and that we were a part of it.
just my 2 cents....
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by panther on April 17, 2002 at 16:07:17:
I am truly sorry it has come to be this way. Whether it was my fault or not let me just say this------ "I will remember you----will you remember me---- as we go on, we remember, all the times we, had together, and as our lives change, come whatever, we will still be, FRIENDS FOREVER!!! We had joy we had fun, we had seasons in the sun but the hills that we have climbed have all been seasons out of time! You'll find better love, strong as it ever was, deep as the river runs, strong as the setting sun, but PLEASE REMEMBER ME!!!!"
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]
Posted by late night lurker on April 17, 2002 at 23:56:01:
Reading through all the posts reminds me of when I was a counselor at summer camp. By the end of the summer, everyone had been bonded by experiences and growth. Oh sure, there had been the ones who just couldn't seem to get along and fight and spat at each other, but underneath it all, there was a sense that in coming together. Something happened there. Even the dismal task of pulling KP duty, as long as you had a friend nearby made it easier to bear.
If someone got sick, the entire cabin was concerned and fretted and prayed, and brought comfort to the girl who was suffering, whether it was just from poison ivy or homesickness. On the way home in the bus there were tears from all the campers because they really didn't want to leave and us counselors were always amazed, because for many, their tears had been evident when they had been dropped off to GO to camp. They didn't want to leave their parents.
This place, like summer camp had to eventually end and though the plug is being pulled abruptly without much warning, we are not stockholders that needed to be informed. We are simply campers that were using this space to learn about each other, to grow together, to fight, to argue, to debate, to forgive, to share.
I have been on this board a very long time. I used to post here almost everyday, but I moved on because of the way the board was changing at the time. But, I would always come back to catch up on old friends, and watch their kitties grow-up before my eyes, to attend the board funerals, to light the candles, to send them on their way. I was part of the Hearts Aboard Express, I learned to love Thebes in her gruff and unassuming way. I learned to respect lisaviolet for her passion, to marvel at Luna's rescues, to celebrate with so many- to many to list here.
As we all go our ways, wherever we end up. May we all please just remember the good that was here and shake off any bad. Instead of complaining about losing this place, try to make wherever it is you land, make it count, and educate those who come for the first time, even if they ask the questions you have heard over and over again until you want to scream. Educate with kindness, instruct with wisdom and pass on all that you have learned. Pay it all forward and I will miss each and everyone of you.
God Bless, good speed and may we all meet again in the far distant future over the Bridge with kitties we have loved playing under our feet. I will remember all of you for a long time........
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by Linda on April 18, 2002 at 10:38:37: office tomorrow and might not be able to get from home....
It was an accident. I stumbled into this wonderful board full of....cat people! This couldn't be, I thought. Others who felt as deeply and passionately as I did? Who didn't mind if I talked cats, cats, cats. How exciting. I lurked for a while, learned a whole new language and then began to speak up and give opinions. I took sides, perhaps occasionally not too wisely, but I was allowed to say what I had to say, feel what I needed to feel. And the wonder of it all was…I still had friends.
I tried to help others with what I knew and had learned through my own clowder. I cried when someone lost a dear one. You cried when I lost mine. We lit candles together and joined in a unifying, soul centered prayer to help a friend. A friend whose face I've never seen, who's voice I haven't heard….but a friend nonetheless. We have walked some paths together that have been sad. We have enlightened one another, cried with one another, laughed so hard our sides hurt with one another.
I'm sure we'll all meet at another board, but "Acme magic" was something so very special and loving. For that moment, we all put aside our own cares and problems to help each other. I have learned so many things here that have altered some facets of my life and for which I will always be grateful. You have encouraged me to follow my dream; to write of the creature I love best. To express thoughts I couldn't put in writing anywhere else; and you were kind and generous in your praise. Thank you.
I'm sorry we're losing this place to meet and talk and laugh and cry. I hope to see you all very soon at another board.
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by Mcat on April 18, 2002 at 16:27:29:
Proud Divot and Sweet Baffy came to me
by way of Acme Magic and that board.
My Patches sent her spirit soaring free
to find a place where cats would be adored.
And as I shared my Cat-Tails with new friends
and the cat-centered sonnets that I write,
I knew good people's caring never ends,
no matter where they gather nor what site.
I built my life around that sharing place:
when Baffy left, the love came pouring out
and just filled up the Baffy cat-shaped space
and that's what Acme Magic was about.
That Acme Magic cannot ever die;
it dwells within each one of us don't cry.
Posted by Tally on April 19, 2002 at 05:01:47
1997: Flight 908 http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Geyser/3791/flight908.html
1998: Linda's Journey http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pointe/9352/linda.html
1998: ShirleyBo's Christmas Sing-A-Longs http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pointe/9352/christmas-shirleybo.html
1998: Pat's Christmas Kitty Karols http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pointe/9352/christmas-shirleybo.html
1998: I'm Dreaming of A White Kitty by Marjorie http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pointe/9352/christmas-marjorie.html
1999: The HeartsABoard Express http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Geyser/3791/hab1.html
2000: Remembering Baffy: Baffy's Tails by MCat http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pointe/9352/baffy.html
2000: Blue's Story: Healthy, Happy and FIV Positive by Peggy http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pointe/9352/blue.html
Posted by Tally on April 12, 1998 at 20:34:49:
I have learned about illnesses I didn't even dream of - FIP, myocardiopathy, liver disorders, shunts, blindness, deafness,
spraying, allergies, asthma, neuropathy, cancer, IBD, FIV, and FeLV.
I have learned that I am a better care giver because I know more than I did before, and because you have shared your experiences with me.
I have learned that there is always hope.
I have learned to raise the food dishes 4 " off the floor the next time Donovan throws his food up.
I have learned about Vaccination Site Sarcoma.
I have learned how to introduce new cats without severe pain. And boy, did I need help!
I have learned that you don't have to meet a friend face to face to know that she is one.
I have learned what courage is from those of you who have shared your darkest places and most awful demons.
I have learned not to say the first stupid thing that comes into my head.
I have learned that geography places no constraints on compassion and love.
I have learned that you can fly without a plane.
I have learned that gremlins pick on everyone.
I have learned that servers go down at the worst times.
I have learned that the power of group prayers and good wishes is true, and I have learned that prayers come in many forms.
I have learned that sharing simple things with people who understand is a joy without price.
I have learned what the best cat toys are.
I have learned not to fear clumping litter.
I have learned that sharing your fears helps.
I have learned that laughing with friends who understand is the best medicine for sorrow or doubt.
I have learned that Kenya isn't the only paper shredder in the world.
I have learned that there is nothing wrong with being completely and totally silly sometimes.
I have learned that places like Acme can bring us together with a strength we don't have as individuals.
I have learned that I am a better person because of all of you.
And this still holds true for me today. Thank you Acme, and all your various owners, for giving us a place to allow miracles to happen. And thank you, thank you to all those who made these memories. God Bless….
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by KimL on April 19, 2002 at 06:38:18:
Newbies won't know me but some of the long timers may remember me. I found this BB over three years ago searching for a solution for my Mom..whose new cat had a worm problem we could not lick.
I had a 19 year old Tuxedo named Pixie and immediately felt welcomed. It was wonderful to be with people who felt the same way I did about cats. Pixie later found her own cyber friends namely a much loved fella by the name of Twig.
Due to the postings of one ShirleyBo :) about Meezer this and Meezer that ....I one day decided I had to find out what the heck a Meezer was. Once I clicked on her link, my life was never the same. Meezers were Siamese Cats and there was a huge note at the top of that link that they were dying right in my city in the local shelters. Well...I didn't have a siamse and wasn't too sure I even liked the breed :) but having volunteered at a kill shelter the idea of springing cats appealed to me and my husband. So in 1999 we joined up with the Meezer folks.
Since that day, I've fostered and rescued 78 cats for the Siamese Cat Rescue Center and became their Manager of Field Operations..helping Siamese in need all up and down the East Coast. The sense of worth and fullfillment this work has given me is unmeasurable. And the people I've met along the way...wow!!! So many new friends! And all because of a chance visit to this BB. Due to my relationship with the Center, I now also network with the other cat rescue groups in my area.
Meezer Rescue and my responsibilities there kept me too busy to continue to post and visit here on a regular basis but I met so many wonderful people here and Cat's Window has always had such a special place in my heart.
And ShirleyBo? We've become close friends and see each other often..she's as busy as I am rescuing and fostering cats..her foster numbers are approaching 300!
I just had to come back for a final hello and to say goodbye. It's so sad to see this place close down.
PS...we lost Pixie at age 21 last summer to CRF. Not a day goes by that I don't cry for her.
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by panther on April 19, 2002 at 07:52:31:
These are the lyrics to the very popular movie made back in 1995 "CASPER"....I wanted to share it with all of you because I dont think I could have found a better song with lyrics to express just how I feel about all of you here..............................................
Every now and then
We find a special friend
Who never lets us down
Who understands it all
Reaches out each time you fall
You're the best friend that I've found
I know you can't stay
A part of you will never ever go away
Your heart will stay
* I'll make a wish for you
And hope it will come true
That life would just be kind
To such a gentle mind
If you lose your way
Think back on yesterday
Remember me this way
Remember me this way
I don't need eyes to see
The love you bring to me
No matter where I go
And I know that you'll be there
Forever more apart of time, you're everywhere
I'll always cares
And I'll be right behind your shoulder watching you
I'll be standing by your side and all you do
And I won't ever leave
As long as you believe
You just believe
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by Neko on April 19, 2002 at 09:50:52:
Okay, it's been a while sine I was a regular here, but I'll post.
This board has helped me place foster cats, helped me find some of the cats who are now permanent members, and saved my cats lives.
I came here in the summer of 1998. I'd lost one of the great feline loves of my life a few weeks before, and had just adopted Ru, who is another great feline love of my life. They all are.
This board saved Ru's live. while I was here I met a great guy, Jeff, who as here to talk about vaccination associated fibrosarcoma. I'd never heard of it before. A few months later though, when I found a small bump on Ru's side, I knew. A few days later Ru was diagnosed with this virulent and malignant cancer, and on top of that, with a heart condition too, the same heart condition that had taken Tatsu from me only months before.
I came here and freaked out and the outpouring of love and support astounded me. There was no one else in my life who understood why I was so upset. There was probably no place else in the world I could have gotten the support I got here. Based on the advice I got from folks on the board, I sought treatment for Ru's cancer with a specialist, even when my own vet told me I was just going to rob him of his few remaining months. Ru survived the surgery. I was so glad for the information I received here.
I don't know if I believed in AcmeMagic yet, but with what happened next, I learned to believe.
Ru's cancer came back a few weeks after the surgery. It was in multiple locations. There was no hope, I was going to lose him. Cats just don't survive recurrance of VAS, especially not cats with bad hearts.
I came here and freaked out again. You people put up with me when I was picking fights in my anger or wailing in my grief. You gave me your best wishes, and your wishes for Ru.
And they worked. They worked a miracle.
A few weeks later I took Ru back to his surgeon for a follow-up appointment, just to track the progress of the disease. Only this time, there wasn't a disease. The tumors were gone.
The surgeon had never seen a case of spontaneous remission of VAS. Neither had the oncologist. Both had treated (and lost) dozens of cats with the disease. There was no way to explain it. I think it was just magic.
Ru is still with me, still argues with me when he thinks I'm up too late, still acts like a weenie when he's stealing food off of the counter, and still sleeps next to me at night.
There are so many other acme stories I could tell, from how I adopted Henderi from LT, or placed Mr. French with Noofies, or the lunches I've had with Linda and Charlie, or the sorrowful tale of Simon, who all tried to save... so many great memories, even the sad ones.
Thank you all.
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by Cindy on April 19, 2002 at 08:39:21:
Many years ago, a woman walked through a vast, open land with a heavy burden in her hands. The burden was a large, heavy rock she carried in a sack she'd made on her shoulders. The weight was becoming too much to carry. It was full of questions and confusion and sometimes even sadness mixed with loneliness. She continued to walk, though, not sure what exactly it was she was looking for.
Along a highway called information she wandered, different echos shouting at her.. facts, advertisements, photos and even some not-so-nice visions came at her from all directions. It was too confusing and all she wanted was a place to rest. A place to unwind from her long journey. A place to set down this blasted rock! Finally, when the voyage seemed to be just too much, too long, she came to an interesting door. The door was green and on it the words "ACME COMMUNITY" were scripted. She knocked lightly and noticed other people beginning to come behind her to the door, each carrying rocks of their own.
A friendly face opened the door and welcomed them all inside. As the people filed in, they saw others standing around, with rocks at their feet. Rocks just like theirs! But these people were smiling and seemed so at ease. The newbies came in and introduced themselves. The woman had not seen such a friendly, warm place in all her travels down "Information" highway. She felt immediately at home. She noticed something common with all the people. They were pulling out photos or exchanging stories about their pets. This was certainly a place she could get some of the questions she'd had about her own pet issues.. and she could even share a story or two about her beloved cats. Maybe these people would even listen to some personal stories about her life, work, family, etc.
She came in and stood with the people, who'd now formed a circle. "Please, put down your rock here. It will sit on the surface.. but just wait. Once the ground has settled and become soft, you'll be surprised to see what will happen!" one friendly voice said. So she did. She put down that darned heavy load she'd been carrying for so long and smiled for the first time in a long time. And she began to talk. And talk. And talk. She got to know the other people in this room over time and though she knew she'd never see them outside of the room, she grew to love them, and knew she could always come back to them if she had to leave.
They became her family.
One day, the friendly voice said to her, "See what has happened to your rock?" she looked down and saw that it had sunken into the ground. And from it a little green sprout grew. She looked around a the others' rocks, and red, yellow, blue, purple... all different color sprouts grew from the rocks. A smile grew on her face. In such a short time her rock had become a seed which was growing something beautiful. Then one day tragedy struck and one of the friends grew very ill. All hope seemed lost when she had an idea. The woman said, "Come on, everybody, let's join hands and pray. Let's try to get some magic going here and help our friend get well again."
So one by one, the people joined hands. And They closed their eyes and prayed. And love poured from their hearts. And the ground began to shake...
When they opened their eyes, they saw their vines which had sprouted from their rocks grow rapidly upward and join in the center. They began to glow in brilliant colors and entwined together until a beautiful rainbow glowed in the center of their circle. Acme magic had worked. A miracle was formed. Little by little, the friend they'd prayed for got well.. and their friendships grew stronger.
This family continued to support one another. New people came in with rocks, which only eventually added to the beautiful rainbow. Nothing could ever go wrong in this room. Sure, there were sad times.. there were times filled with anger, but they always worked out their problems and grew stronger from each experience.
Then suddenly one day the unthinkable happened. The walls of the room began to crumble. The support beams were gone from the room.. the beams which held it all together. It had nothing to do with the people or their love.. but it became clear the room could no longer stand. The people who'd found a safe haven, a second home in the room knew they had to leave. One by one they sadly filed out. Just outside the doorway they stood and sadly looked in. The room had crumbled. They all made it out ok, but their hearts were broken. However, they could still see the glows of red,green, yellow, blue, orange, purple and gold shining through the rubble. They looked at one another. Through teary eyes, they each picked up a rock from the rubble.
The woman took one more look at the room and followed her friends along the highway. She knew it would be confusing and frustrating. She knew her journey would be long. She watched as some friends wandered in other directions. Her heart felt as though it would break.. but as she walked, she looked down at her rock.
She knew now what that rock could do. She knew that in the future she would find another home. She prayed most of her friends would be there. The home might have a hard soiled ground at first, but with time it would soften. And when it did, the magic would come alive again.
I know this story sucks, but I'm at work and wanted to get it in before the board shut down. I kinda just typed my thoughts. It probably makes no sense, but .. we'll find another haven, guys.. I love you all!
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by LARachel on April 19, 2002 at 08:08:58:
Whoever said a cyber community isn't a real community obviously never met us. I feel fortunate and proud to have been a part of the Cat's Window. I became a cat-owner again after nine years without a cat. I found AcmePet while looking for information on kitten and cat care. I discovered one important thing: Not everybody wants to talk or hear about my cats! I can't imagine why this is true, but it's true. ;-) I'm glad that I found the Cat's Window and a place to share my rediscovered obsession. I received helpful advice and learned the truth about declawing. We are a true community because we all felt a loss when we learned that AcmePet was closing. More importantly, we all regrouped and found a way to stay in touch. Thanks to those who stepped up and took a leadership role in getting us all to a common place (or two common places). We should all be very proud of ourselves and celebrate our resourcefullness and continued friendship.
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by sabrina on April 19, 2002 at 10:58:32:
Touched by an Angel (Stevie Nicks)
And when she walked in the room after so many years, he looked up and saw her. He was standing at the crossroads she was moving in slow motion. Everything was the same except that everything was different.
In that very moment, everyone was silent, and everyone was friendly for the first time in years. Everyone was smiling though their pain was apparent, and the floor was wet and slippery with the tracks of their tears.
And then i see someone standing at the side of the stage. Not standing in the shadows. I see her face, glowing in the darkness in her own angel way...
I have come to make you better. I have come to take you away.
No one slipped and fell, this time everyone was steady. Someone held my arm so that I would not fall. For the first time in a long time, everyone was ready. No one said a word, and that simply said it all.
And then I see someone standing at the side of the stage. Not standing in the shadows. I see her face, glowing in the darkness in her own angel way...
I have come to make you better. I have come to take you away.
I'll make you better.
Walking through the room together in suspended animation, one saw us go...no one said goodbye.
But in my heart I leave great expectations that you will find the answer to your questions...
...and that life will once more be a celebration and that you will be touched by an angel.
It's been a pleasure knowing you all. You've shared my pain, my tears, my laughter....you've helped me heal when I thought healing wasn't possible.
I'm leaving the board now, because I'm having real trouble with the loss. I've suffered a great deal of loss the past 6 months, and I've been struggling terribly with the loss of my mother. I'm feeling so fragile anyway, and this is hitting me pretty hard (as silly as that sounds..)I cannot bear any more loss right now....I'm going to go crawl into my cave and try to sort through it all later.
I will miss coming here and seeing what's up. I will miss the sweet pictures and stories. I will miss it all....I will miss all of you.
Take care of yourselves, love your families, love your pets. Our time here on this planet is so short, and amidst all the horrible things in life, it was a sanctuary in the storm, and I was so bouyed by the knowledge that there was a place to sit and regroup among people I considered friends, even if I didn't say a thing.
Thank you all.
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by dfrancis on April 19, 2002 at 13:57:47:
I know it is long, but I wanted to give you all the information I could about my special “cosmetically challenged” cat who has used up four of his nine lives and then went on to win Delta Society’s National Therapy Pet of the Year Award. You can also read about Lucky in the following magazines:
PetLife Magazine- Nov/Dec 1999
Animal Wellness Magazine- Vol.3, Issue 1 (Canadian)
Cats Magazine- April 2001
Cat Fancy Magazine- Sept. 2001
He has been in a couple of articles in the local newspapers and even in The Seattle Times (October 29, 2000). He has also appeared on the Animal Planet Network’s series “Amazing Animals” and PAX networks’ “Miracle Pets.”
I wasn’t surprised when Mom called and told me that Smokey, the family’s barn cat, had delivered kittens again. My dad was of the old school that didn’t believe in spending “extra” money on barn cats to have them spayed. Smokey was now about 16 years old and I didn’t think we would have to worry about finding the kittens homes. For the past few years Smokey’s kittens were either stillborn or died within days. I guess she was just too old to still be having kittens. So I wasn’t surprised when Mom called a week later to tell me that all but one of the kittens had died. Mom moved Smokey and her remaining kitten into the garage and promised to keep me posted.
A couple of weeks later Mom called again. Something was wrong with the kitten and Dad wanted to “put him out of his misery.” She asked me to come down and take a look and let her know what I thought. What I saw when I arrived at my parents’ home was very unusual. I found Smokey nursing a small, mouse-like 3-week old gray tabby kitten. Only one eye was open and his mouth was deformed. He had a crooked stub of a tail and a drunken walk. He was much more uncoordinated than most kittens his age.
Although I was concerned about his tiny size and premature development, this little kitten was such a character. Whenever he heard human voices he would leave his feline mom and seek us out. He followed us everywhere as fast as he could with his drunken walk. When anyone picked him up he would start purring immediately. The tiny kitten seemed so happy that I convinced my parents to give him another week.
I drove back to their home the next weekend fully expecting to find that the kitten had deteriorated, and sure enough, he had lost some weight. However, he still had that zest for life that I had seen the week before. I was still concerned about him so I convinced my parents to let me take him and put him in with the orphaned kittens I was fostering for the SPCA. Of course this was with the stipulation that I would not keep him. I already had 2 dogs and a cantankerous Persian who hated other male cats.
The first order of business once I got the kitten to my apartment was a vet visit. It did not go as I had planned. The kitten was underweight, but the kitten formula was causing him respiratory problems. The vet helped me to quickly progress him off of kitten formula and to dry food. The kitten had a cleft palate and nose. I was told that he should have died at birth or shortly after because kittens with this type of deformity usually aren’t able to nurse properly. The vet checked his closed eye and said it would never open. The entire left side of this kitten’s face had not developed. The vet also suspected brain damage due to his staggering walk. The prognosis was not good. I was told that the kitten would not live past his first birthday.
I went home from the veterinarian crying. What was I doing? Did this kitten have any chance at all? I put him in with the foster kittens who were also 4 weeks old and just watched. He was half their size and was not as well developed as they were. Maybe I should just let my vet put him to sleep. I went to cook dinner and think about what I needed to do. It was then that I noticed that Abbie, my toy poodle, was not underfoot like she usually was at dinnertime. I went to see what trouble she was up to and was shocked by what I saw. The foster kittens were in my bathroom isolated from my 4-legged family by a tall baby gate. I had no problems with this arrangement in the almost three years that I fostered. However, this time Abbie was staring intently at the gate. With one giant leap she landed at the top of the gate and jumped over to where the kittens were. I had no fear of her harming the kittens, but she had never wanted anything to do with them. I silently watched as she went straight to the deformed kitten and gently picked him up by the scruff of the neck. She proceeded to jump back over the baby gate with the kitten in her mouth and took the kitten to my bed where she proceeded to snuggle with and groom him. Abbie looked up at me with a look that said, “If you don’t want to take care of him, I will. I won’t give up on him.” I guess you could say Abbie made up my mind for me.
That was the last time the little deformed kitten was put in with the foster kittens. Abbie wouldn’t allow it. Anytime I put him in the bathroom, Abbie would proceed to get him and take him to my bed. (Not a good thing since this little kitten wasn’t litter trained yet.) Abbie took over the care of that little kitten and even went so far as to protect him from my other cat and the foster kittens’ rough playing. Abbie and the little kitten were inseparable. In the meantime my foster kittens were getting adopted and new foster kittens arrived. No one seemed to be interested in a one-eyed deformed kitten with breathing problems. Okay… so maybe I didn’t try as hard as I could to find him a home. I couldn’t upset Abbie by adopting out her baby. I know…Excuses, excuses.
The kitten had to go to the vet several times a month due to respiratory problems caused by the cleft palate and nose. At one time he was even going to the vet twice a day for breathing treatments. At night Abbie and I would hole ourselves up in the bathroom with the kitten and a vaporizer going just so that the kitten could breathe. Many nights I cried just hoping that this poor baby wouldn’t stop breathing. I would listen to the kitten struggling for breath wondering if I was doing the right thing. All I had to do was look at Abbie and the kitten and Abbie’s eyes said it all. “Don’t give up on our baby.” And there was still that mischievous sparkle in the kitten’s eye.
I still had not named the kitten. You know the saying, “If you don’t name it, it isn’t yours.” And I couldn’t find the perfect name for this kitten. I was also thinking who wants to name a kitten that might not survive. I had been through the pain of losing foster kittens to death and I was not looking forward to going through it again. With the vet’s help and constant advice we finally got the kitten’s breathing problems under control. The kitten finally got to where he could go an entire month without a visit to the vet. Finally he was healthy enough for his “special day” at the vet. It was after his neutering that I finally came up with the perfect name, Lucky.
You may be wondering what kind of a life could a sickly deformed kitten have. Well, Lucky is now 4-years-old and a very healthy 15 pounds. There was no brain damage as was first suspected. However Lucky still had that special swagger to his walk. My Persian never loved Lucky, but he never tried to beat up on him like he had any other male cats I had brought in. And this very special cat has grown up to become an award winning therapy cat.
Lucky goes to work with me at Jefferson Elementary School in Sherman, Texas where I teach deaf children. He shares his duties with Abbie who is a certified therapy dog. When Lucky is at school he greets everyone at the door with a loud “Meow!” If that doesn’t work he will paw at their legs until they tell him hello or pet him. Then he will sprawl on the table and bask in all the attention the children give him. The children love it when Lucky decides that they have worked long enough and he lays right down in the middle of all their work. We call this taking a “Lucky break.”
My deaf students become so excited when Lucky purrs because they don’t have to hear it to know that they are making Lucky happy. They can feel it and see it. The students can’t believe that Lucky “shakes” when he is very happy, which is most of the time as long as someone is giving him attention.
Lucky also works with the regular education students. One year we had a writing contest in a first grade classroom. The children were to write a short story about the therapy pet of their choice and several students chose to write about Lucky. The recurring theme through all the stories was the same. But one low-achieving student, who hardly ever finished his work, turned in a book that won first prize. He was so proud, but not as proud as I was because he wrote, “I love Lucky because he loves me too.”
Lucky also volunteers at the Reba McEntire Center for Rehabilitation in Denison, Texas. He loves to lay on the beds and receive the loving from the clients. The clients and staff alike get a kick out of seeing a cat walking on a leash down the sterile halls of the center.
Clients at the rehabilitation center often realize that things aren’t that bad and could be worse. One client said, “He reminds me of the saying…’I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man that had no feet.’” On another visit a nurse came and got us out of a client’s room. Another client was upset because we had skipped her room, she was asleep at the time, and she had heard that we were visiting. She really wanted to see Lucky so by the time the nurse had gotten me from the other end of the center, this client was out of bed and into her wheelchair rolling down the hall to be sure that she got to see Lucky. She took one long look at him and said, “My goodness…He’s worse off than we are.”
But perhaps one of Lucky’s most important jobs is teaching people about accepting differences, either their own differences or those in other people. Lucky has written his own autobiographical book that we use in many classrooms to teach children about differences and I can only hope that I get our message across. I didn’t realize how well Lucky and I were getting the message across until the mother of one of my own students relayed this story to me.
My student was a beautiful little girl who was having trouble understanding why she was deaf and different from all the other kids. She would go home after Lucky’s visits and describe him and his antics in detail to her father. This was wonderful for expanding her limited language skills and it was also one of her educational goals. One day after she described Lucky in detail she said, “…and he only has one eye. But that’s okay, Daddy. He’s different, just like me.”
When I think of the fact that Lucky has used up at least four of his nine lives, I am amazed at how successful he has become. In October of 2000 Lucky was the co-winner of Delta Society’s National Therapy Pet of the Year Award. He has appeared in several newspaper and magazine articles and even appeared in a segment of “Amazing Animals” on the Animal Planet network. I can’t help but think that Lucky not only works miracles, his entire life is a miracle.
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by Shadow on April 19, 2002 at 12:12:38:
I first got on line a little over five years ago.. just surfing around and at someone site was a link to a place called Acme Pet (Before PetsMart days)..right I thought ha ha ha like all those roadrunner cartoons.
Well I went..and "saw" people leaving messages to each other..couldn't for the life of me figure out how they were doing it.. I lurked and lurked and finally just had to answer a post.
hit the reply thingie and thought..sh*t what name do I use...this is the big bad internet..can't leave my "real" name ..so I picked (as it says in the Who's Who) the name Shadow in honour of a beloved kitty girl who had passed away four months before. Okay so I put a name..put an email..put a message and hit "post" woweeeee it worked I talked to someone..
Then I thought what a warm bunch of people LOL'ing all over the place..I thought it meant' Lots of Love"..and you know ....I really think it does.. laughs together with friends is love that comes out of you without your thinking about it.
I learned about gremmies..when I couldn't figure out why my messages were disappering. I met some great wonderful people ..remember DebD and Teeny Baby???? RevDi who did a Rainbow angel picture of Shadow and Kitty. Lady Di..oh I always picture her as Princesses Di and still do :-)..Thebes...oh I really love your purrsonallity....Ali..with the long name that meant catlover extrodianary...Humane and her Blush..I could go on and on ..those who forgave me my awful spelling errors... the Pet to Pet board where I whiled away the stress of the "real world"
I love you all and hope we will always LOL together.
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by sabrina on April 19, 2002 at 11:09:48:
In Reply to: my goodbye posted by sabrina on April 19, 2002 at 10:58:32:
i wanted to share this one once more. this song i tried to sing at my mother's funeral.
i tucked the words that i'd written down, along with a note to her, into her casket just before they closed it that last time. it means a lot to me...
time has come
what's done is done
it's time to move on.
to another place
maybe circling some other sun.
dont ask why
dont ask how
i still can't explain
just say goodbye
goodbye for now
til i see you again
in the sunlight
that's where i'll be
in the moonlight
close your eyes
and you will see me
in the sunrise
in the twilight
i'll be the morning and the evening star
i will be there with you
wherever you are
life is strange
such joy and pain
a betrayal and a kiss
it may be meant to be
leads us dwn a path like this
a child is born
true love is sworn
and all the inbetween
so you just walk on
walk until the hell is gone
in learnin' love is only everything
in the sunlight
that's where i'll be
in the moonlight
close your eyes
and you will see me
in the sunrise
in the twilight
i'll be the morning and the evening star
i will be there with you
wherever you are
so it's goodnight
things go wrong
but it's alright
we're all just passing through here
at the speed of light
in the sunlight
that's where i'll be
in the moonlight
close your eyes
and you will see me
in the sunrise
in the twilight
i'll be the morning and the evening star
i will be there with you
wherever you are
(celeste prince, "wherever you are")
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by Lir on April 19, 2002 at 14:31:15:
Im so very sorry for the loss which you are all going through. I am not really a "regular" here, but I do want you guys to know that I too feel your loss.
A few months ago, I came here in hopes of some advice on introducing a new kitten into my house. I was very hesitant about getting a new kitten, but you all assured me that it would be ok and that I would not regret my decision.
So, after gathering all the information that I needed, I set off to the shelter in hopes of finding my new kitten. Isnt it funny how you can have your mind set on one thing, and when something else comes along, you realize that some of the minor details are not as important as you thought they were? Well, thats one thing that I learned. I came home with a beautiful 4 month old male kitten who had been put through a lot of abuse. He had been starved by his previous owner and was missing his tail. I took him to the vet's office the day after getting him only to find out that he had cocyxocidiousis (sp?).
Almost $300 later, I finally ended up with a healthy baby boy. I must admit, there were times which I came close to regretting my decision, but you guys were here for me, a complete stranger, everytime. If it would not have been for all of your reassurance, I probably would have taken Austin back to the shelter.
Im blessed enough to be able to wake up every morning to two warm fuzzy bodys next to mine....all because of a little something that folks around here are refering to as "Acme Magic".
To those of you who encouraged me when I needed it, thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless you all and keep you safe where ever you may go.
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by Shan on April 19, 2002 at 13:40:01:
I likely won't check over the weekend so... I guess this is it for my Acme experience. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone on this board. I haven't been here as much over the last little while, but when I first found the board I had just gotten a cat and a kitten and was so excited to share their antics with everyone and ask questions about being a good furparent. Then when my kitten got sick, this place kept me sane and directed me to resource after resource to try and help. And when I had to finally let him go, I knew I could find people here who understood my pain, who wouldn't say "it's just a cat", who would let me cry and help me heal.
AcmePet has been a wonderful, wonderful community and I am so terribly sad to see it go. Wherever we all end up, I will always think of it as the Acme community working their great Acme magic.
Bye, guys... *snif*... :"(
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by Hunny Plumpkin on April 19, 2002 at 11:48:37:
... as well as my sisfurs and brofur, found many wonderful friends and memories here. Before many of you leave the board for the last time, she asked if I would post for her.
"Oldtimers" will remember me as Hunny Plumpkin the feline poetess. It was lovely when we came to the board every day to see how all were doing and enjoy our "talks". Besides bits of poetree, all inspired by the people and furkids here, there was even a short time when I kept the Kitty Chronicles, a highlight of every weeks postings. That was tough to keep up but it was so much fun. Two years back though, we lost internet use here at home and our people lady didn't have time to do more than read posts from work.
Still, she and I kept trying to put into words a piece of "Hunny Poetree" that could express how we felt about this board. I don't believe this was ever posted because we never deemed it sufficient to the task, but here it is now, a final gift, as it is.
You can read more of "Hunny Poetree" at http://www.catatonic.freeservers.com/hunnyspage.html You'll notice it stopped rather abruptly but plans are underway to resume with new Poetree very soon so watch that space. :)
So long and God Bless
Hunny Hugs, Peggy Purrs, Lady Luv, Kaboo Kisses and Buddy Bumps!
September 5, 1999
My Acme BB Friends
Oh my Acme BB friends, how I do love you so
You've helped my people lady, Pat, in ways you'll never know
In happiness and sorrow, in sheer panic, tears and glee
You’ve steadied her, applauded her and allowed her clear to see
That Life’s dark shadows mean that the Light is up ahead
That there is absolutely nothing that any one of us should dread
For here there are found the answers to what we need to know
And reading in between the lines, deeper spirits always show
They are felt and spoken in the words of hope upon this page
Given to us freely to gently guide us through each stage
Welcoming us to share Life’s trials with love for one another
For this is such a wondrous place, there surely is no other …
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by bridget on April 19, 2002 at 15:45:22:
I came here a few years ago after originally going to the Cat Health board because my feral boy Spanky was hospitalized for a "fever of unknown origin". At that time I began to lurk here at CW and finally posted. Saw a few fights and saw alot of warmth and caring. I left for awhile and just began to lurk again...getting to know the new people (new to me) and checking on what was new with the long-timers. Now the board is closing. I guess I took it for granted that the Acme boards would always be here with help, support, advice, and yes, a few controversies. I'm going to miss the board. It saddens me to see it close. *sigh*
Good bye Cats Window folks. See you and your furkids on the other boards.
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]
Posted by Jennie on April 19, 2002 at 15:37:18:
I have loved cats all my life, and i just got my first cat, Scottie in may 2001. i started going on Acme in Nov. 2001. My first post was just introducing myself. i remember the exact words. The topic was Hi!!! and i said hi, i'm new to the board, here is my cat, Scottie! and a pic of him. everyone was so nice to me, and i really felt welcome there. i haven't had anything really extreme going on with my cat, but i still go on acme to talk about cats,and see my daily Bendy update. Cat's WIndow just seemed so closely knit and so homey, i just had to stay. Since we only have a few days left on acme, I'll start reading EVERY SINGLE POST, i wanna remember everybody.
After it closes down, i'll be on Benny's, Tigger's and CLide's, and the MSN board. I really will miss you. Cat's Window really is special. :(
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by Lunatuna on April 19, 2002 at 15:17:12:
I feel pretty sick about this, and feel like crying as I write my last acme post. There is no way to quantify the amount of help I've received from you all, or my sense of gratitude to those who helped little stray cats, or even the satisfaction at helping advise others on trapping their little kitty waifs. They need us so badly. I hope we find another place we can get together, where people who need help with rescue will find us.
Hugs and love forever, to all my old friends
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by granny on April 19, 2002 at 14:54:43:
Guess it is time for me to say my goodbye too. I haven't posted much for sometime.. I did try to lurk from time to time.. It was wonderful just knowing that the board was here.
You guys have kept me going for these past several years.. You taught me a great deal about cats, and about people too. How to help and where to turn to for help.. You helped me get through those horrid 30 hours when Ziggy was missing. Gave me the knowledge needed to help Jade intergrate our home. When she turned into "Evil Woman" I knew how to cope with it instead of falling apart. When the boys decided to punish me for her by living in my closet for three months your advice stopped me from giving up. I will admit now though that I really thought Kokers would NEVER sleep with me again. Your prayers helped Kokers a year ago when his liver disease flaired up so bad that I thought I was losing him(TED was worried too)..
Thanks to Acme magic Kokers is still here and so am I. I know that love never dies so the spirit of this board will live on. Still I hope everyone stays in touch and that I find you at Benny's or Tiggerz. Being legally blind I find it all but impossible to read cat speak but I usually give it a try.. Raspy.. if you read this..you still have a big part of my heart.. I love it when one of your pictures is my desktop wallpaper. You always bring a smile to my face.. Hope your meowmie is doing well. You both are in my prayers. All of you Acme people are in my prayers and thoughts.. Stay well and be happy.
If this doesn't make sense..well that is just normal for me.. :)
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by blacatz on April 19, 2002 at 16:36:39:
When we see a cat or other animal in need, we won't turn away. When someone needs a little of our time and support, we'll offer it.
Hold Acme Magic in your hearts, & remember that a little kindness can work wonders.
Thank you for inspiring and supporting me thru the years at this wonderful board.
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by tucats on April 19, 2002 at 17:26:53:
I first came here over 6 years ago when I first discovered my Bella had a "heart mummer". I was very new to the computer and just 'happened' on this site. The people who were here then gave me so much support...and then when Bella (who is blind) was found to have cardiomyopathy, I recieved all the more support. Throughout the years I really developed some wonderful friendships...that I maintaint this day. It was a great place...and we all had some wonderful times!
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by Eileen F. on April 19, 2002 at 18:35:18:
I am surprised at how sad I am at these boards closing. Here is where I came in August of 1999. We had not had our computer for very long and I was pretty clueless about posting. I remember I posted using my first and LAST name...LOL!!! I came here with questions about Hershey and megacolon. Here is where I met so many of you, way too many to mention all. Here is where I came when I lost my beloved Marble of 17 years and you guys comforted me. Then just a few short months later you were comforting me all over again when we lost Hershey so suddenly. I'll never forget what Magnolia said to me. She said she would always remember Hershey, that Hershey was "famous". That brought a smile to my tear filled eyes. All of you comforted me in ways that no other "friend" or "co-worker" or family member could comfort me as you all know what it is like to lose one of our beloved pets.
And I can't leave without saying a great big thank you to Acme. Because of Acme I met BarbaraB. The best friend a girl could have. I am blessed with her friendship and support.
And so many others......I feel like you guys are my family!! I know we will be going to other boards and meeting up with each other but there was something sorta special about these boards, don't ya think? I'll miss them.
Goodnight and God Bless. I love all you guys!!!!
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by Cindyr on April 19, 2002 at 18:52:45:
and before long Hapi became Acme's very own Water Meez Extraordinaire. Thank you all for your friendship... and your support. We shared many laughs, and we cried a whole lot of tears. Thank you....thank you all.
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cat's Window Bulletin Board ]Posted by Scottie on April 19, 2002 at 18:50:39:
meowmie was just looking at petsmart.com cat things when she stumbled upon this cat board. First, she didn't know how to post a message, so she just looked around for about 3 days. Then she mentioned me in her first post! I was only 4 months back then. Well we've been through alot together-ESPECIALLY legume. There were about 50 replies when i saw the post about ppputting him to sleep. Even i cried in my kitty bed the first few nights. Lots of other things happenned like me entering the KOTM twice, annd you were all very supportive of me!! Even though i'm not a long-time member, i've been going on every day andthis board has sort of become a new cat to me and meowmie. And a very sweet, nice and helpful one. She thought everone should know about me, so she made a site.(link below.) She even linked the Cat's Window on her fave links seeection, but that will go down in a few days. and thatt was just DAYS before we were notified of this! You can stilil come of you want. THANKS to everyone for voting for me, answering someof my questions, or even just saying my pics were cute! I really don't want to lose track of you guys so i'm going on all the boards you mentioned and i'll make sure you see all my new cute pics!! Goodbye! See you at the new boards! For now, here's a pic to remember me by: The cute little orange and whtie kitten! P.S.THANKS YOU ALL AGAIN!!!