Sunday, August 12, 2012

Our Voices Podcast

Give it a listen.
Jessica and I go into details about how we met, our missions, our marriage and our leaving Mormonism. We had a blast recording it and we are quite happy to have our "story" out there for friends and family to learn from.

Oh, and feel free to donate to Mormon Expression!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Foster Parents

I've been meaning to update this for MONTHS! I wanted to post pictures from baby animal days and never got around to it. I don't know why I have such a hard time updating this thing. Maybe if it weren't for the facebooks I would update daily. So maybe you should be thankful for facebook!

We successfully fostered our Nintendo kitties - Mario, Luigi, Peach and Daisy. Luigi was adopted at the Super Adoption and Mario went a few days later. Peach was last to go about a week after Mario. Daisy, the mama, is still at CHS waiting for her forever home. The person who adopts her will have to be a special person. Daisy is very timid and not very friendly. She has come a long ways since I first met her, hissing and snarling in her carrier.

Letting that family go was quite difficult. We had them a few days after birth and watched them grow from helpless, sightless kittens to rambunctious furballs.

Awww, so tiny! Mario is on the left, Peach is on the right.

We never had to worry about their health since Daisy was there to take care of them. It's amazing how much a mama cat does for her kittens. Without her, survival is very we found out earlier this year. I'm so happy these guys were able to find forever homes!


Luigi (we called him Weegee)

Mario aka Bruiser!

A few days after we said good-bye to these babies we welcomed seven more cats into our house! One was a mama who had just weaned her kittens, two were siblings and the rest were from separate litters.Unfortunately, one of them died the day we brought him home. Jessica roused him out of death enough to keep him alive for another half a day. I received a text that night while at work saying he had died. She left him wrapped up in a cloth which she then placed inside a plastic sack. I came home and held the little guy on the bench outside our apartment. I wished for an afterlife for him, a place free from sickness that he could roam and play and be loved. It was an odd moment, one where reality and the unknown met face to face and exchanged awkward pleasantries. 

It takes a lot out of you, watching these helpless animals die. Sometimes I am at the shelter and know a kitten is going to die and I just pet them and acknowledge them. I let them know that their death means something to someone, to one individual in this world. 

We had a huge scare with this new batch. The foster mama (she let these kittens nurse even though they weren't hers!) because severely ill and had to be put down. We were worried the babies weren't going to make it. Thankfully, after many doses of medication they are doing much, much better.

Jessica and I agree that the first litter we fostered were cute and adorable but these guys (they are all male) are a million times cuter. They haven't really had a mom and are completely dependent on us. They purr like crazy and nuzzle our faces when we hold them. Right now I have two of them purring in my lap. It's amazing. These guys would most likely be dead had we not opened our home to them.

And that's why we do it. That's why we are crazy cat people - to save lives of worthless, insignificant animals that most people write off. Loving them and then giving them away is the most painful yet rewarding thing I have done in my life. This coming from the guy who yelled "I hate you!" to the people who adopted one of his cats when he was in the 5th grade!

These are our babies. We don't need children, we have them. They are our lives, our future. Jessica and I couldn't do this if we had children of our own and we are fine with that. We are young! We have plenty of time to adopt or procreate. Right now we are focused on helping our four legged friends! It's the most rewarding volunteering I have ever done.

Thank you for saving us! (The black and white one has stolen our hearts!)

Our apartment might stink, I might post a lot of pictures on facebook and talk about kittens at work...but it's worth it. Saving a life, ANY life, is worth it.

I sort of laugh inside whenever someone asks me if we have and children. I always say, "Nope, but we have animals!" and I'm sure people think it isn't the same...and I'm okay with that. It's what we want, it's what we need and it makes us happy.

And isn't that all that matters?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bath Time at the Zoo

Wow, I meant to do this update back in December! Let's just pretend I did and that I've been keeping this thing updated.

There comes a time at the zoo when Jessica or myself says to the other, "I think we need to give (one of the animals) a bath." Usually this is after Diesel has spent a lot of time outside in the rain or snow or, heaven forbid, has found a standing body of water. Now, this body of water can be a small puddle or a patch of mud that contains .000001% of water. It doesn't matter to Diesel. Add this all up and you have one stinky Poop!

Then there's Kaylee, our beautiful medium-haired cat. We know it's bath time when her hair starts to look a little greasy and feels like...greasy hair? Shyla's short-haired so we don't worry too much about her. Sometimes, after bathing Kaylee we dunk Shyla just to keep her humble and on her toes.

Now, legend has it, once every great while there comes a time when the stars align and a sort of other-world idea finds its way into Jessica's brain as well as my own - bathe them all! With this thought comes the primal strength and patience needed to complete such a task. It is no small feat to scrub, rinse and repeat four uncooperative animals.

Such a night occurred on a cold evening in December of 2011. Before any of them could get any whiffs of what was about to happen, Jessica started up the bath and I grabbed the easiest of them all - Jade. She'd never really had a bath before. Jessica doused her once shortly after we adopted her to remove the layers of food, litter and poop off her fur.

 She was so small, so innocent... not amused. This is the face that keeps me up at night, the face that haunts my dreams.

 Diesel, our next victim, pleaded with us to stop the torture, to end the madness. This is the most difficult one because of his size and ability to cover us in hair and water within .32 seconds. His bath takes the longest to clear the evidence; soapy water prohibited by a black hair clogged drain.

 Next up, Kaylee puss. Her gentle meows fell on deaf ears. We had passed the half way mark. She flashed her vicious looking hind claws at us in warning. We finished before she had an opportunity to spill our blood.

Last but not least - Shyla. Her angry growls echoed through the bathroom as she pawed at us, desperately wishing her removed claws would suddenly regrow and free her from this nightmare. She, who usually escaped bath time, is counted among the victims.

 A silence followed the event. Jessica and I came to our senses and looked around in utter dismay at the piles of towels strewn about, clumps of fur and various scratches upon our arms. Jade, thinking she had just experienced a ritual of sorts, a once in a lifetime experience, forgot the whole thing and tried to cheer up Shyla. But Shyla had noticed Jade's long fur and knew the day, the Perfect Storm if you will, would strike again.