A Mother’s Empathy – A Son’s Grief

I just want to give an explanation of the short time deactivation of this site and one other I have.

In short, it was depression and a feeling of helplessness. My son called me crying (he’s 36 y/o) Sunday night because he had just found out that one of his best friends had passed away back in April 2017 and no one told him. He had continued to send group messages all this time to his friend, his twin brother, and their older brother with responses only from the older brother since just before the ones passing. And still never a word about the passing of the one. Out of respect for the family, I am not mentioning names. You’ll understand why as you read on.

Finally, on Sunday night, my son asked the older brother how the twins were doing – he had been assuming that they were just busy with their careers (one military) and families. He was told then that the one twin was no longer with them and that his passing was military related.

Understandably, my son was very upset. These guys are like brothers to him, even though they live a good 12 hour drive away, one way. My son and I assumed it was an accident on the base, so he did a Google search, to see if he could find a news article about it. He called me back after he found numerous articles about his friend’s death. He was absolutely inconsolable.

The twins are identical, except one is more heavily built than the other. The other, the one that died, being the military and family man. My son was crying harder than I can ever remember him crying before – even after the death of his own first born son, who passed due to chromosomal defects when he was only 5 weeks old. My son cried then, but he cried silently. He told me through his sobs that the one twin had killed (shot) the other. His best friend killed his other best friend during a moment of rage. The brothers were arguing. Now one is gone and the other is incarcerated, having surrendered peacefully to the police upon their arrival at the scene and indicted for murder.

I took every bit of my sons pain into myself, as is typical of people of my personality type. I felt his pain as if it were my own and I too became engulfed in a whirlwind of emotion. I did not know these three brothers as well as my son did, but we have known them for about 15 or 16 years. My son and his wife had attended the deceased twins wedding some years ago.

Monday, yesterday, I was still overwhelmed by the intensity of the previous nights emotions and all of my thoughts were on my son. He is my world! My everything! And without him, I couldn’t do what I do for animals. Without HIM, my life would have no meaning. And he’s hurting… I couldn’t think of anything else, but him, even as I struggled through my chores attending to my cats and dog. So I deactivated every online social activity I had going, even Manny’s Menagerie (after just reactivating a couple days before).

We don’t know, at this time, what the twins were arguing about. At this point it really doesn’t matter. We may not understand why it happened, but we still love the jailed twin. There is every possibility that he will spend the rest of his life behind bars, or even get the death penalty. If he gets life, then he has to live the rest of his life with the guilt and shame of having killed his own twin brother. He’s going to have to do that no matter how much longer he has to live. The older brother didn’t do anything wrong by not telling my son the truth about what happened. We understand that, even 20 months later, something like this is very hard for a family to deal with, much less talk about.

My son and the twins met online back when Final Fantasy XI was huge and had just come out for PS2. They played many video games together over the years, developing a close, brotherly relationship. The last video game they played together was ESO on PS4. This is something non-gamers don’t think about when they sneer and frown at people who spend as much of their free time possible gaming. Gamer’s become close friends with those they may never meet face to face – sometimes, they even become family!



2009 Jesusita Wild Fires – The Bobcat Kitten and the Fawn – The Truth


Bonded 3 day old fawn and 3 week old bobcat kitten in 2009. More photos after the blog quote.

While a photo of a 3 day old fawn and a 3 week old bobcat kitten, that has been circulating the internet in true viral form, for a while, the caption on the photo is misleading. It states that the pair was found huddled together in an office after the fires. The photo is real, but the truth behind it is that the two baby animals were rescued from the fires in two different locations and, due to a lack of space, they were placed in the office together. It was an instant bonding for the displaced and frightened youngsters.

The blog entry on the Discovery.com Animal Planet website no longer exists after so many years, but I was able to find the copy I saved to my files. It is below:

Jesusita Wildfire Animal Rescue

Over the past two weeks, the Jesusita wildfire raged
near Santa Barbara, California, 90 miles northwest of
Los Angeles, consuming over 8,700 acres of land and
forest, and destroying or damaging nearly 100 homes.
Some 30,000 people, over half the citys population,
were forced to evacuate their homes. While thousands
of firefighters devoted their time to containing the
blaze, one group of rescue workers gets scant media
attention – animal rescue teams that work around the
clock to help displaced pets and wildlife and save as
many lives as they can.

Dont you dare! I hear Julia Di Sieno say gently to
someone in the background as I speak to her on the
phone. She is Co-founder and Director of Animal
Rescue Team, a nonprofit organization which has been
inundated with animals theyve rescued and calls for
help since the fire broke out last week. Her
organization specializes in wild animals,
particularly fawns and mammals, while domestic pets
they rescue get sent to the local Humane Society. Out
of curiosity, I ask who shes talking to, figuring its
one of her animals. Its the bobcat! She was trying to
pee on me!

Di Sieno helped rescue the bobcat kitten in the photo
a week before, near Arnold Schwarzeneggers Ranch,
where it was dehydrated and near death. Di Sieno
nurtured it back to health. They rescued the fawn
during last week’s wildfire. Although wild animals,
especially of separate species, are never placed
together due to regulations, in this emergency
situation, they had no choice. During the mayhem of
the fire, they were forced to put animals anywhere
they could, since they had run out of crates large
enough for the fawn. The kitten ran to the fawn, and
it was instant bonding.

Most wildlife knows instinctively to flee fires – to
fly away, burrow, or run – but some dont make it out
in time. Rescue workers walk near the fire line with
nets, searching for any injured animals or young
separated from their parents. Burn victims go to the
local care hospital, says Di Sieno. We rescued
bunnies, squirrels, two fawns. Weve rescued I dont
know how many geese, chickens ducks, cats, birds,
turkeys, and a baby owl and a baby raptor.

Another local nonprofit, Santa Barbara Wildlife Care
Network, specializes in songbirds and seabirds, but
during emergencies rescue workers help any animal
that needs it. All rehab centers in California work
together as a team to help wildlife who are in need
of care due to injuries often caused by man, dogs,
cats, cars, etc, explains Julia Parker, Director of
Animal Affairs at WCN.

California currently faces severe drought conditions,
which increases the chance of wildfires breaking out,
and of spreading out of control. Just last year this
same region had the Goleta Gap fire and the Montecita
Tea Fire. During these fires, which can escalate and
spread rapidly due to shifting winds, pets sometimes
run from their homes, or alternately get stuck at
home when a fire spreads rapidly and desperate
homeowners cant get to their homes.

All of these Santa Barbara area animal rescue
organizations have put out a national plea for
donations because of the overwhelming need for animal
food, medicines, and space to house displaced
animals. ART currently leases a 1.5-acre plot of land
that houses rescued animals in enclosures on the
property, which require around-the-clock care, and
the organization is desperate to purchase the land.
The morning after Di Sieno along with an insanely
cute bobcat cub and fawn photo appeared on the Ellen
Degeneres show the landowner decided he needed to
sell it and shes concerned for the future of the
animals she and her fellow workers just rescued. The
WCN also seeks funds for their Oiled and Injured
Seabird Rehab Center, and receive no City, State or
federal funding. One of their volunteers, Nancy
Callahan, runs W.I.L.D.E. Services which focuses on
raccoons and opossums, had her home and facility
burnt to the ground and must start over from scratch.
After rehabilitation, the groups reintroduce rescued
animals to the wild.

This is an old story and these babies have long been released back into the wild, and grown, with no guarantees that either of them is still alive nearly a decade later. I hope they are. But, in the shadow of the fires now raging out west, I believe this to be a story which bears repeating, with clarity!

There are still good people in this world… people who put themselves in danger to save lives – even the lives of animals. Always be grateful for these people – the next life they save may be yours!

My Comet – My Tut Tut, My King

I was going to write about my Comet today, but I’m really at a loss for words. I guess I am just not ready to tell his story. Comet was my special boy for a little over 15 years. My soul mate, my King. Losing him was, not unexpected, but extremely difficult. His battle with hyperthyroidism was a fairly long one and he fought well. In the end the medications no longer worked and he succumbed to a stroke, a complication of advanced hyperthyroidism.

I will tell you this about him though – he was a great companion! He knew when I was in pain, when I was sad, whatever might have had me down – he knew and he was right there beside me putting a loving paw on my arm and laying his head against me and looking at me with his green eyes, purring. I didn’t need a doctor, I didn’t need medication – all I needed was my Comet – My Tut Tut, My King!

My cell phone alarm still goes off, playing “Morning Scent”, every morning at 8:30 and every evening at 8:30 – the times that Tut Tut’s meds needed to be given. It’s been a year and they still sound off. For me it’s a comfort – like Tut Tut reminding me from Heaven that he is still with me.

Comet – aka Tut Tut: April 30, 2002 – July 4, 2017



Never Give Up!

This is what it is all about – SAVING LIVES! Even when it appears to be hopeless.

Everyone can do something – adopt, rescue, foster, donate, promote!

Make a small donation here: http://www.HopeForPaws.org

Cricket was renamed Smokey (because of the chimney), Napoleon was renamed Ten (for the 10 FWY), and now they have their own Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/tendersmokey/
You can follow them and see their progress as they grow 🙂

Napoleon’s Rescue!

God On The Mountain

Probably one of the most truthful songs ever written. Do not despair – God is still God and always the same, whatever you may be going through…

Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain
And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known
But things change, when you’re down in the valley
Don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone

For the God on the mountain, is the God in the valley
When things go wrong, He’ll make them right
And the God of the good times
Is still God in the bad times
The God of the day is still God in the night

We talk of faith way up on the mountain
Talk comes so easy when life’s at its best
Now down in the valleys, of trials and temptations
That’s where your faith, is really put to the test

For the God on the mountain is the God in the valley
When things go wrong, He’ll make them right
And the God of the good times
Is still God in the bad times
The God of the day, is still God in the night
The God of the day, is still God in the night