in memory of ANNIE

January 2009

Annie - Anne - Wee Anne - Weezie

With the enthusiastic interest of all the staff at the docks in North Vancouver,  AAS had been tender-trapping dozens of feral cats, spaying or neutering, releasing and feeding them, so we were more or less "on call" whenever new cats or kittens were spotted by any of the kind-hearted employees. Wee Annie, with her brothers and sisters, was found hidden by their mother in a pile of lumber, which about to be loaded onto a ship.  One of the kindly guys, who all took a soft-hearted interest in the feral cats which made their homes in the bushes nearby, discovered the clutch of tiny kittens when his fork-life barely missed crushing them all.  He suspended his task and phoned AAS.  Mumma cat couldn't be found.  None of the staff knew who she could be, so it's likely that her "owner" had dumped her just recently, fully pregnant, and after giving birth something had happened to drive her away. The kittens had been surviving by "nursing" on each other's urine and Wee Anne's wee bottom was sore, so we made her a protective 'hospital gown' out of a tea-towel. 
Annie shares a bed with a friend...                           ... and bears wet smooches with polite fortitude

Annie's Big Bro Jo-Jo lounges on his astonished but tolerant sister.  He's about to tell her to go get her another cold one and fix the rabbit ears so he can see the game better.  And he does mean rabbit ears!



The wastebasket under my desk not only was a great hidey-hole (from brother Jo-Jo), and it made great cracking noises, but it was toasty warm because of the heat register behind it.

Haiku for Annie by Lyn MacDonald


A few months after her death, I wrote a page of haikus for Annie, and read four of them at a local coffee house - something I had never done before.  I think the courage to do that was a gift from Annie. 
I miss you, my old friend.  Thanks for everything.  Lyn

cowlick curl of hair
breeze moves you as though breathing
your new death still waits
my precious wee cat
curled between my breasts in bed
brought solace always
a haiku can not
begin to measure my love
far removed from words
memory still here
Annie the joy and laughter
stays on in heartsong
waiting for six weeks
you terrorized the big cat
you became the queen
a soft paw always
gracious requests were made by
wee orange sister
a cry, thinning, frail
a stagger, a pee, a fall
a death, so relieving
beneath the bean tree
I watch without seeming to
a spring growth of kits
life goes on of course
off course, off kilter, off key
without you, all grey
I didn't know you
til autumn was upon us
you left golden leaves



In May of 2006, I received an e-mail from Judy stone of Animal Advocates - would I please take a very special 14 year old cat that she had rescued at just a few days old?  The request came with Annie's baby picture, and I could not refuse.
The lovely couple who had been Annie's family for years, the Bannisters, who could no longer house Annie in the indoor/outdoor way that she so loved, brought her to me at the ferry terminal.  Poor Anne was frightened, and spent the first six weeks mainly lying on a cushion in my storage room, watching the neighbour's sheep.  She was so affectionate with me, but wanted nothing to do with the other cats in my home.
I built her a screened sundeck, but she was hysterical when I put her in it, so I dismantled it that day.  So much for my first renovation job!
The next day, we went outside together, and over the course of the next few days, Annie explored the yard, and found all the private, sunny spots.
Then the offensive - Annie launched herself at Simon, the 23 pound cat.  She was screaming like a banshee and boxing his ears so quickly that I couldn't see her paws.  The two other cats looked on in horror.  Annie had established her place.  Pascha and Zak warmed up to Annie quite soon after that, though they deferred to her a bit, and let her have her own special spots.  Even with Simon, when Annie wanted comfort, she would attach herself to his back like a barnacle as he lay sleeping - always looking to warm her chilly paws! I think he enjoyed wearing Annie like a blanket, as much as she did, and there was never another fight, after Annie had made her initial statement.
Here is the letter Annie dictated to me to send to her dear friend, Judy
Dear Judy,
I remember you, though it was a long time back.
I liked you very much, but never understood you having so many dogs and cats under the same roof.
That is why I moved to the Bannisters - just so you know I have no hard feelings.
The Bannisters were very good to me, although I am upset over this forced move.  I like to do things my own way.
I am a lone operative.  I have a lovely high bed in the back room overlooking a yard, and occasionally sheep come right to the fence to graze.  I've tried getting messages out to them, but they're not all that bright.
There are 3 other cats here.  I took the offensive one night, over some tuna, and now they leave me strictly alone.
I enjoy standing in their water bowl with dirty feet, and they have to drink that stuff - LOL!
Lyn has to borrow a ladder to do one last thing on my sundeck, but she says I'll be out there by tomorrow - she has no idea how much I can scratch on the trip through the house.
The dog farts, and he has a very bad leg, so I am hoping that he does not last all that long.  I don't want him here - will you take him?  Please?
Re: the money - I say thank you, Lyn says no need, we're all fine here. I think we can trust her - she made me a mobile, and she is very good to me.  She sings me stupid little songs, but I endure, as one must sometimes when dealing with those of another species.
And I mustn't forget to tell you that there IS a reason that the Big One is over 20 pounds - it's because he supplements with rodents - ALL THE TIME!  I watch everything and I have a photographic memory.
I know to be very careful when using the phone or computer, but my cadre name is SOLO II.  No details though, unless we are alone.  

Your friend,

She is buried under the roots of a small tree in the orchard
Annie and I became as close, as though I had known her all her life.  All my cats have been remarkable in my eyes, but none more so than Wee Annie. When I moved to Coombs, in Oct. of 2008, Annie was in the car with all the others, including my dog, Jordan. 
Annie was the first to explore her new surroundings, and discovered the joys of woodstove heating, and sharing a bed with a loved one.  Because she simply had to stir her water before drinking it, after the fire cooled each night, a little Annie, with one sodden paw, usually caked with kitty litter, would climb up the side of the bed, push aside my duvets, and crawl down under the covers to warm her cold paws and ears.  She had the most mischievous grin!

Annie's was the last face I saw before falling asleep each night, and the first to greet me in the morning.  How I loved her!
When spring arrived, Annie went on great solitary hikes around this 14 acre farm.  I'd often see her on a rock by the creek, or under the leaves of a shade plant up here at the cabin.  She still slept with me, even on the hot muggy nights.
But Wee Annie started to lose weight, and of course, she had kidney disease, as so many old cats do.  Within a month of her diagnosis, she was gone.  Far too quickly, but then it always is.

She is buried under the roots of a small tree in the orchard.

You can help to pay AAS's vet and rehab bills so that we can go on doing this for the dogs that have only us. All donations go directly to real animal welfare.

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