[bct] For Sabrena

  • From: "Dana Niswonger" <dniswonger@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2005 05:11:13 -0600

Good Morning Sabrina:
I wanted to take a minute and tell you about my cats and dog.  In 1985 I lived 
in Sacramento California.  Some of my disabled friends and I banded together, 
borrowing 1.5 million dollars from the National Cooperative Bank in Washington 
DC. and an additional $445,000 from the local area redevelopment authority, 
resulting in the building  of a 25 unit condo complex called 17th Street 
Commons.  Completely accessible and we all moved in July that year.  The very 
first day, my wife and me found a cat that had been hit by a car in the alley.  
We took him to the vet and after surgery, four days in the animal hospital, 
plus $287.00's we brought Onyx home.  A similar set of circumstances brought us 
in touch with another stray cat in 1987 and thus, Shadow came home.  We have 
made three moves across country, taking the cats with us on two of them.  When 
we left California in 1994, I was unable to bring Onyx and Shadow with us to 
south Carolina.  Rejenia and I left at different times and I flew, not knowing 
of any way to transport them along.  I found them a good home with an elderly 
lady who loved them very much.  I arrived in SC. in November 1994.  In 
February, 1995 I got a call from the lady who had them now.  She ask me if I 
might want them back.  She told me of her planned move to Texas and said that 
she would pay for them to be flown to us in SC.  I was overjoyed!  My boys were 
coming home.  Perhaps, now I understand that old saying, "if you love 
something, set it free and if it comes back to you, it is really yours".  They 
arrived safely and we went on living together.  October 1995, I went to Florida 
to get my first guide dog, Willow.  When I returned a month later with her, I 
thought the cats would hate me forever.  They did for a while but they got over 
it, one of them did anyway.  Onyx and Willow became quite good friends and 
shared the same sofa.  Shadow never got over my betrayal and he and Willow 
never really got along.  One day in 1998, a day we will all never forget, 
something happened that still makes me smile.  It was a warm, still afternoon 
in June.  It was one of those days where you could feel something in the air.  
Sure enough, about 3 PM. a tornado watch was issued by the national weather 
service.  We prepared, in the event that the watch became a warning.  At 4-35 
PM, it did.  My wife was at work and I was very scared.  I have never 
experienced this type of weather before although I was in the major 7.4 Earth 
quake that hit Palm Springs California in 1992.  Taking sofa cushions, bed 
pillows and my radio, I made a fort in the bathroom, it being the only room in 
the house with no windows.  I took Willow in there with me, not really worried 
about the cats.  She just wouldn't stay there, she kept going back out to the 
living room, clearly wanting something that I was not able to understand.  She 
kept going over to the entertainment center and I couldn't figure out why.  Did 
she want her favorite movie or something?  I began searching around on this 
piece of furniture, finally feeling up on top.  There were Onyx and Shadow, 
fast a sleep in the warm sun coming in through a parting in the drapes.  I 
picked them up and took them into the bathroom with us and Willow settled down, 
happy that we were all together now.  Onyx lived to be 17, going to the Rainbow 
Bridge in 2002.  Shadow lived to be 17, going to the bridge in 2004.  I lost my 
Willow last year after only 12 years together, she had cancer and I had to put 
her down.  I don't mean to make you or anyone else sad, we all loved each other 
very much and are so glad to have miles of both video and audio tape of all of 
them.  They will certainly play a big part in the special CD. I will be making 
for my wife about our life together.  I'm sure we will have pets again some 
day, I may even consider getting another guide dog but not right now.

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