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Friends of Felines Rescue Center, Defiance, OH 43512

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Let’s get one thing straight.  There will be no parties for me.  I will NOT wear a hat today.  And if anyone try’s to blow a horn in my direction, I will smack you.

Today is my birthday.  I am taking today off.  I will not patrol.  I will not restore order amidst this world of kitten chaos.  Today is my birthday.  Today I will rest.

I will not listen to those whines, those cries, those yaps from those varmints.  I will have a stress free day and I will reflect on all that I’ve seen, all that I’ve observed, all that I’ve taken notes about.

Birthday parties are for those whippersnappers.  I don’t even know if this really is my birthday.  At a certain age you just let them tell you what day it is and go with it.  I’m told I was born, June 7, 1997.  Who can remember that far back?  Sometimes I forget things, but that doesn’t mean I’m old.  Oh, no I am not.  I am like a fine wine, I get better with age.

There is so much to do here.  So much of my time is spent trying to keep order.  It is amazing they survived without me.  But somehow they did, barely.

Due to circumstances I would rather not go into detail with, I found myself two years ago out on the streets, alone and very sick.  Actually, it really wasn’t the streets, it was a Golf Course.  I had gone through a difficult time trying to make due on my own.  It is not that I am weak, mind you.  But really, who lets a cat fend for themselves on a golf course?  Every day there were flying balls coming straight at me.  And the bugs, good Lord the bugs.  They were everywhere.  I tried and I tried but they were like an army; relentless.

And me without my proper grooming tools.  I fought gallantly but I was overcome.  They took my strength away and water was hard to find.  Who builds a golf course without water?  Idiots, all of them, those golf course builders.

Well, after weeks of fighting the fleas and other bugs my hair became all knotted and tangled.  The bugs ate my skin causing a rash the likes I had never seen before.  My whole body burned.  I thought it was the end, the very end.

But then a hoomin reached me and brought me to momma Jacci on June 7, 2010.

I was in a sorry state I tell you.  It wasn’t pretty.  Momma Jacci gave me a shot to help with the pain.  I heard her whisper “we’re going to have to shave you, ok?”  I said “Do what you must.  I can take it.”

And so she got out the buzzer thing and proceeded to shave all but a tiny bit of my fur off.  I saw myself in the reflection from the sink, it was horrendous.  My skin was a bright red, it was just dreadful.  But I knew I must go on.

I was given fluids and food and more medicine to calm my skin.  It had been so long since I had eaten; it would take a while for me to gain my strength back.

After a few days I began to feel much better.  But the fight had taken so much out of me.  My legs were so very stiff.  My back, oh my back ached.  Dr. Bill came to see me and helped ease my pain. 

After a few weeks I began to feel much better.  My strength was returning and I thought about leaving, I even headed for the door once.  Momma Jacci blew this giant horn at me.  It made the little hair I had stand up tall.  What a crazy woman, I thought.  Why was she blowing a horn just because I wanted to go outside?

And then I realized what she was trying to tell me.  She needed help.  She needed me.  You see it was June; it was the middle of Kitten Season.  They were running everywhere.  Little grey things and white things.  It was horrible.  They were so undisciplined.  They were incorrigible.  They needed to be taught a lesson.

Momma Jacci looked at me with such a sad face; it was as if she was saying, “We need your help!”  And so I decided to stay.  I decided that FFRC needed me to keep order in the ranks.

Now, some cats might say “I’m retired.  I’ve done my time.  I’ll just sit back and watch the birds at the bird feeder.  But not me.  There was so much to do, so many things to fix.  First, I needed to teach those whippersnappers to respect their elders.  So I promptly began a morning ritual of smacking as many as I could reach.  Oh, my smacks don’t hurt.  They just stun them a little.  But they are better off for them, I say.  Almost immediately I got their attention.  Almost immediately they began to back away when I would walk by.

I needed to set schedules.  There was no routine.  One must have a routine to be efficient.  I decided I would patrol the center every two hours.  Despite my arthritis, I made a point to walk every inch of the Center to ensure certain standards were met.

It was easier to keep order at night.  Those half wits were all put in a room at night, so I only had to deal with the elders and the teenagers.  Oh, the teenagers.  They were trouble.  First I needed to show them to respect the Pink Rug.  It was a privilege to rest on the Pink Rug, not a right.  I quickly established rules for the cabinet doors.  If they were open, I would close them.  I would teach the young manners.

Momma Jacci and all the volunteers saw the leadership qualities in me.  It was not long before I was named the Sheriff.  It was and is a fitting title.  We must have laws at FFRC, and someone must enforce them.

But when you become Sheriff you can’t be bothered to make many friends.  It is a lonely job.  Oh, I do have some cats that I can trust.  I will let Kiara share my yellow table with me sometimes.  She’s not bad for a teenager.  She’s a little skittish at times, but she’s respectful.  I like that in a cat.

Of course the Elders respect me. Sometimes, I do get on Ada Jane and Magenta for their gossiping but they are allowed to get away with things I will not tolerate in other cats. Age does have its advantages.

I am, of course respectful of Bella.  She may not be as old as us Elders, but she has been at FFRC for so many years, I can overlook her many faults.  And believe you me, she has many faults.  I will ignore her “presents” left in the most annoying places.  I do not fault her for those.  But I do wish she would not lick those kittens so much.  But I see her smack them a lot too, so I will forgive her “tender” moments.

Cutie is another story.  She is simply nerve wracking.  She insists on being nice to everyone.  She insists on mothering those fur balls. 

And Emaline, well she will just lick those disgusting creatures for hours.  I have spoken to her on more than one occasion, but she ignores me.  I will forgive her.  She’s a calico you know, can’t expect much from them.  They are simply, well they are moody creatures.

I have tried to mentor those Persian Boys.  They are not the brightest bulbs in the light socket, but they can be molded.  They are permanents, so one day they will have to take over for me.  I simply cannot be the full-time sheriff furever.

I do worry what this place will do without me.  So I must carry on with all my strength.  Dr. Bill makes regular house calls for me.  I do appreciate the therapy.  It is harder for me to groom myself, so I let the volunteers tend to my needs.  Some are better at it than others.  I have trained Mary well.  She knows just the way I prefer to be combed.  She insists on telling me how much she loves me.  Of course I know she does, but I wish she wouldn’t say it in front of the other cats.  It can be a little embarrassing.  But, the truth is, I love her too.

Yes, I Putter am capable of love.  I try not to let too many know that.  It can weaken my authority.  But sometimes a true leader will show his soft side.  But not too often!

I do quite like all the volunteers.  I find if I stare at them long enough they do things for me.  It is a little trick I’ve learned over the years. You see, the sign of a good leader is to understand the weakness of others.  For example, recently I’ve discovered if I stare at momma Jacci’s door long enough and then turn my head and stare at Connie, she will walk over and let me into momma Jacci’s house.  It’s a neat trick.  I don’t even think she knows she’s been had.  But I continue to do it.  It’s a lot of fun.  Yes, I can have fun too.

But I will not have a fun birthday party.  So don’t even think about it.  Today is my birthday.  Today is my day off. 

Oh, no one of those little creatures has just gotten his paw stuck on a tunnel.  Oh, the job never ends.  I must go whack him free.  Oh, look that idiot can’t figure out how to get out of the jar.  “Hey you, turn around.”  Oh, next year I will take my birthday off.  There is simply too much to do right now.  A sheriffs’ job is never done.