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One Beautiful Cat, Two Lucky Pigeons, and a Marine Disgrace

Story ID:9541
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Cleveland Ohio usa
Person:Cleveland APL
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I saw a recent post entitled - Why do we write? I am sorry that I
didn't read it now, but I believe I know why most of us write. We
want to tell our truth; we want to inspire with wonderful accounts
of goodness; we want to educate because learning is a never-ending
process if we want to truly live. Education, truth, and inspiration-
I hope you will find these elements in "Lurleen's" story and the

Recently, the Cleveland APL shared Lurleen's story, and not only did
her picture and story appear prominently in the Life section of
the Cleveland Plain Dealer some weeks ago, but a local TV station
also caught up with it and featured it on the TV news last night.

I had to smile when I wanted to title this post -Lurleen, the $25,000
cat. It surely would have been an attention-grabber, but I felt it
was misleading. Some would have thought that she was a rare pure
breed whose pedigree would have commended this unheard of price.

This would be far from the truth because Lurleen was probably a stray
or just another pregnant cat turned into the Cleveland APL because
someone hadn't cared enough to alter her in a timely fashion. And now
they wanted no responsiblily to care for her and her kittens.

Thank God for Cleveland's APL no-kill shelter. Sadly, they get way too
many dogs and cats who should have been altered and were not. Don't they
realize that all the APLs over the US are over-burdened because of this
irresponsibility and inaction? I thank God every day that there are
people who take the time and expense to alter their new companion animals
in a timely fashion which prevents unnecessary births and suffering.

I am justifyably proud that I have been responsible for the altering
of some 40 cats and 7 dogs over the past 35 years. I am always grateful
to God that, despite my small bank account, there was always money for that
important need. But now back to the story of Lurleen, one special cat and
how she netted the APL with a $25,000 award from Petsmart because of the
story they sent them in her regard.


Nolan, a small newborn pit bull puppy, was brought into the APL - clearly
in need of his mother's milk. But -she was nowhere to be found. What to
do? Were there any pregnant dogs in the facility? Amazingly no. But
then there was Lurleen feeding her kitten offspring. Would she notice
if they deposited Nolan at one of her teats?

Well, if she did, it didn't matter. For her it was just another mouth
to feed and she may have even realized how wonderful it was that the
APL had given her shelter and food for her and her kittens. When they
gave her another baby to feed -even though not of her species, she did not
object. It was her turn to give.

Are cats basically altruistic? I have no idea though my cat crew rarely
exhibits it at meal time. For example -Patrick and Penny - two rescued
ferals who I believe would push others from their plates at mealtime were
I not there to "police" them. Both of them though have basically sweet
dispositions. Patrick -especially as I noticed when we rescued a bunny
from the outdoors was only too happy to wash his head and hobnob with him-
the only one of my 7 cats to do so.

So now Nolan was being nourished by Lurleen while a search was underway
to find his mother. Yes, she finally was found - in deplorable conditions.
Tethered in someone's backyard - terribly emaciated and dirty. It was amazing
that she had given birth to a basically healthy Nolan, and she certainly
probably did not have milk to nourish him with.

Rescued from this horrible existence, she has since blossomed and thrived.
And the best part of the story now is that Lurleen, her kittens, Nolan, and
his mother -all have been adopted out to loving homes. Kudos to the Director
and staff of the Cleveland APL.


I know that some people are not interested in the subject of pigeons, and I
find this sad. In my view its really discrimination in the bird world. I
view them as one of God's creatures, and I certainly would do nothing to harm
them. If they are causing problems, then humane solutions should be found.

It is disgusting that in Hegin, Pennsylvania they have a yearly pigeon shoot
where hunters release the pigeons they have gathered and shoot them as they
fly away. Falling from the sky, some are only wounded, but these hunters sadly
teach young boys to find them and wring their necks. Certainly this is not
teaching them to be caring and sensitive though can this be an act of mercy?
However there would be no need if they didn't shoot the pigeons in the first
place. Bird discrimination and cruelty is alive and well in Hegin, PA. as far
as I know even today.

For a few years I was happy not only to feed pigeons in my yard but the
starlings and sparrows who were hungry -especially in the throes of a cold
winter. My yard didn't basically appeal to the "beautiful" birds, but then
I wasn't a bird watcher. I was a hungry bird feeder.

Sadly, finally though after tolerating my bird feeding in my yard for a few
years - a feeding which often attracted 30 or 40 birds each day, my long-
suffering neighbor asked me to stop. She claimed that she was getting mites
in her bedroom as a result. Mites? Well, I obliged. Now I had only my small
bird feeder in the front to replenish with bird seed daily. I thought only
the hungry sparrows of winter would use it.

Well some hungry pigeons have come too, and it is proving to be a balancing
act for them as they flutter their wings trying to balance as they peck at the
seed-filled rims of the feeder. Yesterday, one pigeon even managed to lift
the latch on the feeder and poke half of his body into the feeder's inside
and peck at will.

Later in the afternoon, retrieving my mail, I looked at the feeder and was
horrified to see a pigeon's backside thrusting out of the feeder. There was
no movement from the pigeon. Oh no, did he suffocate in the the 2 pounds
of bird feed originally placed there?

With sad apprehension I went to the feeder to retrieve the pigeon. Yes, he
or she was tightly wedged in the feeder, but finally with one up and sideward
thrust- out came -not one but TWO very much alive pigeons. I was delighted.
They had not suffocated in my feeder. I know they were "delighted" too and I
have a feeling they will not be returning to my feeder any time soon.


Recently on Face book- France posted a very disturbing and disgusting picture
of some Marines -supposedly engaged in a "hardening" practice. One was shown
biting off the head of a snake. Another bit the head off a chicken. And one
it seemed was on the verge of swallowing a baby snake. If these cruel
procedures are part of Marine training, I find it completely revolting and

While it may well "harden" the Marine subjected to this type of "training," it
also teaches them to show little respect and sensitivity towards God's animal
creation. And sadly, I even noted from the expression on their faces that this
cruel taking of life seemed enjoyable to them. I hope I am wrong and that this
is only one occasion of some sick minds and not standard Marine procedure. If
it is standard procedure, then I have lost a lot of respect for the Marines.