My dear in peace.

On Christmas day 2008 I lost a friend to pancreatic cancer, she was only 55 years old! Leslie was an incredible woman who was an avid animal lover with a kind and a gentle heart. For the last seven years she has been (daily) caring for our group of local dump kitties. I was able to fill in for her on many occasions, once for about two months after which I got to actually stroke the soft little head of one feral kitty. All the cats at our dump are black or black and white. Their numbers range from four some years to just two. All of them have been trapped, neutered or spayed, and have had their basic shots. We live in new England which has some severe winters, lots of snow and cold. Because of Leslie's love for these feral cats, they have lived relatively well in a snug little igloo house packed well with hay and always fresh (thawed) water and food. During my shifts as caregiver, I faced many days of bitter ice and cold, chipping through their frozen water to make room for fresh, and that was only a few months out of the seven years these kitties have been watched over! Leslie worked closely with a local charity known as Animal Dreams together they made a huge impact on the quality of life for several stray or abandoned kitties. After Leslie's passing, I looked into my heart to find the best way I could offer my condolences....I decided that helping Animal Dreams would be my way of remembering Leslie. As an artist and Co-leader of the group Art for Critters, I hope to contribute a large portion of my art sales to Animal Dreams. I also hope to bring Animal Dreams into our Art for Critters list of charities so that all fifty five of our members can also donate to this charity. Leslie, if you are looking down on us...thank you for all you have done and I promise to continue to care for our “Dump Kitties”.
Here are a few little paintings I have done in the past which resemble our little crew of black dump kitties.

Thank you Leslie, I will miss you!

2010 Update: A year later...A4C has raised a few hundred dollars for Animal Dreams and I am now the main caregiver for our one remaining "dump kitty" He is a beautiful all black cat I named Ivan. He rewards me daily with his soft meow and trusting eyes! RIP Leslie


DEB said...

Melody, I'm sorry for your loss. Leslie sounds like she made the world a much better place. Thank you for sharing her story.

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Melody, your friend sounds like she was a wonderful, kind person and truely needs to be remembered for her loyalty and devotion to the dump cats. She certainly made their lives much better and your honoring her thru her charity is wonderful! I hope someone has picked up where she left off.

Melody Lea Lamb said...

Thank you Deb and Gail. Gail, there IS someone who has taken over the care of the dump kitties and I am her back up. If there is ever a reason that this person can't care for the kitties, I will always, always take care of them, for Leslie...indefinitely.

T.A. Paxton said...

I've heard much cursing about feral cats. It's refreshing to hear about people who care so much. I'm sorry about your friend. We need more, not less, of that kind of compassion in action.

Melody Lea Lamb said...

Just revisiting this post nearly a year later. A4C has raised a few hundred dollars for Animal Dreams and I am now the main caregiver for our one remaining "dump kitty" He is beautiful and rewards me daily with his soft meow and trusting eyes. RIP Leslie

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