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I know.. I know.. it’s been a long while since I’d written anything but life has a way of sidetracking some things.  But things are ‘cool’ – at least for the present.

While this issue is not deaf related,  it does affect us all as human beings and this incident happened to me just a few days ago.  It’s not the first time something like this has happened in my life and each of them have affected me to the point of thinking about it for days on end.

You know we all tend to take each other for granted and this extends to our furried friends as well.  Dogs and cats, ferrets and turtles, birds and snakes..  the list goes on.   I think of them as a gift to mankind and being such, they should be treated as given their rights to a humane way of life  and death.

It was dark by the time I made my way home and the weather had been cold all that day.  I was driving down a dark stretch of a street downtown in my area, heading home.  There were just a few street lights and being the only driver on this stretch at such a late hour, I almost missed seeing a pair of eyes reflecting from my headlights.  I slowed down a bit, straining to see through my slightly dirty windshield and suddenly realized it was a cat.

My first thought was ‘Silly cat for not knowing better than to lie in the middle of the street at night’.   With that assumption in mind, I slowed down  enough to  go around it, blaring my horn as I went by  and in that split second, I knew there was something strange. Going just a short way up ahead, I found a place to turn around and crept back to where the cat had been –  and hoping I was wrong. At the same time,  I kept my eyes open for other cars heading in the direction I had been a few minutes ago and wondered what I would do if a new car appeared.  Jump out and wave my arms at them with the possibility of being thought a fool – or worse yet, a drunken one at that?

None of the above happened by the time I got back to where it was..  and it was gone.  ‘Well..  that’s that!  It’s likely hiding in one of the bushes near the street’   With the temperature dropping by the hour, I was more than ready to be home and work on my painting.

I drove to the intersection and turned around,  heading back in the original direction I’d been in the first place and drove on.  It still didn’t feel ‘right’ to me and I guess something kept me alert enough to catch from the corner of my eyes a reflection bouncing off from my headlights.  The reflection of a pair of eyes making it clear it was still lying on its side and this time to the side of the road. Slowing down even more, I decided to take a good look.

Something was wrong –  bad wrong.  I stopped the car and slowly got out.

Oh my God – it’s been hit!  What should I do?  A thousand thoughts flitted through my brain, going on overload as I walked slowly towards the tortoiseshell cat.  It watched me, then started scrabbling frantically away from me.  Her front claws dug into the cold hard surface of the road as she dragged herself forward, the back legs stretched out in full behind her –  and useless.  She was plainly in shock and fear- ridden.  Stopping where I was, I started crooning to her, hoping to keep her calm and wondering how I was going to do something.  I got close enough to lean over her and reached out with my right hand (where did my brain go at this time?  You do NOT reach out with a bare hand to an injured animal)  Spitting at me, she suddenly lunged up and bit my index finger, breaking the skin.  I moved back quickly, shaking my fingers and splattering blood around.  She was prong on the ground again, panting heavily with her sides heaving.  Wrapping a piece of cloth around my finger, I stood there for a minute thinking..

Since we were in front of a house with lights still on, I took my chances and opened the gate.  Finding myself on a old fashioned porch, I knocked on the door and was able to see a large TV on.  A woman appeared out of nowhere, her expression concerned and cautious.  She walked up to the window and moved her mouth.  I pointed to my ears and shook my head then shouted.  “Do you have  a cat?  There’s one out here hit by a car and hurt bad!”

She seemed to say something and I yelled (no idea how loud I yelled) that I was deaf and gestured for paper and pen –  hoping for some form of help.  A few minutes dragged by until she opened her door and stepped out, her bulky body wrapped in a well worn red jacket.  Luckily I could read her lips and it turned out she was going to check with her neighbors across the street because they had a cat who looked like the injured one.  I stayed near the cat, watching with hope as she ran across and up the porch of her neighbor’s. She  returned a minute later, shaking her head.  She saw their cat reclining on the porch so it wasn’t theirs.  Now what?

She said she had a box and would get the location of an emergency animal clinic –  she was sure there was one across the river. I left my car lights on, blocking any oncoming cars from the injured cat and lit up a cigarette, watching the smoke drift away into the night.  My eyes traveled up to the woman’s second floor windows and could see her obviously searching a room.   She brought out an oblong box.. one perfect size for a cat with that kind of injury –  and a pair of heavy leather gloves.  I got an old blanket I keep in my car for emergencies and gently laid it over the cat, thinking the quiet darkness of the heavy cloth would help keep her calm.  The woman laid the box down next to the cat, on its side and somehow, I managed to wrap a portion of the blanket around the animal and just barely lifted her enough to get in the box.  Did I hurt her worse than she is already? 

Armed with the address of the clinic the woman gave me, I moved my groceries to the floor and placed the box on the passenger seat and took off.  About ten minutes later found me parking in front of the clinic and as I was bringing the box out, a clinician saw me and came quickly to the door and held it open as I passed through.

I explained its situation as I knew it best and wondered aloud about the possibility of having the cat transferred to the humane society after they gave it the medical attention it needed.  The woman nodded and said that’s definitely what they’re already planning on and will call them in the following morning to start the process.  They will have the cat placed in a foster home with an eye towards a permanent home willing to take on an animal with special needs.  I signed the paperwork, releasing the cat from my care and left.  But the cat never left my mind.

And with that in mind,  this was not the first time something like this has happened.  Many years ago, I came upon a possum in my old neighborhood and it had been hit badly too.  It’s entrails were spilled out over the grass where the possum had crawled over to.  I knew there was no hope for it and it was in deep shock and gasping for breath.  I took a tire iron and took the injured animal out of its misery.  It made me sick –  literally.  A life at it’s end and in the most horrible way.

But not all things ended horribly.  Nor has it been painful.  Once when I was leaving the barn where I’d kept one of my horses and found a box someone had left earlier.  Inside was a mother cat and a litter of kittens.  While I was examining them,  a car pulled into the dirt driveway to the barn.  It was a family I knew since their young daughter took riding lessons at the barn.  She and her little brother were in the back seat.  Her father asked what I was doing and I told him – and added if he’d like to take them on down to the humane society down the street  a couple of miles.  Guess what he said?

“No need.  They’ll be fine there or someone else will take ‘em in  or something”  

Right..  something…   Though I have no children, I couldn’t help but wonder if that was any way to raise kids with that kind of exposure to a parent’s approach to animals in need?  I think not.

I think animals are a gift to us.. and we should not be afraid to help when it’s called for.  Even if it’s unpleasant, a hand should be extended to them.  (Not extended like I did with the cat!)  Trust me –  you will sleep better at night instead of wondering if you should have done something.

Just do it.

Until the next time..

RFW

That our President Bush had reached the limits of stupidity,  he takes a leap even further beyond.  Evidently, there’s no limit with him…

That with the cat fur flying all over about Paris Hilton, you’d have assumed we’d had enough of ‘girls in trouble….  then Britney Spears wigs out.  Who’s next?

By the way..  don’t make plans to move to a rural area in Alabama.  It seems that a Texas plant in ‘Bama  treats human waste from New York (yes!  New York!) and turns it into fertilizer which is …… spread on Alabama farmland and now is creating a big stink –  literally.  Don’t think I’d want to buy my veggies from that area…

read below if you don’t believe me…

(link: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/03/ap/strange/main3327357.shtml

Oh.. one little tidbit here….  did you know that condoms that are made according to ‘international’ sizes are too..  errr  large for a majority of Indian men (of India)?   International size????    Reports showed that a study found that more than half of the men in India measured to be shorter than ‘international standards’ for condoms and this lead to a call for condoms of mixed sizes to be made more widely available in India.

‘International size’??????????

hummm

I really really must get back to serious reading……  (sorry George Bush)

til next time

RFW

Isn’t that wonderful? After all this time, I thought I was missing out on being in a deaf program when I went to a public school way back in the early 70’s.. well Golly.. looks like we don’t need em after all *SNORTS*

OH..? Did I just snort then? Well excusssse me.. it’s just a reflex, ya know! I tend to snort when I come upon something like this, thanks to the ever increasing ignorance of the Hearies (oh.. sorry.. I could say ‘Fully Intact People’.. how’s that? ) FYI.. Fully Intact People does NOT mean those who are neutered.. so don’t be getting the idea that we’re normal. Oh heaven forbid if anyone dares to argue otherwise!

Dear me.. I feel another snort coming on….

Wait.. you’re looking at me and wondering if I lost it? Babycakes.. I never lost a thing in my life. (aside from my first pair of glasses in the forth grade)

Ok.. here’s this thing here.. a friend gave me a heads up on this article from the Chicago Tribune

(If there’s anyone from that area, please feel free to dispute this.. I urge you….)

Click on this link: .. no.. wait.. I’ll do better than that.. Let me just stick the whole damned nine yards in here..

*Click*

Lending ears to learners

Thanks to technology, and new teaching tools that help students use it, deaf children are excelling in mainstream classrooms

Tribune staff reporter

 This has me rolling my eyes to the sky – and no it ain’t the pie in the sky…  Shall I mention a slight churning in my stomach after reading this?  When is this going to stop?    Read on.. and be sure to read the very last line – which is sickening because it displays a one sided view of what CAN constitute a deaf person –  from a medical viewpoint, that is.   

This soap opera ought to be washed out…

Serious Story Line for Soap’s Erica Kane

By Associated Press

Susan Lucci, who plays Erica Kane on ABC’s “All …

NEW YORK – Erica Kane may not be so selfish after all. The “All My Children” diva, played by Susan Lucci, will focus attention on her grandson’s deafness in upcoming episodes.

The ABC soap opera, known for tackling serious subjects as well as the usual murder and betrayal, is introducing a new story line Sept. 20 that has Erica’s daughter, Kendall Hart, dealing with the discovery that her toddler is deaf.

At issue is whether the child should have cochlear implants, which help the deaf to hear by turning sound into electrical impulses that activate the hearing nerve. Kendall is dubious.

“She’s a perfectionist, so she wants the perfect life for her child and she’s afraid that he won’t have it,” Alicia Minshew, who portrays Kendall, told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

But Erica has tricks up her sleeve. She invites a young boy who had successful cochlear implants to be a guest on her talk show _ and arranges for Kendall to watch the interview backstage.

“Erica being Erica, reacts with action,” Lucci told the AP.

Instead of using an actor to play the boy, “All My Children” asked JQ DePaiva to play the part. DePaiva, the 10-year-old son of “One Life To Live” stars James and Kassie DePaiva, was born completely deaf and attends a mainstream school after getting implants in both ears.

“This is going to sound very cliche and very silly,” Minshew said. “I honestly feel like I am telling a story that makes a difference in people’s lives.”

A short time ago, I got a reply on one of my old posts and thought it merited some looking into. Here it is:

“I have the privelage of working for Sorenson part-time(travel 200 miles one way) and full-time for a local college. The opportunity may arise in the near future to set up a Sorenson center in my home town. Decisions….decisions???? When it comes down to it I have to look out for what is best for me and my family; chances are I will leave the college where we have an average of 35 deaf and hard of hearing students to work less hours, and be compensated more. I feel it’s about time the sign language interpreter is valued, and Sorenson is the company that has stepped up and expressed just that. What does this mean for the deaf community? Well, how about getting together to implement more ITP’s, or educate your local school boards of the importance of training, paying, and appreciating their interpreters. Several friends of mine currently work within the school district as interpreters and have expressed their frustration with the “aide” mentality. It’s about time interpreters are looked at as a valuable commodity and not an “aide”. I personally feel Sorenson is an uplifter and for your appreciation toward interpreters I personally thank you.”

Interesting, eh?

While I feel the frustration of seeing so many good interps ‘beating a path’ to the doors of Sorenson to offer their services in exchange for a more stable source of income, insurance and benefits, I can readily see why they’d opt for this course. On the other hand, I have to wonder at the original purpose of the interpreter training program – one of which it’s keynotes lies in working WITH the Deaf Community.

There is no denying of our appreciation for Sorenson’s pioneering early work in giving us a new technology in communication via our video-phones to be used for VRS relay and for direct connections between the Deaf people.

But in view of this and what is apparently becoming the common outcry among the interps, what are we supposed to do? This also affects the future of the mainstreamed deaf children in public schools if a certified interp cannot be found for the classroom, resulting in a poor outcome with a mediocre (and often, uncertified) interpreter.

Let me ask you this – since Sorenson started setting up call centers across the country, how has this affected your access to a interp in your area? Is it taking longer than it used to? Do you end up with one that you’d not recommend to anyone? Most of all, what do you think about the response of the interpreter I posted above? Let’s hear your opinion

Till next time…

RFW

I think this says it all…

bad-bush.jpg

You all know that these days, America is probably one of the most litigious countries in the world, rife with lawsuits and court appearances ranging from the serious cases to the … ridiculous. Humans are out for blood (or money) and will bring in all sorts of witnesses to present their cases (and at times, witless people who’d been dragged unwillinginly to state they’d never seen their neighbor(s) (1) flash themselves (2) leer at their wifes/husbands/whatever (3) hosted a beer keg party on a Sunday (4) and the list goes on.

Well today dawns a new sense of the ridiculous. Let it be written down in American history that a courtroom never breaks out in a brawl.. or is that ‘bray’?

br-69237.jpg

yup.. folks, you saw here. This was taken from Comcast news and followed by the statement:

Buddy the donkey is led by Ranch Operator Etienne Grimmett and owner Gregory Shamoun, right, into the Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 courtroom Wednesday, April 18,2007, in Fort Worth, Texas. The donkey was at the center of a dispute between oilman John Cantrell and attorney, Shamoun, that began after Cantrell complained about a storage shed Shanmoun was building in his backyard in Dallas. He said Shamoun retailiated by bringing Buddy from his ranch in Midlothian and putting him in the backyard. Cantrell complained of donkey noise and manure piles.

Buddy was the first witness and walked to the bench and stared at the jury, the picture of a gentle, well-mannered creature and not the loud, aggresive animal he had been accused of being.

I ask… who’s the donkey’s ass? :)

Til next time…

RFW

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