Rescue Journal


Alison  ·  Nov. 25, 2006

Hester died at 1:15 today. I would like to tell you her story.

Hester and Pops and Boo and Mae and Jacob, came to SAINTS about a year and a half ago. Mae and Jacob have already passed and Hester joined them today. They came from another overextended rescuer, a conservative count was more than 100 cats in a small one bedroom apartment. They all were sick, had very sore mouths and were covered with ringworm and lice. I nicknamed them the Plague Cats. While Boo was only about twelve, the others were all more than 15. Hester was almost 17 yrs old when she died today. Her name was Hoop when she got here, all of them had names that I just couldn't stand. I have no idea where she or the others had come from, before they were homeless in a place too full. But they came here and it has been an ongoing struggle with Pops and Boo to keep them going sometimes. Hester was always a sweet cat, but she was a bit of a baby. At night she layed curled up under my quilt against me and squealed if anyone accidently stepped on the lump that was her. Funny how all of those cats claimed a corner here that was theirs alone. Hester my bed, Jacob our shoulders, Boo the computer, Mae the covered cat bed, and Pops as always, guarding the kitchen sink. I sometimes wonder if any of these cats, ever had a good home where they once belonged. Hester has been failing for months, despite a good appetite, she was fading away. Her thyroid was ok, her kidneys not great, but she was just starting to wear done and fade away. Last weekend when she got sick, i realized how much that I loved her. Sometimes you take those small warm bodies pressed up against you at night for granted. But this week i remembered and she so patiently accepted my caring for her, feeding her, rehydrating her and trying to make her better. Today when I took her to the vet, the vet could see, just like I did how bright was that one good eye, peacefully looking back. She was comfortable on her pain meds, she was holding her own against the virus that brought her low and no secondary bacterial infection had breached our defense. But she still would not eat or drink. she would purr and cuddle, she would rub her head against my hand, she would willingly accept my care. But she could not come any further back from the brink and held there toddering, waiting for me to decide. The vet offered the option of a stomach feeding tube and i know Hester would not have faulted me if I had tried. But at 16 yrs old and frail as she was, I decided to help her to go instead.

So, I pulled her little body towards me, and I hugged her into my chest like she loved, and with a faint and rumbling purring against my heart, I watched her peacefully let go.

Many, many of the deaths here sadden me. None of them should die in my arms. For all of them I want something better, like a home and a family of their own. But for Hester and the two remaining plague cats, I think that for them, passing from here is not so very sad.



Sylvie and Nicole, thank you so much for the update. Thomas has been in my thoughts - he is such a sweet loving dog and tugged at my heart so much. I can't tell you how good it is to know he is fitting in so well and that you are loving him so much. Please give him a cuddle from me.


well sylvie and nicole, you are both exactly why we do this...there are not alot of people out there willing to take all the risks that come with adopting a senior dog. you came forward knowing some of the issues with thomas, but not all of the others and still you stood by him and are happy to have him in your life. thomas is a good, good dog, he deserved a great, great home and he got it! thx from all of us and from thomas most of all. and you can post updates on him any way and any where on this blog. we love to hear that he is happy.


Neither Nicole nor myself have ever written on a blog before so this is a first for us. I am not sure I am writing in the right place. First Carol, I want to say how much we admire the work that you and all Saints volunteers are doing. You have so much heart and strenght; it is amazing.
We wanted to give everyone some news about Thomas. In four words: HE IS DOING GREAT!!
We love him as we are getting to know him. He is a cool guy, who loves the attention Nicole gives him. He has been following her around the house and as he is getting used to be here and feeling a little bit safer.He spends time snoring besides the fireplace. Today we gave him a bit more stimulation. We all went out and play Hide&Seek. He had a great time, looking for his bone that we had hidden in the bushes.
His big lump is not so big anymore thanks to Nicole's hot compresses twice a day.She has trained him to come in after a walk and wait on the rug until he gets his paws dried out with a nice towel.He is very patient and calm about it all. Thios dog obviously had some previous fancy high class education.
I got him a nice bed for the TV room and he loves to lie there while we watch movies. Sometimes we wonder where this funny noise is coming from, but it is only Thomas snooring in deep sleep.
Like all Border Collies he loves to keep an eye on us in case we ask him to do a job....consequently my sister will come next week and show us some mental exercices to do with him in order to keep him alert and a bright fellow for as long as possible.
We are very happy to have had a chance to help him and we consider ourselves lucky to have met such an easy going dog. Nicole is starting to lose weight with all the brisky walk she has with him and Sylvie has one more reason to rush to Galiano every weekend.
Sorry to hear about all the loss you had this past week.Hopefully next week will be a kinder one.


I held sweet Hester just before she went into her crate, she was calm and definatly at peace with herself. She looked at me and it was as if she said "it's time". You are forever a beautiful little girl Hester.


Look at you Hester, the world knows about you!! She was thanking you Carol, putting her trust to you every night.. Thanks to you and all at SAINTS!


lacey needed you more michelle, hester and mae were content...i am so very glad you chose lacey, had she died here i would have been filled with regret. i have not worried about lacey's happiness since the moment you picked her up in your arms. we can't save them all, but good god in heaven, we damn sure can try. lacey and hester were both lucky, one with me one with you. how many thousands in our areas alone, never even come close. it sucks to be a cat for most of them, less than a dog, but more than a drives me nutz. you and lacey make me feel good again.


Awww Hester. When I went to visit SAINTS last winter, Hester and Mae were the cats I wanted to meet. These were the ones I had considered adopting when I knew I was going to bring home a kitty. Instead I brought home Lacey, as she appeared to be the least comfortable in her surroundings (she was a new arrival). The reason why I took Lacey instead of Hester or Mae was this: Hester and Mae seemed genuinely happy to be at SAINTS. They had already adjusted to being "home". I didn't want to make them go through yet another change in their lives. So, as much as I am sad to hear that Hester has passed...I know she felt loved, secure and content in her final home at SAINTS. RIP sweet Hester.


oh hester, i took photos of her yesterday, but she kept lowering her head below the edge of the cat bed.
<p>this is the only good one i got:<br />
<img src="" alt="hester" /></p>

Chris Thomas

Sorry to hear that Hester has gone. I am sure she and the other 'plague cats' have treasured their time with you - being warm, fed and loved.


Thanks, Carol, for letting her sleep in your bed, for caring so much, for all the cuddles you gave her, for letting her know she was special, and most of all, for holding her in your arms as she passed.
Run free, Hester...go find Jacob and Mae and all the other SAINTS that have been held in Carol's arms.