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Nov 25, 2007
I'm really bad at doing these "shares" and this is one of the hardest I've ever done.  My wife and I have both lost our parents, and a son, one of are other "keeper kitte`s (Miss Chakotay), and hundreds of feral cats in the past decade.  But losing Miss Jean-Luc Kitte`, our first feral rescue, born the day after our wedding - Mary's birthday - and having her almost our entire married life made her more than special, far more than "just a cat."  She was a huge part of the formation of "Spots and Stripes" our highly successful wild cat charity. 

All that is in jeopardy now, as we are both deep in the grieving process.  I'm forced to ask as many of you as can to donate even one dollar (more if you can) to help feed, water, and shelter as many of the 1000 + feral cats we maintain in their colonies.  The big cats should be fine for now, but the immediate need is for the ferals.  Send this to anyone you think might be able to help or are just plain interested.  The site  is in shambles, but I'm not likely to clean up the junk anytime soon.  Thank you all in advance - http://www.spotsandstripes.net
David and Mary

7
Spots and Stripes Loses Dearest Friend visit site
Animals  (tags: activists, animal, death, wildanimals, wildlife, cats, kittens, feral cats, tigers, leopards, cheeths, AnimalWelfare, pets, rescued, sadness )

David
Butterflies
- 2 hours ago - spotsandstripes.net
On Nov 2, 2007, our first rescue and lifelong angel, Miss Jean-Luc Kitte` took her final breath. Our founders, David and Mary Lemke, are in a long, hard period of grieving.If you can spare even $1.00, please visit our site(it is in a mess)We are begging.
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David Lemke (8)
Sunday November 25, 2007, 3:23 am
She was 13 1/2 years old. Because in part of her, Spots and Stripes (www.spotsandstripes.net) was founded, with all volunteers and no paid employees. Vets called her "The Demon Cat", "Cat from Hell" "Bad Kitty", etc. She was always my "Love Muffin" and Guardian Angel, and live saver. She was surrigate mother to seven other housemates, teaching them to use the litterbox, use a scratching post, and was a stern diciplinarian to those two and four pawed. "Mom and Dad" are inconsolable right now, but we still have over 1,000 ferals to tend to and not enough food or money to go around. One day the grief will fade, but Miss Jean-Luc will always live on in our hearts and souls until together we cross that "Rainbow Bridge" together.
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Posted: Nov 25, 2007 5:54am
Mar 12, 2006
Thank you all for your patience! 

Spots and Stripes has our new home up and running, and things are slowly coming togther!  We are still at http://www.spotsandstripes.net  .  Unfortunately, we suffered a power outage that lasted over 18 hours, and our two best computers were fried - including the one that had most of our photos and all the back-ups from our old site. 

While we have a lot of work to do to get it back to where we want it - keeping the "good" stuff and eliminating the "junk", we are Beta-testing Yahoo as our sole web sponsor, and that should speed things up on most pages.  There is a new composition on the "Litterbox" link we think most will enjoy reading, so please do and let us know what you think of the latest "clump" in the Litterbox! 

We dearly want to get into at least the "dead" computer housing some of your favorites - cat memorials, and your personal photos and stories.  And we'll also get our "Links" set  up - but hopefully a lot more organized than it was before, so keep looking for that in the near future, but please hold off sending us more until we have time to get it set up first.  As always, our first priority is the cats.  The "Big Cats" are doing well, and pretty much take care of themselves, but the ferals need constant attention, especially in the cold weather we've been having. 

Thanks again!
The Spots and Stripes Volunteers,
Helping cats big and small, Four Paws at a Time!
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Posted: Mar 12, 2006 7:11pm
Feb 12, 2006
Another day has come and is now fading into night.  It has been a good day, so far - but our work is just starting.  A new group of volunteers have joined our ranks, despite it still being cold and rainy here.  I welcome the help, and those bright, gung-ho faces!  By this time next week, I know I'll be lucky to have a third of them still coming back.  Not everything they will find along the way, tending to the dozen-plus feral colonies will be pleasant.  Being winter, there is a dark, negative side that almost ended my own involvement two years ago. 

Yes, we do get greated by anywhere from a handful to about 30 feral cats at each stop.  They always put a smile on my face, and yes, I have my favorites.  With raw recruits along, they will be more stand-offish than if it were just me or one of our veteran volunteers doling out the evenings grub.  "Leeza" still prances nearby, with her trademark, noiseless open-mouth hiss, welcoming and warning us at the same time.  She's forgiven me for capturing her and getting her spayed, then spending an extra week with her during her recovery to try to socialize her.  Weeks went by before she'd come near me after that, but when she did, she not only came close enough to sniff my fingers, she actually gave me a "Kitty-Kiss" on my fingertip.  I knew we were friends again that night.

But the loss of "Molly" two years ago is still fresh in my mind and heart.  She was so sweet, so loving.  I could have easily captured her, without a trap and even without our kevlar and deerskin "rescue/capture" gloves.  A good grooming, worming, shots and of course spaying, and she could have found a home.  That was the winter the tsunami hit.  Our funds were depleted - we barely had enough money to feed the colonies, with most of it coming out of my own pocket.  I told many of our donors, and potential donors, "People's needs must come first."  I had turned away many donations, asking instead they give to the victims of the tsunami and the hurricanes in Florida.  One of my greatest flaws:  I'm a terrible fund-raiser.

That winter, Molly paid the ultimate price.  She was less than a year old when she got pregnant, and she died in the cold giving birth.  Neither she or her kittens survived, and the day I found their remains was one of the hardest days of my life.  Now, I prayed our new recruits to the Spots and Stripes family wouldn't come across any "Molly's" especially on their first day.  Feeding was fun.  Trying to make friends with a wild feral cat was fun.  Cleaning up after a feeding, not so fun, but a vital part of caring for the colonies and not leaving behind a mess.  Finding a deceased cat, in any form, can be shocking and devastating, especially to a new recruit.  Part of the "job", though, is to remove them for a proper "funeral" to prevent disease in the rest of the colony. 

Tonight, no "Mollys."  Everyone was happy and relatively happy.  A few no-shows, but that's not unusual.  A little extra is left hidden under a tree or shrub for them to find later.  Field training over for today - at least it didn't rain, and we found no "dumped" cats or kittens anywhere.  This batch of volunteers got off to a good start.  Time will tell. 

Here's where I make my plea:  Visit our new website.  It is still under construction since our recent move, so bookmark it and come back often:  http://www.spotsandstripes.net  We have been using PayPal to process credit card donations, or a check can be mailed to:  Spots and Stripes Inc., 10903 - 56th Ave Ct E, #M-204, Puyallup, WA  98373.  All donations go to the cats, big and small.  No wages, salaries, or reimbursements are paid to ANYONE, as written with the help of the IRS agent overseeing our 501(c)(3) application (granted to us in 2004) in our Articles of Incorporation.  If you don't specify "Feral", "Big Cat", or "Building Fund", or "Angel Fund", your donations will go to the neediest project.  Thank you for any and all assistance you can give.

David L.
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Posted: Feb 12, 2006 6:08pm

 

 
 
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David Lemke
, 2, 1 child
Puyallup, WA, USA
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