When Community goes far beyond the internet

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In late July 2017, my mom was doing what she loved doing: puttering in her amazing garden, accompanied by her latest cat. She felt ill and we went to the emergency room. Within a week, she was gone, due to undiagnosed lung cancer. It was fast, but Mom was ready to go.  But during that last week, the only concern she expressed was “What will happen to Mr. Twinkle?” Mr. Twinkle was Mom’s last cat.

Mr. Twinkle came into our little town in rural central Missouri with a mother-daughter pair who rented a small house a few lots uphill from us. The mother was battling breast cancer with few medical resources; within a year, she had succumbed to the disease. Her daughter didn’t stay around long, and left behind their unfixed tomcat.

He wasn’t approachable, but strays or abandoned cats in our neck of the woods always seem to figure out that this one couple (us) and woman (Mom) either took them in, found them homes, or provided food and shelter. We trapped Mr. Twinkle, got him fixed, and turned him loose, figuring he’d be a wary outdoor cat. Yet within a month, he was living underneath Mom’s front porch, lured by her constant supply of treats. Flash forward another couple of months, and he was coming into her house; eventually, he spent the night and declared her house his new home. We’d seen this play out numerous times over our previous two decades of residency.

We couldn’t figure out a name for him, but he was identical to one of our current cats, a barn rescue we’d named Twinkle. Thus, he became Mr. Twinkle. He followed Mom on her gardening rounds, sat on her lap, and gave her great company during the last two years of her life.

We reassured Mom that we’d take care of Mr. Twinkle, one way or another. For the first month after her passing, he lived in her house. We’d let him out in the mornings, and put him in at night, but we weren’t ready to try and integrate him with the three cats at our place just yet.

I mentioned this process in our Rescue Ranger workroom. Immediately, DrLori responded that “We’ll take him. My husband’s been wanting a cat just like him.” The only issue? We were in central Missouri, and she lives on a small farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.  

I found a pet transport service, worked out the details and one morning, maybe three months after Mom was gone, we loaded Mr. Twinkle into the van and watched him leave. It was the only real sadness I’d felt with Mom’s passing—it felt like the last bit of her was leaving.

DrLori reported that Mr. Twinkle was equally reticent upon arrival at the farm. Yet as with us, and with Mom, that didn’t last long. Within a couple of months, Mr. Twinkle was running the place, bullying the dogs, “supervising” any outdoor activity, and charming anybody who visited. He’d found another new home, hopefully his last.  

I get occasional pictures and stories, and my wife has even been to the farm once to visit. So give it up for DrLori … and the Daily Kos Community.


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Climate Brief: How well have climate models predicted global warming? by billlaurelMD (2004-173-36)

This brief synopsis from billlaurelMD explores science’s attempts to get politicians to act on climate change, and subsequent refinements to climate modeling. Dr. James Hansen first testified before Congress in 1988, stating that there was a 99% probability that global warming was happening even then, using the 1950-80 global mean temperature as a baseline. He discussed the probability of more extreme heat and drought events, and asked for additional help in improving the climate models. BillaurelMD provides a graphic representation of climate models from 1970-2020 and how they’ve compared with observations and recorded data from that timeframe.

Movie Review: ‘Farewell, My Lovely’ (the book and the adaptations) by disinterested spectator (2010-307-47)

Disinterested spectator compares a novel by Raymond Chandler to a number of film adaptations, noting the differences between each that reflect social changes over the decades, especially in civil and gay rights. Rather than focusing on the red herrings so prominent in Chandler’s work, the author unwinds the plot to examine the motivations that drive the characters.

Denial as a form of mind control by psychusa (2014-72-0)

Psychusa gives us an essay on the interplay between a global, profit-oriented industrial system, its influence on politics, and the coming climate change issues. Denial plays a large role here, particularly when a rich and privileged elite largely controls the messaging apparatus. The author quotes the late Jim Morrison: “Whoever controls the media controls the mind.” Harkening back to the 1960s, the author repeats what activists then learned, namely that the primary engines of progress (in this case the efforts to mitigate climate change) are in the hands of the people, not politicians.

End of an era … by boomheist (2015-6-0)

Who doesn’t love a good sea story? Boomheist recollects over 40 years working on ships—from a deep water crabbing vessel, to the docks of New York City working for the Port Authority, then onto working the docks in Seattle. They went back to sea in 2012, and saw the rise of the massive container ships that are now all over the news. The writer’s experiences help inform the situation that the global supply chain finds itself in today during a global pandemic.

How should Iraqis remember Colin Powell? by washingtonave (2020-1-0)

Powell’s legacy, particularly as it pertains to the Iraq War, is complicated. His subsequent mea culpas notwithstanding, washingtonave points out how one feels about the man will reflect where one was in the wars Powell oversaw during his career. In this case, the author is married to an Iraqi who lost family during the 2003 invasion, and reminds us that when looking at his legacy, don’t overlook “the stories and perspectives of his victims.”

Doyle is out, is a new era on the horizon? by raywr86 (2021-1-0)

Mike Doyle, a longtime centrist Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, announced his retirement; along with that of 81-year old North Carolina Rep. David Price, the mainstream media has predictably embraced the usual “Dems in Disarray” or ‘Dems in Retreat” theme in their reporting. Raywr86 notes that these are seats Democrats will most likely retain and adds that far more progressive candidates have announced they will run for them in 2022.

’My Name’ and the use of violence by jaaneezutto (2007-114-5)

Jaaneezutto reviews the new Netflix release, “My Name,” a South Korean crime series tailored to an American audience. The author examines the intense, choreographed violence and hyper-pacing of each episode in the broader context of the South Korean crime drama genre.

Teaching English while living abroad by Krotor (2013-255-63)

Krotor relates their experience about teaching English abroad with discussions of the benefits of serving as a teacher, content and pedagogy considerations, and details about how to get certifications for teaching in different locations. Much of the information also applies to anyone considering teaching English as a second language here in the States.

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An edition of our rescue roundup publishes every Saturday at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT) to the Recent Community Stories section and to the Front Page at 10:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT).

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