The kindness of Mrs O

Have you ever noticed that all those animal rights people look the same? I knew one once, she was a little old lady who lived alone, well not actually alone, she lived with 7 cats, five dogs (big dogs I might add), a few hamsters, and a parakeet. I was asked to visit her home once to install a satellite system. (yeah, I am good at that sort of thing or anything else that deals with electronics or wires).

Upon entering her home, the strong smell of urine met my nose. I wanted to leave, but given the fact that I have a soft spot in my heart for anyone who does volunteering in our community, I held my breath and entered the house. Her house was old, and in urgent need of repairs. I had heard that she had money, left to her by her husband; but she chose to spend the money on stray animals rather than herself or her home. I attempted to sit on the chair and discuss the details of the installation, but she stopped me before my ass met the couch cushions. She said that the spot I chose to sit belonged to ‘poopsy’, aptly named for his habit of pooping where ever he got comfortable, and that the certain spot was his favorite spot on the chair. nuff said. I chose to stand instead.

Mrs. ‘O’, as she liked to be referred to, was a tall woman in stature, with straight grey hair tied up in a bun. She wore old dresses like you would see in the black and white movies of yesteryear, and judging from the decor in her home, she collected things that became too dear for her to discard. Everywhere I looked, there was either a cat or a dog, curled up in any spot where they could find comfort.

It was apparent that Mrs. O stood up most often, as the animals seemed to take ownership of every room in the house. In fact, there was not a spot in the home where a person could sit even if they wanted to, as the animals chose to lay wherever they wanted to.

Mrs. O used to volunteer her time with the local ASPCA, a ‘No Kill’ animal shelter where the volunteers got just a little too attached to the animals at their shelter. I remember on one occasion, I visited the area in search of a puppy for my son. They had several animals there, but they would not adopt out any of them. “I would miss the little guys”, Mrs O replied when I asked her for a puppy. I think she missed the intention of the organization.

You would see Mrs. O every time there was a charity function in our community; she would usually sit at a large table, selling various items and raising money to keep the shelter afloat.

I visited the shelter again a few weeks ago, in search of a kitten for my niece. I seen Mrs. O in the main room of the shelter, and upon entering, I was surprised to find that it was not Mrs O that I had seen, but rather, the newest volunteer at the center. I asked if Mrs O was around, and was shocked to find out that she had passed on a few weeks back. The lady, who looked a lot like Mrs O informed me that the kind lady had willed all her life’s savings to the shelter.

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