Fostering orphaned kittens

Approximately two months ago, the local shelter contacted me in regards to five tiny deliveries to my door.  Just shy of one week old, the little furballs were so vulnerable and I was honoured to be considered as a foster carer for these fragile little lives.

The cage which I had in mind was too big for them.  How do I know this, you ask?  Well, when I placed them into the cage and shut the door, they wriggled out from between the bars without any effort.  After retrieving my own jaw from the ground, I quickly retreated into the walk-in robe and grabbed one of the animal transport crates I had used to transport my cats from Australia to Finland.

When the cage had been prepared and they were placed inside, I couldn’t help but wonder how they had survived alone.  I knew that I had a heck of a job ahead of me, but would not let them down.

Every two hours, my alarm shook the bed and I took myself into the warm bathroom to bottle-feed, bathe and burp them, while also changing their bedding, kitty litter and more.  Sleep deprived, I could barely walk, but I knew that their lives were entirely in my hands and no matter how tired I was, I had to continue with the gruelling schedule of feeding five kittens every two hours, with each feed lasting just over one hour.

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My husband started to sleep on the couch.  Not used to the bed vibrating and waking him from sleep, he knew that he would get better slumber with our two home cats snuggling up to his head and feet as I continued my routine.  At the 4.00am feeding, I would then wake my husband for work, ensure he got up, had breakfast, showered and safely got to work, before I loaded the washing machine with numerous towels and my t-shirts on a daily basis.

At four weeks of age, two of the kittens sadly passed away due to weakness.  Fading Kitten Syndrome took them from me as my heart shattered, but I had to continue for the sake of the remaining three.  I could not let them down.  At first, my heart would break at feeding time, seeing three of the kittens staring up at me in anticipation of their bottle instead of five kittens.  I knew, however, that the two kittens who had perished (Sisu and Maa) had fought hard and survived for those extra three weeks because of my efforts.  I knew that I could not blame myself for their decline, but my heart still aches.

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Now seven weeks old, the three remaining kittens (Ilma, Tuli and Meri) are progressing in leaps and bounds.  They have gained an incredible amount of weight without resembling beach balls, as many kittens tend to do.  They outgrew their litter tray, outgrew the cage, and now have a cage which is double the size.  Initially I would give them play time, twice per day, in a child’s ball pit which sat in the living room.  This was great until they also outgrew that – their legs learned to jump right over the side and I was no longer able to keep them separate from my two cats.

Weaning was an adventure in itself, but it is a hurdle I am so glad we tackled successfully.  The three kittens do not like milk any more, but I sneak some concentrated milk into their evening feed in order to keep their calcium uptake at a satisfactory level.  I have twice had to Paraffin the kittens when their stools stopped.  With tiny amounts to each (half of a milligram), they quickly joined the kitty litter brigade once more.

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Now their new cage is the entire bathroom/laundry/sauna area, and the only time the kittens are moved back to their large cage is when I am doing the washing or having a shower.  My husband is temporarily living with his mother so that I can finish raising these little fur-rascals to the point where they are successfully adopted into their forever-homes.

Although it is not paid work, it is wonderfully rewarding knowing that these tiny babies (which are not so tiny any more) are happy, healthy, love to play and explore because they were given a decent and fighting chance.

I am Deaf and no longer work as a Veterinary Nurse due to the emotional trauma of losing my patients in a fire which wiped out much of Canberra in 2003.  In Finland, I am not permitted to work as Deaf people are seen as broken, incompetent and child-like.  We are none of these things.  I still have my skills which were learned in University (one of my TWO areas of expertise), and while it is not paid work, have finally returned to my calling, working with animals.

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Should you have a home which is safe and have time to dedicate to animals in need, I most definitely recommend becoming a foster carer for animals who need a second chance in life.  The rewards are immeasurable.

#animallivesmatter #KKY #fosterkittens #savealife #adoptdontshop

Check out some of the beautiful cats and kittens awaiting their forever-homes!

Rosie xx

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Deaf people are NOT “broken.”

Today, a very interesting article appeared on The Limping Chicken blog, situated at http://limpingchicken.com/2017/08/28/joanne-swinbourne-why-i-have-trust-issues-with-audiologists-bsl.  It brought up a lot of bad memories which I have tried so hard to forget.  But it is blogs like this which remind me that I am not alone.  I am forever grateful to Charlie Swinbourne for showing me that there are a lot of Deaf people out there who have encountered the same horrific experiences I have, especially in areas of surdophobia and audism.

I meet people some days who treat me as I am a leper, and the fear I see in their eyes (stay away, I don’t want to catch THE DEAF) is clear as day.  Other days, I find people will greet me with pity or suddenly treat me like a young child who has no idea about life, the moment that they realise I am Deaf.  Even more pathetic are those who have a distinct “I am better than you” attitude, trying to convince you that you are worthless unless you can hear.  For all of those people, I feel true pity.  Obviously these people have lived lives which fully shield them from anybody who is remotely different from them.  They have no hesitation in trying to make you feel broken, sad or regretful in life for not being able to hear.

The one which will stick in my head the most, however, is the audiologist which broke the news to me that I was profoundly Deaf.   Not only did she have one person to break that day (me), but two.  My husband shed many tears when she delivered “the news.”  The lifestyle changes stampeded our way, with the audiologist telling us that I will never again be permitted to drive, that I will be deported unless I undergo surgery to have a cochlear implant, that this, that that……… the “bullshit train” just rolled on and on.  I won’t apologise for that term, as there is no other way to describe her giant web of lies, as she tried so hard to transform me into a desperate woman who will allow her to slice my head open, install a cochlear implant (regardless of the very high risks and high chances that it would not work), and making me feel as worthless as she possibly could.  When she finally realised that I would not back down – that I would learn sign language and submerse myself into the world of those in the Finnish Deaf community and American Deaf community, she called me psychotic, insane, and refused me as a patient for the rest of my life.  She wished me luck in my deportation.  The taxi driver wrote on my whiteboard to surrender my drivers licence to police…… and THAT was when I realised how much of a farce it all was.

The Finnish police were shocked at the advice that I could no longer drive.  They were furious at the treatment I had received at the hands of an audiologist, of all people.  And it was then that I discovered that they TOO have no trust in people who go out of their way to make Deaf people feel broken.  I was told to hang on to my drivers licence, as I would most likely need it the next time I drove the car or rode my motorcycle.  And while I do get upset at hearing parents who allow their babies and children to be butchered by Cochlear Implant surgeries, I realise it is not entirely their fault.  Had I not encountered Dr Bill Vicars when I did, I most likely would have submitted and had the surgery too.

I’d learned AUSLAN (akin to BSL) at the Deaf Society in Queensland, Australia, in my youth and studied it further at TAFE when I was in my teens.  I now learn (and will forever be continuing to learn) ASL at Dr Bill’s web site, ASL University Online (aka LifePrint) for free, and you can also.  Don’t pay fees which are there for nothing more than profits to unqualified teachers.  Learn directly and easily from a DEAF professor from Sacramento State University, USA.  You can contact Dr Bill Vicars at billvicars@aol.com 🙂

 


My response to the post on The Limping Chicken website:

Audiologists (I have had my fair share of their arrogance and assumptions) are there to assess your level of Deafness…. AND to FIX that. They do not accept the fact that Deaf is normal. They refuse to accept that Deaf is okay. They will drill into your head multiple times each visit that it is a “retarded” state of being, that you are NOT normal, that people will not be able to, nor will be willing to communicate with you. They will even threaten you with DEPORTATION if you refuse to have surgery for a CI so that you will hear. But I stood my ground, refused the surgery, learned sign language from Dr Bill Vicars, and she “diagnosed” me as “retarded” and irrational. Since that day, I have never, for a single moment, trusted any Audiology Department staff, nor I have I trusted any ENR surgeons.

I am Deaf. I am happy. I function well in society and even publish my own (and other people’s) books for a living. I have a purpose. I do good for others. Audiologists…. they aspire to have a purpose… but never will. They thrive on instilling sadness, fear and lost hope into the hearing parents of Deaf children, advising them that the ONLY option is to do surgery on their head and make them hear. Audiologists are the epitome of audism and intolerance in a Deaf world.


 

FINAL NOTE:

I am happy with my life and I am content.  I no longer feel the pressure, inadequacy and “brokenness” which I was forced to try and feel when I was diagnosed as profoundly Deaf… and that is the way it should be.  Peace out.

Rosie xx

What it means to be an Indigenous First Nation on “Australia Day.”

When people visualise Australians, they usually see white singlet-clad men wearing shorts, thongs and holding a stubbie in their hand.  They see women talking strangely in a unique language.

At the other end of the spectrum, they picture those from First Nations as either trouble-makers or drunks.  It wasn’t until I moved to Finland, that I read the text books which refer to us as “Abos” and teach a history that never was.  The ouch factor left me speechless, as did Finland’s confusion of the words I was speaking.  Apparently “Aussies sound weird.”  I guess it’s all about who you ask.

Tonight I wrote something which I hope will convey the real sentiment of my people.  The real reason we want (need) Australia Day moved.  On two different sides of the fence in one country, people see it as two different things.

The white population see it as a day of celebration; of when Australia was “discovered” and “modernised.”  They use this day to get drunk, play football or cricket, march on the street, have a barbeque… and be loud about how proud they are.

The Black population see it as a day in which Australia’s shores were invaded by men from another country, who carried weapons, brought disease, slaughtered our people and forcibly took our land.  Our women and female children were put to work and were used to appease the invader’s sexual appetites.  The babies were killed for fun, as men buried them in the ground (up to their necks) and bet on who could kick their heads the furtherest.  The men… most were slaughtered.  Diseases were put into the water supply to ensure death of those people who resided on the land which was to be acquired by the new arrivals.

 

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With so much violence going on in the world right now, I do my best to tune out.  “Head down, bum up” is the usual saying when one is working hard to pay bills and make a living.  But no matter how much I try to throw myself into my work, some things happen which we simply cannot ignore.

Seeing images of the Klu Klux Klan running riot once again in the streets of America made my blood turn ice cold.  Then seeing the Australian Prime Minister advise the American President that he is willing to send Australia’s troops into battle against North Korea… I could not believe it.  Two madmen – Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un – want to bring the world to its knees and Australia so willingly jumped to attention, volunteering to do their part, while New Zealand said “Now, wait just a minute!”  I am quite sure we have reached the beginning of the end, and I sit in Finland, praying that my mob – my family – those I love in Australia and around the world will come through it all okay.

For the record, my mob aren’t “crazed Blackfellas who drink too much grog, get handouts for free and run amok.”  People don’t realise what we have been through and CONTINUE to go through in Australia.  The violence and ostracising of my people never ended.  We fight it each and every single day.  I fought it until I realised that a white man will always be able to have me within his reach, regardless that I was not his property.  Fourteen years after I’d left him, I was still hiding, hoping and praying he would not find me.  It’s now been many years since I had the guts to leave, but even on the other side of the world, almost a decade after marrying my Finnish husband, I still worry.  This is how much protection Black women in Australia receive, when they have finally gained the courage to leave their white, abusive, drunk partner.

I hope and pray every single day that the violence will end.  I hope that a new government comes along and that Australia starts to become the peaceful country that I know it can be once again.  I ask the Goddess to get us all to a place where we can say we are from different countries and it doesn’t matter.  We can shake each other’s hands, be civil, and share a planet together, having respect for those around us.  But in the past eight months, it seems that the entire planet has sunk to the place of no return.

Although changing the date of Australia Day was what my posting today was primarily to be about, I just want to wish each and every one of you who are reading this a safe day – one in which you have a reason to smile, to feel good, to be kind to another person, to show love and humanity to a stray animal, and to make the world a better place.  The only way things will get better is if we all lend a hand in helping it to get there.

Blessed Be, and take care of you all.

Rosie xx

Anxiety and PTSD – a response

Today, when reading a blog which I follow closely, I tried to respond but the server hiccuped and would not allow it.  Shauna… I am reposting my response to your blog right here.  I pray you will read it.  I hope that others in our situation will also find it and that it helps them in some way.  Be kind to yourself, my friend xx

 


Shauna’s initial post is located here.


 

My response:

Yeah…. I know it all too well. The panic attacks. The feeling of his eyes on you when you walk to the garden, regardless that you now live on the other side of the world and have a new name. The nightmares when you wake up screaming. The urge to strike out when another person touches you unsuspectingly. I live it daily.

It was many years before I was able to start to deal with it. By that, I mean knowing that he cannot find me or get to me any more. I am married now and have also changed my first name. I live in Finland – no longer live in Australia with my family close by. I am Deaf and legally blind due to the injuries he inflicted on me and he stole a lot of my memories which I will never regain. I know the fear.

What I am about to tell you is not a selling speel – just advice on how I dealt with my own trauma years later. After the nightmares and flashbacks continued, even eight years after being married to a wonderful and loving man, I decided to write a book. Initially, it was so I could process what had happened… maybe even regain my stolen memories. I couldn’t think of a title, so I named it after what I had actually done… “Change Your Name and Disappear.” I had to write it in the third person, in order to distance myself from the images that kept playing inside my head day after day… night after night. I had panic attacks as I relived it. I wondered how I would deal with the parts where he left me unconscious after a beating or rape, and decided to write the fog into the book as well. By the time I had finished, my husband was as much as I was, and I am so grateful he was there to see me through it. I eventually released it to the public – I wanted women out there to know that there are others like them… those going through hell and beyond… those who made it out against all odds.

After releasing the book, he found me online under my new name. It was then that I realised something I had never done so before. I put things into perspective, distanced myself a little further, and realised that my “best friend” who still lived in Australia had come into my life just after I’d left him. Had been in my life up to (and sporadically, after) I’d left Australia. On the release of the book, she contacted me, asking for a postal address or a phone number, and advised that she wanted to be able to get hold of me always. Trustingly (with her only), I gave both. And shortly after, I received SMS messages (yes, on my Finnish phone number) from an unknown number in Australia. He’d found me. After all of these years, my heart was crushed when I realised that my “best friend” had been his own personal spy. I think that was the sucker-punch which even bested his abuse.

I no longer trust people. Being unable to communicate any more (with a phone) is even more difficult, with my dad being unable to use a computer. I miss my family so badly, but the fear that bubbles inside me, I don’t know if it will ever pass. I left him when I was 25. I am now 46 years of age, and have since moved once more, with Finnish police and border authorities on high alert.

Although I am now living in a bubble – me, my two cats, my husband who works 7 days per week – I can go outside, do the gardening, make myself useful each and every day. A few weeks ago, I bought an electric bike and a dog trailer to pull behind me. Local storekeepers know of my communication problems, but I carry a Deaf card so new staff also are aware that their flapping lips will never reach my ears for processing. The electric bike allows me to pick up parcels or groceries when my husband is working. I can ride long distances to do this. It is also good to have in case one of the cats needs a vet and my husband is working.

Although it may not be original advice: Take one day at a time xx ❤ xx

New Electric Bike …a tad oversight.

Last week, I sold my trusted motorcycle (to save money on petrol and do the right thing by the environment), before replacing it with an electric bicycle.  The bike, which travelled to Finland all the way from Germany, was a sheer delight.  The only fault I could find were two flat tyres (on delivery), so I went and dusted off the bike pump, only to discovered that it, too, had died. (RIP).  Not wanting it to be stolen from my happy home in Utsjoki, I pedal-straddled the bike to the end of the riding path in order to lock the bike up safely in the shed.  As I did so, the handlebars dropped and I came a cropper.

Yesterday, I bought not one, but two new bike pumps from the local hardware store.  After pumping up the tyres, I was set to ride – forgetting (of course) that the handlebars weren’t quite right.  Not far into my journey, the handlebars dropped down and, again, I came a cropper – much to the delight of the applauding neighbours who were having their Saturday afternoon beer-fest.

It would sound rather sad to say that I’d forgotten the first incident when my handlebars got too close to my overly-rounded girls before I nose-dived into the gravel path.  Regardless, that’s exactly what I’d done, and now I have TWO bruises to remind me of it.  On inspecting the screws on the handlebars, I tightened the ones on left and right, before tightening the ones front and back.  The one at the back of the handlebar was fine.  The one at the front…. was missing the nut which secures it in place.  Mystery solved.  I have since sent the people in Germany (Bikester) an email regarding my small misfortune, and felt bad asking them to send me a nut (which should have been on the bike, but sadly seems to have been forgotten about).  I dread their response.

In the meantime, my new electric bike and I shall walk down the bike path of shame to the bike shed, whilst shielding my bloody gravel-face from further applause.

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*bows graciously to the tune of further applause, before limping away*

Rosie xx

PS:  Here’s my letter to Bikester in Germany:

Good afternoon,

Today, I was able to take my new bike for a test ride for a second time, confident that all would be well, and eager to test out the electrical system.  Once again, the handlebars dropped, and I was confused as to why they would do this.  On pulling up back at the house (I fell off at the house, and the surrounding population applauded and cheered), I did a thorough inspection of the screws holding the handlebars in place.  Those on the left and right were tight.  The screws at the front (top and bottom) of the handlebars were a different matter.

I ensured the one at the back was unable to be tightened any further, but when I attempted to tighten the screw at the front, I turned the alan-key, and turned it, and turned it some more.  I wondered why it was not tightening at all, so felt underneath to see if the nut was geared to go in the opposite direction (I am from Australia, and when we flush, the water goes up – yes I am kidding – but it does go in the opposite direction).  What I found was that there was no nut at all securing the screw at the front.  This answered the question of why the bike’s handlebars keep falling forwards and backwards, and why I was entertaining the neighbours so much, finally has been answered.

As I very much wish to use my bike before the ice freezes the streets (which is in the next few weeks), please forward the replacement bolt so I can securely screw the handlebars into a secured place.

As for the other invoice, I will have to follow up on that.  But missing bolt aside, this is a truly outstanding bicycle.

I look forward to hearing from you.  Hyvää kesää (Have a great summer!)

Rosie Malezer

Summer – a poem.

In Finland, when the mozzies get so bad that there are more of the rotten buggers than the angry, splashing droplets of falling rain, you sit indoors, gratefully looking at the insect screens which keep the blood-sucking monsters outside while you have every fan switched on (inside the house) just so you can breathe.

Please enjoy my short artistic expression of appreciation for the heat that makes me squelch when I walk indoors:

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Oddly enough, both of my cats seem completely unphased.

Rosie xx

Deaf-shamed at Hesburger

I am still shaking right now.  While this may not be book-related, it hurts me to the very core and is a prime example of how the Deaf community are treated in Finland.  After today’s incident, which had me in tears, I won’t be a patron of their stores again.  I have just sent the following complaint to them directly – not that I see it having any action taken.

 


 

Today my husband and I went to Hesburger close to our home in Utsjoki, which we try to do at least once per month. I am Deaf/blind so it makes it quite difficult to do many things outside my home. We do try to make the trip monthly, however, as it is nice to eat away from home occasionally.  My husband ordered for us both, ordering the chicken tortilla meal and chicken nuggets, before he realized (before I had opened the tortilla packaging at all) that he’d forgotten to tell them “no jalepenos.” I am allergic and have an anaphylaxis reaction to them.  I’d also forgotten to refill my Epi-pen prescription, as it is so expensive now.

When we took the unopened tortilla to the counter and asked it to be exchanged, the manager (she was wearing manager’s uniform) said absolutely not, she will only replace it if we buy another one. This had happened once before in the past eight years (that time at Lielahti) and the manager was happy to exchange for one without jalepeno, as the alternative was possible death. After my husband was refused, I personally asked (I am unable to talk properly) if I can please exchange it for one without jalepeno as I have anaphylaxis reaction.  After I had spoken out loud, the manager laughed, shook her head (NO) and walked away from the counter laughing. As a Deaf woman, it is embarrassing for me to talk out loud AT ALL but then to be laughed at about something so serious was humiliating. I left the restaurant in tears, without my money and without my tortilla. I am still shaking and will never go to Hesburger again. I am sad that this is how your Deaf community is treated.

 


 

With so much crap happening in the world, whether in the middle-east, in USA – at the hands of narcissistic president, Donnie Donut – and in so many other places, do people really have to continually treat Deaf and disabled folks so shamefully?  It is sad, especially in Finland, where our country is seen as a leader in so many other aspects in the world, that the Deaf and disabled are still treated like the comedian, hired to entertain at parties because of their inability to speak or hear.

 

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To that one person who works at Hesburger, taking such delight in shaming the Deaf woman in public today, may Karma befall you and may you truly feel the shame which you made me feel today

 

Rosie.

Baldwin’s Latest SNL Skit Has Trump Voters Saying “Too Far”

SNL has made life bearable, since the “election” of Trump. Please keep the laughs coming, Alec 🙂

Tom Hasle

Alec Baldwin returned to “Saturday Night Live” as POTUS to tout all his supposed wins this week and to ensure he still has his fans’ support-or lack thereof it.

“I met with leaders from China, Egypt and Jordan. Gorsuch was confirmed,” Trump boasted to the crowd. “The media is saying nice things and no one’s talking about Russia. What a difference just 59 tomahawk missiles can make.”

But when a coal miner, played by cast member Kyle Mooney, asked Trump a question about a federal rehab program that’s preventing his wife from moving to a new town with him, Trump brought up how alike he and his supporter really are.

Many have been saying the jokes have been taken too far though. See for yourself and let us know in the comments if you think it was too far or not.

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