Animal Ark Sanctuary

13 years ago

    On one cold day this past January, Mesue, a beautiful female long-haired grey and white tiger cat, was surrendered to the Ark. The owner, Rebecca, with “tears in her heart” had made a very tough decision. She was going to move to Oklahoma before long and just could not take her pet with her. Rebecca had struggled for days over this decision. She loved this cat, but felt she had no other alternative.
    Rebecca and Mesue had recently moved here from Wyoming. She had great hopes of finding a job and settling down in Houlton. Things just did not work out that way.
    Shortly after we accepted Mesue at the AAS, she was adopted. Later, through no fault of the cat, she was surrendered, and once more without a home! I knew I had seen this cat before, but couldn’t remember where.  As I sat at home that night, it finally came to me just where I had first met her! The next morning when I was back at the Salon, I approached this beautiful animal and called her by the name I felt she owned.  
     “Hello, Mesue. Here Mesue, come see me.”
    The cat came running. I had goose bumps. There was no doubt now in my mind that this was the cat that Rebecca had surrendered eight months earlier. I was happy that I now felt I could place her. I did pull all of Mesue’s adoption paperwork to completely confirm all my thoughts and suspicions.
    Now for the part of this story that reaffirms how connected we, as pet owners, remain with those animals that we love or have loved in the past. They are family. On the Friday morning after Mesue’s surrender, the phone rang at the Pet Salon. Much to my surprise it was Rebecca, Mesue’s original owner. She was calling from Oklahoma. She told me that she felt something just wasn’t right with her former cat. It bothered her enough so that she decided to call us to see if we knew how Mesue was doing. I explained to her what had happened, and that I was almost certain that this was the cat she had surrendered. Naturally this news was very upsetting to Rebecca. I asked if I could email her some pictures of this kitty for her 100 percent positive identification. The pictures were sent and positive identification was made. This was definitely Mesue, the very same cat that Rebecca had rescued when she was just a kitten!!
    I am still amazed by this chain of events. Rebecca and Mesue had been separated for eight months. How could Rebecca know that Mesue was in trouble. It might have been easy for some to put it from their mind, but she told me that she just couldn’t. I continue to believe it is that strong bond between owner and pet.
    One of the reasons that led to Rebecca surrendering  Mesue in the beginning was a financial one. Without a job, money had become an issue. Rebecca now told me that she was financially in a position to take her cat back. I told her just how miserable Mesue was. We both decided it was time for Mesue to go home to the owner she loved.
    Still one problem loomed large. This lonely cat had to somehow get to Oklahoma. This was quite a dilemma. As Mesue’s luck would have it, one of my very good regular customers, Honey Schmidt, came into the Pet Salon to be groomed. As the grooming was taking place, I told Honey’s “parents,” Bob and Verna, about Mesue’s story. They donated the money for her airfare immediately. Mesue was reunited with Rebecca on Thursday, Sept. 23. She will fly out of Bangor at 8:30 on Delta, arriving in Arkansas later in the day. Rebecca will meet her there and take her home to Oklahoma.
    To all of those who helped Mesue complete her journey, a thank you does not seem like enough. My faith in good caring people has been restored.
    The perfect ending for this story: On Thursday night, Sept. 23,  Rebecca called to say that after a very long flight, Mesue arrived at her destination safe and sound. Kitty and owner were reunited. Rebecca was delighted and told me then where the name MESUE comes from and what it means. Mesue means “beloved kitty” in Puerto Rican…and she is just that. There is nothing we like better than happy endings.
Upcoming events
    We want to encourage all to eat at The Horn of Plenty on Oct. 13 as it is “Community Benefit Night” in support of the Ark Animal Sanctuary. From 4:30 p.m. until close, a portion of the night’s proceeds will be donated to the AAS. Reservations are recommended. (532-2260) Hope to see lots of friends there.
    We will be having a turkey dinner at Watson Hall on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 5-8 p.m. The menu will consist of turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetable, gravy, rolls, and pie. A desert auction will also take place.
    Thanks to Darlene Kenney, who entered the AAS in a “Fueling Good” contest, we have won a $2,500 Citgo gift card and a case of oil. We understand that Citgo officials are joining us for the AAS turkey dinner on the 16 and will present this award. We are so pleased to have been the recipients of this gift. It certainly will help us in this formative time. Thank you Citgo.
    FABULOUS FUNDRAISERS — On Saturday, Oct. 30, the AAS is hosting a Walk-a -Thon Marathon. It will be a four mile walk/run, and will start at the Hollywood Pet Salon and end up at our new home on the Old Woodstock Rd. Come see all that we have accomplished on our beautiful 35 acres. Leashed dogs are most welcome to join in. There will be two checkpoints along the way, and shuttles will be provided for those who get too tired to finish. At the end we will be serving pulled pork, nachos, and some other treats. Registration and pledge forms are available on our website ( You may also get these forms at the Hollywood pet Salon. Registration is $5. Strut Your Mutt T-shirts, with our sponsors names, are being made up as I write. The first 25 people who register will receive a free t-shirt.
    Please put this date on your calendar, and plan to help us continue to make the lives of locally abused and homeless animals much better. They deserve a second chance in life.
    We want to give a huge thanks to Veronica for organizing the entire “Strut Your Mutt” fundraiser which has to date brought in $1,300 in sponsorship money. From this we will need to subtract advertising and cost of t-shirts, but are very pleased with the community response. Thank you all!
    The 2011 calendars featuring local pets are now on sale at the Pet Salon. The cost is $10. Veronica Daggett and her mom have done an awesome job creating these calendars and putting them together to benefit the AAS. Thanks, girls, for all your work!
    A big thanks to Roz Morgan and Susan Young for their donation of skylights, a washer, and various other items that will be so useful in our new building. Your generosity means so much, especially now as we are getting our new building set up.
    Another update from Lorraine! The well and septic lines are in at the building site, gravel has been delivered and the forms for the slabs are in place. We are now waiting for a price on the concrete. At this point everything, all bills are paid in full. Paying our way in a timely manner is so important to our mission and our reputation. I want to especially thank my husband (Bob Monfils) for so much of what has been accomplished. He has been working his fanny off trying to get everything done and save us money on labor. Thank you, Bob, from all of the AAS fan club!
    The AAS has taken in two dogs and 25 cats. We adopted 20 cats. We currently have three dogs, 69 cats and one pig. Our expenses were $3,468.88. We took in $879.66 in fundraising and donations.
    We welcome local support. Any contribution is welcomed, whether it is in cooking for our sales and suppers, fostering an animal until we have our building up and running, or a monetary donation. Many wonderful people have volunteered to work at our sales and other of our fundraisers. Thank you, and thanks also for reading our column.