On April 16, 2013 we learned our Cookie-Wookie has a large tumor in her stomach. The vet said she has days to perhaps a couple of weeks left. We decided to bring Cookie home so she could depart on her own terms with loved ones around her. Pray for Cookie.
For Cookie Tribute including photos, poems and listener emails, click here.
Rescued from a kill shelter in Manteca, Petey Pumpkinhead III entered our lives 7 years ago. Abused by a previous owner he was skittish and nippish. That changed with love, affection and attention.
He was a majestic furry orange tabby. His coat emitted a perpetually lovely fragrance. He had the sexiest strut with an ever present erect tail and endearing behind.
Petey had simple needs. Belly rubs topped the list. He loved resting in his backyard igloo. He would prance out when I entered the yard and open wide for belly rubs and rolly polly.
He bonded with Klimey who also was rescued from a shelter. Klimey loved licking Petey and taught Petey how to love back. They were inseparable.
Petey-Weedy (as we called him) evolved into the sweetest and most gentle of companions. When hungry, he would jump into bed and delicately place his paw on my face. No histrionics, just a love tap and breakfast was on.
He loved sleeping inside the space between my legs or alongside the curve of Clara's thigh. His body language suggested the most delicious of dreams. He also had the squeakiest yawn when awakened.
Petey had a ravenous appetite and wore his weight well. That changed last October when he dropped 2 pounds in short order and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.
He continued to lose weight but his sweet demeanor never changed. Although not a lap cat during his youth, lately I would place him in my lap in the back yard and we would stay together for long periods. These were cherished moments. Klimey would join us and stay by Petey's side.
Strong medication was required every 8 hours to dissipate the fluid in his lungs. No matter how much lasix was dosed, it could not stay on top of the progression of his heart disease.
Last week Petey hit a low point and could hardly breath. He hadn't eaten for 2+ days. We upped the lasix and he recovered miraculously. His breathing appeared normal and he started eating - but only food fresh out of the can. He ate more than he had in months. He had playful sparring sessions with Klimey, tons of rolly polly and belly rubs, his tail was erect and he slept next to my face the other day.
Today he had a good appetite in the early afternoon. I didn't see him the rest of the day. When the thunder rumbled and the rain came pouring down I went outside.
He was in the igloo. I tipped it and he ran inside. But something was wrong.
His breathing was labored. Petey could not catch his breath. He had breathing attacks before and I had feared the worst, yet Petey always persevered.
An hour or so later when Clara came home, Petey's condition had worsened. When he walked from under a table to lie down in the litter box that was an alarming signal. I picked him up and he let out a cry. Petey went under the bed where Klimey was and continued to make anguished yelps.
We left him alone. Petey soon emerged and we put him in a blanket by the heater.
He wanted to be left alone.
Petey-Weedy barely could walk and stumbled out the bedroom and down a few steps to the cat door. Somehow he pushed himself through. The igloo was two feet from the door.
We let him be.
An hour later Clara checked on Petey.
His fur was gorgeous. His body still warm.
But Petey had passed.
He never made it to the igloo.
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Yinon Muallem and his ensemble will perform Tangential Turkish/MiddleEastern fusion with a lilttle Indian spice during the May 2013 Tangents Turkey Music Tour.
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Yunus cave concert in Cappadocia
during 2012 Tangents Turkey Music Tour
(photo by Derek Holmes)
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This often features a Palestinian artist or music connected to Palestine in order to help focus attention on relieving the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Gaza Corner has evolved to include news and music from other regions of the Middle East and North Africa.
Detained: Testimonies from Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel
(+972 Blog, text and photos by Samar Hazboun, 4/19/13)
14 year old U.S. citizen
Mohammad Khaleq is one of more than 8,000 Palestinian children held by Israel since the year 2000
(Linah Alsaafin, Al Jazeera, 4/15/13)
First (top) story excerpt:
‘Detained: Testimonies from Palestinian Children Imprisoned by Israel’ uncovers
one of the most painful experiences that Palestinian children endure in the ongoing Israeli occupation. Through interviews with ex-detainees and mothers of minors presently in detention, the project documents their stories and aims to lend a voice to those who are silenced from fear of negative repercussions.
Over the past 11 years, according to Defence for Children International, some 7,500 children have been detained in Israeli prisons and detention facilities. Muhammad Daoud Dirbas, at the age of six, was the youngest child to have been detained by Israeli soldiers. Such practices are considered illegal under international law, as are other policies that children are subjected to, such as solitary confinement.
In most cases, I (Samar Hazboun) found children who suffer from various traumas. Some were not able to talk about what had happened in prison; others burst into tears. Many children agreed to talk “off the record”; I thus know their stories but was not able to officially interview them or take their pictures. In some cases, I was able to talk to the parents once the child left the room, and thus obtained more detailed information about how the children were dealing with what had happened to them.
In many cases, the children suffer from insomnia, involuntary urination, nightmares, depression, and fear of going out and facing people.
All the children I interviewed decided not to take further legal action, out of fear of the repercussions of doing so, and the lack of belief that they will be guaranteed protection.
It was not possible to independently corroborate all of the facts told by the children and their families. These are their stories, in their words.
Dates, names and places have been changed in order to protect the children’s identities.
The house of Z.S. (17) was attacked on a Thursday night at around 2 a.m. with stun grenades and tear gas. Six soldiers broke into his family house and arrested him. The soldiers dragged him to a neighboring settlement 1 kilometer away. During the walk, he was beaten. He was left outside in the cold, blindfolded, for two hours.
During the interrogation, he was asked whether he wished to be treated like an animal or a human being. He responded, “like a human being.” He was handcuffed and blindfolded, as the interrogator electrically shocked him several times. He then grabbed his head and banged it against the wall until a second interrogator came in. The interrogator asked him to lie on the ground, and started to kick him until he lost consciousness.
Z.S. was released that same day. He has not filed any complaints for fear of the repercussions of doing so.
M.K. (18) was accused of belonging to a militant group. He was arrested from his family home and held in prison for 18 months. He spent 45 days of the 18 months in solitary confinement with his legs and hands tied together. Various methods of torture were used on him, including sleep deprivation and emotional blackmail.
When M.K. was moved out of solitary confinement, he endured group punishment. He was not allowed any visits during that period.
During the raid to arrest M.K., his house was attacked by tear gas and stun grenades. As a result, his neighbor’s daughter lost hearing in one ear.
M.K. is not allowed to leave the city of Nablus for the next six years.
I.B., 16 years old
I.B.’s cousin was shot dead at an Israeli checkpoint in Nablus at the age of 15. The soldiers suspected he was wearing an explosives belt because of a wire connected to his ear. It later transpired that it was a mobile phone earpiece.
In order to commemorate his cousin, I.B. decided to print posters of his cousin and paste them on the walls of his neighborhood.
This was considered a crime by the IDF.
I.B. spent four days in prison and 18 days in a solitary confinement cell. He was not able to finish his studies after his imprisonment.
Z.B., 17 years old at the time of his arrest
Z.B.’s family was asked by soldiers to immediately evacuate their house with no prior notice. During the raid on his house, all of the family’s furniture was broken into pieces.
When the soldiers finished raiding the house, one soldier twisted his arms while the second blindfolded him. He and his cousin were arrested. They were accused of belonging to a Hamas group.
Z.B. has been in prison for nine years now. He is not allowed any family visits.
M.O., 12, has been detained seven times so far. The first time, he was arrested at the age of nine for allegedly throwing stones at settlers.
M.O.’s family is constantly targeted by settler attacks as they live in Hay al Bustan in Silwan. Their house is slated for demolition as a part of an Israeli plan targeting the homes (of) Arab citizens in Jerusalem.
Settler attacks are very common in that area. M.O. was attacked by settlers and beaten up. He suffered from internal bleeding due to the brutality of the attack.
On December 5, 2010 M.A. (13) was arrested at 2 a.m. from his family house. He was accused of damaging settler cars and throwing stones.
When M.A. was arrested, he was severely beaten. As a result of the torture he underwent during his time in detention, his trial had to be postponed because of the visible bruises on his head and body.
The child was not allowed any visits during his detention. The court ruled to release him on bail of NIS 5,000 ($1,300), in addition to placing him under house arrest.
On January 28, 2011 Y.K. (15) went with his father to the fields of the farm they own, which is located next to an Israeli settlement. The family was attacked that day by armed settlers who shot Y.K. in the head. He later died.
His younger brother, 14, was arrested and detained for 45 days.
In 2011, B.A. (15) was arrested for the first time. Shortly after his release, he fell ill and was hospitalized. During his stay at the hospital, the IDF went to his house to arrest him, as he was on a wanted list. When they did not find him, they arrested his brother instead.
The soldiers offered to release his brother in exchange for B.A., threatening to raid the hospital. The ”exchange” operation took place at 6 a.m. and was filmed with the presence of medical staff.
B.A. is in detention and has attended eight court hearings for participating in a peaceful protest against the occupation. Under Israeli military law, all Palestinian protests are illegal.
He is not allowed any family visits.
Documentary photographer and visual artist Samar Hazboun can be followed on Twitter (@Samar_Hazboun).
Her website is here.