Kittens Found Under Rt. 93 – Looking for Loving Permanent Homes

May 30, 2006

Hi. We are four kittens (two brothers and two sisters) that were found at a construction site under Rt. 93 in Boston. We are currently living with a foster family, but we would really like to find permanent homes. Our names are Blake, George, Savannah and Olivia, but if you adopt us you can give us new names – we don’t mind.

We would like to be adopted in pairs. Me (that’s George) and my brother Blake would like to be adopted together because we are really best friends. We like to chase balls, jump on things, and sneak up on our sisters. I’m the most outgoing (that’s why I’m writing this) and me and Blake both love to cuddle and play. And my sisters Savannah and Olivia love to sleep and cuddle together and they want to go to a home together. They are a little more shy, but just as sweet. They also like to chase things, be rubbed under the chin, and sleep on soft blankets.

We need to go where we are indoor-only cats – living outside as kittens was really hard on us and we don’t want to face that again. When our foster parents got us we were covered with thick dirt and grime. We like it best inside where it is clean and there is no rain. We were found only a few days after the big rain storms and were wet and cold and hungry. We also need to go to a home where we will never be declawed- ouch! We are FIV/Feline Leukemia negative, and we’ve all been fixed and had our shots. If you want two new kittens to your home, we would be good candidates. We are litter trained. You would need to keep us for our whole lives, take us for yearly vet check-ups, please promise you won’t ever give us away, and won’t declaw us or let outside and especially if you really like to play and cuddle, please email our foster mom. We are fostered through Second Chance Shelter in Jamaica Plain and in order to adopt us you’ll have to fill out an application. And there is a $100 fee for each of us that covers our shots, medical care, and getting fixed. We know it seems high, but doctors prices are expensive these days! If you would like to visit us, we’re in Somerville, MA and our foster mom will set up an apt. for you to see us. We’re so excited to meet some new people and maybe find a home! Because often SO MANY people reply to kitten ads (we’re just so cute, I guess) our foster mom can’t respond to every single request. She spends a lot of time caring for us and plus she is also a student so she can only respond to a few people. She responds to people in the order they reply and if one family doesn’t work out, she goes on to the next. Thank you for your understanding about that. Please say if you want to adopt me and my brother, or if you want to adopt my sisters and if you want you can say a little about yourself. My foster mom’s email is. Thank you very much.
Sincerely, George the kitten
p.s. Below are some pictures of us.

Savannah – with white stripe down her nose

Olivia with black stripe down her nose.

George rests on the feather bed.

Blake hangs out in the bathtup

George discovers catnip.

The brothers take a nap together.

The sisters cuddle with their friend Gustav.

What’s to come…

May 30, 2006

The next post will be of the foster kittens (finally!). I’ll link to it from Craigslist where we advertise for potential adopting families.

Otherwise, I have a few things I’ve been meaning to write about but thanks for a never-ending paper, it just hasn’t happened yet.

Here is what’s to come after the paper is done (or, should I say IF it is ever done):

In UU World Bill Sinkford writes about what he calls the central act of religious community. You can see the article here. He says that the central act of the religious community is worship. I’m not so sure.

I’m going to the reproductive rights conference sponsored by Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom in DC next week. SYRF is a subgroup of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. I’m interested to see what it will be like and to learn more.

Now onto the foster kittens. I hope soon I’ll be back to my regular blogging self.

Greetings to FUUSMers

May 21, 2006

Hi especially to friends and members of First Unitarian Universalist Society of Middleboro that read this. Just a note to let you know that I have not, in fact, fallen off the face of the earth but rather with travel to Kentucky and final papers I’ve had to be home recovering from travel or working hard for the last few Sundays. Officially, my “job” at FUUSM runs from September to May 1, but I will still be around quite a bit this summer continuing work on the Green Sanctuary project, adult education, and other things here and there. W. and I will attend our “home” church here in Cambridge some, too. Just to provide an update since a few kind souls have emailed to wonder where I am :)

And, for those of you waiting breathlessly for the pictures of the new foster kittens, it will be a few more days because the first set of pictures had them all with glowing eyes and it looked like we had a collection of possessed kittens. So as soon as final papers are turned in we’ll have another photo session and you can see the cute little faces of Blake, George, Savannah and Olivia. Back to the paper-writing grind. -Elizabeth

Why are U.S. Americans so religious?

May 21, 2006

Does anyone know a good article or book (or several) that explains why U.S. Americans are so religious/Christian (for instance, as compared to Europe which is so secular)? I’m sure I could find some, but I’m wondering if there are ones people know of that are actually good or accepted as pretty on-target. I know, I know. I’m in divinity school and should know this. But I don’t.

An Addendum

May 21, 2006

After sharing my thoughts about the anti-racist filled GA schedule with my fellow UU seminarians, someone pointed out that the reason the schedule is so full of such workshops is, in part, because seminarians are expected to have training in such anti-racist stuff, but there was an ongoing complaint that there weren’t enough opportunities for such training. Soooo…. the smart people at the UUA created more opportunities for training at GA. Thus the reason for the 6001 workshops on anti-racist work. It doesn’t really completely counter my uncomfortability about UU anti-racist/white allies work in general, but it helps explain my GA schedule complaints. And, I was thinking, I suppose it is better to over-do anti-racist rhetoric than to under-do it. Still, though, I look forward to a day when the work of the UUA and UUs makes more sense to me and seems more authentically helpful to the situation on institutionalized racism — more action and less rhetoric. But that is just my gut reaction. I’ll report back after GA and maybe have a different take….

Another day of sun! Yayyyy!

Thou doth protest too much, methinks

May 18, 2006

I know it has been said about a zillion times before, but I feel like some UUs have taken on being anti-racist, anti-oppression, etc. as a hobby. It is ALL OVER the GA schedule. There must be 6000 workshops on how to organize anti-oppressive stuff, how to be anti-racist, how to develop anti-racist policies. As if if you have enough workshops on it or say anti-racist enough that will somehow fix the institutionalized racism that is all over the place including in each and every one of our lives when we live in our nice white neighborhoods, send our kids to private schools, and do all the millions of other things that privileged middle class UUs do every day. I know I need to think a lot more about this to articulate something clear and coherent about it, but I’m sure that having ten zillion workshops on anti-racist, anti-oppression work will not make a lot of difference. A tad maybe, but not much. The thing is that supporting equality for everyone is hard. A lot harder than organizing trainings, making manuals, passing resolutions, and having meetings and worships theme around anti-oppression. And I just don’t think that UUs in general (like most middle class people in general) are willing to do the hard stuff it would take to transform institutional racism. While I am not claiming to have the answer, I’d say somehow interacting with black and Hispanic people and communities would be a good start. (Which brings this bizarre image to my mind of white UUs going out to try to recruit people of color just to have diversity, which of course doesn’t work so well either in so many ways… which of course points out that it is a difficult thing when you want to be diverse but somehow don’t manage to attract the diverse people you want to have in your group….) . Which is why I think that the urban ministry work is a step in the right direction. You don’t have to run around with anti-racist stamped on your forehead for that. Rather, the work of engaging and working together with communities where people are different and substantially less privileged speaks for itself. It is work of solidarity. Work with other people and communities rather than working about them somehow. It brings to mind my all time favorite quote, “If you have come to help me, don’t waste your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, let us work together.” Which I’m sure applies to the anti-racist work of UUs except the small thing of “working together” since most UU communities are very removed from most communities of people of color. I hope this isn’t too politically incorrect by UU standards. OBVIOUSLY, I am not against equality for all people and the hard work and focused work it takes to get there. I am just suspicious of all the UU stuff where lots of white, pretty well off people seem to chant anti-racism, anti-oppression stuff together, to each other, until they are blue in the face. Maybe there is some sort of account out there of the difference this actually makes. I’m sure it makes some. I would just like to read more about how this is actually the best way to go. I could be convinced. I am just not there yet. The thing that gets me (I’ll stop after this) is what the black and hispanic and other people of color and other oppressed peoples would think of all this. If I showed this to B, one of the amazing young men I’ve mentored from Dayton, OH…and now I think you would say we are friends or pseudo-family rather than mentor/mentee since he is 19 now and we’ve known each other for 12 years.. but anyway, I think he would just crack up and think it was weird if he saw all the workshop titles and statements. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll have nice things to say about the GA program soon. And I’ll attend some of these anti-racist things to see what they are all about. Don’t knock it until you try it, as they say.

It’s Here!

May 18, 2006

I’m sure, like me, you’ve all be waiting with bated breath for the GA schedule. And here it is! Aside from attending all sorts of exciting and fun workshops, I’ll also be volunteering at the UUFETA* (Unitarian Universalists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) booth and hocking, er, I mean selling stoles made by my mom! She has volunteered to donate part of the proceeds to UUEFTA (the booth is expensive – I think around $800!) and then she’ll keep the rest. This is her attempt at a post-retirement job. She retires in December. When I get a chance, I’ll post pictures of her wares. She is really an amazing seamstress (and I’m not just saying that because she is my mom) and has taken her stole-making career seriously and done all sorts of research about stoles and Unitarian Universalism. Need a stole? My Mama will make one of the most beautiful ones you’ve ever seen for cheaper than you can get them elsewhere. More on the stoles, GA and…. our new foster kittens (!!!) soon. Enjoy the beautiful weather. Elizabeth :)

*Officially, UUFETA is named UFETA. However, as one little way to guard against what I see to be an unfortunate trend of Unitarian Universalism being shortended to Unitarianism, I call it UUFETA to guard agianst the slippery slope of one U. Not that it makes a big difference – but it makes me feel like I’m doing my little part. :)

They are watching you

May 17, 2006

Recently our phone has been clicking when we make calls. I’m sure it is probably because the phone is old. But it occurred to me that it isn’t a crazy idea that our phone is tapped. I don’t really think it is, but these days, really nothing should surprise us. We find out on the ABC news blog that the government is tracking the numbers called from ABC, NYTimes, and Washington Post. How did it become that the executive branch can do whatever it wants? And what are we to do to prevent this from happening? Shouldn’t there be safeguards that prevent this sort of thing or is it just that previous administrations did not dare to be so bold and so sweeping in their violations?


May 16, 2006

So last night President Bush spoke on immigration. We don’t have a TV so I couldn’t watch it, although I find it so terribly painful to listen to him speak that I probably wouldn’t have watched it anyway. I know I should have at least listened to it on NPR, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’ve at least brought myself to read about it today. I just had a feeling deep down in my stomach that it was not going to make me happy.

The NYTimes published an op-ed on Mr. Bush’s plan. It is called Border Illusions and you can read it by clicking on the link. First, in the interest of full disclosure, I am married to an immigrant. I have stood in line outside the government building in downtown Boston for 10 hours, I have filed and refiled papers because the information we were given was incorrect, I have spent literally hundreds and hundreds of hours filling out forms, collecting documentation, and searching online and waiting on the phone so I could find out basic information about the process of getting conditional permanent resident status documents, working documents, a social security card, and so on. I have never been treated in a more dehumanized, mean, grouchy, bitchy way than the few times we’ve had to go for interviews or meetings at the government center in Boston.

The Times writes

Those on the other side of the argument have spent frustrating months making a quieter, more complicated case. Supporters of a compromise immigration bill in the Senate want a balanced approach that is both tough and smart. They, too, would add people and technology to enhance security on the Mexican border, which is now about as solid as a screen door. But unlike the House bill, which is fixated on enforcement, the Senate bill seeks to restore law and order in a variety of ways. It would, for example, shorten an immigration backlog by adjusting work and family visa quotas, tighten the enforcement of immigration laws in the workplace and put illegal workers on a path to assimilation and citizenship.

First, thank you whoever wrote this for writing “making a quieter, more complicated case.” This is a complicated matter and one of my biggest frustrations with politics and media today is the way so many things are presented as easy or simple. This is not just a matter of tightening up boarder security, of creating a path to citizenship, or of protesting in the streets. It is a complicated web of political, economic, and social factors that are intricately interwoven. So that is the first point. Complicated matters require complex solutions.

Second, amen to “shorten[ing] the immigration backlog.” One of my Spanish tutors here in Boston had been waiting eight years to have his asylum case heard and that sort of wait is not unusual. It is taking the INS (it isn’t called that now – but whatever that organization is called now) over a year to process W.’s (my husband/partner) application to remove the “conditional” from his permanent resident permit. If you want to get an appointment to do an interview at the immigration center in Boston, you have to wait in line starting at midnight the night before. It was a hassle for us, but some others had traveled from other states, had to miss work, and didn’t speak English and it was just an amazing burden on them. It is embarrassing this our country cannot process immigration stuff in a timely manner and it certainly doesn’t help the system.

Third (sorry this is getting long), you can’t deport 11 million people. Not only is that logistically impossible, it would also devastate this economy. Your ketchup at Taco Bell, your dishes being washed at your favorite restaurant, children being cared for, houses being cleaned, meat being packed all depends on the cheap labor of undocumented workers. There are simply not enough documented workers in the U.S. willing to do this work. So the government might as well find a way to have the workers become documented, and in the meantime develop ways to protect them from being harmed and exploited.

Of course, increased boarder security is important. It makes sense that people shouldn’t just be able to come across the boarder without documentation. Rather, we should develop safe, effective ways to prevent this. If we develop a strong enough system, with the safety of those attempting to cross in mind, it will deter people eventually. That said, I think that we need to develop a way to allow vast numbers of immigrants into this country with documents. This land was stolen from Native Americans by immigrants. It is simply not morally acceptable that a group of once-immigrants or descendents of immigrants says “Well, we came to this land of opportunity, let ourselves in, killing millions of people along the way, and now that we have this land of opportunity we’d like to keep it for ourselves and protect our wealth.” Sorry folks, it just doesn’t work that way if you believe in justice or fairness. Yes, it will be harder for those privileged folks in this country if we open the doors much wider. But tough luck. No one said fairness and justice was easy.

That’s all for today. Time to work on my paper on Simone Weil.

Update from the ark

May 14, 2006

Greetings all. Apologies for such a long absence from the blog. It was nice to visit Kentucky and see family, and to celebrate the life of my grandma. I also worked at The Kettering Foundation for a day, visited the boys I work with in Dayton (all of whom are doing well), spent time bonding with my parents’ cats Sugar Boy, Sebastian, and Priscilla, and thinking about what I will write for my papers that are now due on May 17 and 22. Although I must say that four days of constant rain is not conducive to feeling motivated to write papers. I feel like we are on Noah’s ark. Speaking of animals, we watched March of the Penguins last night which was beautiful but I was really sad when some of them died and that they have to live in such harsh conditions. I am just not a movie watcher, especially when anything sad happens. To me, there is enough sadness in the world without needing to watch movies to remind me of it.


I went to a Mother’s Day party for a fellow Vagina Monologues cast member today, who gave birth to twin boys two months ago. They were early and they are litttttle and cute and all healthy now. I just love little ones and would love to have one, but I just feel like they are so much work. I think we need to be more settled before little ones arrive. Or win the lottery.

Now that I’m back in the swing of things I’ll update more often. Thanks for your comments and I’m just getting around to responding in the next few days as breaks from writing papers.

For those in the Boston area, try not to drown.

E :)