Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Feline Newsmakers

Any visit to the Stewpot needs to include saying "Hello" to Precious, our 2nd floor feline resident. She's a "Working Cat" and keeps other four legged visitors and some two-legged ones as well in check. She's a great companion and is very well informed about the Fine Arts (a la the Stewpot's Open Art Studio) and knows the ins and outs of Food Pantry management. About three weeks ago Precious came face to face with another of her species in a surprise encounter.

On a Sunday morning the mournful sounds of a cat were heard on the Stewpot first floor. A search to locate the Meow-er found Precious safe and sound and suspicions that another cat was nearby. Two days later without benefit of séance several people were enveloped by the calling of a cat from "beyond".

As best we can figure a cat wandered into the 15feet of space above the suspended ceiling of the 1st floor and the floor-boards of the 2nd. Most of us thought only the likes of John Malcomvitch inhabited these inter-floor zones. "Cat" was spotted, fed and wooed. She was captured in a stunning "Have-a-Heart" adventure. With the hopes she would be a suitable companion for Precious.

"Cat", an 8 month true calico, was taken to a vet where she spayed and determined she was feral. We were advised the most humane thing was to release her back downtown. She was given a casework referral letter, several bus passes and the number of Judy's special hot-line.

Over the years the Stewpot has rescued many animals. "At risk" dogs, cats, birds and rabbits have gotten 2nd chances along with people. Food, water and respite have long been de facto Stewpot service. Many of us have taken home "just temporarily" an animal that became a long-time companion. Oh well, we also have a shelter for unwanted 8-track tapes.


Precious the Cat

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Day of Celebration!

Last Thursday was truly a special day here at The Stewpot. We had our 24th Annual Stewpot Talent Show and a special lunch honoring Dr. and Mrs. Elgin Ware.

Dr. and Mrs. Elgin Ware were instrumental in bringing medical services here to The Stewpot in 1999. For 12 years, Elgin and Karen served our clients each Friday with the help of several volunteers. In June, Dr. Ware retired, and we were finally able to honor him! We invited past medical clinic volunteers and donors to a lunch. We enjoyed a great meal, great conversation, and a video of client/staff testimonies about the impact Dr. Ware and the medical clinic have had. The lunch ended with a special presentation to the Wares.

Parkland Hospital received a grant to expand our medical clinic. We are so excited about this new season. Construction should begin shortly. When it is complete the "Karen and Elgin Ware Stewpot Medical Clinic" will be open five days a week to serve our clients!

Following the lunch, we had our annual talent show. Clients are able to compete in five categories: performance, poetry, essay, art, and costume. There are cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. The theme this year was "Stewpot Hospital: Reflections on Healing". We are always so impressed with the creativity and talent of our participants.

We had a great day celebrating the gifts of so many people here - the gift of writing, the gift of singing, and the gift of healing.