Tag Archives: Beth Shuler

Saint Beth visits the Virgin Vault

Long story short, Jack is in Scotland, which means I’m throwing away things he won’t miss when he returns, and intaking kittens at an exponential rate.

It’s a marriage thing.

Happily, this Wednesday six of our adult cats are going to an urban no-kill shelter that works with rural rescuers. Even more happily, those not already spayed or neutered don’t have to be, because they have a vet who volunteers these services. Which is a big help on our pocketbook here as my crochet time dwindles for fundraising.

Not, I hasten to point out, that our vet Saint Beth at Powell Valley Animal Hospital is any slouch in the volunteer and low-cost department. She has done stuff for us that defies job description. Just follow Miss Pogo on Facebook to see some of the care Saint Beth provides.

Or feast your eyes on these photos, snapped Friday when Beth arrived with reinforcements – Kendra and Meghan from the Pretty Nurses Brigade – to give the unspayed girls we have in our garage their rabies shots. (We have nicknamed the garage the Virgin Vault, as Fiona and Salome are sojourning there until their Wednesday departure.)

Jack ASSURED me before he left for Scotland that he had “cleaned out” the garage so it could provide overflow for kittens during the summer tsunami.

When a man says he’s cleaned something out, he seems to mean that he’s removed everything from it that is of no use to him. Nothing about stacking, ordering, putting lids back on, etc.

Fair enough. It’s a marriage thing.

So Beth and her team entered a maze of chairs waiting to be caned, empty boxes waiting for who knows what, paint waiting to have its lids put back on, litter boxes waiting for target practice, and two girl cats hiding somewhere in the midst of it all.

Fortunately, Kelley’s son Asher was on hand. Being about 4’3″ and 65 pounds, plus a natural cat whisperer, he quickly found the cats hiding in their respective corners, explained that nothing bad was going to happen, and soon had them in arms. The ladies took their shots like champs, and I grabbed Beth’s phone and took a few shots, too. Heh heh heh.


Fiona is spotted under a work bench.IMG_2568

Kendra watches cheerfully as Beth and Fiona assume the respective positions.IMG_2569

Kelley and Meghan watch from an even more distant position.IMG_2572

Note Asher under the table, having a heart to heart with Fiona. She came willingly.


Beth’s fieldwork technique is to be admired.IMG_2575

Asher offers Fiona reassurance as the jab is quickly accomplished.IMG_2576

And to the victor….IMG_2577Victors, actually. Fiona and Salome head out Wednesday with six other cats, for happy safe lives as pampered pets.


Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Hunger Games, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Scotland, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

Beulah Plots Revenge

beulahGood morning. My name is Beulah, and I am the shop greeter at Tales of the Lonesome Pine Used and New Books (The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap).

No doubt news of my recent lawsuit has reached you by now, so allow me to provide the untold half of this story. People tend to side with their own species so quickly….

Yes, I am suing my employers for compensatory damages after emotional distress, and punitive damages. Owen Meany has assisted me in filing the needed legal briefs with Mr. Kallen, the lawyer across the alley.

Here are the facts of the case: On Thursday last I was taken against my will to a local animal hospital. In a carrier into which I was stuffed headfirst. Like a sack of potatoes. Despite my best efforts, which I assure you were considerable.

At said hospital I was drugged, and this was done to me.

beulah shaved IIGo ahead, laugh. I’ll add you to the lawsuit.

As I came groggily to myself, an unspeakable procedure called a “fecal exam” was performed. I added the animal “doctor” to my lawsuit. Don’t let that sweet little smile fool you; this woman is a sadist.beth More about her later.

One would think enough suffering had been inflicted, but on my return “home” I was locked in a room for three days, while vile concoctions were mixed into my food, something called “panacur.” First it was in milk. When I rejected this, they brought tinned food, again with the horrid stuff. I don’t know which was worse: having this thrust at me, or their belief that I was unintelligent enough to fall for such simple bribery.

But then they brought chicken. Lightly poached in its own juices. In tiny shreds. My willpower weakened from two days of confinement…..

I ate the chicken until I detected a foreign substance in my mouth. Ejecting the small pink pill (which they’d so “cleverly” smeared with chicken fat) via a ladylike “ptui,” I continued my meal.

The next day, a plate of tuna awaited me. As I loathe tuna, I followed protocol and covered it with cat litter. (Did I mention they’d provided me with a nasty little portapotty?) The unhygienic humans removed the pill–now looking very unappetizing indeed–and came toward me.

The phrase “fought like a wildcat” is incorrect. I fought like a calico. When three of them finally got the thing in and held me down, I waited. And waited.

I am very good at waiting. When they released me with murmurs of “good kitty, sweet kitty” I looked up at the ringleader and spat out the pill.

Their curses were as music to my ears.

By then I had been in confinement for three days, enduring the vile panacur mixed with chicken shreds. The humans, apparently satisfied with this torture, released me.

And then…. SHE came back!!!!!beth hood

As I sat at my old familiar post, greeting customers, Miss Priss trotted across the lawn, and before I knew what was happening, she had grabbed me and forced a whole new pill down my throat. I resisted, I fought, and then I waited. And waited.

But so did she. My mouth filled with saliva. I thought I would drown. And still she waited, smiling. Oh, that smile……

Finally instinct took over, and–curse all the dogs of this world and the moon–I swallowed.

The Evil One released me at once. And. Patted. Me. On. The. Head.

“Was that so hard?” she said, and as the door closed, I heard her say, “No, no problem at all. She’s a little lamb.”

I moved her name up in the lawsuit to primary defendant. You’ll get yours, Missy. Just you wait.

Owen tells me it may be next summer before my case comes to court. That’s fine. Revenge is a dish best served cold. I am very good at waiting….





Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, humor, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, reading, small town USA, VA, writing

Beth and That Nice Boy got Married

beth hoodOur foster kittens’ pediatrician is a sweetheart of a woman named Beth (that’s her on the left, channeling an inner fairy tale character). Beth got married this past Saturday, her wedding a welcome respite for Jack and me amidst three intense days of hard labor setting up the bookstore cafe.

Likely it seemed less relaxing to Beth than to us, but she looked pretty happy, so we figure she enjoyed it all the same.

beth happyBeth provides a lot of freebie and reduced cost care for our bookstore fosters. She saved staff cat Owen Meany’s life when he had a virus we didn’t notice, and she made house calls for Hazel, the 20-year-old cat who landed in the shelter amid cries of outrage. (Queen Hazel is now living a life of luxury in North Carolina; Clan Hazel is her facebook page, if you want to see how Her Majesty is doing.)

beth hair and dressbeths dressSpeaking of majesty, check out Beth’s gorgeous hairdo and dress. The dress is one of the nicest stories from her wedding. Beth was engaged once, several years ago, and bought her dress before discovering the guy wasn’t worth wearing it for. So she ditched him but kept it–Beth is a sensible girl–until she found someone worthy of her.

“It’s a redemption dress,” she told me over lunch in the bookstore. “Been returned to its rightful purpose in life, just like us.” (Beth and I share Christian beliefs in the redemptive power of Jesus.)

beth sabersSo Beth married That Nice Boy, and an opera singer gave a heartfelt rendition of “Someday my Prince will Come” at the ceremony. Beth’s dog was one of the groomsmen, and he approved this match. You could tell Maverick thought Brandon smelled reliable.

Brandon is a prince of a guy, and we admit we’re bad friends for not trying harder, but we call him “That Nice Boy.” It used to be “That Nice Boy Beth’s Marrying” but that got too long. We actually referred to him, as we walked to the church three blocks away, as “TNB,” which came out “Tenbee.”

It’s all over once you get a nickname in a small town.

“Dr. Brandon Tester, Chiropractor” has set up business in Wise with a brand new office. We’ll just try not to call him Tenbee in professional settings. We can’t call him Brandon because I have a friend who is married to Brett, and her brother is Brent, and she’s best friends with another friend of mine, married to a guy named Brad. And I have a friend named Brian married to a lady named Beth. So sorry, Beth and Tenbee, but we just can’t.

beth glam shots

But we do love you both, and wish you well! It was a grand wedding, and we have high hopes for your mixed marriage. (The cakes and flowers were bright orange for the bride’s University of Tennessee background and deep blue in honor of the groom’s University of Kentucky roots. That’s pretty much Capulet/Montague around here.)

beth dragBut there’s only that one wedding photo in which it looks like TNB is dragging Beth around against her will, so it’s all good. In fact, it’s great. A quote in Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd  sums up a good marriage: “And at home by the fire, whenever you look up there I shall be – and whenever I look up, there will be you.”

beth and brandonYep.


Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized