This company is dedicated to my family, who has suffered an enormous amount of tragedy. I formed HDW Enterprises and Foothill Felines Bengals to try to find a purpose in continuing to live my life, the best that I can, and to stay compassionate and sensitive to the needs of all living creatures around me through education and caring. With the Bengal (and more recently, the Savannah) cat, I have found a special and unique bond between an incredibly affectionate, intelligent breed of cat, and my need (and the need we all have as human beings) to be able to express love and feel the joy of life again in my heart. Quite frankly, I don't think I would have made it through some of these tragedies without these beautiful and oh-so-loving felines in my heart, home and life.
My father Richard D. Davison, and my brother Richard R. Davison (Ran)
On the boat built by our father, approximately 1963
Left to Right: My (older) sister Dorothy, my (younger) brother "Ran" and me
Ran with my son Wesley - they adored each other
My beloved brother Ran
My brother, my mother and me at a
small family reunion in Waco, Texas 1993
Life has not been easy for my small, close-knit family. My beautiful older sister was a popular, gifted, gorgeous young lady, and she and I shared the same bedroom and all our secrets in the lovely beach community where we grew up until she left for college about 1971. Unfortunately, it must have been the stress of her first time away from home, but she developed an extremely severe case of debilitating schizophrenia, from which she has now been suffering from for over 30 years. I love to show photos of her before her illness - how beautiful she was (she still is, of course, but in a different way now), and the wonderful memories I have and will always cherish before this and other tragedies struck our family.
I've been divorced since 1979, and have raised my son and only child virtually myself as a single parent. In 1995, at the age of 17, Wesley's kidneys suddenly failed, due to a kidney disease called IgA Nephropathy and possible Alport's Syndrome, necessitating 6 months of traumatic but life-saving hemodialysis and numerous hospitalizations while I frantically fought for a kidney transplant for him, losing my job and house in the process. At 18, he finally received the priceless gift of a living-related donor kidney transplant from his father at the phenomenal Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University, California. (Unfortunately, I was not the right blood type to be able to donate; however, his father was and DID!!) Wesley continues to have many medical and psychological complications, some still requiring hospitalization and continual special needs care. Since the time of his kidney failure, Wesley has also manifested severe symptoms of a brain disorder/mental illness; his doctors are unclear whether this is organic in nature or whether he has "schizo-affective" disorder. It is the mental illness that is most limiting to his life, and which has impacted our small family relationships the greatest, adding more layers of hurt and pain. Update 2005: Wesley is currently on conservatorship, and we are trying to get him into a special facility here in Sacramento which will keep him safe, and ensure that he gets all his proper medications. There are apparently only 3 locked facilities in California that truly take an interest in some of these young people with such large problems, and work hard with them to "rehabilitate" and advocate for them to be able to get off conservatorship and live the best quality of life with dignity and as much independence as possible. This is my new goal and vision for Wes.
In 1997, my father had already been struggling for years with excruciating pain, after having been an athlete and an extremely active person his entire life. He had undergone two elective back surgeries, which had not been as successful as he had wanted, and then discovered that he had prostate cancer. He and his second wife did not tell us this news until after he had had surgery for his cancer, and it appeared that coping with this additional and difficult recovery and turning a milestone 70 years old was too much for him. He had always told us his biggest fear was becoming a "burden" to others. How could he ever have been a burden to those of us who loved him?? He took his life at sea, in the Pacific Ocean that he loved.
Our most recent tragedy is that of my beloved younger brother, who had fought his own battle with serious depression for many years. He tried so hard to support his little family, and to be successful in his work. He accomplished a great deal in the field of special effects in the movie industry, with screen credits on "Jurassic Park", "Terminator", "Planet of the Apes", and many more. His specialty was mold-making and sculpting. He dreamed of being a script-writer, and certainly had the artistic talent and ability to do anything he set his mind to. But, life became very complex for him after he married, bought a house, and had a son. There was no more time for his dreams, and when things worsened, he found himself unable to find any hope, any support from the right doctors, medications, and support systems. He lost his valiant struggle with depression on May 12, 2001, by taking his own life.
Part of my therapy has been to start this company, which is dedicated to my family; to the love I have for my family, and to their valiant struggles. In a larger sense, my dreams are also dedicated to those other families who know all too well the terrible losses and devastation that is the result of the horrendous inadequacies of our current managed medical care system. By working with Bengal and Savannah kittens and cats, I try to bring joy and happiness in to the lives of many other families. Through HDW Enterprises and Foothill Felines and the products and resources we offer, I am always trying to support and educate others as well as myself, to be compassionate, and to reach out to others, animal and human, with the knowledge that LIFE IS INCREDIBLY PRECIOUS!! We offer ordering by mail, phone, fax, and credit card, and you can also order right on-line with complete confidence, using our "SHOPPING CAT" and SECURE SERVER. For fellow Bengal AND music enthusiasts, we highly recommend reading our exclusive interview with the incomparable Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, in which he shares with us his wonderful sense of humor, compassion and his deep love for felines!!
Wesley backstage with Ian and Shona Anderson, after
their excellent concert in Northern California (September 1998).
I believe that, as busy as most people are today, the time that they spend with their treasured feline family members becomes even more important to relieving stress and leading a more fulfilled life. The goal of this company is to help facilitate this quality time for all by providing practical, unusual, beautiful quality merchandise for cats and their humans on this website, and by creating a positive, easy and fun shopping environment for the consumer. We do offer several monthly specials during the year, so check back often!!
FOOTHILL FELINES BENGALS & SAVANNAHS
Cameron Park, CA 95682, U.S.A.
(530) 672-CATZ Phone; E-mail: email@example.com
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HDW Enterprises, Inc., Cameron Park, CA 95682 ~ (530) 672-CATZ
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