Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Boys

Several weeks before my vacation I got a phone call from my friend Tracy, in Seldovia. Tracy is the one who allowed both Thing & Djuna to come live with me, for which I am eternally grateful. This time, she had news of two boys in desperate need of a home.

I have inherited many traits from my mother such as my strength of character, an inordinate fondness for socks, and the complete inability to say no to an animal in need. I am smart enough to realize that I simply cannot have 4 cats, however, so I agreed to rescue the boys only as a foster parent. The Devon Rex Rescue Group agreed to find them a permanent home as soon as they could, and I agreed to house them until then.

So that’s how Floyd and Thorvald came to live with me. I put them up in the spare room upstairs with a litter box in one corner, a scratching post in another corner, and an electric blanket on the bed.

Thor was a tiny cream colored cat, and was beyond cute with a smudgy little face that just made you want to kiss him every time you saw him. His favorite thing to do was to curl up in your lap and snuggle.

Floyd was white with big green eyes, and was huge. The average Devon weighs perhaps 7 pounds – he weighed 18. His hair was softer than a chenille blanket, though, and he had the biggest ears I’d ever seen on a cat. Oddly enough, he was completely deaf. He also had some sort of neurological thing going on, making his head wobble all the time.

First thing I did after their arrival was get them a doctor’s appointment. Dr. Kavenaugh, at The Pet Stop, gave the boys a thorough examination, administered their shots, clipped their toe nails, and cleaned out their ears. She sent them home with eye drops to clear up some conjunctivitis, and pronounced them healthy.

Finding a home for them turned out to be more difficult than I expected, and took a lot longer than I ever thought it would. The issue was exacerbated by the fact that I needed to clean that spare room out and get it rented to help pay my bills. Thankfully, however, a home was eventually found – the boys are now happily (I hope) living in Homer with their new human.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Cow

One day, as we were driving back to base camp after our work in the field was done; we came across a herd of cattle in the road. Mind you, “road” is rather misleading: we were on a trail in the dirt. Also, the cattle, as well as every other animal in Kenya, were basically just bones with skin hanging off them. They are “recovering” from a 2-year draught.

So, anyway, we come across this herd of cattle in the road. Our Land Rover was moving at perhaps 25 mph at the time, but as he saw the cows the driver, Hassan, slowed down. The cows didn’t move, so Hassan slowed down some more. Eventually it was fairly obvious that the cows were not going to move, so Hassan had to basically stand on the brakes. He didn’t stop in time, however, and ended up hitting one of them. In reality, it was more like he bumped one. But he did hit the cow. And the cow went down.

Now, I’m sitting in the passenger’s side - which over there means I’m on the left side of the vehicle. This also means I have the best view of us hitting the cow, and I start to freak out. “You hit the cow!!! You hit the cow, and the cow went down!!! You hit the cow, and the cow went down, and it’s not getting back up!!!” I kept shrieking this over and over again – I couldn’t help myself. But it’s true; the cow was not getting back up again.

So, Idi (our guard, a local man) got out of the vehicle to assess the situation. I think part of what was freaking me out was that I was absolutely positive that he was going to shoot the cow, right there in front of me. Thankfully, he didn’t. What he did was actually pick up the cow and set it back on its feet again. He then held it for a minute while the cow got its balance back, and then helped it across the road to the other side where the rest of the herd was.

These animals are so weak from the draught, they can barely stand up. It was so … so… I don’t know what to call it. And I’m still sitting there, shrieking “You hit the cow!!!! You hit the cow and the cow went down!!!” over and over again…

Monday, December 07, 2009

Coming Soon!

I finished my Africa Travelogue today. Got the write-up done and spell-checked, the pictures chosen and arranged properly, and the captions all figured out. Now we're just waiting on my brother to put it together on my brand new website!

Keep your eyes peeled... it'll be up and running soon.
The link is to your right >

Sunday, December 06, 2009

That's Just Wrong

I wrote something today, fully intending to post it on my blog for all the world to see. What stopped me is the realization that my family would all see it, and read it.

Isn’t that funny: I’m okay with the entire world knowing personal things about myself, but I’m not okay with the people who are supposed to be closest to me knowing those same things.

That’s backwards… don’t you think?