MPF – The Celebrate Life Tour – The Critters Are Coming – Part 1
If you would have told me 5 years ago that we would have seven cats, 1 dog, and 3 birds, I would have said that Starbucks cup you were holding had something stronger in it than just coffee. When we sold our business, we had a senior dog, a Muluccan Cockatoo ( very big bird ) , two Love Birds, and absolutely no intention of adding anything else. A few months later, the scrawniest looking tuxedo cat ended up in our yard, begging for help. We took him to the vet, cleaned him up, and brought him inside. A few months later another hard case showed up, and we reluctantly followed suit.
My friend Cheryl holds that Don’s mom and my mom, who are both stars in the heavens, sent those little cats to us knowing we would care for them. I have a different theory though. I now firmly believe that all stray cats carry around a little sign with them that simply says ” Suckers” , and as soon as they find a sympathetic house, they plant it in the front yard for all the other cats to see.
Our third cat stumbled over to me ( again in our front yard ), when he was just about 4 weeks old, and barely able to walk. Two weeks later, his sister showed up, so all of a sudden we were starting to get those ” crazy cat people ” looks from the neighbors. Finally, a few months later, the same mom popped out 4 more, and despite a valiant effort, we were able to find a home for only one of them. As time passed with no takers for the others, they won our hearts, and then there were seven.
Sometime between cat number 2 and cat number 3, I was out for a walk in the neighborhood, and saw the cutest little dog running free, which is a very unusual site considering the nature of our particular street. Though it’s very much a two lane residential road, the 25 mph signs are bowed over from suction of cars going by at almost the speed of sound. OK, a slight exaggeration, but you get my point. Anyway, I grabbed him up, found someone who pointed me in the right direction, dropped him off, and left very happy that he was home safe and sound. A few days later, I was in the middle of a morning walk, when…( I know you’ve already finished the sentence ), there he was running down the neighborhood speedway again. Unfortunately, his owners were at work, and since I wasn’t about to let him loose again, I took him home, introduced him to Don, and waited until they got back. This time when I dropped him off I got a little more information about the situation. He was a stray that had shown up on their doorstep 3 months earlier, and had just stayed. They were a young couple with a new baby, and another dog, so I mentioned that we would be happy to take him if the situation was too much for them. They thanked me, but let me know they were just fine. A week later, I got a frantic call begging me to pick him up. Apparently another neighbor had found the dog running the street and gave them enough of an earful to prompt the call. We had no idea at that point, what a wonderful gift we had just been given.
One of the most common questions we hear is ” How do they all get along ?” or more specifically ” How does the dog get along with the cats “. The honest answer is remarkably well. Does that mean they walk around purring all day ? No… but outside of an occasional swat, there’s never any serious disagreements. Our first adopted cat, Kaimana, is the king of the castle, who bows to no 4 legged family member except Tobi ( the dog ), and if he is not paid the proper homage, he uses ” the paw “. Once discipline has been administered though, all’s well. Tobi, while firmly believing that dogs are the more evolved species, accepts the cats as part of his family, and treats them accordingly. He has told us though on more than one occasion, that the cat to dog ratio is a little skewed. In the evenings, when Don and I start relaxing , most, if not all of the animals are there with us. It’s a kick so see so many furry ones happily lounging in a small area, and the main reason we have hopes for a smooth transition to our close quarters in the RV during the Celebrate Life Tour, but you never know.
The biggest surprise for Don and I has been how much joy these critters have brought to our lives. There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t get at least one good belly laugh and tons of chuckles. The second biggest surprise is how much havoc they are capable of creating. Our first 4 cats were so gentle on our things, they’d gingerly step around vases or art pieces, never leaving but a hair or two behind. However the last three to join the household could be hired out as a wrecking crew. After losing a number of irreplaceable pieces, and knowing that eventually everything would fall prey to the destruction team, I found a miracle, and it’s name was Museum Gel. At this point everything in the house is glued down with Museum Gel, and I mean everything. Come to my house and try to pick something off a shelf or table, not a chance, that puppy’s there to stay. Trust me, it’s the greatest thing since the wheel. I was going to say fire, but that’s pushing it a bit. At least now I can laugh when one of them does a 2 1/2 gainer off the top shelf and lands on top of grandmother’s vase.
It’s hard to imagine what it would be like without them, which is why we’re attempting to take them on this crazy adventure, and believe me, the Museum Gel is going too.
The Celebrate Life Tour
Our senior dog ” Daisy ” was a wonderful companion for 16 1/2 years. She actually got to meet all the family before she passed.
We were finally able to catch the mother of the 2 litters we adopted and had her fixed. She is doing great.
Coming up : MPF – The Celebrate Life Tour – The Critters Are Coming – Part 2 – The planning that goes into taking 8 animals from Hawaii and back again without a 4 month quarantine.
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