And the road goes on forever...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Looking for Love

Well you knew it had to happen. A few looks deep into his soulful eyes and I couldn’t get him out of my thoughts and overnight dreams. It was like he was calling to me; reaching out over the miles—“come back and see me again” so of course I just had to the very next day.

I’m talking about our latest addition; another cat in great need of a home, attention and love. There was something singular about his plight that caught my attention like no other had at the shelter—his reluctance to engage in leaving his cage; the terror on his face and his body posture of complete submission as if to say “Please don’t hurt me; I’m trying to disappear….” I finally was able to sweet talk him into leaving his cage and even got him to respond to some slight play. My time with him stayed in my mind, bothering me like a splinter to the finger and I just knew that I needed to convince Marc he would be a worthwhile investment to rehabilitate. 

So we’ve brought him home and sequestered him into the spare bedroom/office until he can better adjust to life outside a cage for the first time in ten months. Officially, we are fostering him, but if Jerry works out and melds with our other two cats, we hope a permanent home with us will calm his terrors and allow him to become the loving cat he appears to be.
The shelter’s rummage sale was a success and I really enjoyed the days of joyful tasks with the other volunteers both in setting it up and manning the sale itself. I helped with the final pack-up afterwards and the cleanup and the organizer Jackie suggested I might want to accept leadership of it next year! I think maybe a sharing of duties might work best until I know the ropes a little better but I am trying to become much more active with the fund-raising efforts on their main committee. This Humane Society is entirely run on donations and fundraisers so collecting enough dollars is always problematic and never-ending.
Most Humane societies are self-funded, so I encourage every reader to think about them whether at home or in your travels and contribute. If dollars are not possible, they accept many items that allow them to function—paper towels, laundry detergent, pet bedding like used towels and blankets, antibacterial soap and cleaners, pet food and toys, kitty condos, dog leashes and collars—anything at all pet related. If you can’t contribute in this way maybe you can spare a few hours of your time to walk a dog or give love and attention to an animal which through no fault of its own now has to live in a cage. 

Even the most reluctant, like Jerry, do seem to respond to a little human kindness and interest. The first two photos are of Trouble, a shelter cat I often work with and in the last photo, look at our now happy and healthy Munchkin, loving her new home since we adopted her in November; no longer starving and full of parasites as when she was first found as a stray.
Marc arrived home again early in the week and filed for our land use permit yesterday when he was able to get a few hours off. Another trip west to N. Dakota is in the works but we’re hopeful he gets at least a week or two here at home. I am keeping busy with my many furniture refurbishing projects and the animal shelter work. It’s been a great summer here with very mild temperatures; if we can ever just get our house jump-started before it disappears into winter’s storms!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summertime and the Living is Easy

In between the set up for the rummage sale and the actual sale, which starts early tomorrow, I had today to wander around for awhile in the gorgeous area where the sale is taking place. Despite our lot being only a few miles away, we’ve never really taken the time to investigate the Chain of Lakes so I felt like getting out for a drive this morning.
Clearwater Harbor is perhaps one of the best known bar and grilles on the Chain due to outdoor and lakeside dining. I also noted that the Chain boat tours depart from here and they have several specialty concert tours which depart in the evening. Blues on the lake or jazz on the lake; either one sound like great fun! Clearwater Harbor is located on Taylor Lake in the small village of King. King is also home to the 1867 Veteran’s Home, one of the oldest in the country.
None of the Chain lakes is very big and a few are either non-motorized or low wake speed limited, so by far the boat of choice in these parts is the pontoon boat. Every house seems to have one hanging from a rear yard dock and there were some weekday party-goers and fisherman out and about today. In addition, it’s possible to rent one by the hour, day, or week which is also highly popular.
Although there is a nice naturally wooded swath of Harman State Park which runs alongside one of the lakes for some distance and features hiking trails and a campground; for the most part they are highly developed with an eclectic mix of vintage cabins, log homes and cabins, and modern McMansions. Since the area is heavily wooded with a mix of conifers and deciduous, the winding lanes and streets appear quiet, quaint and very resort-like this time of year. Other than the obvious elevation and topography differences it reminded me a lot of the older sections around the western and northern shore of Lake Tahoe and the way it was in the 1960’s and ‘70’s. Homes and boats snuggle the shore and every one of them has a dock or a deck to enjoy it from. Obviously, real estate in this neck of the woods is all very high dollar.
Boaters of all sorts were enjoying time on the water today; I caught these two gals at a small riverside park less than two miles from our lot as they just launched and took off for an afternoon of kayaking, which is another big sport around here given both the Crystal and Waupaca Rivers, which meander throughout the area and downtown Waupaca. With all this backdoor recreation it just makes me sad that Marc has to always be gone and miss it. Maybe someday we'll be able to enjoy this beautiful area we now call home.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Things Are Still Moving Slowly

There hasn’t been a ton of progress on our house due to Marc’s continued absence to North Dakota. We are both very sick of never-ending problematic projects! Our plumber finally secured the county permit for the new septic which is a requirement before the building permit is issued. 

I had thought my time this summer would be busy with house related building details but since that hasn’t transpired I am turning to crafts, making DIY projects like the above plaque, and volunteering to occupy my time. I am getting very involved with the Waupaca Humane Society and have worked many hours since Friday on helping with one of their major fund-raisers of the year, their annual rummage sale. It’s being set up and takes place in a boat warehouse at Becker’s Boats on the Chain of Lakes. It takes me back to all the work I did with Helping Hands in Yuma in regards to their giant yard sale and it’s been great fun getting to know so many fine and fun gals who do so much to support the animals and their needs. The Waupaca Society is totally funded through donations so the need is always there. When I now buy my own cat food, I buy a bag or case of canned food for them as well.
Of course, I am also finding favorites amongst the cats I work with. I go in for three hour stints of time to socialize with a group, usually six or eight, whom I let out of their imprisonment one at a time for playing, grooming, and just plain ‘ol kitty loving. For instance, there is Annabel, whose very countenance is so sad as she gazes out the partly open window. Then there is Trouble, who spends his time trying to constantly burgle his way out of his confinement. 

Since this is a no-kill shelter and there are quite a few elder cats, many of them end up living out their lives here in the cages. My mind hasn’t decided if that’s exactly humane or not since over time they become obese, muscles weaken and stiffen, and ultimately some even become anti-social and reach the point where they won’t come out of their cages. They basically disengage from life so what is the point of preserving them for life only in a cage? Their chances for adoption drop like a sinking stone and it’s heartbreaking to witness. It’s a sorry blight on our society that when animals become an inconvenience to their owners they are often just turned back in to the shelter where they may have originally come from years ago! It’s all I can do to leave each time and not take one home with me.
My own cat Rocket had a fun time out at the lot when Marc was home. He discovered the gophers that live in tunnels under the shop and found three too young to know better than to stick their heads out when a predator is about. Since Rocket mainly likes playing with his catch rather than killing it, two managed to get away, albeit wounded, but this unlucky guy was later left for dead, to be finished off by Marc. I wish we could leave Rocket loose for a few days there so he could rid us of all the rodents; we are overrun with them and they create dangerous holes in the lawn.
Speaking of lawn, I finally got a taste of mowing the entire lot, which took me around two hours or more. It’s a lot of dusty, noisy work!