This post is meant for a couple of people in particular, so if you are reading this after visiting my site regularly, that’s okay, just remember that it isn’t a “regular” WeirdCrest post. But this post is to explain my animal care operations, and why can’t travel, keep regular job hours, and..well, why money is always so tight!
This is an example, I hope, of someone busting their tail for animals. Maybe that would make me worthy of meeting..I don’t know..I hope maybe it would.
So sit back and take in the crazy story of my day. Maybe you will be impressed, maybe you’ll think I’m nuts, or perhaps a little bit of both. I didn’t put this on our rescue page, The Pet Shelter, Inc., just simply because it might show places around town where I operate and I really don’t want those known. You’ll see. Anyway, here we go!
First, my husband and I are up between five and six. While he’s getting other things done, I am busily opening several dozen cans of cat food:
This process of fixing all this food takes about an hour(I am also putting laundry in the wash, washing dishes, and soaking the previous days’ transport bowls and washing them. I also have to scoop out the litter boxes upstairs and sweep the floors around them(litter boxes are in the master bathroom).By this time, Steve has gone down to the cat room and started scooping litter boxes, sweeping the floor, etc. I go down and join him.
Work in the cat room continues for about an hour to an hour and a half. The amount of work—-scooping or dumping litter boxes, putting out dry food, changing water bowls, sweeping the floor, cleaning up accidents—often varies according to how early we get downstairs. If we get down there early, they haven’t had too much time to trash the place. Get down there too late, and it’s insane sometimes. Then there’s things like barf n’ hairballs and misfires around the litter boxes and all that good stuff. But, we get it reasonably clean, take out the trash to the garbage cans outside, feed the backyard birds,and head upstairs.
Usually by now it’s in the 7:30 range, and I get my husband sent off to work at eight. Then I finish getting ready and head out. Where am I headed? Unless I have to take someone to the vet(which seems to be every week), I head out to feed the feral cats.
Now, if you don’t quite know what that means, I feed the cats that you might see behind shopping centers, restaurants, etc. They are often wild, as “feral” means. Some of them may actually be “stray” cats, which are cats that once belonged to someone, and either got out and away, were dumped out, or wandered away from home and got lost. When these cats are not spayed or neutered, they then find each other, reproduce, and those offspring are feral cats. Like many feral cat feeders, I practice TNR, which means “trap, neuter,release”. That means I trap many of these cats, get them spayed or neutered, and return them to their outdoor home because they are too wild to become pets. Some, however, get so used to me that I have ended up taking some home. But most of them live out their lives being cared for by me in their little territories back in the woods behind various buildings in two separate towns where I operate. I make houses for them out of plastic storage tubs, and I keep these filled with fresh straw for warmth. Most of them have “feeding stations” that are also made from storage tubs, in order to keep food from getting rained on. Let’s have a look, shall we?
All the above feeders have to be done in the morning. It is suicide to go to these places at night. One of my feral cat-feeder friends naively did hers at night, after work, and was beaten up and mugged. In general, the earlier I go, the less chances I have of dealing with unsavory people.
So after I do all this, usually two or three hours have passed; the two towns I do are about 20 minutes away from each other so even after I finish one, I still have to drive to the other and start again. Then I make a quick trip to the local Target to pee, get a snack, and then I either go to whatever work appointment I might have (I teach small art classes to the elderly in assisted living homes) or I head home to do work at home.
Then about 6:00,I start the evening routine. That’s a matter of fixing many cans of food all over again for our kitty crew at home, and going downstairs and scooping the litter boxes a second time, feeding everyone and corralling those that must be put up for the night. Then, and only then can I rest for the day.
So I think it’s pretty obvious why I can’t travel. We have an extremely competent pet sitter, but even if I travel, there is no one to feed my feral cats, you see. Although I think if I were able to travel a short distance(someplace like Nashville, for instance.) to see a ‘Knobs show, my husband could handle everything at home and the feral cats just for overnight. I think he would do it for me if he knew it were something special like that.
Of course if y’all came to Atlanta, I would just be able to come like normal and go home, and my husband would probably like to join me. THAT would be the absolute ultimate awesome thing.
So, more of my family’s rescued animals:
At my parents’ place are the farm animals and some dogs we have rescued, and once a week I drive out to their place(It’s an hour from Lawrenceville to Bishop) to check on things and see if they need any help with chores or whatnot. My mom has Parkinson’s disease so although her mind is in total working order, she can’t help with the animals at all anymore. My stepdad dutifully takes care of everything.
And here are our rescued horses! These pics are up to date, taken at my mom and stepdad’s new place out in Bishop, Ga..
I know the people I have directed to this page are really massive dog people; alas, it’s my brother that has the glut of the dogs in our family, and he’s kind of a hermit and won’t send me any pics. I can, however, show you a pic of a dog I rescued that he took for me, as I simply had nowhere to put him!
I have a few other animal anecdotes:
I used to work at a small zoo here at Stone Mountain Park in Northeast Georgia, not far outside of Atlanta. It was called Wildlife Trails. It was my first job(1991–94), and that’s where I got the brunt of my education on animal care, from native Georgia Wildlife to all sorts of farm animals. I took care of possums, raccoons, deer, elk, bison, otters,snakes,hawks, owls and cougars, plus cows, sheep, donkeys, llamas, goats and pigs. Alas, I can’t find much of any of my old pics, but one does exist:
So anyway, I know this was incredibly long, so congratulations if you’ve made it to the end. This is me and my life that revolves around animals. I do other things, as you can see by this website–I’m an artist working mostly in cartoons and animation, and art therapy and puppetry. But my animals, well…they take up a whole lot of my life! But I wouldn’t change it—-my conscience is clear.
I hope maybe you’ll see that I feel like we are kindred spirits in animal welfare and care, and why I can’t travel far to see a show even though if I had the money and ability I would do it in a heartbeat. I am literally begging,pleading, bending on my little rickety knees to get y’all to come out this way, maybe to a venue close to Georgia if not Georgia. I would love to meet y’all so very very much.