Thursday, July 17, 2008

Me and My Shadow

Me and My Shadow

To learn what happened before this, see to read my blog.

It’s been awhile, dear reader. Sorry. My last entry was written when I was knee-deep in My hematoma (yes, it was mine… I claim full ownership.) Enough time has past that I am no longer sore and the deep tissue bruise on my thigh is not even visible anymore. Since I last blogged, many things have happened. It has been about a month and a half of very busy days. I could take a lot of time to catch you up on the events, but I won’t. I will sum it up like this: (the list may not be in chronological order)
I finished out the school year with field trips every other day.
I planted 43 tomato plants and worked on planting in other the other gardens.
I (we) started the chicken coop’s frame.
We had about six trees cut down near our house.
We had a deck put on the house… (it is almost done.)
We adopted another member of our family.


This blog about Shadow is dedicated to Sue. I met Sue the other day. She is a care-giver to domestic animals from Vermont in need of love and a home. She runs this voluntary service out of her home/garage in Bridgewater, VT. She is married to a cabinet maker who made her some pens for critters in her garage when she turned forty (isn’t that cool?). That is one of the things that makes her special. But here is the most important thing: she gave us Shadow.
It all started on Sunday morning when we were relaxing at home and I was finally reading the Herald from the previous Thursday. In the FREE section of the paper was a small ad… FREE 12 cats to good homes… call this number… so forth and so on…
The ad popped out at me from the rest of the print and woke me up.
Now, I love all things FREE, but that wasn’t what caught my attention. It was the number of cats… 12. One dozen cats. That is a lot of cats in need of homes! We already have a cat named Timmy who my husband’s soul-mate (see picture). Timmy is a kitten when he is inside and a dog when he is outside. He is a predator of the forest and a bully in the neighborhood. I said he is my husband’s soul-mate… but I actually think Timmy may be more of an “alter-ego.” I love Timmy too, but I wanted a girl cat to join our family. I am the only girl because I have two boys, a husband and a male cat. I need some girl energy around the house… you know?
“Free C-A-T’s to a good home.” I said to my husband over the boy’s heads.
“What is C-A-T’s? My younger son asked.
I stopped myself. Thin ice. Bad parenting. I should not be talking about the prospect in front of my kids because they love all things “new” as much as I love all things “free.”
My husband said “Cats? Free cats?”
I love when I spell and he says the word I was avoiding. That’s okay. I really wanted a girl cat, so I answered him. “Cats. A cat. Can we get a girl? Puh-LEEEASE?” I suddenly became three years old.
I don’t really remember where the conversation went from there, but suddenly we were making a phone call and reserving a cat and getting dressed and climbing in the car and driving to Bridgewater.
“Are we there yet?” My sons asked every mile of the thirty-something mile trip.
“Not yet?”
“Are we there yet?”
“Not yet…”
I tried to change the subject (a little). “I want a girl cat. Can we get a girl cat?” I asked my family.
“Sure.” The kids said in unison.
“I want to name her Dorothy.” I said again.
We agreed on Dorothy Molly as a name for the girl cat. I was happy. At long last, I would not be the only girl in the house.
FINALLY we turned off the main road and drive up a hill and then turned into Sue’s driveway. We could see the cat cages in her garage from the driveway. Instantly I fell in love with a little gray face that peeked at our van. The cat had a notch in its ear. It was sweet… I could tell by its round little face that it was sweet. We met Sue, Emily and all the kitties. They shut the garage door to keep all the critters contained while we browsed. We checked out all the cats. We learned that this animal oasis was called Vermont Volunteer Services for Animals… it was an amazing place. They have a wonderful philosophy about animals: They “strive to improve all aspects of the lives of animals and encourage harmonious relationships between them and their human companions.” (A quote from their website)
It doesn’t get much better than that, does it? Please check them out. If you live in Vermont and need a pet, check out their web-site or call or go see them. Or if you know someone who lives in Vermont and needs a pet, check out their web-site… I was impressed and I promised to write a blog and get the word out: it is
It was sort of like buying a car- (if you buy cars that try to stay in their pens because they are scared.) We tried a few cats on for size and learned some pointers for adapting and adopting them into our home. We were told to be quiet and move slowly (yeah, right- half of us were both boys and under the age of six). I learned that all of them (the cats) had their ears notched because a notched ear is the universal sign for a neutered cat (yes- girls and boys are both neutered… that is something else I learned.)
We settled on SHADOW, who was actually outside the garage, lounging in his pen in the sun.
NOTICE: I said HE!
Emily convinced me that Shadow would be playful and would be great with the boys. The boys heard the word “playful” and that convinced them! Shadow joined our family and rode home in the car. QUIETLY… I might add…
“Are we there yet?” My sons asked every mile of the thirty-something mile trip home.
“Not yet?”
“Are we there yet?”
“Not yet…”
Finally, we arrived home and brought Shadow into the house. He disappeared immediately behind the washing machine where he stayed for the rest of the night and the next day too! I finally pulled him out and put him on my lap to snuggle with him. He seemed very unhappy at first… but then he started to purr. And purr and purr and purr. If I stopped petting him, he bit me. So naturally, I kept petting him. Then, before the second day in our home was over… he was tearing around like he owned the place. And now, nothing in our house is sacred from Shadow. He chews on the kid’s toys, magnets from the fridge, pens… everything that that is not nailed down.

But what about Timmy? (again, see picture) My husband seems to think he is adjusting fine… but I think he feels a little bit “put out” by the whole situation.
Somebody (and by somebody, I mean one of the cats) deposited a cat present for me right in my usual spot on the couch as soon as they (the cats) realized we had two cats. Which one (of the cats) do you think it was?
Was it Timmy? Was he being territorial?
Or was it Shadow? Did he use the couch because he couldn’t find his new box?
Would a girl cat named Dorothy Molly “poop” on the couch?
Log in and give me comments. I will reserve my own opinion and wait for the results.

Truth is though… there have been no more “out-of-the-box” deposits since that first one… so it doesn’t really matter anyway.

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