"When we had our children, our ideas changed somewhat. Thenceforward we lived only for them; they made all our happiness and we would never have found it save in them. In fact, nothing any longer cost us anything; the world was no longer a burden to us. As for me, my children were my great compensation, so that I wished to have many in order to bring them up for Heaven" -- Saint Zelie Martin, mother of St. Therese of Lisieux, canonized October 18, 2015 along with her husband St. Louis Martin.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

About that Kitten...

Here we are at the farm meeting the new "mouser":
 Of course we thought he was cute, but he was a cat for the farm, he belonged to Gramz, and Pablo (the farm manager) was in charge of his care.  So we enjoyed him and went home.
 Later in the visit we began to get reports of how much the barn cat meowed for loneliness.  He was just separated from his littermates and mother.  He wouldn't eat his kibble, but only canned (wet) food.  Pablo took the kitty home to sleep at night, but he just meowed and kept Pablo's wife Lupe awake.  Lupe told Pablo not to bring the cat home again.

 Pablo is a large man with a very very soft heart.  We came out again to play with the cat, who had a dirty little face (seen below) after a morning in the barn.  He purred like crazy when my kids held him, but sure enough, he was meowing incessantly when we arrived and when we left.

My Mother-in-Law took my kids out  to the farm another morning and Pablo's report was not improving.  The cat wouldn't stop meowing and Pablo had decided that the cat was unhappy at the farm and that he would take him to the animal shelter.  Unfortunately, the animal shelter in that city is overflowing and does euthanize un-homed pets.  I told my Mother-in-Law that the cat was cute and would probably get adopted.  She was skeptical.  In her words, "This town is overflowing with kittens".  She picked up her cell phone and looked at me, saying, "he's taking him now, if you want me to stop him..."  

What was I to do?  My kids had named him "Cooper" on the drive home with their Gramz.

I said (and yes, you can laugh as you read the words) "Well, let's just take him for a few days and see how he does and we can decide what to do after that."  I couldn't just let him go to a kill shelter! (right?)

Well, Cooper did great with us.  We put water on his kibble to make it soft, and he ate it right up.  He grew a TON that week.  And he rarely meowed.  He loved to play, and Reina (our labradoodle) loved him!  Actually she treated him like a puppy of her own.  I didn't really have a great excuse to NOT keep the cat....except for that 2,000 mile road trip home.  My Mother-in-Law encouraged us to keep him.  I asked her whose side she was on, and she said, with a wry smile and a twinkle in her eye: "The cat's!"

My kids were determined that they could make it work.  We purchased a small kennel and put a litter tray inside with food and water.  On the ride home he slept in laps and climbed the seats, but at night, he snuggled down with Reina on the floorboards between the front seats.  It was sweet.  I was even happy to have him with us; a cheerful little friend to distract us from the long hours of driving.

And now we're home!  He really fits right in.

I'm not sure how it will turn out for us long-term, but I know the animal shelter around here does not kill.

I'm also pretty sure that with each passing day that prospect is less likely.  Even I am getting attached to this little fluff ball.  But you probably already guessed that.  It's true, I'm a sucker for animals, especially cute fuzzy ones.

Welcome to the family Cooper!

Friday, April 28, 2017

There and Back Again...

Have you ever wanted to know what it is like to travel 4,000 miles with 9 children, a labradoodle and...a kitten?

It is FUN!  Fun by 10 am Day One, that is, when you hit a gas station that happens to have a Burger King attached, you and your husband get a chocolate shake and the kids???they get crowns!  Yep.  They ALL had crowns.  Spirits high, we were on our way!

I had never been to St. Louis and have always wanted to see the Arch!  We really didn't have time to get out and take selfies, but we got an awesome view of it as we drove through the city.  We saw it again on the way home, so I feel very satisfied that I've seen it!  

What is this trip I speak of?  None other than our annual trek to see my in-laws.   We spent many hours hanging out in their backyard playing wiffle ball.

My mother-in-law makes amazing carrot cake and Arwen decorated this one for Easter:

We did manage to dye eggs; a tradition that I really do love.

And some very happy times at the farm:

My brother-in-law's family's dogs
This is really a horse ranch, but my mother-in-law is getting out of the horse business.  It's sad to see all of the empty stables and fields, but for the first time we could actually run through the fields and explore, which was special.

And there's the swing...

 And the pond:

Did I say we came home with a labradoodle and a kitten?  Well, you know about our dog.  The kitten is it's own story.  I am out of time, but I'll post soon.