All in a Day’s Work

Trapping feral cats for sterilization means encountering something different each day. It’s the fun aspect of this work. Now don’t get me wrong; that doesn’t mean it’s one big party. On the contrary. The list of unpleasantness is long, but I’ll refrain from boring you with most of that.

you are welcomeNeedless to say, working with Marin Friends of Ferals has its moments…I’ve broken my finger, been bitten through my knuckle by a kitten barely bigger than my hand, been saturated with poison oak and nearly lost the tip of my pinky from another bite. Scrapes and bruises come with the territory from efforts to spay and neuter feral community cats, yet I love what I do. But as it turns out, love hurts.

One joy of the job includes meeting new people and traveling to places in Marin County (and beyond) where I don’t often venture. For instance, last week a family in Sebastopol contacted us wanting 4 ferals for rodent control on their 5-acre spread. Continue reading

The Situation

So here’s the situation. It’s 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night. I just spent the day cleaning my garage. Loads of fun. I’m grimy, dusty and full of chili because after I spent the day cleaning my garage I made a pot of veggie chili. Then I made macaroni noodles to put the chili on because that’s how my ex’s family did it in Kansas City. So since 1982, when we married, that’s how I’ve eaten it and now I can’t eat naked chili.

Anyway, now I’m stuffed. I also fed my animal crew and my foster cat, all of whom I assume are stuffed as well. My foster cat is nameless because I don’t permanently name them until I know they’ll be adoptable. I foster feral kittens and semi-feral cats. For some reason it’s harder for me to have to relocate them to outdoor homes (if they’re too feral to be adopted) after I’ve named them. Weird, huh?

So when I enter the room in which I’m housing a big orange tabby female, I say ‘Hey Boo Boo.” No reaction. Sometimes I say, “Hey Monkey.” But again, no response. I’ll try on a bunch of names during the time I’m fostering but once I realize that cat or kitten will be adoptable, a name will suddenly hit me and that’s the one that sticks.

Whats-Your-Name

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My Antenna Theory

Many moons ago, Jim, my ex-hubby and I had an old TV antenna on our roof, left by the previous homeowners. It was a huge metal eyesore, not connected to anything but the chimney, I suppose for support. Why it was still there? What purpose did it serve? Here’s my theory…

antenna

I believe that antenna’s sole purpose was to emit some sort of vibration recognized only by the dogs of Marin County. When they heard this silent emission, I envisioned German Shepherds jumping their backyard fences and Beagles leaping out open windows all in search of our front porch. I tell ya, if there was a stray dog within a mile, it seemed to end up at our house.

shepherd jumping fence

Now don’t get me wrong; not only did strays wander into our yard but I also spotted them (and still do) while driving about town. Knowing I’m an animal lover, Jim was convinced I enticed them with treats hidden in my car trunk or some such nonsense. I would never do that. I prefer to keep all treats in the glove compartment. Continue reading

That’s Just Jack

Marley and Me

I just watched the movie Marley and Me with my fat cat, Jack. Yes, Jack watches TV. He’s a very observant guy. But if you haven’t seen the movie, I’m about to ruin it for you so you should probably skip the next paragraph.Spoiler Alert

Marley and Me is a comedy about a dog but also a tear-jerker because Marley dies, as dogs will do. I’d already seen the movie but I still cried like a baby. I’m talking crocodile tears that spilled from my eyes, missed my cheeks entirely, then landed on Jack, who lounged on my lap. Pathetic? Yeah, I’d say so.

Now that you virgins of Marley and Me are back with us, let’s continue.. Continue reading

In My Mind’s Eye: Remembering Dad

Here’s my annual Father’s Day post, adapted from an article I wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle in 1997. Here’s to you Dad…There’s an image I have captured in my mind. I’m in my car in front of the home my parents have shared for most of their 45 married years. Mom and Dad are standing on the front porch.

From the street, I can see the huge eucalyptus tree in their backyard, silhouetted against the evening sky. It’s gently swaying in the warm breeze while the full moon illuminates the manicured lawn. My parents are smiling and waving as I drive away after a visit.

Mom lives alone now that Dad is in an Alzheimer’s nursing facility, so that scenario has changed. But it never does in my mind. My parents always stood on the porch to wave good-bye when I left. Even in pouring rain, they still stood in the open doorway together. I always looked back and returned their waves. Continue reading