Over the last few months, we made the transition to Massachusetts which meant saying goodbye to my wonderful clients in Connecticut. Moving to a fresh town means not knowing anyone and the rebuild of clientele will take time.
In the meantime, my cats and I have had super four-on-one time. I never realized just how much my cats actually sleep. It’s unbelievable! One of my major activities is running up the stairs, singing at the top of my lungs forcing them out of their blissful sleep. I also enjoy clattering the dishes downstairs in the kitchen and watching as sleepy faces saunter into the room. Neither of these strategies do much good as they immediately leave the kitchen and go back upstairs or simply flop back down on the bed. Sometimes yelling, “Kitties! KITTIES!!!” brings Quinny to my side though, so that’s nice.
Today I ventured out to meet some new animals in the area. It was my first day as a volunteer at an animal sanctuary in a neighboring town. We visited last week and I knew the moment the farm came into my sites that I was destined to end up there. The cats that jumped the high fence to greet us confirmed this. In my fifteen or so minutes there, I met numerous cats who stayed close to me, a swan who was a bit wary, a border collie who’s discovered that pine cones make great throw toys, a pony and a mule who I admired through the fence plus all the others I could see from afar. I introduced myself to the wonderful woman who owns the farm and we made a date for today to start.
My big assignment was to shovel manure which isn’t the most exciting thing in the world but yes it is when you have a stream of visitors during it. There was a mini goat who was the fattest cutest thing ever and he scratched his head on my boots. He swung by a bunch. I was working near a corral and had visitors in horse, mule and pony form. And then there was the emu.
Last week in the car, I wasn’t really paying attention as we drove along and all of the sudden I spotted him. “Is that an emu? Where are we?” (I’d thought we were visiting the zoo first). Mr Emu, whose name will be included once I memorize all of them including his brother, is a rather interesting character who likes to peck at the rake when it has pine needles on it. He also made many plays at pecking me. Since I wasn’t sure how hard these might be, I danced a lot around him. I asked later if it can hurt and the answer was, “Yes.” But now that I know that, I’ll be prepared when I actually let him.
After I dumped the wheelbarrow on the big manure pile, I headed into the barn to help feed the gathered and now penned animals that I’d been interacting with plus a bunch of their friends. I helped out here and there and pet any goat who walked by, as the horses/ponies/mule were penned separately. And lots of little moments occurred, but there were really two things that stood out to me. First off, after some hay was put down, one of the emus plopped right down on it and fell asleep while goats munched on the hay near his head. This alone was fascinating, but the way that they sleep looks like they’re swallowing a cat. The neck puffs out in front and then the head is set back close to the body. It’s really bizarre and cool looking. I’ll take a photo if it happens again.
The other thing was when I was handed food for one of the horses, one of the goats head butted me so hard, I went right into the wall. Greatest moment ever.
Monday can’t come soon enough!