Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kitty Volunteer

After we finally got settled into our new home, I began to feel the need to volunteer again--preferably with animals.  Since the Wildlife Rehab place is too far away, I opted to turn my volunteer application in to the local Pet Smart which had a no kill dog and cat rescue and adoption organization.  Actually I turned my application in twice and never heard anything back.  So, I went online once more and found another place--East County Animal Rescue or ECAR for short.  I sent them an email late one night and heard back before I got up the next morning!!  We set up a time for my training and I became a kitty volunteer--just like that.

Yesterday was my first shift.  I thought I was going to be alone but as it turned out another young lady was there.  She is a college student and wants to eventually go to vet school.  Like many of San Diego's young people, she is an "army brat" or maybe a "navy brat". I didn't really ask which.  Anyway, I was glad she was there as she helped remind me of some of the things that needed to be done.  My shift is from 10-2 on Wednesdays.  The very early shift must clean all of the cages top to bottom but my shift just has to check food and water, clean litter boxes and then spend the rest of the time playing with kitties.  Ah, doesn't get much better than that!

We had five kittens and cats to care for yesterday.  Yvette, the ECAR founder and manager, checked in and said she was bringing 5 more kittens today.  Wish she had brought them yesterday!! Anyway, I still had my hands full.

Every kitty who comes in is given a name.  That doesn't mean that this is their forever name but it does help us to keep them straight.

This is Barbara who is about 2.  She was found with a litter of 4 kittens in "The Bushes" wherever that is.  So, that is why she was named Barbara.  Her offspring were named Jeb, Walker etc. You get the drift.  Last week, Barbara did nothing but sit up on the counter and just stare at the world.  This week, she actually got down on the floor and played a bit.  And she begged to be brushed.  Such a nice girl.

This is Rue.  She is also a couple of years old and was found with 4 babies.  When 3 orphaned babies came in, she adopted them and nursed all seven.  Yesterday she did nothing but climb to the highest point in the cat tree and sleep, sleep, sleep.  I guess after raising 7 kids, I can totally understand.

This is Hunter.  She was the youngest of the crew and is actually one of Rue's kids.  She is a bit smaller than she looks here.  She was so playful.  Of course the grownups wanted nothing to do with her.  Luckily she had Manny who is a bit older to play with.

This is Manny.  I love the bullseye on his side.  There is an identical one on the other side.  He enjoyed roughhousing with Hunter but often came out the winner of the battles. 

  Manny and Hunter taking a break.

 Manny trying to get away from it all.

And last but not least is Jeanne.  She is such a pretty girl.  She was found along with 3 other adult mamas found stuffed in a cage on a horse farm hoping someone would find them.  Luckily someone did.  It is thought that they were all recent mamas so heaven only knows what happened to the babies.  Anyway, Jeanne is such a sweet, affectionate girl.  She discovered my lap and spent most of the time there.  And I didn't mind one bit!

I am looking to adopt a forever kitty of my own.  I would like a Maine Coon or Maine Coon mix.  ECAR has one.  Kitty Girl was abandoned when her family moved.  She is at another ECAR location in Santee.  I've been over to visit her a couple of times but she just hasn't warmed up to me at all.  Even though she apparently did get friendly in her foster home, she hasn't been like that in the store.  ECAR would like me to foster her for awhile to see if she will settle down but I don't really think I want to.  I want a kitty who will be friends with anybody who walks in the door (especially the grandkids) and I don't think that will happen with Kitty Girl.  I do hope she finds her forever home though.

So, there you have it.  I am back volunteering, getting my critter fix, and I couldn't be happier.

Oh, and remember the first place I turned my application in to???  They finally got ahold of me the day after I started at ECAR.  Oh well, their loss I guess.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chuck Turns 83

For a year now, everytime someone has asked my husband "How are you", his response is "I'm alive.  I'm 82 years old."  Well, now he has to change it to 83!  Last Friday, August 10th was his birthday.  This is the first time that we have celebrated his birthday with Karen's family. 

First of all we went to his favorite restaurant, Casa de Pico.  We discovered the restuarant soon after we arrived here and it quickly became his favorite place.  So, we loaded everyone in the van and headed  there for his birthday dinner. 

Luka already to eat

Noah had a different idea of what to do with his utensils.

Chuck and Michael

Enjoying yummy margaritas

Karen and Ethan  trying out their drinks

Luka with "the best burrito ever"!

Michael and Noah having a heart to heart

We always have to remind Chuck to smile.

So he did!!

Ethan and Noah lending some assistance with opening presents.

Come on Grandpa, open it.

Getting rid of the tape

Hmmm, what do we have here?

 His new San Diego hat.  He told me a couple of weeks ago that now that we lived here, he needed one.

A pretty new Cabana shirt.  Now if I can just get him to wear it untucked!!

Happy Birthday

Lots of help lighting the candles

Make a wish

Luckily there weren't 83 candles!!

And of course the birthday boy gets the first piece of cake.

Happy 83rd Chuck. 

Monday, August 06, 2012

Back to the Zoo

I am so glad that we got a zoo membership.  This means we can go anytime the spirit moves us--and it is only 20 minutes from home.  Sometimes, when we lived on Sanibel,  it took me almost that much time to get off island! Also, Hubby gets bored quite easily and loves to go to the zoo.  His frequent comment while we are there is "This is a really nice park." 

So, last week, we took off for the zoo again.  The first thing we did was to take the bus tour--one of the perks that came with our Diamond membership. The zoo was really crowded and there was quite a line for the tour.

Since the use the double decker buses, we had our choice of upper or lower.

 We chose upper.

No, the upper level didn't have a roof.  This is the roof of the boarding area.

The view from up top was great.  Here is a view of the polar bear compound.  Can you spot him?

Baby cheetahs

 Lots of people looking at something.


 I love the Meercats.  Probably my favorite zoo animal.

A new addition to the zoo--a Sun Bear.


One of the double deckers.  Not sure why this one was blue instead of red.

Some ruffled feathers!

Lots of Giraffes.  
 Juveniles--all by the same dad.  Look at the wee one.  So cute.
 Lined up waiting to be hand fed by the tourists.

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree.

The zoo is having a China celebration this summer.  Maybe that's why the line is a mile long to see the Pandas!  We still haven't seen them.  Maybe we will wait for a few months and see the new baby that was just born. Of course then the line will be REALLY long!!

Apparently there was some kind of costumed scavenger hunt going on.  We saw quite a few adults in costume.

I thought the camels were kind of interesting. They have both kinds--the Dromedary (one hump) and the Bactrian (two humps).
 This poor guy has a problem!

One nice thing about having a membership is we know we don't have to see everything in one day.  We can take our time, see what we want and go home when we are tired.  So after a very nice sit down lunch at Albert's Restaurant with a 20% off coupon (another perk with our membership), we wandered back to the front of the park and on to our car.  I know we are going to get more than our money's worth out of our pass.