It’s the coldest day of the year, so I’ve literally spent hours online reading about gardening, building a new yahoo group entitled The Garden Spot and watching it grow exponentially in the last 24 hours. As I gazed through email from wonderful places like Johnny’s Seed, Winding River’s Herbs (someday, when we get back to UT to visit old workmates and browsing the countless Deseret Industry stores, I absolutely positively have to visit her) and many others, the following educational opportunity came across Johnny’s Seed site. I wanted to share it with you hoping you might benefit from it also.
This is my Baby Kitty. Actually, she’s one of 10 living here at the farm. Until last week, we only had 9, but we inherited someone’s cast-off kitty. I will feed that one and love it, just the same as all the others. Hopefully that little tan colored youngster will, in time, let us hold it or pet it. Right now, it’s painfully shy.
Baby is just a little over a year old. Last year, she was newborn and really didn’t care about snow, or being outside, or anything much other than her mama’s warm fur and constant flow of milk. She shared her mom with 3 siblings. We also adopted Baby’s sister, Martha.
Baby is unlike any cat we’ve ever had. She has a personality, that I swear, is half human. She is a talker. Some of ours are silent, this one is extremely vocal. She has haunting looks, piercing looks, sweet loveable looks, feed me looks, and one that there is no mistaking for anything other than sheer contempt for whatever it is that’s ailing her at the moment. She has never failed to let us know when she wants attention, or does not want us to even look at her. That’s right. There are times when we can glance in her direction and she will snarl, growl, or wag her tail in a mean manner, promptly get up and leave the room. If we laugh, there are no vocal tones, she will leave our company in a mad hurry. Do not laugh at Baby, do not tell her no she knows what that human word is and does not like it. No one puts Baby in a corner.
We have a nightly ritual. My husband will gather the two housecats, bring them into our room. I think he thinks we have our own private foot warmers on the bed. It’s gotten to be such a routine, that I actually miss them when I’m away. But, bring in Baby, she will growl, grow wide eyed like her eyes are going to pop out of her head, we do all we can not to laugh because it only enrages her more. Let her out of our arms, and she’s off and gone like a wild cat, only to return 5 minutes later, purring, looking at you with half-closed eyes, and has her happy tail wag. (those of you who are cat lovers will know what I mean). Going to bed has to be on her own terms, not ours. It doesn’t take long, it just has to be of her own free will.
Since we had her spayed (we have all our cats spayed or neutered as soon as possible), we have 2 younger cats whom Baby has adopted as her own. When their mother first gave birth to the boys, Baby couldn’t stand the sight of them. Hiss, spit, snarl. It didn’t take long until she decided that since they were going to stay, she might as well use them for play toys. And that, she’s done. She is the one who taught them to bypass the couch in 1 leaping bounce or how to hide behind curtains. She’s taught them to hunt feathers that mysteriously appear from the bottom of the bird’s cages. She taught them to roll with her in a huge fur ball around the front room floor. Now, that she is Aunt Baby, she loves and protects the boys from the other cats. Funny how time changes the most hardened feline into one of a gentle nature.
Don’t get me wrong, Baby isn’t a monster baby, she’s mama’s baby. She wouldn’t mind being an only cat, but that probably won’t happen in her lifetime. We’ve learned to give her special moments and that keeps her satisfied. She loves looking out of the windows. Tonight, she actually saw her first snow (at least one that she recognized as being something different). I caught her behind the aloe plant, couldn’t get a clearer shot of her, but the one above speaks for itself. I almost wish I’d had the camera on video because she was turning her head from side to side, had a soft cooing type of meow, kept looking at us as if to tell us that something different was outside.
I love watching our animals. Every cat, every creature here at Dusty Rose Farms has it’s own special, very unique personality. In time, I hope to introduce them all to you. Tonight is Baby’s night. She’d love it if she only understood. This is Martha, Baby’s sister
Last but definitely not least is your vehicle. It’s more than just transportation. It could be a lifesaver or a life taker.
- Have your vehicle serviced. That includes oil change, filter changes as necessary, tire pressure checked, tires checked for tread worthiness. Replace worn parts. There’s nothing worse than having your vehicle break down in the middle of winter when you are 20 miles from home!
- Place a 72 hr survival kit in the car. That should include blankets, extra warm clothing, socks and waterproof boots, hats, gloves, etc. Also include in that kit, high energy foods that won’t freeze, water or juice, hard candy, extra meds if needed, a small sterno stove and sterno fuel (don’t use this inside your vehicle!! CO2 from a sterno stove is deadly!). Include matches or a lighter, kitty litter or sand, a tow rope, jumper cables, flashlight with extra batteries or a hand crank type flashlight. Garbage bags, tissue paper, feminine items (you just never know!!), and a can or pan to melt snow into water as needed.
- Keep a full bottle of windshield washer fluid in your vehicle. The kind that contains de-icer is best for cold winter months.
- Keep a can of WD40 around. Don’t put it in your car. It’s a great mechanism for de-icing frozen car locks, but it won’t work if it’s locked inside your car! I carried a tote bag to and from work, carried it inside and put it under my desk. In it, was a can of WD-40. My office mates used to laugh until they saw me de-icing my car locks when theirs were frozen solid. And, yes, I took pity on them and shared my can of WD-40. I noticed other tote bags showing up at work. I always wonder if they followed my lead?
- Keep a et of chains (if you’re able to put them on your car) in the vehicle.
- Make sure your tool kit is in the vehicle.
- Keep headlights and tail lights clean.
- Make sure your vehicle battery is in good shape. Excessive heat and cold are hard on older batteries. Replace as necessary.
- Flares: It doesn’t matter what kind, whether they’re reflector type or the old kind that looks like firecrackers. Have them handy.
- Consider having a “HELP!” sign to place in your windows. If not that, the universal code for help is a red flag or bandana or cloth tied to the antenna. That way, if you need help and are stranded in your vehicle, you will have a visible sign to your rescuers.
- Keep your cell phone charged.
- If you need to travel, always plan your route and let someone else know what your route is. Don’t deviate from it. If you have a breakdown, knowing where you might be could be a lifesaver if someone needs to trace your route. Try not to plan trips during extreme weather conditions if at all possible. Blizzards, white-outs, I’ve been unfortunate to have to travel across Montana and Wyoming in blizzard conditions and it was scary. I’ve traveled down I-70 through Colorado in the middle of a blizzard in December of 2003, couldn’t find a motel anywhere, was reduced to traveling 30 MPH during the lighter part of the blizzard, and had to spend the night at a rest area with snow piled 8 inches deep on top of my car the next morning. Frightening? Absolutely because I was alone. But, with these tips and tricks, I am blessed to be here to share this blog entry with you. Take care, be prepared, and be safe!