This is “the week before”. We leave for Florida at the end of this week. My sister and I were talking about how the week before and the week after make you wonder if the time away is worth it (smile). Of course, it IS worth it. As I've said other years, this is my one and only chance to be away from EVERYTHING. Rescue work is definitely not nine to five, Monday through Friday. Neither is running a kennel. So there are truly no days off in this business which means vacation is the only real break. However, I really don't need a break from the animals. I love every minute I spend with them. It's all of the other stuff I'll be glad to temporarily get away from.
At some point during this vacation, I hope to meet Cheryl. She is the feeder at the Florida hotel feral cat colony. Cheryl tells me all of the buildings are now down. It will be strange to see. When we discovered the colony one year ago, it looked like this . . .
So much has happened since then. Cheryl has been feeding there since last Fall. The hotel was tagged for demolition and the buildings are all down. Cheryl moved the feeding stations to an area near where the buildings had been. She needs SO much help. She needs more volunteers to feed, and they need a TNR program in her county. Until then, Cheryl did manage to get some of the hotel cats out. A couple of them qualified for the barn program in a neighboring county. She has a cat from the colony in her own home who cannot use her back legs. A couple of kittens were trapped and adopted out. And then there are Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, and Quinn who are here at Winnie's Wish.
The plan is for Cheryl to try to trap two more from the hotel area and have them ready for me to bring back when we leave Florida. She will do her best, but without any help she is unsure of how successful she will be. It all came together at the last minute when the Rescue Railroad set up to bring the three (Pan, Tink, and Quinn) from Florida to me. I hope it will be possible to give another couple of kitties a chance at the good life.
Unless we discover another feral cat colony while we're gone (weak smile), I'll be spending my time drinking coffee under the palm trees, taking walks on the paths under the palm trees, and catching up on some reading under the palm trees.
My new kitten room is empty. The three moms with litters are in new locations. Quinn is now in my kennel office. Peter Pan and Tinkerbell have moved to the cathouse. The three new little bitty Winnie's Wishers will move to the kitten room just before we leave. By the way, little Mango is doing MUCH better. After some good help from Dr. A, he has joined his sister and brother in becoming a healthy normal kitten – eating, sleeping, and playing.
I will miss the animals SO much. But I will take this break, soak up some time NOT constantly working, and recharge for another year of rescue work.
I look forward to introducing you to some new Winnie's Wishers when we return from Florida. Keep your fingers crossed that Cheryl will be able to save a couple of those hotel kitties just in time for me to bring them home.
See you in June!