Friday, October 28, 2005
Halloween? No. Christmas.
In 2002 it suddenly struck me that I should have an Open House. (Please. If anyone you know entertains such an idea, tie them down until the urge passes. The WORK involved!!). I decided that it wouldn't be an Open House to introduce strangers to our program. Instead it would be a gathering to thank everyone who had helped us over the years.
In 2002, we had a beautiful snow the day before. The kerosene heater kept things quite toasty (the first floor of my barn is not heated although the second floor where the cats are, is ) and around fifty people showed up. We had food, wine tasting, and a potluck. I'm not sure what the cats thought of all the fuss. The last friends went home around midnight. It was a wonderful day and I spent an hour afterward in a warm glow, sitting alone on the carpeted floor of the cat room, thanking them for their graciousness that day with 50 visitors.
(Note: I started listing attendees, but when I discovered some of the accomplishments of our visitors when I was linking their websites, it seemed a lot like name-dropping! Because I can't link everyone, and many people don't have links, I stopped, and I think I will write individual posts on some of their work in the future).
The second year, the electricity went out in my facility less than 24 hours before the event. I freaked. It was another snowy weekend. Mark and I scrambled unsuccessfully for extra kerosene heaters while I frantically begged for electricians.I finally called Kirk's in Candor NY (no webpage to link?) and he came out within an hour and discovered I simply had a bad breaker in the house. It was that weekend that I learned that kerosene heaters (legal in the country) were illegal in the city and could not be rented in Ithaca for any price, and that big-time electricians don't care to troop out to Spencer on a Saturday to rescue a small feline Open House.
I think I like living in the country. The people here are wonderful.
Last year, I changed jobs on December 7th. It quickly became clear that there would be no 2004 Open House. The cat facility seemed drab and sad. There was no reason to clean up and toss out the last year's worth of accumulated "stuff" on the first floor. I did plug in the holiday lights in the first floor window (which, on a whim, I may plug in any time of the year). But the cats partied alone last year.
This year, I'm in gear before Halloween, determined to avoid the last minute scrambling of years before. Our Open House will be December 10th. It's a party that requires an invitation, so please drop me a line if you'd like to come by. We do welcome newcomers, but we like to give people the low-down on visiting a facility full of shy, wild cats, so that both you and they have an enjoyable holiday. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.