Monday, January 05, 2009

Whiskers in Winter

It was a gorgeous winter day for Whiskers in Winter yesterday! I should have blogged sooner, but frankly, once the crowds had faded and I had the dishes in the washer, I snuggled into the couch and fell into a contented nap!

We had a great turnout: 31 humans, one dog (Jack!) and one kitten (Hope!). At one point, it was wall-to-wall people. The best part was, there was no way visitors could avoid introducing themselves to one another. It's kind of hard to remain a wallflower when the ceiling makes you duck and there are people on both of your elbows. Luckily, people could also go to the house (and more people hung out there than ever have in the past. Kittens have that power on folks) and of course went up to visit the cats on the second floor.

Normally I have some of the cats loose in the cage room for people to play with, but this year I wasn't going to be able to spend most of my time upstairs to watch the doors and be sure no one slipped out. Dream: Real decently made doors with real latches instead of barn latches and hooks and eyes?

Little Hope came with Cary and Lyndsay and was the life of the party in the house, along with Tinker, Leo, and Owlie, the Terrorist Kittens (who played shy, but could not resist the laser pointer, feather toy, and six teens). Jack the dog came with Nancy (who is friend, fosterer, adopter, AND our wine host as she also works for Thirsty Owl Winery in addition to her business The Grooming Room). Jack was our official barn greeter.

I'm always amazed how good the cats are with so many people trooping up to see them. Espie--the black and white cat--was especially pleased with all the attention, and showed off her big mitts to anyone who would bring out a feather toy. We brought Jack up to dog-test her, and she didn't even fluff at him.

Even the most shy cats were pretty good about being petted. Plushie (the black cat) always likes attention. Pickles is more reserved. This photo was taken after everyone had left and the cats were parked under the red heat lamp.

Everyone was pretty tuckered out.

People came bearing food, cat litter, toys (we broke out the new laser pointer right away!), and photos. The nametag tree WORKED, and it was kind of fun to hang the filled-out tags back on the tree afterwards.

I received responses from people who could not make it, and it was great to hear from them as well. Next year I'll try to get my invitations out earlier so people can plan. But don't I say that every year?

This party was the official shingle-hanging for Abbey Farm, the farm's new name. The previous name was Old Ferris Farm. I'm afraid the sign will have to come back down (therefore the use of cable-ties) as I've only finished painting one side. Hopefully this summer will see sunflowers, catnip, and broom corn growing in the field beside the barn, and the downstairs of the barn set up for drying.

These are all crops I can give away as gifts if for some reason I don't have time to actually sell them.

Thank you all for coming and for sharing my dreams, both current and future! Special thanks to Craig for plowing parking space, Cary and Lyndsay for arriving early and helping out--as well as bringing the heavenly cheesecake, Donna and Tim for the lasagna and macaroni and cheese, and of course Nancy and Jack for bringing the wine and hosting the downstairs party.

Thanks as well to Dr. Armao and Joan from Cornerstone Veterinary Hospital for making it out to see our place! And to Nancy Jacobson, and Eugenia and Phil, who have made it Every. Single. Year.

And to Leslie, my college roommate, who came over 60 miles with her family. When we were in college, Leslie and I drove over snowy roads to adopt a kitten for her from the Chenango County SPCA as a Christmas GIFT to her from me (gasp) and smuggled him into our on-campus apartment (no pets allowed - gasp again!) to live with my cat Rastus, who was already living there illegally. We also had an illegal Christmas tree that year (that we got in yet another snowstorm, driving around until we felt the RA would be asleep). And I remember pushing her car in yet another snowstorm when Bandit the kitten needed to go to the vet, because we parked it (again illegally) in a firelane and left it running to warm up so Bandit would not be cold and it stalled with the lights on. Yes--those were the days, when two college rowers could push a dead Chevy Impala by ourselves about 1000 feet through four inches of snow down a firelane, across a road, and PARK IT in a spot. I hazard a guess we could not do that now. Anyway, I'm surprised we weren't nailed by a snowstorm yesterday, since Leslie resolved to come!

Hmmmm...I think they call that a "tangent." And I hope Leslie's kids aren't reading this. Back to the party!

For all the presents, food, photos, donations, and goodwill, I hope everyone knows you all mean the world to me...and to the cats you have rescued with your love.

Have a wonderful 2009!


Zuleme said...

wish we were there!

Leigh-Ann said...

I love all the exciting changes in your life, and hope I'll one day be able to follow suit!