Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Going to the Fair

I am done. The goats are clipped, the trailer packed, the truck packed. I am done, oh yeah I am also redundant. Tomorrow at about 9 ish the four LaMancha does and I will leave for the fair in Fresno. It has been at least 5 years since we have shown at the Fresno Fair. Or as the "voice of the fair" likes to say in a booming voice "The time at the BIG FRESNO FAIR is blah,blah,blah." (Deb will appreciate that one)

One of the delights of showing at fairs besides the wave of humanity who is offering your stock everything from beer and soft tacos to carnival game prizes on a stick to eat; is getting penned in the barn right under the loud speakers. And after they have called for Suzie Q to her class ring side for the 20th time you could probably not get your drivers license  renewed because you are legally deaf.

Yesterday while I was doing battle with my portable milking/grooming stand I told my husband that if he wanted to he could remind me I am crazy to load up, groom 4 goats, travel least 6 hours each way with a livestock trailer behind me that no one in the entire state on the same freeway sees but me(especially when using an on ramp or changing lanes) to spend only two days at a fair showing nothing but Junior does. He just smiled and said "I already have".  But no more whining I am doing this for a higher calling. I have two granddaughters waiting to show these goats. They haven't been to a show in 4 years and are just about ready to pee with excitement. I have received multiple phone calls in the last two weeks reminding me just how excited they are.

So being the good Gammie I am tomorrow we are off and running. Did I mention spending $$$$ in fuel since with a trailer it sucks the life out of your truck and takes longer. Whoops, NO WHINING! The reward will be priceless.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

First Sunday of October

This day has been spent a bit disjointed and a bit of a whirlwind. I am getting ready to leave on Wednesday to go to Fresno with four of the does for my granddaughters to show at the Fresno Fair. So I have been tying up loose ends, getting stuff ready to go in the trailer tomorrow. Clipped a couple of kids and so forth.

Then I took Spinner for a walk. Not unusual, do it every day. She is coming on 10 years in a week and for a giant breed dog that is a nice senior age. So every day she gets a walk out of the farm, she has been our trusted livestock guardian since she came at 4 months of age in training. Now at ten she deserves.
Yesterday when we set out on our walk we had gotten to the top of the drive and I spied a sight that sent chills through me. A small white furry lifeless body on the opposite side of the road. Could it be our Snowy River, one of the two remaining barn cats? She never seemed to venture that far but then . .

So I picked up the white fluff and carried her down the hill toward the house. Shaken but taking note- wait this cat had a medium haired tail with a spot of blond on it. She also had a blond spot on her nose.Breathing a sigh of relief I realized this wasn't our Snowy. I put the lifeless body in a small bag with a note to Geoffrey(he was out walking Ari) that it was a hit by car cat but not ours. He buried the nameless kitten and that was that.

Until today, on our walk. I was inspecting the skeletal structure of a house across the street by our mail box. It is an older home and being rehabbed by the current owner. I had always wondered what the insides were like and since the windows are missing I took the liberty of a peek inside. While I was nosing round a neighbor child , boy of about ten; you know the two front teeth were plunging into adulthood but the rest of them were still baby teeth; came riding up on his bike.

His smile was slow and I, somewhat embarrassed at my act of snooping, smiled back and mumbled something about how I was always curious about this house. We chatted a few moments and as he put down the kickstand on his bike rather awkwardly asked if I had seen a white cat. My heart sank, his eyes were wide with hope. How do I tell him, this child with hope in his heart.

I dug deep inside and told him the bitter truth. How I had found her , I now know her name Zoey, and how we buried her not knowing where she lived. His eyes dropped, his chin quivered, as he drew himself up as if standing taller would make him stronger. I went on "I work at a veterinary hospital and from her injuries I would say she didn't suffer, was dead when the vehicle struck her, so don't worry about that." Boy, did my words ring hollow in my ears. "It's o.k." he bravely replied , chin quivering and tears welling up in his eyes. "No" said to him "it is not o.k. May I give you a hug?" He nodded and I hugged him and shared with him how we had lost two of our dogs this year. "I am so sorry" I mumbled. He thanked me and climbed on his bike heading home.  

It was an amazing meeting. He so young yet so strong. Me older and as the day wore on sadder. I thought of how this is just the beginning of this dance for him, there will be other cats and other heartbreaks. But I trust that he took some comfort knowing that she was cared for in her end of life. And I took some comfort in knowing that young man didn't have to come upon her and could remember Zoey for who she was.