At long last I bring you the final chapter of the Rolf trilogy…
Rolf had been making fewer and and fewer appearances as the weather progressively got colder and colder. With our move to Nunavut official now we once again began to doubt whether we’d be able to bring him in to the shelter. One night I was struck with a brilliant idea. I figured we’d go out and get him a collar and attach a note to it. The theory was that if he did have an owner they’d see it and remove it and see the note. I knew Rolf got around a bit so I had to make sure it could last through the rigors of day-to-day Rolf life…
I put tape on both sides of the note to give it a little bit of protection from the elements and wrapped it around the collar. Sure enough a couple of days later Rolf showed up and we fitted him with it and he vanished again into the night after eating his meal. The plan was in motion.
Rolf made guest appearances the following couple of weeks. Each time he’d show up we’d check to see if he still had his collar and if anyone may have removed the note. No luck. Finally this week we came to the decision that we’d invested as much time and effort as possible trying to find out if he had an owner and made a vow that we’d take him down to the Humane Society the next time we saw him. It’d been at least 2 maybe 3 weeks since we put the collar on him so we extended well past the reasonable doubt period.
He ambushed us last night on the way in from grocery shopping. Still no luck with the note so I fed him and told him to stop by tomorrow and we’d take care of him. I went out early today and put his food out as usual. I shook the dish and made sure I made enough noise to draw his attention.
Rolf was a no show.
He ditched me. I was a little disappointed that he didn’t heed my words and conceded to the fact he’d be MIA again for another week or two. So it was business as usual once again. Suzanne and I went out in the afternoon to price some arctic gear and take care of some errands. Didn’t take too long but we arrived back home only to be greeted by none other than the cat, the myth, the legend known as Rolf! It was later in the day – in other words warmer – so it’s no surprise he was out and about looking for a meal. Suzanne and I looked at each other and said “let’s go”.
We had considered putting him in a carrier but he’s such a lovable guy we kinda knew he’d have no problem in the car. He dug it actually. In fact he handled being cage-free a lot better than our two babies. Yeah he voiced his concern a couple of times but for the most part he was either hanging out on my lap of checking out the sights from every window. It was a short trip to the Kitchener Humane Society so while Suzanne went in to check if there was room and handle the paper work, I hung out in the car and took some parting shots of him…
In the end I feel like we did a good thing for him. It was getting rather cold (like 5c and below the past couple of nights) and he did appear to have some relatively fresh war wounds on one of his ears. I’m sure he had fleas and more than likely had worms. The Humane society will get him checked out and take care of his injuries and aliments before they put him up for adoption. He’s not rabid and I seriously doubt he has any terminal transmutable diseases so he’s in the best hands possible. It’s recommended that if you have a missing pet you go down to the Humane Society or animal shelter first to see if they have been brought in so we did our best for the little guy. He has a roof over his head now and will get the medical treatment he needs finally (and hopefully a nice bath to make him all fluffy and soft). With those eyes and that loving demeanor he’ll get adopted in no time. He’s highly personable.
A part of me is sad that he’s gone now. I’m going to miss his little purrs, the way he’d show unconditional affection and play as though he didn’t have a care in the world. I’ve been questioning myself constantly since we brought him in but deep down inside I know it was for the best. I closed the door to the cat house in a symbolic gesture (but more to prevent any other would be strays from gracing our presence in the coming weeks). It’s sad that I’m far more proactive with taking care of animals than even people. I guess that stems from how genuine animals tend to be. They don’t fake emotions or try to deceive you. What you see is what you get. If only humans could be the same way…
Cheers Rolf! May the Force be with you.
In honor of our upcoming anniversary on the 31st I thought it’d be fun to share some of the quirky posters Suzanne and I cooked up last year for decorations. Yes yes we went as far as to have fake boards on the windows, a giant first aid box and various artifacts you may find in a post apocalyptic bunker. It was a blast to pull off. Maybe someday Suzanne will enlighten the blogging world as to what exactly happened with some pictures and posts but for now this will have to suffice. Feel free to print away if any catch your eye. They rock on different colored paper and at various sizes.
Be sure to pop over to the Mental Wasteland if you’re interested in more graphics related content. It doesn’t notify when I update it so you’re just gonna have to keep checking back every now and then. 😉
So it was a day like any other. The first day of the long Octoberfest/Thanksgiving weekend up here in Canada. The wife and I were planning to head over to her aunt’s house for some good ole’ grilled sausages, sauerkraut and corn on the cob. No Suzanne doesn’t suddenly turn into a carnivore for Thanksgiving. AC found her some fake Bavarian sausages so it’s all good – for her at least. We were once again going to abuse our invitation to do laundry at her place so I loaded up a basket of unmentionables and proceeded to carry the bin out to the car. I open up the back door and stood on the top step for a moment. The day was glorious. The sun was beating down on my brow but it wasn’t hot. The was a cool breeze gently rolling in – enough to make you feel quite comfortable in just a sweatshirt. A perfect fall day by any standard.
Just then I heard it. Faint at first, but increasing in volume as it approached rapidly…
To my shock and delight, Rolf SonFriend had returned in all his Rolfy glory!
He looked alright. Quite chipper and energetic. He even looked a bit beefier than when I had last seem him. I gave him a big bowl of food and some fresh water anyway and we hung out for a half hour or so. He was love-rolling and headbutting the whole time. Unfortunately the wife and I had to head off to her Aunt’s. I expected never to see Rolf again but at least this time I got to hang out with him this time before we left.
Just yesterday when we were heading out once again. We opened the door to the familiar tune of a “Roooooowwwwlf” surprisingly. He busted into our back room and greeted us as though he owned the place. Once again I laid food out for him and he happily devoured it.
His unlikely return brings forth the dilemma of whether or not we should bring him in to the Humane Society before the weather gets too nasty. We had originally planned to do it by the end of the month so it still kind of falls within the schedule still. On the other hand he doesn’t look the worst for wear after a 2 week period of somewhat cold and dreary weather. Could he possibly have had a home all this time and merely comes out when it’s semi-decent outside or did he simply find a place to stay for a bit and made his way back here? Either way the wife and I have a decision to make soon because it’s looking more and more like we won’t be around in the neighborhood to take care of him much longer. 😉
Today I bring you a tale of Tigerman and SonFriend.
A few months ago, near the beginning of Spring when the weather reached the point where one could shed their jacket and walk around around outside in just a sweatshirt, my wife and I were paid a visit by the dynamic duo. They descended upon our backyard as if they were old friends and quickly claimed us (and the entire backyard) as their own. The wife and I were no strangers to having random cats suddenly befriend us. Our first cat, who’s celebrating her 20th year or so under our roof, was a stray who appeared one day clinging to the screen door of my mother-in-law’s house. We don’t know how old she was at the time but vets clocked it at being 1 or 2. Our other two cats are what I refer to as “stray by association”. You see last year, coincidentally around spring time as well, we were adopted by a little stray female kitty we ended up naming Mel. Being the big sucks that we are we ended up feeding her and in turn she was in our backyard 24/7. We did some active shopping around and ended up finding a home for her with my brother-in-law. Unfortunately, we weren’t aware that she was pregnant so 2 weeks later we get a call from Mike telling us he has a litter of 4 kittens. Rather than straddle the poor guy with 5 cats we decided to take the comedic twosome of Brit & Jemaine bringing out cat total to 3.
Their detailed adventure can be found here. Right now Let’s get back to the recent arrivals to Kitty Acres.
The more thickly built of the two (aka the fatter one) I ended up nicknaming Tigerman. As you can see he has a puffy little tiger-like face so hence the name. I know. I rock at naming, eh? Whoever said I lack in cleverness should be hung from the gallows. Anyway, Tigerman was a big pushover. He was extremely friendly, loved to play and of course eat. This struck us as odd because most strays weren’t as gregarious as he was so we assumed he either had a home and liked to roam or was a house cat that had either run away or was let go. His bulbous little gut, rather clean and shiny fur and pleasant demeanor lead us to believe that it was the former. He would show up at certain times of the day with his little gray buddy, looking for some attention and food.
SonFriend was the smaller and skinnier of the two. He fit the profile of a stray a little more than Tigerman just because he was much slighter than his thick necked companion however he was just as affectionate. He too liked to play and adored attention (and food) from us. The two of them were inseparable. I was never able to figure out if they were related but they traveled together, played with one another and even cleaned each other when needed. It was quite cute. While they didn’t look like siblings they acted like it. I had been struggling with naming the little gray guy and almost settled on the awesomely creative name of “Grey” but then thanks to Semi Pro I ended up naming him SonFriend due to his close relationship with Tigerman.
As Spring gave way to Summer two of them became regulars in our backyard. Although they were nice enough to bring in we simply couldn’t. 3 cats was already 2 more than we originally planned to have. Five would be ridiculous. Cats are great and all but our food and litter costs skyrocketed once we brought in the Flight of the Catchords so having any more was pretty much out of the question. Regardless we considered them our outdoor cats. Whenever there was some gardening or yard work to do they would readily assist by headbutting my leg or love rolling down the driveway. They would eat the parsley we had growing or camp out underneath our cherry tomato plant laying in wait as though they were in the Serengeti.
You would think that Tigerman would be the fighter of the two, but in fact the leaner SonFriend was the scrapper. He laid claim to us and our backyard and fiercely defended it. There’s a neighborhood gigolo cat (whom we assume is one of our cat’s father) who likes to traipse through everyone’s backyards looking for some loving. He and SonFriend would engage in some epic battles. Although outweighed and out-sized, SonFriend would always chase him away. Tigerman, the pacifist, would be around for morale support. This was their backyard and all other cats and critters had better beware.
Sadly a couple of months ago Tigerman vanished. He stopped coming by leaving only SonFriend as our only daily visitor. There were a few people in the neighborhood who had moved away so we like to believe he went home and moved as well. Like I mentioned earlier he was too well groomed and mannered to be “just a stray” so we assume he got packed up when his owners decided to leave – whoever they may be. He wasn’t dumb so we doubt he got hit by a car or anything like that and there aren’t really any predatory creatures in the neighborhood aside from rabid kindergarten children so we doubt anything malicious happened to him. Regardless, SonFriend lost a buddy and was depressed. He would “Roooooawh” whenever he saw us as if he was asking “Where is Tigerman?”. I had no answer for him but because he was so insistent on saying “Rooooawh” whenever he saw us, I renamed him Rolf. He finally had a full name. Rolf SonFriend.
The Summer brought forth some crappy rainy days. I felt bad that Rolf was out roaming the neighborhood in such weather so one clear day I build him a little makeshift shelter next to our shed. I sealed the seams, made a little door in the front and threw a tarp over it to help block off the downpour. I even had it a little elevated off the ground to prevent flooding. Our shag kitchen mat served as the carpeting inside while some old unused t-shirts were the blankets. Now he had a place where we could put his food and water and he wouldn’t have to worry about the elements washing them away. I was quite proud of the Cat House and Rolf seemed to appreciate it whenever the rains would come in.
As summer started to come to an end, my wife and I discussed what to do with Rolf once the weather decided to get cold. We didn’t want him out there but we couldn’t bring him in (despite how cute he was). After shopping around for some potential owners we decided that we would take him to the Humane Society by the beginning of October. They have a no kill policy (so long as they’re not suffering from any life threatening aliments or feral) and would give him some much needed shelter. They would also provide for him any medical attention that he may have needed. He wasn’t sickly, but it’s always good to have that option available. They would also allow us to keep track of his adoption status and give us the option of taking him back if he hadn’t been taken in after 60 days or so. Based on how lovable he was we couldn’t see it going that long. He makes friends really quickly.
2 weeks ago Rolf disappeared. He paid us one last visit just before evening while we were outside talking with our neighbors. He popped by like he always does, headbutted some legs, received some bum scratching and then made his way off to tend to Rolf business. We haven’t seen him since. The weather has been getting rather frigid the past week or so and I’ve grown increasingly concerned. I still put his food and water out daily but I no longer see his excited run to our back door as I open it. The food gets eaten but I think it’s that bastard gigolo mowing through it under the cover of darkness. Like an overly optimistic douche I keep putting out food for him and jiggling his bowl in the hopes he’ll come bouncing in from around the corner… but alas he hasn’t. I have resigned to the fact that he is now gone.
I’m usually pessimistic about everything I think and do but in this instance I choose to believe that he found a home. He was far too personable and friendly to not have made friends all across the neighborhood. I like to think that there were some other sympathetic schmoes out there who were thinking just like us and either brought him in as it was getting cold or took him somewhere safe. He was a streetwise little guy who earned my appreciation. Here’s to you Rolf SonFriend. I hope you found the happiness you were looking for, buddy.
You’re nothing to me now. You’re not a brother, you’re not a friend. I don’t want to know you or what you do.
Blood is thicker than water.
How many times have you heard that cliché? How true is it though?
There’s no doubt that some family ties are tight but I think there’s far too much of an onus put on the blood relation aspect. Lord knows I have blood relatives all over the US that I haven’t even met much less spoken to. Should my loyalty, love and/or devotion be more to them then friends who have been with me through the good times and bad?
I’m not a guy who uses the term “friend” lightly. In fact I can probably count the number of real friends I have on one hand. Some of them I’d quite literally take a bullet for (and on a few occasions could very well have). I don’t like what the term “blood is thicker than water” insinuates. On the surface it just reads as though you should always put your blood before your friends but is that truly something to live by? We’ve all had a family member scorn us in some way and it stings more than anything an enemy can do. Isn’t it blood that ends up hurting us the most in the end?
Even that word family poses a contradiction to that cliché? Unless you’re from some backwater land where brothers and sisters bed & wed one another, your parents aren’t blood to one another. Neither were either of their parents or their parents. Your wife or husband isn’t blood to you. An adopted child is not your blood. Does that mean you should love them any less or that you’re to choose some distant, unknown, never spoken to great-cousin over your own wife, husband or child if (knock on wood) some inconceivably harsh situation called for it?
I think not.
I like to look at that adage in a bit more abstract way. Blood can be defined as anyone who has earned that level of trust and respect to be considered a part of you – a part of your ideals and understanding. I put everyone on the same level playing field and let them determine whether they will be a superstar. That’s why I don’t consider myself truly hypocritical for deeming everyone idiots until proven intelligent because I give everyone a fair shake. I’ll never just give unquestionable respect to anyone and that’s the way it should always be. Too many people feel this unearned sense of entitlement just because they’re a blood relative and it’s just uncalled for. People should be judged individually based on what you have done for them and vice versa. I know it sounds like common knowledge but unfortunately it’s far from that apparently. We cling to blood ties with blind devotion sometimes and end up killing ourselves from the inside every time we’re hurt by them.
Sit back and evaluate who means most to you. Who has been there for you. Who you’ve been there for. Who you can unequivocally trust. Who you make legitimately happy and truly makes you happy.
Your real family might be bigger (or smaller) than you think.
Firstly, let me apologize.
I want to apologize for rattling off yet another rant. I know I’ve only been doing this for blogging thing for only about 2 weeks but I just don’t want it misconstrued that I’m a consummate complainer. The way I see it the sooner I can get the bothersome topics off my chest the sooner I can speak more lucidly.
With that said, let the party begin…
When exactly did parenting become optional? Why do more and more parents feel the need to get their child’s approval rather than their respect? Most of all, what the heck happened to disciplining children? I’ve had these questions juggling around in my head for years now and haven’t really come to any conclusion other than the usual laziness and idiocy excuses. I mean seriously… what caused such a drastic shift in ethics? I’m not an old dude. I’m only in my mid-30’s yet it seems like the values between my generation and the current ones are damn near polar opposites.
You have every right to choose to become a parent but once you’re a parent that’s your job 27/7 till the kiddies are all grown up. When referring to optional parenting I’m talking about this all too common methodology of parents pawning off their kids to their parents whenever they get tired of parenting – forcing the grandparents to play a much larger role in the child’s upbringing. Don’t get me wrong, they should be involved their lives but not to the point where they are essentially raising the children. The excuse for needing time away from them range from wanting to party to just needing a break. Everyone needs a break but when one starts abusing a parent’s good will that’s just wrong on so many levels. They did their job. They served their time. They shouldn’t have to be saddled with doing double duty on parenting and yet more and more young couples continue to take advantage of their parents.
If having a child is so much of a burden or you’re missing out on sooo much because of them, then maybe you should have thought about that before hopping in the sack.
Seeking a child’s approval is about the most reprehensible pattern I’ve seen as of late. So many parents are looking to please their children and be their friends rather than earn their respect. There’s a very thin line between making your child happy and pleasing your child and unfortunately many can’t tell the difference. I had a very happy childhood. I am an only child so one would assume I had everything handed to me on a silver platter. Quite the contrary. My parents were strict but very fair. Nothing was purely given to me. Everything had to be earned and the way you earned anything was by working for it and respecting that their word was the law. I never cursed in front of my parents (or any member of my family for that matter). Heck, I still hold true to that to this day (and I have a mouth like a drunken sailor outside the family setting). I respected my elders, performed my chores and stayed out of trouble. Embarrassing my parents or myself was a no no in their book and I thank them for teaching me that early. I believe that was the basis for self-respect that helped turn me into the person I am today. It’s just sad that parents nowadays don’t have the time or patience to follow through on anything they say. They seek the quick fix solution of buying them whatever whenever and all that teaches them is that with enough whining and bitching, they can get what they want.
A parent is an authority figure, whether you want to believe that or not. It’s a parent’s duty to craft a child’s values and instill a certain semblance of fear and respect for authority. I understand that a lot of parents don’t and won’t raise a hand to their child and that’s their prerogative. An authority figure doesn’t have to be tyrannical and you don’t need to be physical in order to enforce discipline. My parents rarely gave me a whoopin’. If I recall correctly I got an ass tanning maybe 3 times throughout my entire career as a child. My father was a big man – a former football player. That alone put a bit of apprehension in my soul. I figured it would be best not to do anything to piss that large man off too much, but like most children often do I tested the boundaries just to see how far I could go. Let me tell you, I didn’t go back to that edge too often.The first spanking was all I needed to know what was too far. He’d never have to raise a hand to me whenever I was on the verge of doing something stupid.
I’d just get the look.
My mother never ever laid a hand on me but she too possessed the power of the look. Between the two of them casting death gazes at me I rarely had any time to really do anything outlandishly dumb and when I did, I got a repeat performance of the first spanking. As you can see I wasn’t a hard learner. I ended up respecting my parents as the authority figures they were. They’re my best friends ever, but they have always been parents first and friends second not vice versa like you see in today’s families. Giving your child a spanking isn’t child abuse. Repeatedly hitting your child for every little infraction is. As is always the case, people just can’t do anything in moderation. CPS isn’t going to come and kick down your door for spanking your child once in a blue moon for some dumb shit they’ve done. It’s just naive parents who fall for that threat.
Parenting isn’t easy. I know that. It’s a thankless, no-pay, job that very few are qualified for. You need a license to own a dog or a gun. You need a license to drive a car or operate heavy machinery. You even need a license to catch a fish. Unfortunately they’ll let anyone be a parent. I want to apologize to the good parents of the world. I recognize and commend you for bringing love, values, respect and responsibility into their lives. If anything I say offended you just remember this – if it doesn’t apply to you then there’s nothing to get mad about. If you’re doing your thing and getting the job done then I’m obviously not referring to you so there’s no reason to be offended.
Sure it can be construed as hypocritical of me lamenting on parenthood having no children of my own, but then again I don’t make the idiots. I just observe them.