It looks like Halloween 2013 was a success. Well, this was technically not Grace’s first Halloween, she pretty much slept through the entire thing last year. For Nolin, he has been looking forward to this night since last year.
To battle the Halloween creatures of the night this year, we had Bat Girl (compliments of Aunt ELO) and Tiny Pteranodon (Compliments of Amazon).
So before Nolin entered our lives, Jenn & I started unconsciously planning for our family. It started off with a neighborhood stray cat that we began taking care of, moved on to a stranded dog that we took in, then opening our home to an amazing foreign exchange student for a year, and also working with foster children through Stepping Onward an organization that we were part of.
On the weekends, we would meet with several foster children in the Boys Town program and run with them. While probably only a few of the children enjoyed the actual running part, I think all of them enjoyed the attention and the opportunity to have someone take interest in them. It was a fun time in our lives and a great learning experience for our future. As our lives changed and the children and foster parents moved in & out of the program it became a little more difficult to keep the program up.
Stepping Onward’s motto is Every Journey Begins With The First Step…so it was only fitting that Nolin’s first road race was the fun run at the Candy Cane 5K benefiting our friends at Boys Town. Continue reading “Stepping Onward”→
So we may have a situation on our hands, and I am not talking about a GTL Jersey Shore type of situation. It appears that I was naive in thinking that I had several years before I would actually have to sit down and have that uncomfortable birds and the bees conversation.
Apparently, I failed to think about the fact that adopting a male stray cat could lead to problems. We think Toonces may be a father in the near future. That’s right apparently Toonces’ night time activities were a little more active than we imagined. Thus enters Mountain Cat…
Mountain Cat is a beast of a female (I actually feel sorry for Toonces because I don’t think he has much control in the relationship) and I think she is a little angry that Toonces has moved on, and now she wants half (queue Kayne West’s Gold Digger song).
Mountain Cat sits at our door and cries for us to let her in, or she is just screaming in cat language so all the neighbors know what a dog Toonce is. I will find her sitting on my car at night, hiding in the bushes, walking up and down our back fence, and trying to get in the garage when we open it. At one point she even backed Pancake and I against the front door trying to get into the house.
Mountain cat may be a very nice cat, but I don’t think I am quite ready for a second cat or a bunch of mini-Toonces’s running around our yard. It is also slightly embarrassing because our neighbors keep asking why all the strays come to our house. Although I am not so sure that Toonces or Pancake would fully understand, I guess it may be time to man up and have the talk…better late than never?!
To start off with Toonces neither looks like the Saturday Night Live alum (actually he looks more like Toonces’ arch nemesis Spunky), nor does he like riding in cars and driving. We first met him about 3 years ago, when he started hanging around our house. Eventually he made his way into our house and our lives, as well as all of our neighbors. That’s right, sometimes it takes a village to raise a child and all of our neighbors take care of Toonces although no one would dare admit it.
No one knows exactly where Toonces came from, where he stays at night, or where he goes during the day. He just sort of appeared one day and quickly took ownership of our street and all the families that live on it. He doesn’t wait for an invite and is not afraid to make your house his own.
I am pretty certain that Toonces suffers from an identity crisis because to us he is Toonces and a girl (until a friend recently pointed out two little areas on his backside that would indicate why Toonces has never had kittens), to our neighbors across the street who feed him he is Tiger and to our other neighbors he simply goes by Orangy. Although he will answer to all of them, I know he likes Toonces best.
In the world of stray cats, Toonces hit the lottery. He has a street full of families who secretly vie for his attention. He will sit in the middle of the street and wait to see if Jenn & I or our neighbors get home first and immediately head over to that house for food. After he has eaten, he will walk over to the other house (when he thinks no one is looking), and get food over there. It is particularly funny when we arrive at the same time because he doesn’t know what to do and totally knows that he has been busted.
Toonces was the best introduction ever to responsibility. We didn’t need to worry about feeding him (although we eventually broke down and bought food). We also didn’t need to have a litter box in our house because if Toonces ever needs to go to the bathroom, he just taps on the door a few times to let us know. He will hang around long enough for you to enjoy him, but will never over stay his welcome. We can also come and go as we please because we have a street of families that will watch out for him when we are gone.
Our cover with Toonces was blown when we headed up north for an extended vacation. Jenn’s motherly instinct and guilt for leaving him eventually kicked in so she called our friend Lee to check in on him (to be honest, I was getting a little worried too, and was glad that she called cause I never would have). He drove over and couldn’t find Toonces hanging around the house, so he knocked on our neighbors door and asked if they had seen the cat around.
They mentioned that they had seen him a few days before and that he was fine. Lee thanked them and gave them some ham to give Toonces when they saw him again…awesome, no hiding that one anymore. To be honest, we didn’t really even know them that well. We just knew them as Toonces’ other parents. I only wish I could have seen their faces when a stranger knocked on their door with a piece of ham asking if they could keep their garage door open for a stray cat since it was cold outside.
When we got back Toonces acted like most teenagers and refused to acknowledge our existence and then two days later (like a teenager) he was back at our house and seeking attention.
I am not a cat person, never have been…I’m a dog person I would never dream of having a cat in my house, but Toonces is different. I like to think of Toonces as a dog trapped in a cat’s body. I guess it just goes to show, you can’t always pick your family…most of the time they pick you.