People Who Drop Off Unwanted Pets.
I live in the country. My neighbor called me the other day to ask if I was missing a cat. A kitten had followed her home from her roadside mailbox. No, I wasn’t, but we both knew where it had come from.
Some people find themselves in an unhappy animal situation: the cute little bunny smells, the Easter chick makes a mess, the cat had kittens, the dog barks too much.
Their solution? Take the bunny, the dog, the cat, to the country and drop it off near a friendly-looking house. Then they drive away with a righteous feeling that they’ve done the animal a favor. Turned it back to the wild, given it another chance, maybe even donated a pet to a loving family.
Let me disabuse them of that fantasy. Leaving a terrified animal in the middle of nowhere is no favor. Dogs panic. They run, sometimes in the road, sometimes chasing after the car that left them. They’re confused and disoriented. I don’t want another animal, but I’ve stopped my car more than once to try to coax a panicked dog to me, only to have it run terrified into the woods, or worse, into traffic.
Various cats appear and disappear from our woods, skinny, stealthy – and uncoaxable - and yes, sometimes I later see them lying beside the road.
One year a black rabbit managed to live on the periphery for an entire winter. A year ago a black and white rabbit appeared, almost tame enough to catch. A few months later we realized it had been pregnant and six more black and white rabbits appeared. Fast forward to six months later and one night we counted 22 carbon copies, who knows how many more we didn’t see.
Now only one of those black and white rabbits remain, and I will tell you why. This is the hard part. Coyotes are a reality in the country, and increasingly, in towns. They travel in packs; they wake you up in the night with their eerie howls. They hunt for food. And as eerie as a coyote howl is, it is nothing compared to the cries of a rabbit when it’s caught by a pack of coyotes. Or a cat. Or a dog. That is the way of nature.
Animals depend on their humans for their life. If you must get rid of an animal, find a home – a legitimate home, or take them to the humane society. And don’t forget to leave a hefty donation.
President Taft’s Bad Nights
Now here’s a curious bit of information. President William H. Taft had trouble sleeping because of sleep apnea. Check out a few anecdotes and even his weight loss diet at : President Taft and Sleep Apnea.
Helma just finished Nicola Krauss’s stunning novel, THE HISTORY OF LOVE, and is pondering the missed connections and coincidences of life. Ruth bought an iPod and is listening and relistening to a two-hour NPR live concert of Tom Waits, occasionally breaking into throaty song. Helma trusts this will soon pass.
The New Library, Seaside, Oregon
I‘m going to alternate highlighting an independent bookstore with a library: the best of all worlds, right!
Seaside, Oregon opened its new library September 20, 2008. If you have the opportunity to stop in, don’t miss it! Bright, light, and airy. Gorgeous Arts & Crafts furnishings and architectural details. A vibrant children’s room and community room. Computers and wifi. A fireplace. And oh, all that space.
The well known library architect, Richard Turi, said this was the first library he’d ever designed with a cat door. Neo, the library’s cat, is calmly making the adjustment from the crowded old library to this new piece of heaven.
Now, I’m aware there are a lot of beautiful new libraries in the country but what sets Seaside’s apart is that it was community-financed, fostered and birthed. That’s right, no bond issue, no extra tax burden. It began with a dedicated library staff and a devoted community, jump started by a man standing in the rain outside the library one morning before it opened, holding a half million dollars in his hand.
Brass plates acknowledging donors are affixed to furnishings, exquisite memorial tiles form a long border inside the building. Even the move from the old library to the new was accomplished by the staff, Friends of the Library, and the community.
There’s a book – or at least a delicious article – in the creation of this library and I hope that someday soon the staff will write it!
A bit about Seaside, which sits on the sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean: Population: 6,000. If you visit, be sure to walk the Promenade, originally built in 1920 and stretching along the beach and city. We stayed at the 10th Avenue B&B, hosted by Leslie and Jack, whose chile-cheese puffs are not to be missed.
Special thanks to Kathy Link, Friends of the Seaside Library, Beach Books, and Lois – the mayor’s wife.