Thursday, April 15, 2010

'Possums. Lots of Um.

I spent the morning volunteering at a wildlife rescue (I haven't discussed blogging about it with the operator, so for now, no specifics).

I fed baby 'Possums. Many. Tiny babies, ranging from eyes not totally open, to just big enough to be feisty and opinionated. I picked the legs of dead crickets, which was surprisingly not that gross, and dropped them into baby birds' mouths. Cleaned cages, washed dishes, was nibbled by a duck, fed babies again, and tried to be useful. This rescue gets calls from local vets, and drop-offs from random kind-hearted souls, and nurses orphaned babies and injured animals, and releases as many as possible back to the wild when they are big enough to cope. It's heroic madness, and may seem crazy to people who live in the non-citified areas, where possums are like fleas on a dog, and also PITA, and saving them is kinda madness. I get that POV, and I also get this.

This is protection of the native species against the endless, relentless intrusion of people and subdivisions and strip malls. Kind people find abandoned babies and can't just let them DIE, and this rescue keeps them alive and then finds safe wild places for them later. I arrived in High Possum Season. Squirrel season is winding down.

If I want to do this long term I'll have to get the preventative series of rabies vaccines so I can handle the raccoons, but that's not an immediate issue, because the raccoon residents are moving on up and out. But oh DAMN, raccoons are cute! If I didn't think I'll be moving in October, I'd be signing up for rabies shots so I could work with them. But, as it is, this is most likely going to be a few months of cage cleaning and random helpfulness. I'm on for one morning a week, which is a really modest start.

I'm locking down a trip to MD in mid-June. Lodging (thanks to Cousin S and J) has been secured. Flights and rental car will be done tomorrow.

Sunday - wedding dress try-on time postponed from last weekend, because BrideGirl was feeling worn out. Monday - venue tour, with Groom and Groom's Mom.

Tomorrow: Sleep Late. Walk Dogs. Bike Ride. Scrub something in the house. Cut down something dead in the yard.

I'm one week into Voluntary Unemployment, or, as I prefer to call it, my Sabbatical. I'm sleeping 8 hours at night, I've lost 3 pounds, and I can't even remember what I did at that job.


Freda said...

Meant to write last week when you mentioned the location for Girl's wedding. Great choice! My son and his beautiful bride were married there 5 years ago. Beautiful wedding, well run place, great guest rooms. Let me know if you'd like to see pics. One minor caveat that I'm sure is just common sense - email me if you're interested. Don't want to seemingly disparage a fine establishment.)

Freda in NH

Debbie G. said...

You are my hero. :-)

Just worked a 17 hour day yesterday (I wish I could say that was an anomoly, but it's not) and am daydreaming about a "sabbatical" such as yours. Really happy things are going well for you - so glad you decided to leave your job. Keep writing about it - it keeps me thinking "what if?" and pondering the possibilities of taking the leap myself. My job pays well (and I still have 2 kids in college), but it is sucking the life out of me.

Thanks for being an inspiration!

Linda said...

I have been neglecting my reader and am just getting caught up on you 'Next Adventure'. So happy and excite for you!! Love your To Do List. Not too specific but specific enough "Sleep Late. Walk Dogs. Bike Ride. Scrub something in the house. Cut down something dead in the yard". I think I can tackle that kind of list:) Congrats to GirlChild!

Catherine said...

Freda - I don't have your email. Please contact me at the name of my blog AT (Written that way to foil bots, I hope.)

Debbie - my "What if?" remains undetermined. I just finally got to the point where the kids were on their own and I was only responsible for me, and what I was doing every day was draining the life out of me. Whether it was a brilliantly brave idea or the beginning of life under an overpass remains to be seen.

Jen said...

That volunteering lark sounds fun - hard work but fun! Glad you are enjoying yourself. Who needs a stressful job anyway? I sure don't. Take care !

k said...

What does the bossy one think when you come home smelling like other people's critters? (You know, there just isn't a way to ask that without sounding rude. I hope you understand.)

Catherine said...

Well, because these are wild animals and may carry wild animal germs that could harm a domestic pet, I change clothes and wash with antibacterial soap before the bossy one gets near me. (Plus I was sweaty and smelling slightly like 'possum pee.) This time, I wore my own shoes (sprayed them with Lysol afterward) but I think I'll pick up a pair of faux Crocs or the like, something that can be hosed off after cleaning pens.

zippiknits said...

I worked phones and pick ups/drop offs for Project Wildlife here in the 90's. Saw a lot of skunks, possums, and baby birds and enjoyed it all, too. It's a great thing you are doing. Congrats on getting rid of that killing job! Best wishes for the wedding and your new future, too. Brava!