I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.
By: joealaska , 3:22 PM GMT on May 02, 2014
Camping is good. I own this place right now, just me since Sunday AM. At least what I can see in my “loop”. There are a few others here on the other side.
Sunday was very rainy. Hard rain at times, periods of no rain. But it rained all day. There was lightening and thunder.
The cats were hiding the first day. But Dutchie was staring out the door and murmuring and God knows I know what that means. Let her out. It only gets worse. But I was ready. I had bought a couple cat harnesses. In the past the ones I bought were like six straps covering the chest and neck, pretty unescapable. The best I found recently looked like sports bras, with holes for the front legs.
I tested them on the cats. Fluff was a tight fit for that ONE SIZE FITS ALL, and Dutchie easily fit the same harness. Possibly too easily. I carried her out for a chance to look around. I had 50 feet of rope on her.
I put her down and it was DUTCHIE TIME. Magical, mysterious. She just wriggled out of that harness in about 5 seconds. Now she was back to panic-kitty mode, and she sprinted off in a random direction. She had no idea where she was, and only had a possible glimpse of what home looked like. But something kicked in, and she stopped and came back. I was talking to her and trying to keep her calm. But she has issues with us moving AGAIN, evidently, and just turned around and bolted for the nearby woods, about 150 feet away across a green grass field.
I knew it was a problem right away. OH, I knew she would be OK, I would get her back. She is a smart cat and survives. She spent a day in a hurricane in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, outside and hunkered down. Probably with a couple foxes. In that case I came back to the duplex hours later and eventually she came back when it was safe.
And now, a couple years later...here we go again.
SO, I followed her. She was in the woods before I could see where she entered. There was a distinct woods line. Cut grass versus dense woods. I figured she would stop in the first line of woodsiness... Therefore I did not go into the woods. I stood there and whistled and yelled her name. It was dense at the edge, but walkable further inside
No sign, and a new storm was moving in. It started raining hard and it was every man/cat for themself. I went back to LEGGS just as it was getting dark.
I knew the kitty game. The rain would make her find shelter and hunker down. Dutchie was a PRO at this. So I figured all would be OK. But I pulled up the weather radar, and it was not good. Solid rain for a few hours. Just as it was getting dark, I went back and looked. Light rain. Now I heard some far away cat cries. Hard to tell where from exactly. I stood and stared into the woods looking for movement. I walked for a ways
Then, like in a dream, I saw her jump through a clearing ahead of me. She was not responding to my yells (too pissed) and then I averted my eyes to walk over some logs. I looked up and I had lost sight. She was crying off and on, I knew where she was - roughly, but she was not coming to me. It was a game that I was not wanting to play. Again I went back to the RV. I kept whistling for her, and I knew she knew where I was. Eventually she would get tired of being wet in the woods. Sure enough, later I heard her crying nearby in the dark. I whistled again. Finally she appeared under the RV. She was soaking wet, and went right up the stairs and inside.
She slept very well after I dried her up. Next morning I thought she was broken in, she knew where her home was. She wanted out again, and it was finally sunny and not raining. When I open the door, a couple of stairs extend outward. When they came out, Dutchie panicked and bolted. This time she was not doing the bounding thing, she was sprinting. Right into the woods again. But this time I knew where she was, and so did she. Eventually she came back, and things have become a bit normal at this point.
I have hooked up the water now, the refrigerator at first was acting up, but it is fine now. The AC and heater work, although I really do not need them yet. It DOES get very cool here at night.
I hesitated extending out the awning as it has been pretty windy the last few days, but last night I finally got that done.
Most of my meals are cooked on the grill outside. Yesterday that fancy HINGED LID on the grill proved to be a problem. It is top heavy when the lid is opened, and the wind caught it and blew it off a picnic table I have here. Hot coals everywhere, but I just picked them up with a utensil and built the fire back. Put a couple burgers on, and left the grill on the ground for now. Soon, the wind knocked it all over again. The burgers remained on the grill even as it lay on its side. In a few minutes I was having lunch.
I bought the tow dolly Wednesday. I had them check my tires. The rear end has double tires on both sides. They found that the inside tire on the drivers side had blown out. There was a big hole in the side of it. Right now the spare is on, and I will return in a few weeks for a new tire and other possible work. The tow dolly worked great. Easy to put the car on and get it off.
Kentucky Derby this weekend, tomorrow. Today is The Oaks, a big race for people who want to see a race, but who may not want to fight the crowds Saturday.
Thank you for your time.
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