Birthday Party Fun. So Much Fun, There's Nothing to Share

It's time for my Birthday Party again? I'm yet another year older...how does this keep happening?!

Regardless, I'm always happy to have my friends over and this year for my birthday party, we had a special guest in attendance - my sister Jenny came to town to join us. About 16 people stopped by and we all ate lots, drank a bit, opened some sweet gifts and played games, amongst the night of laughter and friendship.

And I took a bunch of crappy photos, nothing even worth sharing. Evidence:


 
As in the last few years, I held a shampoo collection for charity for my birthday and have about 90 bottles of hair care products to donate, thanks to the generosity of my friends and family. Getting older...earning karma points...living the good life.

Yet Another Job, Kaylen? Yes, Yes, I Think So!

I guess I am in the best spot ever of my career. I've got quite a lot of training under my belt for a particular HRIS software and have two implementations under my belt, both global. And so it is that I have come to find myself in a position where I am free to be happy with my life choices.

I just started my current job early summer last year, however, I'm not 100% happy with the company for a few reasons. But who ever is? Is that even possible? I am still new at my company so I don't even know if I would be able to stay there long-term, but sometimes, even though you aren't looking for something better - it just happens to be made available to you. So it wasn't really a plan of mine to leave my current job, certainly not so soon - until I saw an opening by an NGO.

An NGO is basically a nonprofit. This one is funded by multiple government agencies, amongst other groups, but has no leadership from the government, it's completely independently run. The most common definition of an NGO:  a framework that includes orientation and level of operation. An NGO's orientation refers to the type of activities it takes on. These activities might include human rights, environmental, or development work. An NGO's level of operation indicates the scale at which an organization works, such as local, international or national.

I will be working for an international NGO that works in many countries helping refugees. Doing amazing work all over the world. This is where I need to be.

And with the software system that I love working with...and it includes international travel, which I crave. How could I walk away from this love trifecta?

It is but a dream.....and yet it is real. And it is happening soon. Stay tuned for amazing pictures from my travels - starting with a jaunt to New York next month!!

Finding A Lost Pet - Drastic Measures Are Necessary Sometimes

We have indoor cats. Very skittish indoor cats.
Twice now, Whiskers has made a great escape. And then a month ago, he did it again.


For some reason though, this time was fatalistic to me. I woke up and he wasn't on my bed. Andrew was home and had friends sleeping over, so I knew Whiskers would have to be in a few key areas. He ALWAYS comes running when he hears me wake up, if he doesn't actually wake me up himself. I have a bathroom connected to my bedroom and each morning, I use the loo while he rolls around stretching on the bathroom floor. Then I turn on a slow stream of water in the bathtub for him while I brush my teeth. It's our daily routine.

Except for this one particular morning in early January. No sign of Whiskers. I called and called...no Whiskers. I looked in his normal sleeping spots that he thinks are hidden. No Whiskers. I checked the sunroom where Andrew and friend were sleeping - no Whiskers. And then I immediately started thinking - Whiskers has died. He's curled up in a spot somewhere in this house and just gone into a deep slumber from which he would never awaken.

Depressing, right? And totally uncalled for. Whiskers wasn't sick, he wasn't acting strange, nothing to indicate he was going to pass away in the night.

We do have a kitty door that leads into the garage, and another that leads into the world at large. The garage-to-the-world door has been sealed since we moved into this house, so it's not really a huge threat of him escaping that way. And he doesn't really hang out in the garage that I know of. If I'm out doing the laundry, he'll cry at the cat door until I call him and convince him to come through, and then he stays close to me, crying the entire time, as if he is trying to convince me to go back inside the house.

Andrew was certain he hadn't left the garage door open for any length of time, so this further convinced me that Whiskers was in some tiny crack in the house, curled up, asleep forever.
Dramatic much?

Totally an indoor cat!

So I searched the house high and low, made Andrew do the same, and finally, I was convinced he was not dead in the house. But then I was convinced he was dead in the garage....

And so I searched the garage high and low. Andrew had given up on my craziness by this point and had gone about his life. As if life just goes on when your cat is missing??? He's learning some ridiculous things in college, isn't he?

Luckily it was my work from home day and I could spend all day taking breaks and wandering outside calling for Whiskers. Not that it did any good. I was convinced he was dead somewhere anywhere. I ran into my neighbor, this older man who most likely has Alzheimer's, and he told me a horrific stories about cats being killed.

Didn't matter. I was already convinced Whiskers was dead anyway.

I called my friend at the cat shelter, my local cat expert. She insisted that she has heard miracle stories of cats returning from this one solution. And she told me it sounded crazy...but assured me it would work.

By this point, Whiskers was gone about 18 hours. Much too long for my scaredy, indoor cat to be out in the big scary world. So I was open to any suggestion.

Ready?

The magic solution to helping your lost pet come home: pee in a spray bottle, walk around the blocks surrounding your house and spray your urine about. The pet will smell the urine scent and follow it until it finds it has turned up at a familiar home, where it will wait for your undying affection and handfuls of treats.

Totally logical, right?
I sent Andrew a message explaining that I needed him to pee in a bottle to help Whiskers get home. Being the good son he is, he agreed to come home in a bit and do so. And he proceeded to drink lots and lots of something, he claims it was soda, and then he came home and peed in a spray bottle and then walked the block with me, marking his territory as we went.
Totally normal, right?

However, about 27 hours after the last Whiskers sighting - he came home!!!! With some sticky stuff on his paws, a twig stuck to his tail, and big scared eyes - but he made it back!!!

Did the magic solution work? Was Whiskers going to slink in once it got dark and quiet outside anyway? We'll never know....but when your beloved pet gets away from you, you really have to do what you can, right?

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