Thursday, 6 December 2018

A Bouquet to Pick n Pay!

I know that I have mentioned our 'Load Shedding' (aka rolling blackouts) before, and told you the (by now) stale joke about Eskom and candles.... and guess what...here we go again, the Dark Ages are here just in time for Christmas!! Eskom apologises profusely (ha ha ha) and blames a whole lot of things, but basically it is sheer incompetence and overspending on parties and salaries that is the main cause.

Anyway, what with that, plus inflation running at about 94%, petrol increasing every month, a severe lack of water, an increase in murder and mayhem, the future looks pretty bleak!

But, every now and then, just sometimes, I am surprised and overwhelmed by those small acts of kindness. Those people who restore my faith in humaity for just a little while.

Read on...........
This is the second year that I have been involved with a wonderful Animal Charity that is called 'Santa Cause for Paws'. Basically they collect gifts for shelter animals, and towards Christmas time they visit the shelters and hand out all the delicious and useful things that have been gift-wrapped, or put into bags. Because there was no 'Drop-off' place here in my area last year, I volunteered to be a Main Drop-Off, and our neighbour who owns the local plant nursery, was co-erced into being a Minor Drop-Off (by me of course!! Thanks Phillip!) I am sad to say, Vredenburg was a little slow  again, but I did receive some wonderful boxes and bags from friends, as well as receiving some gifts that were pledged through the web-site.

Now, some people want to give a box of goodies, but do not have the time or the energy to go off and shop! So they can pledge money and then the volunteers have the most enjoyable time buying food, blankets, toys and useful stuff!

This year I am also shopping for 23 dogs and cats from pledges that came for Animal Lighthouse, the local shelter that is run by one person!

Each animal, 10 dogs and 13 cats, has to have individual gifts with a tag attached to give the name of the animal and the name of the person who sent the gift. That left me with a quandary..... how to pack all the things? Boxes? Bags?

Then bingo! A plan!

Yesterday, being Wednesday,  we went shopping. Our Pick n Pay stores (we have two now, our usual 'go to' store in Vredenburg and a new super-store in the Mall). Yes, we have a Mall! Grabbing the re-usable shopping bags gave me an idea. Maybe if I asked nicely, Pick n Pay would donate 23 bags for my gift packing?

Greg, our local Pick n Pay Manager.

Off to find the owner. He was not available at either store, but at the Mall I spoke to the Manager, Greg Holloway. After I had explained my mission (I had already spent over a thousand rand on dry and tinned food alone in Vredenburg) he immediately said
 'How many bags do you want? Does it matter what colour?'

Ready to be packed next week! That will be fun!

And we left with a rainbow of coloured bags!

As the advert goes.... Give that man a Bells!

I could have hugged him.... but I am sure that he would have preferred the Bells!

Friday, 30 November 2018

Refugee Upgrade!

Those of you have have remained faithful to my writings (even with the lengthy gaps in between each post), will have read the words 'feral cats' several times! Some of these precious souls have become part of our family, some have been homed to special people, some were released after trapping and neutering and have never been seen again.....and some have simply remained where they were trapped and later released, wobbly from the anaesthetic, but free to live without breeding.

Two of these gorgeous girls live just around the corner, and because they were trapped and fixed in July and come from Jacobsbaai, it was fitting to give them names beginning with...J

So Jasmine and Juniper they are! Lovingly referred to by us as 'The Refugees'. Our wonderful neighbours gave us a lovely kennel for them, and so they are warm and fed and safe and happy. Jasmine has become tameish.... she sits on the wall where I feed and waits until she sees me walk into the driveway of the lovely people who let me meander up their drive daily to feed them. Once the food is down I can stroke her, but not Juniper, she is still very wary and waits in the background until all the lovey-dovey stuff is done!

The Refugees little home and garden!

Friday, 23 November 2018

Kittens in the Kitchen!

I was happily pottering in the garden about two weeks ago (ignoring the nagging thought that there was a small pile of ironing waiting for me), when a neighbour pulled up outside our gate, hopped out and called to me.......

And what she said made me so angry that I could feel my blood pressure rising and my head getting tight!

'I need your help please', she said 'Someone has DUMPED six kittens at the bottom of the road. Can you please help?'

Well........................
Two minutes later I had grabbed the cat box, hopped in her car and arrived at the end of the road. Another neighbour came out to tell us that she had collected them in case of 'scattering', and had put them safely inside a box, on a blanket. But because she was highly allergic to cats, she did not want to touch them too much and was already itching and sneezing!

And there they were. Six perfect, beautiful kittens. Not newborn, these had wide open eyes, and I put them at between 6 and 8 weeks old. But.... no mummy cat with them. So, where had they come from? By clever deduction we worked out that they must have been dumped there just after 8 o' clock, when Rob and I were sitting in bed drinking our coffee! We actually noticed a strange Security van racing past our house towards the sea, and then literally racing back a minute later..... could this person have been involved?

Back to the kittens. They were tame, very tame actually, so were used to human company and touch. They were happy to be picked up and cuddled, and we put them into our box to take home.

Beautiful babies.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Alfie's Story!

For those of you who regularly read my ramblings (not that my ramblings are that regular any more.... but I shall improve), our little off-white dog Alfie has been a familiar name as he lives his life alongside ours.

We have had him for nearly thirteen years, wow, we can hardly believe, and for those of you who didn't know his story, here is a brief synopsis!

Alfie and his best friend... Rob.

I found him in the middle of the traffic one January morning in 2007 in our town of Vredenburg. He was lost, he was confused, he was filthy and matted and covered in fleas and he was in danger of being run over any moment. So, we stopped to pick him up (my sister was visiting at the time) and took him to our wonderful vet who said that she would keep him for a few days to see if he was claimed.
When I got home and told Rob the story, he looked amused.
'What do you want to do?'..... were the words he uttered and by that time I was phoning the vet to say 'Give him his innoculations, I shall come to fetch him' and the rest is history!

More friends, Morris and of course, the ginger boy Basil.

And for the last thirteen years our evening routine has never varied....