Thursday, July 19, 2012

This year's RAGBRAI adventure awaits!

Tomorrow Team Sloth heads out to Iowa for Ragbrai, or as Kim put it - "your stupid-ass batshit crazy ride across barren wasteland." She may have a point there, at least on the batshit crazy part, because we all know how I love my bucolic countryside and country roads.

But while I know that all of you out in BlogLand are eagerly awaiting a repeat of my idiocy last year, when I fried myself to a crisp on day one, and also severely burnt my lower lip (which led to my sounding like a moron all week - "Ah buhnt ma wower wip!") - you will be gravely disappointed, because I have approximately 12 different kinds of chapstick thingies in my possession. Burt's Bees, Aquaphor, Blistex, ChapIce, some special kind from REI, etc.

I am prepared.

Of course this means I'll just have to find NEW stupid things to do, which for me, won't be very difficult. I'm already planning on doing the Karras Loop - those are the additional miles that take you beyond the regular route's 81 miles that day to not just a century total on Day 3, but to 105 miles. Adding insult to injury, as it were. In the blazing heat and sun amidst Cornlandia. On a Karras Loop that the Ragbrai people are calling "the toughest Karras Loop in the history of Ragbrai."

This is why I have the motto that I do, Gentle Readers. And I never disappoint.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Here I (we) come to save the day!

So Debbie and decided to do what any person would do on a 4th of July holiday when it’s going to be 104 degrees: go for a long bike ride. There we were following the T-stop route, and stopped for a second when we turned right on Seeman to plan out our riding strategy. Suddenly, what comes bouncing out of the bushes on the left side of the road and scampers across? Yes, a kitten. A kitten meowing its fool little head off. What the hell? Luckily Debbie is okay with the fact that I spend the next 15 minutes futzing around with a found scrap of tinfoil to fashion a makeshift water bowl for kitten. We figure the baby was chasing a butterfly and got separated from its family, but would eventually make its way back.

So off we go for our ride in the ridiculous weather, and on our way back, lo and behold, kitten is still there. I give her more water, then we head home.

The next day, because I’m a total idiot and idiots go bike riding in 105 degree sweltering weather, I set out again on the same route. This time on the way out, no kitten, dead or alive. Hallelujah! She must have made her way back home. I toodle along, have a nice ride, and even save a frog, a fat bullfrog who was just sitting there grumpily in the middle of the road, as a car was coming. He didn’t seem pleased to have someone disturbing his sunbathing by moving him off the road, but I figured he’d be less pleased to be squashed like a bug.

When I get to the kitten spot, I stop and call out – “Here kitty kitty!” – just in case. Quiet. And then….

“Meow! Meow! Meow! Meow!”

One thing’s for sure, kitten has a healthy set of lungs.

So now of course I need to do something, because kitten doesn’t seem to be making its way back to anywhere. I bike to my mom’s, tell her I need to go get cat food for a lost kitten, and bustle out again. As I’m back at the kitten spot pouring water, then milk, then opening a can of food, I’m thinking okay, I’ll put the food out then back off and try to let the kitten get used to me slowly so that in a day or two I might be able to catch her and…..ho, what’s this?

Kitten has barged her way over to the food bowl and is scarfing it down like she hasn’t eaten in days, which she probably hasn’t. Surely she won’t let me pet her though?

Next thing you know, kitten is in my arms, purring into my ear like a freight train.

We bundle into my car and I head to the nearest farm, where I talk to a nice woman who says she has no cats, and the kitten was probably dumped there, as people have done that in the past. So that’s the asshole douchebag part of the story – that some asshats would dump a defenseless kitten on the side of the road in the blazing heat with no food or water, to probably get hit by a car or die of thirst or starvation. Nice.

But then the “people are awesome” part of the story comes into play.

Because I head back to my mom’s with kitten, who clambers onto my shoulder while I’m driving so she can continue to purr in my ear, and my mom calls her friend Patty the cat-lover for advice. And in the meantime, I post the story on Facebook to see if anyone wants an adorable sweet kitten. The Kone is of course super curious about kitten, now named Angie, and while he doesn’t seem to want to attack her, it’s a bit chaotic – so Patty takes Angie home until I can figure out what to do with her.

Which turns out to be surprisingly easy, because Cori’s sister agrees to foster her, Alise from IDR says that we can adopt her out through them, which doesn’t turn out to be necessary because Cori’s neighbors just lost their cat and want to adopt Angie.

Talk about teamwork!

That evening Cori came by and as we went to get Angie from Patty, it was clear that Patty had fallen in love with Angie too. Talk about knowing how to work it – Angie had taken over a little kitty bed and had curled up in it adorably, purring madly.

As it turns out, Cori’s mom wound up adopting Angie – using the stealth maneuver of saying “oh, I’ll just take her to the vet to get checked out” – and then keeping her. Nice job Marti!

My Cancerchick friends and I are sure that our dear friend Angie, who loved cats more than anything, put the kitten in my path because she knew I’d do something about her. Just like I’m sure Angie is directing things up in heaven – “Come ON people, we’ve got things to do, kittens to save! Damn you people are lazy!” Angie was never one to let any grass grow under her feet.

Nicely done, Angie, nicely done.