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New Additions to the Family? Yes! Four-legged ones at that!

I thought it would be fun to occasionally share a bit about myself and the family in my newsletters.That includes where I live, the animals we have, and some of the adventures and antics that can fill our days. I will call these R&R Adventures.

R&R Acres is the name we gave the patch of 18 acres we now own in Emporia, KS. A little smaller than our 218-acre ranch in Colorado, but plenty big enough for our needs here. (And we don’t need to ride the fence line using horses to check for breaks in the fence wire – we can just walk it!). The Rs in the name stand for Ray and Rhonda, but they can also be substituted for Rest and Relaxation, or Rescues and Rascals. Depending on the day, some words are better suited in the name.

The adventure I want to cover this week is regarding our decision to adopt (or rescue) two additional cats into our home.  

Early in 2021, we rescued a 16-yr-old medically-challenged dog named Kiro. Her owner had gone into Hospice and needed someone to take care of her. He was very glad that we rescued Kiro and gave her a wonderful home.

Sadly, Kiro passed away in November 2021. We only had Kiro for 10 months, but we felt very good. We gave her a final home to live out her life. She got daily walks and lots of other outdoor time so she could enjoy all the exciting smells. She loved it! 

That left an open spot in the family. We thought it was time to rescue another animal in need. We turned to the local area cat rescue group, Forever Home Pet Rescue. Earlier last year, Rhonda found a feral kitten. At the time, we couldn’t take the kitten in because Kiro did not like cats. We turned the kitten over to the rescue, knowing they would take good care of her. They named her Gemma. Our existing cats knew enough to stay clear of Gemma and her snapping teeth. (We still made sure to watch Kiro closely around the cats.) Was this the time to bring Gemma into our home?

We knew that a kitten (or a younger cat) would be easier to adopt out than an older cat. Perhaps we could even take on a cat with challenges. So we offered the Cat Ladies the option of letting us rescue a different cat. Then, after some more thought, we offered to take on 2 new cats. We figured the cats would more comfortable together in a new home.

Antics of the new cats as they got comfortable with their new home. L: Pippen checking out an open dresser drawer, M: Pippen exploring an open cabinet in the kitchen. R: Ginger resting with Ray on the couch - Banner 1 of 3

Enter two 3-year old female cats from the rescue. Ginger, a ginger cat, is a little “mini-me” of Sammy, our other ginger cat. Pippen is a long-hair, tan-and-white cat. Both cats were uncertain and somewhat scared when they came to the house. However, they really quickly acclimated and seemed to like their new home. So the adaptation began! For both the new and existing felines.

By the way, Gemma has found a wonderful new home. We heard there were several applications and the Cat Ladies are very particular about qualifying new owners. So, things worked out for the better!

Above you can see some of the antics of our newest family members. We had forgotten how important it is to not leave drawers and cabinets open & unattended, even for short periods of time. Both new cats have adopted Ray and follow him around everywhere. They are ever alert and jump at the chance to explore new places and cubbyholes. They love it when Ray takes his naps on the couch.  Cuddle and nap time for them too!     

The current cat family members doing their normal things while getting used to the latest additions. L: Tyger claiming an empty tote bag on the kitchen counter. R: Sammy checking the planter for goodies - Banner 2 of 3.

For those of you who have gone through introducing new pets into your household, you probably understand what we are going through. The good news is that, despite a tussle and skirmish here and there, things are proceeding well!

Of course, our other two cats are up to their normal antics as well. It did take the some time before both felt comfortable with the “invaders” in their house. Okay. To be honest, we are not there yet!! But we make progress every day!

Progress! L: Cats supervising me working on an art quilt project on the dining room table. (I think Ginger was sleeping in the cat tree behind me.) M: All four cats eating a breakfast-time snack in the kitchen. R: Pippen relaxing in front of her safe house with Tyger & Sammy playing beside her. Banner - 3 of 3

So, after approximately 7 weeks, we are all settling in together. Sammy still stalks Pippen at times, but a squirt-bottle filled with water usually dissuades him. Things are going well with the household pets. Ray and I are looking forward to the day when we can relax our diligence and watch them play together and groom each other.

Next time I will talk about our outdoor critters and let you get the know them better. All are part of our family!

I am offering my next 8-week Get Pigment Confident (GPC) Challenge starting later this month. The official start date (when Week 1 content is available) will be Saturday, February 26th.  

If you are interested in joining this Challenge, please go to my website for more details. You can also fill out an application and schedule a Zoom call with me so we can discuss your goals.

Here is some feedback on the 8-wk GPC Challenge from Amiee Z, a graduate of the Challenge. Thank you for the wonderful feedback Aimee!

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