Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shadow's travel plans

The day has arrived,  the time has come!

We're off to the city vet today to have blood tests done for Shadow. These will be sent off to a laboratory at a large vetinerary research centre. When he is certified clear of rabies and other diseases, we'll be able to set the wheels in motion to take him to Kenya the next time we come home. These arrangements and test results take about 90 days.

So what is going to happen to darling little Shadow when we go off to East Africa on Wednesday? Well, Grant and I decided to kennel (or do you say cattery, LOL) him for the two months that we'll be away. For the past seventeen years, since coming to Marquard, I've taken my dogs and cats to a lady who owns a huge kennel/cattery on the outskirts of Bloemfontein. She has clipped, dipped and housed my pets on various occasions since 1994. Even a pet chicken called Nando - who lived in my house in the late nineties - went to Albie's animal hotel, as her establishment is called.  Albie has promised to take special care of  Shadow, walk him daily on his leash and to get her assistants to spend [quality] time with him as often as possible. Grant says Albie will probably take Shadow to stay in the house with her. Well, I'll be pleased if she does.

So that is what is happening to Shadow for the next sixty days. I, for one, am going to miss this little guy terribly. But there is no other option but to leave him in South Africa until we return at the end of March when we come out on holiday.

Maybe if I get ultra - friendly with my yoomen here at her desk, she'll take me with her ...

Last night I sprinkled catnip on a towel and placed it in the cat's travel cage. Shadow jumped into the cage and almost turned inside out trying to rub his face and body all over the herb; he even licked the towel.

I Googled "catnip" and this is what I found:  "Although no one knows exactly what happens in the cat's brain when the cat smells catnip, it is known that the chemical nepetalactone in catnip is what triggers the response. Apparently, it activates a stereotypical pattern in cats that are sensitive to the chemical. The catnip reaction is inherited, and some cats are totally unaffected by it. Large cats like tigers can be sensitive to it as well."  (I can testify to the inherited part: some of my older cats are affected by catnip, others don't even react when they smell it!)
Mmm, my yoomen sprinkled something yummy on the towel - I can't get enough of it!


For those of you who commented and asked how my arrangements were going, everything is under control. Grant always packs his own clothes (corporate and leisure) and I pack mine. I, of course, have things like hairdryers, cosmetics, my herbal tea (a South African tea called Rooibos - Red Bush) to pack.  AND I have a stack of magazines and soft-covered books which I'd like to enjoy at my leisure while in Kenya. So I will probably utilize my entire 20kg luggage allowance and about 60% of Grant's allowance! I mean, fair's fair, hey?

I've also been asked if I don't find it stressful to pack up and leave my home, family, pets etc in such a hurry. Well yes, I do find it slightly uncomfortable; it's not easy leaving grandchildren, the house and animals and going to another country for a long time. But instead of stressing, I 've handed all my cares over to my Father in heaven. He has promised not to ever let me fall. In Psalm 55:22 the Bible says: "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." Amen!

Another thing, I'm used to travelling to African countries; (after eleven years I should be!) and the more I do it, the more I'm able to do it! I don't think I'd be such a good traveller across Europe, the US and the far East as many of you are. This is also the very first time that I'm going to a new country accompanying my dh. Normally he goes ahead and three months later the company flies me up to join him. (this is standard company practice, they need to see whether the employee adapts to the situation before spending more money on flying his family up) So every time I've gone to live in Mali, Guinea (West Africa) and Khartoum (North Africa) for the first time, it was on my own. It is a little daunting, but again, not impossible and MOST interesting. This time however, I will arrive on site with Grant and from the outset,  be as au fait with the conditions and situation as he is!
It has rained for three days solid here in the Free State and once again, our river running next to the town, is swollen and overflowing onto certain farm roads
The ground, rivers, dams and vleis (swamps) are all saturated and the rainwater has nowhere to go anymore!

My friend Carina lives on a farm at the foothills of the flat mountain in the background. This morning she had to be escorted to town as the drift across their farm road was awash
Our gentle almost non-existent brook running just outside the town of Marquard, is suddenly a raging torrent!

A barn swallow takes a break on an old fence post in the river

For more of other worlds, click here


  1. Well, Jo, I feel better about Shadow, and about you, too. I've only been "with" you for your trip home from Khartoum, so I'm glad to know you have figured out how to deal with Grant's (and your) travels. Trusting in God is always a good start. :)
    I'm very glad Shadow is going to be joining you, although he might miss his garden time, but he'll have you, and you'll enjoy his company when Grant is at work.
    Looking forward to learning about Kenya along with you. Who knows, we may turn up there, one never knows with my husband the adventurer.
    Luv, K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. PS --
    I once grew some catnip for my two cats but they ignored it completely. They both loved the commercial kind, however.
    Good thing Shadow loves it, so he'll learn to love his travel kennel.

  3. Glad to hear the menagerie will be well taken care of. Nice to go on this adventure with Grant. Sure look forward to seeing your newest surroundings. Safe travels. Hugs ;)

  4. Hi Jo, Sounds like that Shadow will be in the best of hands for 60 days. I know you will miss him terribly. BUT--I'm glad that he eventually will get to travel with you. You all have done a great job of working this out...

    AND--it sounds like you both are ready to head to Kenya.... I'm happy for you.

  5. Glad Shadow will be with someone you trust!!
    I'll be praying those rains slow Way down!!!
    Safe trip sweetie!

  6. As one of your readers who queried how you manage to remain so calm and seem so organised,thanks for sharing a little of the 'behind the scenes' activities with us...I suppose years of practice has led to well-oiled springs and you know just what to do when you need to make these moves :)

    We're all 'rooting' for you and hope your trip goes without a hitch and that we'll hear from you again just as soon as you're settled & have found your bearings! All the best till then!

  7. Hi Jo,
    I'm sorry that I'm so behind with my comments.
    Sorry that you must be apart from your dear little Shadow, I'm sure he will be well taken care of.
    Have a safe trip.
    ☼ Sunny


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