Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Week Ending 4/17/2011

It has been a while since we have driven to Graham, TX. It is Barbara M. who lives there. Barbara moved to Graham from California about 2 ½ years ago. She has beautiful property with horses, geese, chickens, donkeys, dogs, and (of course) cats! Barbara’s business is helping people deal with problem animals and/or helping them deal with the loss of a pet – she is an Animal psychic! The business is (866- 978-2006). We first met her when she requested 3 cats from us over 2 years ago. One cat has taken up with a neighbor, one just passed away (looked like a heart attack), and “Ann” is still there. We took 6 to her this time.

We asked her how she decided to move from California to GRAHAM, TX….she consulted a location astrologer who advised her to move to Ft. Worth. She could not find property she liked there and she began talking to other people (clients) who lived in North Texas. She has two clients in Graham and that is where she landed. It seems to be working out for her.
We love Barbara but the trip to Graham is NO FUN! You just go north to Denton on I-35 and turn west on Hwy 380 until you get to Graham. I will admit that Bridgeport has grown up some in the last 2 years probably because of Run Away Bay. As we were leaving Graham – just outside of town – a coyote ran in front of the van. That was a shock!

Barbara gave us one of her autographed books for our auction AND a $60 Gift Certificate for 30 minutes of her consulting time. Those will be on the Silent Auction, June 5th at Grotto. That event is shaping up nicely but we need to concentrate next week on getting the invitation out.
We are still on the hunt for a new vehicle.


Stay tuned…

Week Ending 4/10/2011

We placed 15 this week but it was a “slow start”.
3 on Thursday
4 on Friday
6 on Saturday
2 on Sunday

Unfortunately, we also had to euthanize one of our older kitties on Thursday, Randi, who was in kidney failure. Poor thing…but the last 6 months of her life were safe and all indoors here at Barn Cats. She was living with Cindy, Larry, and Puddy in my Master Bedroom (the Elder Care Center). We call it “Larry’s Harem”.

The problems last week were caused by all the relocations coming at the end of the week with LOTS OF CATS coming in during the week. So – cages everywhere – at least for a few days.

One of the relocations was to replace Katrina Cats that had been placed in early 2006. The last one had passed away from cancer on Monday. I have always wondered if those cats would get cancer or some other nasty illness due to the slug they were living in for soooooo long in New Orleans. I kept one of those cats, Jimmy. His “colony” is now my house and he just plays, and plays, and plays! A nice boy but feral as they come. I can pet him only when he is eating. Once a year, I “wrangle” him into a carrier and get him in for his annual checkup and shots. Last year, a growth appeared on his nose that scared me. It turned out to not be cancer and that was a relief.

Saturday I drove from Midlothian to Wilmer – not bad – to place some cats but then headed North on I-75 to pick up equipment north of McKinney and in Van Alstyne. That is when I got stuck in a GIANT traffic jam south of Allen with the entire freeway closed down. With the van over-heating, as it does, I inched my way off the main road and spent some time on the access road. At the first possible opportunity, I got onto Greenville that is also Hwy 5 that goes north to McKinney (and beyond). Getting to the two equipment pick up sites was not a problem after that UNTIL I started home. I take the 121 toll road from I-75 to I-35E…but….both sides of that freeway were also closed down due to construction of the new overpass system connecting the Dallas North Tollway to the 121 Tollway. I could not win on Saturday!

Neighbor Nancy and I traveled into East Texas on Wednesday to pick up equipment in Gilmer and Lindale. We made a special stop south of Greenville to go to the home of Barbara and Gary Avary, the birdhouse people. About 6 or 7 years ago, Donna and I met the Avary’s along Hwy 380 in Denton county selling their home-made birdhouses. The houses are beautiful and well-made with even a pop out section so you can clean them out each year. After Denton county, they moved East still on Hwy 380, then to Hwy 121 near Trenton, and now are on Hwy 205 between Terrell and Rockwall. The problem is that they are only out on Saturday’s and we have not run into them in a long time. Well, I wanted some birdhouses for our auction in June and for the Metroplex Animal Coalition auction in May. I took some searching but we found a business card with their phone number and made an appointment to so some shopping. It was fun! They have several sheds / workshops with birdhouses everywhere!

Well that is about it. I love the spring with all the relocations….and…the bluebonnets are now blooming!

Week Ending 4/3/2011

You guys don’t know this but it is a good thing that BLOGS don’t have scratch and sniff! We had some of the smelliest equipment we ever picked up this week. We double bagged most of it but still had to drive across Dallas with the windows open. After unloading the feeders, waterers, and litter boxes, the rest went directly to a local car wash to get power washed….this was gross! The cats were all sticking around – that is the good news!

We only placed 4 this week but it was a really good barn north of Bonham. We had equipment to pick up near there, so it all worked out. Plus, that barn is part of a larger area with other folks that probably will want some cats.

This was also the end of the month on Thursday. March 2011 was good for Barn Cats, Inc. with 64 placed. We were also at all the extreme ends of our service area – north of Bonham, west of Weatherford, south of Waxahachie, and deep into East Texas at Gilmer. Wish gasoline prices would go down some.

We picked up some additional auction items for June 5th on Friday this week at two of our favorite places in Collinsville and Pilot Point. We now have several metal yard art pieces: big grasshopper, big ant, small green frog, and a big painted donkey with a bobble head. That donkey is super cute. His head sways with the breeze.

I am currently having problems getting in touch with folks. They contact us for cats but I can never seem to get with them via phone. This one person was responsive via email but never answers either phone number she gave me. AND – on one the mail box is “full” and the other does not have a valid mail box. Geez – what is up! I have asked her to call me “any time” – but that has not happened…yet...and we are one week into this situation. We cannot go out to a property and leave cats plus several hundred dollars of equipment and then maybe not be able to get back with them it pick our stuff up – needless to say that if they do not take care of their messages then they might not take care of the cats!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep June 5th in mind. We will be at Grotto in Highland Village for our annual “Barn Cat Bash”…great food, lots of good wine, and Silent and Live auctions. I will post more later. BYE!

Week Ending 3/27/2011

We placed 11 this week. Most of the relocations were reasonably close by (Bartonville and McKinney) except for a trip to Rising Star in Eastland County (central Texas). I know Rising Star because my mom used to live in Brownwood and Rising Star is just north of there. Brownwood, TX is about 30 miles north of the geographic center of Texas…and Texas covers a large area! It was an almost 3 hour drive. That makes it out of our service area but the property owner will be returning our equipment to the Dallas when the relocation is completed. Three cats were placed there.

Plus, I was lured to Abilene to visit a craft mall that used to have great bird houses. Abilene was just an hour away from Rising Star. That craft mall was no longer there…bummer…that lady made bird houses from cowboy boots and covered the tops with old Texas license plates. They were a really great auction item. I did come home with a terrific metal horny toad for the auction.

I need to publicly thank someone who sent us $500 (5 one hundred dollar bills) in an envelope with no letter or complete return address. That cash went into the Barn Cat Van fund…our newly opened savings account. In addition, we received a marvelous $1000 from Laura and we are VERY grateful. An additional $500 was received this week – so that puts another $2,500 into the fund. We appreciate everyone’s generosity especially in today’s economy. My old friend, Myra, sent us $500 that is a stretch for her, I know. And, our wonderful friend, Donna, has donated $400 so far.

We purchased wine for our auction this week, too. AND – we have now organized all the items for the June 5th auction and packed them all with their bid sheets. I cannot remember a time when we have gotten all the stuff organized this early.

Next week we will be picking up equipment from completed relocations that took place 3 weeks ago. There will be LOTS of DIRTY STUFF…that is the hidden part of Barn Cats. Barns are not clean, tidy places. The equipment comes back dirty/dusty often with poop on it from birds that live in the barn. I see trips to Desoto, Highland Village, Double Oak, and Sachse in our future. We will need to get to Dodd City (east of Bonham) this week, too….but….we have a relo of 4 cats to book in that same area…always good!
The trip on 121 to Bonham takes us through Melissa and RIGHT BY Kim’s Fudge Factory. WOW – the best fudge ever! Well – you have to have a good time when you can!

I know this will be another great week for Barn Cats.