Tell Me a Story about … a Field Trip!

“What did that billboard say? A cat show?”10-3-18 B 

Most times, I only glance at signs while driving on the highway … well, the big ones, not the directional and speed limit ones. This time, I noticed the billboard advertising a cat show in our area for the next day. 

Figuring the ticket prices wouldn’t fit a homeschooling family on a sub-zero budget, I still got off the next exit and circled around to check for more information. Imagine my surprise to discover it cost only $5.00 for adults and children under twelve got in free. The next day, I counted out some change we’d been saving, and our two daughters and I went to a cat show! 

Why, you may ask, all the excitement over a field trip to a cat show? We’d chosen pets as our unit study theme for the beginning of that school year, and anything pet-related topped our list of things to do. We’d visited a pet store, managing to get out with a toy for our dog instead of the twelve pets the girls thought we should have bought. 

10-9-18We’d also gone to a German Shepherd kennel, where the owner showed us how his search-and-rescue dogs worked. Afterward, the girls showed him how they’d trained their dogs and braided their own collars and leashes out of psychedelic yarn. He paid close attention as they explained their techniques and put their STUFFED dogs through their paces! (He restrained his laughter until after we were gone, I suppose.)

So, a cat show added a new dimension to our study, and besides, we all three loved cute, cuddly kittens! Well, I thought there would be “cute, cuddly kittens.” 10-3-18 A

“Mama, that cat lost all its hair!” “Mama, that cat hurt its ears!” “Mama, where is that cat’s tail?” 

As we walked around, I realized I didn’t know much about cats. What an educational field trip, for both the students and the teacher! We peered into kennel after kennel of fluffy Persians, sleek Siamese, and exotic Maine Coons. The latter, we decided, topped our favorites’ list, especially since their grandma owned two of them.

10-3-18 EBefore we left, we wanted to take in one of the judging sessions, to see how it was done. We sat on some folding chairs and watched the judge lift one end of a cat, then the other, hold up its tail, then its head. And the cat just took it in stride. Our youngest piped up a bit loudly, “Mama, if we did that to Misty, we’d get scratched!” 

The judge looked at us, smiled, and invited our kindergartner up to join him in judging the next cat! And she went! I don’t recall what happened, but the experience remains one of our most recounted of those early years. And all because of a chance sighting of a billboard. 

Oh, how I loved God’s serendipitous delights He sent our way during our homeschool years! And He still loves sending them today. In fact, while looking for photos to add to this post, I discovered a breed of cat which may have been crossbred with an ocelot – an Ocicat!

*** What field trip memories do you have? Share a story with us! Click on the words beside the date of this post. Scroll down to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing! 

*** If you leave a comment, check back for my reply to it. I always respond to comments!

Tell Me a Story about … a Pet!

          Have you ever had a pet? How many? What kinds? Was one of them yours alone? Were they just animals or part of your family?

          Pets filled my childhood. From puppies to kittens, hamsters to rabbits, turtles to lizards, even a raccoon and a couple goats. And we loved them—the ones we bought, the ones we claimed, the ones who claimed us.

 6-25-18 C         Several memories surface, one flying straight to the front of the flock. Remember when prizes for finding the “special” eggs at a community Easter egg hunt included livestock? And not goldfish in plastic bags. Chicks, ducklings, and bunnies topped the list … even colored chicks! (Which I hope they have outlawed now!)

          At one Easter egg hunt while still young enough to enjoy the treat, I found one of the marked eggs and hurried to the prize stand. Imagine my astonishment at winning a young rooster! In those days, they didn’t trade prizes, so the young fowl went home with us.

          My parents found a closed cage to put him in until we could figure out what to do. However, the solid sides with vents didn’t let me … or our three inquisitive dogs and one curious cat … see the little creature. Pitiful sounds squeezed my heart, and after shoving the other animals back, I peeked through the door. The dark interior showed the rooster cowering.

          Glancing to see my mom busy on the phone, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to open the latch and tuck my hand in to pet him, just to calm him and let him know I was there and wouldn’t hurt him. How could I know that little sliver of light would mean “Freedom!”

          The mayhem which followed still rings in my ears. One rooster, three dogs, one cat, and three kids created a hurricane force around and through the living room and kitchen! Feathers and squawks from the rooster, yips and yaps from the dogs, hisses from the cat, yelling from us kids, and screams from my mom, while trying to hold her hand over the phone so my grandmother wouldn’t hear the commotion and think someone was getting killed.

          I don’t remember how the frenzied but unharmed rooster (minus a few feathers) got captured and returned to the cage, but I do recall my mother putting her foot down and making me give my prize to a neighbor lady who raised fowl. I visited my rooster often. However, to my horror, on one of those intended visits, I found my rooster had become our neighbor’s supper the night before! 6-25-18 B

          From then on, the only roosters in our house came in the ceramic variety, such as this one waiting for my mom to paint it. So ends my rooster tale!

 *** Did you ever win a pet at a carnival or other event? Did your pet meet a similar end as mine or do you still have it? Share your story! Click on the words beside the date of this post. Scroll down to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

*** Watch for more “Pet” stories to come in future months! Next week, our word starts with the letter “G.” Hint: it follows the animal theme!