Cat Tales Archives

Well, our humans finally got back to Florida January 3rd.  They were happy to see us and brought some new toys for us to play with.  I guess they felt guilty leaving us alone for so long.  Thank goodness that nice Bob and Donna came over to give us treats, clean the litter box, give us treats, change our food and water, and give us treats.

We stayed at a really nice resort called Peace River in Wauchula, FL.

The humans went and did a lot of stuff, but Tasha and I got down to some serious relaxing.

It didn't take long before the humans were looking for big water.  They went to a place called Siesta Key.  It must have been a pretty hot place, because Robb came back a little red.

 

 

Another thing our humans like to do is take long walks through places Kathy calls pretty.  Highlands Hammock State Park is located just west of Sebring.  There were lots of hiking trails through swamps and stuff.  All four of them really enjoyed their visit to the park.  Although Donna said the water level was waaaaay down from the last time she was there.

 

 

Anyway... without sounding too mushy, it was good to have our humans back.

 

                                

Our next stop was the Robin's Nest RV resort in Moore Haven, FL.  We arrived January 10th.  Mikey said it was good to be back out on the road, since we hadn't moved since mid-December.  Personally, I'm not real crazy about riding in that bumpy truck.  Then there's that music they play...  As if the music wasn't bad enough, our humans think they can sing!  Don't they know we have sensitive ears?

 

 

I really enjoyed it when Kathy would turn around the chairs, and I could look at the water out of our back window.

 

 

Robb says that he never got to read much when he was a librarian, but now he's averaging better than a book a week.  He likes to sit outside, under the awning and read.

 

 

Moore Haven is near Lake Okeechobee in south central Florida.  Sugar cane is a big deal down here.  At first we thought we were in the middle of some brush fires.  We later found out that they burn the cane fields on purpose.  This leaves just the main sugar cane stalk, and that gets harvested.

 

 

On Wednesday nights the Robin's Nest has a gospel sing along.  Robb took his guitar.  (After what I've experienced in the truck, I hope he didn't sing!)

 

 

 

Robins Nest also has a non-denominational Christian worship service on Sunday mornings.  Pastor BG has a real heart for the Lord, and the people at the campground are truly blessed to have him there each winter.  Here is a picture of BG and his wife, Mildred.

 

 

Gotta go!  Kathy's getting out some treats!

 

                               

Our next stop was The Marina Rv Resort.  It is also in Moore Haven, and less than 15 minutes from Robins Nest.  Short trips are good--especially when you are stuck in the same pet carrier with a whining calico.

 

 

 

The resort is on the Okeechobee Waterway, right next to the locks that go towards Fort Meyers.  Robb was really missing his boat.  He went to the docks a couple of time to fish, but he says it's just not the same.

 

 

One of our favorite pastimes in Wisconsin was bird watching.  Tasha and I would dream about bringing home a robin or a sparrow to show off our hunting skills to our humans.  Since we got to Florida, things have changed a little bit.  We still like to watch birds, but we are glad to be inside where they can't get us.

 

 

Once again, our humans left us alone and took off exploring.  This time they drove 150 miles to get key lime pie.  Humans make no sense at all.  Why would anyone drive 150 miles for pie when you can walk 150 feet and catch fish?

 

 

They said it got pretty windy down in the Keys that day.

 

 

Ever since Robb & Kathy retired, they have the same reason for almost everything they do--"Because we can!"

 

 

Here's a picture Tasha took at the Marina of another great Florida sunset.  (Robb and Kathy missed it because they were in the Keys.)

 

 

 

                                      

The next campground we went to was the best one so far!  It's a Palm Beach County Park called Southbay.  We had great views ofour campsite as well as the ponds and canals.

So we had lots of time to look out our windows.

Tahsa and I also took lots of time out for rest and relaxation.

You would think that with such a great campround (and even better feline companionship) our humans would stick around a while instead of leaving us to go exploring.  Think again!  It started with the Bergmanns.  They wanted to go to a campground called "the airport."  And if that wasn't enough, they went to another campground called "Jamaica."  Here they are having dinner with our humans the night before they left.

Our humans visited the Bergmanns at the airport.  They got up in the middle of the night to go to some place called Fort Lauderdale.  I'm sorry, but there's no way I would get up early just to go see a silly sunrise over the ocean!

Since it was Sunday, after watching the sunrise, they went to church at Coral Ridge.

After that is was a trip up the coast on highway 1 to West Palm Beach.

During our two week stay at Southbay, Robb and Kathy went for lots of walks up on the Okeechobee Levee.  They really liked walking up there.

Southbay was one of the few parks that didn't have restrictions or a fee for washing our rig, so Kathy and Robb washed the truck and camper from top to bottom.

Tasha and I are very particular about who we let into our camper.  Our humans met another human couple from Montreal.  Tasha gave them the sniff test and told me that they were traveling with two cats, so we let them come in.  We thought they were pretty nice.

The main crop in the area is sugar cane.  Just before it is harvested, they burn the field.  This leaves mostly the stalk of the plant, and that's the part the farmers want.  Quite often we would see clouds of smoke.  The first time we thought there was a bad fire somewhere.  After a while we got pretty used to seeing smoke.

One day while walking up on the levee, Robb and Kathy saw a cane field being burned and harvested up close.

The vultures would circle the burning field looking for an easy meal...

and the egrets would follow around the farm machinery looking for bugs to eat.  (Personally, I think bugs are fun to chase and play with, but I wouldn't want to eat one!)

There are lots of rabbits living in the cane fields.  When the field is burned, the bunnies head for higher ground.  They sit real still in the grass so the eagles and hawks don't see them.

Here is a picture of a field being burned

and the same field the very next day.

The Bergmanns finally got back from the Jamaica campground.  Tasha said they must have painted smiles on their faces.  See for yourself from the picture below.

Southbay has been so much fun, I can't wait to see where we go next!

                                       

Our next stop was The Marina RV Resort.  We were just there two weeks ago.  Kathy told us that we were headed north now, and that we were slowly making our way back to Wisconsinóbut it would be another two months or so before we get back home.

 

 

Meanwhile, the humans were making plans to ditch usóagain!  This time they were going on a cruise, and the Bergmanns were going to look after us while they were gone.  I took advantage of the time to catch up on some cat naps.

 

 

Robb and Kathy said the cruise was a lot of fun.  But Iíll let Robb tell you about it. 

 

Kathy and I went on a four-night cruise with stops in the Bahamas and Key West on the Royal Caribbean ship, The Majesty of the Seas.  We had to be on the ship by 4:00 pm, Monday, February 11th, but we could board as early as noon.  Traffic on the way to the cruise terminals was slow, but we arrived at the cruise terminal in Miami around 12:30. 

 

 

We quickly went to our stateroom, got changed, and headed out to explore the ship.  WOW!  The boat was like a floating city.  These are just a few shots of the ship.  There was so much to see and do just on board.  What did we do first?  Went to the buffet!  It was awesome!

 

 

After eating, we went on deck to watch the ship leave the Port of Miami.

 

 

 After we got out onto the open sea, we hit the buffet again.  The ride was a little rough on the way to Nassau, and I was glad that I had stuff along for seasickness.  That night, in the shipís theater, we saw a guy who told jokes and climbed up and down a ladder that couldnít have stood up on its own.  He also rode a unicycle around the stageówith a woman from the audience on his shoulders.  Keep in mind that before the performance, the curtains on the stage were swaying back and forth with the movement of the ship before the show started.

 

Morning found us in Nassau, our first port of call.  After a short workout in the gym and a longer workout in the Windjammer Cafť, Kathy had a whole list of places to stop and shop for stuff.  We both enjoyed walking around the streets of Nassau.

 

 

While in Nassau, we also went on a glass-bottomed boat ride.  We drifted over a reef and viewed fish, starfish, and different types of coral.  None of the pictures turned out, because the flash reflected off the glass.  Part of the glass-bottom boat experience was a tour of the harbor. Check out Michael Jordanís house and yacht.  Oprah has two houses on the same stretch of shoreline.  I guess if I lived in Chicago, Iíd want to get away too.

 

 

We spent the night at the theater again.  They had four singers and a bunch of dancers.  The show was really enjoyable.

 

Our next port of call was Cocoa Cay, a private Bahamian Island owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.  This was a stop without a dock.  The boat anchors in deeper water, and smaller boats called tenders come out and taxi people to the shore.  At least that is how itís supposed to work.  Unfortunately, the waves were too high for us to safely get on to the tenders to go ashore.  After several hours of trying, they gave up and headed to Key West.  I wasnít real happy because I had booked a wave runner to go riding around the island with.  But the cruise director had a plan B.  Once the island excursion was cancelled, there were lots of extra activities added to the list of things to do onboard.  We just kicked back and relaxed.

 

That night was the first night we went to the formal dining room.  The food was more awesome than the buffet and the service was great!  When we got back to our room after dinner, we found a towel bunny wearing Kathyís glasses.  Also pictured here is a towel dog our room steward made for us a different night.

 

 

That night we went to the theater.  We saw a hilarious comedian, who managed to be funny without ever using any profanity.

 

Thursday morning we went on a snorkeling trip out of Key West.  Once again, big swells interfered with our fun.  Because the swells were about six feet we couldnít get as close to the reef as we would have liked.  Also the choppy water really lowered the visibility in the water.  I took a bunch of underwater pictures, but they did not turn out well at all.  I was actually starting to get seasick floating on top of the water.  Live and learn.  The next time I go snorkeling Iíll know what to look for before I sign up.

 

 

After snorkeling we went back to the buffet, of course.  Then we headed out for a tour of Key West.  We had a good time there as well.  I think two full days in Key West would have been better.  We felt a little rushed.

 

 

All in all both of us really enjoyed the cruise, and weíre thinking about where we want to cruise to next year.  Right now our thought is taking a ship from San Diego or Los Angeles and going to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerta Vallarta--but only if we get a really good deal.

 

Weíd like to extend a special thank you to our friends Bob and Donna Bergmann for taking care of Tasha and Mikey while we were gone AND for driving us to and from the Port of Miami.

February 16th we arrived at Robinís Nest.  We really like this park, and we were happy to be back.  We really liked the short ride in the truck.  Only 15 minutes!

 

 

 

Tasha and I decided to forgive our humans for ditching us to go on a cruise.  But just when we thought we would spend some quality time with them, they found other stuff to do.  Sunday night they went to a Gospel sing along at The Marina, Monday night there was a jam session at Robinís Nest, and Wednesday night there was a Gospel sing along at Robinís nest.  Even during the day they were going places.  One day they took off to a place called Fort Meyers.

 

Our humans took off with the Bergmanns to visit other humans.  (Donít they get bored being around other humans all the time?)  Their first stop was a visit with Bill and Sue.  (I heard they met them in Minnesota at some resort that doesnít allow cats.) 

 

 

 

Their house is on a canal in Cape Coral, and they suggested going to lunch.  They also suggested traveling by boat. 

 

 

The ride through the canals on the way to the restaurant on Estero Island was pretty interesting.  They even got to see a manatee.

 

 

The restaurant was called Parrot Key.  Robb said he had fish, but he didnít bring any back for us.

 

 

 

They took a different way back to Bill & Sueís house.  Kathy said it was nice to see that man and nature can live so well together side-by-side.

 

 

After saying goodbye to Bill and Sue, do you think our humans would come straight home to give their feline friends some attention and treats?  Not those four humans!  They went to visit some people who are from New Berlin, WI, but live in Florida during the winter.  Our humans said John and Carolyn were really nice, and all six of them enjoyed their time together.

 

 

Our next stop will be Peace River in Wauchula. 

We pulled in to Peace River, got set up and began some serious relaxing by 2:00.  Our humans had to wait a little longer to get a site with a sewer hookup.  (Personally, I think they waste a lot of water.  If they got themselves a litter box and learned to wash like me and Mikey, they could go for months without dumping or refilling their tanks.)

 

 

The park was packed.  Robb and Kathy say it is a very well run park.

 

 

Kathy likes to take pictures of nature stuff.  Here are a couple of trees that were outside of our camper.  I think these bushes look ok, but I like trees that have birds in them a lot better.

 

 

Our humans like to go for walks, and Peace River has lots of nature trails.

 

 

The park has named a local gator.  Her name is Stumpy because her left rear leg is gone.

 

 

Wednesday is Gospel night at Peace River.  Pastor Melvin leads everyone on his guitar.  He also preaches at the park on Sundays.  Two days before this picture was taken, Melvin celebrated his 80th birthday.

 

 

Robb sat in with Pastor Melvin while two more campers, Carol and Ed, came up and sang a special song for everyone.

 

 

I decided to spend the week relaxing and find new ways to just hang out.

 

February 28th we pulled into the Bee's Camping resort.  We had stayed there in December and were looking forward to our return visit.  After the Bee's we had plans to go to Zephyr Hills, Port Richey, and Wildwood.  Once we got to the Bee's all of our travel plans were put on hold.  First, our humans booked a second week at the Bee's because their daughter and son-in-law were going to fly down for a visit.  Then their son got a job in Florida, so they booked an extra MONTH to help his family get settled into a new home.  Just when it seemed things couldn't get any worse, our favorite humans (besides Robb and Kathy) decided to go back home to Wisconsin.

All six of us got together for a visit before the Bergmanns left.

Bob and I shook hands.  He promised to take me fishing this summer if Marti relaxes her pet restrictions in Minnesota.

After the Bergmanns left, Kathy and Jeff came to visit.  Once again we were left at the camper alone, while they went to some place called Downtown Disney.

They visted a place called Lego Land.

And then they ate too much!

But they said, overall, it was a pretty relaxing day.

Mikey and I knew something was up when Robb got up early one morning.  Robb NEVER gets up early.  He returned late that night with the scary ones!  The one on the left is Nevaeh--she's the oldest.  The messy one at the table next to her is Eydon.  The one on the right is Aysha--she is the youngest.

These little human creatures run, chase, make noise, and make a mess.  Mikey is annoying enough, but the addition of three little humans that act just like Mikey was more than I could bear.  I ran and hid in the closet, only coming out when the scary ones were asleep.  Then Kathy and Jeff came back.  I was sure they would take the scary ones away.

The next day Kathy and Jeff were gone, but the little humans were still here!

For Mikey and I, one of our favorite things to do is sleep in late with Robb.  The invaders wouldn't even let us do that.

And I still shudder when Robb and Kathy made us sit still so the kids could pet us--ugh!

Some days we didn't even get any treats or scratching or treats because our humans wanted to spend nearly every waking moment with these wild ones.  It's as if they couldn't get enough of them.

Mikey and I decided we should get them a pet...

But Kathy and Robb wouldn't let us.

After enduring over two weeks of nearly constant torture, the scary ones left.  Rob and Jamie finally moved in to their new house and took the kids with them.

Here are pictures of Robb and the kids dancing at their new home.  Little did they know, Tasha and I were dancing back at the camper.

April 6th was Aysha's first birthday.  They had a party for her at their new house.

Here is a picture of Rob, Jamie, and the kids standing outside of their new home.

Staying at the same place for six weeks, Robb and Kathy made a lot of new friends.  They sang for the campground's church every Sunday, and Rob Jr. helped out a couple of times as well.  All of us were sad to leave the Bee's, but it was time to head north towards Wisconsin.

                                          

On April 9th we arrived at Lee's Country Campground in White Springs, Florida for a three-night stay.  It was a small, but very nice campground. 

Tasha and I were looking forward to some kid-free quiet time.  Our humans decided to go out exploring.  The big thing in White Springs is the Suwannee River.  Robb and Kathy went on a two-mile hike to the Big Shoals of the Suwannee. 

 Both of them said they wish their camera had sound so you could hear the rushing water of the shoals...

or the thousands of frogs croaking in the cypress swamp.

The next day they set out again to explore the Suwannee.  This time they rented a kayak.

You'd never catch me in one of those little boats in a river full of alligators! 

The kayak trip ended with a stop at Stephen Foster State Park.  Stephen Foster wrote a song called "Old Folks at Home."  It starts out with the words, "Way down upon the Swannee River..."  He also wrote lots of other songs like, "Oh! Suzanna" and "Camptown Races."

After Robb and Kathy finished their exploring, we spent a nice quiet evening relaxing.

Tomorrow we leave for Georgia.