April, 2008. After a relaxing stay at the Kitty Spa, which ended all too soon, we headed north to the place we now call home in central Wisconsin. Did I mention that it is cold here? Our humans are very busy working outside. We aren’t sure what they’re doing out there but they took some pictures. Here are just a few.
We heard our humans talking about going to a party at Jeff and Kathy’s house for Justin’s confirmation. We liked that idea since we hadn’t seen them in a while but for some reason they left without us. Tasha and I stayed behind.
Tasha complained that we missed out on a lot of good food and fun but after seeing some pictures with all those little kids at the party, I’m glad we didn’t go. I’m not embarrassed to say, kids can be soooo scary.
May 2008. It may be spring and time to ride motorcycles but did I mention it is cold here? Nevertheless, these crazy humans took a cold, rainy drive for the CMA’s annual Run for the Son event. Not all of them were as eager to ride on bikes in the cold, wet weather. I heard that Kathy hitched a ride in a van with a heater!
One day Jeff and Kathy stopped over at the trailer. We were sure they came to tell us how much they missed us at the party but no, it turned out they were over to celebrate their 4th wedding anniversary.
On May 30th a new member of the family arrived. This is Sammy Vermilyea. Kathy says he is beautiful. I know that one day he will be a scary little human, who chases innocent cats but right now he seems harmless.
Congratulations to Jeff, Julie and Katarina.
June 2008. We were back in Elroy for a little over a month when Robb and Kathy packed us up to attend a CMA rally in Tomah, WI. Robb had a new surprise for us. We now tow the motorcycle behind our trailer. He calls it triple towing.
At first Tasha and I were glad that we came along. The weather was great and the people we met were very friendly. Unfortunately, the weather decided to take a turn. It was really bad. It got dark, very windy and poured rain like I’d never seen in any of my 9 lives.
Robb and Kathy ran into the trailer with the pet carrier, pushed us into it and took us outside through the storm to a building. A loud siren was screaming. This happened more than once. In the building they prayed and sang worship songs. The tornadoes just veered away. We and all the motorcycles and campers were safe from harm. Here are some pictures from the services during the rally.
Roger Wilson is the National Evangelist for the North Central Region of which Wisconsin is a part. He preached at all the services and led the prayers against the storms. We met him and I shook paws with him.
We’ve traveled to many places in the past year but nothing was as dramatic as the time we spent in Tomah. Little did we know that more of this weather was coming in the months ahead.
Returning to Mauston, Robb and Kathy spent another evening away from us. Their grandson, Justin was graduating from 8th grade. Again, cats were not invited. Here is a picture of Justin playing drums in the band.
Before we knew it our humans were off to another motorcycle rally… without us or the motorcycle! It’s true! This time they drove to Knoxville, Tn. to volunteer at the Honda Hoot. They’ve done this since 1997 but never without the bike! They will share some pictures.
Hi, this is Kathy. The Hoot’s 15th anniversary rally was awesome and that’s partly due to the volunteer staff of about 100 people from all over the USA. Top left, some of us are stuffing registration packets that then get stored in mail bins (top right). Bottom left, Honda provides rooms for all the staff at the beautiful Marriot Hotel. Bottom right, the Marriot gets ready for the rally’s welcome party.
Happy Hooters! The 3 men on top left, Walt, Charlie and Gary are like the founding fathers of the Hoot. They are well loved. The man pictured with Robb, top right, is Jon. Lower left is Wanda. Wanda and Jon are in charge of the entire volunteer staff and we appreciate them. On the bottom right is a family from California who runs the Hoot Emporium where I work most days. From left are, Mike, Nancy, Dana, Steven and Nathan.
I think Hoot XV had about 18,000 attendees. Look at some of these bikes!
Here are good friends, Fred from South Carolina and Magen with Tony from Ohio. We ate at Calhoun’s one evening after Robb and I were finished with our assignments.
July 2008. This is Tasha reporting to you about July’s activities. I think Kathy is trying to say, come on over Tasha and Mikey the party won’t be the same without you… or not. There was a 3-in-1 birthday celebration at Jeff and Kathy’s house for Jerry, Josh and Justin. I heard Kathy had more good food! Josh is now 16 and Justin is 14, and Jerry well… he’s older than I can count!
Wow! The table looks inviting. It’s too bad there are no places set for two hungry cats.
Here are the 3 birthday boys reading their cards. It looks like Josh needs help tearing that envelope. If I had been there I could have helped. My claws are very sharp.
Due to severe weather and flooding throughout Wisconsin the installation of a water pump and sewer lines on our land was delayed. There has been lots of bad weather. Mikey and I try to hide during these storms. I run in the closet, he hides in the litter box. YUCK! Despite the rain, Robb told us “we now have full hook-ups for the trailer.” I just pretended to know what that meant otherwise he’d go into one of his looooong, deeeeetailed explanations. YAWN! Josh is the guy who owns and runs the big CAT. There’s certainly no resemblance to this cute calico.
The well is over 400’ deep so the pump is heavy duty. Dusty and Shane install the pump. Robb hangs out in his Packer chair to watch the progress Josh is making on widening the driveway so the trailer can be closer to the new water and sewer connections. Mikey wants to go roll around in that fresh, loose dirt. YUCK again!
Kathy has been busy in the back yard snapping pictures of colorful sunsets. She returns with a big smile and says the same thing each time, I love it here! She made me promise that I would include some of her favorites. Here is a collage of 4 different shots.
This one was her favorite – favorite. She hopes that you like them as much as she does.
We were feeling quite happy with our lives in WI when our humans said it was time to pack up for another CMA rally, this time in Minnesota. We ran to our hiding places as we remembered the last CMA rally with the tornadoes, but they found us and we had to go.
Top left, this rally was at Oak Hills Christian College on Marquette Lake in Bemidji. Top right, all size bikes and bikers attended. We liked watching this little girl scooting across the grass on her mini bike. Bottom left, Roger Wilson was honored to perform a water baptism. Bottom right, outside of our trailer playing worship music were Robb, Barb and Jim. Next stop is a surprise! Ooo we love surprises!
Last year our humans took their annual fishing trip to Whippoorwill Resort without us. Good News! This year we went too!! Mikey was so excited! I’ll let him tell you about it.
Here fishy, fishy, fishy. Look at all those fish. I’ve been waiting for a whole year for this! I almost don’t believe it’s true but my nose tells me it’s real. Little Kathy out-fished everyone this year. She maxed out on bass and caught some big northern pike. Jeff got a few big bass too as well as Justin. YUM!
The Whippoorwill sign has become a fun spot for a family photo.
There are all kinds of fun things to do at Whippoorwill, like eating. There was a grillin’ party one night. Tasha and I didn’t go because there was no fish. The bottom picture shows Kathy making a pudgie pie over the campfire. All the humans seem to really like this after dark activity.
Whippoorwill is just a happy place to take the family… and the cats!
Late Aug. 2008 Kathy will tell you about a quick visit to Milwaukee, she and Robb took after our return to Mauston from Minnesota.
Hi everybody, this is Kathy. Yes, we had a very quick visit. Here are some pictures. We visited my brothers in Mukwonago. Gregg invited us all for supper at his house. We had a good time. Here’s a group photo.
This set of 4 pics shows (top left) brother Jeff, Julie with Katarina and 3 month old son, Sammy. Top right, brother Gregg grilling. Bottom left, sister-in-law Julie feeding Sammy, who I think looks just like our dad in this photo. Bottom right, niece Jessie with husband Jim and kids Logan and Libby Jane.
Top left, Gregg spends lots of time with Logan, who is quite a character. He is one smart boy and can keep a very steady beat (note the sticks). It turns out one of his favorite singers is Perry Como! Top right, Gregg and Shell prepared a wonderful meal. Bottom left, Jim holds his beautiful daughter, Libby. Bottom right, Logan and Katarina quiz each other on letters and numbers. Logan is 2 years old and knows them all. Katarina was concerned, there weren’t enough letter A's to spell her name. Both Robb and I had a wonderful time.
After they got home from their Milwaukee visit Robb and Kathy had their friends from CMA over for the "Barn Praise". Mikey and I didn't know what to expect, but before we could say, "Holy cats, look at all those bikes!" our driveway became a parking lot filled with bikes and cars and the pole shed was full of people and activity.
The next thing we noticed was the smell of food, lots of food, yummy food, people food. We were so excited! We sat by the door, on our best behavior, waiting for Kathy to come and get us. We waited and waited... but she never came. Our stomachs growled as we sat there in disbelief. We weren't invited, again! By the looks of this picture, everyone enjoyed the food. Sometimes it's hard being a cat.
We finally discovered what the "Barn Praise" was all about. The CMA chapter that Robb and Kathy belong to, the Son Light Riders has many musically talented members. Musicians and singers took turns individually doing Praise and Worship songs and then the whole bunch of them sang together. It was really something. Even though Mikey and I had been saddened by the food situation, the good music more than made up for it. We think that next year we could offer our many musical meows in exchange for a few yummy morsels.
There is always something to do outside. Today Robb took time out from riding the motorcycle to clean it. He said he couldn't have done it without his trusty Scoot 'n Do.
I don't understand our humans. They could be spending time with Tasha and me, scratching us, giving us treats or playing with us. We have some really good toys. But no, they either go places where we can't or work outside. Here Robb and Jeff are creating a burn barrel. I heard Robb say that out in the country folks burn lots of stuff like leaves, broken tree branches even paper garbage then the landfills don't get filled up. You must have a good barrel! This one looks okay to me.
Sometimes a hard working guy deserves a good cat nap in the middle of the afternoon. I enjoy them all the time. This time I convinced Robb he could use one too.
Another benefit of convincing one's human to take a much needed rest is... you guessed it, a very overdue cat scratchin'. Now that's what I'm talkin' about.
Sept. 2008 Robb and Kathy like riding their motorcyle. They especially enjoy doing this with their CMA friends. On Labor Day they cruised the country roads passing through farmlands and small towns. Mikey and I were happy that the weather was perfect for them.
Can you believe it's Sept. already. Where did the summer go? Kathy and Robb have been leaving in the afternoons to watch Josh play soccer at school. Both Josh and Justin are in the Mauston High School band, the Cheeseheads. One weekend they played in a big parade in Wisconsin Dells and Kathy took these pictures.
Fall is in the air. My keen sense of smell alerts me to the changing scents and temperature. As I watch out the window I see the once green leaves are now yellow, orange, red and brown. The wind is strong and many of the leaves fall off the trees and float through the air like butterflies in the summer breeze. Kathy is outside with her camera again. She's photographing leaves and trees, and all the beautiful scenery around our yard. Pretty soon it will be time to leave Wisconsin. I heard them talking about a place called Texas. I wonder what kinds of smells we'll find there.
Kathy likes feeding birds in the yard. She has to be careful. Last year a bear was eating the seeds and breaking the feeders and I don't mean the bear in this picture. This year there's a family of racoons helping themselves to the bird's food.
Our humans have given us a very full and busy spring and summer. Now, it's almost time to pack up the trailer and go south to warmer weather. What adventures lie ahead of us this year? We hope you'll continue to follow along with us.