Monday, March 12, 2018

Boone Part #3, The Long Road Home



I am a native Californian born and raised. I have traveled a lot teaching workshops in the U.S. and overseas but I have never driven across America! On the other hand my husband Mike has seen much of America on a motorcycle. The journey that started in Boone North Carolina would now take us to Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and bring us home to California. We would be traveling 2,400+ miles is 5 days.



We traded in our compact car for something more comfortable. Next stop? Pick up supplies for the trip. Water and snacks for us.  Boone’s shopping list was longer: 
Ice chest (Boone’s 3 medications: antibiotics, eye ointment, pills)
Cat food (wet & dry)
Kitty litter (plastic bag for waste)
Towel (to cover back seat)
Wet cloths (for messes)
Kitty bed
Cat Carrier (to carry Boone in hotels)
Hair brush
…and more toys!


I would be riding shotgun with Boone on my lap (or he’d be napping in the backseat). Mike would be at the wheel pointing us towards home.

Boone Riding Shotgun on my Lap
The 1st Day, we covered a lot of miles from Tennessee to Arkansas. Boone was a great traveling companion. He didn't get excited at all, in fact he slept most of the day.  During our rest stops he’d get his medication and eat. He was beginning to feel more energetic which created its own problem. At night he wanted to jump and play with us. He had a laceration on his back foot in one of the soft pads. The paw kept bleeding. We had to clean the wound every time he got in the litter box.


 
Waiting Out the Storm
Day 2, was more exciting. Our destination was Oklahoma. Our plan was to get to the North-West corner of the state before a big storm hit. The last couple hours the sky changed drastically. We arrived at the hotel just before the storm hit. We carried in our suitcases, Boone and his litter box. Mike and I decided to eat dinner at a tiny cafรฉ across the street. As we were eating the winds we're blowing so hard the windows were shaking and it was raining hard. I said something to the waitress and she said you haven't
seen anything yet…the worst of the storm will be here in about 10 minutes. Since we had finished dinner and had a long wait before we could leave we ordered dessert. The storm provided quite a show. The wind was carrying the rain sideways beating against the windows, you could feel the air pressure building, lightening lit up the sky, the wind blew construction signs down the street, people were running into the building to get out of the storm and the road was flooded. I could barely see our hotel through the rain. I had a frightening thought…it this a tornado?!  All I could think about was our safety and the kitten we left across the street. Did we come this far for this? Thankfully the storm never built enough strength to become a tornado! 


Tired Little Traveler
Day 3, Destination Santa Fe, New Mexico! Up to this point we didn't have any problem finding a pet friendly hotel. But today was different. I spent hours on my phone looking for a hotel that would except Boone and still be a place I would stay in. I was starting to feel disheartened and ready to give up hopes of staying the night in my favorite town. To my delight I found the perfect place…The Inn on Alameda. They were pet friendly, beautifully decorated, clean, perfectly located, wonderful breakfast buffet and they even had pet food bowls in the room. Once we got Boone settled we went for a walk to stretch our legs. We headed over to the plaza, looked inside a couple galleries and found out it was the biggest art week of the year! All the galleries were open late, many of the artists’ represented were at the galleries and lots of art receptions going on. I spent the night in artist’s heaven! 
Day 4, Today is my birthday! What could be more wonderful than waking up with a soft kitten, a hot cup of coffee and a relaxing breakfast with Mike? We strolled up Canyon Road and I sketched before it was time to hit the road…again. We left Santa Fe and headed for Flagstaff, Arizona. After 8 hours of driving we checked into another hotel, carried in Boone and all his paraphernalia (food, litter box, cat bed, ice chest…). My sister and husband live in Flagstaff so I had the joy of having dinner and birthday cake with family.
 

Day 5, California here we come!
”If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans”. Just over a week ago I had different plans. Little did I know that a tiny kitten with a heart as big as Texas and a purr as loud as thunder would create a detour in my life. 

By night fall we were home. No more gas stations, rest stops, restaurants, hotels or driving. Tonight Boone would rest and tomorrow he would explore his first home.

What have I learned?
It all came down to choices. Boone made the first choice to seek help. It was risky for a fragile, partially blind, sick kitten to leave his shelter. But he crawled out from under the trailer in the parking lot and ran to Mike and poured out affection and purrs on Mike’s ankle in a desperate attempt. He begged to be touched, for someone to care…to be wanted.  We made the choice not to turn away. We sought help for him locally and when they turned us away the choice rested with us. 

The decision to take on this kitten was filled with unknowns.  Little did we know how much it would require of us! Was he a burden or hardship? Past experiences has taught me a lot... hardship isn’t a bad thing…quite the opposite. Something happened in my heart as we drove across the country. For the first time in a couple years Mike and I were working together for something or someone else. Boone gave us a common purpose…to love without expectation, to care without a return, to love without knowing an outcome…to be still and quiet together. Mike and I needed this time together. Boone wasn't a burden, he was the gift!

Hugs,
Brenda

If you missed earlier posts you can read the story here:
Part #1 Becoming Boone
Part #2 Bring Him Home
Part #3 The Long Road Home (this post)
Part #4...more to come!

42 comments:

  1. Love this chapter - particularly the last paragraph!

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    1. Diane, I agree! The story has many levels and lessons. Hugs

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  2. Love your attitude and the love you have for this kitten!

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  3. Brenda you and Mike are truly chosen by God to be such wonderful insperations to everyone you meet weither it be human or animal. So glad to have experienced this first hand. Take care wonderful person.

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  4. Dave and I have loved this story of Boone and the two of you in this adventure. What a bold step of Boone to come out of hiding and run to Mike. He probably saw goodness in both of you, saw your guardian angels and knew it was safe. Isn't it amazing how sensitive animals are. They teach us if we listen. He is beloved to many now. Thank you again and again.

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    1. Dale, Thank you for the abundance of kind words! ~Hugs

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  5. I have been a fan for quite a few years but now - this story about Boone - you have truly touched my heart. One of these days I hope we meet in one of your workshops.

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  6. What a wonderful gift Boone has been for you and Mike, funny how a little orange ball of fur can touch your hearts isn't it? Blessings to you all.

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    1. Elaine, Who knew such a little creature could be so full of joy for us! ~Hugs

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  7. What a wonderful story! We did the same in the other direction. We adopted a kitten from a feral cat colony in Cottonwood AZ and she turned out to be a good camper in our trailer on the way home to Pennsylvania. Fortunately, she was not sick. She is now 7, and the first cat we ever had since we are dog people. We got her a golden retriever to help raise a couple of years sgo!

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    1. Arlene, You got her a golden retriever?! What fun! ~Hugs

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  8. Yay! Enjoy your new life with Boone kittie! I adored following along on this journey.

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  9. This is the BEST story I've heard in a very long time. It brought me tears, goose bumps, and smiles. I hope someday you'll consider making Boone's story into a children's book. Maybe it's already been suggested. I'm moved by the goodness of you and your husband and by Boone himself. I'm looking forward to the next installment. I've always loved your watercolors and now you and your husband are my heroes!

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    1. Mary, You're so sweet...thank you for the kind words! ~Hugs

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  10. I really have to say that I have enjoyed this story SO much. Thank you for doing the deed, and for letting us join you in the journey. I hope that you all have many happy years together.

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  11. What a wonderful journey you guys chose ~ may your travels ahead be just as wonderful! It's a great story I am enjoying, thank you for sharing it! Can't wait to hear more :-)

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    1. Lannie, Thanks for your comment. I'm glad to share our adventure with so many thoughtful people.

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  12. Your hearts are as big as the ocean. Tugging at your heartstrings, this tiny ball of fur knew that you were the ones that would give him all he could possibly want or need. The adventure to rescue Boone, even with all the spur of the moment changes and extra work, was absolutely the right decision. All you’ve given to him has certainly come back to you thousandfold! I wish there were more people like you in this world. ❤️❤️❤️

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    1. Gail, Quite the adventure! Little did I know how far we would go for Boone. ~Hugs

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  13. Loved the whole trip. The story. The sketch! And it is bluntly obvious that Mike and Boone are keepers, for life! ๐Ÿค—

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    1. Yvonne, I love your comment...KEEPERS for sure!
      ~Hugs

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  14. Love the touching way you've told little Boone's story. A sad kitten bringing so much happiness...between challenges! :-)

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    1. My sister hopes you'll submit Boone's story to the ASPCA and Humane Soc. for their magazines. Good thought!

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  15. What a beautiful story, full of blessings. It is a perfect example of giving so much, but then receiving even more in return. You and Mike are good people. Some day I'd love to meet you in one of your classes.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words. Hope we meet one day! ~Hugs

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  16. What a lovely story...more happy tears at this end. I'm sure Boone will adore his new home...looking forward to the next segment.

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    1. Serena, Happy tears๐Ÿ’• are the best! ~Hugs

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  17. Just disovered your blog! (Don't know why I didn't look out for your website and blog before!) But what a heartwarming story!! It shows the kind of people you are: Nice, warmhearted people! Boone must have felt it. They always say pets choose their owners and the people they want to live with. Guess this is the case with Boone!!!

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    1. Agnes, It was a mutual choice! I wonder if he’s ever had second thoughts ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿพ

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  18. Thank you for your sharing your wonderful, heartwarming and even thought-provoking adventures with Boone...and Mike! I don't often get puddly-eyed, but your story had me right from the start.
    We can't save all of these poor creatures, but the ones we can save, well, it makes their lives so much better, and ours, too.
    Thank you again!

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    1. Thank you. I know what you mean! Wish I could save more but for now we’ll care for our 4 kitties and one feral.
      ~Hugs

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  19. Love this adventure, Brenda.
    Thanks so much for sharing it.
    Ginny

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  20. How beautiful is Boone?! I can tell through your progression of photos that he is beginning to thrive in your loving care. I am so looking forward to the next post about your journey, as Boone arrives at last in his new home.

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    1. Susan, It's been a grand adventure watching this little guy grow and his personality come through.
      Thank you for following along on the journey!

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  21. Brenda, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful story and photos!

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    1. Jansi,

      You're welcome. Thanks for coming along on the adventure =)

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