Ongoing Stories of My Soul

Look over my shoulder as I ponder life.

Letters From Camp to the Cat and Dogs at Home: Why Animals Should Never Zip-Line (Nor Humans)

Dear Harper, Max, and Boo,

While mommy is gone to camp, I expect you all to behave. Max…no eating the mail. Harper…mind your caretaker, Michael and don’t think you are too good to sleep in your crate. Boo, I know you are a cat, and convincing you of that will never happen in this lifetime. So go on acting like royalty while I am gone. But please don’t refer to your canine brothers as “lower life forms.” You all are my children with fur and I love each of you. When my own kids would ask me, “Mom…which one do you love the most?” And I would honestly answer, “Each of you–on a different day.” Same goes with the three of you.

So… that I have that out of the way, how are you three doing? I have not gotten a phone call from Indy to LA, so you all must be behaving! Let me tell you what Nick had me doing today!!

There is this thing at his camp called a ‘ZipLine’. It is another way humans have fun. It stretches in the air from one location to the next. You climb up to a platform, strap to it, let go, and ‘zip’ on this line–in the air– then come to a landing. Let me put it to you in ways you can understand.

Boo…first of all I had to climb a pine tree to about 45 feet in the air. You would have loved it! Me…not so much. My short non flexible legs, and no tail for balance, made the climb rugged. Sap in between my fingers was most annoying. I was not off to a good start. Up on the platform, I was hooked and tethered. Harper and Max, imagine your mommy with a harness between her legs, and a leash attached to that. Okay…so don’t imagine it. It was as ugly as it felt. And there we stood as Campmom Jill and naturalist helper guy, Jerry, was getting all set. We chatted. I had already put my safety helmet on backwards so I wasn’t sure this was the experience for me.

Nick was going on this ZipLine after me, so he blocked my way of climbing down the tree. “Climbing down the tree?” you might ask? Oh yes. As I stood there peering over a 40-50 foot road/canyon, I decided that I was uninterested in this ZipThing. Kind of like when I take you guys to the vet; the car ride is nice but what is waiting next is dreadful. Anyway, there I stood. Finally, Jerry gave the signal. I was ready to zip. Like a postal code. Like a pair of pants. Or so they thought.

I backed out. I backed up. I told them, “Yeah, I am  not going to do this.” Nick started the reasons I would regret not doing this. I knew he had his cell phone out and was going to record his mother’s rebuttal. I would have liked him to have called my life insurance company to see if my policy was still in force in case of recreational accidents, but he was still going on about how “You will love this! The grandkids will be so proud of you. Besides…you will have to climb down this tree and it is harder than climbing up.”

Oh boy. He had me there. I cannot tell you Max, Harper, and Boo, how hard that climb was. So…I looked out over the Zipline, tugged on my ‘leash’ and muttered something I say when one of you poop in the house. Nick smiled, Jill uttered scripture and told me to just step off the edge of the platform, and to swing out so I won’t hit my head.

Are you serious? Nick had that big smile and cell phone aimed. I hate that smile. It always works. Just as I was about to reiterate how much I was NOT going to do this, Jill said the one phrase that would seal the deal: “This is one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” And children with fur, this is when I went from being an old lady pet owner to a bird. First, I prayed. Okay…let’s just say as I dangled in the air, I said, “OH GOD!” But it was in a prayerful-type voice, so I am certain that He heard me.

Then it happened! I was zipping! I LOVED IT!! It was like flying and swinging and being so free that I could not even be afraid. My smile was so big that I thought my face would freeze. Kind of like when you guys pant so long it looks like your tongue will fall off. Okay…maybe not the same! But let me tell you, it was a great ride! You know the feeling when your head is out the window and the wind is blowing in your face and your fur is all in one direction?

Well, that was my big adventure, guys. Boo, I know you are disappointed in me, being fearful of climbing a tree. You do it with such skill. Proving once again, I am the inferior species. Harper and Max, whenever you go pulling me down the street when I am attempting to take you for walks, I will just look at it as ‘ZipLining’   without the line in the sky. I can pretend can’t I?

Mommy will soon be home. Be good until I get there. After all,
I can always string a line from the garage to the house and let you in for the big ride! Boo can take the photos. Until then, purr softly, bark loudly, and know that letters from camp are not to be appetizers from the mailbox. Are you listening, Max? See you soon!

Love, Mom