Sunday, July 3, 2016

Dear Kids,
          I’ve just been reading over the itinerary for the family reunion, and it looks like we’re going to have a lot of fun. Paul and Stefanie seem to have planned it very well. It looks like we’ll have a couple of very good hikes, lots of fun in the water (or on the shore, where Dad and I will probably be,) some crafts, games, skits, s’mores–oh, and of course, some very good food. This will be our ninth family reunion, and each one of them has been great.
           Our new cat Tina has been settling in after her own fashion. I’d been wondering how to introduce her to the outside world, and to Xena, when Tom mentioned that his friend Brakke has a Bengal cat, and he takes it walking on a leash. I googled "cat harness," and nearly all the pictures showed Bengal cats! So Dad and I bought a leash and harness at Petco, put it on Tina, tightened everything, and let her go. She turned around backwards, wiggled a little, and slipped right out. So I googled "escape-proof cat harness." I learned there’s a special kind called the H-harness with a strap around the neck fastened to a short back strap fastened to a belly strap. It comes in all kinds of designer patterns and colors. I ordered a set with a cute apple design. When it came, I put it on her, but I didn’t dare tighten the neck strap very much because I didn’t want her to choke. When she tried to wiggle out, the neck strap caught in her mouth, like a bridle, and she flailed around. When I tried to get it out there was a big bloodbath which I thought came from her, but turned out to be gashes on my hand from her hind claws. No matter. I figured out how tight to make it, and she sort of likes it now. We sit on the porch while she cowers under the bench or by the door. Xena greets her and they hiss, but Tina can’t run away. It will all work out eventually.
          We’re still planning our short hike at Wolf Creek pass tomorrow. It looks like it might just be Donna’s family and ourselves, but if you want to come, and I haven’t talked to you, let me know! We’re still unsure about the time. I’m really enjoying my new calling as Primary chorister. Today we’re going to use my balloon-popping machine. It always creates a ruckus. The Primary president has said she wants singing time to be really fun, and that's been my main focus all along.
          See you all on Thursday! Love, Mom