December 28, 2009

We’ve mentioned Shirley’s healing which is bringing her back to her “old” self. Well, today her obvious recovery was a joy to behold. Shirley has been making her happy “belching” noises for the past couple of weeks, the first time we’ve heard them since Bunny’s passing. This morning, after Shirley and Tarra left the barn, they started out by being very silly; baby trumpets, barking, belching, roaring and rumbling. This animated display usually lasts for a minute or two, but not this time. After two minutes it was clear that they were only warming up! They both began running around (yes, Shirley runs quite well and quickly, might I add), spinning, Shirley dropped her head down to the ground and lifted one back leg. As she ran and played she would pick up a log or boulder and throw it up into the air. They both ran towards each other and played their own version of bumper cars. They turned their backs toward each other, bump butts, bumps sides, playfully kick at each other, touch all over each other, mellow down a notch, and then run 20 feet, and start all over again. They did this for about 15 minutes and during this entire time there was not more than 10 seconds that was not filled with celebratory noises. I’ve honestly never seen Shirley or Tarra play quite this way or this much (maybe Tarra that much—usually interacting with her puppy). What the girls do in the habitat when we’re not around remains a mystery, but this display of total playful abandonment was new to us. It’s hard to express the heartfelt joy in seeing the two of them changing and opening in such wonderful ways, both with a sister there to help them along.
A few mornings ago Cali-kitten, a full grown barn cat, caused quite a stir in Divaland. This particular morning, Ronnie came confidently out of the rubber flap door heading towards the habitat…only to be greeted by Cali scampering across the alley wall. Cali likes to wait on the back wall of the alley, meowing. Ronnie’s already large eyes grew even wider and her ears went out. Apparently Cali’s presence was too much to handle that early in the morning, for Ronnie back-pedaled into the barn, almost running into Debbie who was coming out behind her. Debbie was not frightened by Cali and made her way down the alley that leads to the habitat without concern.
Once the caregiver coaxed an apprehensive Ronnie the rest of the way down the alley, Cali darted through the alley behind her, causing more alarm for Ron. She spun around and tried to go back into the alley, but the caregiver had already closed the gate dividing Ronnie from the mighty scary Cali-kitten. Morning is not the time for visits from kitties, apparently!
Kick off the Sanctuary’s 15th Anniversary Year on December 31 with the Fourth Annual New Year’s Eve with The Elephants! The virtual party starts at 4pm CT.

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