Off Road Biking & One Tuckered Out Cat

It is beautiful here in Mammoth. The sky is cloudless and the sunshine just bright and warm enough to add color and light. Michael and I went off road biking after introducing Fred to some road biking around Shady Rest Campground beforehand. Fred bought a new bicycle yesterday and it is a beauty. We did some test riding and then left him back at the Campground to rest. The altitude takes some getting use to and we have been doing some hill work.

I would have to say that off road biking is about as good as it gets. It reminds me of horseback riding with just a hint of danger if you get caught in deep sand, or you run over a rock. I haven’t been thrown yet, but know it is inevitable. One minute you are speeding along, and the next minute you are stopped mid-track. We were able to bike on some well maintained logging trails that were shaded by massive pine trees and carpeted with pine needles. We did a loop around the Campground and it took us maybe 45 minutes. At one point we biked along an airplane and helicopter strip that must be used for emergency plane landings or for the forest fire service. 

Callie had a long walk this morning and I would have to say that it was her best walk yet! She turns when I whistle and when I tug gently on the leash. She also walks at a pretty good clip. She has gotten the hang of it and enjoys seeing the sights. She doesn’t seem to smell everything like a dog does, but rather stops and stares and then stops to stare some more. Her eyesight is more dominant and she uses her eyes more than her nose. Our walks are lasting at least 30 minutes now and when she is tired she lies down and lets me know she has had enough. I couldn’t ask for a better RV pet companion. She is so tuckered out that I think I will pass on the bike ride with her in the basket today. We can do another walk later in the day.

I thought Morro Bay was the best place to bike after Anza Borrego in the winter…. But I have to say that Mammoth in the summer is about as good as it gets. It is a very bike friendly town. I am so appreciative that we have stayed put and can hang out until Monday morning. We are just now beginning to explore the bike and hiking trails and I much prefer it to road biking. I don’t like biking around cars. Two more full days of biking and enjoying ourselves at New Shady Rest Campground and then on to Convict Lake. I got a call back from the host and he said we will be able to have our pick of campsites after Father’s Day weekend…..






My Little Diva

Callie was a stray cat that adopted me when I lived in Redlands, California and she came running over to ask me for help one day while my daughter and I walked my husband out the front door to go to work. She was quite upset and visibly stressed out when she raced through my front door and decided right then and there that she was going to stay. I was not happy about adopting a cat and I did everything possible to return her to her owner. I found out later that the family knew she was with me and did not want her. They acknowledged it a year later that she had been too difficult to raise as a kitten and kept running away. My take on it was that she was bored senseless and didn’t like being left alone and was following her young owner to school one day and got lost.

The most important thing I have learned from Callie is that boredom drives her crazy. She wants to be a part of the action and will do her best to outshine any dog in order to stay in my favor. She reminds me of my late Jack Russel, Addy who needed to be constantly stimulated and entertained. Taking her on a road trip with us is the best thing we could have done for her. While living at the beach I was able to walk with her off leash and she would follow at my heals and climb every tree we came across. In the desert, I can’t leave her side because of all the predators around; even from above!  A hawk swooped down on her a couple weeks ago and if I hadn’t clapped loudly and shouted a warning, they just might have tangled with one another. Having to keep such close tabs on her isn’t as much fun for either of us. She is a good sport about it though and has learned to trust that I am her protector. This makes it much more enjoyable when I walk with her on a leash because she doesn’t have to worry so much about danger.

Walking on the leash with a harness was fairly easy to teach her because she was already walking by my side. Going on walks with a restraint is about as fun as it gets for her because she can explore new surroundings with attitude and not have to slink from one obstacle to the next. She walks like the little diva that she is with pride and attitude. The only thing I have to worry about are dogs off leash that want to come over to investigate this unusual sight. Labs and Retrievers are usually just goofy and curious but I hope that I will never run across a more aggressive breed. She lies across my hips when I pick her up and keeps her claws retracted, but it would be quite the adventure to have to ward off an aggressive dog. I keep a close eye out in all directions while walking her in the RV parks and have yet to have an incident. I am strong and assertive with dogs and they would be wise to keep their distance.

So keep on walking and learning new things my little diva. I am so proud of her. She is a very happy, well adjusted, curious cat and I am a proud and appreciative parntner…


An Abundance of Charm

If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be sharing my bed and pillow for God’s sake with a cat, I would have gasped in disbelief and adamantly disagreed. I do not share my bed with anyone other than my husband! But somehow and someway, Callie has charmed her way right into bed with Michael and me and now she sleeps in the middle with her head on my pillow and nestled by my side. How did she manage to accomplish this miracle? My Jack Russel, Miss Addie, who was the love of my life, was not able to cross that line and had to sleep on the floor in her own bed and with her own blanket. How did a stray cat come into my life that is now sleeping in the same bed with me?

When we decided to keep Callie after a month of searching for her owner, I was very firm about house rules and one of them was not sleeping on the bed. She was not a kitten when she came to us, but a three year old cat that had a mind all her own. The previous family actually dropped by after a year of watching me raise her and confessed to us that she had been their cat and was impossible to live with. She was constantly running away and caused them no end of grief. When they saw that she was happy with me, and me happy with her, good riddance, they did not want her back. So, to get back to the sleeping in bed with us story, I can remember with some guilt now, that I would spray her with a water bottle if she attempted to crawl up on the bed. I would physically discipline her with a swat on the butt and scold her only to have her sneak back up on the bed ever so quietly whenever she thought I was asleep. I think the breakdown in communication had to have been with Michael. He felt sorry for her before I did and would look the other way when she snuck up quietly and rested against his feet. Once she felt safe about that rule being broken, and there were no repercussions, she had a taste for more. She would ever so slowly and quietly creep back up and make herself at home further up on the bed.  Callie would have gotten away with this except that she would start purring loudly. The purring would give her away because it would wake me up and I would have to take action by removing her from the bed once again. This lasted for months. I even kicked her out of the bedroom and shut the door in her face, only to hear her plaintive howls on the other side of the door. Now everyone knows you can’t sleep with a cat on the other side of the door plaintively howling. At the height of the disagreement, I actually threw her outside and made her spend the night in the backyard. I cringe at this memory because when I got up in the morning, she was huddled by the back door in a tiny little heap of despair, and it nearly broke my heart. That was the beginning of the turning point for me. I couldn’t stand to see such suffering on her part, so I capitulated next. Now Michael and I are both on the same page and Callie is welcome to crawl up on the bed whenever she likes. She is charmingly persistent and her best tool for gettting her way is exactly that, charm! Callie is the sweetest cat I have ever known and to this day I somehow feel like I got the better end of the bargain by letting her sleep with us. The looks she gives you and the pats and purrs are the warmest and most heartfelt I have ever experienced. She is genuinely appreciative and happy that she is in bed with us. It almost makes you feel like she is doing you a favor, and actually she is… I am writing about her now and enjoying the process so much. She has given me a creative outlet that feels so rewarding. I love writing about her.

So, no matter how wonderful Holiday Pet Hotel is with Callie, they can’t hold a candle to the life she lives at home. She is an equal standing member of the family, sleeps in bed with us, is pampered in every regard and no amount of spoiling at HPH can compete with that. When we pick her up after having been boarded for 17 days, there is a price to be paid. It isn’t that she’s a brat when we are reunited, it’s that she is so very, very sad and doesn’t understand why we left her in the first place. She needs hours of snuggling and petting and reassuring for her to feel secure again. It would be interesting to hear Holiday Pet Hotel’s take on this…….I told you that she has an abundance of charm!