The Great Hermit Crab Escape, or How I Cleaned My Living Room

The Great Hermit Crab Escape, or How I Cleaned My Living Room
Does everyone in your house wake up at the same time?  Yeah, that’s definitely not the case around here.  That small detail is a major factor in how this story came to be.

My middle child gets up at the crack of dawn.  He sees things around the house the rest of us never know about.  Case in point:

Several hours after he witnesses said event, he tells me the story of how he woke up, came downstairs, ate breakfast … and then saw the lid off of his sister’s hermit crab cage and a cat with its front paw inside.  He shooed the cat away, put the lid on, told his father the story right then and there, and then waited several hours to tell me. 

When he told me, I was so happy he had been there to save the day!  Until about 30 minutes later when he asked if the hermit crabs had changed their shells.

Me:  I don’t know, they could have changed.  Pick the shell up and see.
Son:  But I don’t even see the shells in there.
Me, blood pressuring rising:   Did either you or your father check to see if the hermit crabs were still in there when you put the lid back on?

The short answer is … NO. 

Then the hunt was on.   Those suckers had at least a four start on us.  They could have been anywhere.  My living room looked like it had been hit by a tornado while we looked and placed our feet VERY carefully.  After moving the sofa, one hermit crab was found.  After about 45 minutes, the second was found hiding in an empty LEGO box under a chair.  (Why was the empty box under the chair?  Your guess is as good as mine.)

Crabs found, kids are happy, all was well, right?  Nope, cuz now momma wanted to clean behind and underneath all the furniture we moved.   And that’s how hermit crabs helped me get my living room clean, down to scrubbed baseboards. Who knew they could be so useful?! 

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Rescued Once Again

Rescued Once Again
This guy had a traumatic start to life.  He was rescued not once, but three times … and then he ended up saving and fixing a gaping hole in our hearts.  But that wasn’t then end of the rescuing. 
(If you missed the beginning of the story, you can find it here.)
We will never know if Jay’s health issues came from a lack in his birth mother’s milk, the trauma of being abandoned in a ditch, the eye infection that set in, or something he needed that his adoptive cat mama couldn’t give him.  We do know that we did everything the sanctuary and vet recommended once we adopted him.  But it wasn’t enough. 
Sure, he was happy, playful, and gaining weight.  All the “professionals” said he was fine; however, he had horrible skin issues, from hair falling out to sores. We used the non-grain food we were told to buy.  Heck, I even researched a raw diet and made pet food … only to have all the cats turn up their noses and act like I was trying to feed them sawdust.  Yep, that’s a cat for you … and I absolutely love them for it.  
The worst was when we used the vet-prescribed flea and tick treatment on the poor fellow.  He turned lethargic, threw up, and lost a patch of hair larger than a silver dollar.  I already had my doubts about those meds, but we were told it must have been the brand.   I waited a couple of months, tried a different brand, and we had the same results.  That was when I said enough was enough. 

The human members and non-feline pets of our family had been using natural wellness options for some time.   I had allowed fear to keep me from pursuing a deep and constant use of those same choices on our cats.  Well, not after that drastic hair loss.  I researched safe options to keep the creepy crawlies away, tried it on five cats, and had 100% success, no negative side effects.  I decided to keep learning. 

That wasn’t the end of Jay’s skin troubles.  Any little nick would turn into a large scab; a large untreated scab sometimes became an abscess.  We once again tried prescribed meds (our poor daughter, after losing one cat, wanted to follow a doctor’s orders), and those failed him every time.  His human momma finally realized the value of natural options, and now Jay heals easily and quickly.  In fact, his skin health and rapid recovery has become quite the joyful story in our household. 

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The Rescuer

The Rescuer
This guy was a scrawny thing the first time we saw him at the animal sanctuary.  In fact, my daughter didn’t even pick him up at first.  It wasn’t a love at first sight story (well, for her; my heart had a feeling.)
A little backstory for you:  several years before, we had gone to the same sanctuary and asked to foster a mama cat and her kittens.  We came home with a mother and barely 3 day old babies.  Yeah, I know, I’m crazy.  The kids immediately fell in love, chose their favorite babies, and named them.  When it came time to send them back to be adopted, we claimed all three kittens and the mama (because how many female cats spend way too long waiting for adoption?) 
We loved all of them to the moon and back, but one day, the worst happened.  Our older daughter’s cat got out, and we couldn’t find her anywhere.  We looked for weeks, and then months.  Our whole family was heartbroken, but our daughter was especially devastated. I waited until I thought she might be ready, and then one day I said to her, “Would you like to go look at kittens?” She smiled and cried at the same time, nodding her head. 
Once at the sanctuary, she actually looked at this guy first.   Then she moved from cat tower to tower and back again, looking at all options.  You see, she knew she didn’t want a kitten with similar coloring, but she thought she wanted another female.  I, along with her two siblings, waited patiently. 
And at that moment, it happened.  This handsome grey tabby reached his paw out of the tower, touched my daughter, and meowed at her.  That was all it took.  She asked to hold him, and as she did, the volunteers told us his story.  He had been found, almost dead, in a ditch. (In fact, his momma cat and rest of the litter didn’t make it.) Another mother cat, who was nursing her own litter about 2 weeks younger than this rescue, took him in and loved him as her own.  His health seemed to have rebounded, and he was up for adoption. 
By this point, our daughter was openly crying happy tears, the kitten was perched on her shoulder, and there was no doubt we were taking him home.   In many ways, he rescued us.  We have never regretted that decision for a moment, but it did start us on a path of learning all about unique health needs for him, and the cats, dog, rabbits, turtles, birds, hermit crabs, and bearded dragon we had a home. 
For the rest of the story, check Rescued Once Again.

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