Monday, August 30, 2010

I Am So Proud of You: working with rescued animals in British Columbia PT. 5

8/23 - 8/30

I've been sick with whatever Chuck had for most of this week, some kind of flu I imagine. There were times when I felt comfortable getting up and walking around, but I pushed it too far when I went for a 30 mile bike ride across the countryside and through the city. I spent the next day completely bed-ridden and miserable... but now after some rest I'm starting to feel better.
I've been riding my bike as much as I can since I've been here, and I've seen deer almost everyday. The route I usually ride takes me through a southern part of town near the lumbermill. It smells terribly of rotting wood and chemicals, but to cross into Nanaimo there's no other way around it. There's a small community that I pass immediately afterward that is eerily quiet, yet there's always people meandering about in the roads that I have to weave around. It reminds me so much of this short story "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" by one of my favorite authors H.P. Lovecraft. In the story, Innsmouth is a small and rarely visited town in New England where everything about the citizens and the architecture is detestable in an indiscriminate and unspoken way. Because of local legends travelers avoid it all costs, though one man chooses to visit despite the warnings of others and slowly pieces together a story of a fishing tycoon that makes a deal with demons one night on the reef that surrounds the town. The traveler gets trapped there and all kinds of crazy stuff starts happening... I won't ruin it for you, but I just thought it would maybe paint a better picture of this area. Anyway, I rode through there one night and immediately after I entered the neighborhood I regretted getting started on my ride home so late. Once through I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Maybe I'm just being silly.

I've been bonding with our 2 cats Ron and Ginny Weasley quite a bit. They both finally worked up the courage to come down from the loft on the crazy box staircase I made for them (which in it's own way must be scary enough to climb down on). Ronald came down for a visit this morning and was loving all over me while I slept. I also saw him kneading Chuck's blanket-covered head and was amazed that she didn't wake up. Though she rose to get the phone a little bit later and Ron, almost being crushed, panicked and jumped straight into the chest at the end of the bed!* I am so excited that they're starting to feel more comfortable here, as anti-social as they are I felt like we were keeping them locked up in a prison. They are both the sweetest, cutest little potatoes ever and it would be so lonely here in the cabin without them.

Stanley is doing better now, his hair is starting to grow back and his wound from the jacket is healing up nicely. We went by the other day and it was incredibly infected, so we sprayed him with some iodine and it's helped quite a bit. Hopefully it will heal up completely and not leave a scar, but only time will tell on that one.

Yesterday evening I was feeling a bit peckish, and with little food at the house I decided to head to the grocery store. My bike was in the back of Chuck's truck while she was at work, so my best option was to hitchhike the 13 miles into town. With the sun setting and remembering how few cars drive by on our road, especially on a Sunday, I was starting to worry that I wasn't going to make it before the sun went down and I would most likely have to walk through the pitch black woods to get back. Consequently I made it in 3 rides, and riding in the back of a pickup truck staring up at the sun setting behind the trees made me feel pretty glad that my bike was locked away and I was afforded this rare opportunity. I managed to get to my destination before the sun set, and while in line at the store another piece of good fortune was thrown my way. As I was paying for my food (surprised?) I was unable to afford 2 or 3 items and had to set them aside. I had got the truck back from Chuck, and as I was about to drive away I saw a young womyn running across the parking lot at me. My first instinct was to run, and then I thought maybe I just dropped some money. Well when I rolled the window down she had those 3 items in her hands, so she put them on the passenger side seat, stared at me for a minute and then said "Have a good night!" and took off running. I could barely yelp out a thank you amidst all the confusion, but left that night feeling pretty psyched on life.

Making tentative plans to ride my bike back to Vancouver, but things are so back and forth here that every time I plan on leaving something else comes up. Anyway, I have about 2 weeks left here in Canada and I'm going to try and make the best of them. Hope you're all doing well!

Love Always,
Mike XVX

*Don't worry, he's ok!

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