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Yes, it's true! We have a new cat, and his name is Reacher. He is another Challenger's House cat brought to us via Crooked Acres, one of the infamous Bookworms. We were ready to try another cat, and Robyn was ready to offload a few from her increasing but absolutely not-animal-hoarder-like population. I've had lots of travel in her neck of the woods lately, so I planned to pick Reacher up on my way home from one of my work trips.

As luck would have it, the night of that trip turned out to be the night of the last big nasty snowstorm we had here in Alabama. We had warnings about it, but you know how those things go. I was really pressed for work, and I figured as soon as I tried to rearrange all the appointments I had up there, I'd be sitting home on my dead ass with no snow while my schedule went all to hell for nothing. So we stuck to the plan.

Looking back, I have to say that the most remarkable thing about the whole evening was that I MET FRED! He actually does exist! Well I never really questioned his existence, but I did notice that he made sure to be nowhere near the house on any of my previous visits, so I always accused Robyn of being a psycho with her phantom made-up husband.

Fred did the Reacher-wrangling, I made use of their restroom, signed the adoption paperwork, somehow traversed the RAIL-LESS SNOW-COVERED STEPS (yall don't have lots of lawyers visiting, do you?) and we loaded Reacher and his stuff into the car. There was a good three inches of snow on the ground as I left Crooked Acres, but the roads were clear - just wet.

Before I left, Fred reminded me about which part of my journey home would likely be the most treacherous if it got icy. He was not kidding. The sides of the five-mile bridge through Wheeler were already strewn with several vehicles that slid out of control. At least it's mostly flat through there.

I was actually completely prepared to stay in a hotel for the night, even with Reacher. I found a new Dollar General in the middle of nowhere on my last top before Robyn's, and I got a little litter pan, box of litter, and food bowl...just in case. My plan was to press on unless the driving was too dangerous.

Hindsight is always 20-20, and I gotta say that was the second worst winter drive of my life, the first being that awful scary journey through the mountains of Virginia on the way to my cousin's funeral in Massachusetts in 2008. Thank heavens most people were really careful out there, even the trucks. The toughest thing to deal with ended up being people going TOO SLOWLY. Well that, and the near white-out conditions at times. It's really freaky when the whole interstate, shoulders, medians, everything is covered with snow.

At one point, my windshield wipers became like long tubes of ice scraping across my windshield, as a thick layer of ice slowly built up under them. Finally I had to pull off the road on one of the absolutely worst stretches during some of the heaviest snow because I literally could not see anything. After a good de-icing, we were back on the road again.

I was never gladder to be home. I had Reacher's room all ready for him to hang out in for as long as it took to recover from the trip and get used to his new surroundings. I'd bring Beau in to meet him, let him roam the house while the dogs are out for his first few times, make sure he's good with the litter box and all that, and maybe within a couple of weeks we could give him the run of the house.

Well, she did warn us...I checked back through my email to remind myself how Robyn described this sweet little boy when she told me she thought he'd be perfect for us:

Now, let me tell you that Reacher is a scaredy cat at first. My parents were here for a couple of days last Fall, and they never saw Reacher because he was hiding under my bed during the day, and would only venture out at night when they were sleeping. That said, he's a complete love with us and he LOVES other cats. It would probably only take a day or two for him to warm up to you.

To be continued...


Reacher in a couple of favorite hidey-holes

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He scales the blinds to take that perch - love seeing him there from outside. In the last photo, that's Beau on the chair, and Reacher hiding under.

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Here you can see Beau with his back to us, and Reacher's eyes glowing, and there's Reacher up in the window. Awww!

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Beautiful Beau, Monarch of the Manor




( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 21st, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
Yeah Reacher!!!!! So glad you gave that love bug a new forever home. Thanks for the pictures. Looking forward to many more.
Feb. 21st, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
I sure don't miss winter weather when I read things like this! I'm glad you made it home safe. What strikingly beautiful cats. My grandmother had a "scaredy cat" that spent most of my childhood peeking out from a cupboard in the kitchen.
Feb. 22nd, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
I found my way over from Robyn's blog. I loved watching the Bookworms grow on her blog, and I'm happy to see photos of Reacher in his new home. I hope that he warms up to you and does so well! Beau is gorgeous and I think he and Reacher will be great buddies down the road :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )