Friday
Feb072014

The Cat is Back!

Just a couple months age, in my Best of the Rest post, I mentioned that our cat Autumn had disappeared in 2013, after being with us only a few months. Her story is remarkable, and if you are a cat lover or a cat hater, you may want to read A Cat Tale, if you haven't already. Our hearts were broken when Autumn vanished one day. We searched the neighborhoods, but no one had seen her, no little body on the side of the road. She was an exceptionally friendly cat, and I only hoped that whoever had taken her had given her a good home.

Flash forward to this week when we received a call from a local vet. A lady had found a cat wandering in a park about a mile from here. She was hungry and apparently lost but seemed well cared for. The sweet lady, an animal lover, took the cat to the vet, who scanned her chip for identification. The cat was our Autumn! 

I went to pick her up, wondering if she would remember us. She came to me but did not really warm up until we drove into our drive. She looked out the car window and turned her purr motor on high! She remembered the house and immediately reclaimed all her favorite spots. She also claimed an additional piece of territory: Lou's favorite chair! Wonder of wonders, Lou, the former cat hater, has no problem sharing it with her. She also has adopted her former habit of following Lou around like a faithful puppy.

A blogging buddy, Casa Mariposa, had commented on my "Best of the Rest" post that there was still a chance Autumn could come back. Thanks to chip identification technology, her prediction came true. The way this works is this: A micro chip, about the size of a piece of rice, is injected under the pet's skin. Each microchip contains a registration number and the phone number for the registry for that particular brand of chip. The chip uses radio frequency waves to transmit information about the pet. The vet or animal shelter uses a hand held scanner to read the information and can then contact the registry to get the owner's name and phone number.

I am so relieved that nothing terrible happened to Autumn. I wonder where she has been, and I suppose someone else is feeling the loss of a cat. But for us it is a very happy ending. 

Sunday
Feb022014

Snowbound at Aldridge Gardens

I have heard many stories of people who were caught in last Tuesday's snowstorm that shut down Birmingham and all of its surrounding areas, but Audrey Ann Wilson has to be one of the more fortunate ones who were snowbound away from home. She is the Education Coordinator at Aldridge Gardens in Hoover, Alabama and was at work when the snow started coming down. Shortly after she left her office, she realized she would not be able to make it home; so she decided to stay overnight at the Gardens inside the Eddie and Kay Aldridge Art and Historical Collections Museum. Not a bad place to be snowbound! The Museum once was the personal home of Eddie and Kay Aldridge.

With a kitchen with some frozen meals in the freezer, as well as some chairs, some tablecloths and a huge drop cloth with which to fashion a bed, Audrey Ann was much more comfortable than the poor souls trapped on the highways. Best of all, she had her camera! Aldridge Gardens is a 30 acre woodland retreat, tucked away only moments from the busiest shopping malls and roads in Hoover. Audrey Ann has given me permission to tell her story and to share her photos of Aldridge Gardens in the snow, a sight we don't often get to see. Enjoy!

Aldridge gardens is home to the largest publicly available collection of Frank Fleming bronze sculptures, including the pieces shown above.

You can learn more about Aldridge Gardens and see more of Audrey Ann's snowy photos at Aldridge Gardens.com.