Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hairless Rats Make Me Feel Warm and Fuzzy


 I had a great day signing books at The Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene. Santa was there among the amazing collection of rescued animals, many of which are up for adoption.


"What do you want for Christmas, Richy," he asked.  This particular Santa, a.k.a. John Franklin, has been with the Port Townsend Fire Department for twenty-nine years (apparently he goes back and forth between here and the North Pole).


 At the open house, a young girl adopted this rat and his siblings.  A ONE-EYED HAIRLESS RAT! You don't meet those everyday do you? Do you? Well, if you visit this remarkable animal shelter, you'll meet a lot of cuddly critters who need a home.


 To get to Quilcene you first have to journey to the outskirts of civilization.


When I arrived at the shelter, they set me up next to the cage of an enormous parrot named Peanut Butter. In his cage he perches quiet as a dead mouse, and likes to bob up and down to the inner beat of distant Amazonian jungle drums.


Then when you are happily signing away or cooing at the turtles or bunnies, he lets out the loudest scream you have ever heard. As in, Nazg├╗l scream. Your brain actually does a 180˚ turn inside your cranium when this parrot SKREEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeCHS!!! But other than my frayed noives, we DID have some in depth discussions about global warming and manners, and I wish I could take him home.

A fellow who was at the open house told me that he had A.D.D. and has two screeching birds at home. He confided to me that the sudden screams in fact calm him down. So.


 Here is the director, Sara Penhallegan holding Maya.  I learned that the bulbous things hanging on his jowls are called "false eyes" and the flap hanging down is called his dewlap.


 I would love to have this cuddly bear in my studio, but I would have to mist it throughout the day and set the temperature at 80 degrees.


 This dude's name is GODZILLA. Notice the blood on his lip. Seems he busted out and tried to kill one of the other iguanas. But not to worry, they are vegetarians, I'm told. Yeah, right. How many vegetarians do you know who have blood dripping down their lips?


Have you ever met a chinchilla?  This guy looks a little sad, because he had just gotten fixed. My heart goes out to you, man. Nevertheless, this furry rabbit/mouse/mink type animal had the softest fur I have ever felt. Like a cloud, only softer.

 Hi there.


 This is a feline version of "dog pile!"


Scotties rrroool the werrld.  Will ye pop over and toss me some shortcake, laddy?


 I'll bet one of you needs a pony.


Alright, I will.


But the ones that you really need to beware of are these sheep with the glowing eyes. They were rescued from the Sand People near Beggar's Canyon.