The Day My Sister Moved The Zoo

by Lisa Tyler 2006

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My sister Angela moved to town into a house next to Mary, just down the road from the racetrack where Rod races.  It was a minor miracle to get her physically here, in more ways than one. 

Angie has been taking care of her three stepchildren’s animals for years, even though they’re now grown.  They had gotten pet after pet, - lizards, rabbits, cats and dogs, but then didn’t want to care for them.  So back home to mom they went.  When it came time to move, there was nowhere to go for the animals, but up.  “Up,” meaning here to Georgia, via her little burgundy mini van. 

Moving is usually not a news item, nor is handing your kids some chicken after buckling them in to a car seat. 

But when the chickens are alive, I think it gets rather interesting, don’t you?  Oh.  Did I forget to mention the hamsters? 

Ok, the passenger list in her little mini van went like this:  seven semi exotic birds, several hamsters, a tank of small fish, (blissfully unaware of the dangers), one nervous cat, three large dogs who don’t particularly like human beings, and the chickens from the backyard.  Ah, I forgot to list her twins, human male and female, age approximately 9 years old.

The birds and hamsters were in cages, the dogs loose, and the cat was in a cardboard box.  Unfortunately the cat’s bowels weren’t prepared for the trip, and she defecated in there early on then clawed her way out of the box.  (Evidently cats don't like the smell either.) 

Angie said that as she drove, the cat was scrambling for a place of safety and the kids were screaming "She's got some on her leg, get her off me!!!!" 

She also said it's amazing how quickly you can ignore a smell when you have to. 

Up front between the seats was a five-gallon bucket with the aquarium fish in it, right beside Angie’s morning cup of coffee.  Fur and feathers were flying all over, which meant that taking a drink included blowing the “head” off the coffee before she could take a sip.

She said the hens were crammed in a cardboard cat carrier but the rooster had to go into a pillowcase.  Imagine this scene for a minute.  Driving 5 hours along Interstate 75, following closely behind a truck and trailer with all your possessions (manned by a perpetually grouchy husband), with two whining kids and what must have felt like a performing zoo.

The dogs barking their heads off at everyone they pass, their loud voices bouncing off the smeared window glass.  The kids hollering at the cat, the cat scurrying around trying to get dookie off his feet, the fish sloshing and jumping, the hamsters probably mating, the birds shrieking in alarm at the cat, and the rooster horribly ticked off, kicking for all he's worth. 

Yeah, I say that would have been a $10,000 video moment.  You just can't make something like that up.  Nobody would believe you. 

I can happily say that they made it safely and settled into their new country home, where the animals have multiplied and the new cats now sit in the mini van as if waiting for their turn to ride.  She managed to sell the horse (named Bear) before she found a way to get him transported up here.

Angie is crafty, artistic, optimistic and long-suffering, cleans houses well and sees through a situation to solve it.  She's a Leo, and her heart is huge, very loving, gentle and helpful.  

(Yeah, she brings home the animals at the dumpsters that you throw out.)  

She went to college for a while and studied biology, was a widow and remarried with children of her own.

I would definitely nominate my sister for some type of award for patience.  She’s steady as a calm sea, a rock of Gibraltar, and she’s a load of fun, with or without her entourage.

I'm so proud of all my sisters, and thankful to have them!



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