Camel Whisperer?

Or, how Newt almost got a new, not-so-little friend this weekend.

A shared concern by many owners of cats with liver shunts is that we often get so wrapped up in taking care of our special kitties, that we often neglect our own self-care. I freely admit to being pretty self-neglectful, and it’s gotten even more difficult with the strains of the new gig. In the interest of trying to de-stress me, darling Cat Daddy has been
once again making noises about me needing to get away from it all, at
least for a few hours, and try to relax. I guess it’s the Quarterly
Spousal Mandate for Relaxation?

Whatever it is, I ended up with some free time over the weekend, and with his gentle urging, decided to have a mini-vacation by spending a few hours visiting a Fiber Festival. Not that I need any more fiber, mind you. Haven’t had a chance to even touch my spinning wheel for months. But, you know, FIBER WHEELS BUNNIES YARNZ!!!


As with prior fiber festivals, Cat Daddy reminded me “Honey, you are not allowed to bring home any bunnies. Or sheep. Or goats.” Remembering how last time, I almost scored an alpaca because it was NOT on the verboten list, he quickly added “Or alpacas. Or llamas.”

Curses, foiled again!

Satisfied that he had exhausted the ever-growing list of new, fiber-producing friends I am not allowed to buy for Newt and host in our house or backyard, he kissed me and sent me on my way, urging me to “have a good time and buy something fun!”  (Have I mentioned lately how much I love that man?)

The drive was nice, with the slightly cooler air, and the leaves just beginning to turn. The festival itself was small and friendly, lots of time to visit with vendors, fondle yarn and fiber, and meander around, relaxing and admiring all the lovely items. I decided to stroll through the barns, just to chat with some of the sheep and goats. Suddenly, the light coming from the other end of the barn was blocked, and I looked up to see …


Okay, so I thought I was recently hallucinating Ariana the Chicken, but no fracking WAY was there a camel. Right? RIGHT? It HAD to be a stress-induced hallucination.  A CAMEL?

Holy Cow – errr, holy camel, as it were – it WAS a camel! A glorious, beautiful, Bactrian camel gazing down upon me.

I was smitten! A real live camel, up close and personal!  I’ve been fascinated by camels for years, but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would get to meet one.

It was big. REALLY big. Like, hugely big. Its feet were as big as my head. Its double humps towered and swayed gracefully far above my reach. Its eyes gazed contentedly at me, while chewing and pondering and watching the amazed people go by.

I began to talk to it, asking how it ended up in this part of the world, telling it how beautiful it was, all the while trying to find any sort of owner or sign indicating whether or not I might be permitted to ::gasp:: touch it?

Several other folks were taking pictures, and a few brave souls had reached out to pet it. It neither burped nor bit, but stood calmly,  swaying serenely, and looking at me expectantly.

Slowly, I reached out my hand. The camel reached its face down, ever closer to mine, and as its chin met my upturned palm, I slowly began to scratch.

Yes, just as if it were a VERY LARGE CAT, I scratched its chin.

The camel gave a deep, contented sigh, and as I continued to scratch its chin, slowly began to sink to the ground, finally coming to rest on its belly, with its legs comfortably tucked underneath.

There was a collective gasp from the small crowd around the pen, and hushed comments of “Wow! Did you SEE that? She must be a camel whisperer!”

I gave the camel one more gentle chin scratch, then it turned its attention to nibbling the hay as I thanked it for the privilege of petting it. Still awe-struck from this wonderful exchange, I floated out of the barn, and then managed to call Cat Daddy.

“So, you said I should buy something ‘fun’ today, right?”

“Of course, sweetie, you’ve been working really hard, you should spoil yourself!”

“Okay. I want to buy a camel. Newt NEEDS a camel. I found a camel! I petted a camel! People called me a camel whisperer! Can I have a camel?”

After all these years of dealing with me, my darling husband is pretty accustomed to my unusual outbursts. He never even missed a beat. Cheerfully he replied “Of course you can have a camel! As long as you can fit it in the car.”

Oops. No way would that camel fit in the car. Why does Cat Daddy always have to be so practical?!

Needless to say, Newt did not get a camel that day. I, on the other hand, had a wonderful vacation, and obtained an amazing memory.

(I did, however, buy camel down, and Newt WILL have his own camel!)