Packing up is always the hardest part especially for the first event of the year. ("Where the #$@!!! did I put that!!!!") After the first event I usually pack everything up neatly for the next one. This time around, I had a donated cage with some rust spots that I wanted to paint a metallic brown (it came out nice!) but out of three cans of brown spray paint I had, two decided not to spray after the first ten seconds. Swear words! Many swear words! Luckily the third can was enough to do the entire cage.
I actually was able to find my leashes and halters that are used only for these events to keep the cats from getting loose when someone wants to hold them. The only one that fit Corky was pink but luckily everyone still seemed to "get" that he was a male cat.
Everything fit into two big Kong bags. I also brought a trap, and a set-up for coffee. Happily, Gary at Tractor Supply was providing two tables, so I didn't have to haul mine along.
Corky meowed in the car, and then squalled the entire way into the store. He also announced his presence periodically while in his cage if I wandered too far away. Luckily he was a relaxed ambassador until the last half-hour or so when he showed that he was ready to go home by not being as eager to meet people at the front of the cage. Four hours is enough to ask of any cat.
We were near the pet food aisle, but Tractor Supply seems to be a big place for people to buy bird food. People came and went with cartloads of the stuff. Also interesting: none of them seemed to be anti-cat, as some bird groups would like to have us believe. I stopped a few people in transit ("Looks like the birds eat well at your place!") so I wasn't just speaking to bird people who happened to stop and say "hi"--which would have indicated a bias toward cat lovers. There were a few people who out-and-out avoided me, but hey, I do that as well when I don't have time or want to make time to engage with people as well.
We got three new people on our email list, $15 in donations, and a mom and two kids who would like to come visit the cats (whoo-hoo! The cats always need kid-time!) and would also like to foster once they get moved. Two people thought they had friends who might be interested in Corky and took cards.
Four hours is good. I started at 10 and broke down at 2. Even though it does eat up most of the day, I still get things done in the morning, and I got some mowing done in the evening. There is no "doing errands" in town when you have animals in the car and the temperature is over 70, so the Fast Food Ferals got fed, but not much else. Since it was "Purina Days" after all, I picked up a big bag of Purina Cat Chow with the donation money, for the Fast Food Ferals.
The Ithaca Festival was the same day, so I'm sure traffic was quite a bit slower than it otherwise would have been. It's always great to get "people time" though, and get out of my little 58 acre box in the country.