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Lots more to tell, but wanted to get these few images uploaded. Huggy Bear is here, is a sweet mama and her two babies have the CRAZIEST markings I've ever seen! Very striking mackerel tabbies!

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Your long journey off of DEATH ROW at Henry Co. Care & Control in Georgia is OVER. You will NEVER have to fear being euthanized for no good reason, again. You're only worry is if you should eat the canned food or the dry food that I put out for you. Other than that, kick back and enjoy the ride!

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I do believe Huggy enjoys the scenery and the smooth ride of my BMW! Yes, where is the cat carrier? Why is she loose in the car? Well NO ONE TOLD ME I WOULD NEED TO BRING A CAT CARRIER!!!! OOPS! I shoulda brought one, I know. Duh. More pix and updates SOON!

The Calm Before the Storm

I got up early, worried that I'd get a call from Chrissy, the transport driver, that they were running ahead of schedule and that I wouldn't have Huggy Mama's room ready! There was much to be done. I had to get my other fosters fed and watered, feed my guys, then get my swanky bathroom ready for Huggy.

This is my first rescue from a GA shelter. I'm worried that Huggy will not be so sweet. She'll be nasty, then I'll never be able to find her a good home. What if the kittens are skittish? Okay. I can work with that. I should be happy if that's their only behavior problem after being in a cage for over a month. What if they're sick? They shouldn't be, but geez, look where they came from. Using step pans and quarantine is not my idea of a welcoming committee, but hopefully it will only be for a few days and then we can move everyone to the nice big room.

Those poor kitties. What they've been through; being confined, the noise and smells of a shelter, the fear, the loneliness, the unending time stuck in a cat carrier in a transport vehicle. I have a brand new cat bed and a big fluffy blanket for them to rest on when they get here. There's fresh water out and food at hand. I plan on just letting them stretch out, relax and eat to their heart's content.

Part of me is thinking; "What have I done? I'm never going to find a home for an ADULT cat! She'll be here forever!" Well, I took this on and so be it. With any luck, by Christmas she'll have a forever home.

I have the same worry for Last Chance mama, too. I hope Jennifer has an easy time with her Mama and kittens. This is her first time fostering for us and I want it to go great. She's bent over backwards getting a big space ready for everyone. They have a dog crate for their first few days, lots of toys, bedding and food. She even got kitty stairs so Last Chance (whose name will soon be changed to, Kitty) will be able to get onto a bed that's in the foster room. I think I'd like to live there! Sounds pretty nice!

The transport is running late. Three more hours to go. In the meantime, I have an adopter coming over soon and another may come over after that. There's been LOTS of interest in Andie. I feel badly for the others. My big fear is that Mama won't get adopted. I'll hate to see her taken away from her children, but it means a good life for her if she can move on. She's such a sweet, mellow lady. I've grown quite fond of her in a short amount of time. I took a few photos of the kittens and mom together. It makes me sad to think soon their time together will come to an end, but that's how it goes...


Big News! Time to do the HAPPY DANCE!

Huggy Mama is OUT of Henry Co. and on to her temp. foster home. Instead of going to Indiana, she is coming right HERE to Covered in Cat Hair HQ for fostering until she and the babies find a forever home!

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Dilute Calico Mama is OUT of Henry Co. and also on her way to a temp. boarding facility where she will be out of harm's way until she can go to her foster placement!

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And this my friends, this is my great joy...this mama and her babies were going to be put down today, but at the very last minute we got a SUPER GENEROUS OFFER from one of our very own, beloved Covered in Cat Hair members, Jennifer, who is graciously opening her home to these at high risk foster babies! (Apparently, Jennifer just picked out names for them, not being able to wait for them to arrive!) This morning, Barb did her magic and I made a tearful call to Robin at Henry County to ask if these guys were still available (ALIVE) and she said YES. Once I found out, we got the balls rolling and Mama will be out TOMORROW.

And yes, I will put out ONE MORE request to bring in some funds to help cover the costs for this mama and her babies, but then I will shut up for awhile. Once we have a widget set up for their donations, I will post it and if you can help, super great. If not, then just send them your love. They need that, too!


And our spare, orphan was adopted by the woman who dropped her off a few days ago. We didn't raise funds for this little one, so no harm done and we are very happy she's off to a good home!


And believe it or not, Barb and Judy have managed to rescue even MORE cats than I have photographs of! I am SO SO HAPPY that all of you pitched in, gave up money during a friggen' recession, and sent so much love and support-well THANK YOU isn't enough, but that's what I got!


We've got MORE to rescue, so let's get to it!

Poopie thing I have to add: I hate to worry alone, so you should all remember that ALL these mamas MUST TEST NEGATIVE FOR FELINE LEUKEMIA AND FIV or ELSE I am gonna CRY and they are gonna have to be PTS. I'm sorry to rain on the parade, but we got them this far...hopefully this is just the beginning of their journey to their forever homes.

The Tweetie Chronicles: Epilogue

Two weeks ago, Tweetie went to visit Sockington & Pennycat and has yet to return. I've checked in on him quite a few times and each time he tells me he's enjoying himself and that Food Lady and Fatty, err...Mr. Scott are very nice to him, too.

He's not quite sure what to make of the pale lady cat. She gives off a funny vibe, so he's staying clear. Mr. Sockington seems strangely familiar and it's comforting to spend time with him now that "Socks" isn't hissing so often. It's also delightful to have lots more space where he can run. Living in the bathroom was getting boring. One can only play with the faucet and flush the toilet so many times.

There's still no final word on whether or not Tweetie will become a permanent member, and highest ranking, but shortest, Officer in the Sock Army, but seeing this video, gave me the feeling that things are, at least, going fairly well.

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A frame showing Tweetie in his first Supporting Role, from the newly released Socksamillion video, celebrating Socks's One Millionth Follower on Twitter (though now he's at 1.03 mil). Go Socks! You can see the rest, HERE. Tweetie's getting so BIG!

I'm very proud of Tweetie and I'm glad I worked so hard to give him every chance to break the desire to return to his feral roots...and glad I had the backing from my Director to do so. It was a long, scary journey, but now looking back, things fell into place just perfectly-as perhaps they were meant to all along?

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This is my artist's interpretation showing Tweetie with Sockington. Some day I hope they'll really sit for a portrait together. Thank you to Jason Scott for allowing me to use the photo of Socks.

Will Tweetie find his forever home with Socks & Penny? Even if he doesn't, he's had a Hell of a run; the support and love of new friends from all over the world and more than a moment in the spotlight. It's far more than most (former!) feral kittens could ever dream for, but in this little kitten's case, he hit the jackpot and I couldn't have asked for a happier ending.

I'm sure Tweetie's story will continue on through his updates on Twitter; both as a spokescat for The Animal Center and also as his sly, devilish, no-holds-barred self. It's time for me to re-focus my efforts. I have more kittens to rescue; some from death row at kill shelters in the south, some from just down the street. Wherever they come from, be assured there'll be more stories like Tweetie's, filled with challenges, heartbreak and joy. I hope you'll keep visiting, Covered in Cat Hair and join me as I continue that journey learning the ropes of being a Cat Rescuer and try to maintain my sanity living with seven (and more) cats.

Truly Humbled

I'm really choked up right now. After three years of writing stories about my life with cats and feeling fine about basically talking to myself, (I think I had about 20 visitors a day if I was lucky) I am humbled and surprised to learn that people not only read my words, but find some inspiration and hope in them.

I want to particularly thank Michelle, Stephanie and Anne for their heartfelt comments regarding the post about my Mother. It's a great gift to read your stories about your life. We share our suffering-how we got there is a different path, but we know the sting of difficult relationships and it binds us together.

To all the good people who have been supportive of my crazy desire to save every single cat from death, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Thank you for following Tweetie's story and for learning that even a troubled feral kitten can one day be a shining star! Thank you for enjoying my stories and goofy photos. I love to share them with all of you and it provides me an outlet for those days when cat rescue or my own cats drive me to the edge of despair.

I do not feel worthy of the virtual hug you've given me, but I'm determined to earn it each and every day. I have many more stories to share, so I better get back to it.

Until then, know, from the bottom of my cold, shriveled heart that I am very grateful to you for visiting Covered in Cat Hair and taking the time to let me know you're rooting for me!

Thank you very much and Good Night.

The Tweetie Chronicles: Chapter Eleven, The Meeting

I admit I've been dragging my feet about writing this chapter. It means that the last few stories I'm able to share about Tweetie will draw to a close; even though there IS so much more to this story than I can tell here, right now. Reflecting on our last day together, too, will remind me that my relationship with one, very special kitten is also possibly coming to an end.

The Meeting

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If you don't already know this, introducing a new cat into a home where there's already one or more cats, should be done with great care. As with people meeting one another, first impressions matter. Get off on the wrong foot, or paw, in this case, and it can set up years of discord, damage to the home and stress for all concerned.

When the new cat is about to meet a Celebukitty, there's even more at stake. Not only is their meeting going to be of concern to their new family, but to the Global Press at large. Will the headlines read: "Sockington Rebuffs Tiny Twin, Tweetie" or "Sockington Welcomes Ward Warmly"?

The answer won't be completely obvious for some time. You simply MUST be patient about how things will pan out. Be willing to give it time, whether it be hours or MONTHS, for your cats to all get along. They may never sleep snuggled together on your bed, but at least they should respect each other's space and not fight. You must NEVER toss the new cat into a room and "let them work it out" with the cats whose home has been usurped!

A Few Introduction Tips

The new kitten or cat must be separated from the group, in their own space, with their own litter pan, food, bed and toys. It will be their "safe haven" when the day comes that they're allowed the freedom to explore the rest of the home. It's from this separate room that the introductions are done, either by opening the door slightly or, in our case, by putting window screens across the doorway.

Even though Sockington and Penny are famous kitties and it's really really cool that Tweetie looks a lot like Socks, their introduction is a serious matter. This is about their lives together as a new family, not a publicity stunt.

The Big Moment

I had a can of what I call "Kitty Crack." It's the one brand of cat food I've never seen a cat turn away from. I won't say what it's called (Solid Gold), but it's really expensive and if they want to ship me a crate, that would be awesome!

The plan was to feed Penny and Socks this delicious treat on one side of Tweetie's room divider, with Tweetie being fed on the other. This would help the cats to associate a positive experience with seeing each other. Using window screens, the cats could see and smell each other through the screen, but Tweetie would be safe from harm should one of the cats decide to lunge at him.

Food Lady, Mr. Scott, Sam and I stood breathlessly as Food Lady put down food for Penny and Socks.

Penny didn't even get close to the screen or her food. She figured out what was going on and immediately ran off. At least she wasn't aggressive. No tasty treat was going to change her mind. This left Socks to meet Tweetie.

Socks wasn't sure what to make of the creature behind the screen. His skinny tail puffed up while Tweetie looked eagerly at him. There was a sharp "hiss" from Socks, who wanted to lick at the yummy food, but was distracted by his tiny doppleganger.

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Curious, Socks took a step closer. Tweetie, remained eager and friendly, with tail held high. Perhaps he hoped he could play with Socks soon?

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Socks and Tweetie sniffed each other's face through the screen. Though Tweetie did nothing to provoke him, Socks hissed and Tweetie hissed only in retaliation. This cat may be big and look strangely familiar, but Tweetie wasn't gonna be no scaredy cat.

Food Lady reached down to comfort Socks, but shocked by the sudden distraction, he lashed out with another quick hiss, this time at Food Lady. This is not unusual and it's worth noting that when a cat is stressed, a comforting voice, staying neutral is great, but hands off until the cat is in a relaxed state. Yes, this is how I got bit-trying to handle a cat who was highly stressed and I assumed I could deal with him. Wrong! Sometimes it's better to let things cool off a bit, if possible.

Fortunately, Food Lady was only startled, but not hurt. Socks just wanted to let us know he was distressed at this visitor. Point taken.

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Then Tweetie was given some food, which he happily ate, regardless of the giant cat towering over him with the rather silly attempt to scare him with his almost pouffless tail. We all had hoped that Socks would just eat and relax, instead of try to look menacing, but he ran off.

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With a bit of cajoling, we were able to encourage Socks to return. Tweetie was still ready to be friends, but Socks wasn't ready for that. With a short, guttural growl and quick hiss, Socks ran off again, seemingly for good, this time. Poor Tweetie. He just wanted to make friends. He behaved far better than I could have hoped. He didn't run and hide. He didn't flip out. He was brave and confident. Gone was the fearful feral kitten I once knew.

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Finally, Face to Face. Tweetie Wonders; "Are You My Daddy?"

Even though the introduction was far from a Hollywood Ending, it could have been much worse. Penny will need time to come around or she'll just stay in "her space" and avoid any interaction with Tweetie. Socks showed interest and although felt threatened by the newcomer, he returned, just moments after running off, with tail held high, looking as fabulous and calm as ever.

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It was time for me to go. Enough excitement for all the kitties for one day. Time to let them all relax. I asked for a moment to say goodbye to Tweetie and everyone kindly left the room. I stepped over the window screens and Tweetie dashed behind the toilet. I called to him and he came right over to me. Unsure of what was going on in this new place, with new smells and a giant cat hissing at him, he was still willing to leave the safety of his hiding place. I picked him up, then was surprised to see a mirror on the wall in front of us. I hadn't noticed it before. Tweetie looked at the reflection just as I did. I took a mental portrait of us at that moment, sorely wishing I had my camera. It was the first time I ever saw myself with Tweetie and it made me tear up. I realized this may be the last time I ever hold this sweet little cat. The last time I feel his quick purr or hear his goofy burble. I got to this moment with a lot of hard work, patience, a few painful bites on my finger and a lot of love. Though my heart suddenly ached, there was nothing more that I could do other than to kiss his forehead and leave him to settle in his new home. I promised myself I wouldn't cry in front of his new family. It was a tough promise to keep.

This is my life; to socialize feral kittens and to help find them good homes. I'd done my part. Now it was up to Food Lady and the rest of her family to decide if Tweetie will be a good fit in their home. Part of me wishes it wouldn't work out so I could take him back, but I realize I'm being entirely selfish and this just feels like the place where Tweetie was meant to be-I know again with my silly predictions!

I hope that Sockington and Penny will find their way to love Tweetie, as I have, and that their home is filled with a lifetime of joy. I really enjoyed meeting Socks. He's just awesome in every way. I'd love to get to know Penny. I feel badly we only had a moment to visit with her. She's really a beautiful girl. I wish I could tell them both that it's going to be okay. That they'll still be just as famous and just as loved, if not moreso than before.

Food Lady and Fat...err...Mr. Scott are both focused on what's best for all the cats. Their sincere desire to make certain the introduction is done in the most positive manner possible is truly impressive. They're very good people who I hope to become friends with as the days pass.

Here's to new beginnings-a new chapter, of either Tweetie's visit?...or Tweetie's rise to fame, alongside his older mentor, Sockington?

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What will happen to this little fella? He no longer has to fear being released into the woods, but will Tweetie's visit turn into an adoption or will he come back to Connecticut to find a new home?

All I can say about that is, of course, stay tuned...and...shoot! I forgot to get a pawtograph!

The Tweetie Chronicles: Chapter Ten, Part Two of Two

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Tweetie was a marvelous passenger. Although he seemed a bit limp and sad, perhaps it was his reaction to the stress of highway sounds? Maybe it was just being a kitten and needing a nap? He settled down quickly. I offered him some toys to play with, but he wasn't interested. I didn't push it with him, instead just offered to pet him, which he seemed to give him some comfort. I could feel him purring through my fingers.

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Within a short time, Tweetie was fast asleep on my hand. I didn't move it, figuring I have a spare hand, so if this one falls off due to inadequate blood flow, then heck, I'm mostly right handed, so no big deal. Somehow I managed to send out a few Tweets and the above two photos to everyone to let them know we were making progress and would be reaching Socks Army HQ soon. We didn't hit much traffic and the threatening looking weather moved on, only releasing a modest shower, instead of a torrent. We pulled into the driveway of...hey! I'm NOT telling you the TOP SECRET LOCATION OF SOCKS ARMY HQ! Are you kidding me?! I had to sign a blood oath never to divulge this secret!...

...and low and behold, who should walk out to welcome us, but Food Lady, herself! (no photos, please!)

As I got out of the car, I got slapped by hot, humid air. It was nasty! Socks Army HQ has so many different operations that only certain sectors of the HQ are chilled. When we entered HQ and were escorted to Tweetie's new temporary quarters, I realized Tweetie was going to be very warm, indeed. I started to worry. His quarters were small and sequestered from the lavish surroundings that Socks and Penny enjoy. I kept reminding myself that this was "just for a few days" and that the weather was going to break that night (which it did, thankfully and things cooled down and dried out nicely). Food Lady had everything ready. We released Tweetie and instead of hiding or hissing, he casually walked around and was a proper gentleman and showed Food Lady he knew how to use his new litter pan!

With fresh food and water laid out before him, we decided to let him rest a bit while we sought refuge in the cool chambers of the HQ's main conference room. I was trying to be polite and not demand to know where Sockington and Penny were. We met with, well he's called Fatty, but I would rather call him, Mr. Scott, so we met with Mr. Scott who told us to prepare for the meeting. That we should not expect a warm greeting, but if Sockington did honor us with his presence that we should be delighted-well of course!

He called Sockington on a Top Secret wireless device. Within a moment I heard paws landing on stair steps. I turned from my seat on the floor (my choice) and there he was...Socks!

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What an elegant, sleek, regal beast! Socks came right over to me sniffed my hand. I was told he wouldn't let me pet him, but he did! He even gave my hand a few welcoming licks. I still haven't washed it! Maybe I can get the DNA from it and clone a new Socks? Mwwwaahahahaha!

So anyway, Socks is fantastic. He's quite tall and his tail is impressively long, featuring a "tail light" (white tip) as I call it. He was also very friendly with Sam, but I'm not sure if it was because he liked Sam or that Sam's hands smelled like the grilled chicken sandwich he ate in the car on the drive up?

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Maybe Socks was just being polite?

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He certainly seemed calm and relaxed in front of the camera. You can tell he knows he's famous! He posed carefully for me, making sure he gave me his good side forward (with Socks, though, all sides are good!). I couldn't get over how much Socks looked like Tweetie. I mean, Tweetie looked like Mr. Sockington, excuse me!

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I did my best to be witty and entertaining, but in truth, I think I bored Socks. Though he tried to stay with the conversation, it was just too beneath his standards.

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Eventually, he decided he'd had enough and wanted to have a wee nap.

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But what about meeting Tweetie??! Should we do the introductions? I'd finally gotten Tweetie within a football field (Hey, Socks Army HQ is big!) of Sockington, but I KNOW introductions have to be done properly, or you open a whole world of hurt on yourself!

Suddenly Penny entered the room and it was clear, as sweet and lovely as she is in person, she was also in NO MOOD to meet no stinkin' kitten!

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I gulped hard. What had I done?! Was this just a foolish, selfish, idiotic move on my part? Clearly Penny was not happy. Socks didn't know what was waiting for him in the next room. Maybe I should just take Tweetie home with me and forget this ever happened! At least I got to meet The Most Famous Cat on the Internet and geez, everyone is going to be so jealous of me! Woohoo! Take that rich, creepy, materialistic, selfish, evil, elephant-eared family members, who shall remain nameless, but know who they are! Nyah!

What am I gonna do? What will become of Tweetie???

'til next time, World. 'til next time...

The Tweetie Chronicles: Chapter Ten, Part One of Two

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My journey with Tweetie ends today. Though I'll still be involved with his life, it'll be from a distance. I've been sick with some sort of stomach bug for a few days and my hormones are percolating at dangerous levels. I'm tired. A perfect day to drive a 280 mile round trip to Boston!

My brain isn't working. I hate being a woman sometimes. Get whacked out hormones, always at the worst possible time, then try to act like a "normal" person while under duress. Ugh.

At the last minute I told Sam I was in trouble and asked him what I should do. Instead of doing the trip solo, Sam offered to drive me. If the weather turned bad, which was likely, he'd have 4wd on his car and I'd not have the stress of the drive up. I didn't want to lean on him, but I had to admit it might be the best for most of us and I promised I'd buy gas and a load of Lox and Bagels at Rein's Deli on the way home. What that man won't do for fish, I swear.

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The plan was to leave at 2pm to avoid the worst of Boston traffic. Before leaving, I spent some quality time playing and hanging out with Tweetie. All he wanted to do was sit on my lap, play while sitting on my lap or bite my pants. It was a true Hallmark moment.

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I packed up some of Tweetie's favortie toys, a cat blanket that Food Lady brought us that smelled like Sockington, a few cans of food and Tweetie's Vet records. The last thing I packed was Tweetie's Adoption Contract.

Yes. Adoption. Contract. It seems that Food Lady has a bit of a crush on Tweetie to the point of feeling it may just be Kismet that Tweetie should come to live alongside his older twin, Sockington and his cohort in crime, Penny. I've known that this was a possibility since July 23rd. I even predicted it would happen! For some reason, I felt I needed to write down my gut feeling after I'd received a note from Jason, asking to come visit Tweetie. I sealed the prediction in an envelope and showed it to Sam to witness it. Now if I could only get my own Psychic Hotline, maybe I could afford my Vet bill!

I wasn't able to say anything about the possibility until enough time and meetings had passed so that everyone felt comfortable with the idea that maybe Tweetie was destined to be part of the family? Tweetie will be on probation once he arrives at The Socks Army HQ and it'll be up to Food Lady, Fatty, Socks & Penny whether or not Tweetie will stay on "forever."

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Even if it doesn't work out, Tweetie can always come home to me and I'll find him, maybe not as an exciting home, but a home nonetheless. No pressure. No worries. There are NO villains here. First...let's get Tweetie to Boston and see what happens next.

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We packed up the car and Sam put the car into "drive." Tweetie began crying hysterically. Within less than a block, I'd gotten out of the car and jumped into the back seat, where I stayed for the remainder of the trip. Tweetie was content once he had company. My hormones settled down once I started to pet him. I tried to push the thought out of my mind that this was it-this was the last few hours I was going to spend with Tweetie. I felt my gut lurch and tears well up in my eyes. Was it my tummy troubles returning or the inevitable sadness of letting go? I started this journey fully ready to be responsible for whatever the outcome: releasing Tweetie to the woods or finding him a home. It was never in the plan to keep him with my clutter, but I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't be tough to say goodbye.

Ready or not, it was time to carry on; to leave Connecticut and make our way northeast.


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