November 1st. Or in Katelyn-speak, October 32nd. 🙂 While you usually have to drag me kicking and screaming out of October, this is by no means meant to take away from any and all who may be celebrating a November birthday. In fact, when you consider the incredible variety of celebrations we have this month, all of which would not be possible without you, it only adds to the magic that we get to celebrate you, too, our amazing supporters with (and without) November birthdays.
So Happy November Birthdays, friends!
This month gets right off to a festive start on November 2nd when we celebrate the fourth arrival anniversary of our tiny bovine family.
I still remember the evening Betsy, Nutmeg, Honey and Meredith were due to arrive from their former California home with their caregivers from Farm Sanctuary. As preparations were underway in the weeks ahead of their arrival, it had been growing colder by the day and winter in all her glory was due to appear any time. One couldn’t help but wonder how the cattle were going to adjust to their new mountainous home, not to mention winter. What troopers they were! And are! Just like all our California transplants who have bravely thrived in their new homes. Thanks to you.
It’s a continual joy to watch this sweet family navigate the daily happenings of their home, their rowdy neighbors, and all the new adventures that come their way. Together. Just as it should be.
(L to R) Meredith and her mama, Honey, and Nutmeg and his mama, Betsy:
In their finest past winter’s floof:
Honey, Betsy, Nutmeg and Meredith:
Out in their new spring pasture earlier this year:
Next, we celebrate dear, beautiful Lucky, who turns 31 on November 6th. Just look at her!:
Rayne (background) and Dora and Lucky wrestling:
Lucky is a quiet person who often chooses to hangout in the background (unlike her brother, Cy), but make no mistake, she is just as present. Lucky can often be found just watching the happenings from a lofty perch, sometimes waiting for you to meet her gaze at which time if you’re very lucky she might decide to swing down or scoot over on her magic carpet of blankets to sit with you in quiet companionship, or surprise you as she launches into a wild and wildly unexpected game of chase. Or, as in the case with her particularly favored humans, who upon first sight she screams at like a banshee (often at breakfast or other meals) while presenting a toe or her belly in an excited greeting (which often continues well into the meal service before she stops screaming with joy and decides to eat.) 🙂 What a privilege to have any gift of time with her. We love her so much.
Then, on November 10th, Honey Cow turns 15!
Gorgeous Honey, don’t you just want to hug her?! Yeah, well, you probably don’t want to try that, Honey is not really into hugging. And isn’t that one of the joys of sanctuary? She is beloved and cared for just because she’s Honey Cow.
Two of the most valuable things in life, things every living being wants and deserves…the freedom to be and make one’s own choices. Jersey cows like Honey certainly are rarely allowed that right and because of you, Honey and her family get to live out their days with safety, dignity and the respect of their strict no-hugging policy (unless they change their minds of course). *Exceptions to this policy are sometimes made for scritches and brief bouts of brushing. Sometimes.
And on November 23rd, we celebrate Jody’s son, Levi, on his 39th birthday. He is the same age as Burrito. Levi was the last of the our resident chimpanzee mothers’ surviving children to make it to sanctuary. Honestly, I thought it may never happen. But after spending 33 years in biomedical research, at long last, in 2016 he and a group of 18 other chimpanzees were retired and made it safely to the amazing Chimp Haven in Louisiana. I remember what a sigh of relief it was knowing that all of Negra, Jody, Foxie, Annie and Missy’s living children were finally safe, could finally experience a different life in peace and dignity, like their mothers. We are profoundly grateful to the sanctuaries providing them wonderful homes.
This.Handsome.Guy! Happy Birthday, Levi! (photo courtesy of Chimp Haven):
Levi’s beautiful mama, Jody:
And of course, we always look forward to the chimpanzees’ and bovines’ Thanksgiving celebration on the 24th!
The contributions you make just by being here, walking alongside us and supporting the lives of those who call the sanctuary home in the myriad of ways you do continually astounds us. I hope you see the gift you are to so many. We are so grateful to, and for, you. Each of you. Have a wondrous November, all!