Somehow, the weather has warmed up to fifteen degrees and we've been assigned a task: take the farm cats to the vet. Rounding up the little critters, who could be anywhere from beneath one of the many trucks to a mile out "roaming" proves more difficult than I’d imagined. While we search, I reflect on my discoveries of the night before, which mainly consist of two things: the first being that Nebraskans greatly enjoy Pitch, a card game where seemingly meaningless cards like 2's and 3's take on supreme importance and your greatest asset is being able to Star Trek mind meld with your partner across the table and, the second, that the people are oddly enough very spirited about college volleyball (Go Huskers!). Never having been a large sports fan myself, I did my best to enjoy the game, but ended up falling asleep next to Bella, whose careful training I had begun to destroy from the first moment I’d stepped into the house. Already she knew that with me, she could scoot away from her designated dog mats in each room, and wouldn’t be scolded for aggressively jumping into my lap.
Tired and with a wine headache, we don’t even attempt to get the cats into the carrier once they’re found, and they leap around the car meowing as we drive. The cats, brothers Summit and Griffon, are unceremoniously plopped into a single carrier for the short trip between the car and vet’s office. Inside, we wait seated across from a man in a trucker hat and camo Huskers jacket, holding a dog smaller than a football. Curious about the locals, I question him and discover the dog is for his Ma who lives in what he describes as a small town. I hide my confusion as best as I can, deciding that what he considers "small" must just mean alone, in the wilderness, with the coyotes and cattle.
After a short wait and a quick check-up, we’re told that both Peter's cats have tape worms due to hunting and consuming raw meat, but the vet's run out of her supply of vaccines (how vets simply run out of common animal medication is mind boggling, but I remember the stories of pioneer towns where the train comes through only a three times a year and figure this must be some sort of similar situation). There’s no choice but to locate medication ourselves. During our search, we drive past the Creation Museum, a one story building boasting a 12 foot wooden dinosaur on the front lawn and a sign which claims possession of proof that the earth is, in truth, only 4000 years old. Peter refuses to take me inside out of embarrassment. I am determined to work on this later, as I am incredibly curious to not only the contents of the museum, but the people inspired enough by this belief to work there.
At the general store (Trottin' Todd's? I've forgotten the exact name...) I peruse the giant collection of embroidered butterfly sweatshirts, hunting jackets and cowboy hats hanging from the ceiling. We locate the last of the tape word meds – there truly was a shortage – and book it back to Peter's Mom's office where the kitties have taken up residence. Upon arrival, we are pleased to discover that Peter’s mother had been kind enough to surprise us with massages at the local spa. "The masseuse is from Las Angeles," says his mother, "her husband got a great job here and they just packed up and moved." I feel this lady and I may have some immediate connection, both being stranded here for the ones we love… granted, at least I'll be allowed to return home in a week...