Saturday, June 4, 2011

We [heart] Caboodles.

We spent about an hour at Caboodle Ranch today, and now Craig Grant is my new man-crush.

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Those cats are crazy about him, and it's mutual.  They are clear-eyed, healthy, inquisitive and happy.  He says he works about 14 hours a day, and has help from four other part-time volunteers.

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Debbie, a volunteer

I'm going to paraphrase what he said;  that's journalism:  'I used to suffer from depression a lot.  You have a house, you're supposed to decorate it, have all the right pictures on the wall.  I had that.  I wasn't happy.  Now I'm never depressed.  You don't need that crap to be happy.  I tell you, if you find yourself happy, don't change anything.'

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Now he lives on the ranch, sleeps in a sleeping bag on the floor, surrounded with whichever cats want to sleep near or on him.

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The Caboodle Ranch blog - you'll bite yourself if you don't check out these pictures.  He says currently there are about 500 cats living on the ranch.  Look for the recent Purina donation!

Caboodle Ranch website - go here to donate $1 if you've got it to spare.




It was in the low 90° neighborhood today, although it felt cooler here in the woods.  There are dozens of water features around the ranch, with spring water flowing in and out of them constantly.

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You'll never see all 500 unless you happen to be around for feeding time.

Bonus fact:  There is one degree of separation between me and Stephen Colbert.  That makes 2° between me and Jon Stewart, my other man.

Craig Grant is The Enemy Within.












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FIV+ enclosure and shelter

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A popular water park

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I shudder to think what happened to those tiny shoppers.

   
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Catsimile

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Cat ciao!


A semi-local reporter answers other questions I had, too.  Thanks to a commenter for pointing me toward this article.






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23 comments:

Merikay said...

I WANT TO GO THERE!

I Will check out the web site and probably make a donation. This looks like a wonderful rescue place.

Merikay said...

I am definitely going to get a pair of the shoes from their shop. $60 is a bit rick for my budget, but I assume a good part of it goes to the ranch.

I want to get to a shoe store that has similar Keds to figure out my size before I order.

They would be great slip ons for my nonexistent RV.

Carolyn said...

wanna go ... he need any more volunteers? what a beautiful beautiful story and organization..

The Good Luck Duck said...

Yay, Merikay! And, you can always get the slip-ons first, then work on the RV.

Carolyn: Yes! He does need volunteers. The work is pretty much endless, as you can imagine.

wheelingit said...

COOoooL!! My kinda crazy spot! Love it!
Nina

Karen and Al said...

He is an amazing man! Anyone who loves cats is okay in my book. I think we'll try to visit and will definitely make a donation.

Wish I could have given him some of the stuff we sold/gave away at our garage sales!

Where are you guys now? I think you might be close by. We're in White Springs.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Nina, it's a good place!

Karen: yes! we're north of Lake City, a couple of miles off 10!

Tesaje said...

What cute cat houses!

Neat place.

Steve said...

Oh look another cat, oh look another cat, OH MY GAWD IT'S AN INVASION!!!!

pidge said...

Love this place. Where is this located? I hate to think I was really close to it and didn't go see it. These kitties are so lucky to live there.

Nanette said...

Great job on your blog! So glad you had a great visit, and we really enjoyed your photos! I will be posting Craig's latet photos on the website tonight, from just a week ago. Craig told me he enjoyed meeting you all and was happy to show you around. The caboodles give you two paws up! :D
~Nanette~

The Good Luck Duck said...

Tesaje, it's very cool, and so nice to see how much pride he takes in making the cats comfortable.

Steve - HAR!

Pidge - it's just outside of Lee, about 45 minutes from the falls. We didn't tell our own cats about the place; it would fill them with discontent over their own living quarters.

Nanette - thank you for stopping in! You guys and the caboodles get 5 stars!

Four Windows with a View said...

OMG...I can't think of anything else to say!!!

Save the Kitties said...

The REAL Caboodle Ranch when visitors are not around:
www.facebook.com/caboodleranch.savethekitties

The Good Luck Duck said...

Save, you're doing what you think is best, I'm sure. I wish no cat was ever unwanted or discarded or sick or injured, or waiting on death row in a shelter. While I sit around and wait for that Utopia, I feel grateful to Craig, and others like him who will pour themselves into making a difference for these guys.

Roxanne

Sherry said...

I've been on a read blogs vacation and am far behind on my dose of laughter from your blog. Catching up now though.

This place is GREAT. Love the pictures and the tiny mall-wart shoppers. LOL

I needed this. Thanks a lot.

Sherry
www.directionofourdreams.blogspot.com

Annie said...

I wasn't going to respond to Save the Kitties comment but it's bugging me that our blog is being used in her anti-Caboodle vendetta.

I was around when the controversy first broke months ago, I read the arguments on facebook and livejournal, looked at the photos and came away from it all very unimpressed in their 'evidence' against Caboodle. I saw photos of sick cats, with runny eyes and respiratory infections and horror stories about filthy conditions. When we were there Saturday, out of all the cats we saw, there was just a handful of sick cats, with goopy eyes or respiratory issues. It happens, a community of cats is like an elementary school. If you want your kid to get sick, just send him to school. Put a bunch of cats (or dogs or people or whatever) together in a community and they're going to pass around illness. They sometimes get sick, they sometimes get injured and yes, folks, sometimes they die from these things. There's not a shelter or rescue or nursing home where this doesn't happen. Shelters and rescues and nursing homes do what they can to prevent as much illness and injury as possible. I am absolutely convinced Caboodle is doing everything it can to keep all of these hundreds of cats as healthy and happy as possible. Craig saw that a kitten had goopy eyes while we were there and stopped to treat it, he didn't hide it or ignore it, he stopped what he was doing and helped it.

What I saw on Saturday was a man who adores these cats, every one of them. And the cats, they adore him, too. He called for his babies and they came running. They all wanted to be with him. They were inquisitive and friendly to us, too. These are not abused or neglected animals. They were happy and bright eyed and just a joy to be around. It's easy to tell when cats are stressed, these cats aren't.

Having had as many as 8 cats living with us, we know how much of a chore it is to keep things clean. You have to clean up after them constantly or you're quickly overrun with filth. I was astounded at how tidy everything was at Caboodle. There wasn't feces or trash laying around, it was obviously well-maintained.

So, to those on a mission to destroy Caboodle, you won't find a follower in us. If you spent as much time actually helping animals as you do trying to bring down Craig then you could be a hero, too.

The Good Luck Duck said...

What she said.

Roxanne

Anonymous said...

I have spent about a week at Caboodle this year, the last 4 days in March. Craig spends 12 hour days every day taking care of the cats. I helped nurse Bunker, a cat sent back by the vet to die of liver disease. Craig gave fluids, and I held, comforted, and hand-fed Bunker for 4 days. When I left, he was eating on his own. I just received a picture of him, all healthy and happy. Terminally ill cats are not sent back to die slow, agonizing deaths, as mentioned in Save the Kitties site. They are cared for, made comfortable, and medicated as needed. Improvements are always being made at the Ranch, and the new infirmary and FIV barn are operational. I want Caboodle to flourish and will spend my energy building, not destroying. Thanks for letting me comment. Dale
(I am only signing "anonymous" on this post because I don't know what URL is.)

¡Vizcacha! said...

Thanks, Dale. That's all very good to hear - thanks for helping Craig and the caboodles!

Roxanne

Anonymous said...

Sorry, according to their website. They don't allow volunteers. In the past volunteers have reported them.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, anonymous, maybe SOME volunteers reported some things, but if you're referring to me, Dale with the comment above, I was pleased with my visit.I had met Craig before the "no volunteer" message went on the website and I was thrilled he allowed me to come during a FL vacation. I have train tickets from NJ to Jacksonville, Days Inn receipts from Lee, Florida, car rental receipts, and pictures of me with the cats at Caboodle. I was allowed to visit and stay a few days, I suppose because I truthfully wanted to help the cats, and Craig accepted that. I did everything I said above, and will continue to help. My goal is helping cats, not perpetuating rumors and ill will. Caboodle is in terrific shape, but will always try to improve. I came upon it by researching,and I have no vested interest other than wanting it to succeed.

Irish said...

I love Craig and all his moggies,cant wait til June because i will be there helping him rebuild :O)

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