The Cee Cee Factor

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

I don’t even cook for Mr. Kaminski, and here I am cooking for hummingbirds and babysitting Hatcher! Thanks Cee Cee!

Growing up Mother was always particular about my friends and associates.  It was the “influence” conversation that I not only can quote verbatim, it’s the same conversation I had with my babies.  “So-and-so is a not a good influence.  You can’t hang out with them.”

I never gave it much thought as to why I repeated this mantra.  It seemed to be ingrained in my psyche under the category of “responsible parenting,” so I just went with it.

Fast forward to me being a full-grown adult, I find myself walking the walk of a friend’s influence.  Fortunately, this friend is an amazing, considerate, philanthropic individual, and I find myself unwittingly doing what she would do this summer.  I call it “The Cee Cee Factor.”

My beloved Cee Cee loves all critters big and small.  It can be a stinging, angry insect, a rodent or even a poisonous snake, and she will not end it.  I am not that girl.  I will end anything in my environment that I find annoying, dangerous or just plain creepy.  I’m fairly certain this policy keeps Mr. Kaminski awake at night.  I don’t abide by critters living in my house or on my property unless they are paying rent.  In my 50 plus years of experience, I’ve never met a critter who presented me a rent check on the first, hence their immediate eviction.

Cee Cee not only doesn’t collect rent from the menagerie of critters that she crosses paths with, she takes care of them.  She feeds them, makes sure they have ample water and protection, relocates them as needed and creates habitats for them.  And I’m talking all beasts imaginable.  She has deer, a racoon, squirrels, possums, a dog, a cat, multiple turtles, every bird imaginable, butterflies, fish and a virtual botanical garden of flora and fauna.  Of course, she has a horse as she is an avid rider.  She has a special needs turtle, Farley, that she prepares meals for and feeds by hand.  She has climbed a tree to save a hawk.  She has driven hours to relocate any nature of beasts.  I promise you the woman is Snow White; even her birds come when she calls them.

For years, I have just rolled my eyes silently at Cee Cee’s collection of critters and her dedication to them.  Caring for her brood is a lot of work, work that she happily undertakes on the daily.  And sure, I admit I do enjoy going to her house and seeing some of them in their natural environment thriving.

Last summer Cee Cee spent some time with me in Colorado.  One of her first orders of business was to prepare food for the hummingbirds and get my feeder up and running.  Next came the other birds – making certain they were fed, and enticing them to cooperate as she spent hours taking photos of them.  She’s also an amazing wildlife photographer, of course.

Fast forward to this summer, and what am I doing?  Cooking for the hummingbirds twice a week.  Putting old bread out in the back yard for the birds rather than throwing it away.  I even babysat my neighbor’s 10-week-old Rottweiler puppy!  Something has happened to me; it’s definitely Cee Cee’s influence.  It’s “The Cee Cee Factor.”

I hate to cut this short, but a doe has been hanging out in my yard, and yesterday during her afternoon visit, she had two wobbly newborn fawns in tow.  She looks thin.  I’m going to town to buy her some corn.  See y’all next week – on the porch!

Patti Parish-Kaminski

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