shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

5Mar onward - and 2 kitties at Wadi Fanja again

5 Mar 09 was Thursday, another start to weekend in Oman.

We booked ourselves on a snorkelling trip with a couple of other friends. You recalled the last dive I had was during turtle watching using swimming goggles and just waddling distance near the place we stayed. Even then, the fishes and invertebrates were just fantastic. I looked forward to finally getting myself underwater in Oman and taken by boat to a spot outside next to an offshore island in near pristine conditions. What could we have seen then using our optically corrected dive masks. In water crystal clear and free of pollution and free of the army of divers present in most other diving places. Beautiful beautiful Oman is largely off the beaten tracks.

A call from that boating company came and told us the wind blowing offshore was too strong and the sea too choppy.

Inshallah! A trip we looked forward for weeks got scratched. We had other plans on Friday so a postponement to next day was sadly not possible.

So we decided to take the creatures to Wadi Fanja on Thursday morning.
Katie had other business to do. She did not appear when I called and called for her. I decided I had better things to do than call for a kitty.

So Riam and Dommie joined us for that wadi trip.

Potoset Flickr folder Wadi Fanja 2 cats + 1 bird again
Many more photos in folder as only a few are shown in livejournal entry

That was why in the first part of Flickr folder, you see only Dommie with us.



The photo above showed the context of our little basecamp and the thorn bush so important in giving precious shade.

The most dramatic event of this day was not captured on camera.

Along the course of the day, I flew Riamfada on recall to me starting with her on top of the SUV. You knew we were at the Wadi Fanja because the boating/snorkeling trip was cancelled because of strong off shore winds.
Riamfada flew very well to me at my cue. Then a very strong gust of wind caught her and she tried her best to fly to me in gusty cross winds, much stronger than the stiff cross winds I related when we were at Seifa beach. She veered to me trying her best to get to me but she could not overcome the wind and was blown away. Riamfada looped around and tried to fly to me again. She could not adjust her angle and was blown off a second time. She bravely hold her own and made yet another approach to me. I was as worried as she was gutsy. Tinkerbell had managed cross winds stronger than that day. But you knew Tink flown with me so many times.

I could see Riamfada tiring and her third attempt to me was foiled by the winds. She started to loop away from me and I had no choice but to bring in the line. She landed hard onto the rocks behind the basecamp. I rushed to her and was relieved to find her shaken but ok. In the shelter of the rocks and closer to ground with less wind, she flew to me.

Friday was the day that Jessica was to come over to our villa to see Riamfada in the context of home equiped to let her fly and to be more acquaintted prior to her looking after Riamfada.

Jessica little girl got sick in the morning. So sadly, Jessica was unable to come over.

I decided to see if Dommie would be happy to enjoy the beach. I fixed Dommie's harness to be exact fitting. With leash on, we took him to a nearby isolated beach. I wore a pair of jeans this time. I learned the folly of wearing a pair of baggy shorts when taking a cat to the beach. Having had that traumatic experience once with a cat trying to seek shelter up in a pair of baggy shorts, I was not going to try that again. By persuasion and carrying, Dommie was taking to edge of the sea.

Dom was still very unhappy even though the sea was calm with little waves. With one backward swipe of his hindleg, he freed himself from the harness that I thought was not free-able. So I was wrong in thinking my harness was escape proof for cats. At least you know I am honest with you all. But I am sure my harness is much better than other commercial cat harness. And I rather Dommie be comfortable in harness than to adjust it for real tight fitting, less escapable and that much more uncomfortable to her.

Once away from sight of the sea, he was fine and stayed with us and moved with us.

10 & 11 Mar 09 or Tues & Wed were public holidays in Oman to commenorate Prophet Muhammed birthday. As with all public holidays in Oman, none of us knew exactly when that will be so it became difficult to plan to take bridging vacation for a nice long stretch of break.

So it was on 10 Mar 09, the five of us went to Wadi Fanja. I was hoping that Katie would get over her earlier funk when she refused to leave base camp to join us. Katie was not the smartest cat, and my wife referred to her as '2 sandwich short of a picnic'. But Katie is adorable not withstanding her attempts to maim me or kill me. And she slept on my side of the bed against me.

Dommie liked car rides. You can see that from the photos where he watched the scenery flashed by. Katie remained on the floor of the car hiding herself under my seat.

Potoset Flickr folder Wadi Fanja 2 cats + 1 bird again
Many more photos in folder as only a few are shown in livejournal entry



We set up the usual base camp in the shade of the thorny bush. The kitties stayed around us. From time to time, they went off on a bit of exploration and then came back to us. If too far out of sight, I would call and Katie or Dommie would appear again.

We had our lunch and read a bit and time passed by.

We then walked to the waters of the wadi. Dommie came readily. Katie was still nervous and stayed under the car refusing to come to my repeated calls.
We reached the water and Dom just enjoyed it. Then as we walked back and near basecamp, I saw Katie still under the car. I called, and Katie picked up her courage and moved hesitantly to me. I just had to let Katie enjoy the waters especially as she seemed mentally prepared this time.

I decided to turn around and walked to the waters calling at Katie to join us.
She did so.

And the five of us went back to the waters.

Potoset Flickr folder Wadi Fanja 2 cats + 1 bird again
Many more photos in folder as only a few are shown in livejournal entry

In above video, you see and hear me calling to Dom and Katie and their response.

I was pleased that Katie showed no fear of the water. They played about in the pools and the grass, entranced by the fishes and little frogs there as well as with each other.

Then we went back to basecamp with the kitties following us when I called them.

A few kids from Fanja came to join us, fascinated with the two crazy Chinese with a parrot and two cats in the shade of a thorn bush in their backyard.

Of course, Riamfada did some flights to entertain them before we left.

Why not?

They shared their beautiful wadi with us and giving them delight is a price I willingly pay and especially as they did not ask for it.






Potoset Flickr folder Wadi Fanja 2 cats + 1 bird again
Many more photos in folder as only a few are shown in livejournal entry

If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice


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