FFRC’s The Whole Scoop


By: Cindy A. Gliottone


Welcome to FFRC’s first edition of “THE WHOLE SCOOP”. I thought I would write you some funny short stories about the FFRC cats. It could be about the Residents, the Covies, the Porchies, the Barnies or the Firecats. Will it be real or made up? So without further ado let’s jump into it!



For our first story I thought we would go outside the main area and choose one of the Porchies. Hmmmmm! Who should it be about? I know! So how many of you know our lovable porchie Terry? He is the gorgeous and super friendly black and white DSH who gets into mischief quite often. I think I have the perfect story to tell you all!

One fall afternoon at the rescue center there was some last minute winterizing going on for the upcoming winter season and well…..Terry somehow got involved, but he didn’t help with the winterizing he instead came up MISSING! That’s right I said missing. For those of you who know Terry, he is always getting into somewhere he shouldn’t. A shed, Kitty City, delivery trucks, Pawmart and yes even visitors cars. He has absolutely no problem jumping into where there is an open door. We always worry someday he will get himself into trouble. This is his story.


On that fall afternoon last minute preparations for the winter were taking place and Jimmy arrived in his jeep. We all know the rule about don’t leave your car/ truck doors open and be sure to check for cats before you leave. This rule is in place because of…..well Terry! Jimmy was working in Kitty City and needed some tools out of his jeep. He grabbed what he needed and left his back door open just a few short moments. When he returned to close his door he took a quick look and saw that there were no cats inside so he closed and locked it for the night. He was going to drive home with Lynnette. As the day wore on some of us realized we hadn’t seen Terry so we started checking the usual areas to see if he got “locked in’ by mistake, but no luck. Terry sometimes disappears for the day, but always returns by early evening. The joke is he has a girlfriend somewhere close by. When he didn’t return that evening we were pretty confident he would be at the rescue by early morning for when Kim fed breakfast……but when morning came there was no Terry.

It was a Thursday and it just so happened it was a Humane Ohio day. Some of the volunteers working started looking around and calling for him. Again, they checked the usual areas to see if he was locked somewhere, but no sign. Panic started to quickly set in. Thoughts started to enter our minds. Oh my god! What happened to Terry? Could he be hurt somewhere? One of the volunteers was Gem and she walked around looking and calling for Terry, but no luck. She walked the parking lot right past Jimmy’s jeep and still no sign. Suddenly she turned around and saw Terry’s face in the window of the jeep. He managed to get himself locked in!! He meowed as if to say get me outta here! A phone call was made to Lynnette to let her know that Terry was found and that he was locked in Jimmy’s jeep all night. They were quickly on their way.

As for Terry I wonder what was going through his mind. One can only imagine. One of his thoughts might have been “ Oh boy, am I in trouble”. When Lynnette and Jimmy arrived they unlocked the door to let Terry out. He ran and it kind of makes you wonder what he did in there all night. I mean he had to go to the bathroom, right? He must have gotten hungry. I know I would have. After looking inside his jeep Jimmy noticed there was a nice pile of poo on his rubber mat! Thank goodness it was a rubber mat. Terry also managed to eat some snacks he had in the console, but the one thing that really surprised us the most was that Jimmy has a collection of rubber ducks on his dashboard and out of all them Terry managed to knock only one on the floor.

That’s right….he only knocked ONE on the floor. The most amazing part about that is Terry knocked the only rubber duck on the floor that looked like a cat! What are the chances of that? Overall that makes Terry very smart. I mean think about it. He gets locked in without  being seen, goes poop on a RUBBER mat, has a few snacks for survival and then knocks a rubber ducky on the floor that looks like a cat.

Maybe we as humans can learn by this very behavior. We could call it survival tips from a Porchie cat and when you get right down to it, this could only happen in Terry’s world.


Welcome back to another funny story with “The Whole Scoop”. Last time, we met Terry, the Porchie and his adventure. This time let’s take a trip out to the Cove and meet Dollop.

How many of us have a cat that does really weird or even downright strange things? Show of hands please. I see we all raised our hands on that one. I have a story for you, but first let me tell you a little bit about the Covie, Dollop. He is the large all black DSH with thumbs on his front paws. He is very sweet and lovable, but sometimes he can be a bit of a bully. After all, there is always one in the group and in this case, he’s the one in the Cove.


One day I was cleaning the Jonah House and it’s cute to see all of the cats sit and watch me, but never lend a paw to help. I sometimes feel like a cat chasing my tail because as soon as I clean something they feel the need to dirty it. Anyway, this one day, Dollop was feeling a bit frisky and rather mischievous. He would run in and out of the Jonah house like he was being chased. It was quite amusing to see the other cats watching him. It was like he overdosed on catnip and didn’t know what to do with his energy. Dollop would run in one door and out the other and then run back in and jump up on the counter. He would crouch down and watch my every move as if he was going to attack and then dart off like a rocket. I just shook my head and laughed. He actually got some of the other Covies interested from his behavior, so they followed him outside and they started chasing each other around the yard. As a matter of fact, Walter, Walter, Walter even followed the others outside. After I finished cleaning, I heard a weird noise so I went outside to see what was going on and I saw Dollop up in a tree standing on a small branch!! He stood there as if to say “check me out, now how do I get down?” He actually freaked me out because I didn’t want to have to climb the tree to get him down. It was as if he ran out of energy and didn’t know what to do next. I looked at him and said, “you got yourself up there so you can get yourself down.” Geez, did I ever feel like a terrible person. The poor cat was stuck up in the tree and I was going to just leave him there. I mean it’s not like I had a pair of go-go gadget legs so I could just extend my height and get him down. All I could think was this is going to be interesting.

As I watched Dollop, he started attempting to figure out a way to get himself down and the whole time I felt like a nervous Nelly! Here I was standing in the yard of the Cove, underneath a tree, ready to catch a cat who somehow felt like he was invincible for just a few short seconds. Suddenly Dollop realized, Whoops! Houston we have a problem! At that moment, I could have really used a trampoline. I took a deep breath and noticed that some of the Covies were just standing around watching. It’s like they were saying “Dollop my boy, you have really done it this time”. I decided to step away so I didn’t make him nervous. I could see the wheels turning in his head and then in the blink of an eye he dropped from the tree and touched down on all fours. Whew! He landed like a very well trained gymnast. I of course gave him the motherly pep talk to which he looked at me and took off running. He totally ignored me! I guess the only way to sum this up is that Dollop is just like any other little boy on the playground. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.


So for this next story it can’t be anything but funny because it is about Walter the Covie. He is the gray DSH who has CH and is deaf. He is also known as Walter, Walter, Walter. I think to sum up Walter’s personality would be to say he is just….. HILARIOUS!

I work in the Cove everyday, seven days a week and believe me when I say no day is ever the same. I am sure there is something funny going on each and every day, but I don’t always see it. I did, however, catch this one incident involving Walter and it cracked me up. When I think about it, this was almost typical of Walter and for those of you who know him, you will probably agree with me.


It was morning and I headed down to the Cove to begin my shift. The first thing that happens is I walk in the Jonah House and I get attacked by 11 cats. I wouldn’t say attacked literally, but it’s like a game of ring around the rosey with me in the middle. Each cat is watching me closely and I can almost hear them saying, “Where is our second breakfast”? Oh, and “You’re taking too long”! I have a system that I try to follow, but most times there is a fly in the ointment or sometimes I like to change it up. This one day I decided to head down to the red barn and then over to Grizzly and Spotty’s shed first before feeding the Covies. I pulled out my trusty orange tray and loaded it up with yummy plates of goodness and then fought my way to the door. As I headed to the gate I noticed I was being chased after by several of the Covies. I could only imagine what was going through their minds, maybe something like “Hey we haven’t eaten in 3 hours, give us those plates”! I make it to the gate and out I go.

When I returned a short time later, the Covies were acting like they were starving to death, but we all know that would never happen. I grabbed some plates and started feeding when suddenly I couldn’t find Walter! I caught myself calling him and quickly realized he is deaf so I probably wouldn’t get a response. I looked around the room…. no Walter. I went outside and checked the yard…no Walter. I looked everywhere and once again, like a nervous Nelly, I started to panic! I stood in the Jonah House watching the others chow down like it was their last meal and thought, if I were Walter where would I go? I started thinking about the time Walter and some others got out of the Cove by accident and Walter was found sleeping under a bush. We don’t have a bush in the Cove so that was not an option. Hmmmm! It’s not like him to miss a meal. I wondered for a brief moment if Magic and Egypt could help me solve this mystery and then I realized I was getting way ahead of myself. I stood there a moment and decided I would remain calm because there had to be a logical explanation for Walter’s disappearance. Did he really disappear or was he right under my nose?

A few minutes had passed and I started picking up some of the empty plates when all of a sudden the cupboard door flew open and there was Walter!! He tilted his head to the side and let out a mighty meow as if to say HERE I AM!! He started pushing cans of cat food out of the cupboard and onto the counter and the floor as if to express his dissatisfaction with breakfast. I admit for just a few short seconds I wanted to give him the “you scared me half to death speech”, but instead I enjoyed the best laugh ever. I never get tired of Walter’s antics because he never ceases to amaze me with the stunts he pulls. It’s true what we say at the rescue, that cats with handicaps ARE handicapable and Walter is proof of that.


Ah Ramsay….what can I say about him? Well, he is the most amazing, handicapable and most adorable CH boy ever. He has the most stunning blue eyes and a very funny personality. He also has many nicknames such as Rambo, Rammy, Rambo Dean and last, but certainly not least DR.NO! I don’t think he has just one funny story. He has many and all are unique to him.


So to begin this week’s story I realized my mind is flooded with the antics of Ramsay and couldn’t decide on what to write about. Yes, you heard me correctly. I do not know what particular Rambo moment to write about soooooo, I thought I would just tell you a few. First off, for those of you who don’t know him, he is the handsome siamese that is usually sitting in one of his cars. He owns TWO Ferrari’s OH, and a Mercedes! He is Defiance’s fastest race car driver. How do I know this? Open up his glove box and you will see the many speeding tickets he has. I bet you’re wondering why he hasn’t paid them? I will explain it to you the way it was explained to me by Rambo himself. When he gets stopped by the police, most times it is from a female police officer. One look at his baby blues and he melts them. All the ladies LOVE Ramsay. I know this is true because he does it to me daily. The officer gives him the ticket, but tells him not to pay it, just slow it down. The officers don’t want any heat from their captain so they give him a “bogus” ticket and off he goes with a snicker. I think Ramsay keeps them as souvenirs.

Next, comes his feeding and potty time and it will make you smile. This is where his alter ego, Dr. No comes into play. I must admit Ramsay has definitely expanded his palate with different foods, but deciding which one to give him on any given day is where the fun begins. It’s like eenie, meanie, miney, moe what should I give Dr.No. In all honesty, he is not always Dr. No, but when he doesn’t want something he will let you know. He either turns his head to one side or sometimes lifts his foot to push the bowl away as if to say “I don’t want that, you eat it”. We try again with no luck and once more until he adamantly shoves it away. You can’t get mad because he is just too darn adorable. I can say that when all else fails his favorite food is chicken. He goes at it with a vengeance, taking mouthfuls and flinging it everywhere. It is usually the food of choice when all else fails. When it is time for potty Ramsay will most times let you know by dancing and fidgeting in his bed, but for the most part he gets pottied every 2 hours. I can bet all of your cats have a particular bathroom ritual that they go through before going potty and Ramsay is no different. I have put him in the litter box where he would dig frantically as if searching for gold and in the midst of digging, he somehow does a handstand and buries his face in the litter. YIKES! He emerges with a face full of litter.

There is more to Ramsay than just us helping to feed and potty him. He is very capable of doing whatever he wants on his own. Although he doesn’t walk very much, he can and will when he wants to. It may be a bit of a struggle, but when he achieves his goal his little face lights up and you can tell he is proud of himself as are we. He is a very determined little guy. Another thing about Ramsay is he responds to music. For instance, at Christmas, we have several of the dancing musical toys. When you press the button they start to sing and dance and so does Ramsay. He bops his head to the beat of the music and it is absolutely adorable. He gets very excited and seems to really enjoy himself. Overall, I would say he is one very happy little guy. Oh and did I mention he’s spoiled? He knows we will bend over backwards to meet his needs.

One of the stories I wrote with Ramsay is truly my fav and that was when Derecho and Magic flew all of the residents to the North Pole to help Santa with Christmas and Ramsay got to fly his Ferrari next to Santa’s sleigh. It was decked out with lights, a rudolph nose, antlers and a horn that played Christmas music. The elves put the finishing touch on by helping to make his Ferrari fly. He was the envy of all the residents. Of course, each resident had their own magical moment with Santa.

Every morning I give Ramsay a hug and a kiss and he is always such a happy boy. I don’t think I have ever seen him in a grumpy mood. Maybe it has something to do with getting hold of Mama Megan’s credit card and speeding down Clinton Street for ice cream and pizza. Whatever it is, his personality can’t help but make you laugh and smile and that’s what makes him so handicapable.

Kitty Christmas

Welcome to Kitty Christmas! Many of you know what it’s all about and for some of you, it may be your first time. We have many new cats and kittens so this Kitty Christmas is their first and they don’t quite know what to expect. It will be interesting listening to their thoughts on what they think it is.

December is quickly approaching so that means it’s time for Kitty Christmas!! The main area will be buzzing with preparation for the big event. Derecho was napping on his rug when Will Power, one of the kittens, approached Derecho with a question. Pssst! Dman are you awake, asked Will Power? I am now. What’s up, asked Derecho? What’s Kitty Christmas? Is it when Santa brings us goodies and toys, asked Will Power? Well…..kind of, said Derecho. Oh boy! I’m going to go tell the others, he said. He ran off to spread the good news. Hang on a second, shouted Derecho! Dang it! He didn’t let me explain. Seconds later, Magic scooted by. Hey Dman what’s that look on your face for, he asked? Will Power asked me what Kitty Christmas was and he had it in his head that it’s when Santa comes, but he didn’t give me a chance to explain it before running off to tell everyone, said Derecho. Ut oh, said Magic. We need to fix this. Let’s call a meeting. Attention everyone! Will everyone please gather over here, asked Magic? All the cats and kittens zoomed over to hear what Magic and Derecho had to say. Uh, it has come to my and Dman’s attention that there are questions about Kitty Christmas. Willpower shouted, It’s when Santa comes and brings us toys and goodies. Derecho spoke up and said, well not exactly. Burger said, it is when Santa comes. I saw it on TV in Buckeye’s suite. Santa climbs down the chimney with a big sack of toys and delivers them to all of us good girls and boys. Well that’s Christmas, said Magic. I have a question, said Berry Belle? What’s your question, asked Derecho? Do we even have a chimney, she asked? Um, no, said Derecho. How will Santa come down and deliver all the toys and goodies, asked Berry Belle? Santa doesn’t need a chimney. He can walk right through the front door, said Dobby. Yaaaay! Everyone was cheering and shouting. Hold it! Wait a minute, said Magic. We are trying to explain to you what Kitty Christmas is..…not Christmas. When Santa does come it’s truly magical, said Magic. Oh no! We don’t have a chimney. How will Santa come, asked Bologna? Well this meeting is running smoothly. Talk about confusion, chuckled Ramsay. Derecho put his head in his paws. Ugh! We are trying to explain Kitty Christmas to a bunch of youngins and it’s not going well. Take a deep breath Derecho, said Magic. The room was filled with the sound of excited kittens. Quiet everybody! Shhh! Dman and I are trying to explain Kitty Christmas to you all. We got it, said Meatball. They all took off running and playing excited about Christmas. Well that was a big flop, said Egypt. Yup, sure was, said Tigress. Now what, asked Derecho? No clue, said Magic.

After some thought, Magic went to see Derecho. What did you come up with, asked Derecho? Not much, said Magic. It’s too quiet in here. Where is everybody, he asked? They are all in Buckeye’s suite watching Christmas movies, said Derecho. Wow! It’s probably tighter than a can of sardines in there, chuckled Magic. They walked over to Buckeye’s suite and looked in. It was packed with kittens! You weren’t kidding, said Derecho. As they passed by Paddy’s Place they noticed the pod in the parking lot. Hey! I have an idea, said Magic. Let’s just tell them that Kitty Christmas is an event before Christmas, said Magic. Do you think they would understand that, asked Derecho? Toys and goodies twice, yes they will understand, chuckled Magic. That was easy, said Derecho. So why was it so hard to explain in the first place, asked Magic? They both looked at each other baffled and Derecho said, Kids, they hear what they want, but don’t really listen. I couldn’t have put it better myself Dman, said Magic. We still have to explain Kitty Christmas so as not to confuse it with Christmas, said Derecho. Tomorrow we will have a little lesson on love and generosity, said Magic.

The next morning delivery trucks were arriving at FFRC so Magic sat in Paddy’s Place window. A few minutes later, several of the kittens saw him and ran over to ask what he was looking at. Do you see that truck, asked Magic? Yes, what is it doing, asked Puddin? It’s delivering toys and goodies for Kitty Christmas, said Magic. I thought Santa brought us toys and goodies, said Jan. He does on Christmas, but these boxes are for Kitty Christmas, said Magic.

Derecho peeked in and asked, how it was going? Magic winked and whispered, I think it’s starting to sink in a little. Derecho gave him the paws up. On December 2nd all the boxes in the pod will be opened, said Magic. Who are they from, asked Cast? Derecho stepped in and said, they are from our wonderful and generous supporters all over the world. We call them FFRC nation. One by one all the kittens came closer to hear what Magic and Derecho were saying. We call the day we open them on cam Kitty Christmas, said Magic. You mean all the boxes are for us, asked Servalan? Yes, said Derecho. He continued by saying our wonderful supporters send food, toys, and donations to help with costs like medical bills, medications and even for Vincent’s FIP treatment and Buckeye’s wound. We couldn’t do it without them. They do it because they love us, added Magic. Seconds later, little Karen came busting through the main area door covered in food and her fur all disheveled. There is another example of where some of the funds go towards, chuckled Derecho. When each of us arrived here at FFRC, depending on our situation, we required a flea bath, Capstar, Panacur, vaccines, spay or neuter, pain meds and antibiotics if we were sick or injured and that could include a vet appointment with the wonderful Dr. Darcy. It can be very costly, said Magic. So you mean Buckeye and Vincent are costly, asked Gideon? Yes, but because of Kitty Christmas and our amazing supporters it makes helping them possible, said Derecho. Do you see that camera over there? The kittens looked out the door. Yes, we see it, they responded. That is FFRC nation and it’s where all of our lurkers, chatters and supporters watch us. Think of us as a TV show and they tune in to watch us. They learn all about each and every one of us and what the rescue’s needs are, said Magic. How do they know what the needs are, asked Achoo? Mama Megan and Lynnette give updates every week to keep them informed of what is going on, said Magic. As we explained, Kitty Christmas is when FFRC nation sends in all kinds of food, toys, litter and donations to stock our shelves and help pay bills. If it wasn’t for them, this rescue would not be possible. Is it starting to make a little more sense now, asked Derecho? Everybody nodded yes. I hope you all understand what Kitty Christmas is and how thankful we should be, said Magic. We understand, said Cheerio. When is Kitty Christmas, asked Mittens? It’s this Saturday December 2nd. It’s going to be awesome. Get ready for lots and lots of boxes and all the staff and volunteers come to help, said Derecho. It’s a busy, but fun day. We can hardly wait, said Moewedith.

It was finally Kitty Christmas day and during breakfast Magic and Derecho explained that they would all be put in rooms to be kept safe because the rescue would be super busy. How are we going to be able to watch, asked Meatball? Each room will have a TV in it so you can watch the live cam and see everything that’s going on, said Magic. As the morning wore on it was getting closer to Kitty Christmas. The staff and Volunteers began setting up tables that would serve as a conveyor. Mama Megan and Lynnette entered the main area and started grabbing the cats and kittens and putting them in the different rooms. They turned their TV’s on and tuned in to the live cam. It was now 10am and Kitty Christmas was set to begin. All the cats and kittens watched in awe as boxes started coming in the door and headed towards the cam. Mama Megan and Lynnette opened each and every box showing FFRC nation what supporters sent and thanking each and every one of them for their kindness and generosity. Gideon was in back thumpers room watching on Vincent’s TV. It was sweet of him to share. Wow! Magic told us it is magical when Santa comes, but I think Kitty Christmas is even more magical, he said. Why do you say that, asked Acorn? All these boxes are for us because FFRC nation cares and loves us. We couldn’t ask for better than that. It is truly amazing because it comes from the heart, said Gideon. Each room watched as the boxes kept pouring into the main area. Several hours passed and they were still going strong. It was an absolutely incredible day.

After the last box was opened Mama Megan let all the cats out. They ran out to the main area to play in some of the empty boxes and to check out all the goodies. They couldn’t believe how much stuff was sent. When everything was put away and the staff and volunteers left for the night all the cats and kittens sat in the main area and talked. Derecho and Magic asked if everyone now understood what Kitty Christmas was. We sure do, said Dobby. It really makes you think how lucky FFRC is, said Derecho. I think we should all say thank you, said Magic. I think that’s a great idea, said Derecho. They turned and looked at the cam and shouted Thank you FFRC nation, we love you!! Magic and Derecho stepped forward and Derecho said, once again you have come through for us and it’s because of you that FFRC can continue to care for us and help others. Magic continued by saying, we are truly blessed and grateful for all that you do for us and we want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

Spiker Wants to Build a Monster Truck (and teaches us a lesson)

This is the story of Spiker. He is the very determined, adorable, orange colored, CH guy who is everyone’s friend and absolutely loves the whole world. He is somewhat of a couch potato and loves to lay on his brown couch. One rainy day, Spiker was lounging around and he was thinking about how some of the other residents are good at something and have a really cool hobby. Magic and Derecho are radio DJ’s. Ramsay is the fastest race car driver in all of Defiance and Walter is great at building things, but somehow Spiker wanted something special of his own. He spent the afternoon thinking about it and finally came up with something he thought he would be great at. Stick around because we might all learn something from this.

Early the next morning Spiker woke up well rested and ready to tackle his new project. He went out to the main area for breakfast and had a chat with Derecho. Mornin D-man. Good morning Spiker, how are you? I feel great and I am very excited about my new hobby, said Spiker. Oh, Your new hobby, what is it, asked Derecho? I want to build a monster truck, he said. Wow! That’s quite a hobby. Any idea on how you will do that, asked Derecho? No, I am not sure and I was wondering if you could give me some direction, said Spiker. Hmmmm, That’s going to be a tough one because you would need a truck to start with, said Derecho. I don’t need a big truck, just a small vehicle of some type that I could build into a monster truck. I don’t know. That is going to be impossible to do. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but I’m not sure you can do this, said Derecho. Spiker didn’t like hearing that. It made him sad and he felt really bummed. I don’t think that’s fair D-man that I can’t do this. I want a hobby of my own just like all of you guys. He wandered away and went to lay on his couch. Derecho felt terrible about it and went to see Magic. He wandered up to Pawmart and saw Magic sitting at Mama Megan’s desk surfing the internet. Hi Derecho what’s up, he asked? Oh nothing, he replied. Why the long face then? Careful not to trip over your lip. I think I hurt Spiker’s feelings just now. Oh! About what, asked Magic? He wants a hobby of his own and he wants to build a monster truck, but I told him he couldn’t do it without a truck to start with, said Derecho. I think that sounds awesome! Good for Spiker, said Magic. Uh hello, he doesn’t have a truck to start with. Nonsense D-man, we will help him. Magic went online and searched for something to help Spiker out. Suddenly, Magic stumbled upon a contest where first prize was a mini version of a monster truck that you could drive. Hey D-man check this out! It says here we can win a mini monster truck by writing why you think someone you know deserves to win it. Who will write it, asked Derecho? You and I will write it for Spiker. We will win this for him, said Magic. He went into Mama Megan’s desk drawer and pulled out a pad and a pen. What do we write, asked Derecho? The truth! Spiker is a great friend of ours. He’s like a brother and he deserves to win this. He tries so hard at everything he does and he does a great job. Yeah, you’re right Magic. They sat for what seemed like hours and wrote the most heartfelt letter they could. When they were finished they put it in an envelope and asked Lynnette to put it in the mail for them. Mama Megan will be proud of us, said Derecho.

The next day Spiker seemed kind of glum. He lay in his bed after breakfast and napped. Geez! Derecho you really hurt his feelings, said Magic. I know and I didn’t mean it. I would never do that on purpose, he’s one of my best friends. Have you tried talking to him? No, not yet. I feel like a schmuck, said Derecho. I think you should go talk to him and tell him how you feel, said Magic. Do you really think he will win this contest, asked Derecho? I sure do! I know he will. He’s our best friend and friends stick together. You didn’t mean to hurt his feelings so go tell him that, said Magic. Alright, it’s the least I can do, said Derecho. He wandered over to Spiker and sat down. Hey buddy, how are you feeling? I’m okay, said Spiker. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I wasn’t thinking and it was wrong of me. You can do anything you put your mind to, said Derecho. You mean it, said Spiker. Of course I do! You are an amazing guy and you give your best to everything you do and you will succeed at anything you put your mind to. Wow! Thanks D-man! Spiker felt so much better and he said, I forgive you D-man and just smiled in that adorable Spiker way. I still don’t know how to start, he said. Well, plan out what you want to do and then take it step by step, said Derecho. Magic and I will help you if you want. Really, you will? Absolutely! Spiker jumped off his bed and was eager to get started. Magic went over to Derecho and said, looks like he’s feeling better. What did you say, he asked? The truth. You know sometimes we say things without meaning to hurt someone, but what makes a true friend is that they understand and don’t let it affect the friendship. Spiker is a pretty amazing guy, said Derecho. Did you tell him about the contest, asked Magic? No, I want to keep it a surprise, said Derecho. Good thinking. Come on, let’s go give him a hand, said Magic. They went out to the main area and saw Spiker sitting on the floor with a poster size piece of cardboard and some colored pencils. Hey Spiker, what are ya doing, asked Magic? I am taking D-man’s advice and planning out my hobby. Want some help, asked Derecho? Sure! The three of them sat on the rug in the main area and drew a blueprint of a monster truck. Spiker looked up and said, I am still not sure how to begin. I don’t have anything to start with. No worries, people have started projects with less than this. I have a feeling things will start looking up real soon, said Magic. Spiker stood up and stretched and said, break time! Anyone for a snack? He went up to Denise, one of the staff, and asked if she could get them some snackers and milk. We have been working hard all morning planning and need something to eat. Sure, no problem. I will bring it over to you in just a minute, she said. He went back over to join Magic and Derecho on the rug and they continued working on the plans.

A little while later, they were tired and wrapped it up for the day. Can we continue with this tomorrow, asked Spiker? You bet, said Derecho. I am going to take a nap, said Magic.

Later that evening Derecho and Magic stayed up talking. So when is the contest over and when do they pick a winner, asked Derecho? We made it just in time. The contest ends tomorrow and then they pick a winner, said Magic. I am nervous about it. What if he doesn;t get picked, said Derecho. Think positive D-man. Spiker deserves this and we told a great story about why he does, said Magic. You’re right, it’s all about a positive mental attitude. It will be great for him. He will have the truck all built for him so he can practice by modifying it and making it his own. It will be a great learning experience for him. He will learn first hand about how to do maintenance and all that automotive stuff, said Derecho. Well, I’m going to bed Magic, sleep well buddy. See ya in the morning D-man. They closed their eyes and quickly drifted off to sleep.

The next morning Spiker continued working on his project. He had all kinds of ideas on how he wanted to build it, but needed to search out the parts. Derecho and Magic wandered over to see how he was making out. Spiker showed them some of the ideas he had and they were impressed. Great job, said Derecho! His favorite part was how he wanted to paint the truck. He chose a two-tone, lime green and blue with flame decals. It was going to look sweet. A couple of hours later the phone rang at FFRC and Lynnette answered. The person on the other end asked to speak to Mr. Magic. She walked over and said, a phone call for Mr. Magic. She handed him the phone and just smiled. Hello, this is Magic. The voice on the other end was a gentleman who was one of the judges from the contest. Good morning, how are you sir? My name is Mr. Johnson and I am with the contest you entered. Hello sir, said Magic. Well I have great news! I am calling to tell you that Spiker has been chosen as this year’s winner. We were very impressed with the letter you wrote on his behalf. Magic was so excited he was speechless. Derecho saw his face and asked, what’s wrong? He just sat with the phone to his ear listening to the voice on the other end. We will and thank you so much Mr. Johnson! You have yourself a splendid day. Magic hung up the phone and started yelling YOU WON, YOU WON! Derechos’ eyes grew big and he said, do you mean what I think you mean? YES! Spiker won the contest! They were ecstatic. Spiker looked at them and said, you know maybe you two should lay off the catnip cause I’m starting to get a little concerned. Your behavior is very erratic. It seems to be having an effect on you that science has not proven yet. No, no, no Spiker. We are excited because you won the contest we entered you in. What contest, he asked? Hmmmm, is this some dream you had, he asked? Nope, you really won a contest. That was one of the judges on the phone, said Magic. Derecho spoke up and said, remember earlier this week when I was being a schmuck and I hurt your feelings about building a monster truck? Yeah, said Spiker. Well, I felt terrible about it so Magic and I searched for a way to make it up to you. He found a contest where the grand prize was a mini monster truck. We had to write why we thought you deserved to win it and you won, said Derecho. Spiker wasn’t sure how to react at first and then suddenly, it hit him. I Won! I got my very own monster truck! He was so happy he ran over to Ramsay and the two of them bounced around like crazy. Woo Hoo! Then he went over to Malady and Pania who weren’t sure what to think. I won a monster truck! He went to everybody. He was over the moon. Tigress was talking with Marilyn and Lena when Spiker ran by yelling, he won. They just looked at him and said, must be something in the water. After a good half hour of being thrilled he finally calmed down a bit and went back to the main area. Magic and Derecho were talking and Derecho said, you were right Magic, he really did win. How did you know? I didn’t. I just believed in him like we should all believe in each other and support one another. If there is something in life you want then you should go for it. It’s important to try. This is obviously important to Spiker and we should support him. Wow! That’s deep. I can’t get over how happy he is and I feel great knowing that we helped him out. I think we can all learn a lesson from this, said Derecho.

Spiker just couldn’t believe it; he was in shock. He went over to Magic and Derecho and said, thank you guys for doing this for me. It is amazing. What did you write about me, he asked? Let’s gather everyone in the main area and we will read you the letter. A few minutes later all the residents were sitting around waiting to hear. Magic stood on the counter top and said, by now you all know that Spiker won a mini monster truck. He won that truck because of a letter Derecho and I wrote to enter him in a contest. We would now like to read you that letter. Derecho the floor is yours. Thank you, Magic. A few days ago, Spiker came to me with something that meant the world to him. He asked for my direction and because I was unsure on how to help him, I accidentally hurt his feelings. All of us residents here at FFRC are NOT handicapped. We ARE handicapable. Spiker wanted a hobby of his own like some of us have and he chose to build a monster truck. At the time I didn’t think he could do it because he didn’t have the resources he needed or so I thought. When I saw how heartbroken and sad he was, I felt like the worst friend in the world. I went to Magic for advice and together we found a way to make this happen. We wrote a letter explaining why Spiker deserved to win and here is the letter.

Dear Judges,
We would like to enter our best friend and brother Spiker in the contest. He deserves to win because he is one of the most lovable guys we know. He always gives so much to help others and yet never asks for anything in return. He gives his all in everything he does even if it is difficult for him at times, but he always has that Spiker smile. He is friends with everybody and loves the whole world. He has so much determination and he never gives up. He deserves to have something to call his own. Please give Spiker a chance to be a winner!

Mr. Magic & Mr. Derecho (FFRC)

All the residents sat and listened with tears in their eyes. Aw, that was so sweet of you guys to do, said Nyota. Spiker stood up and went over to Derecho and Magic and threw his arms around them. You guys are the best! Everybody clapped as they hugged. When do I get my truck, he asked? I believe it will be delivered tomorrow, said Magic. While Derecho read the letter, Mama Megan and a couple of the volunteers were standing around the corner listening. They couldn’t be more proud. Mama Megan called Magic and Derecho over and commended them on being so sweet and for realizing how important others feelings are. I am so proud of you two for setting such a good example. She gave them a hug and then they went back to join the others.

That night Spiker could hardly sleep. He was so excited about winning the monster truck. He wandered the rescue thinking about the fun they would have. There was a lot to learn, but he was ready. He had to learn how to do oil changes, tune-ups, brakes and how to change tires. If he got good enough, maybe he could open his own garage someday. After pacing the floor for a while he finally got tired enough to fall asleep. He closed his eyes and drifted off. A short while later it was time for breakfast. Spiker woke up and realized it was already morning so he jumped out of bed. Morning guys, he said! Good morning, today is the big day, said Magic. I know I could hardly sleep, said Spiker. They ate their breakfast and were anxious for the truck to arrive. Do either of you know what time it’s arriving, asked Spiker? I think around 9ish, said Derecho. What time is it now, he asked? 5:30, said Magic. Now what do we do, asked Spiker? Wait I guess, said Derecho. An hour passed and it felt like forever. Geez, I thought watching paint dry was slow, but this is torture, said Magic. We could nap, said Derecho. Na! Not tired, said Spiker. Yeah, me neither. I have an idea, said Magic. Let’s go out to the barn and we can start getting you familiar with some of the tools. Okay, let’s go! They wandered out the main area door and down towards the barn. Hey Magic, can you guys teach me how to do maintenance, asked Spiker? Sure! As they continued walking they ran into Mayor Anony. Hey Spiker! Congrats on winning the monster truck! Thanks, wanna go for a ride, he asked? Yeah! That would be awesome, said the Mayor. They went into the barn and started checking out some of the tools. They found hammers, screwdrivers and wrenches. These are just some of the tools you will need to use, so get familiar with them. You can also ask Rambo for tips since he races and tinkers with his car, said Magic.

It was now finally almost 9am and everyone gathered in the parking lot for the big moment. The sun was shining and it was turning out to be a beautiful spring day. Spiker paced back and forth waiting in anticipation. Suddenly, Derecho said, Listen, do you hear that? Everybody got quiet and listened. It sounded like a truck coming. Hear it, he asked? Yeah, we hear it too. It got louder as it drew closer and closer and then it came into view. It was a delivery truck pulling a trailer and up on the back of the trailer was the mini monster truck. It backed in from the street and came to a stop. The doors of the delivery truck opened and two men jumped out. One of them drove the monster truck off the trailer and parked it. They approached the gang of onlookers and said, delivery for Mr. Spiker. Spiker ran forward and yelled, that’s me! Congratulations, you have some pretty special friends and handed him the keys. Wow! Thank you, he said! The men got back in the truck and drove away. Spiker just stood there staring at the truck, admiring it. I can’t believe I won, he said. Magic and Derecho walked over to him and said, well don’t just stand there take that baby for a ride. Spiker walked up to the truck, looked up and said, Uh, I think I need a step stool. Egypt went in the main area door and asked Kim to please bring a step stool outside. A few minutes later she brought it out and placed it in front of the driver’s side door. Spiker walked up to it and said, before I go for a ride, I want to once again thank Derecho and Magic for doing this wonderful act of kindness for me. It shows me what true friends you are. I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of family and friends. Everybody clapped as the three of them hugged each other. Climb aboard Spiker, said Derecho. He carefully climbed the stool and jumped in the front seat. I would like Magic and D-man to be my first passengers. They climbed the stool and jumped in. It looks like your first modification is going to be to the gas and brake pedals so you can reach them, said Magic. I will operate them for you, he said. Spiker put the key in the ignition and turned it. He waited to hear for the engine to turn over and…..it started! Brakes Magic! Spiker shifted the truck into drive. Okay now, gas! Magic pressed the gas pedal and the truck started moving down the parking lot. Faster, yelled Spiker! Magic gave it a little more gas and the engine roared as it sped up. They drove to the end of the parking lot and then turned around. Gas! Magic pressed the gas pedal and the truck roared back down the parking lot. Brakes! They came to a stop and Spiker rolled the window down and asked, who wants a ride? Everybody yelled, I do! I do! Can we all go, asked Buckeye? Sure, open the tailgate and use the stool to climb in back, he said. When everyone was in, Spiker yelled, is everybody ready? We’re ready, they shouted! Hang on, here we go! Gas! Magic pushed the pedal to the floor and the tires squealed. The truck roared down to the end of the parking lot and turned onto Power Dam Road. Spiker drove a short way and then whipped the truck around and headed back. He pulled back into the parking lot and came to a stop. Wow! That was awesome. Did everybody have fun, he asked? Yeah! Let’s do it again, they said. Soon, but first I have to do some modifications so I can drive it properly, he said.

The next day Spiker headed outside to begin working on his truck. Ramsay offered to help him modify the gas and brake pedals. He even gave him his other set of extenders. Next, Ramsay walked him through the process step by step until he finished attaching the extenders to the pedals. This is awesome, thanks Rambo! His truck was now equipped so he could easily reach the pedals. He couldn’t wait to take it for a test drive. Meanwhile, Derecho, Magic and Egypt headed outside to see how things were going. Hey Rambo how’s it going, asked Egypt? Great, he is all set with the pedals and he’s testing it out. A few minutes later, Spiker pulled up and climbed out of the truck. Woo hoo! The extenders work like a charm! What’s next, he asked, all excited. Slow down Spiker, Rome wasn’t built in a day, said Derecho. Yeah, think of this as a work in progress. That’s part of the fun, said Magic. As the days and weeks passed, Spiker continued modifying his truck. He used whatever was available and ordered what he needed. Walter was great at making crafty things like the GPS body harness he made for Vernon so he could visit his Auntie Sonja in Canada. Walter helped Spiker paint the truck and put the flame decals on. It looked incredible! When it was finished he couldn’t wait to show it off. Everyone came outside to see it. Whoa! That’s cool, they said. Now comes the fun part, said Magic. What’s that, asked Spiker? The obstacle course and the objects you get to drive over. Tomorrow we will work on setting up a course and test your skills, said Magic. Sounds like a plan, said Spiker. Derecho spoke up and said, it looks like you got your hobby after all and you did a terrific job! I for one have learned a lesson about supporting and encouraging others. I can truly say you are definitely a winner.


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