So finally and with my birthday receding and no sign of what he had sent I broke down and asked skylerbunny what it was he'd given. It's a mighty sweet one: the Associated Humane Societies of New Jersey supports, as the name implies, various animal shelters and even a zoo/sanctuary for abandoned or abused animals. He bought support, in my name, of a coati, Cocoa. I was bowled over by the gift, which is sweeter and imaginative in a way I wouldn't have thought of on my own. I'm mighty grateful for it.
And this explains where things went awry: what I ought to have received around my birthday was a packet of information about the coati and what goes along with sponsorship (most obvioiusly, zoo membership). But it came from the Humane Societies/Popcorn Park Zoo, without any obvious connection to skylerbunny. Given the trigger my mother remembered seeing the envelope and concluding that it was probably junk mail, or at least a plea for charity, which she remembered thinking was odd because they'd never noticed our existence before. Alas, as you might imagine. But my parents were also impressed with the imagination of the gift. They also noted that a gift that goes along with zoo membership was really great considering that I now have a niece who can be brought to things and who's shown a general interest in zoos. My brother and his wife agree with that in general, but note that their daughter shows a general interest in everything.
Still, there's the matter of getting the information packets and whatnot replaced. From the zoo's web site I can learn a bit about Cocoa, who's described in rhyming prose as coming from a home that had ``too many critters on hand'', all dogs except for the coati and a civet cat. It seemed still like this should be the sort of problem they've encountered before and would be able to handle, and all I had to do was call the society or zoo. This was slowed down a little by my general reluctance to use work hours to make personal phone calls, and yeah that suggests maybe if I had a cell phone but we'll talk about that later.
Well, I did finally call, where I got an immediate answer from a person who hoped to know how she could help me, and then hoped that I could hold before I had quite got a sentence together. After being on hold I described the problem, and she knew just who to ask about this, but that person was either on the phone or away from it --- I couldn't quite get it straight, as you might expect --- and took my information so I could be called back. (And this spun out to me providing my name, skylerbunny's name, and Cocoa's name, for completeness sake.) I haven't been called back yet, but I feel much more confident now that there is a process going on. I think. I should probably call again.
I also have the feeling that Patrick McDonnell would approve.
Trivia: The 1882 World Series contest between the Chicago National League team and the Cincinnati American Association team was cancelled with one win apiece after American Association league president Denny McKnight threatened the Cincinnatis with expulsion if they continued play. Cincinnati was ready to continue, but Chicago's Cap Anson withdrew his team for the benefit of both. Source: Great Baseball Feats, Facts, and Firsts, David Nemec.
Currently Reading: The Influence Of Sea Power Upon History, 1660 - 1783, Alfred Thayer Mahan. You know, for a century-old military history book the writing is surprisingly spry and un-leaden. But it's freaky coming across reminders that this whole warfare-by-steam-engine-vessels thing is pretty much all theoretical talk with no important history behind it.