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October 2002
Canada Buffalos and Maple SirupManitoba

After many years of not having vacations in the interests of my cats I granted myself this year with some holidays - naturally not without combining business with pleasure. My engagement in foundation-breeding paved the way and so I found myself one day sitting in an overseas plane to Toronto, Canada, where I catched my flight connection to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Manitoba, a province exactly in the middle between Canada's East- and West Coast, presents a rather uncommon view to the visitor. No signs of Canadas high and rocky mountains, although one can find endless woods with clear rivers and quiet lakes in northern Manitoba.
Manitoba belongs to the three prairie states of Canada: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba. Wide flat areas characterize the landscape in the southern part of the country, mostly agriculturel used and only rarely interupted from origin grassland and some woods. Rivers have digged deep beds into the soft soil, building abrupt dropping banks, which give an interesting change in the uniform landscape.

In Winnipeg, capital city of Manitoba, my breeder friend Judith Schulz, Prairiebaby Cattery, already awaited me with one of her little sons. Happy we started for the last part of my journey: 300 km across this wide country, to Nesbitt in the middle of Nowhere.
The roads of Manitoba aren't what an European is used to, they run like lined with a ruler across the broad plains, here and there with a minor elevation to make a change in the view. There is also very low traffic - something an European has to get used to too.

Along our road big horse ranches changed with big cattle farms, until we finally drove along huge grain fields.

The Municipality Oakland, where Nesbitt is located, is mostly used by grain farmers. The old grain elevator of Nesbitt is a long distance point of reference on the plains.

In Canada distances will not be measured in kilometers or miles but in time for the ride. You are ten minutes, half an hour or three hours away from another place, and a 5-hours-ride to a particular destination is not something unusual.

Brandon, the second biggest city in Manitoba, with approx. 40,000 inhabitants and half an hour away from Nesbitt, is the brisk centrum of Manitobas prairie. For European also very uncommon are the opening times of the shops - you can go shopping on Sunday or Holiday too.

In Nesbitt

Finally we arrived. Judith and her family live in a neat house, built up of wood as usual in this area.

Nesbitt is a small place, just about 8 or 9 houses, nevertheless there are young families living with their children. The kids are able to play on the street, or at the childrens play ground, built up by Torsten, Judith's husband. The Schulz family is very committed to the community life. So they have planted 800 trees in the last three years for example, to give the community a nicer appearance and at the same time better protection against the wind.

 

"The rural Municipality of Oakland was established in 1883. In 1891 the C.P.Railway purchased NW 1/4 28-7-18 and founded Nesbitt on the Glenboro extension of the Souris branch line. Presbyterian and Methodist congregations, organized in 1892, amalgamated 1925, as part of the United Church of Canada. The church closed in 1992. Nesbitt School District No. 724, formed in 1893, served the educational needs of the community until closed in 1968.

Erected and dedicated to the pioneers, war veterans, clercy, students and teachers of Nesbitt District. July 5, 1992"

"Inkster's General Store" resembles the direct supply of the community: grocery and general store, coffee shop and bar and post office all together. It's really the "aorta pulmonaris" of Nesbitt.

 



Wawanesa

Neighbouring village Wawanesa, about 10 minutes away from Nesbitt, houses now the school where Judith's son Julian is going.

Wawanesa has also the only B&B of the area, as well as some shops and a museum with interesting and rare items of the history of Wawanesa. There are also found items of the indian (american native) culture and some prehistoric finds. The museum derives its name from natives who dwelled times ago in this area: Sipiweske, what means "Light through the trees"

 

B&B (Bed and Breakfast) of Hank and Lucy Corey in Wawanesa, where I stayed the next few days, and where I was spoiled every morning with a lavish "Farmers breakfast" which contains: Bacon and eggs, toast with Maple sirup, fried ham, fried onions, cheese, some jellies, peanutbutter, fruit salad, orange juice, coffee ..... fried cubes I finally resisted. A breakfast at Lucy's easily lasts for one and a half hour ;-)

 

Wawanesa is located on the riverside of the Souris River, which has digged here a deep bed into the soil and builds a natural border on three sides of the town.

 

Once it was planned to let the highway cross the river on this spot. But one morning all of a sudden the ground was sunken very deep. Probably the river has washed the banks out and has built a cave which finally crashed due to the building. The road was built on another place and a monument was erected on the unlucky spot.

 

The bridge replacement, built just a few meters away from the origin spot, is one of the symbols of Wawanesa.

 

At Judith's

In Judith's living room we met to talk about breedings, news and our cats and had a good chat anyway. At the cattery I played intensively with the cats and in the nursery I petted the loving kittens. Naturally I had also to visit the boys in their outdoor run.

Above: Sid of PrairieBaby. He got a lion cut for the summer and his coat isn't grown in full yet.

Left: PrairieBaby Draw Me I Will Run, or Fayre. Being an F-3 she has a long and big body and huge ears. Only penalty: her chin could be better.... but nobody is perfect, isn't it?


Sidy Boy, the little lamb. Remind - Sid is F 1 !

 


Below: Sid and his best friend Ecco in harmony..

The Boys Outdoor Run

Above: Coldoldbear, Sid's grandson

 

Left: Snowleamer, Sid's grandson

The boys outdoor run is a garden Eden for the four males who lives there. The little house is good isolated, has a window in each of the four sides, electric light for the evening, and the new heater was installed right in time before winter comes. (Last news from Judith on October 19 th: "We have 15 cm snow!"). Lots of toys are hanging on the scratchingbranches (painted in PrairieBaby-purple!). The boys enjoy the free run around their little house very much.
TrCh PrairieBaby Ambassador of Grace, aka Brock, enjoys his very comfortable seat near the window in the males house.

Visiting a farm


Judith took me with her to visit some farmers in the area, and as I'm a cat breeder and a catlover anyway I drew my attention naturally on their cats...
This big male enjoyed visible to be taken up before he went away to continue his business :-)

Souris

Canadas longest Swinging Rope Bridge is located in Souris. It spans across the Souris River. Unfortunately I can't serve a picture of this bridge - I went seasick when crossing the bridge... (It's a must for every Souris visitor!)


Close to the bridge there is a Nature Park, where we were surprised by the view of a group of spruces glittering from ice. Perhaps an attempt of the community to draw the visitors attention to the fact that Chrismastime is near?

 

 

May be this is the reason why Canadagooses go to the south?

 

Again at Judith's

After such a trip you have to put in again a cat-day. Playing with kitties, shmoozin' and pettin' - could you imagine something better?

Left: Bruno, a blue boy

Below left: Midnight Janet, black smoke, and Pengui, silver tabby-white

Below right: Luisababy, calico

In The Wild

Hank and Lucy, my hosts, wanted to show me a bit of the "wild" Canada and picked me for a ride into the rurals. Ofcourse, was it worth - who had seen free buffalos before?

We must have cleaned our plates in the morning very good - therefor we were granted with the view of wild turkeys too, and Lucy had a good laugh when I told her that in Austria turkeys are called "Indian"....

We crossed the Assiniboine River with the old "Stockton Ferry" to get back to civilization again.

 

Did you know...

...that there exists a desert in the middle of Canada?

The place is called "Spirit Sands" and I think it has been a holy place for the natives. You can see real sand dunes and you can walk for hours through this bizarre landscape.

A mysterious place if you consider the Assiniboine River with plenty of water is very close to this dry place...

If there are sand dunes there has also to be a camel.....

"This camel is emblematic for Manitoba's only desert, 10 km north on PT highway # 5"

Ahmmm.... and me and Lucy too....... :-)
What had we fun!

Future Bride And Groom

Back at Judith's I had to see my future cat girl and her groom. This is Snowleamer (Pedigree name: Plowman Songs Of Joy) a magnificent F-3 male.

He really tried to show me his chocolate side to impress me!
Now, this is Fayre the future bride (pedigree name: Draw Me I Will Run). Unfortunately I couldn't wait for the wedding, because......

...one day you wake up and find out: Winter has come! This means packing your luggage very quick and say "Good bye" to the friends. It was a nice time with you!

Thank you, Hank and Lucy, for your friendship, for your "lessons of history" and for the time you have spent with me!

Thank you, Judith and Thorsten, for your hospitality and your patience to endure me :-))

A last glimpse to the sky line of Winnipeg and then, hurry up, hurry up - your plane does not wait!

If I will be granted the privilege of coming back?



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