As Anna mentioned in her blog post yesterday, the chimps and humans spent the entire day celebrating Missy and her 41st birthday (along with the birthdays of a couple of our wonderful friends and supporters, Deb and Martha)!
As you may be aware, Missy is mad about tomatoes. She seems to never tire of them and I think she’d be happy to eat nothing else. And because she and her best friend, Annie, love to incorporate socks and ’80’s style headbands into their play sessions, what better way to kick off the celebration than with an ’80’s Disco Party theme complete with disco ball pinatas (graciously made by volunteer caregiver, Patti) and cherry tomatoes in socks, along with a breakfast forage!
As promised, here are photos from Missy’s day (and I hope you all like lots of photos, folks!)
Jody was able to get one of the cherry tomato socks (that’s Burrito to the right who was emitting low moans of joy over his handfuls of breakfast treats – I just now realized it’s the only shot we got of him, but rest assured he was happy!):
Annie (notice all the socks hanging on the firehose – Missy got every single one!):
The party continued with a watermelon bowl lunch forage on Young’s Hill:
The birthday lady quickly found one and headed for a quiet spot to take in the view and enjoy her lunch in peace:
Annie also chose to enjoy her watermelon bowl in solitude:
Jody found two and quickly headed back to enjoy them in the comfort of the greenhouse:
Foxie found they were the perfect size to just put her whole face in:
Jamie took the approach of dumping out the bowls and then using them to collect copious amounts of chow to bring inside and enjoy:
And the piece de resistance? Queen Neggie:
Back inside the greenhouse, Negra headed to her favorite sunny corner which overlooks her beloved valley:
A heart full of thanks to all the staff, volunteers and supporters who made this special day of celebration for Missy and her friends possible!
Celebrating each of the chimp’s birthdays and the amazing individuals they are is always a joyous and fun occasion. And as I shared with Missy’s Pals yesterday, the reasons for celebration and gratitude go far beyond a specific date. In Missy’s case, it’s hard not to recall the thought that she almost didn’t make it sanctuary. Diana shared this story in a previous blog post though I failed to locate it. But in preparation for the chimps’ transfer to CSNW they all went through physicals at which time Missy was found to have uterine fibroids and was given a hysterectomy. Missy came through the surgery just fine, but during her transport afterward, she suddenly crashed. It took a lot to bring her back. After 30 years of torture and torment, she was so close to never knowing anything different. It makes my heart shake and shudder just to stand on the edge of this thought. And yet it’s a reality for so many chimps, particularly those who never made it to sanctuary or are still awaiting their turn.
Since arriving to her sanctuary home Missy has shown us she is someone who greets life by opening the door and running into it, arms wide open. With every leap, twist, swing, jump, sprint and full out run she puts her history further behind her, defying her age and claiming a life full of joy, adventure, comfort and love. None of which would be possible without you.
Please know it’s not my intention to end this fabulous celebration on a downer. It’s my hope to share with you how truly amazing each day in sanctuary is for the chimps. And to express our profound gratitude to you for ensuring that every day is one of the celebration of freedoms in all shapes and sizes for each of the chimps, in their own way and choosing. Safe in the knowledge that they are home, respected, valued and loved for the individuals they are.
And to our Disco Queen, Happy, Happy Birthday, Missy, we love you so much!! For all your days forward may your heart and soul sing out loud. And may there be tomatoes. So many tomatoes.