Finding Cairo in Limerick City

When you’re in the middle of ‘rescue craziness’ – you don’t really get to stop to take it all in. Practicalities take over: the who, the what, where, why, and the whens. Mindfulness goes out the window.
You sort out the rescues in your own care, not knowing when you’ll be back after you take the call. Yes, you feel guilty every time you leave them for long periods. It’s always a rush but I never leave the house without lipstick or lip gloss on. I grew up with a mother who believed lipstick was a great distraction to draw from other things you hadn’t time for and she also saw it like war-paint!
In this case, the rescue call came from Joe (Charlie’s Equine Rescue). When he says the words, ‘I’m moving him today,’ well – you know he means business. Joe is the kind of rescuer who just gets on with it; in believing all will be ok, it is (usually).
The ‘him’ was a llama who had gathered national interest given the on-going footage leaking onto various Facebook pages. Hard to watch and equally hard to turn away – because like a sad movie, you want to stay watching till the end for a happy outcome. It never came. People were angry, upset, and calling for action to be taken. No authority responded to the calls for help; rescuers did.
And so Joe arrived from Wexford, and Anna from LAW was to meet us in the city.
Looking back now, as we drove there, neither I or the driver (Pascal) pulling the box talked about any possibility of this going wrong. In fact we didn’t talk about the pending pick-up/rescue at all. Somtimes when we think too much, we can talk ourselves out of things. Sometimes it’s necessary and other times not as much. But with Joe driving ahead of us, turning back was not an option. He would say, ‘what’s wrong with ya? It will be grand!’ – If we spoke of any reservations. Before this rescue day, he had been plotting for 10 days to get this poor boy out. He just never told us till the last minute.
There is something about the urban landscape that accentuates cruelty and neglect! I constantly remind myself about how it is the luck of the draw where we end up in life and with who.
As we turned into the estate, I was drawn to the different mares standing over their newborns, on flat green spaces between houses. No fence or wire to keep them in or safe – yet they stay. They know no different and when we know no different life – the one we have becomes normal as we have no mode of comparison. This is normal to them; I wish it wasn’t. I wish they had another normal.
And so we arrive, and are met by the two sweetest greys. There is no better welcome to get. And then the owners, one by one appear. I tell them about when rescue greys arrive from Ireland to Italy – a red carpet is rolled out for them!  They find this amusing. A pick-up practically brushes by me as he drives by. ‘You got a box?’ He shouts as he keeps his jeep in motion. One young girl passing by, asks ‘why are ye taking him?’ She doesn’t seem satisfied with the many answers.
We were brought into a small yard, and a shed door was opened. It’s surreal sometimes meeting an animal you’ve watched for weeks on a screen and suddenly there he is in front of you. How do you call a Llama? For some reason, I called him as if he was a cat!  I still don’t know what sound you make, but there wasn’t much calling to do; he walked from his shed leaving his shed mates behind and straight into his carriage awaiting him.
And we were off, after our goodbyes and half-joking, half-serious warnings to not go get another one! I don’t think they have much interest in another one! But they did make a few jokes. ‘Please, don’t do that, Mr. ?’ I politely asked!
I’m sure Cairo was relieved when the ramp came down in Clare. I’m sure I saw him smile. His fosterers led him and us through a bright red gate and into a beautiful green field. Cairo never looked back at us when his mouth found the grass and it first lingered between his teeth as he took it all in.
Joe knows no limits to what can be moved or rescued! The last time he surprised me was a call that we would be moving a dairy herd to a sanctuary in the U.K. He made history in doing that and soon to follow are the sheep, the lambs, and the heifers, and calves. I nearly forgot: a Clare Bull called Rocky.
This week I got to meet Rory in his rescue space with Forgotten Horses. Rory came from Ennis, where he was often tied with twine to a green railing. To see him with his rescue friends at their gate made my day. Rory had a serious accident before being rescued and that’s how I met him. In nearly killing himself to escape, he threw himself and the others with him a lifeline! A call for help was made for him and I was sent out by SCAR to help! It began an on-going feeding programme in this area. A little boy here surrendered him because he wanted him to have another life: a normal one!
Here’s to normalness and how special sometimes normal is. I wish we were all blessed with it x

2 thoughts on “Finding Cairo in Limerick City

  1. Now, I am not a crying type of person. I live by this, if something is wrong, fix it, by any means possible. If it can’t be fixed, move on. There are plenty of problems without getting stuck on one. I avoid crying, it fixes nothing and turns my eye bags into suitcases… And I have enough baggage thank you.
    That llama, Cairo has now made me cry thee times!! Cryro more like it, as I’m sure I’m not the only one.
    Once when I saw the first video, a second time (happy tears) when he was rescued and a third time when I read your blog.
    I was actually going to get in the van and drive down to try to get him, by any means possible, but Joe said it was going to be sorted, so no better man to put your faith into.
    Thank you for this reminder of the Happy llama. And for the image in my head now of you calling him like a cat 😂 😂
    Love from all up here xx


    1. Joe & Cairo are the stars! I know, I think the owners were like, will he be safe with this cat caller!!! It could have ruined everything!! Love to You all up there & here’s to happy tears xxx


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