If you’ve read my blog within the past three weeks, then you know I’ve been somewhat ‘out of commission’ with a back ailment. During this time, my husband, Ed, has taken on the majority of the household chores.
As if this isn’t enough, he’s been shouldering all of the animal-related duties, as well. Yes, poor Ed has been dealing with the feeding and care of every single member of our ‘special needs’ household–including me. Caring for an ailing wife and her pets is one thing, but, in our case, it borders on being downright ridiculous, as you will soon see.
For instance, our dog, Morris, is an outside dog, and he’s old. He’s pretty much blind and deaf, and, therefore, marches to the beat of his own drum. He doesn’t come when called, because he can’t hear, and it’s not always easy to find him at mealtime because he lays low, these days. Making sure Morris gets fed can be quite a task.
Next come the cats–all fourteen of them. Two of our cats are pretty old. Trouble, the oldest cat of the bunch doesn’t even live at our house, but lives at Ed’s parents’ vacant house. (You could say we inherited her, along with the house.) Ed has to drive about a quarter of a mile, each day, just to feed her.
Charlie, our next oldest cat, is about 12. Both Charlie and Trouble now require some canned food at both meals, in addition to a little dry food. Their teeth aren’t as good as they used to be. Cans are just more aggravation and expense to deal with, but we do what we can to keep our oldest felines satisfied.
Drake, our male tabby, is the next oldest of our clan. I’m not exactly sure how old Drake is, because I adopted him from the animal shelter, as an adult. My guess is he’s not far behind Charlie in age, but Drake is senile. He gets agitated and confused easily, and his equilibrium is off, as well. Bless him.
Smut, Kyle, Big Red, and Fat Susan are more of our shelter rescue cats, and all are close in age. They’ve just celebrated their 11th birthdays. All are still in relatively good health, with the exception of Fat Susan, who’s overweight, and Big Red who has a bad limp from an old leg injury. The problem with this bunch is we have to watch Fat Susan, carefully, because she’s a bully and a food hog!
Fat Susan, who lives up to her name
Next we have Kitty Bee and Sarah Callie Girl, two calico cats, who were also rescued from the shelter. They’re around age 11, as well. The problem with these cats is they didn’t bond with the others, for some reason, and have to be fed separately–far away from the rest of the bunch. More special needs kitties. Both stay in the woods most of the time–in two different places!
Kitty Bee (left) and Sarah Callie Girl
Smut, Suzy, Bobs, Jo Jo, and Baby–who comprise the rest of our feline family–usually get along pretty well, and don’t seem to mind sharing a meal together, but then there’s MAC (acronym for Mean Ass Cat). When MAC chooses to come and dine with the others, he always comes hissing and growling. We have to keep a close eye on MAC to make sure he doesn’t attack anyone–including us! He’s very temperamental, and a bit paranoid.
Last, but not least, we have our nine hens, ‘the girls’. (Sadly, we lost one of our ‘older girls’, to a health issue, yesterday.) I love ‘my girls’, but let me tell you, it’s a lot of work taking care of them properly. The coops have to be cleaned, the sand in the runs has to be scooped twice daily (think humongous litter box), and the chickens have to be fed and watered twice daily. Oh, and eggs have to be gathered and washed each day, too! Then, of course, there’s the occasional ‘booty washing’ that must be done… and let’s not forget the chore of trying to keep our two free-ranging girls in their proper place!
One of those pesky red hens, sneaking up on the front porch…again!
Yes, poor Ed has his hands full, at the moment. The good news is things are slowly beginning to get better with my back. As my back improves, I’m trying to help Ed out in any way I can. The bad news is, progress is coming slowly. I’m thankful Ed is a patient man. He’s outside feeding animals and cleaning coops, in the rain, as I am writing this…Bless him.