Another Edition Of “The Man With The Can”…

When I first posted “The Man With The Can” I had no idea my story would continue for so long, or take the twists and turns it has taken.  It just goes to show, you never know.  Here’s some brief background.

Fifteen years or sixteen years ago, I adopted a gray kitten from Ed’s parents’.  I thought the kitten was a male, but it turned out to be a female.  I named her “Trouble”, and she’s lived up to her name.   Flash forward a few years…”Trouble” is a ‘loner’, couldn’t stand the other[shelter] cats I adopted, and eventually left home, ending up back at Ed’s parents’ house. By then, our youngest son, Brad, was living with Ed’s elderly, widowed, mom, so he took care of “Trouble”.  Flash forward a few more years…Ed’s mom entered an assisted living facility, subsequently passed away, Brad got married and moved away.  “Trouble” stayed behind, living at Ed’s parents’ house, where she’s been living alone (or should I say without humans?) for the past three years or so.  My husband, Ed, goes to the house and feeds her every afternoon.  He’s “the man with the can.”

Now, even though “Trouble” is a ‘loner’, somehow, stray cats manage to keep making themselves at home around her–at least for a little while.  The latest newcomer is a large, young black male cat.  He showed up, starving, so, of course, Ed fed him.  He’s been hanging around for the past 3 or 4 months, even though our oldest son has tried to entice him to stay at his house.

About a month ago, Ed and I saw a black carcass on the side of the busy highway that runs in front of Ed’s parents’ house.  Our hearts sank, since we both just knew the black cat was dead.  Later, that day, Ed took a shovel, intending to remove the cat’s carcass off the highway and bury it.  Imagine his surprise when he discovered the carcass belonged to a skunk! Now here’s where this story takes an interesting turn.

A few days ago, Ed ran into his brother, who’s also our neighbor, and they began talking about this and that.  In the course of the conversation, the subject of the black cat came up.  It turned out that “Black Kitty” belongs to Ed’s brother and his wife!

You see, a couple of years ago, there were five kittens, belonging to a feral cat who’d been living at Ed’s parents’ house, along with “Trouble”.  The feral cat left, and gave birth to her kittens underneath our son’s house, which is located near by.  After about 3 weeks, something happened to the mama cat, leaving behind five very tiny kittens, not quite old enough to fend for themselves.  Ed was doing the best he could, feeding them softened canned cat food, when, one day, an old red tom cat showed up and literally carried all five kittens into a thicket that grows in the middle of the family farm.  We later found one of the kittens at Ed’s parents’ house, and were able to rescue and adopt it.  I named her “Baby”.

It turned out that three of the four other kittens found their way to Ed’s brother’s house (I suspect with the help of that red tom cat), and were adopted by Ed’s brother and his wife.  All three kittens turned out to be males, and, eventually, the strongest and meanest of the three ran the others off, which explains why “Black Kitty” is hanging out at Ed’s parents’ house!

In thinking back, when “Baby” was still a kitten, a black kitten showed up at our house, one weekend.  The kitten and “Baby” spent all weekend playing together, outside, then I saw the strangest thing happen.  I saw that same red tom cat [who’d stolen the kittens before] sneak into our yard, pick the black kitten up, and drag him off, toward my BIL’s house!  I’ll bet that little black kitten was “Black Kitty”, and, apparently, the red tom cat wanted him to go “home”.

Epilogue: It’s been a long, long time since we’ve seen the red tom cat.  He used to come and join “Trouble” for supper, occasionally, but now he doesn’t.  I’ve often wondered where he is, and thought about how he “mothered” all those little abandoned kittens, for a time.  I believe there are angels among us, in all forms.  How about you?

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Published in: on January 26, 2016 at 8:50 am  Comments (2)  
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Living In A ‘Special Needs’ Household…

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.

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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.

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Charlie

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.

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Drake

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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

 

 

Published in: on April 29, 2015 at 7:55 am  Comments (2)  
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‘Tweety’…

I wasn’t looking for a pet bird when ‘Tweety’ entered my life.  I’d owned four parakeets, over the years, and had enjoyed all of them, but I thought I was finished with the ‘bird phase’ of my life.  Little did I know…

The year was 2005, and I was still working at school, as a parapro, then volunteering at the local animal shelter during weekends and summers.  Everyone at school knew I was committed to finding homes for any animals who needed them–after all, I’d adopted over twenty of them during the past year alone!

I was in my classroom, working, when a co-worker stuck her head in the door and asked if I’d be interested in adopting a parakeet.  She said a pretty green and yellow bird had showed up at their house, under their carport.  She said the bird was relatively tame, so her husband had been able to capture it.  They had not been able to find its owner, and she wasn’t interested in keeping it, so she thought of me.  Without giving it a second thought, I agreed to take the bird.’Tweety’ came to me housed in a tiny pink mouse cage, which the teacher said I could have.

I quickly determined that it was a male bird, from the blue-colored area where its nostrils were located, just above its beak.  Judging from the ‘color bars’ still left on its head, the bird was still fairly young.  Probably under a year old.  I couldn’t keep a parakeet in a mouse cage, so I quickly found him a bird cage on eBay and ordered it. For some reason, I decided to call the bird, ‘Tweety’, but in later years,  I usually just called him ‘Tweeters’.

When I got the bird home,  he was wild as he could be, and flapped his wings every time I neared his cage.  It took weeks for him to calm down enough so I could feed and water him peacefully! I often wondered how in the world that teacher’s husband managed to lay his cap over that bird, in order to capture it!

I believe, Tweety’s previous owners had taught him to talk.  I could tell, because I once taught a parakeet how to talk.  They ‘talk’ in a certain pitch and tone, and you have to listen closely to decipher what they are saying, especially at first.  Listening to what parakeets are saying is often difficult because they do most of their talking when it’s noisy around them.

For some reason, Tweety liked my daughter, and did most of his ‘talking’ when she was around. We noticed, when she started talking, Tweety started ‘talking’, too, but we were never able to understand what he was saying.  If we got quiet and tried to listen, Tweety got quiet, as well.  (We did notice, recently, that Tweety had learned how to imitate the baby chicks who had been staying next-door, in the pool room!)

Tweety lived, in his cage, on top of my curio cabinet, which is located in a corner of the living room.  He seemed to like his ‘bird’s eye view’ of his surroundings, and I liked the way the decorative top edge of the curio cabinet caught all of the stray seeds and feathers, and kept them out of sight.  Birds are messy creatures!

I hung a two-sided mirror in Tweety’s cage, and he dearly loved it!  A little bell hung from the end of the mirror, too.  Tweety loved kissing and talking to his reflection in that mirror, and he loved ringing his bell!

The years passed, and I began to wonder how much longer Tweety was going to be with me. None of my other birds lived past the age of seven, and I was nearing the nine year mark with Tweety–not counting the time he’d spent with his previous owner!

A while back, I could tell that Tweety was slowing down.  He’d stopped using his cuttlebone to sharpen his beak, and didn’t ring his bell quite as often.  A couple of weeks ago, I noticed more changes, and I knew Tweety’s days were growing short.

Yesterday morning, when I got up, I immediately noticed Tweety wasn’t on his perch.  I looked in the bottom of his cage, and there he sat.  Tweety was alive, but I knew he wouldn’t be for much longer. Tweety quietly passed away a couple of hours later.

This morning the house is eerily quiet.  No sounds of Tweety hopping around in his cage, no sounds of his ringing bell.  Yesterday afternoon, Ed buried Tweety, along with ‘Ethan’, the dog, and ‘Della’, the baby chick, who died recently.  Our pet cemetery continues to grow.

It’s amazing how God’s creatures can enter our lives and become such a part of us!  I always begin to fret as my pets grow older (and I have a lot who are!).  It’s painful to have to say “good-bye”, but, in the end, I wouldn’t change a thing because of the joy they bring.

Rest in peace, dear ‘Tweeters’.  Perhaps we’ll meet again someday…

Published in: on November 4, 2014 at 10:38 am  Comments (5)  
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‘The Man With The Can’ Continues…

If you are a regular reader here, you are probably familiar with our continuing saga of the cats at Ed’s late parents’ house.  I’ve posted about  ‘The Man With the Can’ HERE and HERE if you would like to catch up on the story.  Today’s story picks up where the last story left off.

 100_3920Trouble

Let me begin by saying that ‘Trouble’ is still alive and doing well for a cat of her age.  Ed began giving her 1/2 can of cat food, along with her dry food, after her last health issue.  Trouble absolutely loves canned cat food!  Every afternoon you will find Trouble sitting under the carport waiting for her evening meal.  Recently, she’s picked up the bad habit of coming to meet Ed’s car, which worries us somewhat.  Trouble knows our vehicles, and, sometimes, will start to head toward Ed’s car, while he’s waiting to turn in off of the busy highway.  It would be easy for an accident to happen now that she’s started doing this.  Sigh.

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Jo Jo

‘Jo Jo’, the gray kitten who found his way to our house, about a year ago, is alive and doing well.  He’s become a full-fledged tom cat, these days. He picked a fight with every cat on the place, once his testosterone kicked in!  I’d love to have him neutered, but he’s become a bit skittish since his hormones kicked in.  He’s not gentle and loving like he used to be.  Besides, I once had a bad experience while having a ‘skittish’ cat ‘fixed’, and I’m in no mood to go through that experience again!  (My cat attacked the vet tech, and it cost me a lot of money (and heartache) when they kept my cat under quarantine for 10 extra days!)  The bottom line is, ‘Jo Jo’ will not be getting neutered.

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the new kitty (at its worst)

Which brings me to the cream-colored kitten we adopted back at the beginning of the summer.  As far as I know, this kitten is the only survivor out of the litter of ‘Rainbow Kittens’.  If the circumstances had been different, and we hadn’t been able to bring it home, I’m quite sure this kitty wouldn’t be alive today.  It had a respiratory virus, a ton of fleas, and was nothing but skin and bones, covered with fluff when we brought it home.

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kitty growing and getting healthier

The kitty turned out to be a ‘she’, and after giving much thought about what to name her, I decided on the name of ‘Baby’.  It fit her perfectly, since she’s “the baby” at our house–and she knows it, too!  After a lot of time and TLC, ‘Baby’ has finally grown into a healthy, beautiful cat.

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Baby (a couple of months ago)

Now, Baby is technically Jo Jo’s niece, since his sister gave birth to the litter of ‘Rainbow Kittens’. They’ve actually got a family connection.  From the day we first brought Baby home, Jo Jo took a real liking to Baby!  Unfortunately, Jo Jo’s testosterone was kicking in about then, and he kept trying to do ‘nasty things’ to our little baby!  It was pathetic.  Poor Baby just thought Jo Jo wanted to play with her!  After much scolding, on our part, and some thinking on his part, Jo Jo finally figured out Baby wasn’t old enough for sex.  Since then, he’s become her best friend and protector, while biding his time for her to mature!  The two eat together, daily, and can be seen playing together each morning and afternoon.

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Baby and Jo Jo

Speaking of a ‘family connection’, Baby has a family connection with another cat at our house, too!  She comes from the same descendants as our cat, ‘Charlie’, whom we got from Ed’s parents, quite a few years ago. Baby and Charlie’s family connection is quite evident through their appearance!  The two, also, share the honors of being the youngest and oldest members of our feline family.

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 Charlie and Baby

The months have passed quickly, and, now, the time has come for Baby to go to the vet to be spayed. There’s no way I’d not have this done, especially with Jo Jo lurking around waiting! I’ve taken dozens of cats to have this procedure done, but it never gets easier.  I do not like caging my babies, then leaving them in a strange place!

Please keep ‘Baby’ in your thoughts and prayers (and me, too) as we begin our ‘spaying adventure,’ early tomorrow morning.  I’ll be glad when it’s over, and Baby is safely home again!  Actually, the real adventure will begin tonight, when I have to keep Baby in the house, but separated from the baby chicks!  Wish me luck 🙂

Published in: on September 25, 2014 at 10:23 am  Comments (6)  
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The New Arrivals…

The baby chicks arrived safe and sound yesterday morning!  They made their journey from a hatchery in Ohio, to our house in Georgia, in about 40 hours.  (What a way to begin their first day and a half of life!)  The post office called me to pick them up just after 8 a.m.  I could hear my babies chirping in the background, so I knew[at least] some of them had survived the trip!

I quickly filled the chick dispensers with food and water, turned on the heat lamp in the brooder box, then headed for the post office.  The post office had only been open for 10 minutes when I arrived to pick up my new baby ‘girls’.

After filling out and signing a little paperwork, I was soon headed back home with my new babies.  On the way home, I prayed I wouldn’t discover any dead little bodies when I opened the tiny box. The baby chicks chirped during the entire trip, and I marveled at what a sweet sound they make.  I noticed one chick chirped much louder than the rest, who seemed to be chirping in sweet harmony.

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 box of chicks, before I opened it

Upon arriving home, I took a deep breath and prepared to open the box, which turned out to be a somewhat difficult task. Once I removed the four staples holding the end flaps down, I removed the lid, then let out a sigh as I admired what was inside! There in the box were eight precious baby chicks, all living and breathing! God had answered my prayers.

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 chicks immediately after I opened the box

The baby chicks were nestled in a bed of straw-like material, and the inside of the box was surprisingly warm to the touch.  I’d worried that they might be cold during their journey, but they seemed to be okay.

The chicks hadn’t seen the light of day since they were hatched, on Monday, so it took them a few moments to become acclimated to their new surroundings.  I quickly picked each one up, and examined it before gently placing it into the warm brooder.

Before I put each chick down into the brooder, I dipped its beak into the drinking water, to show them what water is.  Some began drinking immediately, while others were a little slower to catch on.  Within thirty minutes, everyone was eating and drinking.  What a miracle, that each chick somehow knew what to do!

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 chicks warming up under the red infrared heat lamp 

Upon opening the box, I noticed one chick appeared to be a little smaller than the others.  This chick was the last one to drink and eat, and was a little unsteady on its feet for part of the day.  This chick will probably be the runt of the flock, and will probably be the last in pecking order, if it survives.

Much of  yesterday was spent going back and forth,  trying to regulate the temperature of the brooder, and trying to keep the chick’s water supply clean. (They’re not choosy where they poop!) By mid-afternoon, after changing to a larger watt bulb, I finally manged to stabilize the temperature around the light to around 95 degrees.  Keeping the water clean will be an ongoing process!

I’ve read that chicks bond with the first thing they see, after hatching, and will consider this thing their mother.  This might be true, because the chicks seem to have no fear of me at all. (The chicks I previously bought at Tractor Supply were afraid of me, at first.)  The book Are You My Mother? comes to mind 🙂

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chicks doing what they do best–eating and drinking

Yesterday, the chicks ate and drank a lot!  In fact, they ate and drank more than they slept.  As they continued to eat, I could almost see them growing, believe it or not.  Wing feathers are already beginning to sprout and grow.  These babies won’t say little and fuzzy for very long!

The new flock consists of three different breeds of chickens.  There are three Australorps (black chickens), three Plymouth Barred Rocks (black/white speckled chickens), and two Delawares (white chickens, with just a touch of black).  All of the chicks are supposed to be females! (there’s a 10% chance of sexing error)

Personalities are already beginning to emerge, and it appears that the two white Delawares are going to be smart and feisty. I’ve read a few reviews about Delawares being a bit aggressive to other chickens, but I read some very good reviews about them, too.  I decided to take a chance.  I sure hope these don’t turn out to be ‘mean girls’!  Worse yet, I hope they don’t turn out to be ‘mean boys’!  There’s nothing meaner than a white rooster!  I’ll keep you posted with future developments 🙂

Morning update:  I’ve discovered who my loud chirper is, and it’s turned out to be one of those feisty Delawares!  (Wouldn’t you know?)  She woke me up at 1:30 this morning.  When I went to see who was making the fuss, there she was–standing among all of her sleeping sisters, while chirping at the top of her lungs!  I’ve decided to call this lively one, ‘Della’. (short for Delaware)  I’ll call her sister, ‘Dixie’. (short for Dixie Chick)

The smallest baby chick is still with me, and I’m hoping she will catch up and begin to thrive.  Any suggestions for a name?  If she makes it, she’ll grow up to look like this:

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That’s about it for today’s news on ‘the new arrivals’.  I’m sure more news will follow…

Published in: on September 11, 2014 at 9:27 am  Comments (6)  
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The Tale Of The Pampas Grass Cat…

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Sarah Callie Girl- coming out to have breakfast

I seem to be on somewhat of a roll this week, so I figured I might as well end the week with one more tale.  This tale is about one of the cats I rescued from the shelter, back in 2004.  I say “one of the cats I rescued” because in between 2004 and 2005, I rescued over twenty-five kittens and cats!  I have a soft spot in my heart for animals in distress, especially cats!

I’d rescued a lot of cats and kittens, and  by 2005, our yard was getting pretty crowded.  Ed was about ready to run me and all of my rescues out of town on a rail, but a couple more doomed cats would steal my heart away before I finally retired from rescuing!  Sarah Callie Girl was one of those doomed cats.

Sarah, was dropped off at the shelter, along with a sister, or two.  The kittens were already several months old when they were abandoned at the shelter.  In fact, they were half grown.  Older cats or kittens, especially females, were rarely adopted, so I knew Sarah and her sisters were doomed from the start.  One day, when I could no longer stand it, and I knew ‘the end’ was drawing near,  I brought Sarah home with me.

My family of cats was already well established by this time, so it was harder for a new cat to fit in.  In fact, Sarah never did fit in.  I don’t think the other cats really had a problem with Sarah, but she sure had a problem with all of them.  Sarah hissed and growled every time anyone looked her way, which made her very unpopular!

In 2007, when Ed and I moved into our new house, right next door, Sarah chose to stay over at the old house.  Oh, she’d come over to our new house long enough to eat, then she’d high-tail it back over to the old house!  Several months later, when our daughter and her family moved into our old house, Sarah sort of became their cat.  You could say, Sarah came with the house!

For several years, Sarah lived on, around and under the front porch (and steps) of our old house.  Sometimes I’d furnish cat food for my daughter to feed Sarah,or she ate scraps from our daughter’s family.  Sometimes Sarah would even come over to our house and join the other cats for a meal.  One thing was for sure, if Sarah came over to our house to eat, she didn’t stay long!  Soon we’d see a furry streak heading back across the yard!

About a year ago, our daughter’s family adopted a dog.  He’s a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix, named “Jack”.  Jack hates cats, and has terrorized every feline on the place every since he moved next door!  Poor Sarah finally had to take refuge in the woods next to the house, just to get some peace.

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Sarah-cautiously eating her breakfast

For weeks, I’d take a bowl to the edge of the woods and keep the dog away while Sarah ate.  Then spring came, and we planted our garden. When the garden got big enough, Sarah began to stay out in the garden instead of in the woods.  I’d feed her at the end of the corn rows.  This arrangement worked fine until we had to cut down the garden, at the end of the summer.  By this time, we’d seen several snakes crawling in and around the woods, so I wasn’t keen on feeding Sarah in the woods anymore.

Sarah solved our dilemma by taking up residence in a clump of pampas grass at the edge of my daughter’s yard.  I planted that pampas grass many years ago, and Ed has fussed about it every since then!  I’m happy to  finally see that somebody else in the family finally likes my pampas grass!

Each morning and afternoon, either Ed or I will take some dry cat food out to the clump of pampas grass.  I’ll usually call “Sarah Callie Girl”, and Sarah will come out of a hole in the side of the grass!  Pretty clever, huh?  The grass keeps Sarah dry when it  rains, warm in the winter, and provides shelter from the dog.  That pampas grass has turned out to be quite useful, after all!

Note: Jack, the dog, isn’t often allowed to roam free outside, these days.  This gives Sarah and the other cats plenty of time to enjoy the great outdoors without being harassed.  Some of the cats have learned how to ‘put Jack in his place’ whenever necessary, so he doesn’t chase the cats as much as he once did.  Sarah, however, still lives in the pampas grass…

Published in: on November 22, 2013 at 8:26 am  Comments (7)  
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A Tale of Two Kitties…

This is the story of two kitties…Not my kitties, but my grandson’s two kitties.  I usually save all of my grandchilden stories for my second blog, “MiMi’s Mini Tales”, but this story was just too good not to share over here, too.

Several months ago, a tiny black and white kitten showed up at my son’s house…and it stayed.  Brett and his family didn’t really want or need a kitten, but they got one anyway. The kitten stayed outside, hung around their back porch, and ate their left-over scraps.  Because the kitten was always underfoot, Brett quickly nicknamed the kitten “Stupid”. 

It wasn’t long before Brett’s wife decided that “Stupid” wasn’t an appropriate name, so she changed the cat’s name to ” Toby”.  Brett and Christina’s two-year-old little boy, Caden, had his own idea of a name for the kitten, and soon he began calling him “Bingo”.   The little stray black and white kitten soon became known to our family as “Stupid Toby Bingo”, or “STB” for short.

Months passed, and “STB”–I mean, “Bingo”,  grew larger, and quickly earned the love and respect of his family when he kept the mice away from their home for an entire winter!  Caden became very fond of his furry friend, and it was obvious that “Bingo” loved Caden as well.  “Bingo” became a plump, happy little kitty, and he could always be seen outside,  switching his tail and running around the yard.

"Bingo" after his ordeal

About two weeks ago, on a Sunday evening, Christina was on her way to church.  She left home, and was about three-fourths of a mile down the highway when she heard a thud.  She quickly checked her rear view mirror because she thought she might have run over something.  She saw something black running off the side of the road, but didn’t think much about it– until later that evening when she returned home to discover “Bingo” was missing.  

Soon Christina began to realize that “Bingo” must have been hidden somewhere underneath her car, then fell out while she was going down the highway!  She realized that it must’ve been “Bingo” that she saw run off the side of the highway.

As bad as it was, I felt a little optimistic, since Christina had actually seen something black running off the side of the highway, but several days passed, and there was still no sign of “Bingo”.  We assumed he was either dead or lost for good.  Caden, who loves animals,  missed his friend, “Bingo”, terribly, so his mother decided to get him another kitten.

"Spencer" the new kitty

About eight or nine days after “Bingo” disappeared, Christina adopted a new kitten from a friend.  This kitten was also black and white, but was very small.  The family quickly named the new kitten “Spencer”, and began to get to know their new family pet.  He’s so tiny, they’ve been keeping him in  box inside their house for now.  

About two days after the adoption of “Spencer”, Christina went outside early one morning, and discovered a very skinny, very battered “Bingo” walking into the yard!  Somehow, the young cat had managed to survive falling out from under the rapidly moving vehicle AND found his way back home after ten days of being lost!  “Bingo” was very happy to be back home! 

Judging from the looks of him, “Bingo” had a wild ride, and is very lucky to be alive.  I think he may have used up one of his nine lives…and it will take a while to fatten him back up!  Talk about bad luck–how about surviving a fall from a moving vehicle, ten days of being lost, without food or water, only to arrive home and discover you’ve been replaced! 

Hopefully, the two kitties can co-exist and will eventually become friends!  I also hope that “Bingo” will continue to eat and drink, and become his chubby playful self again.  I enjoy stopping by, checking on him, and leaving him an occasional treat…sometimes, I’m funny like that.

By the way, after this ordeal, “Bingo” has totally earned our love and respect.  We now lovingly refer to him as “Mister STB”!

And that concludes my “Tale of two kitties”…have a great Tuesday!

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I’m hoping on board Tuesday Train.  If you’d like to join, click the button to find out how…

Published in: on May 17, 2011 at 8:54 am  Comments (8)  
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Saying Good-bye To Another Furry Friend…

"Fat Sandy"

It’s been about two weeks since we buried “Junior”, the dog, and yet we’ve already lost another one of our “furry friends”– a cat we  lovingly referred to as “Fat Sandy”.

I first met “Sandy” almost seven years ago while I was volunteering at our local animal shelter.  Sandy was a shy, sandy-colored cat, that had no sign of a tail.  Her tail wasn’t bobbed, she just didn’t have one!  Sandy was an older cat who had been dropped off at the shelter, along with her one remaining kitten–the owner no longer willing to keep them.  The little female kitten looked exactly like her mother, except she had a half tail, which made her look like someone had chopped part of her tail off! 

Being the “cat-lover” I am, I felt sorry for– and fell in love with both cats!  I wanted to give both of them a home, but I had already adopted several cats.  I decided maybe I could stand to adopt just one of them, but  I was torn between which one to adopt.  I knew that mother cats have little chance of getting adopted, but I wasn’t sure if anyone would take a kitten with one-half of a tail either!

The shelter lady helped me make up my mind by agreeing to keep the mother cat at the shelter for a while to be “the official shelter cat”.  This title kept animals from being euthanized–at least for a while longer than most.  I decided to adopt the kitten, and I named her “Stubby” because of her tail.  The shelter lady allowed me to name the mother cat, so I gave her the name “Sandy” because of her sandy color.

The weeks went by, and Sandy continued living at the shelter.  Loretta, the shelter lady, allowed Sandy to roam free in the isolation room of the shelter instead of being confined in a small cage.  I donated a cat tree to the shelter, and Sandy’s favorite place to stay was in the top of that cat tree!  

It soon became apparent that Sandy wasn’t a very social cat, and  I was pretty sure nobody would ever adopt Sandy.  I wasn’t sure how long she would be allowed to live at the shelter–so of course I eventually ended up adopting her, too.

Sandy did fine once I brought her home.  She was much more relaxed at our home, although she always remained a bit skittish.  At first Sandy was a house cat, but she had a bad habit of climbing onto the kitchen table and counters– she loved high places!  She also had a bad habit of stealing!  She stole a whole loaf of bread off the counter once!  Sandy loved to eat, so she eventually ended up with the nickname “Fat Sandy”!  Sandy’s bad habits of climbing and stealing food eventually caused her to become an outside cat.

Sandy’s kitten, Stubby, disappeared about a year or two after I adopted her, but “Fat Sandy” lived a long and happy life outside.  Of course, we’ve all grown older, and we noticed the past few months that Sandy hasn’t looked as fat.  She began moving slower, and eating less.  Sandy still managed to hang around the door waiting for occasional “handouts” and she usually slept under the car port.  Then we noticed a big change in Sandy a few weeks ago, and knew that her time was running out.

Yesterday my husband buried our little “tailess friend”.  Although he used to fuss every time I brought home another shelter animal, he grieves along with me when one of them dies.  I’m glad I decided to give Sandy a home.  She was a good furry friend, and she was loved.  She’ll be sadly missed, too.

Published in: on March 20, 2011 at 11:34 am  Comments (8)  

Flashback Friday… About My Pets

 Hey guys, we have a guest hostess for today’s Flashback!  BP over at Raindrops and Rainbows will be filling in for Linda today.  If you’d like to join in the fun, just click her link!  We’re going to be reminising about our pets of the past…

Let me begin by saying I didn’t have a lot of pets while growing up, but I have more than made up for it as an adult–but more on that in a moment. 

My earliest pet memory is from when I was about age eight.  I remember we had a little black, shaggy dog named Sheba.  I don’t know what kind of dog Sheba was, but I’m guessing she was a mix of some kind of terrier, poodle, or something along those lines.  I remember Sheba getting “distemper”, and being very sick. 

I have a few more memories of Sheba, including the fact that she moved from Florida to Georgia with us.  Those were some turbulent times for my family, and my parents could hardly take care of themselves and me, much less a pet.  I didn’t know it at the time, but my dad got a friend to take Sheba to another town, about 2o miles away.  It took her over three weeks, but Sheba eventually found her way back home to us!  I remember going outside to walk to school, and there stood Sheba to greet me!  We kept her for a year or so after that, but eventually Sheba was given away again.  I used to think about her a lot, and wonder if she had a good life.  It was a long time before we got another pet.

The other pet that stands out in my mind was a Siamese cat whom we named Cleopatra Fontaine, thanks to my older brother’s suggestion!  I was a teenager when she entered our lives.  Cleo, as we called her for short, just wandered up to our house one day, and never left.  We lived pretty close to a motel, and we often wondered if she’d escaped from someone staying at the motel. 

Cleo was a beautiful cat, but she meowed all the time– and it was one of those annoying Siamese meows!  Cleo was a female cat, and like all female cats do–she blessed us with several litters of kittens.  Never once did Cleo give birth to a kitten that even remotely resembled her!  Her kittens looked like every tom cat in the neighborhood!  I married and moved away, leaving Cleo behind with my parents.

While I didn’t have an abundance of childhood pets, I’ve had more than my fair share as an adult.  I am a true animal lover!  As a married adult, my first pet was a gray tabby cat named “BB”.  I considered BB to be my first child, and she was treated like one!  Some cats are “special”, and BB was one of those.  I wrote an entire post about BB here. 

Over the years, our family has adopted nine dogs, four rabbits, five parakeets, two hamsters, a guinea pig, two hermit crabs, and too many cats and kittens to count!  Below are a few pictures of some of our family’s pets through the years…sadly, all of these pets passed away a long time ago.

In the photos you will see “Sandy”, our first child’s first dog, “BJ”, the furry black dog from hell, “Sadie”, our third dog, “Tazz”, my dalmatian–and our only dog with a pedigree, “Pussy Willow”, the dark gray kitty who could climb trees, but couldn’t ever get back down, and “Miss Kitty” a stray who adopted us as her family when her previous family moved. 

Notice the photo of “Sparky” the blue parakeet visiting with the guinea pig named “Scooter”.  The two of them were actually friends, and Sparky could talk!  Sparky was a smart little bird, and he would sit on Scooter’s cage, and say “Hey, Scooter Pig!”  It was hilarious! 

Out of the five parakeets that we’ve had, only two have been trained to talk.  “Tweety”, the parakeet that we have now can talk, but I didn’t train him, so I can’t understand what he’s saying.  I gave him a home after a co-worker found him sitting under her car port, and couldn’t find his owner.  Her husband caught him by putting his cap over him!  I’ve had Tweety Bird for over six years.

Tweety Bird

Our rabbits are over six years old, too.  The white one, named “Sugar Pie”, was a discarded Easter pet that I rescued from our local animal shelter.  “Honey Bun”, the brown Holland lop, was a gift from a friend who breeds show rabbits.  My husband has them very fat and spoiled!  Sugar Pie uses her litter box faithfully, while Honey Bun chooses to use a certain section of his cage for his bathroom!

Sugar Pie

Honey Bun

Speaking of our local shelter, I used to volunteer there on a regular basis–until I kept trying to rescue all of the pets on “death row”.  Eventually I had to give it up–but not before I adopted five dogs, a rabbit, and about nineteen cats and kittens!

These days,some of our pet population has dwindled due to age.  Two dogs have died of old age, since they were old when I adopted them, while a third had to be euthanized due to a health issue which couldn’t be cured.  I currently have two dogs, and fourteen cats left–plus the rabbits and parakeet.  All of my cats and dogs are outside pets, with the exception of “Bobs”, my “special needs” kitty.  She’s inside and outside, depending on how her behavior is!  Bobs is so special, it took a three part post to tell her story!  Trust me, it’s a doozie! 

Now you know all about my pets–past and present!  I told you I had a lot of them…

I’m also linking up Follow Friday today, as well as Boost My Blog.  Have a great weekend, and don’t forget–my giveaway is still in progress!

BoostMyBlogFriday

Published in: on March 18, 2011 at 8:04 am  Comments (3)  

Shelter Tales…Freckles

***I’m linking up today with http://www.mrsmamadrama.com and http://www.bellycharms.blogspot today for their co-hosted blog hop called “Think of Me Thursday”.  If you’d like to hop along, check out either blog for details on how to link up.

I was going through old photographs the other day, and I found some pictures of “Freckles”.  It’s been a while since I’ve posted a “Shelter Tale”, so it seems like a good day to write one.  Be forewarned though, this one doesn’t have a happy ending. 

Way back in 2004 I was volunteering at our local animal control shelter.  I was adopting LOTS of animals, because I couldn’t stand the thought of those beautiful, innocent, kittens and puppies being destroyed.  I was letting my heart overrule my head…I couldn’t help myself!  More times than not, after doing my Friday afternoon volunteer shift at the shelter, I would end up bringing some kind of an animal home with me. 

I already had several cats and kittens, as well as two adult dogs, and a hound puppy at home–when I went for my usual Friday visit to the shelter and saw “Freckles”!  It was love at first sight!  He was a white, fat, fluffy, little butterball of a puppy!  I knew my husband was probably going to kill me, but I had to have “Freckles”.  

Freckles--just look at that face!

I have no idea what kind of puppy that “Freckles” was, but he reminded me of a “Chow”.  His fur was thick and fluffy, and he was white all over except for his ear.  He had little black spots sprinkled all over his muzzle–hence the name “Freckles”.  “Freckles” also had a hernia, so I took him to the vet to get him checked out. The vet said that it would be fine to let the hernia wait until it was time to have “Freckles” neutered, then he would repair it at the same time he did the neutering.  

About four months later, “Freckles” was neutered and had his hernia repaired without any complications.  He was a happy healthy little puppy.  Our old collie mix “Hobbs” (the first dog that I adopted from the shelter) acted as “mother” and caretaker to “Freckles”, as well as the hound puppy that I adopted a few weeks before “Freckles”.  They were one little happy family. 

Freckles is giving Hobbs a kiss

Then when “Freckles” turned a little over a year old, his troubles began.  He developed the red mange.    He began to scratch a lot, and due to frequent scratching, he began to develop huge sores on his skin. I never did totally understand everything about mange, except that it concerns a dog’s immune system and mites.  There are two types of mange, regular mange, and the red mange.  The red mange is the most difficult type to cure.  80% of all dogs treated will be cured, the other 20% will not.  

The treatment for red mange is a dip prescribed by the vet.  It’s a strong chemical type of medication that is  mixed with water and sponged all over the dog.  You have to wear gloves to protect your skin.  It burns if it gets on your skin.  Judging from the way “Freckles” behaved, it must have burned his skin, too.  Treatment consisted of two treatments given two weeks apart. 

After being dipped, “Freckles” would act really sick for several days.  He was one miserable-looking dog.  After we’d dipped him twice, “Freckles ” still had huge sores.  I took him back to the vet, and they shaved all of his beautiful fur off.  We followed that with two more rounds of that horrible chemical dip.  “Freckles” just got sicker and looked more miserable.  He was no longer active.  He didn’t play with the other dogs anymore.  Instead he laid around licking his large, bloody, weeping wounds.  

Unfortunately, our poor “Freckles” fell into the 20% category of dogs who are unable to recover from red mange.  He could not be cured.  I was forced to make the toughest decision that I’ve ever had to make regarding one of my pets.  I made the choice to have him put to sleep to end his misery.  It was a sad day when my husband and I took “Freckles” to the vet for the final time.  I stood outside the office building on the steps and cried.  It makes me cry to this day to even think about it.  My husband went in and held “Freckles” until he breathed his last breath.  He came out with tears in his eyes, and swore that he would never do anything like that again. 

So that is the story of “Freckles”…a life that didn’t go exactly as we planned, but we gave him the best that we could–we tried.  The Christmas following “Freckles” death, I hung a small ornament of a freckle-faced dog, wearing angel wings on our Christmas tree.  I like to think that he’s still with us in spirit somehow.  At least he’s not alone in “Doggie Heaven” anymore, the old collie “Hobbs” who took on the role of  his”mother” and caretaker, passed away this year at Easter.

Published in: on August 26, 2010 at 8:43 am  Comments (6)  
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