Category Archives: Cats, dogs, chickens, and other critters

Moving right along

We’ve been motoring along here.

The chickens, at just over three weeks, continued in their baby dinosaur phase.

Baby chickens

Mostly, like any babies, they ate, slept, pooped, and required frequent changes of their dirties.

A new puppy, just in time for my sister’s 29th birthday, and my 40th.

Einstein sleeping

He – Einstein – sleeps quite a bit, too. But only after he’s been running around like he’s on puppy uppers, playing as only puppies can.

We were also awaiting the arrival of yet another baby, who would continue that time-honored tradition of eatings, sleeping, and pooping.

Gabs

Fortunately, she held off on making the birthday party really lively.

My sister and I had been letting our hair grow out so we could then have it cut off and donated to Locks of Love. We had decided that would be a fine birthday present for both of us.

Hairy

That turned out well.

Aubs after a trim

Although for some reason – and we didn’t realize this until well into the evening during the party when my sister pointed it out – mom and I were wearing the same color. Must be that whole spring thing.

Birthday 2008

Lazy day

Night, actually. I’ve never watched Lost, as I don’t watch a lot of network television and even fewer series shows. I believe the last series I used to watch on even a regular basis was ER, many years ago, and then not as religiously as some people watch “their shows”. I happened to catch pieces of it the other night (time travel? seriously?) because of this crew:

Sleeping on the couch

The chickens were sleeping, too, but not on the couch and not particularly interested in waking up every now and again to see what was happening on the show.

Chicks sleeping

Tastes like chicken

Mickey thinks so, anyway.

Tastes like chicken

The thing about chickens is that really (from a pet standpoint), they simply aren’t all that bright. Which is fine, really, when you think about it. They’re not like dogs, who need and crave attention, and not like cats with their “One day we will take over this planet, as soon as we hit our quota of naps.” mentality. No, chickens – or chicks in this case – spend much of their time peeping and cheeping, pecking away at anything that looks like food, sleeping, and pooping. Eventually, they’ll earn their keep by paying for their room and board in eggs. When Heather and Michael brought over our three on Saturday, a small moth got into the house and was flittering around, to and fro. He made the mistake of getting into the box where we’re holding the chicks until they are old enough to go outside. I waved it over toward the watering dish, and when it alit, one of the chicks snatched it and gobbled it down. Nifty. I can’t wait for them to be outside putting a hurt on the grasshopper population. They also got one worm apiece from our composting batch, but that’s it for those worms. Their future treats will be from the bait shop.

And when I said they weren’t particularly bright, I meant it. This, after all, is not what is generally thought of as chicken feed. But I suppose someone has to be the nonconformist.

Chicken feed

A peaceful sleep

Back on the 18th of February, I mentioned that my cat, Boots, was dying. We knew it wasn’t going to be much longer, and so it wasn’t – after all, she was about 18 years old. I had been sleeping on the couch for about a week or so, Boots with me, just to have some time together and to be with her in the event she happened to go overnight. The Wednesday after posting that, I had gone to the NOC to do a few things, and when I got back after midnight, I found her on the floor, back legs splayed out, on the threshold between the dining room and kitchen. She couldn’t stand well and couldn’t walk, and I knew that this was not the way it should be. I scooped her up and laid down on the couch with her. At some point, I drifted off, and when I woke up around 4 AM Thursday morning, found that she had pulled herself out of my lap, to the floor, and over toward the front door. I picked her up again and made her as comfortable as possible until we could call the vet to take her in.

We did, speaking to the very nice folks at a new vet’s office, closer to the house. They told us to go ahead and bring her in. I wrapped her up in a towel and carried her outside to show her the spot we’d picked out for her: the west side of the property, near the very largest tree on the property, with lots of sunshine (because she loved rolling around in the sun and being outside) and a place where I could get some flowers to grow (because she, although the smallest cat, was bold and in another life was probably a jungle cat of some kind). When I took her outside, she turned her face toward the sun and I could see her nose twitching, sniffing the fresh air. There was a bluejay in the big tree, chattering away at us as we looked at the spot.

I started back across the property toward the house and the car, and Boots had her head hanging over my arm, still sniffing the air. As I reached the front porch, I turned her head toward me, and saw that quite clearly, she was, at that moment, dying. We called the vet’s office back and told them we would not need their services for this after all. I sat down on the porch, Boots wrapped up in my arms, the sun on our faces, a slight breeze brushing us, and then she was gone. Peacefully. At home. With her people.

The flower seed we planted that morning over her is already starting to come up.

RIP Bootsie

No doubt that’s one of the things she would dream about when she slept like she did in the picture above, taken a day before the new year arrived.

Rest in peace, old girl.

Endgame

My cat is dying.

Boots

She’s been dying for awhile, of course, just as we all are at our own varying speeds.

Boots outside

Her time is simply coming to an end sooner than that same end is coming for the rest of us.

In the sunshine

For now, she occasionally gets outside to sun her old bones, but mostly she sleeps. She eats a little here and there, drinks a bit from time to time, but not much and not a lot. She’s still affectionate, and her motor still runs harder and louder than you’d expect from such a small cat.

Buddies

And she still has her buddies to keep her company until she’s finally ready to move on.

Surivival of the seedlings

That might make a good title for a b-grade horror/sci-fi flick.

The seed flats that were blown over and crashed on the ground appear to be surviving, and even thriving. I did not get any photos today since I spent the bulk of the early part of the day in bed wishing away the nastiness that has infected me. Tomorrow, though, some pictures and hopes of sorting out what is where in one seed flat, given that my layout doesn’t match any longer. It wouldn’t be bad to be surprised by any or all of it, but it would help to know what’s what when we prep them to move to the frames. Also on th list: order more chicken and worm poop – our worms are about ready for their next tray, it seems, so eventually, we should be self-sufficient on that. I’m not sure how much poop three chickens will put out, but whatever they give will be cured and then added to the outside compost pile to add to the party. Heather tells us that our chicks will be ready probably the first week o March – only a couple of weeks away, so we need to get cracking (ha – get it?) on a coop for those critters.

Super Sunday

Superbowl day (and what the hell with this stupid pregame crap on Fox, anyway, reading the Declaration of Independence? This household polls 100% WTF.), but also a very fine Sunday to do various things around the homestead: a test mix of soil to go in one frame, to see how we liked it. The answer: we liked it very much indeed, and will be mixing up a huge batch in the coming week or so to fill a lot more frames to hold the seedlings we’ve started – and a whole lot more that will be directly sowed.

I finalized the area for the chickens and their coop,¬† spread some hay, put out another flat of seedlings, supervised my sister’s preparation of the guacamole, and let others put the kebobs on the grill. If I could drink alcohol at all, I’d be kicking back with a nice cold beer, noshing on chips and guac, waiting for the food. Alas, none for me. Guess I’ll round up some chips, though, and give those a go while I get some more work stuff done.

Enjoy the game, everyone. For the record, I picked the Patriots.

Birthdays, we got birthdays

Three, to be precise. We combined them into a single dinner to keep our (my) sanity intact, since I am also cooking for tomorrow’s superbowl dinner and next Saturday’s baby shower for Gabs.

But first, to the humor impaired fuckwit who took some weird offense at my “sarcasm” based on my being funny about the length of an error message presented by an application: it takes a certain arrogance to think that the entire world revolves around you and that every comment is directed at you personally. It does not, and it is not. Get over yourself. And thanks for the reminder about why it’s a complete waste of energy to try to respond with anything other than “Fixed.” when people like you open a ticket. Pity we didn’t know you’d be such an ass before we replied – but we certainly know now, don’t we?

The Boy turned 22 yesterday, and requested steak for dinner. We had ordered some bison ribeyes, so we had those, with baked potatoes, rice with shallots and parm (mom’s request), and roasted vegetables (red onion, zucchini, tomatoes). I also made a fresh batch of vanilla ice cream to go along with the cake.

Seven (and a half) for dinner.

Table for seven

Roasted vegetables. All gone.

Roasted veg

Burning down the house.

Lighting

A cake afire.

Fiery cake

The lights begin to dim.

Blown out

Quite a nice evening, altogether, but yet another in a series of very long days today for me. Today, in addition to work and the cooking, we also finally got some seeds started and I prepped an area – by hand, no less – about 56′ by 15′ to lay some seed¬† (a pasturegrass mix, no endophytes). This will be the area we’re planning to keep the chickens and their coop when they graduate from chickhood. I still need to clear a space and some kind of cage for them when they arrive later this month, as I’m definitely not allowing them to take over my bathtub for three weeks. Whatever I come up with will also have to be cat-proof, since without that, their lifespan will be quite short indeed.

It’s a tough job

But someone has to be the Princess.

The Princess is not amused.

Now that I’m no longer watching Food Network and football season is drawing to a close, I have discovered some of the strangest shows I’ve ever seen – they’re new to me, since I rarely watch television other than sports, documentaries, and movies. Among these are shows like Clean House, Clean Sweep, and the one on right now called Wasted Spaces where I gather they usually help people turn wasted space into something useful but on this one are showing a junk-filled house like the other two do normally. I’m sure everyone else is up to speed on these shows, but they surprised the hell out of me. Not because I don’t think people won’t watch them. On the contrary, I have no doubt that there are people quite unlike me, who tune in to every episode of these shows in the same way people tune in to whatever their favorite sitcom happens to be.

What I do not get about these shows is why on earth anyone would want to display their junk for the world to see. Some of these places are hideous, and quite honestly, I’d be ashamed to let anyone see crap piled up in every single room in the house. There is no way I’d be able to live like that – just looking at it gives me the creeps.

At the end of all these shows, the result is pretty much the same: the house is in order, nice and clean, and the people are happy to have their junkiness taken care of for them. What I’d like to know is what happens six months down the road. Does anyone know if these shows go back to the places they’ve cleaned to show what these people are doing now?