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Posts Tagged ‘cats’

work in progess of a cartoon charcter of me.

rodents made this into a condo

The past few days have been just gorgeous. The air is cooler. The sky has been a range of clear blue, to heavy thick grey clouds and rain.  The trees haven’t changed color, even though the past couple of weeks the leaves have started to fall and dried leaves crunch beneath my shoes.

The yellow jackets are cranky with the cooler air, and the over abundance of fermented fruit.  Drunken bees are interesting indeed.

The grass and the wildflowers are now orange, red and browns mixed with dirty yellows.   Even the air smells like fall, dried grass and hay, mud, mold and Halloween.

 I feel a little sad; this summer was so hot, I couldn’t enjoy it. Each day was a steam bath of heat, making it nearly impossible to breathe, and walk at the same time. Even when I made an attempt, the mosquitoes forced me back indoors.

Now, I have to make my fall list of chores, I still haven’t finished my spring’s time list. Summer, forget it. That list was eaten by Uriah and I didn’t even care.

This past Friday the garbage was still sitting out by the curb, not having been collected on Thursday, the normal garbage pick up day; by Friday it was ripped open and spread around the mouth of the driveway by a skunk. I wanted to make sure it didn’t spread out into the road, so I rushed out and picked up the paper towels, and chicken bones scattered along the ground.

 As I shoved the very smelly garbage into a new plastic bag, I wondered, why the skunk hadn’t finished off all the bones. At that exact moment, when that question rattled around in my head, I saw a black nose, with black fur and a white stripe slip out of the drainage tile that stretched under the road  connecting the east side to the west.  

We shared a look and I stood up fast, “Oh no you don’t! I said out loud as I backed carefully away.  “You are not going to spray me!”

I thought I was safe, the skunk was in the drainage ditch and I was near the road. He would have to spray upward to get me.  I decided to ignore it.    I watched out for the cars whizzing by me, mere inches from my head.

Hurrying with the cleanup, I failed to notice one important thing.

 That little skunk had sprayed the other garbage bags.

I tossed the bag I was holding onto the pile, and then decided to straighten them all.

Right now, as I type this, I wonder why I had the compulsion to straighten the garbage bags….

The smell hit me hard, rotten chicken and the odd, burning green smell of skunk!

That skunk didn’t need to spray me, I did it myself. Then with all the brain power I had left, I covered my nose with my sleeve. The sleeve, which had skunk juice on it!

I headed back home, fast!  Uriah happily following behind, his nose pointed up as he kept sniffing the air around me. I gagged and blinked multiple times.  Having to stop when I thought my stomach would end up in the driveway if I moved to fast.

Next week, Michael is checking on the garbage!

****

Sorry, I haven’t been here a lot. I missed reading your Blogs. I will get back in the game. Sitting is a real pain.

Uriah is doing great. New dog food he lost a little weight. He needed to.

The examiner isn’t paying out like I hoped. They made some changes and the numbers aren’t posting correctly. Still I keep trying. I wrote my first article June 27th, I am on number 44 today, and I only made $17.97, that’s with 2,476 hits. Hmmm!?

I am trying my hand at cartooning myself. I jumped around on the internet checkout sites to make your self into a cartoon. Then I pieced together a character, redrew it, and colored it in paint. It is a work in progress. I posted it with this article on the examiner. ( I tried to add a link and wordpress just wouldn’t let me, here is the full link)

http://www.examiner.com/plant-life-in-chicago/searching-for-the-noxious-plant-called-marijuana-hampshire-illinois

 My camera started acting up. 90 % of the pictures came out blurred and the camera started making odd noises. Luckily I had a store warranty I took it back to Best Buy and they gave me a different camera. Maybe I should get an under water camera. It’s a thought.

 **Don’t read this part if your squeamish about women’s issues.* I’ve been doing the doctor run for Michael. Then I had my normal routine -yearly exams.  My doctor thought it would be a great idea to do a biopsy of my uterus. A fast decision he made. He said, instead of me coming back in a few months; let’s do this now…. I was in no position to argue. Michael said, I looked like I saw a ghost when I came out of the doctor’s office. perimenopause is so much fun! Results sometime next week.

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The sky was a bright baby blue, with dollops of white and grey whipped crème floating over head.

The humidity had abated for the past two days, slightly. The temperatures were in the eighties, with a cooling breeze that edged its ways over cow pastures and corn fields, filling the air with the pungent scent of wet hay, cows and manure.

Uriah was covered in a layer of powdery dirt. He had spent most of this hot, hot summer hiding under the deck, where he had dug himself a hole to keep cool, Uriah’s favorite place to sleep away the summer. He hated coming into the garage.  I assumed he didn’t want to miss the chance to chase a bird, or run in circles after a rabbit, rat, or skunk.

I pulled out the hose, set a bottle of watered down shampoo on the grill and picked up Uriah’s’ leash and harness.  Then, I looked around for the dusty dog.  He had slipped past me and was heading at a trot towards the apple trees.  Head down he never looked up as I tried to call him back.  Trying to drag him back would be a waste of time.  He always won.

I gave up! I turned off the hose and sat down on the steps, and decided to enjoy the day.

The warm breeze rustled the trees sending a spray of dried leaves floating to the ground.

It is still August and Mother Nature is yelling fall.

I already picked one soccer ball size pumpkin and set it inside on the kitchen table, there was another one slowly ripening, it was slightly bigger. A third had grown entangled in the tomato patch that one has been gnawed on for the past month by the rat family. I tried covering it when I first spotted the dark green fruit; I was excited it was actually growing. Then I was surprised by how much of the unripe pumpkin was eaten and it still grew. Now it is a bright orange buffet table, along with half a dozen zucchinis, whose insides were eaten first. They sat elongated and hollow. Mini rodent condos!

Mice and rats must be drawing straws to see who would be the one to forage for food. I wonder if they realize they are on a suicide mission.

The more they poke around the more they are noticed. The last rat, would yell at me when I came outside. She chattered a safe distance away, like a nagging wife/husband.. I haven’t seen her in a week or more.

With that thought, I saw a flash of dark gray fur scurry from the trees to the garden.

 I stood up to check it out, when this little creature hurried over to watch me!

 It poked its head up between the leaves and blinked. It had big cartoon eyes, a tiny body and the biggest roundest ears I ever saw on a rodent.

Uriah ambled over to find out who I was talking to, and then decided to save me and raced into the zucchini plants. The rat ran in the opposite direction and Uriah was left searching for something that was no longer there.

I stood and watched. I took notice that the grass needs to be cut. The door frames should be painted. The deck should have a coat of stain. And there is a nest of hornets or paper wasps that really shouldn’t be hanging near the door. 

All this and more should be added to my, ‘To Do’ list.

Things that I have to do before winter!  Stuff I can only do in the summertime.

Hmmm!  Like eating ice cream!  Once that thought flashed into my head, I put away the shampoo and dug in the freezer for the last ice cream bar. I un-wrapped it, then sat outside, on the steps, mentally adding to my list, ‘Get more ice cream!’

Uriah’s nose immediately zeroed in on the treat.

We shared…

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I have a few plants growing that I never planted. One looks like a Gourd. Or, maybe it’s yellow squash??

Sanosuke and Kaoru love Zucchini. It can be raw, or cooked they will gobble it up.

Here’s another what is this..Eggplant? Watermelon? Audrey II?

This one is growing on the west end of the garden, next to a pumpkin

Here’s the pumpkin..

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Purple Martins are very brave or very stupid, I haven’t figured out which, yet.

Martins will dive bomb anyone that comes out the door.  They have a fit when I’m standing on the back deck. They will swoop and whistle. Nearly hitting me and Uriah! The cats watch from the inside windows and love the attention they’re getting from those beautiful little birds.

I have never seen feathers that matte black, it reminds me of charcoal. I have to admit my camera isn’t able to capture their beauty.

I love having them around. I will overlook their mud nests because they eat their weight in mosquitoes daily.

Purple Martins have nested around my house for years, sometimes with dire consequences. They can build a nest fast; within two hours they can set up home. My first summer in this house, I made a mistake of leaving the garage doors open while I cleaned out the garage. I had no idea they had made a nest on the electric overhead garage door opener. So when I was finished I closed the birds in the garage, accidentally. The only reason I knew they were trapped, was when one of my cats brought a bird into the house and let it go…

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I was up at four thirty this morning. I wandered around the quiet house, then I opened the blinds and kitchen door and stepped outside onto the deck to watch and listen to the sunrise. Birds raised their voices in the cool morning air and sang.

When I make a video I try and choose the best audio I believe fits with the visual aspects. Doesn’t always work…

But, standing out in the early morning sunrise I don’t think anyone could have chosen any sounds better for this moment.

Yellow pink clouds in a clear baby blue sky, mists rising off the fields and the sun slowly rising in the east. I watched as the colors deepened to reds and yellows.

“Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning” I whispered to the Robin sitting on the roof.

The odd weather we have been having lately, baking in the humid heat, to storms with seventy five mile and hour winds, I wonder what today will bring. Behind me to the west the sky was a deep misty grey. I guessed maybe around noon I should see what Mother Nature has in store for us.

Uriah complained. He wanted to go outside. I pushed past the cats huddled near the screen. All were hopefully waiting for a bird or a horsefly to come their way. Kaoru talks to flies and Sanosuke eats them.

“Eat too many and you’re going to throw up!” I warn him over and over.

Kenshin stands close by and in total agreement about the flies.  He had to be given antibiotics because of his infatuation with flies. Now he ignores them. 

Uriah whined again. I let him out through the garage doors, then came back inside and collected his breakfast. Some Iams dry food, two liver snaps and a beef basted dog bone.

By the time I stepped outside he was already hunting out his ‘mouse’ formally known as, That Rat.

If, I call it a mouse he chases it. If, I call it a rat, well, I think he hears cat and we don’t chase cats.

I took a few moments to notice the wet grass and the chilly air was a bit more uncomfortable, while standing in the grass, than on the deck.

Still, early mornings, in the summertime, remind me of camping.

I would wake up starving and make an attempt to light a fire. Some worked most didn’t. When the fire started I would fry some bacon in a pan, add an egg or two and pull out some stale bread, which I would toast by setting on the edge of the pan. 

When the wet wood refused to burn; I would let my nose find breakfast. In state parks they have a small store, with a little area where they cooked up and sold a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage and coffee, milk or juice. Sitting around on a damp picnic table wrapped in a sweat shirt, half asleep, eating like I was starving  in that cool damp morning air, and usually the only meal without the added protein of bugs. Was a wonderful adventure! And that food was amazing!

The sun lifted up over the trees. Bright white yellow and reflecting off the mist and dew everything sparkled.

Uriah munched on his breakfast and I headed into the house for some pancakes and coffee, minus the bugs…

Happy Father’s Day!

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 This morning when I opened Uriah’s dog food container I  noticed it was very low.  I usually set the bag of dry food inside a tall plastic container, so each time I scoop out a cup I don’t have to lift the bag. Today I lifted a nearly empty bag. 

Time to go dog food shopping!

Uriah has a bad habit of not eating what I give him, at least not right away. When his brothers were alive he would tease them with his food. They ate faster then he did, with his usual, “I am starting trouble!”  grin!  He would sit on his food and wait.  Literally! Sit on his food!  So when they were finished and came nosing around he would show off by slowly eating in front of them.

Uriah, set in his ways, keeps up that play. With no one to show off to, Uriah wanders off and those country rats steal each morsel right under his nose. A problem starts when the mice take his food and carry it into the cars engines.

To get Uriah to eat I have to stand next to his food bowl, no matter where it is.

Or, I try to anyway. Uriah is a dog that has the ability to ‘out wait’ anyone.

He can hold his pee for hours, then still wander around and hold it in until I can’t take it any more. I will stand next to a bush and pretend that I’m lifting my leg, until Uriah looks likes he’s laughing at me, and then joins in.

Today I opened the garage doors and pulled out my car. I opened the engine and Uriah helped me look under the hood. 

Mouse poop littered the top of the engine!

I loosened the air filter and pulled it out. Mouse poop inside under the air filter! Great!  When I had taken my car last month for a fix on a recall, I had to dish out an extra eight hundred dollars to remove a ten pound bag of dog food from my air intake. Lovely little Mice! 

Michael had a doctor’s appointment on Friday.  He took his old Saturn, not trusting my mouse condo.  *His car saved our lives in an accident in 2004. A young girl on a cell phone..* So he totally trusts it to fend off mice:-)

Michael came home two hours late riding in the cab of a tow truck. Seems the mice may have invaded his engine too. Lack of a dollar, means his car is now a paper weight in the garage.

Back to Uriah helping with my engine!

 I pulled out the Shop Vac and vacuumed up mice poop on my engine. Then I popped the hood of the Saturn. I removed the air filter and didn’t see any mice droppings. Michel told me, that the air intake was under the car, and that will need to be removed to find the problem.

If a mouse was sucked into the engine…well, bye, bye engine. I can’t crawl under that car …

I stepped outside with Uriah and we both contemplated the problem. Or, I should say all three of us thought about it!  Me and Uriah, and That Rat who was sitting near the door on his hind legs watching us with a thoughtful, “what’s going on guys?”  look…

I jumped when I saw that reddish- brown haired rat. He in turn jumped and raced into the horseradish plant as I yelled after him.  “We are not your family! Stupid Rat!”

Hmmm! I wonder if he could be trained to keep the mice out of the garage.

I looked down at Uriah; he never made a move to chase the rat. But he did take a mouth full of his food and started to chew, slowly.

*

Sanosuke had me laughing this morning. So I made a video for fun. Enjoy!

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I was shifting through bird names and I pulled up, Dickcissel.  Then I Googled the Dickcissel’s picture; he looks similar to some of the smaller song birds I saw in the Blue Spruce just outside the window next to the computer.

Then I played the  Dickcisselcall/song, both Sanosuke and Kaoru sat up and listened.  As the young cats ran out of the room my attention turned back to checking my email. I had closed the site with the bird’s song, so when I heard a bird singing again I automatically rechecked my task bar.

 It’s like checking if I left the iron on…not that I use the iron anymore.

 It took me a minute to realize, that singing bird was coming from outside the window, in the Blue Spruce. And that bird was talking to my computer. Hmmm!

What all this rambling means is I added a Dickcissel to my list of birds I have seen and heard.

http://www.sdakotabirds.com/species/dickcissel_info.htm

I took this picture while standing in the kitchen, hiding behind the counter and zooming in through the window. The bird, I believe, is a Brown Thrasher.

What do you think?

I played the Brown Thrasher’s song and Sanosuke and Kaoru went crazy, again.  I really shouldn’t laugh when they start jumping from window ledge, to window ledge all excited, but I couldn’t help myself.

http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/679/overview/Brown_Thrasher.aspx

For fun, I put together this video. Enjoy!

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These pictures were taken by Michael. 

Cats love to nap!

 

 

Kaoru and Sanosuke are tiny compared to Kenshin. He is a big boy.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tomoe and Sanosuke are climbers.

Kaoru was sleeping under my blankets, when Sanosuke woke her up by sitting on her.

PJ taking a catnap

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With one of my cats, PJ sitting to my right I finally began typing out this Blog. The past week has been full of gardening fun, rain, high humidity, cold weather and todays temperatures pushed me into air-conditioning.  The range has been maddeningly painful.

Last Saturday a family of magical beings came by and helped turn over the garden and plant some vegetables. They stayed only about three hours, but during that time I was able to talk to, and walk around with three little boys, while their parents grunted and groaned, as they dug, straightened and chopped up large chunks of dirt and moved around rocks.

When the boys spotted the rocks, the middle one was enthralled by the odd shapes and sizes. He wanted to take some home so they could make their own, Stonehenge under a tree in their back yard.  I was in agreement, so a pile was formed and a box appeared from the barn, a sturdy box that would hold all the rocks. Their father didn’t’ realize those rocks, when placed in a box, would weigh a ton and a hernia, until he tried to pick them up.

 Being a magical family, the boys had hoped to float the box of rocks above the ground. But alas, they forgot their fairy dust and had to settle on using a simple dolly.

 In the meantime, Uriah was being ridden like a horse.  A horse that was too tired to stand. He laid on the ground while the youngest boy sat upon his back and held tight to his ears.  I was worried Uriah wouldn’t like this, but when I saw his furry face he had a happy doggy grin. Finally, Uriah got tired of the game and stood up. Luckily the littlest guy was expecting this to happen, so he jumped off Uriah and gave him a big hug.

Uriah heard something in the trees and did his slow walk towards them. He kept looking back at me. When I finally turned my back, he slipped in-between the trees. Totally vanishing between the green leaves and heavy branches

Uriah’s normal disappearing act caused great distress to the youngest boy. He called Uriah’s name over and over, it must have seemed like hours to him instead of minutes, until Uriah reappeared to hugs and kisses. Uriah looked up at me, I shrugged and he happily trotted off with the little guy running along behind him.

Because of that extra help, I was able to plant a large amount in a short time.

This morning the rain was still pouring down, watering the seeds and plants, allowing the garden to take root, now, that also means the weeds will have a fighting chance too. I haven’t used weed killers or inhibitors in many a year. I prefer the old fashion wrestling techniques… I pull and the weeds pull back:-)

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A migraine followed me around all day.  It lifted slightly around dinnertime. That’s when I started hunting out something to eat. In the freezer I found one steak.  We have plenty of ice cubes and some chicken, but only one steak left. To defrost it quickly I set it on a plate and slipped it into the microwave. 

 I walked out of the kitchen and came back two minutes later; Sanosuke was climbing over the microwave. He wanted that steak. I gave him a hug and set him on the floor and removed the steak from the microwave and set the plate on the counter.

I started fussing around the kitchen; I pulled out the frying pan and grabbed an onion. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Sanosuke silently jump on the counter. As I turned towards him, he grabbed the steak and jumped from the counter. When I yelled, he held his head up high, so the steak wasn’t dragging on the floor and ran faster down the hall.  Michael spotted him and instead of stopping Sanosuke he started laughing. Without hesitating, Sanosuke raced into our bedroom.  I was right behind him and grabbed him just before he dragged my dinner under the bed.

Michael was still laughing when I came out of the bedroom. I held the steak out of reach of Sanosuke who followed behind me complaining loudly.

Sanosuke sat on the counter and watched me cook the steak and potatoes with onions. I sliced a tomato and added some corn to the plate. I carefully sliced the steak into strips.

By this time I had three cats watching me.  One sat on the kitchen chair the other on the floor. Sanosuke stayed on the counter and glared at me.

I announced to the frowning cats.  “Alright guys! You can all have one piece, no more.”

They all stood up, tails flipping and watched as I slowly sliced up a small piece for each of them into tiny cat bites. I gave them each their own plates. Then I took my food and went into the living room.

Ooops!  I forgot my napkin. I got up and went into the kitchen for two seconds. I wasn’t looking for Sanosuke; I assumed he was still in the kitchen eating his piece of meat.

What I didn’t see was Sanosuke hiding under the table waiting for his chance. When I got up, he quickly jumped on the table and started eating, fast! 

“Bad Kitty!”  I yelled when I saw him with his face in my food.

 Within those few seconds he ate a lot!  I was left with two small pieces of steak. Sanosuke had raced out of the room when I yelled.  He knew he did something wrong, but he was just having such a good time he didn’t care.

PJ in the meantime, slipped up from under the table and quickly grabbed one piece of steak and slipped back under the table. When I bent down to check on him, Sanosuke reappeared and grabbed the last piece and raced off down the hall again.

I ate the rest of my dinner in peace.

They even stole the piece of fat I left in the pan for Uriah..

Michael wouldn’t stop laughing. I yelled at him. “If you thought it was so funny, then while Sano was running around the house with my dinner, why didn’t you grab the camera?   

He answered, “It was just as funny yesterday when he grabbed your salmon.” Michael picked up Sanosuke, and rubbed his tummy.” Hey little guy!  What’s for dinner tomorrow?”

I think its time to become a vegetarian:-)

*

 Cat picture is from Microsoft’s Word clip art

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