Category Archives: Four-footed Ones

Murphy and Dora are Right

The yard here at Fontana is much bigger than the yard they had in Houston.  Both of them can get up to running speeds here that they only had when they escaped the yard back in Houston — which was rare.

Murphy is not interested in walks and Dora is not much either.  I have seen them running around the yard here on a daily basis.  Why would they want to go to a park on a leash connected to me — an old lady?  They are smarter than that.

This is a big plus to the Fontana move.  There are others, but this one is perhaps the biggest of all.  Having Dora active and happy is something I haven’t seen in years.  Having Murphy running full speed and rolling around in delight is a marvel.

If they are happy here, I should be, too.

House Activity (Edited and Updated)

I’m trying to add some more media. I figured it out.

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This is what the west side of the house and yard looked like before I got started.  What you can’t see is all the pup poop.

 

 

 

Different Climate is Different

I have been amazed at the weird difference in the climate here. Going from 80% humidity too 12% is really strange.  Wearing long sleeves and sweatpants in Late May without sweating is also strange.  I kind of like it.  The four-footed ones seem to like it as well.

For example, it’s 86 degrees outside right now, but I have the windows open and it is 75 degrees in the house.  That’s thanks to the swamp cooler as they call it here.  Apparently it works well until the humidity reaches 20% or so.  I’ll keep tabs on it and see just when it gets to the point that I have to close the windows during the day.

It doesn’t seem like the babies have needed more water.  The only difference for me is I have been using more sunblock.  Since I can deal with that and all of the babies seem happy (considering they all got yanked from home and had to spend a ridiculous amount of time boarded, mostly because I was scared), we are a little worse for the wear but surviving.

Murphy, Corn, and the Beds

I planted a bit more corn and beans.  Then I saw this through the window:

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Even though Dora HAS dug in the beds, it looks like the major culprit is Master Murphy.

Amazingly, a couple of corn plants survived.  I need to adjust my approach to the yard, planting and pups.  We’ll figure it out.  Mostly I think that it’s the newness of the beds.  Both pups like to dig to nowhere, so the beds are attractive.  Murphy also enjoys dirt baths regularly.

 

Dear Dora

Yesterday, one of my old students stopped by.  He’s an American citizen by birth, but grew up in Syria.  His family is ok — and expanding.   He is married now and has a son.

Ten years ago, he was my student.  Ten years ago, he also helped me build my front fence.  He also met Dora. This was after Gretchen and Buddy but before Tammy and Murphy.  He only knew Dora.  He was afraid to ask if Dora was still around.

She is, but she is old.  Sometimes she is with us, sometimes not.  Like any old lady, she struggles with what was once easy.

I promised her a walk tomorrow.  I will take some pictures with my new smarter than me phone.  I need to buy a better camera.

 

A Shift is Happening

I’m down to one lonely, stoic feral kitten.  Tilly the anti-social except for her sister kitten Toes is now alone.  Toes is dead.

Tammy’s tumor has come back, so now it’s just a matter of her pain and quality of life.

I tried to get Tammy and Dora to be friends, but Tammy bit me, so since I didn’t know her, I used the fact that another dog got into the yard as an excuse to have her tested for rabies.

That was long ago.

Sad times are here.  Sadder times await.

A shift is happening.

An Exciting Day (for me at least)

I’m an idiot when it comes to keeping my camera’s batteries recharged, so pictures will have to wait until tomorrow.

First, my very Kung-Fu like battle with the grasshoppers continues.  I don’t want to kill them, I just want to fuck with them.  I’ve got about four — one is HUGE.  I pester them by looking at them and then slowly anticipating their avoidance maneuvers.  It’s a game of “you can’t see me” and “oh, yes I can!”  I zapped them with the garden hose yesterday and this morning.  Those fat fuckers were back later in the afternoon.  There’s one that I just plead with.  She’s (?) just on the sunflower.  I beg her not to be greedy.

The swallowtail caterpillars are another story.  I love them.  It is amazing how quickly they grow.  I spotted another cocoon, and one that is making a cocoon.  They didn’t much care for me watering the damn parsley they are living on, but what’s a caterpillar to do?  One showed its “horns” but that was about it.

I didn’t write about the possum earlier.  I wish I had.  A possum got into R’s bathroom and Dora was throwing a fit.  R went in and discovered the possum last week.  We set the(humane!) trap and then nothing happened.  Until today.  I was putting some clean bedding in R’s room, and there was that smell.  That possum smell.  Sure enough, it was in the trap.  I had no idea how long it had been in there, since I hadn’t checked it everyday.  In retrospect, it had only smelled today, so the damned thing was just playing possum.  I put a cloth over the trap, took it out to the driveway and opened the back.    The first couple of times I checked it (via the window — possums give me the heebie-jeebies ) I thought it was dead.  I kept cleaning up its mess and checking on it until it finally left the trap.  Possums aren’t the smartest animals in the world.  It went along one side of the fence, and then it turned back, only to go into the area it had just avoided.

Later the storms came.  Dora got under my desk.  As I was watching the weather on TV, Dora came over and tried to curl up in another little nook.  I went back over to the desk, in an attempt to get her to go back there, and noticed a puddle on the floor.  At first I thought she had peed herself.  Bad mommy.  Rain was streaming in the house from under the window A/C.  I apologized to Dora and sopped it up with the towel I had planned on using to dry off Tammy and Murphy, who were still outside. Upon coming back to the leak with another towel, I found Francisco licking rain water off the wall.

The storm passed without Tammy or Murphy wanting in.  They seem to enjoy the yard more and more.  Dora finally sacked out on the bed, and the kittens finally ate dinner and fell asleep next to their food bowls.  The outside kittens ate during the shower, and I fucked with the two grasshoppers I found.  I checked on the caterpillars, but didn’t find as many as I did this morning.  I’ll look for their cocoons tomorrow.

Finally, I have decided that food is only a side show to my garden.  Keeping up with the insect life and figuring out how to take care of each living thing is more important than how much my garden produces.  It’s an ongoing experiment, and while the end result might be a very productive garden, my end goal is to have a place where all of the living things have a chance to thrive.