Category Archives: Four-footed Ones

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.

Baby Died Yesterday

She was a sweet girl and the tamest of all the ferals.   For some reason, she got up into the car.  As I crossed the bridge over the bayou, I heard and felt that I had run over something.  I knew what it was.  This is not the first time for me.  How I had always hoped I would never feel that or hear that again.

I looked out my rear view and saw her look at the car and then scramble — in the worst possible way — off into the jungle that surrounds the bayou.  I stopped and thought about looking for her, but what could I do?  I couldn’t take her to an emergency vet — I knew they wouldn’t take a wounded wild animal.  I knew from the time it happened before that a small kitten’s body has no chance against the weight of a moving car’s tires.

I told myself that after Harry disappeared, I wouldn’t get so attached to these wild kittens, but I got attached to Baby.  She never strayed from the backyard or driveway.  Then she dies away from home.  I am sad.

She was born between a fence and a neighbor’s old storage building in the backyard.  He brother got separated from the litter, and after his mother didn’t retrieve him, I found a crazy old cat lady who took him in.  (That was enlightening — a moment I will always remember as ‘I don’t want to end up there’.

I tamed one of her sisters — Robyn and she went to Houston SPCA and got adopted.  Her other sister, Tilly, was always hostile.  I caught her and tried to tame her, but nope, that kitty girl is to this day one wild cat.

I could never tame Baby, though I got her to be friendly enough.  She was the last one I got spayed.  The first time I took her in, the guy at SNAP called and said she had green slim coming out of her nose, so they couldn’t spay her.  A couple of weeks later, she trusted me enough that I could scoop her up and with Roberto’s help, get her in the trap and finally spayed.

She had an idyllic life, though too short.  She lived in a jungle, full of bugs, lizards, squirrels and birds, beautiful birds.  The day she died, she got caught in an okra bed, stalked a squirrel and a beautiful cardinal.

I went back twice yesterday and then again today to look for her, but not very hard.  She’s food for something and in the end, aren’t we all?