Cat and Dog Love

Chloe and PerryUntil the cat passed away, the dog was more her dog than mine.

When he arrived, Chloe was old, about 18 years old. He was a young pup, about 10 months of age. After he got off a three-day transport from down south, Perry came into a home that had four cats. Two scattered like leaves in the wind, practically living upstairs dog-free for a year before becoming brave enough to be in the same room as the dreaded canine; one (the Maine coon) ignored the dog completely, and the feeling was mutual — I don’t remember them ever interacting or even looking at each other. And then, there was Chloe, a sleek quarter Siamese cat who was, at least to me, refined, wise, loyal, and loving.

Perry and ChloePerry approached her on his first day and got too close. She slapped him on the nose, and he fell instantly in love with her.

After that, wherever Chloe was, Perry was right there with her, whether she wanted him or not.

Sydney and PerryAfter she passed, the dog started cleaving to me and decided I would do as his buddy.

We both still miss her tremendously.

I love to hear other people’s stories of their animals’ friendships. 🙂


Sabby Cat on Stone Buddha, Just Because

Happy Tuesday! I simply feel like sharing this photo of my cat when she was younger. So here it is:

Sabby Cat on Stone Buddha Statue
I don’t think the Buddha minded at all. In fact, Sabby, the cat, has grown quite a similar belly to the revered enlightened one since this image was taken. 🙂 I wonder if rubbing Buddha’s head had anything to do with it.
sabby on her back

My Backyard in Spring

“Well worth waiting for.” That’s what I think each morning when I go out in my backyard in the springtime and see the abundance of wildlife that has hatched or bloomed. While I have been too soft-hearted to snag a tulip (can’t decide which one to kill and bring inside), today, I did break off a small piece of my recovering lilac bush — recovering because last year it was covered in a wild vine that chokes whatever plants it grabs hold of. With the vines removed last summer, the lilacs had a chance to bounce back this May, albeit a little stumped. Now, their perfumey fragrance is permeating my home office.

At the edge of my property, there is a pond fed by a small river. It is dammed at one end. It is the perfect breeding ground for many water fowl, also turtles and beavers.  This morning, I saw a mother duck and four babies, small as bathtub rubber duckies, swimming with her. (I’ll get a photo next time.) Also, a Canadian goose landed (though I can’t say for sure it is from Canada as I have not asked for its papers). We’ve had a number of geese, but this one landed alone on the water and proceeded to honk and honk, more loudly than my dog barks. I am 100 percent sure it was calling for its mate. I hope the other goose finds its way over. (Of course, in these photos that I just ran back outside to take, you can’t actually see any animals, but they were all there at 7 a.m. I swear!)

I also watched a beaver swimming by. They look so much happier this time of year than when they emerge from under the ice and snow through a hole and skitter around on the top of the pond as they do in the winter. There are also blue heron, usually two, though as with the goose, I saw only one recently. If it sees me or my dog, it flaps over to the other side of the pond, looking rather like a mini-pterodactyl. The other cool creatures to watch fly are the mallards. They launch themselves from the bank on the other side, fly for a few hundred yards, quacking noisily, usually in pairs, and then they land, feet first with a massive splash. The other day, two pairs of ducks seemed to be fighting for superiority over the pond, chasing each other in flight and dive bombing whenever one landed. I don’t know which pair triumphed.

Meanwhile, I have a couple domesticated companions with me at all times.

Perry, the Wonder Dog, loves to play ball and for the most part ignores the wilder creatures. (Here is a video of him in slow motion — just because!)

Sabrina on tree.Sabrina, the cat, always comes out, too. We have a fallen tree in the yard that has been there since a large storm a couple months ago, and because she is not the most agile creature, the horizontal tree has been her first experience with “climbing.” She loves this maple; it’s perfect for sitting in the sun or trimming her own claws with fervent scratching.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games out there in the yard. I spend a lot of time decapitating dandelions with Perry’s ball thrower. Best garden tool ever!


Now, back to work on this perfect spring day!

Easter Critters, the Apocalypse, and Justin Bieber

I know, I’m the most inconsistent blogger in the history of bloggers. May as well be the best at something! Here goes, my first post since March:

Yesterday, I awoke to the quietest Easter I’ve had since having children. Both teens were out of the house, having spent the night elsewhere. Husband slept on. First thought: Do I get to keep the chocolate bunnies I would have given my children yesterday morning? Second thought, good God, look at all the ants swarming on my kitchen counter, avoiding the well-placed poison and carrying the crumbs that I thought I’d cleaned up. Apparently, I am about as consistent of a housekeeper as I am a blogger. This is not a photo of my actual ants, but you get the idea:

Copyright (C) 2000,2001,2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2000,2001,2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

I cleaned up the ants with boiling water. Then it was time to deal with the other critters: one dog and two cats circling my feet, demanding their due. I always change their water first.

From Yuck!

From Yuck!

That’s when I saw the most despised critter of all (or so I thought until I got to my daughter’s bedroom, but that comes later). There was a nasty centipede drowned in the cats’ water bowl. As a tried and true arachnophobe, this was right up my alley of terror. I let the cats drink from the bowl all day and left the creepy crawly for about six hours until I got up my courage enough to toss it down the kitchen sink and run the garbage disposal at full throttle. Here’s another not actual photo but it looked just like this, I swear. Even dead and drowned and at the bottom of the water bowl, it still looked just like this:

Could the day get any creepier? Apparently, yes. I decided I had to retrieve my favorite gray spaghetti-strap tank top from my teenage daughter’s room. The horror! The mounds of clothing! The piles of paper! The candy wrappers and iced tea cans. The odd scritch-scritch noises coming from her under-the-bed clothing drawer! What?!

Against my better judgment, knowing I probably shouldn’t investigate, I delved further. One of the cats and I discovered mice: three of them, living in a small plastic cage in said daughter’s jeans drawer. This is an actual photo, which I took after I stopped screaming: “Rats! Rats in her room!!” (because at first I only saw the white one with red eyes).Sabbyfindsmice I called my sister who lives across the country becuase after all, she is my big sister. I told her what I’d found.

“What did you do?” she asked.

“I put them back in the drawer.”

“That’s cruel. Get them out and give them food and water and sunlight.”

So I went back upstairs and got them out again. I lowered in a small bowl and poured the water in after. Then I momentarily panicked. “What do mice eat? What do mice eat?” Duh! Cheese! So I gave them cheese and also some lettuce, just in case they needed roughage.

SabbywithmiceThe cat was happy to see them back out of the drawer, but I had to lock them in my bathroom because wherever I set the cage down, the cat was right there attempting to liberate them from their prison.

The quiet Easter stayed quiet after that except for the dog escaping from the yard, leading me to walk around the neighborhood, calling his name, half certain I’d lost him forever, which I’m sure is why I had the dream that drove me from my bed this morning. But first, the Apocalypse.

Husband and I didn’t speak all day. No need. Kids were gone so nothing to discuss regarding discipline or which teen cleaned out his wallet. Eventually, we reconnected for dinner. “Let’s go out,” he said, looking at the non-existent Easter feast that I had thoughtfully not cooked. I made chocolate macaroons just to try out the recipe and because somehow shredded coconut seemed very Easter-ish. Shame that I used wax paper instead of parchment, and they all melded themselves to the wax, but that’s a story for another day.

We drove to the next town over. “Wow!” I said, “did I miss an apocalypse? Zombie or otherwise?” No cars on the roads, no people walking. Empty and quiet. Perfect!

“It’s Easter,” he explained, which made more sense than my apocalype theory. Plus there were clearly no zombies roaming.

The first restaurant we tried was closed. The second one was . . . if I may use the word again . . . perfect. We walked right into the cozy bar with the stunning views of the Merrimack River, classy high-top tables, three stooges playing endlessly on one TV and three other TVs playing an opening Red Sox game. This is a bar we can’t usually get a table in unless we arrive at 4 in the afternoon, know someone who works there, or slip someone a bribe that amounts to more than the quarterly royalties from my book sales. And we had it nearly to ourselves. Dare I say it a third time, perfect!

It was the end to a strangely quiet day that should have contained no creature more interesting than a chocolate bunny.

“So, the post’s title?” you ask.

The last thing I was dreaming this morning before I sprung out of bed to greet the day-after-Easter was that Justin Bieber had possession of my beloved dog. He’d been arrested, the Biebs, not the dog, and somehow, I had to go rescue my dog from his house, the Beibs’ house, not the dog’s. I knew there would be bodyguards and people who would doubt the dog was mine. So I decided I had to take my secret weapon, my teenage son with his black belt in kung fu. And then I woke up.

And that’s why I entitled this post the way I did.

Best wishes to all of you and, as usual, happy reading!