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Identity Challenged for Kitty and me

   I was talking to my 95 year old friend Angie today and telling her about our no longer having Beastie…and how Kitty was reacting to it all.  After a while, she responded with, “and how many are in your Menagerie now?”  When I told her “two” her response was, “in all the time I’ve known you, you have never just had two…how do you feel about that?”

I had just been thinking the same thing…I feel that my identity has shifted in a major way…I have always had a menagerie of sorts…at the high point, I had 9 sweet pets I was taking care of daily.   Never a chore.  Many sweet personalities and I learned from each and every one of them and loved them all.

At this point in time, I realize that I need to cherish the two I have as well as work on the areas of my life that need to be worked on…my Etsy shops, my writing and other areas that I have been thinking about for quite some time and not done.

Kitty has been giving me some concern since Beastie is gone…she gives me a look sometimes as if to say, “what have you done with her…”  I realized today that in the last year, Kitty has seen me wrapping both Benji and Beastie in blankets  and taking them away in the car…and they never came back…  She spends hours looking out of the front window…I wish she would tell me her thoughts so I could give her some answers.

But for now, I make sure Kitty gets her favorite foods, gets her ears scratched often and treating her gently.  Beastie was my lapcat…I could sit down and 10 seconds later Beastie would be on my lap and settle there for the long term.  Kitty is not a lapcat and never has been…but, never say never…  I do miss my lapcat though…

Getting used to the idea that I no longer have a “Menagerie”…

til next time…Eva

Photo by Eva of Kitty…2015

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Beast…A Wee Beastie

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Photograph by Eva of Beast

I know I’ve been quiet lately…and haven’t written many posts.  Winter has taken its’ toll in many ways.  My family lost our little cat Beast last week…only 8 years old and she died in my arms with a heart attack.  Kitty is now the lone cat and Zowie…down from 9 pets to 2 in a few years.

I will write another post soon.  take care.

til next time…Eva

The Christmas Mouse

002a                                                                       Picture by Eva…vintage mice of mine…2014

When my daughter was in Middle School, her homeroom teacher had a cage with white mice as their mascots.  Basically to give the kids practice in taking care of pets.  (we had already done that with the first grade guinea pig).  When it came time for the Christmas break, my daughter came home one day and asked if she could bring the mice home for Christmas.  My response was, “Only if no one else will take them”.  Well, to a kid like mine, that’s basically code for, “all mine!  Mom says YES!”.

I didn’t hear anything more so I “assumed” that someone else has stepped up to the plate and were taking them home.  That afternoon she calls from the office with, “you can come and pick them up this afternoon Mom…”   I went to the school and she was waiting just inside the door with a small wired cage with two male mice…Charlie and Chubby.    Her friend Amanda had a cage as well with two mice as well.  Both girls were almost giddy with the sheer joy of being able to take them home.

I was less than enthusiastic because I personally didn’t care for white mice with their red eyes…and besides, we already had a menagerie…and I didn’t know if the cats were going to get after them…  We put them on top of the refrigerator…I thought that would be the safest place for them…and I hoped they wouldn’t make too much noise to get the cats excited…

The next morning, my husband was sitting at the kitchen table eating his breakfast and watching intently up at the refrigerator…and as I come groggily in to get a cup of tea, he says, very calmly I might add, “oh, one of the mice just got out:…

“WHAT!!!!”  I grab a kitchen chair and scramble up to the refrigerator to catch the little guy…he refused to go back inside because every time he did, the other one would charge at him.  Luckily I had one of those small travel cages…so I fixed that up with woodchips, food and water and he was quite content in there.  I checked to make sure the other one couldn’t get out and began to breathe once again.  The cats didn’t seem to be overly interested and I was beginning to feel that I might live through this experience after all.

The next day was Christmas Eve.  There was so much noise coming from the cage…I had covered it up at night to both give the mouse the darkness as well as keeping in the warmth.  My daughter stepped on the chair and lifted up the blanket.  “MOM!  MOM!  It’s full of babies!!!!”  I quickly went up on the chair and lo and behold…there were little pink mice  all over the place…eyes still shut, no fur…  It gave a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Christmas Mice!”

My daughter was so excited about this whole change in events and called up her friend Amanda to tell her the “good” news.  And one day later, Amanda called her to tell her of her good news as well…so much for the female mice being together and the male mice being together!  Someone goofed!

We now had 24 little baby mice.  As they got older and got their hair and opened eyes, my daughter would stand up on the chair and call them to come to her.  After a while, she got the idea to put a little dot on their tails with magic marker…to let her know who would come to her.  Blue dot, Red dot, Green dot…

When school resumed, we couldn’t move the mice because we had read on the internet that if you move them too soon, the mother mouse would eat them…and we couldn’t risk that.  When the time did come to take them back, my daughter tearfully asked if we could keep “just one”…  I had grown attached to them at this point and I said yes.  She kept the one who had come to her the most…”Blue Dot”.  We called him, Meezer.

The teacher was not pleased to now have 50 mice instead of the original 4!!!  So, she sent a note home to all of the students that anyone who wanted a mouse could have one.

Meezer became a treasured pet over the time we had him.  I had gotten to a point where every night when I would be sitting on the chair, I would take him out of his cage and let him walk over me…my husband would look at me horrified!  I would have little treats for him to find and we grew quite fond of each other.

So, we had our own Christmas Mouse(Mice)!

til next time…Eva

Zowie…My Guard Bird

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Meet Zowie…my Guard Bird.
Our dog Benji is a little old dog now and can’t be bothered with barking anymore. The two cats have no part in letting me know if there is any “danger” except by dashing away under the bed…but Zowie…my sweet little cockatiel…she has taken over all guard duties in this house!

I am hearing impaired and have worn a hearing aid since I am 6 years old(the hearing aids back then are a whole blog post all on their own…). There are times when I am home that I don’t wear my hearing aid and often don’t hear many things such as door bells, telephones, tea kettles(oh yes, I can’t tell you how many tea kettles have hit the dust in my house…the incidents when the kettle actually adheres to the burner on the stove…).

Zowie is so amazing with her guard duties…each of her squawks has a specific meaning and over the 13 years that I have had her, she has added more to her repertoire. For example: there is one squawk for when someone is driving down the driveway…there are differentiations between whether it is a stranger(then it’s the “intruder” alert!) or whether its my husband or daughter. The squawk for when the phone rings, when the oven bell sounds, when the doorbell rings, when my cell phone is vibrating, when the cats are misbehaving!, or when the black birds are in my front yard. A different squawk for when her cage floor is dirty(she will then keep looking at it with total disdain until I clean it up) and one for when she has spilled her water dish.

She is the one who greets me when I come home and says goodbye when I leave. There is no one else in the house who remotely cares either way…

We sit outside if we are able to…I place her cage on a small table and we sit next to each other enjoying the sights and sounds of the birds and other life outside. She will then come down to where her little door is and pull it open and shut until I stick my hand in to pet her. If I don’t respond right away, she will continue to slam the door, then ring her little bell, and slam some more.

She loves music and if I stand in front of her cage and dance a little back and forth, she will move back and forth with me. If I lift my arms up and down, she will flap her wings. One time I didn’t know my daughter was behind me filming the two of us “dancing”…she said she wanted it for when she wasen’t home so that she could have something of the two of us being silly.

I never knew a little bird could be such an incredible friend…and how grateful I am for her.

til next time…Eva

The Box

The Box

The other day when I went to do some grocery shopping at Aldi’s, I picked up a box to carry some of my groceries home.
If you have children or cats, you probably know that both of them LOVE empty boxes. It doesn’t matter how large or small the box.
No difference this time. I thought this would be the perfect box to have by our woodstove, so I put in a small blanket in the bottom and set the box on the small table closest to the woodstove and waited…
Well, ever since that box has been there, both of the cats have fought over it…when Kitty(the black one) is in it, Beast is right there swatting Kitty on the head trying to get her out. And vice versa…
Last night they both had gone to have a munch to eat before bedtime. I then watched them to see who was going to get to the box first…Beast made a detour, jumped on the sofa and walked the whole length of the sofa to get to the box first while Kitty ran on the floor. I heard a loud MEOW when Kitty realized Beast was already in the box and the swatting game began.
I knew there would be no sleep unless this was settled…box got put away til this morning.
Guess I have to pick up another box this week when I go to Aldi’s again, don’t I?
til next time…Eva

End of the Guinea Pig Era

End of the Guinea Pig Era

My daughter has been in love with guinea pigs since First Grade. Her First Grade Teacher, Mrs. B, believed that her class needed to have a mascot pet and chose a ginger guinea pig…the children named her “Casper”. Casper would go home to the children’s homes over the weekends…we had Casper over Christmas that year and I knew it was true love for my daughter then. This will be another post altogether!
Over the years, we have loved 7 guinea pigs…the latest one died today…Piggy. She is the little black and white one in the photograph…two of her offspring are in this picture…
My daughter got Piggy in her Jr year of High School. A few weeks after we got Piggy, my daughter woke me up at 5 am..”Mom! Piggy had babies!” “That is a nice dream dear, please go back to bed.” “No, I’m NOT kidding! She had three babies!” At this point, I drowsily went into her room to see three of the most adorable little guinea pigs squealing beside their mother. We had no idea that Piggy was pregnant!
The three babies were all different…Squeegee was chocolate brown, Gizmo was red and white, and Punky was coal black with spikes. We loved them all. My daughter would take them outside every early evening in the summer months so they could eat their grass and run around in the yard.
My daughter informed me a while ago that these would be her last guinea pigs, “it hurts too much.” When I asked that when the time comes and she has children of her own and they want a guinea pig…”too bad, they aren’t getting any.” If her children will be anything like her, they will pressure and pressure until they get what they want…
So, for me at least, today was the end of the Guinea Pig era…they were all precious and had their sweet personalities…and they all had lessons for me to learn and a chunk of my heart each and every time. So long Sweet Piggy, til we meet again.
til next time…Eva

Wilbur the Goldfish

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Children and animals go together. My daughter adopts animals and we have had our variety of them…I’ll introduce them along the way but today I want to talk about Wilbur, the goldfish.
When my daughter was a Junior at college, she lived in a college-based townhouse with three room mates. At one point, they wanted to have a small pet, so they bought 4 small goldfish…one for each of them. One by one, they died and one was left. At the end of the year, three of the room mates were graduating and we had gone down for graduation. This particular college has Seniors Week the week after all of the underclassmen leave and actual graduation…a kind of easing in process to realize that their college life was over and a last week to be with their friends before starting their “adult” life.. Because of this situation, everyone moved out immediately after graduation ceremonies. We stayed to help them move and with the last room mate, all that was left was “Wilbur”. “What are we doing with Wilbur? Down the toilet?” I listened to this with horror and said, “Are you kidding me, no, he’s coming home with us.” The room mate then proceeded to fill a water bottle and was going to put Wilbur in that. “What are you doing?” “Putting him in the bottle.” “No, there must be something else to put him in.” We found a large vase instead and transported him in that.
Wilbur became a treasured member of our family. He was on the cabinet in the kitchen and every time anyone would be in the kitchen, he would happily swim around and splash. Loved seeing his coppery red flashing tail and if you put your finger in the water, he would come up to it and bump it.
Our little cat Beast loved Wilbur as well…she would sit and just watch Wilbur and also drink the bubbling water from his tank. Wilbur did not mind Beast at all, actually would swim leisurely while Beast drank and Beast never tried to catch Wilbur like I have seen many cats try to.
beast and wilbur

We lost our little Wilbur during the summer and I still miss seeing him when I am in the kitchen. I never would have known how much of a personality and light a little goldfish could bring.
In a contemplative mood today…til next time. Eva