Happy birthday, Mom!!!
Troubles says “hi.”
So, I walk into the blue chicken coop, the one I also refer to as the “medium” chicken coop (because there’s one smaller and one bigger, obviously) and the “maternity ward coop.” As I walk into the coop, George the chicken (named after Curious George for her curious ways when she was a baby chicken) is stomping back and forth, squawking and bitching and whining.
This is George the chicken:
It takes me a few minutes of peering at the chickens, but eventually I realize that something’s wrong in the maternity coop. One nest box is empty, of course, because Silkie Momma (aka The Bad Mother) is outside, this time with all four of her babies following her around.
In the next nest box is Red Momma, who’s sitting on eggs that are due to hatch any time now.
This is Red Momma:
She’s in the correct nest box.
The third nest box over is empty. No chicken, no baby chicks, no eggs. This is Buff Momma’s nest box; she hatched one baby a few days ago, a cute little black chick.
This is Buff Momma:
The fourth nest box over contains Buff Momma. This nest box does NOT belong to her, and it takes some investigation on my part, but I realize that she’s sitting on six eggs. That do not belong to her. The nest box Buff Momma is in belongs to Black Momma.
This is Black Momma:
Black Momma is in the fifth nest box over, sitting on eggs that do not belong to her. This nest box belongs to George the Chicken who, as I mentioned, is having herself a hissy fit. Here’s a reminder – this is George the Chicken:
She is having herself quite the temper tantrum, and no wonder – her eggs are being warmed by a strange chicken, and what if the eggs hatch and the babies think Black Momma is their Momma, when really George Momma is their Momma?!
In the sixth box is Americauna(ish) Momma, who is minding her own damn business and prefers not to be involved, thank you.
This is Americauna(ish)Ma:
I am befuddled. Where the fuck is Buff Momma’s baby? Why are these stupid chickens sitting on the wrong eggs? For that matter, why is Buff Momma sitting on eggs at all – her baby hatched (only one egg of four hatched; perhaps she’s mourning the loss of the other three babies?)
I poke around some more, and I see a small black baby chicken with Red Momma who, as I mentioned, is sitting on eggs due to hatch at any moment.
More befuddlement on my part. I poke around under Red Momma and find eggs there, no egg shells, and the little black chick.
I go inside, get the phone, and take it out to the blue coop with me. After some discussion with Fred, I realize that none of Red Momma’s eggs have hatched, that the baby hanging out with Red Momma belongs to Buff Momma. Buff Momma is sitting on Black Momma’s eggs, Black Momma is sitting on George Momma’s eggs, George Momma is having a possessive temper tantrum, and AmericaunaMa is minding her own damn business.
So I get down on my knees and I pull Buff Momma out of the nest box she’s in, and I put her in her nest box. She does not care for this maneuver. She shrieks at me and calls me names. I quickly dig around under Red Momma and pull out the baby chick, and put the baby chick under Buff Momma. Baby Chick says “Are you my mother?” Buff Momma says “You again. I thought I gave you the slip.” Baby Chick climbs over Buff Momma and slips underneath her feathers. Buff Momma looks grumpy, but settles in.
I pull Black Momma out of the nest box she’s residing in, and she shrieks in a most unladylike manner, kicking and flailing and calling me names. I put her in her nest box, and she gets in, shakes her feathers, and looks around.
“This will not DO,” she says, tsking, and immediately begins arranging her eggs in the preferred pattern. A few moments later, she settles down and glares at me.
This leaves George Momma’s nest box – with six eggs in it – empty of a Momma, and I go outside to look for George Momma. I don’t see her anywhere, decide she’s gone under the coop to pout, and go back inside to make sure the Mommas have not gotten all crazy and switched nest boxes again. While I was outside, George Momma slipped past me, and is now sitting on her eggs.
All is well in the maternity ward. For NOW.
I’m telling you – it’s always SOMETHING.
Yesterday I walked into the front room to find a puddle in the middle of the floor. I sighed, stomped to the laundry room, got the bottle of Stink-Free and a couple of rags, and stomped back into the front room. Then I stopped and looked closer at the puddle. It looked less like something an angry cat (I AM LOOKING AT YOU, BOOGIE) would have left, and more like something that had dripped from the ceiling. I looked up at the ceiling and saw a single drop of water hanging there.
It hadn’t rained in days, and aside from that, we’d never had an issue with the roof leaking in that particular location. I sniffed the puddle to be sure it wasn’t cat urine. It wasn’t.
I stood and pondered some more, staring up at the ceiling, and then realized that where the water was dripping from (or rather, had dripped from) was exactly where the water bowls in the foster kitten room are located.
I went upstairs and found I was right – the little brats had overturned a waterer at some point, which ultimately caused the puddle downstairs.
I should totally be a detective, dontchathink?
Speaking of detectives, I’ve gotta say – doesn’t it seem that the bad guy in just about every detective novel ends up going after the cop/ detective’s family? I think it’s time to get a new plot device.
I’m curious to know how often it happens in real life that a criminal goes after a cop/ detective’s family, because judging by the world o’ fiction, I’d say it happens about 75 percent of the time.
While my parents were here, Caleb earned himself the nickname “Troubles”, because that boy is into EVERYTHING. He races around and races around and races around, and gets into everything, chews on every wire he sees, jumps on all his siblings and kicks and bites them ’til they cry. And then when he gets tired, he climbs up on and cries like a big baby. Even if you snuggle him and kiss him and tell him I know, it’s a hard life, it’s okay baby, still he cries until he falls asleep.
Then he sleeps for about ten minutes, and he’s refreshed and ready to race around some more.
He loves to play with his brothers and sisters, but what he REALLY wants is to be buddies with the big cats. The big cats, however, are not all that interested.
They’ve got plenty of friends already, THANKS FOR THE OFFER, KID.
2008: I thought you guys would want to know.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: So, Fred has now been officially neutered.
2004: All I have to say about the kayak is this: those fuckers are HARD to get out of!
2003: Except that best laid plans and all that jazz.
2002: I love old houses with deep porches.
2001: No entry.
2000: Even now, Fred and I talk about that, and we refer to it as my “Walking the gauntlet.”