3/23/10 – Tuesday

One day last week, I was walking around the house opening the blinds. In the front room, I opened the blinds at the end of the room near the TV, and realized I could hear a cat growling. I looked down and saw Jake sitting there staring loonily at the corner next to the TV, … Continue reading “3/23/10 – Tuesday”

One day last week, I was walking around the house opening the blinds. In the front room, I opened the blinds at the end of the room near the TV, and realized I could hear a cat growling. I looked down and saw Jake sitting there staring loonily at the corner next to the TV, and looked to see Elwood hunched behind the big square thing that has something to do with our surround sound. The growling was coming from him.

For a moment, I thought that he was growling at Jake because he was tired of getting his ass kicked (Jake is half the size of Elwood, but he can kick some serious butt when he wants to), but then I looked closer and realized that there was a bird hanging from his mouth.

A small one. A dead one.

I reached for Elwood, who responded by running behind the couch. I shot a blast of compressed air behind the couch, and Elwood ran out from behind the couch, and down the hallway. I chased him down the hallway into the dining room, where he outmaneuvered me and headed back to the living room. Back behind the couch. Another shot of compressed air. Back down the hallway. I finally caught him in a corner of the dining room, and picked him up, bird and all, and carried him to the back door. I stepped out onto the top step, forced his jaws open, and took the bird from his mouth.

He hissed at me, then ran back into the house.

I couldn’t figure out where the hell the bird had come from – Elwood doesn’t go outside. I went back to the front room, finished opening the blinds, and then went into the guest bedroom to open the blinds.

(This was before the kittens took up residence in that room.)

As I opened the blinds, I realized there were tiny feathers all over the guest bedroom. Then I realized there were tiny feathers all down the hallway. Also all over the side of the front room we never use. All I can guess is that one of the other cats brought the bird inside, and Elwood took it from them, and probably every cat in the house stampeded after Elwood, and he was tired of them trying to steal his bird from him, and thus the growling.

The entire time, I had to have been sitting in front of my computer, oblivious. Oblivious is my default state, apparently.


Last night, I was scooping the litter boxes in the laundry room, and I heard the oddest sound, a high-pitched squeal. That’s weird, I thought to myself. I’ve never heard the cats make a sound like THAT before. I started to stand up, and a small black bird with white speckles came flying through the door from the kitchen. He was closely followed by a melee of cats, and my response was to scream (my response is ALWAYS to scream), and the cats scattered.

The bird flew directly to the window by the dryer, and flapped helplessly there.

“BIRD!” I yelled to Fred. “THERE’S A BIRD!”

I considered the flapping bird for a moment, wondered how we’d capture him since I was sure he’d end up behind the dryer when he saw us coming, and then the obvious solution came to me. I walked over, unlatched the window, and opened it. The bird flew outside. I closed the window. Problem solved.

The question here, however, is where the FUCK that bird came from. All the doors were closed, the cats were inside, and the bird didn’t look like he’d been at the paws of torturing cats all day long. My first thought was that perhaps one of the cats had brought it inside during the day, it escaped, and waited until it thought it could make a break for it (which is likely giving that bird too much credit). The problem with that is that there’s no place in this house that the cats can’t go – all the high places are available to them, the bookcases, the top of the cupboards in the kitchens. Had a bird been biding its time atop one of the bookcases, the cats would have found it.

All I can guess is that it came down the chimney in the front room and flew from the front of the house to the back. Which, I don’t know how plausible that is (that fucking chimney in the front room is a nightmare. We had a cap put on it so that birds couldn’t get in, but the fucking cap flipped off and the guys who put it there are no longer in business. Swallows build their nest in the chimney, and then the fucking baby birds fall down the chimney, nest and all, USUALLY while we’re sound asleep, and either die or are chomped upon by cats. Ugh.).

Or maybe the birds are getting in the same way the wasps are. It’s a fucking mystery, is what it is.


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Yesterday evening, Fred had to put down a Black Copper Marans hen. She was born with something wrong with one of her legs, but she got around okay, so we let her live. (Here at Crooked Acres, the crippled and lame chickens tend to live longer lives than the perfectly healthy ones, because we feel sorry for them – see Charlie and her twisted-up toes.) Yesterday, he realized she didn’t look right, and when he brought her out of the coop, she went a few steps and then laid down in the mud. He put her back in the coop and came in to discuss with me whether he should wait and see if she improved, or just go ahead and put her down.

We ultimately decided that he should put her down.

Our decision to have a flock of Black Copper Marans was the dumbest move we’ve made since we moved here, bar none. We ordered 40 hatching eggs last Spring, and we now have five of the goddamn things. They were going to be our moneymaking flock, because people pay something like $60 per dozen fertile Marans eggs (it may even be more, I don’t remember). AND NOW I KNOW WHY THEY PAY SO MUCH. Because we get, perhaps, one egg every other day.

I’m trying to convince Fred that we should just move all the chickens out to the big yard, so we can have ONE chicken yard instead of having to deal with two yards, and since George and Gracie are out there to protect the chickens, we could actually go out and stay out after dark without having to be too concerned about the chickens.

Fucking chickens. Fucking moneymaking schemes.


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You can’t see Bolitar’s face, but he’s there!

We’ve now hit the point where when we get up and leave the room, the kittens – even if they’re paying no attention to us and are off playing with each other or a toy – try to follow us out the door. Bolitar, especially, runs for the door when I leave. He’s made it out once or twice, then he just stands there and looks around like “It’s a whole new world!” until I pick him up and set him back in the room.

Then he howls at the door. OH does he howl. Sometimes another kitten will join in on the howling, and OH their hearts are just breaking at the injustice of not being able to get through the door, they are PERSONALLY insulted at this turn of events.

Luckily it doesn’t last for long, and then they toddle off to play or sleep or whatever.


Lap o’ kittens.

::maniacal laughter::


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“Babies? No. There are no babies in there. I accidentally swallowed a basketball. It’ll go away. Seriously!”

I have to get a shot of Maura from above – she seriously looks like she swallowed a basketball. Her appetite seems to have ramped up – before, when I’d bring her her plate of canned kitten food in the morning and evening, she’d come over and greet me and rub up against me, maybe inspect my litter box scooping technique, and then wander over to the plate. Nowadays, she dives right into the plate of food and doesn’t come up for air until it’s gone.

I guess she needs plenty of food to grow those babies. I mean, that basketball.


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Newt would like Elwood to stop hoggin’ the box. (Those ears at the bottom of the picture belong to Miz Poo, who was sitting on my lap.)


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2008: No entry.
2007: No offers yet though, damnit.
2006: “Hookers and blow!” he crowed jubilantly.
2005: Also, there’s that whole pesky “dealing with people” thing, and I don’t like that sort of thing at ALL.
2004: The spud passed the test for her learner’s permit, THANKYAJEEZUS.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: Fred and I chose the names of our future child/ren way before we ever met – Seth Forrest and Samantha Jayne.
2000: On the other hand, I was shopping in Wal-Mart, wasn’t I? What’d I expect, diamonds and furs?