Archive for July, 2008

I have been amiss in posting lately, for a variety of reasons…mainly due to it being summer and being outside instead of in at the computer. I have a couple of belated “Thank Ewes” to some dear Friends.

Our friends, Steve and Carole, used to be our next-door-neighbors when we lived up the mountain, about 1/4 mile from where we now live. They used to split their time between Phoenix and Flagstaff but have since moved closer to family in Texas. Now they will be here for part of the year, the remainder in the Lone Star State.
They both know of our, er…my affinity for cats. Any loose or stay feline seems to find its way to our door (er, there’s that “my” again!). My “Hired Hand With Benefits”, aka my DH, says there must be a sign that some cat has posted somewhere in the neighborhood much like the Kind-Hearted-Woman signs the hobos used to leave during the Depression announcing where a warm meal could be found. Carole just laughed when the story of the mother cat and kittens under the front step was told to her. This, I’m sure, is Steve and Carole’s perverse sense of humor:

The doormat arrived shortly after the post about finding the little family. And yes, Carole…I have put it in front of the door! 🙂

And Saturday I found a small box in our mailbox when I went up to get the mail. It was from my sheepy-cyber-bud, Michelle. Inside was a pink-sweatered ewe named “Flora” as well as a cup of cherries dried from Michelle’s own tree and Tina’s fabulous “Chocolate Coma Cookie” recipe. We’re supposed to have drier conditions this week so I believe I will just have to make some cookies for myself. The Hired-Hand can have his Tim-Tams from New Zealand. heeheehee

You’ll never know just how much these have cheered me up. It’s been a hectic summer even if we didn’t go to Oregon. Between kitten-sitting, learning I can’t do some of the things I used to before back surgery, and trying to keep things on an even-keel around here these remembrances have made me laugh and given me hugs. Thank you all for your gifts!
Now if I can only find that blasted sign and remove it before any other cat sees it…
NOTE: My DH has pointed out that there must be a connection between me and most of the animals I have. Most all of them are black or some color-form of black shade. Hmm. Could it be something in that Celtic background of mine? I wonder…

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Our friends, Melanie and her hubby, Mark, have taken possession of the two kittens they fell in love with two months ago. A-Dora-ble Dora, the Explorer and her sister, Pippi Longstockings, have gone off to live down the road from us. Bless Mel for keeping me posted on how the girls are doing.
I have known Mel for 20+ years now. She always treats her animals well and is the kind of person who doesn’t take a bond with a pet lightly. Her cats (that I have known) have lived for 18 years or better, at an average. I know Mel considers an animal as a life-long friend and doesn’t take on an animal as a whim. She, and Mark, will give Dora and Pippi the best of their hearts. I couldn’t ask for better.
Even though I know all this, it was hard to see the girls go. They were my favorites. Dora reminded me so much of our caretaker/snoopervisor cat, April. We lost April in ’05 after 19 years. Dora has her same “This is my World and you are here but to serve my every desire! Now fetch me that treat!”

Dora, the Explorer

Pippi is much shyer than her sister, but still can be very loving. And she has the look of wisdom on her face. She knows things…ancient things…secret things.

Miss Pippi Longstockings

The Happy “New” Mom and Dad
The girls are joining a family already consisting of two dogs and two older cats. When Mel’s first report was that Pippi was just scared and shaking while held on Mel’s lap, it was all I could do to stop from running over to bring her home. If it had been anyone else, I would have. But I know Mel will take good care of the girls. I trust her (and Mark) to love them as much as I do(did).
Being close has its advantages…I got to visit with them today! They both seemed to remember me. (Well, OK…it has only been three days) 🙂 It did my heart good to see them ruling the roost – at least while the dogs were outside. And Mel’s old one-eyed cat Fred came in and nuzzled both girls. I think we’ll have to call him “Uncle Fred” now. He seemed to genuinely like the kittens. And they liked him.
So, now we have two kittens left…and if someone fell in love with Daisy May (aka Mama Cat) we’d consider placing her as well. Don’t be alarmed. If we don’t find suitable homes they will be staying with us. We had pretty much decided to keep Daisy. She’s a very friendly cat. She just needs to temper her playing a bit as I do not appreciate her grabbing my hand and mouthing it like she would one of her kittens. This could also be referred to as “biting”. She doesn’t do it hard enough to break the skin, but she’s got to learn to settle down a bit. She comes when called and is really very affectionate. I think she’ll settle down more when she’s stopped nursing her remaining kittens.Right now, the boys may only get a taste of nursing. She tolerated Dora but seems to not let the boys nurse as she did the girls.
And we’ve decided to find a home where both the boys could go together. It’s really been a blessing to have the other kittens go as pairs to keep each other company.

Rascal says: “I’m staying here! I like it right here where I’m appreciated for the Cat that I am. And I like having my brother, Groucho, to boss around. Who needed those girls anyway?”

Don’t worry, Rascal…it would have to be a VERY, VERY special family to be graced by yours and Groucho’s presence. Yessiree…VERY special indeed!

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Rascal, Moose and Dottie

Today both Dottie and her brother, Moose, went to a new home. The person who came to see the kittens today was a true cat-lover. She had an older cat who was very lonely since his housecat friend had passed a few weeks ago. This person even does Reiki on animals. I liked her very much and know that these two kittens will have a wonderful new home with people who love them. (And she knew that if they didn’t fit in with her family she could bring them back)

Now I know all of this. My Head knew all of this right from the start of finding the little family – that they would be under our care until new, good homes could be found for them.

I just wish it would have told all of that to my Heart…

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Mutant Ninja Kittens

As you can tell from my lack of regular posts lately, things have been a bit busy around Oleo Acres. Oh, the sheep have been fine or rather now are fine that weaning is over. The only interesting thing has been nursing Ole through what I now believe is a reaction to the spray used to keep insect pests away from the sheep. All the other sheep are doing fine, but Ole acts like a guy in an itchy wool suit (pun intended) trying to scratch himself on anything and everything.
I even had “Dr. Rob” come out to see if he could discern Ole’s strange behavior. Rob gave him a steroid injection and an antibiotic, just to be sure, but the itchiness continued until last evening when the little light went on in my brain. The “Hired-Hand-with-Benefits” held Ole while I quickly washed an area on his neck and rinsed it very thoroughly to see if by removing traces of the repellent would alleviate any of the itching problem. This morning it seems to have worked so now I know not to apply anything with pyrethrins in it near or on poor Ole.

As for the rest of my time, it’s been spent trying to keep the house in some order, reassuring older cats we still love them and please don’t pee on things ’cause your stressed (maybe I should start doing the same as MY stress level has definitely hit the higher end of the scale), and keeping 6 kittens and one mother cat from completely taking over the house and holding us hostage.

It hasn’t been easy…

They seem to be everywhere!

And have discovered the Joy of Toilet Paper…

As well as learning how to disembowel a chair and climb inside. Oi!

The good news is that yesterday I took all the kittens in for their first shots and they can now be taken into loving homes! Friends of ours have been taken with both Dora the Explorer and Ringleader of this wee mob, and her sister/cohort in crime, Pippi Longstockings. I know they will be well cared for but I just wonder if these friends know what they are in for…

Naturally, they fell in love with two very smart kittens…Dora especially. That little cat can get out of, over, under, anything between her and what she wants. Hmm…then again…maybe I should just keep my lips sealed and smile. 😉

**NOTE: As of this evening (9 July, Ole is doing much better! He’s now back in with his mates and begging for cookies! I think that’s Life #3 or #4 for Ole. He seems to be the one who can get in, and out, of trouble doing things the other sheep wouldn’t even think about. Maybe he’s a cat in Sheep’s Clothing? 🙂

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After doing a few chores in town today, and having a nice late breakfast with a dear friend, I returned home to both having no power in the house, and the kittens and cats having eyes the size of dinner plates. As I dropped my friend (Melanie) off at her place we both saw piles of hail on the roads and driveways here in Kachina Village. I think if we could have danced in a car we would have. We finally got some rain, cloud cover and cooling temperatures! Hallelujah!
As I turned off the road to Mel’s house and onto Kachina Trail I noticed our local electric utilities vehicle beside the road with a workman in the cherry-picker. Now I knew what happened. The cats’ eyes confirmed it. Lightening had hit very, very near to our place! It comes with the rain this time of year. If you like the rain, you have to put up with these maurading hits of lightening as well. There’s no getting out of it.
When I was about 17, I was knocked to the ground by lightening. It’s not a fun thing…having your hair and eyebrows singed off a bit as well as having that smell & taste of ozone in your nose and mouth. I now watch lightening from inside. I would have to say I even enjoy watching it…from inside, that is. But if I am outside, as my Hired-Hand-With-Benefits can tell you, I quit what I’m doing and go in. At least I don’t panic and start sweating the minute I hear thunder now but it’s taken 40 years to get to this point. I have even stopped shaking during storms.
My father used to say I wasn’t afraid of anything until that incident happened. I still feel unafraid. It’s just something that I can’t control…something way too deep to reach. Oh well, it could be worse, I suppose.
For now I will just leave you with a promise that I will return to blogging soon with pictures of growing lambs and sheep for sale.
…but, I can hear thunder in the distance and see that storm clouds are headed this way again. And don’t I think I hear my mother calling me?…. I think the kittens have the right idea. Is there any room under that bed for me too?

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