Ha! With all of the kitties you have - I would imagine the correct comment would be.....
LOOK AT THE HAIR ON YOU!!
No home should be without it!!
Ha! With all of the kitties you have - I would imagine the correct comment would be.....
LOOK AT THE HAIR ON YOU!!
No home should be without it!!
Sometimes I can't help myself. Sometimes it is inevitable that I cheat. Long before I had my recent heart attack I had made the decision to improve my eating habits. Several years ago I noticed how tightly my clothes were beginning to fit, so I made the decision to change my eating habits. For me, changing my eating habits simply meant eating smaller portions and drinking water instead of sodas. So I have long since returned to my normal, svelte self. But once in a while I feel the need to cheat.
So it was on a recent trip to town a few years ago. I have always loved Wendy's hamburgers, and on this particular trip to town I just had to have one. I ordered the single combo with cheese, dressed, with bacon. I also love their chili seasoning, so I always order it and pour it over the inside of the burger. I sat in the dining room and enjoyed the delicious spicy flavor of the chili seasoning, which mingled with the salty combination of the bacon and the mayonaise and ketchup and mustard with which I also like to baptize my burgers. I had their fries, also baptized in ketchup and mustard and chili seasoning. I was a good boy in one respect -- I drank water.
I returned to my truck to continue my errands, and as I passed through the doorway of the truck to be seated I heard a faint squeak. Weird sound it was, so I stepped out and quickly back in, and I heard it again. It was a very faint and faraway squeak. It sounded like a kitten, but I couldn't be sure. Anyway, you know I was going to check it out, so I stepped back outside the truck, walked around the parking lot, looked under the truck, looked in the truck -- everywhere, but I simply did not see a kitten anywhere. So I re-seated myself in my truck and drove off.
Groceries were next on the agenda, so I drove to Roger's Supermarket. I did my shopping and returned to my truck to load the groceries. If I am in my truck I always load the groceries into the passenger seat, so after having opened the passenger-side door I proceeded to grab a bag and place it onto the seat. And each time I passed the door opening I heard that squeak. Puzzling it was! I continued to load the groceries, and I continued to hear the squeak! Once again I studied the parking lot, looked underneath the truck, checked inside and outside the truck -- everywhere, yet I could see no kitten! This was a puzzle!
Anyways, it was time to get home so I seated myself and drove toward home. Before going home, though, I saw that I needed gas so I pulled into a station to fill up. I exited the truck, swiped my card, and begin to pump. I a by nature a very lazy person, so instead of standing there and holding the pump I wedged the gas cap into place and let go of the pump and walk around a bit. It then occurred to me to check the oil, so I popped the hood to have a look. I found the dipstick, pulled it out and immediately heard the squeak. I remained very still for a few seconds and listened. No sound, but the moment I moved I heard the squeak again! There was no mistaking it this time. The sound most definitely belonged to a kitten, but where? So I slid the dipstick back into place and began another investigation. I checked the parking lot; I crawled beneath the truck, I looked under the seats, I looked everywhere. No kitten!
I was very frustrated, but what could I do? Maybe I was hearing things. How could there be a kitten? I had just driven all over town and had heard the squeak everywhere I stopped. I had done a very thorough and exhaustive search of the premises and the truck, yet had not turned up a thing -- I must be hearing things. I quickly finished gassing up, hopped in the truck, and drove home.
At home I unloaded the groceries then deposited myself in my favorite chair in front of the television. Within a few minutes the dogs started up. They were really making a racket! So I went outside to see what was the fuss. They were all congregated at the fence barking in the general direction of my truck. I went to where they were, "What are you guys making such a fuss about? " When I said that they really cut loose then. "Hesh up now! Stop all that racket! Who you guys think you are! Stop that! " They dutifully obeyed -- all except for Lu Lu, who continually keeps up a racket all the time anyway. I took a look in the direction of the truck, and..., I could her something. Something very faint. I exited the fence and walked over, and ..., yes, I could definitely hear it now! Somewhere within the confines of that truck was a kitten ..., somewhere, but where?
So I retrieved my flashlight, and began the search again. Once again I checked beneath the truck, crawling around on my back in the gravel of my driveway. I looked behind and under the seat, and under the dashboard. I looked under the hood. I crawled up into the engine well for a closer inspection. I looked everywhere, and all that time I continued to hear a very faint and very distant sound, the very distinct mewing of a kitten. But for all the energy I expended in my search I simply could not locate the little creature. I was at my wits end. So I decided to shut the hood, but before I did I moved to the side to remove some debris that had gathered underneath one of the springs, and as I did that I caught a glimpse into the wheel well on the passenger side. And there in the wheel well, just out of the reach of the massive tire on that side of the truck, crouched ever so precipitously on the edge of the well I saw it. A very tiny, very scared, very frail, puffy, squeaky ball of fur.
The footnote to this story is that I delivered this little guy to the shelter. I simply had too many cats and I could not continue to collect. It was a most difficult decision, a decision that I have questioned many times. It breaks my heart to this day to recall the look on that little guy's face -- that frail, scared, little face.
But you simply cannot keep them all.
Taz and Thumper under the Willow Oak.
Gosh, that free ride kitty was very lucky to survive! I hope the shelter people found the little guy a loving home!
Now, I know that Taz is only a pup, but growing fast it seems. Thumper looks almost as big!! Nice to see they get along so well.
"I don't know which weapons will be used in the third World war, but in the fourth, it will be sticks and stones" --- Albert Einstein.
You all know Emeraldgreen (a.k.a. Lara). She has sent me the most wonderful story, which I would like to share with you. I include it here just the way she sent it to me. Warning: Have your tissue handy!
[I shall include this story in my website collection. I love stories such as this one. If you have such a story to tell I would really, really love to read it. Would you share it with me? If you would please PM me or email me at [email protected]]One morning, just as the sun was coming up I spotted two rollie pollie puppies bounding towards me. They were racing across a street that was normally busy as a highway and was even called Speedway but at this hour there wasn’t a car around. I knelt down to receive them as if they were fuzzy footballs that someone had thrown at me. They landed on me with a thud. They were tan and black with dark ridges down their backs and couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 weeks old. They were cute as buttons and I couldn’t understand why they were all alone but that mystery cleared up quite quickly as I spotted their mother come up over the crest of the hill. She was a Coyote and she had 4 more pups just like mine trailing right behind her. It was not uncommon for Coyotes to mate with stray dogs in Arizona where I lived and these puppies were a result of one such union. I wasn’t sure what to do so I called out to the Coyote just hoping she’d stop but she just kept going. I tried to get the puppies to go to her but they were focused on me. So, I picked them up and took them home.
I couldn’t keep them both and arranged for someone I knew to take one of them. I thought he would provide a good home but as it turned out, he failed her miserably as did I. He named her Oshea and a few weeks later I heard from someone that he was mistreating her. I tried to get her back but was told by his room-mate, a vet tech that she had been given to someone with a farm through the clinic he worked at. I never believed that story but I couldn’t prove otherwise. I think of it often and it is one of my biggest regrets that I didn’t take greater care in finding an excellent home for her.
I kept the other puppy but soon realized I couldn’t offer her enough time with work and school. I asked my mom if she would be able to give the puppy a home which she was more than happy to do. My mom is in fact the one who gave her the name Smokey, after her childhood dog that she grew up with in New York.
Smokey proved to be a real handful for her and we were never sure if it was the Coyote side or the Rhodesian Ridgeback side or the wonderful combination of the two. This young dog shredded just about everything that wasn’t nailed down in my mom’s house but her kind and gentle nature made up for all the chaos.
Smokey had a fondness for watching the world go by outside the window, especially when it involved other animals. On one occasion, two large St. Bernards were walking by the house with their owner and it proved to be too stimulating for Smokey.
She jumped clear through the closed glass window just to be with those dogs. When she reached them, she did the normal doggy thing and wagged her tail, barked a lot and greeted them with lots of sniffing. She somehow managed to avoid getting a single scratch from that ordeal. The window had to be replaced but this time it wouldn’t be single paned!
One day my mom let Smokey outside into the yard to do her nightly ‘business’. Shortly afterward, she heard a wild commotion coming from next door. She looked outside and realized that Smokey was now over at the neighbours and the husband was on top of his car stomping around, yelling to his wife to go get his gun! Smokey was running around the car in circles barking. My mother later found out that earlier in the day a storm had knocked down part of the fence that normally keeps Smokey in and this is how she made her escape. My mom raced out and tried to calm the man down telling him that Smokey didn’t mean any harm and that if he would just stop yelling, she could collect Smokey and get her back into the house. He was very drunk as was often the case and equally angry. The wife came out saying she couldn’t find the gun and Smokey ran over to her. Smokey was certainly obnoxious but she was always gentle. Her only intentions were to sniff this woman and maybe bark a few times. But without a second’s thought she started kicking Smokey over and over and somehow in this scuffle Smokey either scratched her or her mouth grazed the woman’s leg when she kicked Smokey in the mouth. My mom, a very compassionate and honest woman said that the wound seemed to be very superficial but the neighbours raced to the hospital and said they were going to sue!
The next day Animal Control left a note on my mother’s door saying that there would be a court hearing to determine if Smokey was a dangerous dog. We were devastated. When my mother arrived at the courthouse she had Smokey with her. She wanted to show the judge how gentle Smokey was but they said it wouldn’t be necessary and that they had enough evidence already. They declared her a dangerous dog on the spot and gave my mother two choices.
Either put the dog down or build a six foot fence around her entire yard with a 6 inch incline at the top and a foot of cement below the ground. If a fence could not be built, she would have to be confined to a dog run that was closed in at the top, padlocked and posted with bright yellow ‘dangerous dog’ signs on all sides. She would have to be tattooed with a dangerous dog code on her inner thigh that could be recognized by Animal Control Officers should she ever escape and she had to be muzzled whenever outside, including when walking from the house to a dog run. If she were to escape, my mother was told that she could face 30 days in jail in addition to a steep fine.
My mom called me later that day in tears and told me that she just couldn’t manage the situation and felt that Smokey would have to be put to sleep. I was beside myself because I was the one that found these two puppies and if I had only left well enough alone, this would not be happening. She probably would have been part of a wild coyote/dog pack out in the desert but at least she wouldn’t be facing this.
I called my mother back and told her that I would take Smokey and follow through with all of the conditions. Within a week, I had her tattooed, bought a 9’ x 9’ dog run, had the signs posted, bought a muzzle and a padlock for the run. I wanted to build a fence and planned to in the future but I just didn’t have the money at the time and had to settle for the run. At least she was still with us.
On my way to work one day I put her in her run as I usually did and locked the padlock, or at least I thought I had. As it turned out, I hadn’t squeezed the lock hard enough for it to click and lock completely. When I got home, I noticed immediately that Smokey was not in her run. I panicked and raced around my yard calling for her and ran right into the Animal Control officer. He had her in the back of his truck. He told me that he was taking her to the pound and that I would be going to jail and would have to pay a large fine. He said that it was in my best interest to put her down and I could have sworn he was enjoying every minute of it. I couldn’t believe it. Animal Control had come to my house on a surprise inspection visit and took her out of the run she was in and now wanted me to put her to sleep. I have never begged so much in my life and after about half an hour, he released her to me with a 500.00 ticket.
I lived in a university neighbourhood and football was huge there. I had left Smokey in the care of my then live in boyfriend. He called me at work one evening and said that she had gotten out. It was a friend of ours that didn’t realize that Smokey needed to be either in the run or in the house and opened the door to the yard and she was gone.
I looked at my watch and realized that the game was going to let out in about 2 minutes and then my street and all the streets within a 5 block radius would be filled to the brim with students, yelling, drinking and having a good time. I didn’t even tell my boss I was leaving and raced to my car and drove like a crazy person to get home. It was dark and pedestrians were everywhere. I parked my car and just started calling her name, looking for her up one street and down the other. After about half an hour, I was feeling so defeated. I prayed that she would somehow come to me which I thought was an awfully tall order since she never came when I called. Just at that moment I heard the familiar jingling of her collar and I looked up to see Smokey coming right towards me from the alley I was standing in. She waltzed up as if to say “hi mom, what are you doing here?!?” She was just over a year at that time and was the size of a German Shepherd but I wasn’t taking any chances. I picked her up and carried her like a baby for 2 blocks until we were home.
Animal Control had informed me that this sentence that Smokey was living out would last the length of her life unless I moved outside of the city limits. I thought about this often and when I had the opportunity to move back to Canada, I took it and took her with me. No more muzzles, dog runs or padlocks. The only evidence of that horrible year and a half was the tattoo she would sport forever.
Smokey and I had a great life together and she remained gentle as always the entire time. She was loyal and loving and shared these qualities with my other animals as well. She was particularly fond of the three ferrets I had and focused most of her attention on my three legged ferret named Cassidy. I could often find them snuggled up together having a nap.
She was also famous for her policing duties among the cats. She adored them and whenever a scrap broke out, she was on the scene to break it up. She would literally guide one cat to one corner using her nose to push the cat along and then do the same with the other cat. Then she’d park herself between them until things settled down and everyone was getting along again. It was amazing. She was amazing.
When she was 14 her back legs started to give her trouble and she was getting quite stiff and struggling with the stairs. The vet gave us Metacam to relieve the inflammation and dull the pain. This worked quite well for two years and she still was able to play with our other dog Muddy. On occasion she would sit down but could not get back up. I’d pull up her rear so she was standing again and off she’d go. This went on for awhile until one day we were outside and she was sitting and trying to get up. I helped her in the usual way but each time she sat right back down. My heart sank. I picked her up just like I had 15 years earlier and carried her into the house with tears streaming down my face. I knew we had come to the end of the road.
I called the vet and arranged for him to come out to our house. I saw him drive up the driveway and my stomach was filled with uneasy butterflies. I felt sick. We allowed Muddy to say goodbye and brought him over to Smokey. He refused to look at her. Muddy did the very same thing with our cat Tiger before I took him into the vet to be put to sleep. We had the dogs in the back of the truck and as I was taking Tiger into the vet clinic I brought Tiger to them so they could say their goodbyes. Finnigan was his usual excited self and slobbered all over Tiger but Muddy, who usually would do the same, kept looking away and would not acknowledge Tiger. Muddy and Tiger were very close so I guess Muddy sensed what was happening, just as he seemed to with Smokey.
My husband walked Muddy down the path away from the house and away from what was about to happen. They approached the van and just as the vet stepped out, Muddy put his ears back and began to growl. In the few years that he had been with us up until then, he had never growled at anyone.
Bu poor old Smoke was more than happy to see the vet and though she couldn’t get up to properly greet him, she wagged her tail to let him know that he was welcome. Gentle to the end. Rest in peace sweet Smokey. I hope you and your sister are together again.
Last edited by Willow Oak; 08-28-2008 at 08:44 AM. Reason: I misspelled the title. It should read "Emeraldgreen Smokey." Sorry ...
I received the following contribution from a friend of mine on another forum [WARNING: Tissue Alert!]:
(well, that's the way we spelled it) who was a gift to my Sister. Piewacket joined us at Christmas. She was about eight weeks old and a gorgeous mostly white calico. Sister's Sunday School teacher gave her this little bundle of fur, but Sister had just started college that fall and Mom and Dad promised to keep her until Sister graduated. I don't think anyone thought of how it would be for the next four years. Especially since Mom hated/despised/distrusted felines just a tad more than she did dogs. Piewacket was the second attempt at pets in our home. Who knew how successful it would be with Sister visiting only during the summer months. That same first Christmas, my son received a Hot Wheels track. Do you know how much fun a kitten can have with Hot Wheels that run in circles. Double that and you'll come close to the circus atmosphere. My Dad fell in love with this purrfect pet. Four years later, graduation. Time for Piewacket to move in with Sister, except -- of her new apartment roommates, one hated cats and the other was allergic, so Piewacket received a reprieve and stayed with Dad (and Mom.) Another three years pass and Sister marries -- a man who could not stand cats, so Piewacket remained with Dad (and Mom.) But the marriage didn't last. Piewacket was ten when they divorced and Sister would be living alone, needing cat companionship. For the one time in his life, Dad looked Sister in the eye and said "No." Piewacket was too old to move into an apartment and give up her back yard. Sister, thinking that ten was pretty old for a cat, settled for a new kitten of her own. Piewacket lived to be twenty-two years. Daddy saw to her care, just as he cared for Mom when she was diagnosed with ALS. That disease confined them a great deal to their home. Eventually, it was if to acknowledge Piewacket's age and disabilities might require that "special" vet visit would also mean facing Mom's disintegration. Sister and I were there during one of Mom's hospitalizations. Piewacket still came for her petting, but there was no playing, no energy, no brightness in her eyes, except when Dad came to her. We both told him that when he was ready, we would accompany them. But he declined. It wasn't time yet. She still ate, though she didn't play. No, it wasn't time yet. The next month he called to tell us that Piewacket had died in her sleep. It was, he said, as though when we gave up on her, she gave up, too. But in my mind, I still see that full Hot Wheels layout, in a figure eight, and small streak of calico-spotted whiite chasing cars, forever.
You gotta check this out. It is a video clip of Smokey I received from Emeraldgreen.
The fence that encloses my front yard is definitely the best investment I have made so far for my animals. For sure, I have a very beautiful 16 acres, plenty of room for the dogs to run and play, but I have had to learn the hard way that even in as rural an area as I live, it is not wise to let one’s dogs run loose. Accidents can and do happen, and I as I have said I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way. Now with the fence I get to enjoy the pleasure of watching my dogs run and play and chase each other, without the worry of their getting lost or getting in the road. I love to watch Oscar run and run, with his tongue lolling about and that big grin on his face, and to watch Fred chasing Sam, then Sam chasing Fred The smaller dogs run and play and chase each other. Cathy runs after the bigger dogs, and they tolerate her. Taz barks at outsiders right along side the bigger dogs. Thumper is always out there with the dogs, as is Tiger and Pete. There is no greater pleasure for me or thrill for them.
For an animal lover there is no greater agony than to look outside, expecting a beloved pet to be near, only to discover it missing. The agony of not knowing, of worrying and aching over the loss of a beloved pet – dare I try to empathize with a parent who has lost his child under nefarious circumstance? The agony is not lessened when a pet is not necessarily missing – just not in the immediate line of site. This was my daily experience with Sam and Oscar before I built the fence. I had already confined the dogs to the back yard, which has been fenced in since I bought Willow Oak. The area immediately behind my house is fenced in, but not nearly as spacious as the front yard, and after a while a dog simply must stretch his legs. The other dogs were confined by the four-feet high chain link fence, but to Sam and Oscar it was just an adventure in fun, because they soon discovered that four feet to them was like one-foot to you and me – they simply jumped the fence!
No matter what adjustments I made to the fence, Sam and Oscar would simply find a week spot and jump over. So for all the time that Sam and Oscar (since he has grown up) have been with me, the fence in the back yard has been no obstacle for them. And every time they traversed the fence I had that agonizing wait until they returned to the gate to be let back in.
I made the decision to fence in the front yard, because I wanted the dogs to have more room to run and play. And, the cats needed an area away from the dogs. In the back yard the dogs and cats could mingle, and the dogs might not have had a problem with that arrangement, some of the cats prefer to not have the dogs around. With the fence, the dogs would be in the front, and the cats that didn’t like the dogs would have their own area to mingle among themselves.
So I hired Larry and built the fence in the front yard. Building the fence would solve one problem – lack of space – but I knew that I would in all likelihood still have to deal with the issue of Sam and Oscar jumping the fence. The fence in the front yard was to be the same height as that in the back: four feet. So the fence was built, and the first time the dogs were turned loose, only a few hours were required before Sam and Oscar decided to give the fence a try, and sure enough – over they went. Gone! I knew it would happen, and now after all that expense I once again had that agonizing wait until my dogs returned.
But, I had studied the matter and had anticipated the possibility of Sam and Oscar going over the top, so I invested an additional sum of money and bought the materials I needed to electrify the fence. I bought a solar-powered unit, and strung a strand of 17-gauge wire about four inches above the top of the fence – all the way around. A few days were required to complete the job, and only when it was finished would I be able test it on the dogs. To be sure I had already tested the thing on myself. Once or twice I had accidently touched the wire while touching the fence, and trust me on this one – it isn’t pleasant.
So, I finished stringing the electric wire, and waited. I wouldn’t have to wait long. Shortly thereafter, I was inside when I heard a very loud yelp followed closely behind by another very loud yelp. I went outside to see what had happened. I looked all over the yard, and sure enough Sam and Oscar were gone! Now for the agonizing wait, and if they returned safely this time, hopefully Sam and Oscar would have learned their lesson, and that would be the last time they would jump the fence.
I wouldn’t have long to wait. Within moments after hearing the two yelps my other dogs were at to the gate where Sam and Oscar would have to reenter, and they were making a loud racket. I went over to where they were, and could see that Sam and Oscar had already returned. They were there, but there was something different about them. Each dog was hanging his head in the most abject manner, and when I opened the gate each dog very slowly and carefully made his way into the yard, tail tucked between legs. Each dog crept into the house to find a quiet place of solitude in which to hide and recuperate.
Believe me, it was a day or two before either dog would venture outside again. At first only Oscar would look out, and at that all he could manage was to stare in the direction of the fence then quickly duck back in and crawl back to his place of hiding. This went on for a few days, but eventually each dog would circumspectly return to the yard, but only to sniff the grass and check out the scenery. Time would pass, and both Sam and Oscar would return to their running and chasing and playing about. Everything for those two would return to normal: chasing Fred and being chased by Fred. Every day I would let them out with the others and Oscar would run about, tongue lolling – a big grin on his face. Everything would again be all right with the world, and everything would return to normal for the dogs. Everything, that is, except that since the day I heard the two yelps, neither Sam nor Oscar has gone near the fence.
I have only had Taz for about a month, and he is still such a baby. I took this video of him, which I thought you might enjoy.
Taz, you naughty boy! What was that you got hold of to tear apart? I suggest your dad give you a treat - then I bet you'll come out and show your pretty face!
Dan, you sound just like a guy I know from Indiana - forgive me if that's bad! LOL!
"I don't know which weapons will be used in the third World war, but in the fourth, it will be sticks and stones" --- Albert Einstein.
Oh my gosh.....what a brilliant accent you have WO!!!! To me it screams out "Southern States". I love listening to other people's accents....and don't let anyone ever tell you that I have a Canuck accent.
I have decided that I simply cannot and will not open your thread on weekday mornings. I get all wrapped up in the content and find myself reading stories over again and getting that Leaky Eye Syndrome once more. In addition it really does make me late for work. Because your thread is like a magnet...drawing me closer and closer, I just don't even bother turning on my PC in the morning or if I do, I will not open Pet Talk....and that, Dear Dan, is a compliment.
Now Taz, get out from under the couch and take it like a man....the treats that is! Thanks for sharing that video and the other stories. My kleenex is always handy.
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand and strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!
Sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see
Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.
I have a Sony digital camera, and I've known all along that I have a movie feature -- I only just thought about shooting some video. That story and video about Smokey the Coyote, lent to me by Emeraldgreen, gave me the idea about shooting some video of my own animals. So I may make a few short clips and post them here.
As for a Canadian accent, I doubt if Icould understand what you (slick) are saying anyway.
Randi has been working up a new siggy for me, starting with the kitties. She sent me the one currently showing. I do believe I count 14 kitties! But I thought I only had 13! Oh! I see Tumper is in there twice. Well, he deserves top billing!
I am currently listening to Candace Carnie's Madd River CD. Very soothing, very pleasant it is.
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