Category Archives: pets

No,Not Now…

Cat adoption, no, have one with issues, already.

Like cats though. Nice , cute cosy ones.

Will take an old winter bedraggled looking like death cat crying at the kitchen door out of a storm and keep the poor thing, sores and all in the basement in a warm place with food and water until granted time to recuperate further at the farm, surrounded by barn cats and made their queen.

Best cat ever, Duster also named Mistral because he was brought home the night of the first autumn storm that brings the dark clouds, wind and snow. Duster kept his fluffy tail poised to collect dust from underneath the chairs and table so the name stuck. Beautiful cat and my friend. My son’s cat too. Duster cared. Duster lived and lived and lived. His ashes are still here. Must find a quiet spot.

Little Buttons tossed on our porch by a crazy person. Alone wee thing,did ok for awhile and seemed ready for vet and the procedure but didn’t make it through the operation. My heart was broken because the wee thing had trusted me and had curled up around my wrist the first night like it knew I would love it like a mother, The neighbour and I cried about the poor little thing and gave it a Celtic burial in the garden.

Then Archie and Frances came along, siblings, from a long line of barn cats .Archie became famous and visited everyone for toast and affection. He was invited to parties. A car hit Archie and there was a big loss for everyone because he was just so nice. Children brought me cards and drawings of Archie and told me he was with God at the top of the big tree.

Frances is still here. Small, delicate, beautiful tortoise coloured, very loving but partly crazy. Frances has a time, almost every night when she has to beat up the bathmat. For an aging cat this is very strenuous. She loves me and wants to be petted however without warning she will swing a paw to scratch or bite an ankle or a hand she perceives as a threat. This early morning writing, she lays softly beside the keypad, just wanting to be beside me, stretching out her little brindle foot to touch my hand, rolling her head onto the edge of the computer and trying not to interfere too much.

Another cat, big and orange and from out of town has requested adoption but no, I have Frances and that is all I need. Out of town cat might be considered a foster cat if needed but I think he wants to just stay at his own house and learn his manners or have his space.

Frances and I, just us, enough.

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Significant Bother

When the dog is here for holidays with me I do very little except take care of her. She seems to be less demanding these days which is a good thing. In March she will be two years old. In dog years , a teenager.

I still have to plan my day around her but it seems less hectic. She eats twice a day ,sleeps in her crate for part of the day , enjoys our little walks to the side of the house, usually leaves my plants alone now, responds fairly well to direction, chews fewer shoes and has almost learned to give the old cat alone time. She would love a longer walk outside but I find she is too rambunctious for my liking and I find it difficult to hang on to her, so we cut the walks short.

Given a big bone to chew on fresh from the pet store she will be a good dog for hours and exhaust herself enjoying it with gnawing and snuffling it all over the house. Almost everything about her has improved with her developing maturity except for the night time sleeping arrangement.

At night, she whines and carries on like a frantic newborn if she is in her crate. She is not going to get bed cosy with me if I can help it so the alternative is to stay up with her and we each take a recliner. Well into the night we watch television and read. She finds it quite soothing to be read to and seems to prefer the classics.

 Side by side we get through the night. She gets her ears petted and back scratched and likes to look bleary eyed into my face several times during the night. Sometimes  I even cover her up with my extra sweater or a handy blanket. My night gets painfully cramped and cold on the recliner and my sense of day and night is blurred. However, it is quieter. There is no whining. Only loud snoring coming from the other recliner. It’s almost like….

She goes home tomorrow. Holidays are over.

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Dog Gone. Tired.

Three days ago the bulldog left the building. After five weeks of baby bulldog care and cleanup I was ready for her to go to her new home in the big city. The first day of freedom I just took off…. did errands…. honestly I can’t remember what I did exactly…. but it was good to get out of the house and not have to be back within a few hours for puppy parenting. The second day I spent mostly at my sister’s having a good visit and a nice meal. The third day I crashed from exhaustion and couldn’t rest because I had to clean but I couldn’t clean because I was too tired. Trying to visit with a friend who I’d met for lunch, I declined food and only sipped on soul restoring hot tea.

 By the end of that day I had swept up dog hairs, vacuumed, washed down surfaces but only in a haphazard way. The vacuum still sits in the livingroom as I need to really go over things again. Window cleaning materials are at hand and floor mopping equipment is waiting in the wings.

From the emails received I hear she is nervous of the big city and still adjusting to her new apartment. As much as I would like to help with things and this adjustment I will stay out of the picture and just give advice from afar. Just yesterday ,I sent cleaning advice by email to my very adult son on how to clean dog pee from a mattress.  Oh, they grow up so fast.

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Just A Phase

Drastic measures have been taken but only after some careful consideration of the dilemnas of the parties concerned. Those parties comprise of my old delicate, somewhat prim cat Frances, my adult son working at an exciting new job in the big city about two hours away, Miss Moneypenny ,his year old bulldog staying with me for a couple of months and myself, retired teacher. This assessment has come to be as a result of the full moon and Miss Moneypenny getting in touch with her inner werewolf.

Two days ago, the moon was full and Miss Moneypenny’s behaviour went from somewhat stubborn to somewhat obnoxious. She would not let me read my book and demanded my attention by jumping forcibly on my lap. While playing with toys it became quite evident that she wanted to tussle and wrestle rather than just have fun. Her expression changed from wide eyed innocent to ‘I’m gonna’ get you!”. Her funny little gurumphs and snuffles turned into big old yappy barks. When I felt the nip on my hand I knew she was at her limit of goodnatured play and succumbing to the dark side.

Responding to my big NO with a she wolf battle stance and a saucy head snap which is best described as a “oh no you didn’t!…” kind of attitude she tried to take dominant status in the house.  I put her in the crate and walked away and she slept all afternoon.

So considering all the needs of everyone concerned I had to re-establish some control over the situation and reclaim some authority in the house. I picked up every toy and chew bone and stored them away out of sight. Nothing was left to out to play with or left on the floor for me to trip over. Food bowls were kept empty except for water. When Miss Moneypenny was released from her crate rest session she was taken outside for her walk and breaks and returned to a quiet, no toy, no food situation that seemed to intrigue her interest for about an hour. She walked around and around the coffee table looking at me with little humble head snaps as if to say “Oh no, you didn’t take my stuff all away and I’ll be good if you give it back, I promise…please give me back my Lion, Rhino, chew things, Mr. Rope and my food.”

We started with food but only after she responded well to a command. Delighted with her food, and another outside break she came back in the house waiting for the next treat but she was commanded to get on her bed and stay. Well, she got on the dog bed but she will never learn stay. Too stubborn about learning stay, so whatever.  Anyway, she seemed rather pleased that I had adopted this more military approach to dog boarding and adapted nicely. I’m almost enjoying my dog sitting duties again.

She still needs constant supervision to avoid chewing disasters but seems more at ease and willing to do most of what I command her to do. Bored quickly with my quiet ways of reading, working on the computer and watching costume dramas on television she starts rooting around my stuff in another room looking for something to chew, eat and destroy. Like now.

Old, delicate, cat Frances remains outside during the day and well into the night as a survival tactic with her issues of dog integration into the household unresolved. My adult son continues to work in the big city at his new job responding cryptically to my frequent emails outlining the pros and cons of HIS dog.  My frustration level has been reached but my good nature has been restored by taking account of the situation and doing what I had to do.  This post ends here while I go and get her out of my bedroom and put her into her crate again for another little rest. Sometimes you just have to be a bitch.

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Shelf Life

Here and there and everywhere little sentiments are in the forefront of my rather significant collection of favourite books on my bookshelves. A picture of  my Dad and myself, another of my mom and a niece, my ( retirement) brass school bell,  “Mumma’s” delicate rose and blue china cup, my son’s baby photo, a neutral faced  theatre mask, a carved wooden angel holding a bountiful floral garland, two die-cut cards from my son, figurines of dogs, birds, old souls and a snow globe shaker containg a picture of my sweet departed cat, are a fair representation of what is gathered there.

These things sit usually at the corners of the bookshelves but often are moved to centre place when access to the books hiding behind them are sought. Books are so plentiful that they are stacked vertically on the shelves rather than horizontally. Another bookcase might be purchased soon if my budget can stand it.

My books are organized at this moment in my life. The two top shelves are dedicated to classic literature as I feel that is only fitting for Shakespeare and those I’ve grouped with him there. On the next level are two full shelves of Canadian literature full of strange, often grim but treasured thought. On the shelves beneath contemporary American and European literature balance each other well.Further down, the two lower shelves begin to appear archive like holding assorted children’s books, art books, (several) books on the monarchy, some of my Aunt Bea’s book club books, baskets of CD’s and a few photo albums. Dear Maeve Binchy has an entire lower shelf dedicated solely to herself as she helped me survive my divorce twenty eight years ago. She provided the wholesome comfort of gentle romance when I was dashed and broken by my own decision to remove myself from my marriage. She stays on her shelf for all time, not ever in my lifetime to be culled in a book clearout as she deserves a permanent home.

The really old books that I collect are relegated to my bookshelves built into my bedroom. Among this assortment are my treasured old school readers, honoured for being the delicate rare taste of literature I was exposed to as a very young child. Along these shelves are little ornaments my mother kept so special in her heart. Things like little wooden shoes that have their own story,small framed pictures of Dad, my brother and an eccentric uncle, little flower vases she liked are arranged amongst the books and Bibles stored there.

All the cookbooks I’ve collected fill another full bookshelf in the small family room beside the kitchen. Several of these books are hand written or collections of recipes from my family’s heritage pasted into old scrapbooks. Many books about gardening and healing are also propped up there. These shelves are decorated with some funky pottery and woven baskets.

The spillage of books and sentimental clutter often needs to be tidied and refreshed. At the moment,  a good couple of hours dedicated to decluttering, putting things away, sorting through some recently acquired books from the used book store and other housekeeping duties is most likely a good idea. If only I had  the luxury of a daily domestic helper, like Maeve often described in her books these things might be more consistently done.  It is perhaps better that I do this work myself. After all, I know where things belong.

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Happy Valentine’s Day Bat Boy !

A little bit of a chorus line, mixed with a gospel revival and a tad of mid summer night’s dream..oh and some my fair lady with a dash of Saturday night live …and that’s how my valentine’s celebration at the theatre tonight turned out.  The production of Bat Boy at the Mc Manus Theatre, (Grand Theatre) London, Ont., Canada runs until February 23. Tonight was opening night and I plan to go again several times. To say it is an unusual story is an understatement. What I experienced was an intriguing night of entertainment and I took away the message that the ones we shouldcomfort, love and protect are vulnerable to danger, mistrust and ignorance and we are often too damaged ourselves to really sort these problems out. Pretty much, that’s the lesson in a nutshell. Oh yeah, did I mention that my wonderful son, who never thinks just inside the box, is the director…?.(and set designer…and other stuff.) Quite the musical !

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Tough Enough

During a whirling dervish wind in late October, I had some help from a great- nephew to tidy up some yard work, put up my Christmas lights and haul in about twenty potted flowers and  herbs. It seemed like the right thing to do, especially with the help of a young nephew. Otherwise, I would have turned my back on the garden, dumped out the pots, strung a few lights and called it a day. But,no. (I’ve never written a” sentence” like that before….must be losing it.)

Lined up in my huge bay window, resting on sturdy boot trays, my flowers and herbs enjoyed the last warm days of fall and only needed watering and a little turn now and again for optimal sunlight.  Needless to say, I didn’t water them enough and some soon fizzled and got tossed out. The rest hung on through Christmas and looked stunning from both inside and outside the house. At night, the outdoor fairy lights draped in the tree added to the magic.

With the coming of January, my watering and maintenance program ended up being quite inconsistent. Usually, I just tipped the remains of a cold cup of tea or murky coffee into the pot and just hoped for the best. Writing about my procrastination habits in my daily journal seemed to help and I would load up a pail of water and take a dipper and gently water the plants so they could carry on bravely through the winter.

When the bulldog pup came to stay for extended visits from town where she was feeling somewhat neglected because her owner, my son, was burning his candle at both ends working and  also producing and directing a show in the evenings, the plants went through their worst trial. Pup ate some, dragged some and knocked some over. All that remain of the herbs are pots of chewed sage, chomped chives and respectable looking rosemary. Multicolored geraniums continue to glow gloriously in four big pots at the most sunny spots in the window. There is an old fashioned red one that cheers, a salmon pink that softly shines, a white one that calms and a rosy orange one that blooms like gangbusters. The faded peacelily hangs on, hopefully a little longer and the large leaf shamrock bursts with tiny white flowers. At night, once in awhile just to bug the neighbours, I turn on the outside muticoloured fairy lights. It looks awesome out there, especially when nobody else is quirky enough to let their lights stay on well into February and beyond.

What is the lesson in all this? Perhaps it is beauty is in the eye of the beholder as long as you remember to water the plants and never get a bulldog pup….or maybe it is just buy more geraniums, fairy lights and let the quirks of nature take its course.

 

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On The Fringe

Approximately a whole month has gone by since I posted a blog but I’ve often thought about it, so I guess that counts for something. It has been a month of some home reno projects coming to relative completion, dealing with my on going issues with my sore leg, babysitting my son’s active bulldog puppy Moneypenny (renamed Cannonball by me when she is here tearing things apart) and being glued to events unfolding in the form of hurricane Sandy, watching news coverage of the big election and all the news about international politics and unrest.

Somehow, my little blog of musings seems insignificant by comparison.

As the home renovations are finished up I’m faced with putting back the furniture and tossing out the unnecessary things that have been clutterring up the place for months. Some stuff I’m simply bagging up and getting rid of it either in the form of garbage or donations.An example of this is the assortment of inspirational wall plaques I’ve collected over the years. Seems like I’m happy to let them go now but maybe I could hang on to them and hang a different one up each week on a rotating basis for old times sake. Things I’ve hung on to for many reasons but no longer need could be better used by someone who really needs them.

Having the puppy ricochet around here for overnight visits is simply wearing me out but all in all I enjoy having her around, buy her treats and drop everything to take care of her. Her nutty antics make me upset at times as she is too much dog for my sore leg to handle but she makes me realize my limitations and forces me to work on improving my health despite the aggravation, pain and aches. Her nutty antics also make me smile and provide lots of material for my storytelling. let’s just say she keeps me on my toes.

World events, politics and the impact and recovery from Hurricane Sandy have shaken me out of an apathetic mind set as I truly wish for solutions for all concerned.As a result, here I sit at the fringe of the blog world simply checking in, showing up and letting you all know that a simplified life is my personal goal, I’ll do what I can to keep on going strong and work on my global understanding and rely on my faith that better times will somehow overcome these present difficulties.

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My Hungry Games

Some nights the internet server doesn’t cooperate with my writing blog habits and flickers into a blank screen. Often, my high strung senior cat drapes herself over the keyboard or lurks behind the laptop lid watching me type and considers her chances to bite down on my fingers as I try to type. Consistently, I sit for awhile considering what to write about and usually snap it all off and try again later when something interesting pops into mind. Tonight, the deterrent to my writing is that I’m thinking about food. I ate my breakfast about noon and my lunch about seven p.m. so my supper hour is just kicking in apparently.
I am perfectly capable of making something interesting for myself and most likely I will. It is just very inconvenient to mess up the kitchen . It would be quite silly for a mature woman my age to jump in the car and drive all the way into town to get something as all the restaurants are closed except for the fast food places. My desire at the moment ( 12:03 a.m.) is for fluffy, hot, buttery mashed potatoes, creamy coleslaw, tangy meatloaf with chili sauce and chocolate pie with just a little whipped cream. There is a big possibility I will make this for dinner tomorrow and ensure that there will be leftovers for late night weekend munchies.
This leaves me with my go to late,late night meal with the ingredients at hand. Toasted bacon, cheese and tomato sandwich, with mustard and ketchup on the side, a dill pickle or two and some chocolate cookies I have stashed in the pantry for emergencies like this one and a big pot of tea. The dear cat, endearingly curled up asleep now beside my computer screen having given up on immediate attention and settling instead for mere proximity to my tapping fingers, is welcome to share a wee bit of my toast. Afterall, that’s what friends do.

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Vote for Moneypenny to be in a Fido tv commercial

link to contest:

https://fidocastingcall.promofido.ca/dog/81006845/

Image

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