pet roundup

We have an extra here for a few weeks: my mom’s poodle / terrier mix. We are taking care of him while my mom vacations in Mexico and California. This dog is so submissive he thinks everything’s his fault, and he should be beaten accordingly.

Like most dogs, he is at his best when he gets plenty of directed exercise (as in, I walk with him). I am pretty good with this dog. Or rather, I am very good with this dog vis-a-vis walks. My daughter walks him around the block (carrying a satchel with dog poop-scooping capabilities) about four times a day and I try to take him out on a longer adventure as well. Last Saturday we rigged up a basket in my Xtracycle so he could ride along with us through town to get to our destination hike.

Our cats love our current house: specifically, the big upstairs room that is always warm has an impressive bed selection (a king, a twin, and a full). My thirteen year old female black kitty is curled up at Sophie’s still-sleeping feet as I type. She is a tiny, tidy, near-silent creature with sleek black-oil paws hiding huge white claws. She used to be full of malice and now is full of concentrated love for me and wants nothing more than her creaky bones to be pet. She can catch prey (in this house, flies) with deadly accuracy. We call her Blackstone these days.

The male kitty Harris is big and grey and stripey and has short, thick hair. This week he has another mysterious whisker-cut, delivered by my five year old son. This is not cool, although behind Nels’ back I laugh because A. I have a very immature side of me that thinks stuff like this is funny and B. I can’t help but think why does the cat – capable of ferocity that could overcome my five year old – sit calmly (and probably even contentedly) through this operation?

Harris is an insolent creature who attacks Ralph while he’s out gardening. In the morning, Ralph usually puts the cat outside before he leaves for work. Then when I come downstairs the feline is right outside the glass back door – he sees me, rears up on his back legs, and in rapid succession bats his sticklike arms against the glass bam! bam! bam!

I’ve been calling him Douchey McWhiskerson behind his back.

The chickens, well, I guess they are our pets more than any other category. Daily we feed them chicken scraps and pet them and carry them out to their outdoor chicken tractor. Sophie, the more injured hen, resumed laying last Friday, so we are back to two eggs a day. I am still amazed the birds survived their ordeal. I am proud of them, in a chickeny way.

Our five pullets are more excitable than our hens, and during the day when we put them outside they race around like crazy. Sophie is convinced that Swayze and Guinivere are actually cockerels. If this is true, we will be gifting them to another household and keeping our females (Snow White, Striker, and Peeperton).

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