Among our other comings and goings of the summer, most of which all came in August, were a several sets of animals.
Spare – the cat that adopted us, and helped ease out our much loved cat of 21 years, disappeared late last Spring. Not uncommon where we live. Coyotes, various eagles, large owls, skunks and other bigger, grouchier animals make it a dangerous life out here. He was one handsome fellow – and an amazing hunter.
He is very missed.
Sammie the Bearded Dragon – I was totally in love with this girl! She roamed free around the house during the day. Having a ton of windows paid off with her – she sat in each one! She got along great with the dogs. And kept me company in the kitchen (not on the counter – lots of hand washing). She came outside with us to do yard work and gardening. Her favorite place of course was the open pasture outback of our house – where she was nearly impossible to find. She was about 3-4 years old by the time we got her, and we had her about 6 months when she passed. She died very happy I’d say though – running back and forth through the soaker hose out front. Vet said is was just her time.
She is very missed.
Come August. When we were scheduled to be gone every weekend. (For people who rarely take trips other than to move, this was a crazy concept!) A kitten popped out of our bushes near our house. We looked for more, but none could be found. We got ourselves a new cat! One very brave little boy, about 4 weeks old, who adores the dogs, even if they don’t appreciate him quite the same way. We had been himming and hawing over getting a new one; the cost, a 20 year commitment when the boys were going to be moving out soon, a smaller place in two years. That sort of thing. But we also had a major mouse problem thanks to the people behind us doing massive construction out in their field. So, I prayed on it a bit. Be careful what you pray for – God is a generous giver!
We left for a family reunion. Big dog, little dog and new kitten in tow.
When we got back, we could hear at least one more little one in the bushes?! And when I went to look – there were several bodies moving through the branches of our huge evergreen. I bought a trap ASAP and first thing we caught was mama. And BOY was she thrilled with this! We didn’t intend to catch her first, but we rolled with it.
Mama cat will be getting fixed here shortly and released back into our yard. Not friendly, but didn’t rip my face off either. And she’s an excellent mouser, so we didn’t want to lose that. She’ll be well taken care of as a “barn cat” on our property.
Two days later, two more kitties. One boy and one girl.
Next day, two more kitties. Two more girls. One completely different than all the others, and the runt (runts are always my favorite).
That evening, the dad. We’d never seen him in our yard before – stealthy big guy! And we had no intention of catching him, seems as how we didn’t even know he was there. But he was promptly fixed the next day by our awesome vet and released back into our yard. Hey, we need all the help we can get with those mice!
While all this was happening, we needed to leave again for the weekend. The thought of spending two nights in a hotel room with two dogs and five kittens was just a bit much, and we couldn’t call off our trip. We managed to find some poor kid at the very last minute to come watch the whole herd without so much as a plan! “Just keep everyone alive until we get back and can figure out what to do with them.” And he succeeded. He even picked up the dad cat from our vet and released him for us, and found a home for one of the kittens.
One geriatric mastiff, one asthmatic pug, five 5 – 6 week old kittens, one ticked off mama stuck in our garage, and one probably not so happy dad. All still alive and (mostly) happy.
Not bad for a 16 y/o!
I’ve never seen my husband become such a moosh before? But really, five puff balls are hard to resist! (Unless you have allergies.)
But if we’re going to be honest, four remaining cats is a bit much. Especially when we move to our studio in a few years. So we’re looking for homes for two. In the middle of “kitten season”. No worries – they will be taken care of no matter what. Like I said, we need “barn cats”.
Instead of a mouse problem, we have a kitten problem. Which is not too bad of a problem to have.
Our trips are over. School has started back up. Pitter-patter of tiny paws can be heard all over the house. And not a mouse to be found.
Not a bad way to end the summer!