Mom finally took me for a walk today. Because I am brachycephalic (short muzzled and I can’t heat or cool my air much) Mom won’t walk me outside if it is below 25 degrees. So between over a foot, yep you read that right a foot of snow and the cold weather, I haven’t been able to get off of the back patio for over a week! When she took me out the front door I was so confused. On both sides of the sidewalk the snow was over my head! I seriously couldn’t see into the road from the sidewalk. I couldn’t sniff anything! I actually wanted to go home and get my paws washed off and sit in front of my heater again!”
Lulu does not in anyway approve of this cat, but she has grown to tolerate her presence in her Queendom. This is a little segway from the usual fun story, but it is an important lesson for all animals lovers to remember and share.
This is Bella, one of two cats my husband and I took into our home after my Mother went into the Nursing home.
My Mother was still quite healthy and living independently at the age of 85. She resided in a one bedroom apartment about 40 minutes from our home. At the age of 85, yes 85 years old, my Mother unbeknownst to me, went and bought two kittens from a pet store. When I discovered this I was shocked that at her age she not only had 2 tiny new kittens but that she purchased them from a pet store. My Mother then, without my knowledge took the kittens and had them declawed. During her lifetime of owning cats she never had any cat declawed. I was horrified that she did this to the kittens. These poor kittens already had 3 strikes against them before they were 3 months old. They began their life in a pet store only to be sold to an elderly woman who then had them declawed.
Within a year my Mothers physical and mental functioning plummeted dramatically and she had to move into a nursing home. She left behind two CATS with no provisions for their future. I was then faced a moral dilemma. I really did not want two more cats. I knew full well that if these cats went to a pound or rescue they would be close to unadoptable because they weren’t cute kittens anymore and they were not really socialized.
Faced with those facts, my husband and I opted to take them to live with us and our other cats and Boston Terrier. It was not an easy transition for anyone. It took months of work to normalize Bella and Gigi’s behaviors. It took over six months for Bella and her sister Gigi to leave our second floor to explore our first floor. To this day Bella is reviled by all of the other cats, even her sister. She lacks claws to defend herself and feline social skills needed to avoid bullying from the other cats. Her only positive social interaction is with me or my husband. We are her protectors.
It is uncomfortable for some folks to contemplate their own mortality, but before adopting that cute puppy or kitten, you must. My husband and I are in our 50’s and we have decided that from this point on if we ever adopt again, we will adopt a senior pet. Anyone over the age of 60 needs to recognize the facts and risks of adopting a kitten or puppy. The average age life expectancy for a small dog or the average cat is 15 yrs. If you are 60 years or older and adopt a kitten or puppy you run the risk of having your pet outlive you.
Everyone should have plans made for the aftercare of their beloved pets. In reality though, the person who promised to adopt your pet 5 years ago may not be able to so do at the time of your death. Make sure your plans are confirmed every 6 months. Otherwise your faithful friend could end up at a shelter alone, scared, and confused. I have seen photos of these senior dogs and cats who have outlived their owners. It is heartbreaking.
I am not saying that after the age of 65 do not own pets, what I am saying is look at the risks to your pets and other options. There are thousands of senior dogs and cats out there who need homes, investigate adopting a senior pet. Or look into fostering a pet until they can find a forever home. Contact your local rescue and speak with someone who can help match your lifestyle and realistic ability to provide for a pet’s needs to an appropriate pet. If growing older with a senior pet or fostering is not realistic given your age or health then volunteer at a pet rescue.
The bone processing continues. Dirt on the nose and the dirt on a blanket are the only steps of the seasoning process that you may witness, the rest remains a trade secret.The bone has now been moved on to an undisclosed location in order that the processing can continue. Security remains high and vigilance must prevail as many covet the bone.
Sleep is not an option. There are two bones that have been secreted to the backyard for the required aging process. But alas it is too cold outside to personally watch over them. So staying awake all day listening for bone thieves has been the only feasible option. No one can fathom the gravity of this predicament.
Miss Lulu wears the towel of shame.
Unhappy with her typical little frito odor, Miss Miss Lulu choose to immerse herself in the lovely scent of “Petit Rodaent Morts #6″. A rich and fragrant aroma tinged with a slight accent of fall leaves.
I was not amused.
Miss Lulu now sports the clean fresh scent of Pantene.
Now Miss Lulu is not amused.
News Flash: Another murder occurred on 6th St. tonight. An as of yet unidentified bug was murdered and dismembered in what can only be described as a scene of heinous horror.
The Preliminary reports to date include the following:
The victim: a BIG green bug about 4” in height. Said victim had the appearance of a praying mantis. However, a good ID of the victim could not be made due to the abhorrent nature of the crime.
Perpetrators involved are the usual suspects: Tim Cat and Miss Lulu.
Authorities believe that Tim Cat, well known for his ‘yard to table’ menu, decided to branch out into further nontraditional fare, big bugs. It is theorized that Tim Cat, having chosen and knocked the victim senseless; stealthily carried the victim into the kitchen area via the dog door. Tim Cat‘s initial plan to jump onto the table was thwarted when Miss Lulu spotted his entry. His cover blown, Tim Cat decided to secret the victim to the second floor. In keeping with his usual MO, it is believed that his intent was to disable and torture the victim to death.
This new plan was also derailed when a fellow cat mafia member, Sammy aka “The Waterboy” McCarthy arrived on the scene. This unexpected turn of events resulted in the victim being dumped and left for dead on the stair landing. Tim Cat was last seen scurrying out the dog door, his current whereabouts are unknown. Sammy “The Waterboy” was found sitting at the kitchen sink having a drink and watching the water flow. While not involved in the crime Sammy “The Waterboy” was questioned about what he saw. He refused to give a statement.
The revealing crime scene photo shown was taken just prior to the murder. It shows the suspect, Miss Lulu, intently watching the victim as it lay on the stairs. While not caught on camera it is believed that Miss Lulu had an accomplice in getting to the victim. This theory was developed due to the fact that Miss Lulu lacks opposable thumbs needed to open the gate. We do know for certain that once the gate was opened Miss Lulu absconded with the victim to the living room area. Then to the horror of onlookers she killed and ate part of the victim.
The remains of the victim will be handled by Ed’s Removal Service, as Mary’s Mammal Rescue and Removal Service does not deal with insect or reptile disposal.
Addendum: If you kill and eat a big green bug, expect to have a tummy ache and the poops within the following 24 hours. According to webmd site for dogs: “A praying mantis is not toxic to dogs. The most you have to worry about is some gastrointestinal irritation from the spikes on their limbs. Otherwise, it shouldn’t cause a problem.” Sage advice and good to know.
At the joyous hour of 4:45 in the morning, Lulu woke me up with her ‘I have something cornered’ staccato bark. This usually ends up being nothing more than an errant cat who was foolish enough to walk through Lulu’s yard. But not this time, no this time it was a bigger quarry. I found Lulu in the corner of the yard. Her eyes had a sort of Charles Manson look about them and she was in a crazed fervor. I went over picked her up and carried her to the porch. I then directed her to go into the house so that I could go check on the welfare of whatever poor animal was cowering in the corner.
Lulu can be a little stubborn but is generally obedient, not this time. In what I can only assume was some sort of doggy psychotic break; she ran full tilt back to the corner of the yard where she once again commenced with her staccato barking. It was too dark to see exactly what she had cornered in the yard but by her behavior I knew that it wasn’t a cat. I unceremoniously scooped up one slobbering, panting and obviously unhinged Lulu and carried her into the house. I knew I had to get the dog door shut because if her toes so much as touched the ground she would just bolt right back outside and repeat the cycle.
I can now attest that sliding a dog door shut while holding a 32lb, wet, deranged, squirming Boston Terrier is not a simple task. I finally managed to clutch Lulu in a football hold under one arm, uttering numerous colorful expletives I slid the dog door closed. Lulu was then placed on the ground. I checked her thoroughly for any signs of blood. Thank God for small miracles she had no bites or scratches.
Then began the search for a flashlight. I knew we have at least 5 flashlights around the house, knowing and finding are two different things. Mumbling to myself about the hour, the possibilities of the neighbors calling the police and the dogs almost complete mental breakdown, I finally found a working flashlight. Thus equipped I managed to sneak out the backdoor and trundled cautiously over to discover the object of her obsession.
As I shone the light into the corner I realized why she was so excited. There in the corner was a opossum the size of a big tom cat. I can only imagine that in Lulu’s little mind, she thought that she had cornered the BIGGEST mouse EVER!
Having grown up in the country I knew that the opossum was going to be ok if left alone. I went back inside to find Lulu pacing back and forth like she had just drank a pot of coffee and slobbering like she had just had a shot of novacaine. Boston Terriers overheat quickly so I checked her and she wasn’t overly warm. Just to be on the safe side I got a cool cloth and wiped her down. I managed to calm her down and we snuggled on the couch and had a little nap together.
A few hours later I went out to make sure the opossum was gone, and he was. Hopefully he finds less dangerous yards to explore.
This morning Tim Cat came inside yowling like his tail was on fire. This meant one of two things: he wanted food or he had “food”. It turned out to be the latter. Tim decided to jump on the hipster train this morning and have his breakfast ‘yard to table’ (instead of farm to table). In other words, he brought a live chipmunk inside the house and dropped it on the kitchen table. Great, free range chipmunk for breakfast. The cats bringing rodents into the house is nothing unusual. However, bringing them in and dropping them whilst they are still alive upon the kitchen table IS new. I have to explain that our house it the family repository for cats. By that I mean all the cats that family members have had but decide they can no longer care for inevitably end up with me and my husband. The cat count stands at 6. One would think there wouldn’t be a rodent for 2 square miles, wrong.
But back to the story… I stood up and looked into the kitchen and I sighed, these situations never turn out well. Tim was quite the sight as he sat smugly on the table, batting the semi-conscious chipmunk. All the while Lulu, our Boston Terrier, circled the table like a great white shark waiting for the chum to fall. Having long ago resigned myself to being the small animal cleanup crew, I grabbed a small cardboard box and planned my strategy. Now, I realize that most people don’t keep smallish packing boxes under their desks, but I do as I have found it to be a prudent and time saving method of catching chipmunks, bunnies and squirrels. Box in hand I sauntered, yes, casually sauntered over to better appraise the situation. I long ago learned that if you rush over, the cats, prey and Lulu will all bolt in different directions thus lengthening and complicating the small animal removal process. I wanted to avoid that complication.
Tim saw me coming, he squinted his eyes and picked up the chipmunk in his mouth. He eyed me suspiciously. Lulu was still circling the table, eyes focused upward upon the delightful treat that was so exquisitely close and yet so far away. I took my position beside the table and stood still for a few seconds. This lulled Tim into a false sense of security and he relaxed. Seeing my opening, I yelled, this startled Tim who then dropped his prize. Box in hand, I lunged in and scooped up the still semi stunned chipmunk.
Feeling quite accomplished, I walked outside and away from the house to release the now awake and VERY angry chipmunk. “Back to the wilds of 6th St. little chipmunk, you are safe now”, so I thought. Ahhhhh, no; like some sort of insane kamikaze, the chipmunk jumped up and ran back into our yard! I looked on in disbelief. I thought, yep that is one dead chipmunk running. By the time I got inside the house and to the backyard Tim once again had the chipmunk and was carrying him around in his mouth. “Well, Mr. Chipmunk you’re on your own now.” I figured that Tim would not be bringing his catch into the house since he knew I had designs upon it. I left the chipmunk to its inevitable fate and I went to the basement to do laundry.
I came upstairs again, 15 minutes passed, Lulu was lying next to her space heater when she stood up and walked over to the steps. (We keep the steps gated so that when we are not here the cats can relax without Lulu bedeviling them.) I figured she wanted to go upstairs to see if the cats dropped any cat food onto the floor. This is a small treat that delights her. I opened the gate and up she went. I went back to the computer. 2 minutes passed. 3 minutes passed. I looked around, it was quiet, too quiet. Suddenly, out of the blue, scurrying, thumping and general mayhem broke out above me. Gosh darn it she’s chasing the cats I thought. I yelled up to her, “Get down here and leave those cats alone”. No response, none, just eerie silence. Annoyed, I started to go upstairs. Just as I got to the 3rd step, Lulu rounded the corner and charged downstairs and past me. In her mouth was the now deceased chipmunk. It seems Tim had indeed outsmarted me. He had taken his quarry upstairs while I was in the basement. I was glad that Lulu had caught it or I may have had a lively surprise tonight when I went to bed. I envisioned that scenario would have played out something like Ray Stevens, The Day the Squirrel Went Berserk in the First Self-Righteous Church.
Thankfully though such goings on were avoided. Dead Chipmunk Running was pronounced DOA and removed from the premises; thus concluding another rodent rodeo on 6th St.
For the past 5 years no one has lived in the house next to us. This weekend the people who owned it:
1. had a yard sale introducing way to many people and activity into Lulu’s Queendom. Unfortunately the yard sale began Thursday and will run through Sunday.
2. they have sold the house and the new owner takes possession of it Monday.
These events combined with fireworks going off have negatively influenced Lulus demeanor; in other words Lulu basically has LOST her already dangerously overloaded little mind.
This downward spiral into doggy decompensation presents itself as bloodshot, bug eyed, backward barking meltdowns. (Backward barking involves barking while bouncing wildly backwards on stiffened back legs.) These meltdowns require interventions by either Ed or I. The interventions amount to verbally redirecting Lulu from crazed backward barking, to her physical removal from the stimulus area, to outright shouting for her to get in the house.
Once inside, Lulu is then directed to chill out on the couch until she has composed herself. She nods off for a few seconds and then tries to run outside to begin the process again. Upon finding the dog door closed; Lulu will pace inside while grumbling, making little puffs of air sounds intermixed with sporadic barking.
Ed and I will reassess the Lulu meltdown interventions once we see what the new neighbors daily rituals look like and 4th of July is over. I am thinking a little Valium may be needed to get through this. (yes I know I didn’t say who the Valium would be for, you can decide that for yourself). Either way tomorrow through the next week should be interesting to say the least.
Lulu is not amused by fireworks.
Mouse in the House Chapter 1:
A herd of cats and one terrier with free range to the house and yard and still a mouse managed to take up residence under the refrigerator. Really? Omg. Off to buy mouse traps tomorrow.
Mouse in Our House Chapter 2: The Search Begins
Last night the moving of the refrigerator commenced. No mouse was found but he did leave behind his DNA. Scrub, scrub, scrub the mousies stink away. Hmmm… no mouse to be found.
So today I got Lulu ready, I assumed Tim cat was available on standby, as he was right there. I ripped off the cardboard grill on the back of the fridge and…out POPS, yep he POPPED, that mouse! And then he RAN across my foot. I screamed, the mouse jumped straight up into the air and down and then scurried away, all the while I am yelling “Get it Lulu, get it, get it!” And what did Lulu chase you ask? Lulu ran in a different direction after a dust bunny that also popped out of the back of the fridge. As I was doing a ninja dance and screaming at Lulu to get it; Lulu was after a dust bunny, Tim cat raised his head and looked at me quizzically. Then he looked around and went right back to sleep. Obviously, this mouse was not meant to die today, but there is tomorrow.
Tim Cat “The Ever Vigilant”!
Mouse in Our House Chapter 3: The Dispatching.
10 pm last night, upstairs. The cats had a mouse, I didn’t know if it was the kitchen mouse or one they brought in, but either way they wouldn’t kill it. No, like some sort of sociopathic serial murderers, their intent was to torment it to death. I don’t like mice but I hate seeing things tormented. It was obvious that no cat was going to give this poor rodent a quick death and there was no way that I was going to kill it myself.
I decided, in what I considered a brilliant strategic offensive move, to throw the wastebasket over it. Yes! All of those hours of playing RISK had paid off! (For those of you unfamiliar with RISK, it is a game of skill and strategy which obviously comes in handy when addressing critical junctures in one’s life such as world domination and mouse catching.)
This move solved the problem of the mouse running amok but left me with a logistical and moral dilemma. Do I try to get the mouse from under the basket and let it loose outside? No, the thing had a broken leg and who knows what else, so a lingering death would be the outcome there. If I tried to slip something under the basket I ran the risk letting the mouse loose. Ugh.
Time for Lulu to redeem herself! Off I went, downstairs and woke up Lulu (she sleeps on the couch because of her snoring and a propensity to chase the cats for her own amusement regardless of the time, be it day or night). “Lulu, Lulu”…she looked at me sleepily. Raising her head she yawned and gave me the stink eye. “Lu, I have a job for you, wake up.” After a disinterested yawn and stretch and she got up, no doubt thinking big dogs finally lost it. I pointed emphatically at the steps and said “Come on we have to go upstairs. You have to get the mouse, upstairs.” She looked at me, looked at the stairs and looked at me again. “Upstairs, come on.” I said, trying to feign enthusiasm.
Lulu dutifully darted up the stairs. The cats scattered in all directions. I quickly closed all of the doors so only the hallway and the mouse under the basket were available to Lulu. Eureeka! I thought I had hit the mouse dispatching formula! Umm, ya… no.
Lulu saw me standing in front of the bathroom door, even though the door was closed, she surmised I wanted to give her a bath. She eyed me warily and went to go back downstairs. Lulu began to slink away around the corner of the landing towards the staircase.
This is was when I resulted to, well, what amounted to me begging a 32lb. dog to rescue me from this crisis. “Lulu come on, come on, look here, come, get the mouse.” She stared at me suspiciously. I could just imagine what she was thinking… big dog is saying the wrong words for bath, hmmm no bath? I tapped on the wastebasket…”under here come get the mouse.” She must have gotten a whiff of the mouse smell because she barreled towards that basket like the doors were just opened at Walmart on Black Friday.
Lulu stationed her face right to the base of the basket, eagerly squirming with delight. I knew what was coming, this wasn’t Lulu’s and my first mouse rodeo. I clenched my teeth and tilted the basket up, Lulu dove into the basket and the mouse was no more. Lulu ran down the steps with her macabre prize and spit it out on the living room floor. I praised Lulu up and down for being a good dog. Rodent-0 Lulu-1.