Baby Robins Wave Goodbye

I went out to check on the Baby Robins first thing this morning. Well, ALMOST first thing.

One little baby was out in the middle of the yard, a sitting duck. The other was nowhere to be seen.¬† The little one was headed toward the south side of the yard to the fence…and the shed where the snake lives. ūüė¶

The Mama and Papa Robin have been around all day, though, so maybe at least one of the little buggers made it. For today.¬† Apparently most robins die their first year. And? It takes them 10 – 13 days after they jump the next before they can actually fly and be self-sufficient. That’s a lot of days to live on the ground when there are cats and snakes around.

I hope they make it.


Requiem for a Baby Robin

These past few weeks have been delightful watching the Mama Robin hatch her eggs.¬† We’ve been slightly inconvenienced by staying well away from the next. She in turn quickly became bold in her efforts to stay near the nest and, when the babies hatched, to feed them.

All day while we play outside we watch for the Mama Robin to come with her worms in her beak to feed the babies. Their little heads popping up so eagerly and, in the past few days, their little cheeps and chirps have been much louder and stronger and in fact, little room was left in the nest.

No room in the inn


Mama Robin bringing lunch


I took these pics tonight and within the hour, the babies must have left the nest.  Right after I came out from putting Miles to bed, there was a huge rucus outside. When we looked out, several of the babies were on the ground, fluttering madly and the Mama and Papa Robin were frantically calling.

Turns out the neighbors cat had come across and snatched away one of the fluffy babies, taking it back to her yard to crush its little head and tear apart its little baby body.  Of course, she probably played with it first.

So now I am shedding a few tears for the little fluffy cheap-y birdie whom we watched as it hatched and live out its first brief week. 

Poor baby. Poor mama.  Poor other little babies. Which cats will get them tonight, I wonder?

Worst day of his life

Poor little Ollie-kitty  has been fighting a UTI for the better part of a month now and fighting with us every time we try to take him to the vet. We all have scars to prove it (except the TT).

Tonight I took him back to get his urine checked to see if the third round of medication had done the trick. Poor little Ollie, quaking and quivering and creeping into the crook of my arm in the exam room trying to hide.

But, oh noes!¬† They couldn’t get any urine from his bladder so…they had to KEEP HIM THERE!¬† Poor Kitty!¬† It was either keep him there for a few hours or take him back…both option being stressful, I chose the keep him there one but I feel awful about it.¬† I just keep visualizing him in that steel cage quivering and quaking, his little heart going thump-thump-thump-thump like a jackhammer.

I just hate suffering that can’t be explained. Poor little thing doesn’t know that we’re coming back for him.¬† Of course he will be fine but right now, he is miserable and sad and wondering where I am.

Poor kitty.


easter07 001 by you.

The Golden Fluffers.

Cats: An Introduction Plus Some Recent Developments

This is Ollie aka Orange Kitty, Golden Fluffers, Oller-woller and Pretty Ollie:



This is Shadow, aka Black Cat, Stinker and The Fun Police:


And this is Sweetie aka Slinker and Sweetie-girl



Hitherto, the permutations of pet presences at any one time in the house consisted of:

Ollie, singular

Ollie + Shadow

Shadow + Sweetie


Ollie + Sweetie


Sweetie, that most mis-named of all animals, would try to eat Ollie on sight.  She longed to deal him instant and sudden death.

Therefore, the madhouse that ensued in attempting to both keep a seperate peace and ensure that all animals had their time of frolicking freely upstairs was wearing to say the least.

But suddenly, in fact, in the most recent weeks, Sweetie suddenly and with no warning desisted from trying to kill Ollie. And it was sudden. Did I mention that?

And that is a beautiful, beautiful thing and makes life suddenly a lot less circus-like around here.

So now all three kitties live peacefully (relatively) upstairs (except at night when they go their respective kitty bedrooms) and Shadow continues to boss them all.

And is a huge and enormous (and sudden) answer to prayer (yes, for real, literally).

Feel the tension



Three cats.


One lap.


You can cut it with a knife.

Consider, if you will, the Lowly Chicken

I like chickens.

They’re delicious.

Ha. Just kidding.

I like chickens. If I could keep chickens in my backyard, I would. They are beautiful and AT LEAST as entertaining as the cats. Miles likes them too when we’ve gone to the local animal farm to see the animals.

So let us consider, if you will, the plight of the chicken. 

They lay eggs for us to eat, that we know. But did you also know that:

¬†¬†¬†¬† “…more than 98 percent of the 345 million laying hens in the United States live out their lives in¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† stacked rows of tiny wire cages….in 2005the United Egg Producers, in response to public concerns, recommnded a gradual increase in cage space for each adult Leghorn…to 0.47 square feet. By comparison, an 8.5 x 11 sheet of notebook paper is 0.65 square feet–30 percent bigger than the new ‘humane’ goal.”
                Raising Baby Green: The Earth-friendly guide to pregnancy, childbirth and baby care, Alan Greene, M.D.

That my friends is a sad thing.¬† And that is why we should shell out the extra $$ for cage-free, free range eggs.¬† Because it’s just plain mean not to.



 buck buck buck buck buck buck buck bugawk!

These are the People in Your Neighborhood, Pt IV: Animal Planet

I have mentioned before the plethora of fauna that can be found in our backyard: the cats (that come and never go away again), the birds, the squirrels, the opossum and, most infamously, the skunk.

On Thursday morning, Troy wended his cheerful way to work as he does every weekday morning exiting via the back door only to encounter a ferocious mess. All the gardening detritus that I have floating about the porch was strewn about freely and madly. Our surmise was a catfight but the old kitty litter container that now contains the birdseed was also strewn about making me think, hm, Sherlock, surely kitties are not strong enough to tip over the birdseed container.

So LAST night round about 3:17 a.m., after the little guy had his second midnight snack, I heard rustling and tusseling on the porch and went down to investigate.

As it turns out, the porch was¬†crawling with critters,¬†‘coon-type critters, to be exact.¬† Bold-as-brass ‘coon-types, as¬†‘coon-types are wont to be, still going about their business even when I flipped on the porch light and even when I tapped on the¬†stormdoor¬†glass.¬† They finally¬†made a reluctant show of leaving, except for one little saucy fellow who was just convinced that that birdseed container was exactly his business and he actually couldn’t really understand why I wasn’t out there helping him out.¬† I made to open the door a little but that didn’t faze him and I really think he would have walked right into the kitchen if I had let him.

And baby raccoons, well, yes, ok, cute:

This is exactly what he looked like. Except without the tree branch.

His little black eyes were so inquisitive and the look on his face was exactly like a curious little thingamajig that it really was endearing but I, even I, am also very cognizant that ‘coon-types can carry DISEASES and am not too keen on offering free meals to a whole herd of raccoons on my back porch.

So we will be keeping the birdseed inside and not feeding the kitties when they are enjoying outdoor time during the day.

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