Friday, November 2, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another Knee for the Bucket

Lucy the "Lucky Bucket" is going to be a super-bionic doggie after tomorrow, as she will be receiving her second TPLO surgery. (See ~ ~ for further explanation of this if interested.)

These aren't Lucy's actual X-rays, but hers look the same.

Her first knee was a success, and we hope that by snowfall she will be romping with Anna again. Yesterday she had a day at the doggie spa so she will be clean and pretty for her invalidity. She loves her beautiful necklace. Anna also got a bath yesterday, but hers was a much less relaxing trip into the shower with me as her attendant. She also got a special necklace so she wouldn't get jealous when Lucy came home.

"Why, yes, we are perfect! Thanks for noticing, Dad!"

"What's that? You want us to smile at the
same time?"

"Like THIS? Are we done now?"

"Excuse me. I was perfect for your silly pictures.
Could you
puh-lease throw the Frisbee now?"


"What look? I'm not giving you a look?
What's wrong with this face? Sheesh."

"Okay. Throw it or I'm licking your knee."
(you may need to click for enlargement
to see just how unpleasant a threat this is.)

Perfect Lucky Dog

"You with the camera--I will not be ignored!!!!"

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Missing Guinea (or Missing the Guinea)

So it seems that Guinea Hens have a reputation for their striking lack of focus and common sense.

"Only don't expect them to be the brightest bird on the block. I still have to open gates for them after they fly over the fence. They forget they can fly back and just run up and down the fence line for hours. I have friends who think that guineas all share one brain cell between them and therefore the more you have the dafter they get. I tend to agree with them."

I have given Gloria a great deal of credit for escaping whatever injured her just prior to her arrival. I also acknowledge, with a good deal of awe, her physical strength in recovering from those injuries, and for demonstrating great physical strength by regularly hoisting her neatly-spotted and weighty posterior into the air for flights around the yard or hikes up and down the roof, decks, and window sills. In a yard oft visited by large dogs, and inhabited permanently by one of the herding variety and another of a houndish sort, she demonstrated a good deal of sense about when to stop gazing at herself in the mirror and fly away.

Apparently Guineas are often silly enough to wander off and get lost, but she has stayed here willingly for four months and been spoiled rotten. Something tells me she was quite happy here: she would run to greet us whenever we pulled up the driveway; she preferred the window ledge of whatever room we occupied; she always got food when she knocked on the window upstairs. Her leaving doesn't feel all that likely to my human brain, but in this case--as smart as I have considered this silly bird who adopted us--I have to hope that she was daft enough to wander off and get lost. I don't like the alternative scenarios. It's a shame she couldn't take her mirror with her.

Anyway, here's hoping that Gloria is somewhere entertaining a new family with her sprinkler imitations, and ridding their gardens of pests. We miss our big funny chicken.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Owned-by-the-Animals Creedo

Over the years, I have received this e-mail several times. It never fails to make me feel sheepish, as we do tend to let our fuzzies get away with an awful lot of these antics, particularly the hording of couch space. It is amazing to watch a cat take up more than half of a large sectional sofa. Incidentally, all of our animals are excellent communicators, even the fish: they leap out of the water and pop open the tank lid in Morse code for "feed me now, or the little fish gets it!"

To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door - nose height (and of course they're smart enough to read it for themselves)

Dear Woggets, Cattages, Rabbitudinous-Buns, etc...

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It
is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under
the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years -- canine or feline attendance is not required.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough!

To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door:

To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:

1. They live here. You don't.
2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.
(That's why they call it "fur"niture.)
3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.

Remember: In many ways, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:

1. Eat less (doubtful with Linus around)
2. Don't ask for money all the time (uh, Frisbees don't grow on trees, ya know...)
3 Are easier to train (is there medication for Doggie ADHD?)
4. Normally come when called (except for that selective teenage hearing possessed by all dogs, no matter their age)
5. Never ask to drive the car (actually, Anna asks all the time. She says she's smarter than all of us, and her lack of thumbs is no impediment to her road-skilz)
6. Don't hang out with drug-using friends (Um, can anyone say catnip?)
7. Don't smoke or drink (only because we don't trust them with matches or cork screws--Piper seems like a menthol and Merlot kind of girl)
8. Don't have to buy the latest fashions (they prefer the state of nature...we humans are the aberrations in their nudist colony)
9. Don't want to wear your clothes (however, Linus likes to sleep with his feet in Grace's sandals)
10. Don't need a "gazillion" dollars for college (...but knee replacements are another story...)

"What!? Tevas are the coolest, man..."

Friday, July 13, 2007

How to bathe a horse...

The New Looking Glass

Gloria can now admire herself in super-fancy high-definition round-picture, and she is thrilled:
She spent the first few minutes running back and forth and jumping on and off of her stump to check herself out at all angles...she's decided that since her new cadillacesque mirror was free, it will do nicely. We, her humble and obedient humans, agree.

Gloria's Newest Friend

This is Big-nose-baby-bun (henceforth BNBB). He lives in the garden by the office window that has become so popular with Gloria and the other wildlife.

"heeeey.....salad bar!"


2) Ubiquitous Squirrel
3) Gloria (blustering over having to share the attention with other critters) you can see, the squirrel is farther away from the camera than BNBB, and he still dwarfs this little bunny.

BNBB taking a dust bath

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Let Me IN!!!

Even the squirrels want to live here...until the cats appear in the window. Watch the right side of the screen for something massive and fluffy.

We didn't detect any foam around his mouth...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fat Cat: 27lbs of Fluffy Love

Not long ago we had to give Linus a shave down because he's gotten so huge he can't reach his back end. He's not all that keen on letting us brush him either (I'm sure at least one of us has scars to prove it).

<--This is the face he makes if you approach with a brush. (He's modeling a 'Turtle Fur' Neckwarmer which we were expressly told not to make our cats wear...we couldn't resist rebelling...he wasn't amused) To make up for his lack of self-grooming, he doles it out to the other animals.

in point:
He decided this statue was his kindred spirit...
Fat & Grey with a smugly content expression on its mug.
He spent hours kissing and cuddling with it
before we took it out to the garden.

This one defies evolutionary logic:
Jasper was no ordinary rabbit. Outside of our domesticated sphere Linus would have given him a run for his life. However, in our house Jasper truly thought he was a cat and would even chase and tussle with the kitties (he usually won--e.g. cat retreating to a rabbit free zone with mad-tail and bruised ego).

Some of them appreciate his
attention more than others:

Linus maintains Skippy in a state of pristine fluffdom.

It's like petting silk; Skippy has never had so much as a snarl in his life. If Linus put half this much effort into his own grooming he'd still be fluffy (note video predates his shaving episode).

Of course, not everyone is as appreciative of his attentions as Skippy:

CJ still doesn't appreciate baths from the Lion, but now she's big enough to kick his butt...he is especially vulnerable to a good butt kicking now that lacks his protective fluff.

Cool Cat

CJ considers the fridge a portal into "Cold World", the magical land where the cold cuts live. When she hears door open to the blast of iciness she races into the kitchen with her legs slipping in all directions, screeching an atonal Chinese opera-like howl (or is that redundant?). She climbs into the doorway ledge and sings a few more verses. After she gets what she wants (usually, ham), she tries to squeeze under the door. Not sure why this holds more appeal than walking back out and around the way she came, but it's clearly more exciting for her. And even if we don't have anything delicious to give her, she looks beautiful basking in the warm glow of "Cold World"....

Sunday, April 29, 2007

L. B. FooFoo, Esq.

For a true sense of scale, that is a phlox flower behind his ear
(about the size of a dime).

Cleverly hidden under a leaf,
they will never discov.....hey!
Put that back! I'm hiding here!!

I'll help with the gardening next week. . .
I should be almost as big
as the spade by then.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Random Animal Quirks Caught in Pixels

"I'd like to dedicate this next
song to my Grandmother
in honor of her 70th Birthday!"

"Move over man!
I need at least half of the couch to luxuriate fully."

"Hey, Cat! Can you open this thing...
There's a bag of millet on the table.
Help me out, will ya? I need my fix."

"Hello, little bug. Prepare to meet my stomach!"

"We weren't doing, I don't look guilty.
Neither does Lucy."

What kind of cat lays like this?
(A 27 pound one, duh!)

"ah...pfth...I tkink I have a hair on my tongue..."

"You're talking about me, aren't you? I heard you!"

"I'm not here. You can't see me.
Please leave a message after the beep."

Happy Birthday from
all of your fuzzy grandkids!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Super Close-up

A bird this big (well, huge), this close-up, is mightily intimidating, especially given the ferocity of her open beaked seed-lunges. However, I'm sure that just as I consider myself quite brave for holding my ground in such proximity to her pointy nose/mouth and talons, she considers herself extraordinarily courageous for venturing so near to a monstrous humanoid...admittedly I can be quite frightful looking in the morning.

Our little starlet!

Friday, April 20, 2007

How Big is That Guinea in the Window?

This is Gloria's nightly routine: When it starts to get dark she flies up to our livingroom window to wait for her millet-balls. The cats find this enormously entertaining, and Gloria finds it delicious! Turn up your volume; she's singing her "happy snack" song.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Didn't we just fill the cat food?

The Truly Self-sufficient Cat:
When eating out of a bowl just isn't adventurous enough

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Inter-Species Sparring

I have no doubt that without a window to separate these two, the cat would have either gotten his butt kicked, or run away with his skinny little tail between his legs without even trying to take on this birdzilla. This round: Gloria:1; Orion: 0 (apologies, the sound doesn't quite sync with the video)

Click Square to Play Video

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

To my adoring fans...

Though we are aware that Gloria is charming, we are amazed that she has already found international fans! This is her reply to the following query: "Does she roost in the trees at night?"

Thank you for the opportunity to regale you with more details of my fascinating life! Actually, I prefer to sleep in second floor window sills, or on my balcony, which has no stairs and is about fifteen feet off the ground--I have adopted it as my private luxury suite, and prefer it to trees because even the squirrels don't bother me there. It is also just off of the humans' sleeping quarters, but isn't quite as cramped as their window ledge, and is separate enough to shield me from their snoring.

This morning the humans were late rising, and I fell asleep in the dirt in front of their office window waiting for them to come provide me with breakfast and songs. They made up for their tardiness by introducing me to apples! What
ECSTASY! I was still so excited about my breakfast that I was (perhaps) overly emphatic about greeting my friend "Piper of the Window" and she ran away from my knocking--usually she spends the morning sunning with me. Ah, well...I wonder what other magic morsels I haven't discovered yet? Could there be treats tastier than ticks?! Doubtful...

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Chicken Head

When snow came back this weekend to haunt our otherwise pleasant spring, we wondered what our new feathered friend would do--we are not experienced with the ways of the wild Guinea Fowl, and are not yet equipped with all weather bird housing. On Saturday morning, when the snow had accumulated a couple of inches on our tulips, Gloria did come knocking on the office window, but then she disappeared for the rest of the day.
We kept tapping on the windows, which usually brings her running, but to no avail. I was shocked at how quickly I had become attached to this odd little (well, big) bird, and was afraid she had abandoned us for someplace more hospitable to her needs.
When we turned in for the night, we decided to open the window for some fresh air, and were quite startled (
screams and jumping and everything) to discover her sitting IN the bedroom window. Obviously the camera was quickly fetched. We fell asleep to the dulcet croonings of our fluffy headed chicken friend.

"Voyeuristic Chickenhead: On the Bedroom Ledge"

Easter brought the warm(ish) weather back, and the featherhead was happily back to her window peeking, bug chasing, and yard digging. Today's discovery: she loves to be serenaded in the highest pitch one can muster. If you stop singing, she bangs the window for more.

The "Glorious Bird" in her window waiting for a song

Happy Hoppin' Easter...

Need we say more?
in happy memory of our most patient Bunman.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Adventures of a Guinea

I am the ruler of these gardens!
No one is grander than I!
Each and every flower is under my care and protection...

...and the pink brings out my own natural beauty, yes?

...I even spy on the four-legged fuzzy things in the human-house,
but they think they are spying on me!

I suspect they think that I would be a tasty treat...
as if they could even catch me!

"Mmmmm, that's a mighty big turkey.
Can I catch it, Mom? Dad? Please?!"