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So These Things Happened Today

Well, this first one didn’t actually happen today, but it would have made the headline too long to say, “so two things happened today and one thing happened a couple of days ago.”

Soooo … the following happened two days ago. I was leaving my house in my car when I realized that a massive condor was feasting on a rodent in the middle of the street right in front of my home. I paused long enough to take a few pictures with my cell phone of the magnificent, but incredibly ugly bird.

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Honestly, the sight made me feel at least a little better. For the last several days, I have found the remains of rodents spread along my driveway. I couldn’t figure out what was on the murderous mouse rampage, but this might have given me a hint.

Although, given how thorough this bird was in cleaning the carcass, I’m still not sure it’s the culprit …

Now, onto the things that actually happened today:

First, while on a walk, I was greeted by a rafter of turkeys crossing the road (Yes, a rafter … as in the group name for turkeys. Who names a group a rafter??). While I couldn’t get too close because the hens were clearly trying to keep their chicks a safe distance from any humans, I managed to take a few pictures with my iPod.

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The turkeys settled in a spot that is often frequented by the deer herd that lives in my neighborhood. The same spot where I swear I have seen fresh tracks from Elmo the emu … or at least one of his offspring. Unfortunately, this area has been cordoned off and will soon be filled with new houses, meaning that our wildlife will be pushed farther and farther afield.

When I returned home, I encountered the second happening of the day: Colby stuck high up in the closet and looking for a little help.

This shouldn’t come as any surprise. Colby is my jumper/climber. Not only is she known to make leaps that take my breath away, she has figured out how to climb shelves like they are ladders. Unfortunately, she hasn’t figured out how to make it back down, hence her ending up stuck on the top shelf of my closet.

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She cried and cried at me until I grabbed the step stool and managed to coax her close enough to pull her into my arms and settle her safely on the bed. Of course, I had to take a few photos with my phone before I could let the opportunity slip away.

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Now, I just have to wonder what tomorrow could bring …

She Finally Grew into Her Ears

Exactly 365 days ago, a friend of mine called with a dilemma. She had rescued a kitten from a hoarding situation, but had nowhere to take it. My friend begged me to take the little black and white bundle that exuded both friendliness and fear.

Convinced that I would find a new home for her, I picked her up and took the tiny girl to the vet. Estimating that she was only 8 weeks old, the kitten was covered in fleas and dirt. Her most prominent feature — aside from the black goatee on her chin — was her enormous ears.

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I took her home and situated the guest bedroom just for her.

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In her own room, she could be safe from the other cats, who were none-too-pleased that they had a new sibling.

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Even if she was cute …

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Little did I know, she wasn’t too keen on the idea of being sequestered in her own room either. While she had toys around her, she wanted companionship.

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Although, she wasn’t all that pleased with the idea of going to the vet …

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Eventually, I realized that I was smitten with her and she was going to be part of my family — alien ears and all. I named her Colby and she became mine.

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And Zoey’s …

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And Cooper’s …

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Somehow, she managed to break one of her hind legs, leaving her quarantined to a crate for six weeks as we waited for it to heal.

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When she was finally sprung from the crate, she was ecstatic … and so was I.

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As soon as she was free, she immediately found her best friend in the house again …

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And the love was clear from both sides …

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And she quickly came into her own in the house.

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As of today, Colby has been in my life for exactly a year. She is — by all estimates — 14 months old. She spends her days playing with whatever toys she can find — whether cat toys, dog toys or just general household supplies — and her nights snuggling with me on my bed and happily purring in my ear.

Colby doesn’t have the confidence of Lilly or Gus or even Izzy. And she doesn’t have the I-don’t-give-a-crap attitude of Zoey. She is sweet and loving and playful and just happy to have a chance to make her way in a world that hadn’t been all that kind to her to begin with.

While I couldn’t imagine ever having five cats, now that she has been in my life for a year, I couldn’t imagine life without my dear Colby.

I just miss those huge alien ears …

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Colby today, fascinated by a random “toy” (a measuring tape)

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Isn’t she so big?

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And curious …

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Seriously … where did her alien ears go?

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Colby with one of the toys from her first day in my home …

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And the lobster, as well …

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But her favorite toys now are in the form of a mouse.

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She loves them so much that I had to stock up …

 

A Familiar Sight

Almost two years ago, I accidentally left a cupboard open and enabled Zoey to find a new place to explore.

Little did I know that I would end up with a second kitty who wanted to explore the fine aroma of the cat food cabinet.

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Colby in the cupboard.

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Zoey checking out Colby in the cupboard.

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Of course, given how close Colby and Zoey are, it should come as no surprise that they are prone to the same ludicrous stunts.

Too Smart for Me

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Recently, I shared that I believe Cooper may be a little smarter than I give him credit for. I also believe I have shared (although I can’t remember when) that Cooper, my dear, irritatingly smart dog, loves to play a little game when he goes outside. That game goes a little something like this:

  1. Cooper goes to the door
  2. I open the door
  3. Cooper grabs the nearest toy and dashes outside
  4. After he’s finished doing whatever business he needed to do (including deciding that it’s time to dine on bark), he comes back to the door
  5. When I open the door, he will stand just outside the door until I say, “Cooper, get your toy!” at which point, he runs back to grab the toy and happily dashes back into the house

If I forget to tell him to get his toy, he will wait for a few seconds before running off to retrieve it anyway. I think he loves the ritual of being told he needs to get the toy (that or it’s all a secret test to see if I still have a grasp on my mental faculties), but the ritual is not absolutely necessary for Cooper to save his toy from the loneliness of being left outside.

Well, today, I opened the door and stepped outside with Cooper, who decided that the right toy to bring into the great outdoors was his beloved yellow tennis ball. When I headed back inside, Cooper was right by my side, sans the ball. So, I stopped at the door and looked at him.

“Get the toy, Cooper,” I said, looking over at the ball that was still on the patio, right where he had dropped it.

Cooper looked at me and trotted over to the grass, sniffing around a couple of seconds before running back to me without the ball.

Get the toy, Cooper,” I said again.

Again, Cooper trotted over to the grass — right by the toy on the patio — and returned to me without it.

It was then that I paused, trying to figure out what was going through this little dog’s mind and why he had suddenly gone inextricably blind.

“Get the ball, Cooper,” I tried.

And with that, Cooper ran straight to the beloved yellow tennis ball, grabbed it and dashed back to the door, ready to go inside.

Yep … my dog really is smarter than I give him credit for …

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Begging for Light(ning)

After a week of ever-increasing temperatures, the skies turned this morning, growing gray and ominous as a rare summer storm overtook the day. I found myself marveling at the power of Mother Nature as my house shook with each clap of thunder that rumbled across the surrounding hillside.

While my animals aren’t bothered by loud noises (thankfully), something about the weather drove the cats to beg … and plead … and demand … that I open the blinds, giving them the chance to watch the lightning dance across the sky and marvel at the source of the noise.

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Every once in a while, when the thunder was the loudest, she would look at me almost as if she was saying, “How are you doing that?”

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Of course, wherever Zoey is, Colby isn’t far behind.

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The two babies of the pack

Both Colby and Zoey enjoyed nature’s show for the better part of the afternoon as the other animals lounged around the house. Just watching their enjoyment easily made this one of the best Sundays I have had in a while.

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Life and work are still a little busy, so it’s another day of animal randomness. Today, it’s all about Zoey.

Zoey … what can I say about Zoey? She is sweet and beautiful and motherly and has a ‘tude beyond all ‘tudes when she really wants to.

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Zoey just being Zoey with one of Cooper’s toys. She often has just as much fun with his toys as he does.

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Zoey’s new favorite place — sleeping beside me while I work at night.

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Sweet, baby Zoey (who is almost 4 years old — how did that happen???).

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Sweet, baby Zoey’s foot.

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Of course, when you give Zoey too much attention, she does NOT find it all that amusing. This is the look she generally gives me when she is not all that pleased with me.

 

Animal Randomness 1

Life has been a little insane for me of late. As a result, I haven’t had the chance to post as often as I would otherwise. So, I figured for the next few days, as I catch up on life and housework, I could catch up on posts of animal pictures.

Why?

Because I am enamored with my animals and they are a big part of the reason I love my life.

First up is Complete Cooper Randomness …

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Cooper and his new bud, Colby. She’s decided that he’s warm, nice to her and a really good protector. He just likes that he has another cat who worships him (Taken with my iPhone).

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I know … I know … this is just the back of Cooper’s head, but he refused to look at me because he was waiting patiently (or impatiently) for the vet to come see him. Have I told you how much he loves his vet? Oh, and that lion toy in the background? Yep, that’s Cooper’s. It’s one of his new favorite toys (Taken with the iPhone).

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Cooper after walking in a bit of rain. Now, I understand how people with curly hair feel about the rain. His coat is generally wavy, but fairly straight. Add a little water and it gets wild. Oh, and this is AFTER his coat had already dried … poor boy. Probably didn’t help that I mocked him pretty much the whole time (Taken with iPhone).

Another bit of Cooper randomness — this time in story form:

A few nights ago, I was in the bedroom and calling Zoey. While she generally comes when she is called (she knows her name), she refused to respond. Cooper, who had been sitting on the bed and waiting for me to call it a night, seemed to ignore me when I called her name the first two times. By the third time, he jumped up, leapt off the bed and ran into the other room. After a few moments, he returned, herding Zoey to me before jumping up on the bed again and settling in for the night.

Yeah … he might be a little smarter than I give him credit for …

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