Monday, October 24, 2011

"Say Goodnight Gracie"

We got Grace as a pre-owned cat from a girl who was going to college and could no longer care for her.  She had gotten her as a used cat about 4 years earlier.  We had Grace in our lives for 17 years.  That makes her at least 21 years old that we know of and probably a year or three older. Grace was neutered before we got her  but we were told she raised many litters of kittens.  Gracie was my cat from the time she arrived here and today was the last day of her life.  She died sleeping in the warm sunshine with all of the dignity she deserved.
For the past 2 years, age had finally caught up to poor old Gracie-Girl.  She slept more and did less. No longer were there her shared gifts of  partially eaten meals of birds and mice underfoot on the back doorstep.  The birds could finally eat at the bird feeder in peace.  Last winter she started having seizures, she stopped climbing into my lap to be petted and sleeping in my bed,  and late in the spring she started loosing bladder control when she had them.  Grace seemed embarrassed by her seizures. 

Grace then started staying outside except for meal time.  It got to be a chore to find her and get her to come in during the night or in the rain.  Many late nights were spent calling and looking for her.  Her hearing and eyesight were going.  She even started using the pet door to sneak outside at night.  She had lost weight and was getting rather scruffy because she could no longer clean herself thoroughly.

Last night she again went outside even though the temperature was near freezing.  This morning I saw her laying in the sunshine near the asparagus patch not far from the pine tree the chickens roost in.  As the goaty girls neared she woke up and hissed at Fern when she got too close, although she did accept a goaty kiss from both goat girls.

A couple of hours later I again went out to check on her and she was dead.
So in the words used by George Burns to close his TV show:
"Say Goodnight Gracie...."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Terrorists on the Farm

Yes folks, it is a sad day when you have a terrorist group take over your farm.
(the above photo I took from my favorite comedian/ventriloquist's site
It started out as a small insurrection and built it's self into a full blown terrorist cell.
At first they just terrorized the chickens, turkeys and guineas that I hatched in the incubator and raised together, now they have taken over the whole farm.  The chicken coop is their base camp, and the large tree outside the run is their minaret.  I am not sure if they are Muslims or not but each evening at sundown they perch there and loudly announce to the world their intentions of taking over.

This is the leader of the group, Petey aka: "Saddam".
He systematically hunted down the previous leaders and attacked them viciously.

He started out with the last unsuccessful coup leader, Elvis, and beat him soundly with the remainder of his cell cheering him on.

Next it was Jeffrey's turn.  He put up more of a fight and "Saddam's" partner....

Brucie aka: "Osama Bin Guinea" charged in to help.  After they had cornered him, the rest of the group joined in defeathering his tail until I finally came to his rescue.
And then they took on the Alfa Rooster....

....BIG RED !!!
Sadly I didn't get there in time for the fight.  We were in the orchard picking apples when it started....

and by the time I got there it was mostly over.  They had chased him into our "garage tent" and after I booted out all of the terrorists, I found poor Red all tied up in the rope to raise the back door.  It was pity-full.  He was so twisted in the cord that he was pretty much immobilized.  After I calmed him down, I untied him and he was totally willing for me to do so.  No longer the proud rooster that he was.

After the roosters had all been subdued, the terrorists went to work on our big meat turkeys.

Now Thanksgiving, our tom, is a pretty laid back kind of guy.  However when Saddam and his group went after his girlfriend Christmas, all hell broke loose.  That huge half waddling, half flying 40 pound ball of feathered fury chased them all off and kept chasing them for over an hour.  He kept a vigilant eye on them after that.

Things have cooled down a little for now....

This is NOT a terrorist act, rather thee other way around.  Our heritage Spanish turkeys are intrigued with poor old Bear,  I don't know if they think he is a turkey or what, but they follow him around and here he stopped abruptly and they ran into him, he jumped and they got scared and took off.

But the terrorists are watching everyone....

But I'm not afraid !!!!