New Digs

El gato has a new home. One of my co-workers and his wife wanted him, so we put him in a carrier and drove him to his new owners last night. He meowed, scratched and complained the whole way. When I lifted him out of the carrier and placed him in the wife’s arms, he scrambled up her arm and nestled into her neck.

A heart-warming scene if there ever was one.

What I didn’t know was that there was a dog in the picture, too. He was shut out in the garage while we did the handover in the living room. I asked what kind of dog they had because the racket he was making at the garage door sounding like he was the size of a bear and I was afraid we’d be taking el gato back home with us.

“He’s a Chihuahua mix,” my co-worker said. IMG_0471

“With that noise?” I said.

“He knows something’s up,” he said.

I’ll say. It sounded like he was throwing himself against the door with all the force of a hurricane.

I had visions of fur flying and hissing and booing the instant the dog was allowed inside the house.

“Don’t worry, they’ll grow up to be friends,” my co-worker said with confidence.

I hope so, otherwise el gato I didn’t want will be back in our lives and we’ll have to give it a name. I’m thinking something like Recurring Rico.

Calvin says, “Quit threatening my peace, will you?” beagle

Chat Tales

The story continues with le chat.

After a night in our garage where he had dinner and slept in a warm spot, Alf put le chat outside the next day to see if mamma would respond to his plaintive cries and claim him.

No such luck. She’s chucked her mothering role for better options.

He ended up running into our neighbor’s backyard and meowing at a window sill. Our neighbor scooped him up, the kitten scratched him, he let it go, and the thing flew up a tree covered in blue morning glory vines.

We could hear him but not see him. le chat

That was the stand-still when I arrived home later that day.

I called a cat rescue group and talked to Lisa. Lisa was an expert in flying cats up trees. “Put some food out, he’ll come down,” she said.

Sure enough the poor beast couldn’t resist the smell of that plateful of tuna. As he gulped it down, I grabbed it and pulled him indoors back into the garage where he finished his food as I sat watching him. Afterwards he explored my feet and my back and rubbed his little body everywhere to put his ownership on things.

He’s moving too fast.

Today at work I may have found two people who would like to adopt him. They’re thinking about it.

I’m waiting with hope and bated breath.

Calvin says, “Me too! It can’t happen soon enough.” beagle

 

 

 

 

Doctora Doolittle

Yesterday was my day for lost animals.

It’s funny how things like this happen in bunches.

I came into the office to discover a yellow cockatiel in the kitchen peering out of its cage. As the story goes, he flew onto the front steps over the weekend and one of our co-workers, who lives up the street, discovered him, rushed to the store for a cage and food, and is now caring for it until she can find its owner. He’s well socialized and beautiful. Somebody loved him. Did he fly in from the surrounding neighborhood or from Mexico? He’s not talking and so we’ll never know.

When I got home that evening Alf announced he’d found a lost kitten. He was sitting on top of our backyard fence making loud cries for its mother. If you want to see me spring into action this is it. We scooped him up and walked over to our neighbors who have several cats. The kitten was not theirs, and no, they didn’t want it. We brought it home, fed it some tuna, and tried to calm the little thing down. He was shaking from fright from nose to tail. The rest of the evening I was on the phone talking with friends and marketing the heck out of the little thing. Nothing worked. Every one stood their ground while I tugged at their heart strings. IMG_3147

We kept him overnight and this morning Alf returned him to the fence. We’re hoping the mamma cat will come around looking for him and they’ll be reunited and I can go back to a good night’s sleep again.

That’s in a perfect world.

Calvin says, “Hey, you didn’t consult me about this. It stinks. He’ll consume your attention and affections. And don’t count on me to cat-sit. I’ll be sulking.”  beagle

The Roar of the Fog

This is Fergus in the header picture. I’m allowing him top billing for a while. Not too long, mind you, otherwise you’ll forget me, and I couldn’t bear that. So this is his fifteen minutes of fame.

I didn’t think I’d like Fergus when I first met him. To begin with, he was furry. Then there was his pedigree. He didn’t have one. He also was humorless, all business if you know what I mean. I suppose his stint at the pound turned him into a serious dude. But then he struck it rich. He was adopted by a woman with a heart as big as the sky and he’s become almost human. I swear there are times when Fergus is sitting quietly by the window observing the fog rolling in off the ocean that he looks like a university professor.

“Calvin, did you know that fog doesn’t come on little cat feet?” he said one evening puffing on his pipe as we watched the sunset.

“That’s shattering news, dear fellow,” I said. “Here I thought cats donated their paws every evening to produce this stunning effect.” photo168.jpg

“Carl Sandburg would be disappointed at your lack of appreciation for his Fog poem.”

“Did he live in San Francisco?”

“Chicago,” Fergus said moving into the living room, circling twice on the Persian rug, and settling down.

“Then he knows nothing of fog,” I said. “Fog comes rolling in, and it descends from the top down, not the other way around.”

“So how would you describe it if you were a poet?”

I poured myself a brandy and paced the room. Fergus watched me from under his strawberry blond lashes.

I disagree with Carl Sandburg
The fog doesn’t come creeping in on little cat feet
But comes barreling down the hillside
Like a locomotive arriving into a train station.
If cats were involved
The fog would hiss and spit and claw and yowl and make a terrible fuss
Like they do every night under my window.
With arched backs and glowing eyes
They’d move in jerks and fits
Down the mountain
The fog emerging like long strands of paper
From a shredder.

My performance silenced Fergus. He puffed on his pipe and let out plumes of smoke.

I curled up into a neat heap on a silk pillow and waited.

“You live in a noisy world,” Fergus said with a sigh.

“True. What about my poem?” I said.

“It’s clear you don’t like cats.”  beagle

Carry On As Usual

Overheard conversations in the office this week:

“I have a rat in the house I can’t get rid of.”

“Have you tried peanut butter in the trap?”

“Yep. The bugger shook the trap, turned it upside down, and scarfed up the peanut butter.”  cropped-photo134.jpg

“Savvy rat.”

“I heard him in the living room wall while watching TV.”

“Coat the electrical wires from the outlet in peanut butter, and then turn on the lights.”

“I’ll set my house on fire.”

“But you’d get rid of the rat.”

“My cat is still spooked from the move.”

“So re-move him.”

“When the property management for my condo complex finds out we’re looking at other management companies, it will go over like a turd in a punchbowl.”

Calvin says, “I’ll sniff out the rat. I’ll pin it into a corner and bay my guts out. I’ll be so loud, the neighbors will think I’m being murdered.” beagle

Is Your Dog A Relative?

We live in a pet-centric world. For $50,000 dollars you can clone Buster so he’ll keep coming back to you. That’s probably the only way he’ll come back to you, because he’s figured out how to ignore you and turn a deaf ear to your commands.

Have you noticed the progression we’ve taken as a society with our pets?

They started out in the backyard. Some of them were actually working dogs. They earned their bowl of scraps herding sheep or cows. Or went hunting for birds with you.

Then they migrated to the back porch. Still looking in, but getting closer.

Eventually your wife gave in to Roxie’s begging eyes and let her inside your kitchen, then your bedroom was next, and now she’s sleeping on your bed.

The veterinary industry is keenly aware of this trend and has marketed it to the hilt.

Dogs and cats are not animals anymore. They’re hairy people. And because they’re relatives with fur, you’ll spend your last dollar on them. The vets are counting on it.

If Buster needs an MRI or a hip replacement, you’re made to feel guilty if you say no.

What about teeth cleaning, pedicures and doggie furdos? Any conscientious owner would of course make regular appointments for these. If you don’t, you’re the beast, not Tabitha, the cat.

I’m convinced this ridiculousness began with the pet food industry. They convinced us our animals should not eat human food because it’s bad for them, so as a substitute they produced good, wholesome, nutritionally well-balanced sawdust with flavorings. If last night’s leftovers are not safe for our pooches, then why are we eating them?

The more advanced we are in the medical industry, the more these tests trickle down to our vets to use on our animals. What’s good for Fred is good for Fido, too.

And of course since Fred now can live to be 100, he wants Fido by his side, too – at a spry 700 years old.

Calvin says, “Ouch! A little too close to home. Of course I want to carry on sniffing and peeing and chasing rabbits. Don’t you?”