Monday, 11 May 2009

Friends For Life - My Friends

We've had pets my entire life. I can't imgaine living without them. They bring us love, laughter and companionship. Precomputer times, I had the best four-legged friend in the whole world. I was going to include him here, but he'd take the entire blog and burn your eyes to fit in all the specical and unique things he did. He was amazing and lived a full life - he died in 1993 at the age of 18.

Here are a few of our critters who adore us.

Kitty is nuts. Plain and simple, either that or she's in her second childhood. Either way, we love her to death and wouldn't want her any other way. She, like our youngest son, can sleep anywhere. And in this picture, she's is out like a light. Mostly, she sleeps here across my wrists or on my chest while I type. She's thirteen years old and of late acts like she's a year old. She races through the house, terroizes the toy box where the cat toys are kept, and even bites and kicks at the catnip filled mice with a vengence. Normally, she's extremely loving. If she's outside when any of us pull up. She comes running to be picked up. She wraps her paws around your neck and hugs you, then rubs her head under your chin. Love.

Buster is a major trip and a half. He was meant to be part of our family. My youngest son, Jeff, found him when he wasn't much bigger than 16oz glass. He made himself right at home from the moment he entered our humble abode. He loves everyone and Natalie, my dwarf bunny, took to him right away. So, alas, since he was fussed over by her, he has no real clue he's a cat. He loves to chew on boxes as the bunnies do, he eats meals with the dogs and while he does eat kitty-food, he just exists to enjoy life to it's fullest -- just like his owner. He and Jeff are so much alike it was as if destiny brought them together.

Our back yard is his amusement part, he has the best time out there, playing with whatever moves and doesn't move, and whatever talks back and teases. He has a friend who is a squirrel. They play in a tree and near the wood pile and fence. It's fun and odd to watch. The squirrel will climb the tree, Buster will jump into the crook of the trunk, chatter and stretch up the trunk. The squirrel will give a cute little bark, not the usual bark cussing him out that most give when they want him to go away. Buster will jump back to the ground, the squirrel will come down, almost two feet from him, and they watch one another, and go back up. It will go on a good half hour before they become bored with the game.

These are two of our wild bunnies. They were feeding in the neighbors yard. Buster saw them from the patio and crossed over to their yard. I watched, prepared to halt his attack if he should actually think he'd catch one. He stretched out on the patio rather than take his stalking stance. The bunnies knew he was there and continued on eatting, staying tuned. Pretty soon, Buster took off and as I rushed to say something to him, I saw he wasn't after the bunnies, he was chasing a bully of cat out of the yard. Wow! Was he protecting the bunnies or saving them for himself. Since he's never actually gone after them when they're in our yard, I'm inclined to believe he thinks of them like he does those who own our living room - family.

I wish I'd gotten closer shots, but it was raining and I didn't want him to feel threatened by opening the patio door. This is squirrely, I call all of them by this name, they don't seem to mind. He's eatting an Iced Oatmeal cookie. The cookies I feed them must be store brand - they will not eat national brand cookies -- I don't know why, but it works for me. Every day, he comes to the house for his cookie. He'll either come to the patio door, or sit on the neighbors fence where's at in this photo. I'll toss three or four out and he'll bring friends along. However, this particular day, he ate two cookies.

One morning, my husband was leaving the house. There were two squirrels playing near my car. One scurried to the neighbors yard while the other looked at him, took a few steps toward him, stopped, took a few more steps, stopped and rose on his hind legs. My husband knew right away he was one of mine and told him he had no cookies. Squirrely ran back to the car. This was a first for him, so he had to come back in and tell me about it. I showed him where I kept the cookies in case it happened again and then I took cookies out to him. Other neighbors feed them corn cobs and peanutes and there are walnut trees nearby. I love watching them bury food for the winter, always thinking of the future.

Why I'm inside the dog kennel taking this photo, I have no idea, but these are some of our yard chickens - pigeons. We raise them for dog training. Of course, we have our breeders and favorites. We've learned a lot from raising them. We started about four-five years ago. Recently, we had to move them to friend's farm because we have a neighbor who complained when they landed in her yard - she doesn't like animals of any kind.

It's mazing how family oriented they are, how intelligent they are. How they feel loss and fear like us. We saw this the first year when a opossum got into the coop and killed a few including babies. One set of parents broke our hearts. They huddled in the corner of their nesting box, scared to death. We left them cooped up for about a week to let them all settle down and feel secure again. One at a time, one of these parents would be gone over night. We worried and fretted and sighed with relief when they'd return. Then one day, they both took off and never returned. They were afraid, didn't feel safe and moved out. So, they'd been going off looking for a new place. I can't blame them.

I had my favorite and he was the silliest flyer. You can't really tell in this photo, but he's brown, the only brown one we had, his parents were black, and he had a black sibling and one that was the color of Hershey Cocoa baking powder. The family are rollers - rollers don't fly smooth and straight, so I always knew which was one him. I called him Abby, Abbs for short. When he was young, he was so feminine, had the narrow neck, so I thought he was a she. I could stand here at the patio door and talk to him and he'd turn around on the perch in the flight pen and cock his head at me. I lost him to a hawk one day.

Our babies make being at home fun and lively. Never a dull moment. We have two dogs, two cats and three bunnies who own us and we love every minute of it.

Contemporary romance with sizzling senusality


Lindsay Townsend said...

Lovely, poignant post, Bekki. Thank you so much for sharing your family pets, tellins us about them, and allowing us to see how very special they are.

The cat picture made me laugh. The story of the pigeons made me sniffle - but in a nice way.

Bekki Lynn said...

Thanks, Lindsay. We do laugh a lot around here due to the cats.

I'm afraid with pets, as with any other part of our lives, comes sadness. But the joy and memories far outweigh.

I don't know what's harder in writing these posts, chosing the right story or the photo. I have tons of all of them.

Savanna Kougar said...

Ah, Bekki, thank you so much, from my heart to yours.
I know, there is the sadness... but, overall, I wouldn't be without my baby doggies, or all the other animals I've known or had encounters with.

I think the cat and squirrel playtime was my fave.
The other day when I was bringing our youngest doggie inside, carrying him, the two squirrels which have taken up permanent residence in a large old tree not twenty feet away from us, were at the base. I assume it had something to do with food, but they were rustling around. They didn't bat a tail at our presence, just kept on doing their squirrely thing. It was fascinating. Now, if I had put Boochi Butt down, his nickname, he would have charged over there to investigate.
I guess, the squirrels knew that wasn't going to happen.

Bekki Lynn said...

Thanks, Savanna.

Right now, it's nap time for Buster, he's asleep in Faith's condo and the squirrels are just now getting up from there siesta and starting move about again.

We have a field bred English Cocker Spaniel and he loves to run after the squirrels and when they race out of his reach, the look on his face is confusion. He simply doesn't understand why they won't play with him. If he would learn to calm down and stop being so aggressive, he might have a chance. Silly dog. He's 4.

Savanna Kougar said...

Field-bred cocker spaniel, that's cool. His instincts for the chase are probably overwhelming him.

LK Hunsaker said...

Loved the bit about your cat protecting the wild bunnies from the other cat!

Kaye Manro said...

Thanks for sharing this very special part of your life with us. Animals are really wonderful. What a nice post.

Bekki Lynn said...

Oh, yes, Savanna - Barney is a bundle of engergy - between him and the hundred pound, extra tall, extra long yellow lab - it's a race at times.

Bekki Lynn said...

Hi LK -

He's a trip and a half. We never know what to expect. Adam is his nighttime playmate - he's our three year old bunny. They chase each other around the room and Buster tuckers before Adam. He'll stretch out panting and Adam will watch him, waiting. If Buster doesn't resume in his time frame, he jumps in the air and lands on him. It's the craziest thing ever to see.

Entertainment at home - why go out?

Bekki Lynn said...

Thanks, Kaye.

Life would be so dull without them. I couldn't imagine it.