Tag Archives: pet

Snakes, Snails, & Puppy Dog Tails

Most folks have heard at some point that little boys are made of snakes, snails and puppy dog tails.

Little girls are made of sugar and spice, and everything nice.  And of course as we age that spice takes over and seasons the everything nice into stuff that often is NOT so nice, strutting around in high heels.  But is another post for another time.

We have a wonderful little Yorkie in the palace, Penny.  She is my daughter’s first dog, who cannot live in harmony with the daughter’s boyfriend’s canine.  This is really not a shocker, as little chubby Penny has a bit of a Princess complex, only it is the negative side of said complex.  Honestly she is a bit of a crotchety old dog, at 10 years and a few months, but only when it comes to other dogs being in ‘her’ pack.  One of the cats, on the other hand, the palace feline princess, is a bully and bosses the dog around.   We have no ‘puppy dog tails’, as it is more of a stump, because they clip Yorkie’s ears and tails.  But for all intents and purposes, in addition to boys who are made up of such lovely stuff, we have the puppy dog tail part covered.

When it comes to snails, yes we have those. Outside.  Where they belong.  Well they are slugs, which my very unscientific brain believes are homeless snails, as in minus a shell.  I nearly stepped on a large, slimy slug one morning last week when I took Penny out to send her first, 5am pee-mail.  I saw it moving on the sidewalk and bent down to see what it was, as without my glasses on in the morning I have to get kind of up close and personal with the world around me to bring it into focus.  So, snails and puppy dog tails.  And a bunch of cat fur that is shed now and then too, throughout the palace.  Thankfully there is this dandy device known as a vacuum cleaner for that issue.

Which brings us to snakes.  There are few things in this world that will cause me to be completely paralyzed with fear, and snakes would be one of those things.  I HATE SNAKES!  I do not care if they don’t bite, aren’t poisonous, and eat rodents.  I HATE SNAKES!!  My son, the cop, who is afraid of tiny tan house spiders, at least will run screaming and naked from the shower if he encounters his 8 legged fear.  When I come across a snake I freeze, cannot move, and if I found one in the shower with me I’d just drop dead of a heart attack, end of story.

At 5am today, Penny was doing her potty dance and adding a slight whimper to it from her crate in our room.  This nixed the idea of “just 10 more minutes” with a touch of the snooze alarm.  Whimpers generally mean “if you don’t get out of that bed, woman, there will be nasty, runny puppy poop to clean up and it will be no one’s fault but your own!”  This I know from the not too distant past (see Over Night Notes To Self for more information).  I got up, got the dog and headed downstairs.  I picked up her leash and she wouldn’t come to me, seemed she was thirsty.  So much for urgency.  When she finally had emptied the water bowl, as the cats looked on with great concern (they always worry no one will refill it), I hooked the leash to her collar and we walked out of the front door.  I did not have my glasses on, so what I first thought I was seeing laying on the sidewalk, was a large stick, or the neighbor’s ivy type plant had grown a rather long off-shoot across the concrete.  I got to the edge of the porch and started to step down, getting up close and personal and HOLY CRAP THAT IS A FREAKING SNAKE!!!!!!  I backed up very fast, to the door.  Penny, is looking at me oddly and trying to go forward.

I am now standing, frozen on the porch, trying to decide what to do.  I could go through the garage and let the dog go out that way, but what if when I move it goes down by the garage door and enters?  ARGH!!!!!!  The dog is starting to pull on the leash, she has business at the other end of the sidewalk and I’m holding up progress.  I’m worried that as she passes over it, the snake is going to whip around and bit the dog.  And of course from the size of the snake  in my imagination, it is going to swallow my poor little Yorkie whole.  But she is pulling harder, so I give her some leash to work with as she heads right toward the monster on the walkway.  I decide that perhaps I am sacrificing the dog, but then it could be fore the greater good.  That of course being that the snake would eat the pup then move on somewhere to hang out for a few weeks while it digests Penny.  I’m sure my daughter could understand that, right?

Penny stopped and sniffed the tail of the snake then stepped over it and kept going.  I gave her all the leash that I could, hoping she would just go in the mulch and come back to the porch, like she does when it is pouring down rain. But NO, she is tugging at it and looking at me like “it’s now or I am dropping this mess on your sidewalk”.  It dawns on me then that the snake had not moved.  So, I bravely, on jello legs lean out and have another look and realize it is just a long skin.  But what if the snake is not done shedding it yet? EEEEEK now what?  I decided I had to get the dog to the other end of the sidewalk so she could send her pee-mail and poo in the grass.  I did a graceful, ballerina style leap over the snake skin, (okay it no doubt looked like a rhino, sporting pink/blue/purple plaid & a pink, Hello Kitty shirt, trying to jump an obstacle)  and then ran down the sidewalk sure it was in hot pursuit.  Puppy did her business and we headed back up the path to the door.  With goosebumps the size of grapes, I timed my next impressive jump so that I was going over the dog and the snake skin, in case the snake was there, the dog would be the closer target.  Sorry, I know, but again, the whole greater good thing, after all the dog cannot cook or do laundry.  I had to save myself!

Before I left for the office I found a long broom stick and went outside to lift the skin off the walkway.  It was at this time that I happened to see just how long (3 ft) this thing was, and the face was looking up at me from the ornamental grasses by the downspout.  It was empty but it sure looked the part, even with my glasses on.

Now, as I end this, let me mention that before I went to bed last night I was reading Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, the part at the end of the TriWizard Tournament.  You know, where he bumps into my ex-husband Lord Voldemort in the grave yard?  And old you-know-who has that big old snake with him, which made my skin crawl thinking about it before I went to sleep.  Before you think this is a figment of my imagination inspired by too much Valerian root in my before bedtime tea, I took a picture of it after I brought the dog inside.

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The Cat’s Meow

Actually it was more like the cat’s cries of terror.

Sunday I moved my furry baby to the castle of my Knight.  I took her and Ditzy, our little window licker/mentally touched cat, and relocated them.  To hear them carrying on you’d have thought they were headed to the slaughter.  And their crying just made me feel terrible for doing this to them even though I know once adjusted to their new home they will both be very happy.  Pixel was suffering separation anxiety while I was away from the Diva Den, so since I’m moving in with my honey in stages, it seemed logical to just move her where I’m now sleeping.  She was less than impressed.

They cried all the way there, and then hid in the lowest level of the house in fear, continuing to meow like they were dying.  Ditzy has since made herself at home, finding places to go hide, playing with toys, and coming to us both for affection.  Pixel has refused to leave the bathroom in the lowest level where the litter box is now located.  I tried to convince her to venture beyond but every time I brought her upstairs she would slink, belly on the floor, back downstairs.  During the first night she was outside the bedroom door crying and trying to get in.  Once my Knight departed for work I found her in the hallway outside the bedroom door.  She ran right in when I beckoned and curled up with me purring her sweet little heart out.  But when I got home from work yesterday she was back downstairs and refused to come up.  If she was forced up, she hid under the couch.  I give up, she will just have to transition in her own good time.  But meanwhile I’ll still feel like a big old meanie for changing her environment.

My mom has determined that the Knight is either truly in love with me, or has lost his mind.  :)  It’s love!  Though he did say something about there being a thin line between the two.

Lessons From My Cat

I’ve  learned many things from my cat over the 2 years I’ve had her, which is all but about 4 weeks of her life.  At the moment she is working on spending one of her 9 lives and cutting her existence a bit short but cats are like that some days.

See, cats suffer from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).   Well maybe it is more of just an obsession issue.  Once they get something in their furry little heads it takes over their life in every manner.   They eat, breath, sleep and function for one purpose – the object of their obsession.  They don’t stop until they have what they seek.

Recently I started using a new  pill holder.  You know the kind, you can put all of your medication in it for a week,  divided into cute little compartments, one for each week day.  It isn’t so much that I take a lot of medications or vitamins, only 3 pills per day,  it is the only sure proof way to ensure I actually take them each day….once.   Otherwise I go through the day and cannot recall if I took them.  No sense over dosing or under dosing, just use this little invention and problem solved.  I take my Lexapro, allergy meds and a probiotic.  I’ve just recently began the probiotic as a means of keeping my Ulcerative Colitis in remission (so far so good).

I don’t know if it is the new container or the probiotic that the cat is so fascinated with now.  I’ve used containers before but the last one went off the back of the bike on a highway south of Louisville some months back with my backpack.  Pixel never had any interest in it beyond checking it out then walked away.  By the way, nothing new that enters my room is missed, she notices and checks out every little item before it is given a pass to stay put.  EVERYTHING.  Either this new container is the issue, or it is the probiotic inside.  Whatever it is, the darn thing is like catnip to her.  I’m leaning toward the probiotic as the container sat on the vanity for days without her caring one bit.  Now that the other pill is inside she suddenly won’t leave it alone.  She treats it like the catnip pillows we have, rubbing her chin on it, trying to pick it up and take it away.  She just found it this morning,  of course while I was  asleep.  I tossed her off my vanity twice before I put it in the drawer and went back to sleep.  She has spent the past hour trying to get the drawer open.

After I tossed her from the room and shut the door, I got back in bed and thought to myself, “if I treat my business with that same level of obsession I will be a Senior Executive Unit Leader in a year!”.  DING DING DING!!!! WE HAVE A WINNER!  Okay no bells went off but you get the idea.  I have been reading Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, and Pixel just provided me with a visual aid for burning desire to have something.  As soon as I opened the door of the bedroom she appeared from down stairs and was right back to trying to open that drawer!  She simply will NOT give up, it is her burning desire, her obsession, to possess that container and/or it’s contents.  She has a get-it-or-die-trying level of commitment.

I’m rather certain I can say that no one has died as a result of building their direct selling business to the level of success that they are financially free from debt and making $8,000 a month.  Or more.  Yes I know, seems insane but those that make it that far in Avon share their tax returns at events to show us that they are getting bonus checks of $8,000-$14,000….every 2 weeks.  I want that SO bad.  And I know how to get it, I know the ins and outs of working this business to that kind of success.  I just have to keep DOING it.  Eat, breath, sleep my business.  Make it an obsession.

Thanks, Pixel, my beloved fur ball, for the incredible, though most incredibly annoying, visual aid this morning.

My Pet Rock Has Fleas

Okay it doesn’t.  Well I don’t know really.   See, I no longer have a Pet Rock.  I used too though!  Back when I was a kid it was all the rage one year, and I got one I believe for Christmas.  It was TOO funny.  The rock came in a little carrier just like the ones you see at the pet stores for cats or dogs.  It even came with an owner’s manual so you could teach your pet rock how to sit, roll over, play dead and in the event you were being mugged, it could attack. Mine is long gone, which is really a shame as it was cute and too funny.  Who knows what landfill it resides in now, but it just might have fleas!

If by chance you ever see one, in good condition, box, manual etc as pictured, I’d probably purchase it for a reasonable price.  I frankly think it should make a come back, as it likely would be a big seller again.

My cat, Pixel,  does not have fleas at the moment either.  None of the felines in the Diva Den do, but then our pampered little furry pals are not outside cats.  That does cut down on the risk I’m told.  It sadly increases symptoms for those of us allergic to them.  And as mine enjoys a love fest of chin scratching and head scratching at night, while laying on the pillows next to my head, I’m a mess by morning.

I am tired beyond words today.  Between the vampire hours brought on by menopause, and the fact that I stay up late chatting with a friend (so much for acting like a responsible adult),  I’m walking around like a zombie.  Which reminds me, just for the record, I HATE PLAYING ZOMBIE LANE!!  Sorry, Dad, but not sure I can stick with that one.  For those unaware, it is a game on Facebook.  I hate it, it is just dumb.  I’ve never been into video games as it is and that one is just insane.  I’m convinced you cannot achieve anything significant without using real money to purchase things, and that is NOT going to happen.

Still trying to locate my missing mojo.  I know it is around here somewhere but just not been able to summon it lately.  I think I just needed some time to regroup and plan for the new Avon year (starts with the next campaign) and digest all of the changes going down.  Needed to restructure my business plan some. I’ll be back on the rails this weekend.  As I’m getting ready for my team meeting this weekend I’ll uncover where I left my mojo and all will be good.

For now, let’s just try upbeat music. I love this song, sing it to me Shania!

Toilet Training Cats?

It is a running joke around here, since we have 3 cats, that it would be great if we could toilet train them.  One handles the litter box just fine.  One gets the general concept but when it comes to covering what she leaves behind…well she was orphaned shortly after birth so she wasn’t taught.  I’ve done all but get in the box and show her how this is done but face it, I wouldn’t fit.  We’re thankful she uses the litter box.  The third one? Well she is mentally challenged on her best days.  She digs the hole then stands in it and craps outside of the box onto the floor, then scoops litter OUT of the box onto her floor deposit to cover it.  Brilliant, eh?

So I decided today to look into the idea of actually toilet training our cats.  Heck we already have a phantom pooper (that person that never flushes but no one owns up to it), why not the cats?  Heck if we can train them to go maybe we can train them to flush too!  That would raise them above the phantom!

I actually thought it was a joke, as I really haven’t known of anyone that accomplished this feat.  But then I googled “toilet training cats” and found out that this can, in fact, be done.  Or at least according to the website and a number of videos it is successful.  I’m still skeptical but willing to look into it.  The first one I found, Litter Kwitter, has videos on it’s site to show how this is accomplished when you purchase their training kit for your cat.  For $49 you can buy it and frankly that is worth it if I never have to purchase litter again.  I have since found less expensive versions, as cheap as $16.  I’m totally wanting to believe this can be done.

I had to include the video, I just knew you’d want to know.  They even sell a special package for multi-cat households, like mine.

Love Will Make You Lose Your Mind…

This week I will return to my childhood roots and do something I have not done since high school.  It is something I swore I would NEVER do again.  But just like when my first marriage ended and I made a personal oath to never iron another man’s shirt as long as I lived, love makes us do strange things.  Actually, it causes us to take complete leave of our senses.

When I was growing up, in fact from what I am told it began shortly after I was born, my parents took us camping.  I have been all over this great country and seen so many very cool things.  Once I was in high school my parents opted to go the route of hotels when we  traveled.  I have many fond memories of camping, but some not so fond.  Sorry but creepy crawly things in the showers is not my idea of excitement or my version of communing with nature.  I  like a warm, comfortable bed, lots of pillows, climate controlled and room service.  Motel 6 is about as close to camping as I ever planned to go again.  That is all about to change.

On Saturday is the annual Stonelick State Park Halloween Campout, “Costume, pumpkin & campsite decorating contests, hayrides, trick or treat & hobo stew” and it is a family tradition in the Count’s family to be there.  In fact Mama Count is already out there, set up with the camper (a rather impressive, comfy one at that), and the Count and I will be going out Thursday through Saturday.  Originally I had said I’d drive out on Saturday for the day.  Then it became I’d stay Friday and Saturday at the local Holiday Inn Express, about 15 minutes away.  Then it was we’d stay in the camper Thursday through Sunday with Mama Count.

Me as Cruella

Now? Well plans have changed and the Count and I are staying in his 2 room tent on the site.  Yes, you read that right, a TENT.  So much for personal vows of celibacy from sleeping under the protection of canvas and a zipper, encased in a sleeping bag. He assures me that my personal comfort is his personal priority.  I’ve lost my ever lovin’ mind, the things we do for love.

I will suck it up, put on my big girl panties and have a blast.  We spent the day there Sunday helping set up camp for Mama Count and it was very nice.

I actually find myself looking forward to waking up to the sounds of nature around me and fresh coffee in the cool morning air.  Maybe not so much walking to the bathroom or showers (to once again be showering in flip flops with daddy long leggers around), but I DO have fond memories from camping as a kid so this should be a good time.  I might even pack my costume and dress up, since I have one for Cruella De Vil and it would be nice to participate.  :)

OH and don’t you know that The Count once again has surprised me with a cute  gift.  I’m going to grow spoiled rotten at this rate.  He bought me to cutest go-cup for coffee, ceramic with a black cat on it.  No reason other than he was thinking of me while out and about.  Guess that black cat is what made him think of me?  It’s funny, the man who dislikes (hates) cats, finding cute things with a black cat on it, just like my beautiful cat, Pixel.  I will be using it here at home, then taking it with me to use at camp.

I’ll be sure to write about my adventure, maybe even blog right there from the tent.

Happiness Is Finding The Toilet Seat Down

Life in a house with 5 women is never dull and boring.  Chaotic, insane, lively, at times a tad hostile (the teen sisters DO fight at times), but never dull and boring.  I will give you a slice of life in my world yesterday:

My daughter asked me if I would like to puppy sit my oldest granddog, Penny, for the day and over night last night.  I love that dog and miss her a bunch since moving out of the prince’s shack so I always say yes.  She arrived, cute as ever before lunch time with her security froggie (a stuffed toy she is into of late) and food to get us through her visit.  Oh and treats, because Divas spoil their pets.  Now, Penny had some bloating issues yesterday and was “in a mood” as the daughter put it.  Seems my son had friends over to party round the fire pit and pool the night before and while he denies it, the dogs were treated to people food.  This is bad news for me, because I know what the end result is going to be, something similar to what happened when Penny spent the night and ate all the cat food when no one was looking. If you’ve ever had  a dog with a lower GI issue you will appreciate that tale.

During the afternoon, when the gurgling finally gave way to harsh reality for the pooch, I was sound asleep on my bed.  I had struggled hard with insomnia the night before so I was beat.  My sister fortunately had the dog outside and a major, smelly disaster was averted. We ate dinner on the deck  with Penny getting her cable all tangled in chair legs  trying to find food droppings.  I swear if you split a 25 pound bag of food open on the floor, that dog  would eat until she split down the sides and burst open like a bratt on the grill.  When she wasn’t doing that she was on bunny watch,  as if she could catch one.

Living in a house of women has its benefits.  Aside from interesting displays of  hormonal outbursts (all of which are destined for future novels I am writing), are the positives.  You can always find the perfect outfit to wear, someone has something you can use, in your size and color.  Makeup? Never a problem.  With 4 Avon Ladies in the house we have every color under the sun, may we help you?  We have no less than 20 bath gels, shampoos and conditioners in the one shower alone!  What would you like to smell like today? We have you covered, we can fix a sista up!  There are more combs and brushes in this house than silverware.

Near bedtime I was relaxing, hooking a blanket and sipping a glass of wine.  I had just hung up the phone with The Count (have I mentioned I’m totally in love? Dating Diary update later today) when I heard what sounded like a bird hit my screen outside of my window.  Penny? Na she doesn’t even lift her head, some guard dog she is turning out to be this time.  Usually she barks at every noise she hears.  I looked out of the blinds and my brother’s car is in the driveway.  About that time voices reach us and Penny is out of my room running to see what is up.  She never did bark.  Not until later after he and mom visited and he was going downstairs, then she barks at him.  Nice, glad he wasn’t an intruder, bit delayed on the alert system.

When I went to bed last night I knew that I would likely have to get up with the dog, that last episode is still deeply ingrained in my mind.  Sure enough, around 3am she went from being curled up against my leg, to up against my chest, nose to nose, grunting and whining.  There was definite urgency in her communication, I wasn’t ignoring this the risk was too great.  I got right out of bed and when I opened my door she was all the way downstairs and at the back door before I could get to the end of the hallway.

I opened the sliding screen door and noticed a silhouette of a very odd looking bug on the glass of the sliding door…naturally on the inside.  And it was big.  I am night blind so that is about all the detail I  could make out..big, weird shaped and on the inside.  Oh swell.  I closed the screen door and went and got a paper towel.  The draw back of no men in the house is that sooner or later we have to kill creepy crawly things ourselves.  I am usually the one that does this and more times than I care to count it is with my fist as there is nothing handy in a hurry to use to squash the little @#$%^&* !  Thankfully, with cats around, it doesn’t happen often.  A bug is a toy to a cat.

I found the paper towels via the bright light given off by the microwave oven clock, and the light shining in the window from the deck.  I should mention that on top of being night blind, I am terrified of the dark.  Not sure what happened to all the night lights around this place but it is damn dark  down here  in the kitchen, and the family room is like the black hole.  I’m less than thrilled about all this as I go to kill the bug.  Slide open screen, crunch and squish.  YUCK, my skin is crawling.  I put the dog outside on her cable and wait.  I have the light off on the back porch to avoid drawing any other multi-legged flying or crawling things to the door.  Now I am hear something moving in the grass in the yard, moving toward the woods.  Most likely a deer but I’m down here and my gun is up in my room, so knowing my luck it would be the boogie man.

Finally the dog is done purging whatever my son fed her, and we go inside.  I give her a treat, because that is what I do when she alerts me to the need to be outside, NOW, and not on my bedroom floor.  Now I need to use the bathroom.  If you live with males you know that the odds are always good that if you sit down on the toilet in the dark, you are in for a wet, cold surprise….the seat will not be down.  I smiled to myself there in the dark, no such rude, late night surprises when you live with all women!  :)

Me and pupperdoo made our way back to bed.  I love that she is a snuggler, but my cat is not impressed.  She stayed away for the night opting to sleep with the other cats rather than in with me and the dog.  I woke at 6am to the alarm clock, followed by smelly pup (dear daughter, this dog NEEDS a bath) up in my nose again whining.

Between letting the dog out, feeding little people breakfast, trying to feed cats and keep the dog out of their food, I have yet to have an entire, hot  cup of coffee.  BUT the toilet seat…is still down!

I love my life :)

Flaming Kittens!

Now please, someone correct me if  I am wrong, but I thought animals were instinctively afraid of fire?  We in the Diva Den certainly all thought so, and up until we started using the fire place were pretty certain the cats were onto the fact that fire is harmful.  The two older cats, Noel  and Pixel, seem to be aware, and will sit on the hearth in front to warm themselves and watch the flames.  Ditzy, on the other hand, just doesn’t get it.  We have known since day one that she is kind of special, as in mentally challenged, as in politically incorrect terms, flat out retarded.  Seriously, this is why she is named Ditzy, she is a ding bat.  Cute as can be as she stares in wide-eyed wonder at everyone and everything around her, but dumb as a brick.

She is fascinated by the fire place, to the point of trying to get IN there.  We get that cats are curious and love things that sparkle and dance.  But we also thought they just knew that fire can cause them harm.  Most animals that I am aware of will run from a forest fire, they know it is deadly.  This darling little creature seems to lack this knowledge.  Last night she once again got IN the fire place, with a fire roaring.  Thankfully we use ‘green’ logs, those store bought jobs that leave no mess and are cleaner burning.  They don’t put off as much heat but still do a fair job. 

So anyway there she is IN the fire place trying to touch the flames when she was noticed and rescued with minor singeing to her fur.  What is up with this little idiot????  We’d love to hear what anyone knows that can help us.  Someone said they don’t feel heat but I would say that is not true, as my cat LOVES snuggling on my electric blanket

Any thoughts??

Ditzy

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