Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Invasion

A strange orange cat has invaded 9 Dogs. He is extremely aggressive and gets into prolonged yowling arguments with Smoky, our senior cat. He even chased Smoky out of his own garage the other day. Now he is stuck in a tree near the fenced dog yard and yowling about coming down, but when I went to the base of the tree and spoke nicely to him, he yowled louder and went further up the tree.

My theory is that the orange kitty is yet another drop-off. He's been traumatized and he's scared. I do understand that. But I am not lugging Mr. P.'s orchard ladder out there to rescue him only to get bitten or scratched. This kitty is on his own...until he attacks one of our cats...in which case he's outta here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beware of Dog

Mr. P. hated my tale of the weird guy coming down our drive. Who can blame him? Around here, skinny, scrawny, dirty, & bad/no teeth = meth addict. So, beware: Mr. P. is on alert. He worked for 21 years as a corrections officer in Connecticut, and he's not going to buy your sad story. Can you spell SMITH & WESSON?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mouse Patrol

The other morning I stumbled out into the cold garage at 6:00 am with a bucket of hot water (we put hot water in the critters' water bowls to keep it from freezing) and almost stepped on a dead mouse.

I'm an animal lover, but I was not saddened by the sight of a dead rodent.

I turned to the three cats, who were roiling around my ankles and each other in anticipation of breakfast kibble, and said, "OK, whose mouse is this?"

No one owned up to it, of course. As I rationed out the kibble I said, "I want that mouse gone by tonight. I don't care if you eat it or put it in the pasture, just get it out of the garage."

But that night, the mouse was still there, so I grabbed a paper towel and picked it up. Unfortunately it was not frozen. No, it was quite squishy. I put it in the covered garbage can and went back in the house.

The next morning, some cat who shall remain nameless (but who has been caught in the act before) had somehow gotten into the garbage and torn the liner to pieces in her effort to get at the mouse. As I cleaned up THAT mess, I said, "You didn't want the mouse when it was lying conveniently on the floor, but suddenly you wanted the mouse when it was in the garbage can?"

All I heard was yowled requests for breakfast.

9 Dogs Barking

The 9 Dogs Howling ranch is located in rural west Tennessee. Our nearest neighbors are cows. We love it here, but sometimes it's a bit creepy living out in farm country. Although I seem to spend a lot of time telling them to shut up, from time to time I'm actually grateful for my dogs' barking. Like today, when a strange car came down our long driveway, stopped and began honking. Not the mail carrier, not the UPS or Fed Ex deliveryperson, not the gas company or electric company. Who could it be? While the dogs went on Red Alert, I waited in my study to see if someone would come to the front door. After a few moments, I went into the living room and looked out to see a strange, somewhat scruffy man on the porch. The creepy feeling began to overtake me, and I was suddenly glad to see Jinx and Meg hurling themselves at the window with teeth bared. (I just hoped this guy couldn't see their wagging tails). I peeked out the door and asked him, "Can I help you?"

He smiled - no teeth - and said, "I think I have the wrong house."

"Who are you looking for?"

He said something I couldn't understand (lack of teeth may have been hindering his speech).

I said, "Never heard of them."

He just stood there on the porch, smiling. The creep-out factor rose 100%. But by then 6 of the dogs were holllering and slobbering on the windows, and the guy must have figured out that the noise alone was a disadvantage to him, so he finally turned, went back to his car, and drove away.

So this time, I told my crew, "Good dogs!"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sitting Pretty

Patch had some alone time (every mom needs that, right?) today, enjoying the sunshine on the deck overlooking the lawn. Excuse me. The sea of mud.
Note the daintily crossed paws. Always the lady, Miss Patch.

Mud Season

I fear mud season is upon us.

The leader of this pack, Mr. P., is a professional landscaper. Once upon a time, we had a lawn like a green velvet carpet. Now all you can see is mud etched with pawprints and the occasional hole to China.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I hate girls!

Teddy says: Berry, can I tell you something? Man to man?

Berry: What?

Teddy: I really hate girls.

Berry: Why?

Teddy: All they want to do is talk about their feelings, and does this collar make my butt look big, and will Gramma let us go to the next Hannah Montana concert.

Berry: Funny, Georgie was just saying the same thing the other day.

Teddy: Georgie's a good guy. He's my bud, you know?

Berry: So, what am I? Chopped liver?

Teddy: I wish! No, man, just kidding. You ain't heavy, you my brother. Now if you could just move your leg down a little bit ...yeah, that's it...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Harley's Morning Ritual

Lisa reports that her senior kitty, Harley, has a new morning ritual. She describes it thusly:

Here's the drill: Humans wake up and enter the rain chamber to create drinking water for Harley. Humans let King Harley into the bedroom for his morning drink. Harley yowls loudly to let humans know that we are not moving fast enough and then jumps up onto the vanity indicating that he would like you to turn the faucet on. Once you do, he jumps down off the vanity and cries in front of the shower door. Humans hop to it and open the shower door so the King may enter and drink daintily off the top of the jar lid. Harley then finishes his drink and sprawls on the floor where you are sure to trip over him while attempting to get dressed. Dog are let out of their sleeping crate in retribution and chase King Harley up onto the edge of the tub where he takes a couple of swipes at the dogs. Dogs retreat to go downstairs for potty. Harley stretches out on the tub where the dogs can't get him and settles in for a long winter's nap! The end.

Ah, life! Aint it grand?!

Indeed it is, Harley, indeed it is, when you have three dogs to torture and at least four humans to do your bidding.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Polly Eats Poop

Yesterday I caught a whiff of something distinctive, something disgusting, something poopy. Sad to say, not an unusual smell here. I concluded that someone had pooped or that Georgie had belched. I was busy in the kitchen, so I told myself that it could wait until I was done with cutting up carrots, and that maybe one of the dogs would dispose of the poop before I got there. Georgie, setting his usual good example, has taught Patch and the puppies to eat poop, so I rarely have to scoop up a warm pile any more.

When I got to the living room, who was eating the poop?


Polly, my little angel, my tiny dancer, my delicate, sweet flower of girlhood. Eating poop. Man, was that disillusioning.
So I said to her, "Polly, how will you ever get a date with poop on your breath?" and she flounced off.
I imagined Polly's Prince Charming (or Prince Charmin, as the case may be) taking her to a fine restaurant.
"What will it be tonight, my darling?" PC says to her. "Chateaubriand? Lobster? Foie Gras?"
And Polly says, "Sure, if I they use poop for the foie gras, and serve poop-mousse for dessert, and darling, please make sure the maids leave Andes Poop Mints on our pillows tonight."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Kitchen Chaos

This illustration, from a calendar I had in 1994, shows exactly what happens in my kitchen day after day after day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sex after neutering? Explicit photo!

As far as I can tell, the only thing you accomplish by neutering or spaying an animal is population control. Neutering has never stopped any of my dogs or cats from peeing/spraying to mark their territory or leave messages (pee-mail, as we call it here). Nor has it prevented them from having an active (if ineffectual) sex life. The current canine crew is an equal-opportunity bunch. Meg humps her brothers and her mother, Berry humps all his siblings, his mother, and Polly, and so on. I've been told that the humping is a power thing, but it seems to me they do it for fun. And Berry and Teddy often enjoy (they're certainly smiling while doing it) what was called "69" when I was in high school. Berry does the -um, mouth work - while Teddy does his humping. It makes me laugh. Mr. Parker calls them ugly names that I won't repeat. My mom would catch them at it and exclaim, "Oh please, not before dinner!"

This photo is of our first Frenchie, Buster, whose toybox included a stuffed cat. The first thing Buster did after coming home from being neutered was hump that cat. And he continued doing it at every opportunity until the cat finally had to go to heaven.

What interests me about this is that Buster and the stuffed cat always did it missionary style, not doggy style.