Archive | December 2019

Ki Ki and Mom

My mother, sister in law and niece and husband were all here last night. Ki Ki usually, walks into the house, sees strangers and walks right back out.
But… her best friend dog was there so she came in with her. Now, she pretty much ignored everyone else in the room, but focused on my mother. She even went to the stairway to get a better vantage point, near where Mom was sitting. It was like she just couldn’t quite figure her out and even at one point, came close enough for a quick sniff.
When Ki Ki was a tiny kitten, she reacted similarly with my sister. She even allowed my sister to give her a bottle, which she never allowed anyone , but me, to do. When my sister held her, she kept pushing back so she could see her face.
Now, what is it that she recognizes in us as related. We have somewhat similar looks (though mother is almost 90). Our voices are also somewhat similar. but there must be an additional element with smell. I did not realize that smell was a genetic thing, however I believe it must be, even though I am rarely in close contact with the other two.
Is this why she has always accepted Levi as part of her “family” ? She does not view him as an authoritarian figure or food provider. She never asks him for food (Nor does she Jimmy, my husband). No, the guys are more like siblings and playmates, as she plays much rougher with them than me.
I wish Jimmy still had family so we could see how she reacts with them. I really need to get my brother over here. We would definitely know if it were a smell over appearance.
It just shows us that there is so very much going on in a wild animal’s brain than we realize. They are sentient beings and deserve to be treated as so. I am absolutely convinced that the working of a wild animal’s mind is different than say, a domestic dog or cat and even more so different from a chicken or cow.
It’s always been apparent to me that prey animals have different thought patterns than predators , but this is the first apex predictor I have been able to be on such imitate terms with. She doesn’t have the expectation, nor acceptance of being a meal for another animal or human. Maybe this is why allows her to develop a more complicated and varied thought process, rather than simple instinct.
This has definitely been a fascinating experience to raise her from such an early age (one week old). No matter that she has been raised in a house or that her best friend is a dog, she has retained her wildness. Other than her obsession with a ball of yarn, there is very little resemblance to our house cats.
I’m now realizing that raising her with all the freedom she wants was probably the right choice (at least for her), rather than let her finish growing in a pen. My chicken may not thank me and the local squirrels aren’t too thrilled, but I think her development is right where it should be.
The rest remains to be seen.

You Are Dead to Me

The bobcat is sitting with her back to me. I am dead to her. (At least till she wants food)

I still had one squirrel and one pigeon in my studio. We have already gone over the dangers of the squirrel and indoor plumbing. I still have two Band-Aids to prove it. Squirrels and pigeons are messy buggers, throwing seed everywhere and in the case of male squirrels…holding tight to the bars to see how far outside their cage they can shoot pee.

Not unlike human males, I guess.

Anyway, The pigeon seemed to be all healed from her wing injury and the dead toe has fallen off (Long story). There is a hot little female squirrel in a cage on the enclosed porch, whistling at Jimmy and giving him the eye, every time he walks by. Maybe it’s time to introduce Short Fat and Black Squirrel to her. I could see if the pigeon could fly at the same time. Then hopefully, I can release said FEMALE pigeon to the head humper boys that live in the back yard.

So….I convince the SFBS (Short, Fat, Black, Squirrel) that I am not removing him to feed him to the bobcat or put him back in the terrifying bathroom. He lets me pick him up, give him a quick snuggle and put him on the cage in the porch where our sexy lady squirrel is still asleep. Then I go for the pigeon.

Now I need to be sure that the pigeon can fly…..we live with a bobcat after all. I take her out to the enclosed porch and open my hands. She can fly. She can fly really well. Too Well. I can’t catch the damn thing again.

I come in the house to get a net. The bobcat says “Ah Ha! I have my opportunity to get involved” and slips out the door un noticed. All hell breaks loose. The pigeon knocks over Mary and Joseph and kicks the baby Jesus onto the top of the squirrel cage. Sexy Lady wakes up and thinks there is an intruder in her cage. SFBB automatically goes into “Bathroom Battle” mode.

The cat is thrilled. This is better than TV or the pine tree in the living room with all the dangly things. (that’s a story for something stronger than coffee) The bird is franticly flying about bashing into the clear plastic walls that she cant see, the squirrels are still screaming at each other and trying to kill the Baby Jesus and I am running franticly with a net trying to catch the pigeon before that dam cat does..

It was ugly. I need more Band Aids…and a bourbon…lots of bourbon…’s only 10:45 in the morning.

All said and done. The pigeon is now flying free outside with two desperate male pigeons playing Rock .Paper. Scissors to see who gets her and who has to wait for the next human head that comes out the door. Baby Jesus has been rescued
albeit, missing a few toes and Joseph and Mary are still shell shocked. The squirrels are at opposite ends of the cage glaring at each other (I don’t think she likes fat men) And the cat…..Well, she was unceremoniously grabbed by the scruff of the neck and thrown out into the snowbank.

She’s back inside now. Straightening her fur with her tongue and plotting my death.

Just another day in the Gaskin house.

Anyone got a band aid?

I really must do something about the squirrel problem in the bathroom. It’s starting to get out of hand,
This morning I was sitting at my desk, on facebook, minding my own business (I know, don’t go there…) when I heard the distinctive plop of a squirrel hitting the floor. Before I could even turn around, the bobcat came zipping through and I heard said squirrel screech.
“Shit.” I thought,”There goes that squirrel…..”
I tried to get around the table, but said squirrel was simply a blur with Ki Ki tight on his ass. I figured the squirrel was already a gonner and since I value my fingers, I know better than to try and take it away. I heard banging and crashing from the other room and then silence.
Pretty soon, Ki Ki came in and flopped on the rug by the door. I assumed that I would find half a squirrel somewhere later.
I went about my day, a little laundry, baking some cookies, cleaning. Pretty soon, I had to pee. Usually this is not eventful, but remember where I liv. I didn’t turn the light on,,,I’m pretty confident where my toilet is by now.
Halfway through, I felt a little paw on my shoulder. I screamed. Whatever the paw was attached to screamed, Sophie ran from the bathroom. (I never get to pee alone) The paw tightened its grip and was joined by three more and a pair of teeth in my neck.
It was the squirrel. The squirrel was frightened. The squirrel was pissed, The squirrel was out for blood. It would settle for mine. “Not today squirrel, not today”
I managed to reach around in the dark and get my hands on the squirrel. It screeched again. Enter the bobcat.
It’s actually a good thing that this was taking part in a dark bathroom with no one around, remember, I was PEEING. That means that my pants are now down around my ankles and the only thing that the bobcat has to get purchase on is my bare leg. I screamed again. Sophie stood in the hallway and barked. It was NOT a pretty sight.
Somehow, the details are a bit blurry, but I know someone was swearing loudly, I managed to hold the squirrel over my head while I shuffled towards the cage with a bobcat hanging by his claws off my butt. I dislodged the squirrels teeth from my thumb and stuffed him in his cage, The now disappointed cat leg go of my lower regions and sulked off.
After searching for band aids, dry underwear and pants (I must have jumped up rather rapidly off the toilet) and putting a new, non chew-able metal clip on the door of the squirrel cage, I started to calm down. I apologized to the cat and gave her an alternative meal and I can finally get back to facebook.
Then maybe I’ll look on Amazon for a motion detecting light for the bathroom.

Six o clock on a winter morning

I am amazed how much more often people hang up on me; especially after waking me from a sound sleep.
The phone rang a little after six this morning and the woman on the other end told me her location (at least 30 minutes away). Two foxes were evidently struck by a car. One could not stand and it appeared that it’s hip was broken and the other was holding it’s front paw off the ground. The downed fox had a good deal of blood around it.
She DEMANDED that I come right away. After telling her to get back in the car so she did not get bitten, I gathered enough information to know that the fox on the ground would probably be dead in a short time. I started to explain that the other fox might not be badly injured, but in shock.
She still DEMANDED that I come and get them.
I told here that unfortunately, I really couldn’t do much as I don’t have the equipment (Or stamina) to catch an adult fox and that I have no vet who would treat them.
Before I could explain that I am only one person with limited funds and expertise, not to mention pretty basic facilities, she said some nasty things and hung up.
I picture these people violently punching the “End call” button on their cell phones, trying to express their anger and distain. She certainly sounded old enough to remember the satisfaction of slamming down a receiver to make her point.
What she doesn’t know, nor would she care, is that I have scars up and down my right arm and hand from foxes who didn’t know I was trying to help them. She doesn’t know the feeling of putting stiches in your own thumb, because if you go to a doctor, law requires that the animal be immediately killed and tested for rabies.
She also doesn’t know that even if you can get a bone set on a fox and casted, it will often chew it’s own leg off because it believes it is trapped and must escape. I don’t have access to the drugs that would knock it out or keep it calm and pain free.
She doesn’t know that that fox has a diet requiring a lot of fresh meat (or expensive specialty canned food) and that I would need to be feeding it for the rest of the winter.
She doesn’t know that it requires a small recovery pen and then a large pen where it can begin exercising the leg. Not only does this require pen space, but shoveling snow to and from the pen, heated water bowls and the risk I face every time I check the leg, remove the cast or transfer the animal. That’s a lot for one old lady who is already caring for other animals.
She doesn’t know that I would be putting a fox back into the wild (after all the time and expense), that might have a severe limp, or feel the pain of the break in the winter cold. She doesn’t know how many nights I’d lie awake and think about that fox and worry how it was doing.
She doesn’t know that I feel just as badly and even more helpless that she does that I can’t help that fox.
She also cannot understand that the more I hear the words “Well, what good are you then?” before someone hangs up the phone, the closer I get to giving up and not going through this any more.
I hope she can let go of her anger and frustration. I hope she can find the acceptance that sometimes, there really isn’t anything you can do. It’s been a long tough lesson for me to get to that point and it doesn’t get any easier each time I have to get there. It also doesn’t get any easier to let go of the words “Well, what good are you anyway” Especially at six o clock on a winter morning.