Snakes & Snails & Puppydog Tails

I’m not really used to little boys.  My only child is a 23-year-old female and I didn’t grow up with brothers, so I am constantly fascinated with the little creatures in their native habitat.  Our neighborhood is crawling with little shirtless, shoeless hooligans who roam the summer streets on their various modes of transportation.  Most of the neighborhood kids are aware of the “Bunny Lady” and their parents are by and large OK with their progeny making visits to my animal farm.  Even parents who have never met me, have been made aware that I am a harmless and eccentric old lady with no evil designs on their children, so I am privileged to have many visitors at my door at all hours of the day.  Yesterday was a particularly eventful episode.

I’ll just get comfortable for this long-winded story.

It was around noon and I was going about my full and fascinating life (cleaning litter boxes) when I heard a knock at my door.  I opened it to find a group of young men politely asking to see my bunny.  One of the faces was familiar; the other two were not.  They came inside and I showed them Buster’s lair where they proceeded to pet him and tug on his floppy ears.  Soon they spied Mulder and Miss Alley Sue playing in the living room so they proceeded to pet the kittens and take turns holding them.  Missy even allowed them to scratch her scraggly 17-year-old noggin.

Four handsome dudes.

Notice how they all removed their shoes before coming in my house. Great training moms!

The boys stayed about 30 minutes and then they left, thanking me for the visit.  As they were leaving, I showed them my old-fashioned twist doorbell.  Most people don’t know what it is (they think it’s a bolt lock) so they never use it.  I show it to kids because I figure they’ve never seen one and they usually think it’s pretty cool.  This way, when I hear my doorbell I can be reasonably sure it’s a kid wanting to play with my pets. (I never show the doorbell to grown-ups).

I returned to my domestic duties (folding laundry, taking out the garbage and surfing the net for outdoor sofa cushions–I told you it was fascinating!), when about 30 minutes later I hear my doorbell ring.  I opened my door to find a half-naked, tow-headed young scoundrel at my door.  He was a missing brother from the previous trio.  He had been schooled on the secret doorbell and wanted to see the Burlingame pets for himself.  He stayed longer and explored my house more thoroughly than the earlier group and was as polite and sweet as he could be.  I left him to his activities while I paid some bills and answered emails.

He has fuzzy lips!

After he had his fill of furry friends, he took his leave and thanked me for letting him play with the critters.  I continued with my domestic duties and was soon surprised to hear the front door open and a cheerful, “I’m back!”  I was flattered that he felt so comfortable in my house that he let himself in; but I instructed him that it is generally understood that most people knock or ring the bell before entering another person’s home.  🙂  I escorted him out and he twisted the doorbell like a proper gentleman.  I opened the door and he asked if he could play just a little more.  After a few short minutes he left again, thanking me.

I’m GREAT with animals. I’m either going to be an artist or a vet when I grow up.

After his departure, I was sure it had stopped “raining men” but I was mistaken.  Later that afternoon, one of the gentlemen from the first visit rang my bell to ask for my assistance with a serious matter. He had suffered a mortal wound on his leg and his mom was not home.  I did the best I could, and after a squirt of neosporin and a small band-aid I felt sure that he would make a full recovery and go on to lead a normal life.

All in all, it had been a fun day for the boys, my animals and me.  Little did I know that the fun would begin again this morning at 8:15.  🙂

I’m an early riser and I’m usually awake at 5:30 every day.  I got into this habit when I had my chickens and I had to let their ladder down at sunrise.  And although I do get up very early, I am not usually “camera-ready” until much later.  This morning I was having my last bit of coffee with the Golden Girls, (Betty White is an American treasure people!) when I hear my doorbell.  I look out the peep-hole to see two blonde street urchins in their summer uniforms (shorts only) standing on my porch.  The smallest one is lamenting, “But I just want to see Buster!” while the elder brother is tugging him away from the door toward their scooters.  It’s for the best that I didn’t open the door.  The emotional scars from seeing me in the morning might have been too much for the lads.  As I write this, I have showered, put on adequate attire, and am ready for another adventure on Ring Around Road.  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring!

Who WERE those guys?

CAT-TV

I recently moved some furniture around in my living room and now the animals have a bird’s eye view to the back yard.  (Literally–the bird feeder is right outside the window).  Mulder thinks it’s a fabulous TV show!

Greatest…Channel…Ever!

He’ll sit for hours, chattering at the birds and pawing at the glass to get at them.

This must be in Hi-Def.

There is a limit to how much TV he can watch without getting bored.

I am so sick of beach volleyball!

Isn’t my little boy turning into a handsome man?  If he gets any prettier, I’m getting some headshots made and sending him to Hollywood. 🙂

Sloooow Going

I’ve never had a foster kitten like this before.  She must have had a really terrible start in life because she is still very shy and skittish around us.  We can catch her and hold her because we have to, but she doesn’t like it.  Jim gives her worm medicine (almost all stray kittens get this from the shelter) and I hold her, but she squirms and seems miserable in my hands.  Usually, when I get a foster kitten it takes about 24 hours and they’re prancin’ around here like they own the place.  Miss Alley Sue has been hiding under a large bookcase in my office until very recently.  She discovered a soft kitty bed under my desk and now she likes sleeping there.  Mulder has been trying to teach her about playing and fighting and she is slowly getting the hang of it.  Her litter box habits are impeccable and for this I am grateful. 🙂  I was beginning to give up hope that she would ever like people, when a gentle giant came by yesterday to meet her.

Dennis is a regular contributor to the kittybunnychicken as well as my old blog the chickendiary.  He’s a giant of a man and despite his intimidating looks, he is beloved by all my pets (Sammy is actually in love with him).  He spread his 6.5 ft. frame on the floor of the office and started talking to Alley in a soft tone.  He put his hand near the kitty bed and I was sure she’d run away.  But no…she actually grabbed his finger and started licking it.  Dennis thought it might have something to do with a peanut butter snack he had earlier, but I think this little girl recognized a kitten whisperer when she saw one.  This video is the first affection she has ever given a human being.

Alley was also reasonably comfortable with Meggie (Dennis’ daughter) earlier in the day.

Maybe the Adams family all smell like catnip.  Who knows why an animal takes a shine to one person and not another.  It will remain a mystery.  I’m grateful to so many of my friends and neighbors who support and care about my creatures.  Thanks for the love Mr. Dennis!  Come back anytime.

MY boyfriend!

Miss Alley Sue…How Do You Do?

Here’s a dramatic and serendipitous little tale…Two animal control officers are having lunch at the famous and historic Chris’ Hot Dogs in downtown Montgomery. (Everyone from Martin Luther King Jr., to Hank Williams to FDR has had one of these dogs–I’ll take you there if you come visit.)  Aaaaaaaanyway…As they leave the establishment with full bellies, they hear a pitiful MEW, MEW, MEW, from a storm drain.  It’s been raining hard here for two days, so you can imagine the terror this little kitten felt as they rescued her from certain death.  They took her to the shelter where she got some needed medication, a bath and some food.  On my way to get her I was hoping they had named her Chris, but no, someone had already christened her Alley Sue.  That’s a fine name as well and this is what she looked like when I got her home.

It took her a long time to come out of the carrier and I didn’t want to force her.  Soon, however, she made some tentative steps into her temporary home.

At least this place looks dry.

All the while, Mr. Mulder is scratching under the door and crying to get in to meet his new buddy.  I thought she might want a little time alone to get used to her surroundings so I kept him locked out until she had eaten some food and made herself more comfortable.

Nummers!

Eventually I let Mulder in and he promptly gave instructions on proper litter box usage.

Can’t a girl get some privacy???

She left some “treasure” in the litter box exactly 30 minutes after arrival.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could potty train people that fast? 🙂

When I started this post, Mulder & Alley were still acting like they were on a first date.  Neither really knew how to approach the other.

Now, as I close this entry, I wonder if they’ll settle down and be best friends for the duration of her stay.  I ask you…

What do you think? 🙂