Am I on Candid Camera?

I found another injured turtle in EXACTLY the same spot in the road where I found Shelldon.  No, I don’t mean SORTA in the same spot, or KINDA in the same spot, but EXACTLY the same spot.  For the locals, it’s right where the speed limit sigh changes from 40 to 55 or vice versa on Marler Road.

We need a sign.

We need a sign.

When I saw the turtle I thought maybe it was Shelldon returning to his home and family with a crazy story to tell, but no.  This guy is a little bigger and his injuries are different.  He had been hit by a car but it seemed that it made him skid on his shell.  I couldn’t see any obvious cracks on the shell but the top was scraped off a little.  His under-shell had a small bleeding crack, but it looked very minor and didn’t expose any soft tissue.  I saw no signs of movement and assumed he was stunned or dead.  He rode home in my back floorboard and I put him in the water bowl as soon as I got home.

I'm not dead yet!

I’m not dead yet!

He instantly started paddling and he popped his head out. Yay!  I left him there to rest and went inside to make him a turtle buffet.

Compliments to the chef!

Compliments to the chef!

He didn’t eat right away, but later I saw all the food was gone, so I assume he got his fill.  I’ll try again, to host a turtle in my backyard, but I won’t be surprised if he flies the coop like his predecessor.  At least I hope he’ll stay long enough to recover from his minor injuries and provide some entertainment for the animals and human critters on the Burlingame Reptile Recovery Ranch.

Seriously, that rock just moved.

Seriously, that rock just moved.

 

It’s a Mystery to Me

My weirdo friend Tama cared for our animals recently and she took advantage of my absence to create a mysterious Beanie Baby centerpiece for my table.

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We were assured that it had some meaningful message and were challenged by “Her Strangeness” to figure it out.  Well, we couldn’t.  We stared at this group of creatures for about two weeks and then just gave up.  She finally told me the key to solve the puzzle and with some help, we FINALLY got it.  Keep in mind that Tama’s brain is not like other folks’.  It operates on a system of pulleys and levers maintained by a fleet of hamsters living in her noggin, so I warn you this is no easy puzzle.  I’ll award a fabulous prize to anyone who can decipher the meaning and post it here.  I’ll help you out by providing the creature/name of each, but that’s as far as I can go.  I will say that it helps if you’ve been a frequent reader of the kittybunnychicken, but someone may be able to solve it without this background.  Good luck!

FLASH the Peacock

HOOT the owl

DINKY the DoDo Bird

LURKEY the Turkey

TWIGS the Giraffe

WISH the Starfish

The Man Cave

Every little dude needs a place to hang out and bond with his bros after a hard day of sleepin’, eatin’, playin’ and poopin’!  Stormy is no exception.

Welcome to my MAN CAVE!

Welcome to my MAN CAVE!

He and Mr. Mulder spend lots of time in here listing to the RAT Pack and watchin’ their favorite TV show on the wide-screen. (Tom & Jerry)  This place is tricked out with a sweet pool table, a cooler full of cat nip and a couple of BARK  O’ Loungers with cup holders.  (Um…make that MEOW O’ Loungers)  This little retreat is for boys only so I’ve never been inside.

NO GIRLS ALLOWED!

NO GIRLS ALLOWED!

 When he’s not in the Feline Fortress he can often be found stalking a sunbeam on the kitchen floor.

Wowdy taught me about sunbeams. :)

Wowdy taught me about sunbeams. 🙂

No one loves a sunbeam more than my large lady Rowdy. 🙂

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 Buster Man has an outdoor man cave during the summer months.  He loves to hide under the Adirondack chairs in the back yard and nibble clover.  It can get too hot for him some days so I give him an ice block to lean against and a water bowl full of melting ice.

Pretty sweet hideout Bustie.

Pretty sweet hideout Bustie.

But there is one place that little Stormy likes to be most of all…

Bliss. :)

Bliss. 🙂

 

 

 

Shelldon Part Deux

I wanted to update you on my new pet Shelldon.  When last we blogged, he was an injured resident of the backyard and I was gathering info on his care and feeding.

I await your tender care, big human person.

I await your tender care, big human person.

My new neighbor Irl has some expertise on critters since he worked for the Dept. of Agriculture for many years as a microbiologist, and interacted with vet students from Auburn University on a regular basis.  He took one look at Shelldon and pulled out his pocket knife!  I said, “Irl…What are you doing???”  He just smiled and poked delicately into the large crack on Shelldon’s back and assured me the that the crack didn’t extend into his soft tissue.  Whew!  I thought for a minute that Earl had a hankerin’ for turtle soup!  He further suggested that some super-glue might be helpful in the damaged part of his shell.  Pardon me for being skeptical, but I Googled this remedy because it sounded a bit cray-cray to me.  Lo and behold, this is a common remedy for cracked shells and helps keep out infection into the turtle’s body while the crack grows back together.  Sorry, Irl!  I will never doubt you again!

I could tell this dude knew his stuff!

I could tell this dude knew his stuff!

In addition to helping me with Shelldon’s diagnosis, Irl printed out a lengthy article on how to care for box turtles.  It was a huge help so I got started on planning a good turtle diet for my new pet.  It turns out that turtles have a diet very similar to humans except for the part about processed food.  A good rule of thumb is to feed him any kind of fruit, protein, veggie or starch that he is likely to find in the wild.  So you would never feed your turtle Doritos right?  Of course not, but other foods are less obvious.  Would an Alabama box turtle likely find tasty bananas in the wild?  Not so much, but the rule can be stretched here, because a turtle from Bolivia, might indeed find this food in his habitat.  A turtle would never find any dairy food in his environment, so cheese is RIGHT OUT!  Buster was happy to share his herb garden with Shelldon, and I noticed immediately that he liked parsley, romaine lettuce and basil.  He wouldn’t take any food from my hand at all until I tried BANANA!

Now THIS is what I'm talkin' about!

Now THIS is what I’m talkin’ about!

OMG, do turtles like bananas!  Interestingly this is Buster’s favorite treat too.  For protein, I dug up some worms from my garden, and found some slugs living under a big water bowl in the back yard. (My life is rich and full)  He took those from my hand too.  The two water bowls I keep in the yard are large enough for him to take an occasional dip, and I’ve seen him enjoying a little float more than once.

Over the next few days, I found him hiding in various shady spots in the yard, but I didn’t see him venturing out very much.  On about the fourth day I noticed that he was casually strolling in the grass with his head high.  I thought it might be a good time to let him meet some new friends so I brought out the welcoming committee.

What a pwetty wock!

What a pretty rock!

Boring Rock!

Boring Rock!

Is that rock moving???

Is that rock moving???

As I write this post, I must report that it has been over a week since I’ve seen him.  I am hoping he’s just found a really good hiding place, but I fear he’s somehow gotten out of the yard and moved on to another turtle domicile. Wherever he is, I hope he’s safe and far away from cars.  🙂  I’ll let you know if he returns.  I really enjoyed having him in my backyard and would love to have another shelled creature again soon.

Here is your dose of “cuteness on crack” for the day…

Can you even stand it?

Can you even stand it?

 

Burlingame KittyBunnyChicken Farm, Reptile Rescue and Avian ICU

My neighbor, Jason called me to let me know he found an injured baby bluebird.  I went to get him and he’s now on a heating pad in my bathroom sink.

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Where am I?

He has no obvious injuries, but he can’t sit upright.  He keeps flopping over like he’s lost his equilibrium.

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I called the Alabama Wildlife Rescue Center and spoke to my pal Gina.  She said I should feed him some dry cat food soaked in water with some mushed up berries mixed in.  Thankfully I have that stuff so I’m preparing his meal right now.  Meantime, I’ve put his picture on our neighborhood website asking for volunteers to take him to the Wildlife Center, since I am without a car today.  I’ll take him there myself in the morning if he’s still with us.  😦

I'll do my best.

I’ll do my best.

It’s never ever dull around here.  I’ll do what I can to keep him alive until tomorrow.  Wish us both luck.

Burlingame Reptile Rescue Ranch

I was driving home about two weeks ago and spotted a turtle in the middle of a busy road.  I ALWAYS stop for these guys and give them an assist to the other side.  One day I’m gonna git kilt doing this, but I am compelled to stop.  The very few times I’ve kept driving, I’ve worried for days about the critter, so it’s just not a good plan for me to ignore the situation.  This time I left the car in the road on top of a hill where it could be seen for a mile so other cars could see me.  I got out quickly, grabbed the varmint and put him in the back seat floorboard.  By this time, three cars were patiently parked behind me and all the drivers were smiling. One guy gave me a “thumbs up”.  🙂 After I got home, I placed him in the tall grass in my back yard next to a full bowl of water.  It was then that I noticed that he was injured.  A car had clipped the front of his shell. A small chunk was missing and a two-inch crack ran from front to back.  His soft tissue looked  unharmed and I could see him blinking, although he kept his head tucked in.  For the time being, I decided to hope for the best and do a GOOGLE search on the care and feeding of box turtles later in the day.

Meet Shelldon

Meet Shelldon

I’m not the only turtle-rescuing nut job in my family.  About a year ago, Jim found a giant snapping turtle in the parking lot of The Home Despot.  It had crawled from a drainage ditch and was traversing the lot with surprising speed.  Not wanting even this giant monster to come to harm, Jim found a way to save the big guy from smushdom.  He found a big stick and taunted the pre-historic beast until he bit.  Using the stick, Jim dragged Mr. Snapper to the grassy, water-filled ditch  The turtle let go of the stick and ambled off down the ditch. Not sure if I would have done this.

And once, when I was a kid in Mississippi, I watched in horror as a truckload of mouth-breathers swerved to HIT a gopher turtle crossing the dirt road in front of our house.  They injured it terribly but did not kill it.  They were laughing as they drove away.  I ran to get Daddy and he put the poor creature out of his misery.  😦  There is a special corner in Hades for these people. I hope they are reborn with hard shells and get driven over daily by Lucifer’s Land Rover.  OK, that was a bit much.  Sorry.  I’ll dial it down a bit.  Bottom line…people who purposefully hurt animals can go to H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks.

Hear Hear!

Hear Hear!

More later on my new pet, but in the meantime, if any of my neighbors rescue a turtle, injured or otherwise, please don’t hesitate to drop him off in my back yard.  NO SNAPPIES PLEASE!!! I’ve always thought it would be fun to be a TURTLE HERDER.  Say that three times fast. 🙂