Chicks & Chickens

Donna Jean & Marcie have followed both my blogs since around 2011 and yet they had never met my chickens.  Sadly they missed their chance with Rosie & Violet, but they were excited to meet my big yellow girl during their visit here.  We headed to Tuskegee where Daisy lives with my pal Debbie’s remaining flock of chickens.  You’ll recall months ago how her birds were brutally attacked by wild dogs and she lost over half her chickens including Rosie & Violet (who now reside in my pet cemetery). https://kittybunnychicken.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2878&action=edit

But on a happier note, after getting lost (AGAIN!) we arrived safely but late to Debbie’s beautiful little farm and we were armed with sliced grapes for Daisy.  I like to think that the old girl knows my voice, but the truth is, she probably sees the grapes and knows she’s in for a treat.  Donna Jean was in the mood to make Daisy jump and she did not disappoint.

Show me your stuff girl!

Show me your stuff girl!

THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!

THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about!

She does not get the “air” she used to because she’s an old lady chicken now and it’s just too hard for her to achieve the 3-4 feet stunt-jumping of her youth.  But she was in rare form and was happy to pose for a picture with two of my other favorite chicks.

Can't decide who's prettiest!  Who are we kidding, it's Daisy!

Can’t decide who’s prettiest! Who are we kidding, it’s Daisy!

Debbie informed me of some surprising and happy news about my former pet.  Daisy has a boyfriend!

The handsome gentleman in the background is Claude, Daisy's new beau.

The handsome gentleman in the background is Claude, Daisy’s new beau.

Claude has been a fixture on Debbie’s farm for as long as I’ve been visiting.  He’s a gentle giant who poses no threat to birds or human.  Debbie did have a beautiful little rooster named Rufus, who was a menace to life and limb and became such a threat that Walter had to dispatch him to the great chicken farm beyond.  Roosters can be very dangerous, but not so Claude.  He (like Daisy) has been through two life-threatening experiences with wild animals so he and Daisy have a common bond.  Maybe they talk about their traumatic times with each other, thus eliminating any need for professional counseling.  Debbie says they sleep (roost) together and night, and hang out all day with each other, scratching for bugs and pecking in the yard.  This makes me very happy.  She was lost when her two baby-hood friends were killed in the attack and it warms my heart that she has a new companion to spend her golden years with. 🙂

For anyone who is still concerned about my stray kitty GT, who had such a terrible day a couple of weeks ago when I tried to “save” him by trapping him on my screen porch, you have no need to fear.  It took about four days, but he has forgiven me and returned to our house for his morning treat of soft cat food.

I'm keepin' my eye on you!

I’m keepin’ my eye on you!

He only has one eye.  OK, that was not funny.  Sorry GT.

OK, we’ve had some kitty…some chicken…so it’s time for some…

BUNNY!

BUNNY!

Male bonding never looked so good.  🙂

 

Girlfriend Reunion

This blog post has only a marginal connection to Kitties, Bunnies or Chickens, but you’ll forgive my digression, as I intend to pay homage to some dear friends who visited Casa de Burlingame last week.  Way back in the day (1986) I began graduate school at Mississippi State University (Go Dogs!) with four of the best friends I would have for the rest of my life.  The five of us all finished with our Masters degrees in English in 1988, with the exception of yours truly.  I popped out a baby that fall, and had to lighten may academic load to make it to the finish line.  (I did finish the following summer.) I’ll never forget the first day of class.  I was painfully aware that I was the dumbest in the group, and if I was going to survive I needed to glom onto some smart people to help me get by.  The first girl to catch my attention was Marcie.  She was a fully-growed woman with three children but I did not know that at the time.  My first impression of her was of this tall kid with the fresh and happy attitude of an eight year-old.  She smiled all the time and she bubbled like champagne when she talked.  I was a newly minted Air Force wife still learning how to cook and clean, and this single mom working her way through graduate school blew my mind with how she managed to do everything with grace and humor.  When she walked in the door for last weekends visit, I was struck by the fact that she does not age.  I mean, she’s drinking some kind of Voodoo juice and I do wish she would share!

I kid you not...this chick is 62 years old. (I asked permission to divulge this fact!)

I kid you not…this chick is 62 years old. (I asked permission to divulge this fact!)

She still speaks and acts like a kid, and it is impossible to be in a bad mood around her.  Everyone needs a “Marcie” in their lives and I’m glad I have my very own.

Marcie lives and teaches in Starkville, MS.  On her way to my house she drove through Tuscaloosa to pick up another member of the gang.  Donna Jean was, and is, the Glamazon of our group.  She furthered her education after grad school by attending USM and earning an MFA.  She teaches English and Drama in the Tuscaloosa Public school system and she has her own history in film acting and theater.  Look for her waving on a float at the end of the Miss Firecracker Contest starring Holly Hunter. (1989)  Donna Jean intimidated the few boys in our group who were getting their MAs, but she did attract the attention of many of our distinguished professors.  She walked like a queen and had the kind of posture that reminded me of a movie star from the 40s.  She had a long tangle of black curly hair and a body modeled after the classic Coke bottle.  She spoke with a sultry, throaty tone exacerbated by a college smoking habit. Naughty girl! She retains her looks and her regal bearing and it was a joy being with her and Marcie for a whole weekend.

Teacher mode!

Teacher mode!

Another member of our little group couldn’t be with us because her mom was undergoing some medical procedures and she had to help out.  Dee Anna lives in Cabot, Arkansas where she teaches college English.  She was always a professional little power house of a girl and she reminded me of the tightly wound Holly Hunter character in Broadcast News.  Hmmmmmm…two Holly Hunter references in one post.  What’s up with that? I attended her wedding at 8 1/2 months pregnant which made for an exciting ride back home with false labor pains and a desperate search for a hospital exit before the days of GPS!  We have Air Force pilot husbands in common (both now retired) so we travelled a lot in our married life.  I use this as an excuse for the fact that I have never had a full-time teaching job, and have only taught on a part-time basis, while my colleagues have not only managed to maintain families and full-time jobs, but inspire and lead so many kids during their many years of dedicated service.  I have not laid eyes on Dee Anna in over 20, years, but judging from her FB posts she’s still the powerful pixie I remember and love.

Titan Tinkerbell!

Titan Tinkerbell!

Sadly the fifth member of our tribe died in 2008 from breast cancer.  Lauri was the smartest of us all.  Of this there is no doubt.  She routinely held three jobs, partied hard, slept little and finished papers at the last minute after putting them off for weeks.  Her work was always stellar and she made me a nervous wreck.  I was the kind of goober who finished work early and turned in papers before I could misplace them. Lauri existed on coffee and excitement, and was the kind of girl who dated often and with great variety.  She was brave, brash and BALLSY! (pardon the French, but that word was INVENTED for her!) None of her boyfriends were ever good enough for her, (Right ladies?) and even though she eventually did marry and have two beautiful children, her match was not one that dreams are made of.  Despite this, she became a wonderful mother and much-lauded teacher for many years in Katy, Texas.  Lauri fell victim to a particularly brutal form of disease known as inflammatory breast cancer.  But don’t call her a victim.  After months of going to doctors who could not find anything wrong with her, she diagnosed herself with the help of a medical library and the burgeoning internet.  She was able to get treatment for her cancer but her recovery was short-lived.  Marcie and I made a journey to see her during her illness and we were astounded to see our friend fighting bravely and with dignity and humor.  Here is a picture of us together then.  My hair is just growing back out after chemotherapy and she is wearing a wig to cover her baldness.

Look at her smile!  She was the most positive person I ever met!

Look at her smile! She was the most positive person I ever met!

Yes, not, one, not two but THREE of us are members of the “BC” club.  Laurie’s health rallied and then she began to fail again within the year, so this time Donna Jean and I made our way out to see her one final time.  We stayed in a hotel room along the way where I was treated to a tour of the scars criss-crossing Donna Jean’s body after her very recent breast reconstruction.  She was proud of the work and I was impressed as well.  She took the opportunity to have her new “bionic boob” (club members are allowed to talk like that!) downsized and had the other one made to match.  The effect was great and she was much more comfortable with her frame.  I did not opt for reconstruction so I list to one side. Too much information?  Sorry!  But my mammograms only take HALF as long as yours! 🙂 Lauri died after a terrible and lingering struggle, and left her two kids behind to be raised by her beloved brother and his new wife.  We all miss her and talked of her many times during the weekend.  Here we are toasting her on our big night on the town in Montgomery.

Thanks for dinner Jim!
Thanks for dinner Jim!

This post has gotten long and I haven’t even mentioned our great visit to Tuskegee to visit another girlfriend of mine, Daisy Chicken.  Now that I’ve introduced everyone, look for a fun post tomorrow with some “chicken” in it.  I wish for everyone to have such friends and not to wait too long to get together with them as we have done.  The best part of any of our lives is having people to love, and love us back and I count myself a lucky girl.  I wish the same for you.  Life is short.  Fill it with good stuff while you can. 🙂

*For Lauri*

 

 

Goodbye Little Smokey

We had Smokey for two weeks and he lost weight everyday despite our efforts, and a visit to our vet for help.  He had constant diarrhea and he was almost always uncomfortable if not in pain.  You can’t ask a kitten if they hurt and on the 14th day, I made a hard decision to have him put to sleep.  There were some other circumstances that affected my decision, but they are too sad to put in a blog, so just take my word…he needed relief from his suffering.  Here are some unpublished photos of a sweet little kitten who tried very hard. 😦

Sleeping with his stuffed buddy.

Sleeping with his stuffed buddy.

Enjoying the porch with his big buddy.

Enjoying the porch with his big buddy.

My "dog-person" friend, really lost her heart to this little guy.  He liked her a lot too.

My “dog-person” friend, really lost her heart to this little guy. He liked her a lot too.

Enjoying a sunbeam.

Enjoying a sunbeam.

Sadly, I got no help from Mulder with this kitten.  In fact, he was depressed and weird the whole time Smokey was with us.  My gut tells me that animals can sense sickness in other animals and maybe he just didn’t want to get too close to an animal who was too ill to survive.  Who knows.  Maybe he was just jealous of Smokey and mad that he was in his space.  He never tried to hurt him, but he never gave him any love or comfort.  I forgive my big boy.  He can’t save them all.

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Sad boy.

Jim made a tiny grave for him in our ever-growing pet cemetery, and he sleeps in good company in our back yard.  Rest peacefully Smokey. Say hi to Missy, Boots, Dave, Boo Boo, Bitsy, Rosy, Violet and Roger the Wonder Hamster when you get to the Rainbow Bridge.

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Rescue Gone Awry

You may remember a post not too long ago about two stray cats who hang around our house.  Orange Kitty is still availing herself of our bounty and intimidating some of the natives as well.

Leave Mr. Mulder alone!  He's a Chicken Kitty!

Leave Mr. Mulder alone! He’s a Chicken Kitty!

There’s another cat that I have only been able to get a picture of recently since he is EXTREMELY shy and scared.  We call him G.T. (for Gray Tabby).

I did NOT sign a release for this photo.

I did NOT sign a release for this photo.

I’ve had big plans to trap each cat and take them to the vet for complete check ups and neutering, but I just have not done it yet.  (Thanks for the loan of the trap Martha!)  We’ve recently started to worry about GT because he seems very old, he has something wrong with his left eye, he has an infected claw, a giant tick the size of the Hindenburg on his back, plus we’re pretty sure he’s deaf.  I didn’t want to traumatize him with the trap so I devised a plan to gently close him up in our kitty carrier instead.  GT has been getting a morning treat of soft cat food for a few weeks now.  Every time we see him on the porch we sneak as close to him as possible and put down a small stinky plate of food.  He goobles it up every time. So this morning I snuck out on my porch in my very sexy granny-style nightgown (a real treat for the neighbors, I assure you) and placed the carrier a few feet away from the old gentleman.

I showed him the food and he watched as I sloooooowwwwwly put it in the very back of the carrier.  I stepped back and he cautiously entered the carrier and started to eat.  I snuck up behind the carrier and shut the door!  Yay!  I was very happy to capture him with so little drama.  Jim and I made him a halfway house on the back porch with food, water, a litter box and a kitty hidey-hole.  We have a small tear in our screen that Jim covered with cardboard and leaned some firewood against so GT wouldn’t see it and try to make the hole bigger.  It’s only the size of a quarter, but you never know.  At first he was panting and he seemed frantic to escape, but about an hour later he looked like this.

I need to call my lawyer.

I need to call my lawyer.

Mulder & Rowdy do not like the lingering scent of their new tenant.

Mulder & Rowdy do not like the lingering scent of their new tenant.

Our plan was to get him used to the back porch until he felt safe and we could get close enough to pet him and possibly tame him before we took him to the vet for treatment of his ailments.  This plan, however, will not come to fruition.  I left the house for an hour to run an errand, and when I came back I found this…

DSC01496

He moved the logs, pushed aside the boards and widened the hole enough to escape the clutches of our hospitality.  We’ve probably set our progress back months now.  He’ll find it even harder to trust us and he’ll never fall for the old “food in the carrier trick” again. Oh well, we won’t give up and maybe one day he’ll forget the indignities he suffered today and let us try again to get him some medical attention.  At least Jim was able to get Mr. Bloodsucker off his back.  Small comfort. 😦

Holy Smokey!

Yes, I have a new foster kitten and we named him Smokey.  He’s a beautiful little guy and I have a neighbor to thank for bringing him to me.

This thing is called a "pillow?"  I LIKE it!

This thing is called a “pillow?” I LIKE it!

Durwood and Leslie are friends and neighbors of mine. They are very talented and successful photographers and they’ve taken some really nice pics of my pets through the years.  Well, 24 hours after I dropped little Stormy off at the shelter, Leslie called and said that Durwood had found a small kitten who was soaked and abandoned.  WHO YA GONNA CALL???  Well NOT Ghostbusters. 🙂 So he brought the tiny guy to me and I started trying to feed him and make him feel at home.  He was thin but not dangerously so and he did seem to have an appetite.  I made an appointment to take him to the shelter for the next morning so they could check him out and register him as my foster kitten.  And 24 hours after Durwood brought me Smokey, he brought me this…

Buzzy

Buzzy

We aren’t sure if this little fellow was from the same litter or not.  He was about half the size of Smokey and he had some injuries that I will not go into.  Durwood found him clinging to a tree trunk and some buzzards were taking an interest in him.  😦  So the next morning, I took both babies to the shelter for check ups and it appeared that Smokey was on his way to health and happiness.  Not so with Buzzy.  They quickly and MERCIFULLY put him to sleep and although I was blubbering uncontrollably, I was grateful to these dedicated folks at the Montgomery Humane Shelter.  Sometimes, letting an animal out of his misery is the kindest thing that can be done.  I thank his rescuer from the bottom of my heart since there is no way to tell how long this little guy would have suffered alone and in pain.  Thank  you Durwood.

So, now we have a little creature in our house again and I promise to keep you posted on his progress and many adventures.  He’s very much underweight and I’m struggling to find a perfect combination of food/milk to get into his tummy.  Babies this small really need their mommies to get proper nutrition, but humans can step in and do an OK job of it.  I’ll give it my very best shot.

Hope everyone had a lovely Father’s Day yesterday.  I’ve profiled my crazy Daddy here in my blog several times.  Here is one of my favorite pictures of my handsome husband and our pretty kid at her basic training graduation in 2008 on Randolph AFB.

She'd better get started on those medals if she wants to keep up with her Dad!

She’d better get started on those medals if she wants to keep up with her Dad!

She’s no longer in the Air Force, but I think they both look beautiful in their uniforms.  Happy Father’s Day Jim.  You’ve been a great husband for 28 years and a FANTASTIC father for 25.  I hope Hannah Banana knows how lucky she is.  🙂

Stormy We Hardly Knew Ye

I took Stormy to the shelter two days ago and wanted to share the last few photos I took of the little guy while he lived here with us.

No Stormy, this is not a real rooster.

No Stormy, this is not a real rooster.

It's EXHAUSTING being cute all the time!

It’s EXHAUSTING being cute all the time!

Last hug from Mr. M. :(

Last hug from Mr. M. 😦

Weigh in. 2 pounds 3 oz.

Weigh in. 2 pounds 3 oz.

Stormy

Stormy

We will miss him.  He was one of the most personable foster kittens we’ve ever had the pleasure to know.  He won’t last long in the kitten room.  I know he’ll be adopted quickly and I’ll keep you posted on this.  Oh yes…

Exactly 24 hours after I dropped him off a neighbor brought me a little surprise.

Meet Smokey :)

Meet Smokey

🙂

Stormy’s Lease is Up

My sweet little foster kitten weighs two pounds.  It’s time to take him back to the shelter to get his “surgery” and then go to the kitten room to be adopted.  I actually could have taken him back a few days ago, but my nephews were visiting and I knew they’d enjoy playing with Stormy, so I extended his lease.

They were completely baffled by my 1940's rotary dial phone.  :)

They were completely baffled by my 1940’s rotary dial phone. 🙂

The boys left yesterday and I have to steel my heart and take him back very soon.  Before I do that, I wanted to share some photos I haven’t had time to publish.  I thought this one was off the charts on the “cute” meter…

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…but then he yawned.

:)

🙂

More female admirers…

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Outdoor time with his favorite friend.

Daddy had monkey toes.

Daddy has monkey toes.

Hi Mulder, can I sit with you?

Hi Mulder, can I sit with you?

I love you Mulder.

I love you Mulder.

I wish I could stay here. :(

I wish I could stay here. 😦

Does he hafta leave Mom?

Does he hafta leave Mom?

Yes, but not  until tomorrow. *sniff*