Flow - Just Livin'

Flow - Just Livin'
Florida Sunrise

Friday, 26 February 2010

The Cooper's Hawk

Several people have asked for an update on the Hawk. We called the CROW office today, and the doctor said that he died last night. They gave him some painkillers, but he apparently had a neck injury as we thought. He said it was a Cooper's Hawk. He was a beautiful bird. Jesse said the doctor thanked us for caring enough to bring him in, however, so that was good. I thought they might lecture us on trying to rescue it ourselves without the proper training.

Some of you have mentioned Wild Kingdom, and I would have to agree. I have so enjoyed all the wildlife out here, and being on the canal. We see interesting animals all the time. I remembered to ask Jesse about the hog pictures last night, so I'll try to post some of those soon. They babies were so cute. I love little pigs.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Saturday Part One

"It was a morning like any other morning...." No, obviously not!

"I had nothing to do that day...." Hahahaha!

"It was a quiet, warm Florida morning..." Not even close.

"It was a dark and stormy night...." No, Snoopy, sorry it doesn't work here either.

Essentially, it began Friday night........

Saturday Part 2

I did wake Saturday morning to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, but it was laced with another rather puzzling odor. I went into the kitchen and poured a cup, added the sweetener and French vanilla creamer and headed into the office where Jesse was doing some photography work on the computer.

“Does something smell weird to you?” I asked. “Sort of wine-y?”

“Yes, I noticed a strange smell too, and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.”

We both walked into the dining room where the smell grew stronger. Delilah was catnapping on one of the chairs under the table. We sniffed. Skunk.

“Oh no, I’ve never had to give her a bath before!” I whined. “She is NOT going to like it!”

“Do you want me to go to the store for tomato juice?” Jesse offered generously. Mmhmm. He didn’t offer to wash the cat.

“No, that didn’t work with Onyx. Jerry Dragoo the skunk guy said to use chlorine bleach. I’ll try that. AFTER breakfast.”

So we had pancakes and eggs and bacon (the Saturday Menu) and Jesse left to pick up Logan for the weekend while I cleaned up the kitchen and prepared to bathe the Cat.

Saturday Part 3

Yes, I realize I have yet to post video or photos of the new house. I hope to get to that soon, but for now, picture in your mind the following scene……

One the east side of our house, the living room looks out over an enclosed lanai (a screened-in porch for my Arkansas friends and family). Jesse made a small door of plexiglass in one window so the cats could get in and out on their own, and enjoy the weather. And not drive us insane with constant meowing to go in and out. A very nice fixture, and Kylee, the 14-month-old girl I’ve been babysitting loves throwing her toys out of it.

Recently a driving wind ruined the door closer to the screened door on the lanai, so the door is open about six inches. This is good for the cats, but it was not so good Saturday morning.

I was washing off the countertops with my back to the cat door when I heard the blinds clatter and a small crashing sound. I turned just in time to see Lenny, the tuxedo cat, dive through the cat door with what looked like a black whip flying behind him like a cowboy’s lariat. I screamed. I’m not sure what; just suffice it to say I screamed.

It was a snake about four feet long, and Lenny had it by the tail!

Of COURSE he turned it loose in the living room and it got away from him, but was having trouble on the slippery tile floor, so Lenny was able to pounce on it.

I’m thinking, Get a shovel, get a bucket, call Jesse, get the camera

“Lenny, catch that snake!”

Living on a canal, I have been observant about the possibility of snakes, but haven’t seen a poisonous one yet. Not wanting to take chances, I grabbed the phone and called Jesse.

Who had just survived an adventure of his own when he stopped to photograph a family of wild hogs. The female started to charge and pawed the ground. He thought he could run and leap over a barbed wire fence, but noticed that the bottom wire was about three feet off the ground. He decided to run for the car, and made it. He got some pretty good pictures.

He said that, from my description, it was probably an indigo snake. They are a protected species in Florida, and he said we want them because they eat the poisonous snakes. That sounds reasonable, but now that I think about it, what is it doing here? Eating poisonous snakes. That must mean we HAVE POISONOUS SNAKES!

Pacifist that he is, he told me to get a bucket out of the garage and put it over the snake until he got home. He wanted to identify it.

I had calmed down by now, and thought it looked non-poisonous, so I found the camera and took a few TELEPHOTO shots. Then I got a bucket and, gingerly standing as far away as possible (and prepared to wet myself if it crawled my way) turned it upside-down over the snake and set a large clay flower pot on top of it.

When Jesse and Logan got home, we got a cookie sheet and slid it underneath the bucket and THEY carried the snake outside and released it in the brush.

We decided to close the cat door at night, at the very least. We don’t want critters slithering around when we’re asleep!

Saturday Part 4

Jesse and Logan decided to go back to a garage sale they had passed and buy Logan’s birthday present of choice: a dirt bike. To paraphrase Logan, “To my big brother, it’s a dirt bike; to my friends, it’s a motorcycle; to my mom, it’s a minibike.”

While they were working with the dirt bike, I gave Delilah a shower with bleach water. She must have been so grateful to get that smell off, because she did not fight, scratch, or try to get away. She was not a happy camper, however, as her picture reveals. But the house definitely smells better!

With the cat smelling baby fresh and the mess from the snake cleaned up (though Lenny was still searching for it), I took the camera outside to shoot some pictures of the boys with their new toy.

You know, I think I’ll just let the photos tell that story.

Saturday - Conclusion

And now, as I’m writing this, a hawk or falcon just flew into my back door! He crashed into the yard, and I think he hurt his spine because he can’t stand. So, while I’m waiting on the nature center to call me back about helping him, he is in a box in the bathroom, protected from the cats. There is a large flock of migrating robins outside, and he was probably trying to catch one. I’ll update everybody when I get info!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

New Kat On The Block

People who have known us for long (I’d say a few days is enough) know that Jesse and I are animal lovers. Only one of our five pets was personally selected by us. The rest were abandoned or lost and we found ourselves (more or less) adopted.

Chewbacca is the newcomer. Chewie for short, of course. We thought he looked like the big “wookie” from Star Wars, with his long hair, big body, and exceptionally big hairy paws. Oh, and don’t forget a voice that could stop (or start) a riot. He is probably the most vocal cat I’ve ever had.

Chewie also has two other exceptional characteristics: He has “thumbs,” the toe that usually sits back on the inside of the paw is long, nimble and extends beyond and separate from his other toes. He uses his thumbs for grasping things, and I expect any day to discover him with a pair of scissors, cutting out paper dolls!

His second somewhat unique trait is that he appears to love water. He wades in the canal, jumps into the birdbath, and I often find him splashing the water in the toilet with his paws. It will be interesting to see if he swims in the canal when it is deeper.

The sad part of this story is that we don’t know if Chewie was lost or abandoned. When he arrived at our back door during the Christmas season, he was so thin that we were afraid to pet him much. He appears to have been in some kind of accident, either a car, or possibly abused by someone, because he has some badly mended ribs, and his gait is a little stiff. He also has been declawed and neutered, so he did not really have the “right stuff” for surviving in the wild. In addition, he has a microchip, but his former owners did not register it, and no one answered my Lost and Found ad.

So Chewie is a beloved member of our family and has adapted well. He’s gained about four pounds, his nose and gums are no longer white, but a healthy pink, and Jesse is his new best friend. If Jesse is at home, Chewie is usually tagging along, and he sleeps next to him at night. I’m only the person who feeds him, and pets him if his best friend isn’t nearby!