Tuesday, March 19, 2013

When PIGS fly . . . no, seriously

15 July 2012

I absolutely MUST find something better than Craig's list to entertain my hubby when I shop.  We spent a day in Houston back in March, and I did some much needed clothes shopping, since I now have to actually appear PRESENTABLE a couple of days a week when I go into the office.   Now, Steve would rather take a beating than hang out in a fat lady clothing store while I shop, so he stayed in the car, and entertained himself by trolling though Craig's list.  I came out a little while later to find him with a whole new enthusiasm . . . for micro pigs of all things.  (Really?  Pigs???)

Now, we have discussed several times lately about whether we'll be getting another dog when Molly and/or Brodie go to doggie heaven.  We love them, but they are both elderly dogs (Molly is 15, and Brodie 10), and each has some health problems (their monthly meds are more than Steve's and mine COMBINED - and I'm counting OTC Aleve and Tyelenol into that total, lol).  Somehow, though, I never thought PIGS were on the agenda . . . though I had to admit, they looked pretty cute.  And supposedly didn't get to be more than 30 pounds.   Really, though, I had something more like an English Bulldog in mind!

Now, this is the man who not only allows, but supports my fixation with breeding Birmans, so I have a hard time telling him 'no' when he wants a pet of his own.  So he called the breeder, and we discussed obtaining a 'micro piggie' of our very own.  Somehow, cooler heads prevailed, and we managed to get home without one . . . a minor miracle!

So, like a woman forgetting the pain of childbirth, and having another baby, we went to San Antonio a few weeks ago, and I again left Steve in the car, while I shopped around Hobby Lobby, trying to match some fabric for a quilt I was making.  I came back out to the car to find him all excited.  "Babe, you'll never guess who called me!!  Thank micro pig breeder from Houston!  She's got a piggie in Victoria that needs to be rescued!!!"  " I told her we'd go look at him!!!"

GULP . . . "you did, huh?"

So, there we were, 2.5 hours later, at 10pm on a Friday night, in this decaying trailer on the 'poor side' of town, looking at this little pig in a rusty old dog crate.  He was crammed in there with his litter box, food, and an old towel to sleep on.  They woke him up for us to look at . . . and let's just say he seemed somewhat less than trilled to meet us.

The owner let him out to see us.  'Dexter' wasn't what I'd call overjoyed.  

Me, trying to gently discourage this:  "He doesn't seem very friendly.  You don't want him, right, honey"?

"Oh, no, we HAVE to take him."  What the hell, I don't have good sense, either.  And Steve was right, after seeing how he lived (and I don't think he hardly ever got out of the crate) it would have been hard to live with ourselves if we just left him there.  I love my hubby for lots of reasons, but the fact that he's kind to animals is one of the biggest. 

Oh, my.  Looks like we've got ourselves a pig.

TO BE CONTINUED . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, March 18, 2013

My Goat Has Been Gotten . . . Reflections on what I think of our current political farce, and other topics

I 'shared' the above photo on FaceBook today, and promptly got a response of "We could go a bit further and say give it back to the Native Americans. It was their country to begin with, not ours."

I'm calling Bullshit here.  This country belongs to those who built it, and to those who continue to build, support, love, RESPECT and fight for and bleed for it.   I have no problem with supporting the education of LEGAL aliens and immigrants. I do have issues with any smart ass who thinks that those who are in this country illegally, living off the honest sweat, tears and BLOOD of others, are more deserving than the folks who are willing to lay down their lives to protect America and her people.

We have turned into a country of people who cannot see the forrest for the trees, espousing this cause or that, simply to hear ourselves rant.  It's more about what's 'cool' to say or stand for, than it is the reality of our situation.  And, I'm pretty sure that if you're the guy standing on metal sticks, you have a pretty good grasp of today's realities.  

If you're willing to put your money where your mouth is, get your ass to that recruiting station and be willing to stand up for it with more than your poison pen and words.  That guy you're dissing with your comments was willing to put his money (and his LIFE) where his mouth was . . .  and your simplistic naivete' is insulting to him and everyone man and woman defending our country today, and their families!!!  That guy literally shed his blood so you have the right to your views.  How about you man up a little, huh?

It's no secret, I am not a supporter of our current administration.  Nor am I in favor of our current society's apparent need to race willy-nilly toward total chaos and calamity.   Why is the guy who's not working (although he is capable of doing so) more exempt from drug testing, than the one who's breaking his back daily for a minimum wage job?  Why is it OK to insult the military, and not a 'liberal'?  Why if I don't agree with our Idiot-In-Chief, am I automatically a 'racist'?  I don't care if you're black, white, brown, yellow, or pink with purple polka-dots.  I don't care if you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindi, Buddhist, Wiccan, or some other religion I don't know anything about. I don't care if you're straight, gay, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, or reproduce via a test tube.  I don't care what political party you belong to (both the major ones are full of idiots in my opinion) or if you'll be an independent to your dying day.  I don't care if you've got a 3rd grade education (although, I think that's a shame and a waste of a lot of potential), or are stacking doctorates on your wall.   I do care if your politics and policies are about to drive our country into the ground, or if you think you particular religion or political leanings make you think it's OK to hurt or murder people who differ from you.

It's time to wake the hell up and stand up and be counted!  I don't care for political labels, and God knows I don't want to affiliate myself with the idiots who are claiming the rape is OK, or who deny good people basic rights like marriage because of their sexual orientation.  But, really, can't we just agree that common sense should rule the day at this point?

And by common sense, I mean:

Stop sending money OUT of our country, until we're paying our own bills, and feeding our own hungry.

Don't support any country and/or regime that has no respect for America.

Educate, and support education for all American citizens, BEFORE extending this benefit to others. 

Support equal rights for all, including marriage benefits for same-sex couples.

Respect all religions, but not at the expense of the (Christian) values this county was founded on.

Support and respect our Military and their families, including paying them a living wage, and maintaining their health and education benefits. 

Respect our constitutional right to own and bear arms . . . or be willing to feel the boot of tyranny on your neck.

Now, at 50+ years old, I could give a rat's hairy ass what anyone thinks of me or my opinions, but I sure do give a damn about how people respect America. 

Stand up and be counted, or knuckle under to the erosion of your country . . . the choice is yours, America!  I know where I stand.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Adventures of Justin

15 February 2013

I received one of the best 'kitten emails' I've ever gotten a few days ago, and just want to share it with everyone, as it perfectly describes a Birman.  Beth has been generous enough to allow me to share her email and pictures of Justin (BumbleBe Just In Time).  Justin lives with Beth and Keagan in the Denver, Colorado area.  Thanks to Beth for allowing me to share Justin's antics, and especially for giving him a great home!

"Hi Leslie,

Just thought I'd give you some Justin news and pictures - feel free to share them around if you'd like.

Justin is growing like a weed (8.25 lbs now) and is really starting to develop his own unique and funny personality.  He is probably the smartest cat I've ever had.  He took to walking on the harness in less than 2 tries, and apart from wriggling a bit when we first put it on, he now goes instantly to the door for a walk as soon as we show him the harness.  He walks just like a well-trained puppy, and learned within a week what our various command words were: come, wait, leave it, etc. (I use a big goose feather as a target when clicker training them; they zero in on it like nothing else).  He's made instant friends with our neighbors, the Sawyers- they have a 5 year old little boy Sawyer who is especially fond of kitties (they also have a big friendly orange tabby cat).  Justin is especially fascinated with Sawyer, and if he sees him outside in the yard, he will "mrrowl" loudly to announce to us that he'd like to go say hi.  We only ever let him outside of our cat-fenced enclosure when he's in the harness, and he's very good about being picked up / carried and not panicking if we see a dog or something.  He is becoming a pretty good shoulder rider, but his favorite way to be carried is upside-down cradled like a baby (no, really, he is super crazy about it and will purr and go limp and beg for a belly rub as soon as you flip him over).

He's also quite the entertainer.  He loves to play with mylar crinkle balls, feather teasers or sparkle teasers, and those little cheap fuzzy mice with the feather tails (he likes any toy that sparkles and/or rattles, basically) but his special favorite toy is a champagne cork cage that he "won" from a guest at a party (by basically being super cute and vocal, and reaching for it with a paw until we figured out what he was "asking" for).  We made sure it doesn't have any ends sticking out, but otherwise he'll chase and bat and carry it all over the place.  We have a "toy box" for both of the boys where we pitch all the dozens of not-in-service toy mice and soforth, and Justin is a pro at climbing up into the toy box, and selecting a toy (usually his champagne cage) to carry around and play with.  Keagan taught him to play "fetch" with a feather mousie within 3 or 4 sessions, although being a typical cat, he will only play "fetch" when the mood strikes him.

Oh and talking.  Justin is a champion talker.  He definitely has a large vocabulary of his own unique and endless repertoire of different "words" and noises.  One of his signature tricks is to "ask" for something (food, a toy, something interesting on the TV, whatever.)  He will point a paw and trill / mrowl at whatever he wants until we either give it to him, or say "no, Justin, not for kitty!".  The TV is an endless source of fascination for him, with his 2 favorite subjects being football and Top Gear (UK car show), which just goes to show, you can take the cat out of Texas, but not the Texas out of the cat.  Something about the noise and motion really gets him worked up, and he will stand on the media stack batting at the players / cars or "talking" to them for as long as the show is on.

He and Marlowe are fast friends and love to chase, play-wrestle and play soccer / stalk with toys together.  As you can see by the photos they also sleep curled up together in/on whatever bed, box, perch or surface they can stuff or otherwise contort themselves into together.  The intro has been especially good for Marlowe, who has definitely become more active and engaged in play and less shy around guests owing to Justin's gregarious personality.

Justin and Marlowe snuggled up.

Justin had his follow up booster at the vet awhile back, and was a super good patient.  He goes right in the carrier with no fuss, doesn't say a word in the car, and even though he's been to 2 checkups at the vet now (one for initial exam, one for booster) he has no fear of the vet, and even gives her the "happy cat" greeting of the quivering upright tail and cheek rub- something I have never seen any cat tell a vet until now!  Of course we still have to get him chipped and neutered, so he might change his mind, but I'm waiting for him to get a little more mature first.

They both sleep together curled up on our feet every night (although occasionally Justin decides he'd rather sleep curled up in my armpit or something).  I want you to know that Justin is really a wonderful cat and a real credit to the breed and to the time and work you put into raising your kittens.

I'm including an extra picture I took yesterday of Justin "begging" for me to take him for a walk, the little comedian.  He does this (as you can see) by jumping up onto the shoe rack next to the door (we keep all our spare keys/gloves/hats/shoes and the cats' walking harnesses on it), "mrrowling" and playing with the harness.  I half expect that he'll start retrieving the harness to us soon; he has already started bringing us toys he wants us to throw for him.

Justin waiting by the door for his walk.

I'll keep you updated on Facebook as well (Keagan posts a LOT of snapshots of the boys on his timeline) but for now, best of luck with the kitty clan, and enjoy the photos!

Beth & Keagan  "

I was just blown away - what a perfect little guy Justin is, and how well Beth captured his antics.
Thanks again Beth and Keagan!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Sex Fairy Visits . . .

So, we had a visit from the Sex Fairy last night.  No, it's not what you're thinking, lol! Get your mind out of the gutter!!!  Birman breeders all know that there are several small but powerful beings, who are in charge of things like, color, markings and gender in our kittens.  And last night the Sex Fairy deigned to visit BumbleBe Birmans.

A little background may be necessary:  Birmans are pointed cats, similar to the Siamese or Himilayan in their coloring (meaning they only have color on the points, or face, ears, legs and tail, versus being colored over the whole body), but they are neither long and skinny like the Siamese, or short and smushy-faced like the Himi.  In fact, according to most of us Birman folks, they are the PERFECT happy compromise between both extremes.  The Color Fairy is in charge (regardless of what genetics says SHOULD happen) of what color kittens you get.

Birmans are also known for their pretty little white feet, called gloves on the front, and laces on the back of their feet.  The Markings Fairy is in charge here - she determines whether you get pretty little show marked kittens, or if you get 'runners' (blazes of white color extending up the paw past the ideal point), or other little quirks like white chins and nose blazes, all of which are no-no's for showing Birmans.  Of course, these little color faults have no effect on how wonderful Birmans are as pets!!!

The Sex Fairy is in charge of whether you get girl kittens or boy kittens . . . and boy, has she been hard on me the last couple of years.  I mean, randomly, in any given litter or time period, you should statistically get fifty percent male and fifty percent female, right?  Well, I'm here to tell you, the Sex Fairy eats statistics for brunch, and laughs while doing it! 

Song (BumbleBe If Songs Could Be Held) and Dreamy (TGC BumbleBe Impossible Dream) had four kittens two weeks ago, on the 5th, three little boys, and one little girl.  I figured out pretty quickly that all three of the boys were either red or cream, since all are still white as the driven snow.  But I was having the hardest time figuring out what color the little girl is . . . I was guessing a lilac tortie (although that would have been a REAL long shot, genetics wise), but she almost HAD to be, since she was still snowy white, too.  I was just glad to have ONE girl out of the bunch.  (For the last two years, I've had a HUGE majority of male kittens, so girls are a happy outcome for me.)

Then last Friday, Maggie had her two kittens, both - you guessed it - male.  Sigh.  Oh, well, at least everyone is healthy!

Well, the Song's kittens are two weeks old, and starting to show little pink ears . . . and I took another really close look today . . . and lo and behold!  The Sex Fairy has visited . . . and my one lonely little girl kitten is now a boy.  Yep, four little red/cream boys.  But all healthy, so still blessed to have them.  Man, when do you think she's going to decide it's my turn for girl babies?!?!?   So far this year, we're now running a total of 14 boys, and 6 girls.    At some point, the Sex Fairy has to decide she likes me again!  I hope.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

An 'Eggcellent' Adventure in Sewing . . . or, how I forgot everything I used to know, lol!

So, a few months ago, I bought some of these egg shaped "pEi pods" that I thought would be great for 'mommy beds' for my girls having kittens.  (I hate it when they want to crawl in the litter box with kittens, but I know they do it because of the high sides, which make them feel safe.)  So I thought that being enclosed in these might make them happy - and I'm all about making my mommy cats happy, lol!

Anyway, the pods are pretty cool - looking like big pink eggs, and anyone who knows me, know I loves me some pink!  They came with these cute little yellow pads, which are pretty thick, and I was concerned about them not working well for babies, since I was afraid they might get kind of 'lost' under the pad, especially as newborns.  Plus, these were too thick for my little 'heater' to work to keep new babies warm.

I've got seven Spring kittens on the ground (that's a whole 'nother blog, though, lol!) but no new babies coming up for a while, so I wasn't in a big hurry to find a solution.  Until my friend Char asked if I'd kitty sit her Spacey (Starghatts HyperSpace) who was due anytime, while Char was out of town on a business trip to Washington, D.C.  Now, I've done this before . . . for Spacey as a matter of fact, who was quite frankly a huge pain in the ass as a first time mom.  So, sure, Char would do anything for me, so of course I'll watch her!

So Char dropped Spacey (who was HUGE, but supposedly not due for a while) off a couple of weeks ago, and I settled in for mommy watch.  She fooled me, and had the babies 3 days later, well before we expected them, not in her nice little pink pod, of course, but in the litter box . . . just like last time.  She did however, accept these little guys right from the start, and figured out how to at least clean them up . . . maybe she'll discover cords and placentas on her next litter?   At least, things went smoother this time, lol.  Progress has been made!   However, I digress . . .

Anyway, back to the pEi pods, and the need for liners for them.  So, since I'd not accomplished anything in the way of a small pad for the pEi pods (screw it, I'm calling them 'eggs' from here on out - deal with it), Spacey and her littles got a towel.  Functional, except when the babies crawled between the folded layers, or she squirreled it out of the egg.  Cage pads for the thing were obviously a priority at this point!

I was in Hobby Lobby today, and saw this terrific flannel (on sale, no less!!!) and had an 'Aha!' moment . . . I would SEW me some cage pads in this weird shape my own self!!!  How hard could it be, right???

Now, a bit of backstory here . . . I grew up sewing, thanks in large part to my Aunt Jesse Lee, who raised seven (yes, 7!!!) kids on pennies, and who could make ANYTHING.  I was never on her level, but I did sew quite a few of my own clothes, including a wedding dress!

                   (Cut me some slack on the hat . . . it WAS the 80's after all!!!)

But unfortunately, that was long ago, and far away, and I really hadn't sewn anything more than a hem (and that a long time ago) since my sister's girls were little (and they're in their late 20's with kids of their own now), so that should give you a pretty good indication of how little I've sewn for years and years.  

I am, however, a woman with little concept of my own limitations, so I KNEW I could do it!  What's that word that applies here?  Oh, yeah, I remember . . . HUBRIS, lol!

So I got the fabric, some batting, and thread (who the hell knows what I did with all that thread I used to have???  I couldn't even find some to sew on a button, a few months back!) and made myself a little pattern.  I laid my pretty, soft, kitten friendly flannel out, and cut out (not one but TWO - again, I have issues with limitations remember) sets of the fabric for the egg pads.  Found some pins (I knew all that jewelry making crap would come in handy!!!) and pinned my little egg pad layers together, pretty flannel, batting, and pretty flannel.   Oh, these are going to be so GREAT!!!

It only took me 20 minutes to remember how to THREAD the sewing machine . . . cursing my trifocals the whole time, of course.  So I popped those layers of material in the sewing machine, and buzzed those egg pads up in no time at all.  Boy, was I about to dislocate my shoulder, patting myself on the back . . . right up to the point I started to turn the first one right side out . . . and remembered that when you're making something with an inner layer, you have to put the right sides what will be the OUTSIDE of the finished product face to face, with the lining attached to the BACK of one of them . . . not between them, as I'd done it up.

Sigh . . . back to the drawing board . . .   so I repinned the 2nd one (thank goodness I was so impatient to see my wonderful finished product, that I turned the 1st one, before I sewed the 2nd one up!!!), and lo and behold, it WORKED!

So, Spacey and her littles are now resting comfortably on the first successful egg pad, lol.  It's a bit small, so I'll need to adjust my pattern size a bit . . . and probably my expectations of my sewing prowess a lot!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kitties Making Mudpies . . . Or the Great Mud Bath

Sometimes, you should pay more attention to details . . . like whether there's enough litter in the box to counterweight the fat kitty girl (named Gilda) who likes to brace her front feet on the side of the box while she's taking her morning constitutional.  Sigh . . . apparently, I am not detail oriented enough . . .

Gilda has two four- week-old baby boys, both of whom are cute as little pictures.  Gilda also has that common denominator of most Causey descendents, the compulsive need to scratch and cover in the litter box obsessively.  Together with the small box I put in her crate, so the babies could get into it to learn potty training, and her habit of standing braced on the side of the box, this was apparently  a bad mix . . . and by bad mix, I mean mud bath waiting to happen . . .

I got up yesterday AM and took Kenny in to my vet to be neutered.  (Kenny is 5 months old, and still looking for his forever home, since his original home was cancelled, due to illness in their family . . . and when I looked down at him on Wednesday, and did a double take because he had all of a sudden gotten so big, I had to check to make sure none of the mommies had escaped their crates, I knew it was time for the old snip-a-roo.  He weighed six and a quarter pounds at the vets, yesterday AM, so yeppers, time to neuter that boy!)  So, I didn't feed the babies before I left, so Kenny wouldn't feel cheated, by not being able to eat before his surgery.  Anyway, I digress . . .

So, I got home a little after 9AM, and as per my usual, went in to feed the horde.  I glanced over at Gilda's crate, and HOLY SHIT . . . my sweet little white powderpuffs had been replaced with muddy little gophers.  Both of them were covered stem to stern with 'litter mud', which is what you get when mommy kitty overbalances the box, spilling the litter and then scratches obsessively to cover the mess, resulting in turning the water bowl over, too.

There was mud on the babies, there was mud on Gilda, there was mud all over the crate, there was mud on the floor, there was mud on the little sorter shelf where I keep necessary kitten-room incidentals, there was even mud in the crate BELOW them . . . and I still don't know how the hell THAT happened.  I strongly suspect there is mud on the ceiling, but I've been too demoralized to look . . .

Now, I'm here to tell you that four week old Birman kittens will let you know vociferously that they do no like baths.  Nevertheless, both of the boys and mom Gilda all got them.  And then lounged in carriers with warm towels while I spent an hour (I shit you not) cleaning up the mud bath they'd given their crate, and most of the kitten room.  

The older kittens thought it was great fun to listen to me curse a blue streak as I was doing so.  They apparently thought I needed some laughs to cheer me up, so while I was busy Cloroxing and scrubbing Gilda's crate the two biggest of the little demons (Dreamy and Icey) managed to take a WHOLE fricking role of paper towels from behind me on the shelf of the cat tree, down to the floor, and make confetti out of it.  They may have miscalculated a trifle . . . laughing was really not what I did at that point . . .

I'm happy to report that the kitties (and I) have now recovered from the 'making mud pies' episode.  Strangely enough, I seem to recall it being a lot more fun as a kid!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Orange Curse . . .

I dunno how it happened . . . one minute I was at Sam's exchanging a pair of bluejeans for Steve (my hubby has done a fantastic job of losing about 70# and 10" off his waist, hence the MUCH smaller jeans needed) . .  . and the next thing you know there I was . . . unloading a BARREL of cheese balls onto the kitchen counter.

I mean, I got the fruit, low fat (i.e. plastic) crackers, skim milk, boneless/skinless chicken breasts . . . and cheese balls . . .I think I had a little blackout or something . . . can't have possibly been that I picked them up ON PURPOSE. 

The orange curse has made it's way from the barrel, and onto my fingers . . . another blackout . . . I couldn't possibly have (CURSES!) eaten them on purpose . . . damn stuff just doesn't wash off easily either.

I guess the good news is that I did consciously resist the tray of baklava.

And well, since I'm too embarrassed to take a picture of the cheese ball barrel (and my orange cursey little fingers wouldn't be good for the camera), here's a picture of Carey instead . . . he's about the same color . . . and consistency i.e. trouble.