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Be-catted

Sorry for inattentive today (yes, we have a Dead Pool winner – congratulations Mrs Carl). I have been under a cat. Specifically, this one – Ol’ Kneewrecker.

Also, I’ve been on Twitter. It’s as awful as you can imagine at the moment. I’m going back to chickens, books and vidya games for a while. But I did want to mention two things I learned from this election.

There are more of us than there are of them. Like, a lot more. Like, so many more that we broke their ballot-cheating mechanisms and they had to get clumsy and stupid and obvious about the steal. Will see if that has repercussions.

It’s possible to do things differently. Trump made huge inroads into Middle East peace – for example – by ignoring the old wisdom about fixing perpetually dysfunctional Palestine first. He successfully brokered multiple individual deals between nations. He deserves a lot of credit for that, which he will never get. That, and bringing soldiers home from various permanently smoldering trash fires.

I guess, for me, that’s the definition of the “Trumpism” everyone’s talking about – approaching old problems in new ways.

Someone said on Twitter that people need to go back and start running for dog catcher and ward captain, with an eye to higher and higher office. But that’s like sending your nice kid away to college and getting back a blue-haired gender studies graduate with a nose ring. The years-long process of grinding through lower office changes people, makes them into politicians. We need to find other avenues.

Trump is a strange and, in many ways, unlikeable character, but he changed me from “anyone’s better than Hillary” to an enthusiastic supporter. I’m afraid he was lightning in a bottle: a well-known celebrity with go-to-hell money of his own. If we see the same combination in play again, it’ll probably be somebody like Cher.

I’m hoping he opens a giant media company, which zooms to #1 in no time (thanks to the collapse of Fox). Then he can be in their faces 24/7.

January 8, 2021 — 8:49 pm
Comments: 22

When all else fails…

…go with a cat picture.

I feel like such a spectator at the moment. I can’t tell you how many times I half-compose a tweet and then X out of it, because I wasn’t about to say anything meaningful or insightful. I’m communicating entirely in likes.

And yes, he’s adorable. But when he wakes up, he tries to chew great lumps out of the basket. My laundry basket. Little bastard.

December 9, 2020 — 9:17 pm
Comments: 12

She did it again

Only this time, she was so high in the tree I couldn’t get her down. I had to leave her up there. It was the coldest night of the Winter so far, so I kept tiptoeing out to check on her. Then I got up at first light to check on her again.

When I got home from work in the afternoon, she was STILL up there. So I got on a ladder, used the extended loppers to clear a path, poked her in the chest with a garden hoe until she climbed aboard, and gave her a gentle elevator ride to the ground.

I feel like I’ve been beaten up. All that exertion with my arms over my head, you see.

Well, she’ll get her comeuppance. We’re entering a complete poultry lockdown in a week. Bird flu. Yes, it includes tiny backyard flocks.

It’s to minimize contact between livestock and wild birds, who spread it across nations. We’ve done a full lockdown once before while I’ve kept chickens.

It was miserable. They bitched all day long.

December 7, 2020 — 6:31 pm
Comments: 12

The stoat whisperer

Robert E. Fuller is a British wildlife photographer and painter who has built a stoat wonderland on his property. Weaseltown. Boobytrapped with cameras, naturally.

Yay, he has a YouTube channel. Here’s his Stoat Camera Playlist. Not on the playlist, I recommend the longer How I Became a Stoat Whisperer.

Also not on the list, the ones I found first: Raising a Tiny Stoat Kit, This Adorable Stoat Kit is Now so Playful, When Two Adorable Stoats Meet for the First Time and These Stoat Kits Are Ready To Go Outdoors. It looks like they all belong in a playlist called Weasel Wildlife Rehabilitation that he hasn’t made yet. Perhaps he will after he releases these two into the wild.

Eh, his bird stuff is pretty good, too.

September 2, 2020 — 8:12 pm
Comments: 3

Uncle B had a good Friday

Good Friday is when people traditionally planted their potatoes in this country. It’s about the right time of year, and it’s one day the poor bastards had off work.

So Uncle B planted our potatoes today, in one of the raised beds at the end of the garden. The Eastern boundary of our place is a stream (it’s actually a drainage ditch, but that’s a lousy name for a thing that has swans living in it). He was rocking out to Bach’s Goldberg Variation on the headphones, he looked up, and not a dozen feet away these two (and their mum) were cavorting about on the far bank in the sun.

At that moment, he declared it the Easteriest Easter EVAR.

Happy Good Friday, everyone, and stay safe this weekend!

April 10, 2020 — 9:19 pm
Comments: 21

The Stoats of Science!


 

 

 

Stoats as a Unit of Measurement. Get your poster here. No, not my work.

A reminder:

American           British
Weasel              Stoat
Least Weasel        Weasel

First lambs today! I could hear them yesterday, but not see them, so I went in search of laa bam at dusk today. I couldn’t get close enough for photography, though — the mamas didn’t like the look of me at all.

The lockdown continues apace. It’s as quiet as Christmas morning out there. We’re doing fine, though we’ll run out of fresh milk soon. My spies tell me the shop in town has plenty of everything. May go for a field trip soon.

Welcome to Week Two of the Plague!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 30, 2020 — 7:42 pm
Comments: 11

The Return of Spoon

I hauled myself out at six this morning, no Spoon. I had plenty to do in the garden (it’s a mess after six months of daily rain) so I hung out and pottered around and about 8:30, a blackberry bramble in the drive began to softly “bok?…bok? Bok?…bok?”

You’ll have to take my word for the question marks. She sounded puzzled. And, honestly, who among us has NOT woken up in a hedge mid-morning with no idea how she got there?

She was about six feet up a bramble, in a kind of hole. I had to get my gloves to lift her out or I would have been torn to bits.

She was safe enough up there. The polands generally go way high and are protected for the night. The danger is next morning, when they flap down to ground level. If there isn’t a human around to stink up the place and keep the foxes at bay, there’s a real risk.

Tonight, all my chickens are right where they should be. Perhaps I can get a decent night’s sleep and a bit of a late morning, for once. Have a good weekend, everyone! (As if weekends held any meaning).

March 27, 2020 — 7:19 pm
Comments: 13

Nothing happens to me now that doesn’t involve chickens

I had a brilliant idea to take Mo, my most violent cockerel, and shut him up with his girlfriend in the fruit cage, so he could get some free ranging time without being within murdering distance of the other boys.

Bad plan. He managed to escape in about ten seconds flat and corner the two poland roosters way deep in the hedge where I couldn’t get to him. I’m crawling on my elbows through brambles trying to grab his scrawny neck when the kitten wonders, academically, whether it would be fun to chase the hen around the fruit cage, violently.

I got everything sorted in the end and sat down, scratched and muddied, to an ice cold cup of coffee.

Say a prayer for my girl Spoon, pictured, who didn’t come home at roll call. I think the two cats energetically playfighting in the garden occasionally spooks a chicken out of her usual territory. I’m not out with them all the time. I walked around and called to her until it was too dark to see anything.

Cross your fingers that she turns up in the morning. She’s my favorite chicken.

March 26, 2020 — 8:33 pm
Comments: 10

That’s what I wanted!

See, this is what the whole exercise was about: cat buddies. They’ve been playfighting and rough-housing, but this is the first time I’ve caught them having a snooze together.

Something about not usually being allowed to sleep on the bed that will do that.

‘Twas a glorious sunny day in the garden today, but another near freezing one tonight – a pattern that will be repeated for some time.

Off for a bath!

March 25, 2020 — 7:36 pm
Comments: 8

Last trip for a while…

We were non-compliant today! We left the house!

We’ve had Wellington’s last shots scheduled for weeks. This morning, we called the vet and they counselled us to come in as planned as this was their last day for who knows how long. They’re shutting it down. We didn’t get to go in, though. You wait in your car, someone comes out and takes the cat carrier, vanishes inside and returns a little while later with your cat.

Nice young lady vet came out and said, “I know this one! I did his castration!”

How nice.

Afterwards, we swung by the gas station and got some bread and toilet paper, as you do.

And that’s it. Now we’re locked down tight.

*sighs* *looks around the room* *sighs again*

March 24, 2020 — 8:34 pm
Comments: 14