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Got a haircut today. And it’s raining.


Pic unrelated. That’s from somebody’s Pinterest page of Poland hens.

Go on, click. Nothing’s as cheer-you-up as a whole page of chickens with afros.

We needed the rain. We haven’t had a proper soaking literally for months. That may seem improbable, given England’s reputation for raining all the damn time, but we do get periods of draught.

When that happens, the irrigation ditches run low and the foxes and badgers(!) use them as super highways. Our neighbor across the way shot a fox with his (the neighbor’s) big Buff Orpington cockerel in his (the fox’s) mouth. Given that shotguns are all they’re allowed here, I didn’t like to ask after the rooster.

One of these days, I’m going to open a Twitter trolling account in the name Buff Orpington.

Oh, and I found the identity of Jack’s nemesis, the big ginger-and-white cat who’s been beating him up and stealing his lunch money. He’s a feral unfixed male who was deliberately introduced to the farm two farms over as a rat catcher. I wonder if they’d notice if his balls turned up missing…?


Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 18, 2017, 8:07 pm

Do it. Steal his balls. It’s the best thing for him. And after his experience, he may be less likely to stray from home.

Oh, I read that it is suppose to pour for the next 3 weeks in the UK. True? Or click bait?

Comment from Janna
Time: May 18, 2017, 8:18 pm

Those chickens are very, um, different. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Different. You need some.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: May 18, 2017, 8:34 pm

It takes a certain veterinary expertise to do such removal and have the rest of the cat survive. I rather suspect that the local vets’ tongues would wag if said tom was brought in to be altered.

It takes less expertise to remove the offending parts if you are not concerned with the survival of the originating cat, but it might be easier if you get possession of said feral critter to just take it on a road trip. I understand that that you live somewhere in the general vicinity of Hastings. A long trip to somewhere like say, Lyme Regis with a drop off of said feral cat in a field nearby, then a visit to the Lyme Regis Museum which has I understand a very interesting Jurassic fossil collection that might furnish raw material for graphics might make the trip doubly worthwhile.

Or if you you know of a suitably distant [so the critter can’t find its way back] group of “cat ladies”; that might be a good drop off. A number of years ago I moved to a house where the deceased elderly occupant had put out food for years for the local feral cats. They had to be dealt with. I live-trapped them for release elsewhere. At the time, there was a Catholic abbey nearby whose monks had engaged in some less than honest business practices and incurred local hostile feelings thereby. On the abbey grounds was a house with a group of elderly Mexican nuns whose convent in Mexico had burned down, so the church moved them up here to a house on the Abbey grounds as a mini-convent. The monks absolutely hated stray cats. The nuns loved, cared for, and fed any that came by. It was a workable solution to drop them near the nun’s house. Multiple birds with one stone.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: May 18, 2017, 8:35 pm

Diversity! Solidarność”!!

So was the fox wearing the neighbors pajamas by any chance?

I think you should have left out the explanatory braces bit. The mental image of a fox tearing down a superhighway being shot by your neighbor with a Buff Orpington cockerel griped in his teeth.
“Take that ya bastid!” (mumbled around said cockerel)

And all that without ANY drugs to help.

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: May 18, 2017, 9:38 pm

Ratcatchah? Hunt, you say?
Far more prevalent than people realize are the organized Hunt Clubs in the Virginia countryside. It’s a damn blood-quickening experience to see 50 horse trailers pull into an empty field, 100 hunters leap from the vehicles and begin to unload horses from the trailers. Dressed as alike as possible and according to convention, Ratcatcher is worm by the hunt and Pinques (Pinks) by the Huntsmen and those who have earned their colours.

Comment from Niña
Time: May 18, 2017, 9:53 pm

I don’t suppose the neighbors two farms over are interested in getting their tomcat neutered, hmmmm? My granddad used to neuter his own toms, but I have no idea how many he might have lost in the doing. Poor Jack!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 18, 2017, 10:25 pm

Good god, I wasn’t going to neuter him myself! There are organizations that trap and neuter unfixed ferals and they’re discreet about it. They have an ongoing feud with farmers and their unfixed cats.

Comment from Niña
Time: May 18, 2017, 10:33 pm

Well, you never know what a girl who takes guts classes might do, ya know!

Why am I still awake, anyway?, it’s 12:30 here in Norge. Dope.

Me, not you.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: May 18, 2017, 11:09 pm

I think Buff Orpington shall be my porn name.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 18, 2017, 11:32 pm

“Good god, I wasn’t going to neuter him myself!”

Uncle B breathes a sigh of relief.

Comment from Bob B
Time: May 19, 2017, 12:54 am

“Good god, I wasn’t going to neuter him myself!”
And poof went the images in my head of Weasel-lady hiding in the bushes, sqveezers in hand, stalking the tom-cat.
Oh, well.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: May 19, 2017, 2:17 am

Sling-shot. Seriously. Have to use steel balls though (heh), not stones to shoot at the cat. But you can practice on a target with stones. Anyway. Amazon.

Comment from catnip
Time: May 19, 2017, 4:52 am

If you aren’t able to hand him over to the feral guardians group, air horns, judiciously used, have proven to be an effective deterrent to unwelcome cat visitors in these parts. You’d want Jack indoors when you pressed the button so he wouldn’t freak out, and close neighbors might wonder what you’re up to, if they don’t already.

Trapping and relocation isn’t a bad idea, either. We do that with packrats in the mountains–long midnight rides. But, I don’t think they have a homing instinct.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: May 19, 2017, 10:20 am

Since the cat is feral Farmer bob probably doesn’t even talk to it.
Bet he’d fail to notice missing appendages.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 19, 2017, 1:18 pm

So, did you get your hair cut in “the village”? Do they comment on your funny American accent? Are you known as “the American” in “the village”? 🙂

You need a “crest” and I think this one is grand:

It’s at the foot of the effigy and it is 2 arms holding up a “scalped head” but it appears to be more like the top of a head cut off. I wonder who came up with the idea for it? Sheesh! I think yours shd be two arms holding up a kitty, intact, the whole cat!

Comment from Mr. Dave
Time: May 19, 2017, 1:44 pm

I second Deborah HH’s solution. With just a little practice you can become very proficient. My first thought however was “the neighbor has a shot gun…” But I didn’t say it out loud so it doesn’t count. A feral male cat is at least as bad as a fox. They take a lot of songbirds.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: May 19, 2017, 1:45 pm

Chickens: I like this one. https://rusticchic.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/grey-featherhead-6.jpg It reminds me of those big homecoming mum corsages. (the old-fashioned ones that were spicy fragrant, soft and cool against your cheek, not the contemporary monstrosities).

I like thinking about the chickens. We often read how man domesticated various animals, but I can’t recall ever reading an article or scholarly paper on how man domesticated the chicken.

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: May 19, 2017, 4:06 pm

Here’s a possible starting point, Deborah HH:


Not exactly how, but at least why and to a degree where.

Comment from dissent
Time: May 19, 2017, 4:13 pm

So, are tranquilizer dart guns illegal too.

Asking for a friend.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: May 19, 2017, 5:15 pm

I wonder if they’d notice if his balls turned up missing…?

There are lots and lots – waaaay too many – feral cats everywhere. My fantasy is you separate the cat from its balls and then return just the balls.

(I’m not serious. I’m violent only in my imagination.)

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: May 19, 2017, 7:12 pm

Can’t Hark My Cry—Thank you! It was just what I needed.
And then I followed up with How Do You Cook the Perfect Egg.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 19, 2017, 7:20 pm

Tomorrow is the big wedding. Will Pippa allow it to rain on her big day? What time will stoaty and Uncle B arrive? I mean, that is why she had her haircut, yes? They say George and Charlotte are going to be in the wedding. But what can they do except stay still and look cute or cry? George is the spitting image of his maternal grandfather while Charlotte is the spitting image of her paternal great grandmother.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: May 19, 2017, 8:42 pm

Just as long as The Donald and Putin can stay away from the wedding.

Only anonymous members of the American intelligence (that’s becoming an oxymoron) services are invited (try to imagine what the invitations for that look like) and though they’re not authorized to do so, they’ll be giving briefings of how it all went to the NYT to report on.

Comment from Can\’t Hark My cry
Time: May 19, 2017, 9:29 pm

Deborah HH:
I’m absurdly pleased!
Did you find this:
https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/eggs/explore-text.html ?

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