Tag Archives: pets

Animal Loves

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language. – Martin Buber

Animals.

They come in all shapes and sizes.

Tiny lady bugs to towering giraffes.

Smooth skinned snakes to rough hided rhinoceros.

Feathered hummingbirds to furry giant cows.

Kittens with quiet meows to dogs with barks as large as a lion’s roar.

Pocket sized desert mice to dump truck size elephants.

I could go on and on about the many types of animals we see in our world and the list would be extensive.  The variety of animals greatly outnumbers the variety of homo-sapiens on this planet.  We are a small variety, yet vast in number, populating this planet.

Earlier this week, Facebook popped up the photo below.  It’s from ten years ago.  When I tried to convince my giant friend Tater, he too, could be a lap dog. Now the first time I ever met Tater, he came bounding out of an office running to meet me like I was a long lost friend that he couldn’t wait to see.  We had never met before but for whatever reason….he couldn’t wait to see me once he heard my voice.  It was like that ever since our first meeting.  I always called him my boyfriend.

tater on couch

Tater, passed away recently.  When I sent this photo out to a couple of people, including his mom, she wrote back:

Aw!  He loved you so much.

And I loved Tater.

Think about it.

If you have a pet.

How much do you love and care for your pet?

I would bet some days you love your pet more than people.  I would even say you carry on conversations with your pet.  You may even take better care of your pet than yourself.

Our animal loves do not utter one word to us.  They do not carry on intelligent conversations with us, not where we’re able to say, “Oh my cat Monkey’s head hurts today…she told me.”  Nor are we able to say, “Lenny, our puppy, said he doesn’t like the liver treats, but he prefers the chicken ones.”

Yet somehow we communicate with them on another plane entirely.

Yes.  I love you too.

Yes, let’s get dinners.

Let’s go outside.

Do you want to snuggle?

You are such a good girl/boy.

How was your day?

And we talk with them.  Ask them how their day went, what they did and we tell them how our day went.

Animals are truly people in fur, feather, scaley coats.

They give us unconditional love.

Fill us with happiness.

Bring us great joy.

Our days are brighter and provided with purpose.  They’re our companions and confidents.  Even if they can’t utter one logical sentence, we tell them our darkest secrets and biggest fears.  We share with them our most hopeful dreams, filled with unicorn sparkles and make wishes with them as we blow out birthday candles.  When we’ve had crappy days they’re the ones we share our sadness with and pull the sheets up over our heads with while hitting the snooze button.  On weekends if we want to be lazy and eat chips while watching a binge on Netflix, they’re happy to snuggle with us.  We celebrate holidays and muddle through tragedies together.

On Saturdays, I volunteer at a farm animal sanctuary, Unity Farm Sanctuary.  I work with   everyone from miniature horses to alpacas to chickens to cows and goats.  Everyone and I do mean everyone, has their own individual personalities.

Take for example, Audrey and Elliot, the two cows I visit with every week.  Audrey is a brown Jersey and Elliot is a black Holstein mix.  They are both about 800 pounds (still growing) worth of love and they enjoy helping with chores.  They’re really good supervisors.

Elliott and Audrey Helping

These two are like giant puppies.  In fact,  people often call cows….grass puppies.  When I come through the gate, they can’t wait to say hello and get their pats.  Without saying a word, I know these two are happy I’m here.

They follow me around the paddock as I clean up. Getting chin scratches and head pats between scoops of poop removal.

Finally….they say….

I break out the brush and take turns brushing my bovine friends.  Elliot is notorious for grooming me while I brush him.  He loves to lick any part of my body he can reach while I brush.  My back, leg, foot, head….

I brush.  Elliot grooms.

And yes, his breath smells like hay.

Thank you Elliot.

Audrey, is just content to be brushed and enjoy the conversation.

However, if I stop brushing her and go back to brushing Elliot….without fail, she’ll come up and either bop me in the butt with her head, as if to say, “hey lady, you aren’t done with me yet!” or muscle in between Elliot and I to get more brushing.

Audrey is also one to play with the ball….roll it across the paddock and she’ll chase after it.  Do it again, she says.  Looking at you.  Daring you to come and get it just like a big puppy.

Audrey and ball

 

Our animal loves are our everythings.

All without saying a word.

We connect to one another through our hearts.

All without saying a word.

We understand one another.

All without saying a word.

We support one another.

All without saying a word.

We take care of each other.

All without saying a word.

Isn’t it amazing?  Different species.  Caring for each other.

Without saying a word.

Then you look at the homo-sapiens. Who according to the Oxford English Dictionary, currently have over 171K words available to use by today’s guidelines.  These are only the words in active circulation.  Yet, we can’t get along to save ourselves.  We’re too busy finger pointing, arguing, backstabbing, having malicious contempt for each other and one-upping through social media.  It’s ridiculous.

We have the ability to communicate which could lead to many great outcomes, yet we can’t figure out how to do it effectively enough to solve problems, end suffering or love one another.  Why is that?

Perhaps if we follow the lead of our animal friends and learn to acknowledge one another on a different level, we might be able to go past the anger and self-righteous in our world and fill it with understanding and compassion instead.

Elliott Kisses

 

 

Advertisements

Moving…There’s Not Enough Vodka for This. Vol. 1

It all started with what I thought was a dog’s bellowing.
You know that sound.
Something between a howl and a growl.
Or it was a terrible bagpipe performance….performed by a ostrich.

In reality, it was our cat….. Monkey.
In her carrier.
Being taken out to the car.

By the time we got everyone into the backseat, the cats were carrying on a conversation that clearly they thought life, as they knew it was over. Well, buy those felines a king size bag of nip….they were correct!

We were on the way to get kitty health certificates because in two short days….they were  flying with Momma from Miami to Boston!  Are we excited? Oh yeah.

They were about as excited as cats going to the vet’s office, in cat carriers, in the back seat of the car….screaming the whole way.  We’re going to need some drugs.  Either the cats are going to need drugs for the flight or I’m going to need drugs for the flight.

Someone WILL be medicated.

Fast forward and let the chaos unfold.

Day of the flight…I am packed and ready to go.  The house is fairly boxed up and sorted out.

Eric will be driving up in the Honda, so I have a pile of “must go in the car” and a pile of “would be nice to go in the car” and a “can wait for the movers” pile.  Knowing how the day is going to progress, I begin the day with a hearty breakfast – a Whipped Cream Vodka shot.  Perfect.

I download a movie.  Get dressed.  Throw things in my two giant suitcases,  one under the seat suitcase, which will be checked as luggage and one carry on.

One cat, will be a carry on.  Two cats will be checked as luggage.

There is a word for this traveling style:  Circus.

The only saving grace for today is it’s a non-stop flight.

Time to get dressed.  Boston.  It’s freezing, literally.

Attire: jeans, long sleeve shirt, jacket, Xtra Tuff boots.

UGH.  Time for another shot….Rootbeer Vodka Shot.

Alright, we are close to leaving, time to pack up the small pets.  I calmly say to Eric.  I’m getting a cat.  I pick up Taku, the youngest and stuff her into a pink, hard sided carrier.

He grabs Liggy, the eldest at 15 years, and we back her into her soft sided case.  She is the one traveling under the seat.

Next up is Monkey.

It becomes a three ring circus.  Monkey is under the couch, over the chair, up the stairs.  Her tail is as fat as my arm.  She is NOT happy.  She is hissing.  Growling.  Under the couch.  Over the chair.  Under the couch.  Through the kitchen.  Behind the boxes.

We are now 10 minutes into trying to catch Monkey.

What.

Is.

That.

Stench?

Great.  She has released her anal glands.  Think musky, dirty, poopy, dank, odor from the swampy depths of cat butt.  Awesome.

Scratches on Eric’s legs as we try and grab her as she dashes past on her way round boxes, under the couch, under the coffee table, over the chair….knocking over trash cans, empty suitcases and other roadblocks.

Finally, we catch her and she is literally sweating.  Her fur is wet.

The Monkey.  Is.  Pissed.

A blood curling yowl escapes from her little furry black body.

Into the pink carrier she goes.

I need another shot…..

Now, we’re late, of course.  Damn it Monkey!  We get into the car and the felines are silent.  I think someone said two words and that was about the end of it.  They knew.

We race up to Ft. Lauderdale airport and decide to drop me, the luggage and the circus at the sidewalk.  There are hundreds of people in line for curbside check in.  You have got to be kidding me.  We don’t have time for this.  I can’t lug three suitcases and three cats by myself while Eric parks the car.  So I decide to crouch next to the felines and talk calmly to them.  There isn’t a porter in sight.

I’m sweating through my Xtra Tuffs and jeans.

Is that a whiff of Monkey ass?

Christ, please.  I don’t want to smell like cat butt.

Next thing I know I hear this man say, “Mommy, you need help?”

I look up and low and behold….A PORTER!  A PORTER ALL FOR ME!  Yes, I will be anyone’s mommy if you can help me!

Yes, yes, yes! I need help!  Checking in…with three cats!  Please!  (Get me into the air conditioning before my crotch soaks through these jeans in this heat…that would be a fantastic feat!)

Within minutes, he had me in the line and we were zipping to the check in counter.

Next thing I know we get to the counter.  My little agent guy has a helper.  The helper lady seems to be doing a lot of the work.  Uh-oh.  My little agent guy….is new.  Buddy, I don’t have time for new.  Not today.

Look, you fill out the form, you slap it on the kennel. It already has a Live Animals sticker on there.  You put the label with the arrow going UP.  You want the kennel to stay in the UPRIGHT position.  Are you kidding me?

I don’t want to tell you how to do you job – but damn – I don’t have time for this.

Then they tell me we have to take the two kennels going under the plane over to TSA and they need to inspect the kennels and we have to take the cats out.  I look at Eric.  One word comes to mind.

M O N K E Y

We tell the TSA guy, “well, let’s do the easy one first.”  Taku, who never says a word, comes out…blinks at us while I hold her…. and goes back in.  Time for the stinky, pain in the ass, but really she’s just scared to death,  one.  I open the door, reach in and grab her by the neck ruff.

WE will not be playing any games in this airport missy.  You may think you’re all that and a bag of cat nip…but I AM the momma cat and YOU WILL not be fucking around.

Fine, back in she goes.

Next, time for me to go through the security gate and I look at Eric.   What time is it? Plane boards in 10 minutes.  GREAT.  I have to give Liggy her medicine 30 – 60 minutes before the flight.

Wait!  Where is my iPad?  Momentarily I panic.  It’s in the car.  I debate, leave it or should Eric go and get it?  I downloaded a movie to watch just for this flight!  I have my book, but I really wanted to watch the movie.  He runs and gets the iPad….in the meanwhile….

I throw everything on the floor.  I grab the pill and try to shove it down Liggy’s throat while she is sitting in her little bag.

Once, twice, three times.  Not happening.

I open the bag.  Jerk her out and hold her in my lap.

You.  Will. Eat.  This.  Pill.

Liggy, however, has other ideas.

Such as…..there will be no pill going down her throat today.

EAT THE PILL!

By this time, sweat, is pouring down my face.  I am literally, a hot mess.

Eric is back and he’s telling me, “you have to go.”

Okay, well.  Here’s hoping she ate the pill.

Pack up the 15 pound cat, roller suitcase and my handbag.  Off we go through security.

I get to the X-ray machine and tell them I have a cat.  “Please take her out of the bag.”  Okay.  Liggy and I then stand there for 5 minutes while they discuss with the persons in front of me which machine they should use.  The walk through X-ray or the stand there with your hands above your head machine.

Okay, I’m standing here with a 15 pound feline, who isn’t really happy with her situation.  Could we move this along?  Is she doesn’t start hissing, I might.  We both might.

We get through the machine and don’t you know her carrier bag get stopped on the conveyor belt…..just short of arm’s reach.  There’s that sign that says, “don’t reach in to grab your bag.”  Come on.

COME ON!!!!

I get all the stuff…cat in the bag.  Luckily, for once, I was the FIRST GATE!  Eureka.  They were already boarding First Class when I arrived, so I dashed to the restroom.  Why?

Well, yes, to use the restroom, but also, because unlike most people.  My quart size bag….is filled with airplane bottles of…vodka.  Yep.  So I had a shot of chocolate vodka before jumping on my flight.

(No.  Contrary to popular belief, the only thing TSA has ever said to me was, “Finally someone actually gets the idea of what they should be using the quart size bags for on these flights!”  I can get about 8 little bottles in there.)

Liggy and I get to the gate and I hop in line.  I look around and smile.

Finally.

This is the first time in two years.

I have found my people.

Carhartts.

Flannel.

Boots.

North Face.

Fleece.

English is the first language.

It’s good.

As I get on the plane I advise the crew I had two other felines joining me below, they were like, “YOU’RE the CAT LADY!!!!”  Yes.  Yes.  I am.  They were delighted.  They had the slips showing Taku and Monkey were already boarded.

Liggy and I get on board and the middle seat remains empty.  I’m thrilled.  I’m thinking, this is great!  I will enjoy my movie “Chef” and order a seltzer water for my Vodka….after the last four hours, I need another Vodka.  Liggy, I’m pretty sure, hasn’t taken her pill as she keeps changing positions and mewing.

Then it happens.

I get a middle seat person.

Which under normal circumstances, would be fine.  But this, of course, isn’t normal circumstances.

Guess who sits next to me?

Nope.  A pilot.  Of course!  There goes my Vodka.  (Plan B:  have to use the restroom and take my purse, which had my quart size bag anyway after security.)

So, definitely, Liggy had not taken her pill.  Luckily the noise of the aircraft mostly drowned out her meows but she definitely could not sit still.  Well sister we have three hours to go, suck it up.

We finally land Boston and we hop off the plane.  Liggy and I meet our pick up party in baggage claim.  All the luggage arrives and we wait patiently for the two pink cat carriers to come through “special baggage”.  Apparently, animals are last off the plane.

As soon as I saw those two carriers I said, “There’s my little girls.”

Then SHE LET ME HAVE IT.

It was one big yyyyyeeeeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwlllllll….followed by…..

A where in the hell are we?

And a who the hell do you think you are?

And a what the hell was that?

And never again!

And a fuck you lady and the horse you flew in on!

Monkey.  Was.  Pissed.

By the time we got out to the car, she was exhausted and had no further words.

Now, if we could just get her to come out from under the bed….we’d be doing good!  She does laps, to make sure we’re still here.  Then back she goes.

 

She’ll Be Coming Around the Golf Course….

Sunday I got up, threw on my exercise clothes and headed out the door to walk 3 miles.

My complex sits along side a golf course and you can walk all the way around the course on a paved trail.  The trail itself is 3 miles however, I was just going to go down to the light I turn at to go to work and back.  I marked it out in the car and round trip is 3 miles.

Perfect.

It was about 10:00AM and by 10:10AM – out on the trail- I was sweating.  Not because I was over exerting myself but the humidity was fierce.  I had a sweat mustache that was turning into a sweat beard.  This was the least of my worries as I thought, “dear lord don’t let my ass sweat so much I get visible crack sweat.”

Passing other exercisers I pondered….

A.)  I’m the only one carrying a water bottle.

B.)  Nobody else looks hot.  (Except for the woman who was carrying a towel in her cleavage.  Yep.  Swear.)

The trail is also popular for people and their dogs.  It wasn’t long until I encountered my first couple walking their furry kid.  The parents were both sporting shorts and tank tops while busily chatting about the upcoming day.  However, it was their dog that caught my attention.

The pet.

Was wearing a sweater.

Apparently, when they bought the dog it was a full sized Doberman Pinscher but for some reason, over time, it began to shrink and now was a pocket sized pet.  That’s embarrassing.  When you heat things up that shouldn’t really be heated …..they tend to shrink.

Think:  washing a wool sweater.

Continuing on my way, I encountered some of the local wildlife.  The crazy ass ducks.  There were precisely TWO cute white feathered ducks with the yellow beaks.  The rest of the herd were these oddly  poka-a-dotted, red headed, as large as four footballs kind of ducks.  They come up to about my knee.  I’ve see them all the time as I drive along this stretch of the road –  they enjoy the greens of the course.

Today, there’s about 14 of them in the middle of the trail.

About 25 paces ahead of me is a man.  Not an enormous man.  Not a small man.  Not a skinny man.  Not a fat man.  Just a man.  He approaches the herd.  I’m thinking, “this will be interesting.”  Next thing I know he’s flapping his arms wildly over his head, while yelling at them:

“Go Away!”

“Go!”

“Get out of here!”

Some people are afraid of cockroaches.  Some people don’t like cats.  This man obviously thought the ducks were going to knock him down and attack him him like a band of rubber soled mall cops believing he shop lifted something from the As Seen On TV store.

Next up?  The Alaska Minxy.  I approach the herd.  My take on the scene was completely different.    Just like a Wood Nymph from the forest, I greet the ducks and wish them a pleasant day.

“Morning everyone.”

“Excuse me. Pardon me.”

“Have a good day.  Stay out of trouble.  Good to see you.”

I weaved my way through the knee high nippers (while trying to avoid the ones with the creepy red heads and turkey like neck things) all the while conversing with them.  They had plenty to say and it was all very important to express whatever it was.

Honk.  Honk.  Squawk.  Honk.  Beep.  Squawk.

Finally, I was on my final approach to the gate of my community, I spotted a giant tree, which would be perfect to sit under to do my cool down stretches.  I really enjoy this time of my workout.  It’s calming and relaxing for me.  My music plays in my ears and I’m very content.  Having drank my entire Nalgene bottle of water…and sweating like a UFC fighter….I carefully check to make sure there’s no dog poop or snakes in the grass and begin my stretches.

I’m sitting on the ground, legs stretched to either side and I’m leaning over each leg, stretching.  Ahhhh.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a figure to my left.  Okay, well just ignore it.  It will go away.  La. La. La. Laaaa.  La. La. La.

I bend to the other knee and WHOA, what the hell?  The figure is now pretty much within arms reach.  I look up at this man who could have easily been my grandfather, standing there with his hands on his hips, his mouth is moving…..Really?  You have to be kidding me.

He’s obviously trying to tell me something so,  I take out my earplugs and think he must be trying to tell me that he wouldn’t advise sitting in the grass because of snakes or lizards….right?

Wrong.  He says, “are you stretching?”

No, I’m actually looking to see if ants have dandruff and am checking this crab grass for evidence.  WTF?

He proceeds to tell me that I’m doing it all wrong and I should be doing it this way.  And it’s all about breathing.  Yatta.  Yatta.  Okay, got it.  Thanks.  You can stretch how you want to stretch and I’ll stretch the way I want to stretch….now please move on so I can continue to check on the ant dandruff.

Then, it becomes obvious he’s determined to change my ways and proceeds to show me a better stretch using the tree.  Fine.  By this time I am sweating so much I learn that:  no really, when sweat runs into your eyes it burns.

It actually burns A LOT!  First one eye.  Then the second eye.  Luckily my third eye was still at home soaking in the anti-ache third eye solution.  I think my sweat is actually melting my contacts to my eyeballs.  All the while grandpa here is showing me the proper hamstring stretch.

Then he stands up and says, “can you bend over?”

I said, “Excuse me?”

He replied, “You know, touch your toes.  A lot of people can’t touch their toes because they don’t stretch properly.  Like this.”  And he proceeds to aim for his toes.

I turn to the side and throw my hands on the ground.  Yep, I’d say I can touch my toes….no problem.  Got it.  Check.

My eyes now feel like I’ve put Frank’s Red Hot in them and I really just need to go through the gate on my left.  HOWEVER.

As I begin to make my exit, Grandpa is telling me how I should really take up yoga cause it keeps woman looking young.  I tell him the company I work for actually offers a yoga class every week at the company gym.  He was shocked and asked where I worked.

I’m thinking come on…buddy, if I give off any more vibe of “I’ve got to go” I’m going to disappear in a giant puff of smoke.  Not to mention I need to get the sweat out of my eyeballs – now I can barely see due to the triple vision in each eyes and my nose is now running.

I tell him I work for Royal Caribbean cruises and his response is, “It’s terrible what happened to all those captives.  Just a shame.”  I couldn’t figure out if he was referring to employees or passengers.  Then he says something about being stranded out there and being held captive.

As I make my way to the gate I yell over my shoulder that wasn’t Royal Caribbean, that was Carnival cruises.   Thanks for the stretching advise and have a good day.

I slam through the gate and exhale on the other side, “freak.”

What I learned on my walk:

Some men are afraid of duck herds.

Doberman Pinschers shrink when they get hot.

Stretch inside the gate.

Carry a hand towel in my cleavage.

Learn how to say, “I don’t speak English” in Pig Latin.

 

 

 

 

 

Night Time Decisions

Middle of the night.

Sound asleep.

Two dogs snoring.

One man snoring.

I’m awake.

One cat happily sleeping curled up in my left arm.

This is my life.

Then it dawns on me.  I have to pee.  It’s not a normal pee.  It’s a pain inflicting, right side of the abdomen, got to go….kind of pee.

I consider my situation.  Favorite small, old cat in my left arm….happily snoozing.  Our 60 pound dog snoring loudly on my left side, draped over my knees to my right side.  Better half, snoring in a deep slumber on my right side.

Crap.  I’m like a human sandwich.  There’s no escape from this without disturbing someone.  Then it hits me.

My CALVES are sweating.

Damn dog.

She’s too hot and way too heavy to be sleeping across my calves.

I continue to ponder the situation.

The sleeping cat is my favorite, so I’d prefer not to wake her.  But the dog is mostly on her side.  The better half is on my right side – also very close.  Hate to wake him up….he’s sleeping so nicely.  Minus the snoring.

Maybe I could try to go back to sleep.

I try.

My jaw is clenched.  Concentrating on the sleep factor…..

Then I notice again – my calves have sweat dripping off them.  From the dog.

Okay.  Enough.

I gently try to remove myself from the covers and bed.  Nobody seems to upset.  It’s like riding the waves of the ocean.  Sweet.

Into the master bathroom I go.

I return to the bed.  Look at the animals sleeping so peacefully and the human who is now on their backs, with arms stretched overhead….and it hits me.

Great.  I got out.  How do I get back in?

I ponder the guest room for a moment.  That will take too much effort.  Take my pillows, alarm clock, water glass, step stool for the older cat to get into bed.  Too much work.  In the end I climbed gingerly into the king size bed and try to pull down the cocoon like covers and nestle myself inside.

Of course, although it’s a king size bed, my share is like a twin bed.

I get the covers pulled down, wiggle myself between the sheets.  Cuddle the favorite cat.  Place legs under the 60 pound dog and call it good.

Ahhhhhh…peaceful sleep coming my way.  What bliss.

Until.

Are you kidding me?  My pajama pants are strangling me.  Twisted around my legs and waist.  I feel like I’m drowning in quick sand.

FOR THE LOVE OF PETE!

Honestly….just a night’s sleep is all I want.

I ponder the situation.  Again.  Nope, have to move the pajamas around.  This is going to drive me crazy.  If I was Jack the Bean Stalk that would be one conclusion….however I’m not and my pants are creeping up towards my waist line in a speed only known to Superman.

Fine.

I throw myself on my back and grab the legs of my pajamas…..pulling them from around my leg.  The outcome, although disappointing…requires all pets to vacate the area.  Better half rolls over and snores towards the windows.  It’s both a blessing and a curse, as I lay there waiting for sleep to come.