This week I’d like to do something different and introduce my animal family of seven:
The oldest of the furry clan is 16-year-old Thunder (named by my daughter to go with a weather theme we once had with names: Winter and Stormie). She’s a tiny six-pound kitty that brings fear to our dogs when she walks by. She has been known to swat them if they get too close to her. The dogs take a wide berth around her and welcome my standing between her and them. Thunder is known for her displeasure when you leave a wet towel on the ground in the bathroom and recently her displeasure has spread through out the house. She now is given her own private area which makes her happy. She is a true queen and rules the house.
Next in our cat line is 12-year-old Rupert (named by my daughter again for the actor in Harry Potter). This is the cat that sits with me and oversees my work on the computer. He is also what I call a mother cat. He’s brought me, completely unharmed, a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest and a baby squirrel he found on the ground…I got them both to animal rescue. He has been known to hang out with the raccoons, too…they seem to accept his presence like the rest of the wild or feral animals do.
Nine-year-old Chester (named by my husband after a Raider player) is our feral kitty. His mother was killed by a dog. The tiny kitten took some time to coach him from under our house with tuna. Finally, though I got him into the house…racing around the house while he ate and shut the door from the outside. All I saw for a while was a huge pair of eyes staring at me from under my desk. Now he is our sweetest cat. He will stand on his hind legs and wrap his paws around our necks giving wonderful hugs.
Four-year-old Coco (named after one of my favorite ex-players on the Oakland A’s Coco Crisp) was born a day later than the rest of his litter. Getting him fixed was a challenge when they couldn’t find all his parts. Finally, three sugeries later it was found in his chest and removed, but he grew into what we call a panther. He is very outgoing and social– with the exception of his dislike of Chester. He drapes himself over my shoulder and reads with me at night. His brother came with him to live with us, but we lost him one night when he was following my husband to the car. My husband turned around and he was gone….that was hard on Coco– and us.
It was time to get Coco another special kitty to bond with, so the final kitty is 1-year-old Alice (named after Alice in Wonderland by me). She is one of the “Valentine Kittens” from my poem and her mother resides with my daughter. She loves attention, especially from the other cats. She walks in a room and waits to be greeted and groomed. This is a cat that loves a good belly rub and being outside. She has taken to bringing me “gifts” and not live ones like Rupert. I’ve received a bird and mouse so far….she is also the subject of the poem “Huntress”. She is definitely a star in the making.
On the canine side is 10-year-old black lab mix Hermie (named after the elf on Rudolph by me). Now you wouldn’t know he was that age except for the slight whitening on his muzzle, he’s a kid at heart and an escape artist. He is very sweet with children and us, even polite to let us walk by first, but he tends to get himself into more trouble than our other dog. If you leave food out…he will find it. I have lost more than one lunch leaving it out on the counter. He just wants love from everyone, but will protect us like when a pack of dogs come at us on a walk. I’ve seen him take on five dogs and walk away without a scratch. Know, he was on a leash and the other dogs were not. And those walks we take with him…it’s more like he is taking us on the walk.
Our final animal is our Pit/Shepard mix 9-year-old Sara (my husband liked the name). She is very smart, loyal to my husband and patient with the kids. Once my husband took out the garbage and a bear was near him. She found a way over our fence and treed the bear. No one gets hurt on her watch. Another time, we ran into that pack of dogs walking with their owner, again (I do not know where they live nor have we spoken to them during these events). One of the dogs came at her and she pinned it down. Once I got them separated we realized she was limping…fortunately, that healed in a week, but we are safe with her. We have found a different path to walk now so those attacks don’t happen again. Both our dogs are very leery of dogs they don’t know. They have been attacked too many times on our walks by people who let their dogs run loose.
Hermie and Sara are very close. Our kids have suggested we have a wedding for them. We might someday…if we do that I’ll share pictures.
Then, we have our assortment of bears, birds, squirrels, raccoons, foxes, skunks and other mountain animals sharing our space with us, too. Our animals are as much a part of our family as our kids and I wanted to share a little bit about them.
I will be taking the next two weeks off for the Holidays to enjoy family. My weekly blog will be back January 7th. The only posts you’ll see here will be a link for the #RRBC’S HOLIDAY TRAIN “BOOK TRAILER” BLOCK PARTY LINE-UP when it’s my turn and my Holiday wishes, too.
Watch for a newsletter next week in your email if you are subscribed!
See you in 2018! Hope you have a magical and amazing time with friends and family this holiday season. I hope you get all your heart desires in the coming year.
Embrace your magical inner child, D.L. Finn