There is SUNSHINE outside! (insert this pregnant woman doing a happy dance) On second thought don’t insert that. Might spoil the good day I hope you were having before starting to read this.
I am more than a wee bit happy to see sunshine after a solid week of thunderstorms rolling through our area and hurling what felt like large amounts of rain down upon our initially grateful-and later less than grateful-heads. Thankfully it was all spread out enough we haven’t had to deal with any flooding. Just high winds, loud thundering booms, gray days and general wetness all the way around. Today however the sun has come back full force and a roasty-toasty 90 degrees outside.
The Doodlebug is loving this weather. The warm weather insects are loving her in return. I’m not sure if it’s her marshmallow complexion or delicate skin that attracts them but they’ll come from miles around to snack on her. All it takes is forgetting to douse her in natural bug repellent one time and she’s covered in bites. We are going through a lot of Miracle, Chamomile Oil and Bee’s Aid around here these days. One of the things motivating her to frequently visit the great out-doors is her very Orange pet kitten. How he came to be our pet starts off with how his Mom happened into our lives…
A few months ago our rescued and subsequently adopted TN State campground cat named Hopper had kittens. 6 Orange and White kittens that looked absolutely *nothing* like their mother. The Doodles spent a delightful few weeks tormenting, I mean, playing with them as they rapidly gained independence (additionally motivated to gain those all important escape skills by her caring attentions I’m sure). Thanks to the pet section of Craigslist we soon had all but one kitten adopted out to good homes. Deciding that the whole reproducing cat thing only needed to happen once (and that once was one time too many in our crazy busy lives) I made arrangements to have Hopper spayed via our local Spay/Neuter clinic.
This involved getting up at the crack of dawn to transport Hopper to the drop-off point. Hopper had till now been a very patient, long suffering kitty enduring an amazing array of toddler administered “loving” and willingly coming back for more. However at the mere sight of the small cat carrier the fuzzy beast transformed into a snarling, hissing bundle of fur that made no bones about the fact that I was probably the most evil person in the world for even considering forcing her body into such a contraption. Not sure what trauma in her past induced her to have such a hatred and loathing for a pet carrier but there it was. This was not going to be easy at.all. Once I successfully shoved, prodded and coaxed the irritated feline into the box we made our way to the drop-off point, a lovely small park one town over from where we live.
After arriving a terrible series of events occurred that resulted in Hoppers cage being dropped…the door springing open and the now beyond irate cat bolting deep into the neighboring woods. Despite good Samaritans in the form of fellow pet owners dropping off their animals helping me to call and follow her into the woods Hopper disappeared for good. Her lovely mottled brown coat which had served her so well helping her survive in the wild before we adopted her provided the perfect camouflage in the deep leaves. After trying to coax her back and calling for almost an hour I reluctantly made my way back home wondering how on earth I was going to break the news to Doodlebug that her loved kitty was gone.
It has been almost a month and there is no sign of Hopper. Doodlebug is still holding out hope that she will show up one of these days and will occasionally call for her. Thankfully the one remaining kitten has stepped into his Mum’s considerably large good-pet-shoes and he and Doodlebug are sorting out a working relationship. Doodlebug decided to name the kitten Peanut Butter and Jelly. We are gradually trying to shorten it to just Peanut Butter since saying his entire name or calling him through the yard causes me to look over my shoulder to see if any neighbors are listening and wondering if I’ve lost my marbles. Poor Peanut Butter yowled pathetically for two solid weeks after his Mom’s abrupt disappearance but seems to have found solace since then in following Doodlebug around and enduring whatever attentions she is willing to give him.
Unlike Hopper who never actually scratched Doodles in her entire short-lived career as our pet cat Peanut Butter has actually reached the scratching point a time or two. Something I’m relieved to see. There is only so much a cat should take without protest. Yesterday I looked outside to see Doodles carrying him around upside down with his back legs over her shoulders and his tail wrapped around the back of her neck and held with one hand while the other held him firmly across his back. This did not seem to phase him. Pulling him through the tall grass by his ears earned her a quick bap on the hand that left no visible scratch marks but was completely devastating to her nevertheless.While I’m not entirely sure he’s holding his personal boundaries strictly enough what he is teaching her is helpful and will hopefully save her from getting completely mauled if she crosses paths with a less amicable feline sometime in the future.
Although still very much a kitten Peanut Butter is learning to hunt and I have high hopes that despite the fact that he looks nothing like her, he may have inherited his Mom’s excellent hunting skills. It’s been so good for Doodles to have a pet. Makes me look forward to the day when we can consider getting pets that run bigger than cats. Our current neighborhood is simply not conducive to pets on any bigger or different scale than cats. I’m sure goldfish and gerbils would be alright as well but I am not a fan of indoor pets. The one goldfish we attempted didn’t survive very long at all under our alternating care and neglect cycles. We are hoping and dreaming of a property one of these days where we can have a dog…Chickens…Maybe a couple of steers and who knows. Maybe just maybe a pony for the Doodles. Till then she’ll have Peanut Butter and Jelly to keep her company and teach her a bit about respecting all animal kind.