Words fail me.
Those strange markings in a circular pattern; flying saucers or just saucers? Did a small alien land in my garden? No…just a very fussy feral kitty called Katniss who decided that she doesn’t like gourmet chicken with tomatoes. I fed her first and then went in to tend to Toffee who was wailing because Katniss was fed first. I glanced out afterwards to check on Katniss and she was standing staring at me through the window. Her dish was missing too, so I went out to see what had happened.
She stared at me with her little round green eyes and I started laughing when I saw that she had covered (the very expensive) food with stones and dirt. “Would you prefer something else, Princess?” “Yes, please, strange human mummy” She deigned to eat the crunch but was silently condemning me for my poor grocery shopping.
I suppose she looks rather well fed and spoiled for a feral. She has a strange psychic ability over me and I can sense she has arrived in the garden waiting for food, even when I can’t see her. My car noise is immediately identifiable and that often brings her running. Toffee often knows when her Dad is turning into the street before he arrives at the house. Animals have amazing sixth senses.
I caught a cold this week, just a regular snuffly nose one, but it turned my brain to jelly. During a phone call I could not remember my home telephone number which I have had for 14 years. My recent travel photos are waiting for me to turn into a Postcard from Kerry but they will have to wait until my brain recovers.
My heart goes out to our neighbors at Santa Fe, Texas with another school shooting by a disturbed young man whose father’s guns were available. They should be locked in a gun case.
My heart glows to see Prince Harry marry a biracial American. As Teddy knows, all the smart guys marry one of those…❤
This post is an excuse to tell you some random stories and wish everyone Happy Easter, Passover, Pagan spring thing or whatever. I hope you enjoy scampering naked through a field of wildflowers, eating too much chocolate or going to your church.
Katniss has Help…
As most of you know, we have a feral cat who visits twice a day for dinner. We named her Katniss and have a collection of little plates just for her. Rabies is quite common in Texas so I am very careful to separate Katniss’s plates from Toffee’s (our indoors cat from Egypt). I am also lazy and end up with a pile of dirty dishes after a few days. Then I will put them in a bucket of soapy, bleachy water to soak and then will clean them. A week ago, I forgot to finish my task and left the bucket outside overnight. I sleep with industrial ear plugs because Teddy really snores like a bear. He commented in the morning that he wondered what the raccoons had been doing in the night (how could he hear anything over the snoring?) He said that it sounded like they were breaking something and were chittering noisily. Later on, I remembered my bucket and went out to do the dishes but someone had beaten me to it. I looked at the bucket quizzically because the saucers were all placed tidily alongside. I burst out laughing when I realized that the raccoons had ‘washed’ the dishes for me. They are very smart little critters who love playing with water. They will dip toys in the water as well as their food. Our neighbor found them swimming in her pool one night, chittering happily. I wondered if I should get them a toy kitchen.
The back-handed insult
I will be volunteering on Easter Sunday, as usual, and my doctor refers to it as my church service. I love that idea and the next time a rude customer asks me if I have nothing better to do on a Sunday, I will say I am at my church doing something more useful than singing hymns. Last week a pleasant older lady asked me where I was born (Scottish accent). I told her the long story short – Californian Irish Mexican hybrid. She looked at me carefully and then said, “You are a beautiful woman” “You don’t look a bit Mexican”. I really didn’t know how to respond to that ‘compliment quickly followed by insult’.
The real compliment
On my recent trip to the Texas countryside, I was driving along the major route between Houston and Austin. The speed limit is 75 miles per hour but in Texas we read that as 85 or more; it is some kind of state dyslexia… I noticed a group of cars had stopped on the side of the road and then saw the reason – BLUEBONNETS!! To my own astonishment, I slowed down and did exactly the same. Every Texan gets excited about our wildflower season but bluebonnets are an indigenous little blue Lupine that sets our hearts aflame. Here is a link to a previous funny post about Bluebonnets. After acting like an idiot on the road, I noticed a field of them next to my hotel which was near a super Walmart and, even better, A THRIFT STORE! Kerry was in heaven, both with bluebonnets and cheap clothes. It was a treasure trove with rich ranchers’ cast offs. One top still had the ticket on it – $50 for $5. At the desk, the young girl tentatively asked me if I was over 55 (30% senior discount) and I brought out my driving license (yes, they really gave me one). She said that I didn’t look 55. As I related this story to my colleagues later they expressed surprise at my real age and willingness to admit it in this age obsessed society. Again I burst out laughing – I just told them I shopped at thrift stores so why hide my age. Dang it, I would do pretty much anything for a 30% discount…
Most of you know that we have an inside cat and an outside cat. Katniss (the outside cat) is utterly feral and I can’t touch her (so is the inside cat…). We live in the sub tropics and she normally uses my deck as shade but the weather is crazy right now. Here she is with some snowflakes in her dense black fur. She complained bitterly to me but doesn’t believe that I am only the Goddess of tinned food, not the weather. Fortunately, I have been feeding her like a Christmas Goose and she has a nice layer of blubber. Houston has just closed for two days because of a ridiculous cold front. It went down to single digits (F) in some places.
Here are icicles still frozen on my bush.
I drove to the airport today and it was scary to see how much ice there had been. Not only do we not have the capacity to deal with this kind of weather but none of us know how to drive in it. I learned to drive in Texas so my only skills are driving fast (breaking fast when I spot state troopers), avoiding flash floods and parking under the only tree in the summer.
Even my poor little Aloe Vera is completely frozen. About 10 years ago I planted an inch of aloe and it grew and grew like Topsy. I hope she survives this freak ice storm. Teddy flew to Oklahoma (I always burst into song when I say that) and it will be even colder there, brrrrr! I am desperate to share my adventure in Mexico with y’all amigos but am too tired to do it justice. Next week…
Until then, keep warm my friends.
Toffee is our elderly Egyptian street cat who hardly ever spoke until the other two alphas died. Now she won’t shut up. I have no idea where she gets it from (says the girl whose Nana exclaimed most nights, “The child has not stopped talking all day”). I am a little annoyed with Toffee because Dad was in Europe for almost three weeks and she stopped saying thank you (a deep strange noise). As soon as he returned, so did the thank yous…
We always get her a Christmas present, usually her favorite knitted toys filled with catnip. As the Youtube video below shows, some one wasn’t entirely happy with her present. I don’t know what’s funnier – her talking or me and what Dad is breaking in the background. The video is also blurry (mom takes medication) but it is the sound that matters.
Given her human age is about 70 (15 next year), she got tuna for breakfast anyway, as did Miss Katniss. Katniss is our feral outside cat who is about 3 years old. She refuses to be trapped but is coming around for food 2 or 3 times a day. Her fur is glossy and she is a little rounded but I don’t think she is pregnant. Sometimes she runs towards me and then hisses when she remembers I am not her mom.
Doesn’t she look incredibly healthy? She talks nonstop as well – no idea why…😸 Below is a shot of Dad in his enticing nightwear feeding her on Christmas morning. She is pretending to be Greta Garbo because she sees me photographing her through the window.
I was just about to take some photographs of our late autumn foliage when this happened. The last time we had snow was in 2009 so it is a big event. Everyone gets a bit silly when we get snow and the mechanics at the auto shop had been throwing snowballs. My next door neighbor’s daughter, who has grown up with us, is now very tall and at university. She created this miniature snowman.
Last week I told my girlfriends that it was going to snow this week. I doubt they believed me. My sixth sense has been hyper recently and I had a premonition of my death. Nothing awful – just that it would be my lungs. I had the last rites when I was a baby (lungs full of fluid), so I am good to go! 😇 Yesterday I drove downtown in the most awful weather, icy rain, crazy drivers and a warning light on my car. I was working outside and remarked to my colleague that snow was coming. He didn’t believe me either. As I drove back home in the same conditions, I noticed that odd look that the sky has when snow is in the clouds. Just a faint hint of pink with a heaviness to the clouds. All those years living in the north of Scotland has honed my Farmer’s Almanac skills.
Some of my plants are suited for a wide range of weather including these two buddies but some tropical plants look overwhelmed. Katniss blames me for all weather events and has been hissing at me this week. Just call me Freya… Today, at her first sight of snow, she had no words but later wailed at me for the cold. There is a lovely deck to shelter under and she has a thick, glossy coat.
As most of you know, we now have an outside feral cat – Katniss (picture below). We have a large deck which she uses most of the year with all the other critters but Winter Storm Helena is bringing a hard frost. I need to interject – why do we name every stupid storm? Back in the old days it was just bad weather. As usual, Houston is reacting as though winterpocalypse had arrived. To be fair, homeless people and critters are going to struggle over the next couple of days. What to do?
I checked out cat houses on Amazon and we could certainly get one eventually. In the meantime, I created a nest with an old cat crate covered in a tarp for hurricanes. It is off the deck to feel safer and there is a clean fleecy blanket in there with a catnip toy. Then I went to the supermarket to look for a hot water bottle – the assistant looked at me as though I came out of the Ark. “I don’t think they make them anymore”. Kerry Macgyver thought about it and created this.
I threw out some 10 year old Pimms (British drink) and filled it with hot water, sealed with the love of my life – duct tape. Then I rolled it in two of Teddy’s old t-shirts and put it under the blanket.
I doubt very much if Princess Katniss will use this shelter but perhaps there will be a warm family of possums? One of my neighbors kindly allows Katniss to sleep on their covered porch which is warm from the house, so she has some options. A few days ago, I spotted her waiting for breakfast in the corner of the garden. She suddenly looked behind her, clearly askance but not terrified, into the reserve. To my astonishment, two fat possums (Betsy and Peggy Sue?) came thundering out aiming directly for our deck. It was 8 am so they were late going to bed (under our deck) but they had been digging for grubs by the looks of their snouts. It looked like the scene in the film Fifth Element where the elephantine aliens came thundering out of the pyramid. I burst out laughing and went out to reassure Katniss.
She ran off (to return at a later time) and I startled Possum # 3 – the baby who had been following the other two. I saw him sleeping on the flowerbed a couple of hours later and entreated him gently to go under the deck to sleep with his family. He seemed to understand and went to bed like all good little critters should.
Thank you to Wikipedia for the links – what did we do before Google??
No need to comment about our love of alcohol, with the bottle and 6 pack door… 😆