It’s Raining Cats and Dogs!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Well, not really, but today’s postings are all about cats and dogs. Pets (specifically cats and dogs, though there are other types of pets), seem to pretty popular in terms of how many downloads the pictures of cats and dogs are, and often, the cuter or funnier they are, the more downloads they get.

The Cat Brigade

Two feral kittens having a play fight.The title of this one is “owwwie”, for obvious reasons. Two feral kittens (part of a litter of 4) playing outside their makeshift home (they were playing, and neither were hurt, though it might look otherwise).

A family of feral cats took up residence in our temporary garage one winter – probably before the mamma gave birth. Mamma was a gray tabby, herself not much more than a kitten (just over a year old). She had been a feral kitten who lost her mother the summer before; we know because she and the mamma spent most of that summer coming to our yard for food and water. The kitten must have returned through the late winter with another feral cat we had often seen in our yard – affectionately named “Oscar”. He was an orange tabby and for a feral cat, very friendly and tame. Early in May we saw a couple of the tiniest little heads poking out of a hole that had been dug under the door to our canvas garage and as we watched, two more little heads popped out.

Orange tabby with a couple of his feral kittens.

Feral kittensThese are two of those little heads. The kittens were all different in markings and colourations so it was easy to tell them apart. The gray was the smallest, and we dubbed him “Little One”. The other two you see here was called “Whitefoot” and “Intrepid”. The mother cat was simply “Mamma”, and Oscar remained Oscar. this is another of the kittens – some gray tabby markings around the head, white a white underbelly and all white paws and a solid gray tail. Named “Intrepid”, this little one was the explorer of the bunch.

This tiny gray feral kitten is meowing for mom.
A little feral kitten; part gray, part tabby and a lot of while. She's busy exploring her surroundings.
Two of the feral kittens at play.
Another picture of one of the feral kittens who lived in our portable garage.

tabby cat sticking out her tongue.This tabby is ours. She’s aging (about 14 years old now) and we’ve had her since she was about 7 weeks old…our first sight of tabby cat behind screen doors.her was almost a week after her birth. She’s the child of a farm cat (who was born feral) and…well, nobody is too sure what the other half is. Wouldn’t surprise us if it were a lynx (unlikely, but there were lynx in the marsh at the bottom of the farm, and her attitude is definitely wild). She gets all her shots regularly, even though she’s an indoor cat. As you can see in this photo, she clearly wants out into the yard. We have an outdoor collar and leash for her, but when I bring her out she’s pretty nervous, and often wants back in at the first noise she hears. The five-minute in-and-outs drive me crazy.

inquisitive tabby catShe’s a one-person cat; not very social and very distrustful of most other people, and in particular children. She’s got a bad attitude with most people, though she’s a “pussy cat” with me. She’s got some funny ideas for a cat. She’s proprietary, and thinks everything that comes into the house is hers, and she wants to smell everything I eat, though most of it is not things she’s terribly interested in. Once, she actually ate a bite of banana (surprise), and once tried biting into a grape (didn’t like that). We don’t give her people food for the most part – occasionally a bite of tuna (vet says that’s okay), sometimes a little skim milk left over from a bowl of cereal, and every now again a treat in the form of a finger full of soft ice cream. She will eat things like pudding with cool whip if you happen to set your bowl down somewhere she can reach it. The same goes for things like porridge or pork and beans (can’t figure that one out), or macaroni and cheese.

two tiny farm kittens, one orange, one gray tabbyThese two little cuties are still very young. They’re kittens born to a barn cat and … well, nobody seems to know who daddy is for these. There were four of these little ones as well; two were tabby cats (with very similar colouring to our own cat) – the mother cat was a tabby as well, but these two … well one is orange and one is one of the tabby colours. There was a little black kitten, but he appeared to be the shyest of the bunch, and wouldn’t come right out into the open no matter how much we coaxed him … the best shot I got of him was with his little back end sticking out from under a bush.

One of the barn kittens; this one, is the only orange one in the litter.

The Dog Crew

A handsome border collie. This one is heading towards 2 years old, so he’s still pretty young. He’s a good farm dog though, and pretty well behaved black and white border colliearound people. And he stays put on the farm without the need of the leash.

The farm has a few cows and sometimes pigs. They also raise turkeys and they used to have chickens as well and have one horse. There’s a number of farm cats (keeps the mice and rats out of the barn) that he manages to get along with too.

The farm is sometimes subject to the wanderings of wild animals, like wolves, bear, deer and lynx so the doge is also a guardian and lets the inhabitants know when something is up.

A classicly toned german shepherdA 3 year old german shepherd who loves the water. His colouring is common among this breed, but look at those ears! He obviously loves to play, evidenced by the orange plastic ball in his mouth. What you can’t see here are the 3 other dogs in the water with him – a large mixed breed, a brown curly-coated retriever and another shepherd. This dog (on the left) has the classic colourings of the standard German Shepherd.

All of the dogs were well behaved and very friendly – well trained and just out for a day of cooling off in the lake. The three of them played happily together, running after the ball as their owner tossed it. The owner of this one was also the owner of the the other shepherd, while the curly-coated retriever and the mixed breed dog had different owners, but there were no arguments in the lake that day. They all managed to get along very nicely.

jack russell terrier pupThis cute little guy chewing on his leash is an 8-week old Jack Russell Terrier in white with pale brown/beige spots. Like most white and beige jack russell puppyJack Russell’s, he’s pretty hyper at the puppy stage – he wants to be everywhere and do everything, all at once. Getting him to sit still long enough to take a picture was nearly an impossible job. He was just everywhere; up and down the stairs, trying to eat the (dirty) snow that was still left on the garden pond, and generally just trying to chase every little leaf or piece of leaf that the breeze touched. Funny little guy, but very busy. This little fellow, named Hampton (no idea where the name came from) belonged to our youngest daughter and her family.

boston terrier pupNext up we have Lola … our girl. Well, actually she’s not ours. She belongs to our eldest daughter and her Boston terrier pup wearing a purple knit sweater and playing with catnip toyfamily, but they live right next door, and Lola is at our place first thing in the morning. When they let her out front in the morning, she hightails it over to our porch where the sun hits the welcome mat right in front of the door. If our inner door is closed, she’ll just lay on the mat, basking in the sun. If our door is open (it’s always open early in the morning when it’s summer), she’ll whine a bit to let us know she’s there (she never barks), and I’ll open the door and let her in. She flies down the hallway to the kitchen looking for my husband … who is always ready with her cookie treats! The left picture is one of her “baby” shots, the two below are her at about six months old. She’s a Boston Terrier, but she’s not a large dog – she’s quite small compared to others of her breed.

A Boston Terrier pup at about six months old, wearing a mauve knitted sweater - perfect for a little girl!

sleepy puppy with reindeerWhen Lola was three, they decided to breed her. She’s the product of two full blooded Boston’s – one a black and white like her, An hours old newborn puppy with it's momand the other a red (or russet). He (the red) was a larger dog than the mother, but Lola stayed a rather small size. Across her back she does have some smaller patches that show red hairs mingled with her black, so when they wanted to breed her, they looked for another red Boston male, hoping to get at least one puppy that was mostly red. That didn’t happen, but the puppies that resulted do have quite a bit more red than Lola does.

A week old boston terrier puppy in a christmas stockingLola was a typical puppy in most ways, but she outgrew chewing up things that weren’t hers to chew very This male boston terrier pup is only a few days old.young. One of her babies though … well, let’s just say she’s pretty much the opposite of her mom. Of the puppies she had (2 males and a female survived, she lost one in birth, and we almost lost Lola during the birth), they kept the only female, with the thought of breeding her when she’s three. They named her Eleanor (Ellie for short). Ellie is a chewer, and so far, at nearly 11 months old, she’s still at it. She pretty much destroys everything that goes into her mouth – with the PSI for Boston’s being very strong, it doesn’t take long for doggie toys to be destroyed. Even those deemed as indestructible have been destroyed by Ellie. And she is busy – very busy, but she’s also very cute and it’s pretty hard not to love her the same way we love her mom (Lola).