Archive for the ‘pets’ Category

Oh look! My groceries came with a mouse!

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

This mous peed on my groceries I can’t figure out how this little mouse got into the bottom of my re-usable grocery bag. I am pretty sure I didn’t take the bag off my shoulder or leave it anywhere once the groceries were in it until I got home. I set it down on my kitchen floor when I got home and left it there for over an hour while I chatted with Marg and then got the dog outside.

When the dog and I came back up, he kept sniffing the bag, but I assumed it was because there were groceries in it. When I finally opened it to take out the remaining items — there it was! An itty bitty mouse! There’s nothing quite like the surprise of seeing some wild living creature when you least expect it to drive a little panic into you — spiders, maggots, little field mice. The size doesn’t matter — just the sheer fact that it shouldn’t be there triggers some primal response. I grabbed the opening and clasped it tight so it couldn’t escape. Then I got my camera and a flashlight and went out the back to take a couple of photos before I released him. He is awful cute, isn’t he?

But either the bunch of lettuce I bought at my corner market had been harboring a mouse, or it was somewhere in my house and snuck in there while I was busy — there wasn’t anything else in my grocery bag it could have hidden in. The other possibility and the only one that makes sense to me is that I must’ve put the bag down somewhere outside and don’t remember doing it? I’ll take any answer that reassures me that the mouse came from outside the house.

He piddled urine all over the bottom of the bag (so I had to vigorously wash all my fruits and veggies). And even though it looks like he’s eating this lettuce leaf in the photo, he’s actually pretty scared (probably because I keep shining a flashlight on him.)

Past middle aged

Friday, February 16th, 2007

The rats aren’t just middle aged anymore; they’re getting old. I’ve noticed one of them hunches over more and squints a lot lately. Tonight I made them a fresh bowl of fruits and veggies and tuna and was hanging out with them. After dinner, I was watching one of them try to climb into his hammock and he didn’t have the strength to pull himself into it. I’d noticed they hadn’t been sleeping in it much the last few days. He fell to the bottom from the top of the cage and I was horrified. I went over and he climbed out, across my arm and snuggled into the crook of my elbow and just sat there. I started bawling thinking he was going to die. He’s gotten so thin and I hadn’t even noticed. They’re not even two years old yet. There’s no way they’re going to make it to 3.

I rearrange their cage every time I clean it — you know, to stimulate them mentally. I think I’ve made it too difficult for them to get around, though, in their old age — I rearranged it tonight to make it easier on them. The other one still seems pretty spry, but they’ve both got little tumors and some respiratory issues. Ratties are prone to both. I’m traveling this weekend and I keep thinking about the last rat I had and how he had to be put to sleep when I got back from a weekend away. I don’t want to do that again. I don’t think I can have rats again. They die too soon and it’s heartbreaking.

The boy and the pets

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

Frank is so funny. We were at Valley Fair Mall a couple of weeks ago — I can’t remember what errand we had to run there. Anyway, there’s this giant plastic kitty somewhere in the mall and we walked by it twice. Frank loves cats now and he cooed over it as we went by. On our way back, there was this tiny little chic with huge ass boobs walking by the kitty. I was watching her boobs, and after we passed the kitty, Frank says, whew…I didn’t know where to look — the kitty or the girl!. Well, I was looking at the girl. Yeah, but the girl you can see anywhere…but the kitty…!

He is a far better pet parent than I am. He dotes over the cats. He dotes over Einstein (who’s proving to not be able to live up to his name — he walked into a cactus the other day!) He spends all day with them. It’s so cute. He wouldn’t have let that turtle die, no matter how I kid — while I was haplessly throwing stuff into the turtle cage, he did the research to find out the tank was the perfect size for her (I thought it was too small). I hopped on his computer days later and he had turtle websites up on his desktop :)

We’re down to 8 pets: 2 dogs, 4 cats, 2 rats. I contacted a local, nonprofit reptile and amphibian organization (baars) and discovered it was ok to release the animals I’d found: the two Pacific Tree Frogs, and the Coastal Rubber Snake (the snake the cats were playing with). We wanted to keep the frogs as pets, but they weren’t eating and I didn’t want to watch them die. The turtle moved on to a another new home.

Wandering in my underwear

Monday, July 24th, 2006

I was out with the dogs for their last pee before bed in a tank top, panties, and my motorcycle riding boots — no, don’t ask me why I was dressed that way. I was standing outside picking up dog poop in my panties thinking to myself, there are some advantages to living remotely. We have one direct neighbor — a family of 5, soon to be 6, and their front door is probably at least half a mile from our front door — going up our driveway, down the street briefly, and then down their driveway. And there are lots of trees giving each of us privacy in our respective yards.

It reminded of a night that we were having a dinner party at our old place and my girlfriend came over early to help, and told me I was wearing the strangest outfit ever. I’d thrown some stuff together to stay warm — I dress indiscriminately when I’m at home, and especially when I’m cold. And I remember feeling warm about that comment because it reminded me of my mom and how strangely she dressed around the house at times (and sometimes out). I remember thinking at the time how funny it was that I was turning into her. When my mom got into her accident, she was dressed in layers of clothing. I don’t know why — she must’ve been so cold to have so much clothing on. She was such a tiny little thing, too — I bet the extra clothes filled her out.

We kept those clothes for a long time. At the funeral home, I wanted everything. We got one shoe, and later one got the rest of her clothes. But not the other shoe — that ended up being in the car. There was something disturbing about the fact that her shoes were separated like that. It bothered me for a long time.

I don’t know what I thought I’d do with the clothes — I just wanted anything and everything that was hers, that was near her during the accident. The worst thing in the packet of personal items that the coroner’s office sent over was a bloody fabric eyeglass chain in a little tiny plastic baggy that said “soiled” on it. When I laid out the clothes finally, they were covered in mold from being tied up in a plastic bag wet and left to rot, and soiled with dried blood. Layers of clothes, and I imagined her wearing them, imagined her putting those clothes on her last morning. They smelled so awful and were horrifying to look at. We eventually ended up throwing them away. Some things shouldn’t be saved.

Pet violence

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

A week ago Mr. Number Two was attacked (I’m pretty sure by the new cat — the issue of satan as I call him). Blood splattered everywhere — all over the wall behind the cage, and on the wood floors and as far as into the next room. He had to get five metal staples. He and his brother used to fight and haven’t in a long time, but I heard a loud squeak in the evening, but didn’t bother to look cause it was only one squeak and I figured the brothers were at it again. Later, walking by their cage, I saw his entire neck covered in blood. He was eating at his food bowl and dripping blood into it. Poor thing.

rat with stitches

In more violent pet news…Maverick killed a baby bunny that same week. Actually, I killed a baby bunny, he just damaged it beyond repair. The next day, Einstein ate a baby quail and wouldn’t respond to my pleas that he drop it.

The new cat is seriously the most fucked up cat I’ve ever lived with. I’ve never been afraid of a cat before. I’m never really sure what he’s going to do. Even while I’m petting him, I’m all the while scared he’s going to suddenly turn and scratch me. He brutalizes and terrorizes my other cats, and sometimes the dogs.

The other day, I saw Tigger playing with Buddy’s collar and was wondering if that was some sort of dominance thing. But then I realized Buddy’s collar was actually on the kitchen counter, and what they were really playing with was a snake they’d brought into the house! A very little snake, but a snake nonetheless that’s currently in a small pet container cause I’m not sure if I’m supposed to release him back in the wild or if I’m supposed to kill it. I need to call my local animal control or wildlife center.

Today was skull day. I was spraying Nature’s Miracle on yet another doggie blankie and was examining it and found these little hard things stuck to the blanket. I picked them off and looked at them closely and realized they were pieces of bones from a small animal…including the jaw. On the patio today, I found the skull of some other small animal. I guess the hawks must’ve dropped it there after pecking off all the meat or something.

Frogs are doing great (the ones that’ve managed to stay alive — Minimus finally died). The turtle is going back. But Maverick is staying.


Friday, June 23rd, 2006

I am completely fascinated by the frogs right now. I keep going into the office to see if they’ve changed. I came home tonight and there was a new frog on the rock.

Minimus has no legs and doesn’t look like he has any guts. He’s completely hollow on the inside. I’m not really sure how he’s going to survive and what he’s going to turn into. In the photo below, you can see the dark area of his belly where you’d think his junk would be, but if you were to look at him head on, you’d see that beneath the dark pigmentation, there’s nothing — at least nothing in the rounded “belly” portion of him.


Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Tadpoles turn into frogs really fast. I usually look in on them every day and I missed a couple of days. Last night I walked into the office and goddamnit — there was a frog sitting on the rock! I’ve named them all. Maximus (the biggest), Minimus (the tadpole that’ll never turn into a frog), and then the Restofus (that’s good for all four of them). I didn’t get any pictures of Maximus with arms, but I got one today of one of the junior Restofus:

Jun 14
Max’s recently
developed legs
Jun 18
Max’s matured legs
Jun 21
Max’s already a frog!
Jun 22
Jr with arms & legs

Pet rats

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

I finally gave up the idea of adopting kittens — so, I got rats instead! I adore rats. I drove out to Petaluma to get them a few weeks ago — I found the rat breeder on craigslist. The rats are beautiful — healthy looking, shiny coats, bright little eyes, and very social and friendly. I asked the breeder what she fed them so I could make sure to have food for them before I picked them up. Trader Joe’s lite dog food and a grain mix her daughter makes for them!. When I saw how big the bag of Trader Joe’s dog food was, I said forget it…rat food for these guys (my last rat ate store bought rat food and he lived for over three years!)

Alas, I’ve discovered that a 1 gallon ziploc bag can hold 9 coffee cups full of Trader Joe’s lite dog food. And a 20 pound bag of Trader Joe’s lite dog food fits into almost exactly six 1 gallon ziploc bags. And the stuff I need to buy for the rat mix is easily obtainable — I think I’ve got enough rat food for the rest of the year (if none of it goes bad that is).