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Posts Tagged ‘Pets’

Note: I have added a link to Sherry’s Salon web page in the last paragraph. I think you’ll find it is not your typical salon page.

Are we becoming England? I mean that in the best way. I think of the English as animal lovers, almost to obsession. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I am seeing the U.S. moving even more in that direction. Take one simple hour in my life today.

My hairdresser is located at a marina. Beautiful views of the harbor and the St. Johns River are right out the window. Even better is waiting for your appointment on the deck overlooking the river. But water ways with fish are magnets for stray animals. One poor pregnant cat showed up one day and gave birth in the shop (but that’s a secret). The kittens were quickly placed with customers from the shop and the diner next door. Mama kitty was spayed and was snoozing on the deck today.

Her pictures are displayed all over the shop. Today there was another picture, a digital frame flashing photos of a tiny squirrel and another cat. The shop owner took me through the story of his life beginning with the day her cat brought the tiny newborn through the cat door. That was over a year ago. The frame chronicles his move to the screened porch and finally to the outdoors, where today he has tiki bar, porch swing, picnic table with corn to share with his friends. There is even a whirligig to shoo away the hawks.

I had hardly begun my personal beautification when a guy walked in with his two-month old shitz shu puppy. We oo-ed and aw-ed over him, then talked of spiders and bats we have known in Florida.

I used to avoid going to “beauty parlors” because I felt so uneasy with the gossip and one-upmanship going on around me. You won’t find that at Sherry’s in Sanford, Florida http://www.sherryturnersalon.com/ , but you had better love animals.

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Each visit to Savannah I explore a little bit more, but will never be done with Savannah.  It is a city  shaded by history and centuries-old oaks.  Our first day on the trolley tour we got a good overview and picked up interesting facts from two separate drivers.

Forest Gump

Forest Gump boarded our trolley at the Chippawa Square, apologized for having eaten all the chocolates, said he was looking for Capt. Dan. When he thought he spotted him, he jumped off and ran down the street with arms flailing. Nice touch.

Square (Wright, I think)

This square is know as the wedding square for all the weddings performed there. Savannah is the only city in the U.S. with unchanged original plans. Thank God. They were brilliant –green space everwhere.

I must give kudos to SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) for a city more beautiful than when I last saw it about fifteen years ago. Their campuses are historic buildings they have restored, but they didn’t stop there. They lend expertise to private restorations. I may not be exact, but close when I say SCAD is responsible for restoration of between 75-95 buildings in the city. Imagine what that means!

Statue in squareI hope you’ll excuse me for not remembering the names of all the squares. Oh, to live in a city with so many beautiful open space that such a thing could happen.

It was worth taking the trolley tour the first day. They even picked us up at the Azalea Inn &  Gardens http://www.azaleainn.com/index.html://door, so a vehicle was totally unnecessary. Having done my homework, though, there were places I wanted to see that weren’t on the trolley agenda, so the second day we called a pedicab. Great decision. Brett, fabulous young SCAD student with calves like cantalopes, pedaled us from the B&B to the Pirate House, where we would eat and photograph ghosts. The orbs I was promised by my granddaughter and hairdresser didn’t appear on mine, unfortunately, but we had a great seafood meal, then cruised the Riverfront before calling Brett to take us to my “must see,” the Flannery O’Conner home. It was four blocks from our B&B and an easy walk “home.”

Pat with Brett in Pedicab, the way to go

I got a chill walking in one of my favorite author’s childhood home. O’Conner lived there until age thirteen. I took gobs of pictures, but will post only the most startling one, the “cage” Mary Flanner (her given name) was placed in as an infant to protect her from malaria. Some have wondered if that early experience gave rise to the dark themes in her writings.

Wood and screening "crib"Pat and I scheduled time for both our interests. Art overlapped, and we spent a lot of time in galleries. At City Market we bought birthday and Christmas gifts from unique shops (Pat’s favorite sport). I called O’Conners’s house and E. Shaver’s book store, a twelve-room, charming place for bibliophiles . When you have a friend like Pat everything goes smoothly. I enjoyed her choices and I think she enjoyed mine.

Paula Deen's

It was in the cards for Pat to eat at Paula Deen’s Lady & Sons. We were five minutes past cut off time to show up for reservations, yet were given a table right away. Collards, sweet potato, fried chicken, blackeyed peas, green beans, biscuits, etc. all cooked Southern. We were in heaven.

Joey

In the wee hours of Sunday morning we said goodbye to Azalea Inn & Gardens to catch an early train. We said our goodbyes to the B&B greeter the night before, because Joey, an adorable Yorkie, had not yet come to work. Oh yes, he is deposited in the door in the morning and picked up when his workday is finished after wine and nibbles time.

I didn’t mean this to be so long, but as you might expect, left out so much. If you are thinking of a relaxing, Southern vacation, don’t overlook Savannah. It is a jewel of a city.

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Continuing my year of new things in the new year in lieu of resolutions, I give you Buddy the gecko, native to New Caledonia. Though I am partial to reptiles, having lizards crawl on me has been a long standing no-no. But this is a new year and Buddy, the neighbor kids’ pet molted yesterday was so soft.  He did  not appear threatening.  With instructions worthy of Jack Hannah the oldest put the gecko on back of my hand.

Later we let him play on a tree truck (which they assured me he loved). Buddy is hand raised and doesn’t care too much for grass, though. Once he touched the lawn he just stared at me as I sat cross legged, then inched closer.

“He’s going to jump on me, ” I said.

He moved forward again and then leaped onto my knee, all the time staring at me with his unblinking eyes. To be fair, he has no eyelids.

“He likes you,” the kids assured me, “We’ve never seen him do that with anyone.”

Considering I had brushed with mint toothpaste to encourage nose kisses from the cats, it didn’t seem a good idea to get in Buddy’s face.  So we let him play on the tree trunk a while and then his outing was over. Let’s hope he enjoyed it as much as the kids and I.

Buddy, Gold Crested Gecko (dalmatian harlequin)

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What do you do when a strange cat dies in your backyard? The big gray, furry thing lay at the edge of the fern all day, shifting positions only slightly when one of my cats came to the window or when I talked to him. And then late in the day he ceased all movement.. So I tapped on a window. Nothing. Then a closer window. Nothing. That’s when I began to wonder what a person does with a dead cat. I’ve buried many animals in that yard, including a 100+ pound lab, but it’s been a long week and I did not feel like digging though the vine filled yard. How about the county? No, he’s not on county property; he’s on MY property. He’s my problem.

My cats perched  in the windows watching, even talking cat talk, and still he lay there. So I went out the front door to circle around, and grabbed a large stick at the last moment in case a rabid cat suddenly attacked. The spot where he curled motionless could not be seen until I was three feet from it. I took a deep breath and stepped into the opening, not believing what I saw—a perfect circle of crushed fern, an empty circle. There would be no need for the shovel tonight. Thank God!

Unless he just crawled farther back in the fern to finish his exit. Oh, please, let it not be.

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There is a new kitten out in Blogdom, I understand. This post is for her/him and all the others out there. These four items work for me, but you know how cats are; past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

 

  • Guests to my house don’t know I have cats for two reasons; one, the cats hide until they leave, but most important, they can’t smell the litter box. At least that’s what they tell me. This is probably because I layer newspaper quite thickly at the bottom of the litter box, then pour Fresh Start (though others might work) on top of that. Important here: I do not use clumping litter because it creates little fragrance balls even cooking cabbage can’t mask. With my method, the urine soaks the newspapers which is covered by the nicely scented litter and holds that ammonia scent in. (Thanks to Abbe for this tip.)
  • Does your furniture look like shredded wheat? Mine does. Four new leather chairs now feel like dotted Swiss under your fingers. Obviously I learned the following trick too late, but will continue to avoid further damage. Seeing my furniture still covered with quilts and sheets from the night a wise lady asked if I had tried foil. Foil? She said cats hate it, the sound scares them. You can bet I picked up a cheap role and spread it across one chair that night—and subsequent nights for a week. Result: no new scratches although the chair is mostly exposed. In fact, the minute she hears the foil going on, Emma (the culprit) runs from the room. This is only one week’s trial but I am ceasing my research (as they say) because the results appear so promising. I’ll begin to scatter foil on all four chairs at night.
  • How embarrassing it was to leave for my super garbage guys a garbage can so smelly I hated to lift the lid to add to it. I am here to tell you the problem is solved. I no longer drop kitty litter bags into the big can, but in a small can beside it. No, it doesn’t smell up the whole garage because of my secret weapon—Glad Bags new odor shield plastic bags. I just plop the dirty bags into that (no cover) and once a week close it up and put in the big can. This would work for dog poop, too. (For the government police dogs out there: I have received no compensation from Glad Bag or, as a matter of fact, Fresh Start. They don’t know I exist.)
  • Now this is the most important point. If you remember nothing else, remember this. When you cat is meowing or caterwauling or whatever he does and he doesn’t respond to food or clean litter, you can be pretty sure what he really wants is YOU. Put him in your lap or lie beside him on the floor and stroke him and talk to him. I must credit blogger OmbudsBen for this revelation. When I read a post from him a while back a light came on. He may have been talking about his dog. I really don’t remember, but since then I hear his advice every time chirps and Charo sounds come from my kitties. (They don’t meow.) Attention soothes them every time.

 

Just don’t look to me for advice when your cat falls in love with a stoP1070013ne frog.P1070006

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After four days of patient stalking, Emma (our Persian) finally flushed the wayward lizard from under the stove late last night. Speaking “in tongues” at the foot of our bed, Emma alerted us she had brought her gracious present to us. If the lizard lying by the bed skirt were still alive, it could easily crawl right up the bed covers. Jerry had fallen asleep and had no interest in throwing him outdoors. I tried to go back to sleep, keenly aware a frightened lizard lay between Emma and me. Soon I heard more scuffling at the foot of the bed when Luther, our Pixiebob, joined the huntress. I finally roused Jerry, who cupped the poor reptile in his hands and threw him out the front door.  Jerry dropped right off. The cats assumed the stance of “move along folks, there’s nothing to see here” before heading for bed. Yet I was too revved to fall asleep before 3 a.m.

 

Ah, life with cats.

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emma7-04-016.jpgThe young shelter kitties reached their sheathed claws to my hand. They knew to be on their best behavior. One had the most charming way of cocking his head to look at you. The older ones just wanted to be talked to. Such a sad, sad place.

Jerry and I only went to donate cat food ours had refused to eat, but of course we had to visit. There was  Emma’s old cage, number 22. We are so glad she is in a loving home. We  wish the same fate for these cats staring with pleading or resigned faces.

Coming home I said I understood how an old lady could end up with 100 cats. Jerry said, “or an old man.” You see why I married that guy?

Note: That is No. 22, Emma at the top, our beautiful little Persian mix.

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