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April 21, 2008

My shining lights

In times of darkness, a light is always shining somewhere. Here is a small sampling of the people and things that lit up my life and gave me strength during the past few weeks.

My greatest source of comfort, the man who is always there for me when I need to talk, to cry, to vent, or just to be held quietly. (One of these days I'll manage to get a photo with a smile and open eyes at the same time, but at least I managed to capture his beautiful smile for once!)
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My wonderful daughters, who brighten all my days (and Winston)
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Continue reading "My shining lights" »

May 8, 2008

My backyard family

Only the patriarch of my backyard clan was out today, but soon the hens (usually two or three) and chicks will make their appearance. Last year, there were at least two different broods - one day I counted thirteen pheasants of various sizes! I even got to watch the older male teaching a young offspring some fighting skills. Very cool.

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June 3, 2008

Announcing our new kitten!

We got our new baby on Sunday - isn't she adorable!! (Winston begs to differ...)

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She hasn't yet been named - at least not a name that we can all agree on. I am determined she must be named Paddles (or would consider Padfoot if the H. Potter reference will sway MN.) Her front paws look like paddles, they are so huge with extra toes (which she also has on her back paws.) MN has other ideas, such as Mariel. Ginger's on my side, so we'll keep working on MN (who has final say since this is, in fact, her kitten.)

I set up a little habitat for her in the huge cardboard box that previously held our new dryer (see, sometimes it pays to be lazy and not have gotten things put out on garbage/recycle day!) Flannel sheets, food & water, mini-litter box, blankies, toys...what more could a kitten want? To have free range of the house, that's what! Oh my goodness, she can cry a cry to wake the dead when she isn't ready to go to bed. We are all getting a bit sleep deprived after a couple nights. The first night MN tried to have Paddles in her room, but MN was too worried she'd get into something (you know, those bits of whatever that are all around every kids room) so eventually we put Paddles down in her own "room" and she did actually settle down. Until it got light at 5am anyway...

Winston is slowly getting used to the idea that this intruder is here to stay. He only hissed once today - only half heartedly at that - and he didn't even rush over to defend his food when Paddles climbed into his bowl - wow! So he's coming along.

Continue reading "Announcing our new kitten!" »

June 7, 2008

Friends at last

It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it might for Winston to warm up to "She-who-must-not-be-called-Paddles" (the name battle remains unresolved!)

Paddles climbed up on the sofa with Winston, shoved her way in and nosed around his tummy looking for milk. Obviously no success there. But Winston did start cleaning her and then let her cuddle with him for a while.

Continue reading "Friends at last" »

June 11, 2008

Quick update: the kitten finally has a name

And the winner of the name game is...

Paddles? No...

Mariel? No...

Kitten's new name is...Polly.

Where did that name come from, you ask?? Ginger came out with it last night. She was looking at her Narnia series, specifically The Magician's Nephew, with the characters Digory and Polly. Miss Ninja agreed, so finally our baby has a name. And it fits with her polydactyl paws, so it gets thumbs up from me too. (Although I still think Paddles is her inner "Deep and inscrutable singular Name"...thanks Annie, for reminding me of that poem, which I hadn't read in years!)

June 13, 2008

By popular demand: more Polly pics!

I got home yesterday, dropped my bags on the floor for a minute, turned around and discovered that they had been taken over by Polly...

"You can't move me, I'm too cute":
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"Seriously, I'm wa-aaay too cute to disturb, aren't I?":
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I think I'll just close my eyes for a minute:
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Continue reading "By popular demand: more Polly pics!" »

More photos

More evidence of Winston's patience...he curled up on the sofa to take a nap (yes, he does that a lot) and Polly followed along and curled up on his tail for her own nap.

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Continue reading "More photos" »

July 13, 2008

Won't you sit still, Miss Polly?!?

Yikes, it's hard to snap a decent photo of a scattering kitten! I thought I'd post a couple photos since she's grown so much since the last batch, but...holy moly, she's a whirling dervish this afternoon. Here's what I managed to capture.

I wonder what's in the living room...
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Ooo, a pillow to chew on...
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Let's see what things look like from this angle...
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Well, not much goin' on up top, let's see what's down below...
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See my pretty paws...
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Later dude, I'm outta here...
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August 11, 2008

Since you asked...Polly update

Annie asked "How is Polly doing? I bet your home is just as filled with kitten exuberance as mine!" Indeed it is, Annie - and exuberance is the perfect word for this age!

Polly is in that scattery, race-full-tilt sideways over the furniture stage. Such fun! (Although less fun to watch my poor furniture get shredded...) I love listening to her galloping around the house like a herd of elephants - I always marvel at how incredibly loud little kittens can be when running around. She's really exploring her world these days too...the other evening I heard a scratching noise so came to investigate. She'd climbed all the way up the screen door and was hanging at the top, swiping at the flying critters hovering around because the light was on. And then there was this morning...I was at the counter tearing up some cooked chicken breasts to make into wraps for lunch. Polly climbed onto the arm of the rocking chair and teetered there, eyes as big as saucers, sniffing at this delicious scent...then she steadied herself, prepared to jump on the counter, and...then I yelled NO!! in my deepest "I mean business" voice and she settled back on her haunches...this little cycle repeated several times before I finished making my wraps. I know that I have to discipline her, but...mostly I just want to burst out laughing at these times...she's so adorable in her badness! Mostly my disciplining involves yelling NO, clapping my hands, and shutting her in the bathroom alone for a few minutes.

Winston continues to be so patient. Yesterday Polly jumped on his head and he just sat there, looking at me with a "see what I have to put up with..." look in his eyes! Even when Polly pushes her way into his food bowl, he just backs up and sits there. So I have to keep watch and chase her away back to her own food bowl...all the while thinking: 'for heavens sake Winston, can't you stand your ground against someone a quarter your size??!' Unfortunately Win's been on a special diet since his urine crystal problems last year, so I can't just let Polly dig in...you'd think Iams kitten food would be good enough for her, but apparently it's not as good as Hill's prescription food...

Continue reading "Since you asked...Polly update" »

September 16, 2008

Sometime's Winston's just had enough...

Polly was climbing, hanging, jumping all over Winston yesterday (as usual) when he decided:

Listen, you little pest, enough is enough!!

Out come those big-boned paws of his...
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...and then KAZAAM...she is zapped by the glowing eyes of doom...
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Disclaimer: No animals were harmed in the taking of these photos!

(She came right back for more two seconds later...)

February 2, 2009

Shubenacadie Sam

Seeing that it's Feb 2, what else can I post about but groundhogs?!

A little backpeddling seems to have been the order of the day for the NS government recently. On Monday, the Chronicle Herald posted this story saying that the annual Groundhog Day festivities at the Provincial Wildlife Park had been cancelled due to lack of funding. Sounds as though someone hoped to quietly cancel it, but once the newspaper got involved, the powers that be must have felt the negative publicity wasn't worth it, so came through with funding after all. The event is usually very popular with local families, and Sam is the definitive groundhog of North America after all, thanks to our Atlantic timezone! (Unless he has a rival in Newfoundland, who would edge him out by half an hour, but I've never heard of one.)

According to the news release on the Provincial Government website:

"Groundhog Day is a North American tradition that has its roots in the Candlemas celebrations of Europe. Germans first used hedgehogs to predict whether they would have six more weeks of winter or an early spring. German settlers brought the tradition to Pennsylvania in the 18th Century, and began to use groundhogs instead of hedgehogs."

Now see, I want that job...researching fun facts on the origins of groundhog day and such, I mean. Doesn't that sound ever so much more enjoyable than financial analysis??! :)

Our neighbour, Stan, used to have a groundhog under his woodshed. We gave up on our vegetable garden because it always ate the tops off the plants before the veggies could grow. Our cat Rainbow (Winston's sister, now dead) tried to hunt it, but apparently it was too vicious for her. Stan said he watched her creep down under the shed, low to the ground as cats are when hunting...then suddenly she came bolting out of there as fast as she could go, with an angry groundhog in pursuit! So she stuck to birds, small rodents and rabbits after that (the rabbits were almost bigger than she was.)

Who can think of Groundhog Day without thinking of the movie of the same name, starring Bill Murray? I quite like this movie, I have to say, might have to buy it. It's a movie one expects to be lighthearted and totally frivolous, but somehow manages to sneak in a really cool message. I love how Murray's character grows in the movie; he starts off as a cynical, self centred lout, and over the course of the endlessly repeating day, finds compassion and an openness to love. Just thinking it's too bad we weren't having a Cafe Soul dinner & movie thing at church this week, because this would have been an excellent and fun movie for discussion!

As I look out my window this morning, the sun is shining brightly over endless blue skies...so I guess Shubenacadie Sam will have seen his shadow at the official 8:00 ceremony, meaning we are in for six more weeks of winter. And I'm sure we can count on his prediction, it's so very reliable and scientific after all... :)

Edited to add: click here to read today's story from the Chronicle Herald. Shadows were seen...and according to Environment Canada, here's the weather warning for Nova Scotia tomorrow: "Snow at times heavy beginning late Tuesday morning or early Tuesday afternoon giving 15 to 25 centimetres."

August 5, 2009

A glimpse of Polly and Winston

After reading Annie's recent post on LuLu and Maria, I realized that I haven't posted photos of Winston and Polly for quite some time. They've been fairly quiet and well behaved lately...until Monday night when I found 7 catnip mice under the sofa in the living room! That is the black hole for catnip mice apparently...I'd moved it into the middle of the room when exorcising the cherubs, and voila! There they all were. I tossed them into the foyer and we'll see how long it takes for them to vanish again under the sofa! Polly especially has been scattering all around the house, either carrying a mouse in her mouth, or batting it ahead of her as she goes. Alas, I have no photos of her at play. But here are a couple I've taken recently...

Polly and Winston on the deck, just to give you an idea of their size difference. Polly remains a very small girl, whereas Winston, as always, is a big fluffy bruiser!
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Winston in one of his favourite spots, right in front of the back door, looking out over the deck and the back yard.
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A couple shots of Polly, obligingly holding for a couple seconds still while skittering around the deck railings.
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November 10, 2009

The Dockyard Cats

Someone was selling calendars in my office recently. I asked what they were for, and was told they were to raise funds for the care of the feral cats around the dockyards and throughout the Halifax region. A man named Pierre Filiatreaut has been looking after the dockyard cats for a number of years, and is now trying to raise funds for their continued care (food and cat medicine are expensive!) and also to expand his TNR program to other feral cat colonies. The TNR program - Trap / Neuter / Release - is something he started at the dockyards and it has been so successful that there have been no kittens born in the past two years.

This article tells more of Pierre's story, and some photos of Pierre's cats and cat shelters are found on this website.

According to the notes in the calendar: Pierre has recently been awarded a "Future Thought Leader Scholarship" from the pet recovery specialists Pet Lynx Corporation. He has been invited to attend the 2009 Summit on Urban Animal Strategies in Calgary to speak about his work with feral cats.

As soon as I learned of this story, I thought oh I must share it with my blog friend Annie! She herself volunteers at a cat sanctuary in her own area, not to mention befriending the feral cats of Venice each time she visits that magical place!

Continue reading "The Dockyard Cats" »

December 2, 2009

Spiders on drugs...

Saw this youtube video on a friend's facebook page and just had to share it...

"In 1965 Dr. Peter Witt gave drugs to spiders and observed their effects on web building. This short film about the results of the experiment was created by First Church Of Christ, Filmmaker."

Oh and for those of you who didn't grow up on Canadian television: Hinterland Who's Who was a real series of public service announcements on the wildlife of Canada. I'd hazard a guess that even the opening music (pan flute?) is instantly recognizable to most Canadians of my generation! Here's one of the real ones...

January 23, 2010

Backyard visitors

When I first looked out the window and saw the following jumble in the snow, I wondered what on earth had been going on out there! But a closer look revealed that the tracks are those of our deer neighbours, who inhabit the woods near our house. Dave figures they were digging in the snow to get down to the long grass underneath. (Long dead grass, I should think, but evidently appealing to the deer in the midst of winter!)

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Here's a little closer look...
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On completely unrelated note...it's really cool to see what a large community of SlowTravelers are on Facebook! I had no idea until recently that was the case. I remember mention in the blogs of facebook a while ago, and at the time, was personally hesitant to connect the two communities, but I've grown more comfortable with the idea as time goes on. So, as it turns out, I'm glad to share this new connection with several of you!

January 27, 2010

I like crows!

...apparently so does Winston! He was fascinated by recent episode of the Nature of Things, which was all about crows. When commercials came on, he'd wander away from the TV, coming over to me for attention, etc. When the show came back on, he'd return to his place in front of the screen. Too funny!

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I myself have long been fascinated by crows. I know many people despise them as pests, and they can be quite a nuisance as far as ripping open garbage bags and stuff, but I think they are very cool. And apparently highly intelligent. The Nature of Things documentary was so interesting (can be watched online, there's a link on this CBC page.) Crows recognize individual human faces, they have an unusually large brain relative to their size, they hold funerals, they use tools, they have a complex social structure...to name a few things I learned from the show.


I am so fond of crows, I even have a signed print of Alex Colville's Seven Crows painting. I saw this print in the window of a frame store in Halifax and fell in love on the spot! How excited was I when my Mom gave it to me for Christmas that year!! What makes it more special is that I later found out that Dave actually saw Colville set up in a field by the Avon river painting this very piece. The only other copy of this print that I have seen belongs to Kees...who is the best friend of Mark...who is the husband of Valerie...who is the best friend of me. What are the odds Val and Mark would have completely unconnected best friends who both own the same limited edition print?? (I can't stress this enough...it doesn't take much to amuse me! LOL)

Unfortunately the mood, depth and true colour of my beautiful print don't come through in this photo...but will give you an idea of what it looks like.
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January 30, 2010

Welcome Elizabeth!!!

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forum smileys YAY!!! forum smileys HOORAY!!!! forum smileys

Congratulations to Kathy (Trekcapri), who is now the proud *mother* of a beautiful tabby cat named Elizabeth!!! war smileys


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August 27, 2010

Gratitude Fridays...Deer

I am grateful to share a corner of the world with deer. They are very common in Nova Scotia, but I still get a thrill whenever I see them, on the side of the road, or a field across the way, or especially in my very own backyard. They are such lovely and peaceful creatures, with their big liquid eyes and aura of stillness.

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Deer

their steps are liquid
through air, delicate
as Spring's first flowers

their shy gaze darts
here and there, a quick
knowing deeper
than sight

in a loose
weave they travel, giving space
to trees and sky

like you the valley
grows gentle around them

~ Elizabeth Reninger

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Let us go then, you and I in the Pets and other creatures category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

My people ♥ is the previous category.

When the Spirit moves me is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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