summer_jackel: (Default)
Life continues. Today is my day off; I am pedaling my bike trainer, which is what I am usually up to when I post. I just had to have the trainer serviced because use had worn the steel tube that attaches my bike's rear wheel to the trainer mechanism so that it was no longer flush and didn't hold the bike. The mechanic filed it down and added a washer, and then asked how much I rode it. I guess he isn't called upon much to repair trainers. I told him that I rode 20-30 hours a month, which is true, if less accurate and less personal than my first answer: enough to keep me centered, happy and sufficiently sane.

Comfort the Pictus cat died last night, and I am sad about it; there was perhaps a time when I felt a bit embarrassed about grieving a fish, but that's long past. I'd had him for seven years and got him as an adult; the outer observed age of the species seems to be about eight, so I think the little guy did ok with me. I got him on the way home from a really disastrous court appearance in my first year as an attorney; I'd made a bad newbie lawyer mistake and felt awful, thus "Comfort the catfish." He was a good little fish, and his active presence added a note of cheer and beauty to my home.

I'm in a place in life where a number of the animals that I obtained in my 20s are reaching their expected lifespans and passing, others who I have thought of as the babies are in their prime, and a younger generation is beginning to establish. It's a very bittersweet feeling, like thinking of who I was when I got that fish, how confused and trapped and not who I am now I was. How much happier I am now and how much more sorrowful. How much more myself I feel, how my life with these animals now feels smooth and harmonious, as the animals I used to have and don't anymore felt utterly right and perfect and different than these when I had them.

I walked my three sheepdogs this morning and then bathed Coba; I took Nikolai for a short walk and bathed him, too. Now I'm pedaling on the deck, hour 2.30, watching Tiger stalk around while Magic, 16, lounges on a cushion in what passes for midday sun around here. For Sysiphean boulders, you have to admit that they are awfully loveable and cuddly. I couldn't be happier.


Photobucket


cats, dogs, bugs, slugs )
summer_jackel: (Default)
My Solstice was beautiful. Things are well with me right now, the world is gorgeous and green, and even politics are doing nice things; my love to New York!

In celebration, a bunch of random animal pics as I make an attempt on a three hour ride.

Horses, Pack, Tiger, Spiders! )
summer_jackel: (Default)
My menagerie has some new arrivals.

You may remember back in October, Kyn and I rescued three feral kittens and the neutered male cat who was taking care of them. The lady who had been caring for them reclaimed the cat, but despite a great deal of effort to place them, two of the three kittens are still with us. Kitten season is upon us again, and the lovely Cyril is no longer at the "tiny and cute" stage. The sad truth is that the supply of black and white moggies is far in excess of demand. He came to join my household a couple of weeks ago.

This pretty face was the one that filled me with delight in the seconds before I realized that he was a feral and was less delighted. Kyn and her household (including Rooster) did a fabulous job of socializing him; he's growing up to be just gorgeous, and incredibly friendly. He loves dogs, and is courteous with my other cats. As he has gotten though his audition period with me, is great company and causes little trouble, I am permitting him to stay, but I have absolutely, positively NO room for any more cats. Do you hear that, universe? Please don't send me any more; it makes me sad to have to cast them into an uncertain universe and I'm at my limit.

Photobucket

Isn't he a cute little guy, though?

More Cyril, dogs, a bird shot, spiders )
summer_jackel: (Default)
I've come home late after dance class and am checking my email. There is a grey parrot on my right knee and a wolfdog pressed closely against my left. Jez holds her nose so tightly against my leg as I pet her face that it squishes upward and she has trouble breathing; this cannot possibly be comfortable, yet it has been her way all of her life, so who am I to judge? As I pet her, she will wrap one long paw over my wrist and meet me with a soft gaze, which is also a preference I only partly understand and don't question, so long as the paw is reasonably clean.

Nikola is in an affectionate mood and would like his face pet extensively; when I stop, he turns his head sideways, holds it in his claw and stares at me meaningfully with a half-lidded eye. When I am petting him particularly well, the pale skin around his eye colors delicately in a parrot blush. Jez has wandered off to be replaced by Bliss' long snout; when the dog gets too close, Nickola tells him to "go lay down" or "no." I move him away as directed, maintaining the requested boundary; Bliss is, well, blissfully unaware, as he usually is where his snout is concerned.

I'm tired and, as is often the case, a little lonely and somewhat sad. Before I sleep, I will give the animals I live with some touch and affection to the tastes and preference of each, and in so doing, my need for those things will also be met. This is not the only reason I keep them, but that's part of it---that many of our simple daily interactions are so kind, so physically affectionate, so honest and so essentially similar. That we are all very diverse animals is perhaps too obvious to state; the similarities, the suggestion of a universality of need, interests me.
summer_jackel: (Default)
Ok guys, get your hankies. I have a genuine Heartwarming Cute Cat Story, right here right now. A weird one, but nonetheless full of d'awwwwwwwwwww.

And if you don't want the whole long story, have any of you ever had a cat who had brownish discoloring in the whites of its eyes? I've seen it in some friends' older cats over the years but never asked. Is it an age thing? Possible sign of liver or other organ dysfunction? The cat's iris is unaffected, but the stain is around its edge in the white part.

meow meow meow )
summer_jackel: (Default)
I told a friend that I'd do what I can to spread the word about this dog:

Photobucket

She's a Husky/Aussie in Northern Cal. As I understand the situation, she was a foster who didn't get along with the host family's Miniature Pinscher (a 5-lb toy). While the people were away and the dogs being dogsit, the husky killed the minpin, and if this dog isn't gone by Sunday when they get home, the people are going to have her put down.

This is an unfortunate illustration of what happens when one does not integrate a pack carefully or have the dog-awareness needed to prevent this kind of incident. This huskyX is a friendly dog who gets along with males just fine and would probably do ok with other bitches of like size, if properly introduced and maintained. But bitches sometimes just won't get along, and when you throw a toy in the equation, things can get bad. I, for instance, trust that Jez is fond of the shelties, but I would never leave them locked in the kennel with her and I divert the shelties elsewhere if they get too playful with her. I don't leave Jez in the house unsupervised because I don't believe in asking for trouble, and I know the personalities and limitations of my dogs.

Dogkeeping isn't rocket science, but it can be subtle, and they are animals with their own social rules that don't always seem nice to people. It would be good if the dog didn't get in trouble for doing what made perfect sense to her, a thing that should have been prevented by her keepers. This incident isn't the animal's fault and I know that she probably doesn't have a whole lot of chance, but I'm throwing it out there because I can. As a cautionary tale if for no other reason.

In other animal-rescue news, Kyn and I both now have bathrooms full of extra cats---a stray mom and her three kittens that we found while strolling along a bike path, spiderwatching. We got 2 kittens a couple of weeks ago and lost the rest; Kyn was able to get mom and another kitten yesterday. They're nice and should be adoptable. I currently have the momcat, a sweet, beautiful big solid-black panterish looking beast, and we'll be spaying and re-homing the lot of them. I'm also catsitting my mom's 2 Siamese until she finds a more stable place to live, which I hope happens soon. There are worlds of drama with my mom that I'm really not going into here, but Lilac and Missy Vodka and Denial are nice cats.

All of this means that I am now hosting SIX felines...which is working, but it's a little catful. At least they all get along and are good going outside (well, all but the new one, who's confined until she's spayed and way more relaxed than she is now).

Still...four little black moggies off the streets before Halloween. That's happy news, right?
summer_jackel: (angry wolf)
I'd really hoped that the situation described below would have resolved before now, but it hasn't, and I would like to bring as much attention to this problem as possible.

Many of you on my friends-list are already familiar with this sad situation, but very briefly: During the course of their divorce, [livejournal.com profile] genmaicha surrendered three cockatiels belonging to [livejournal.com profile] eclipsegryph and herself to Mickaboo, the local parrot rescue, despite the fact that they had agreed that James, who loves and wants the birds, would keep them. Mickaboo is refusing to return the cockatiels to James, their rightful home and distraught owner---even in the face of vet records for the birds in his name and signed statements from two of the birds' former owners that they had given the cockatiels to Cody and James as a married couple. Under CA law, the birds are community property.

That's right---it's the sadly common scenario of one spouse disposing of the other's beloved pets to hurt him; Cody doesn't want the birds and James is very attached, so this is not a case of two spouses fighting over pets. Mickaboo has indicated that it won't return James' birds without a long, costly legal fight, and is now joined in the divorce. Mickaboo's responses to the press have been shockingly callous and unprofessional.

More complete details are to be found on this parrot_lovers community post.

The story has also been submitted to Boing Boing, which sees a lot of traffic; a posting there might really help this cause. Submissions are voted onto the site, so please take a moment to cast your vote at the boingbong submiterrator, here.

There is also a facebook page devoted to this issue.

I am horrified that an overcrowded bird rescue would keep a person's beloved pets from him in the face of a fraudulent surrender and clear evidence of legal ownership by a home who badly wants them back. I am upset that I ever supported Mickaboo. I ask that if you are a Mickaboo volunteer, please apply pressure from within for the return of Aki, Aya and Alcyone. Otherwise, please do not support Mickaboo in any way until this situation is resolved.
summer_jackel: (Default)
Oh, dog almighty; Bliss has apparently got it into his head that Jezzie is A Bitch (oh, wow!) and is trying to be all courtly at her. Young collie, I laugh at you, not with you, but I am going to reprimand you as soon as I see you start to put a leg over: she is politely ignoring you now, but if you annoy her, she is going to hand you your pretty blue ass on a platter. Bitch? Technically. Also spayed, of respectful years and wolf.

Bliss Like Clueless Teenager. There will be no bitches for you, certainly not this spring.

The other in-house relationship drama that cannot be ignored is the parrots, who are now officially separated. Gavin's plucking is definitely seasonal, starting before the spring molt (which they're both completely in now; I don't think flight would be worth erupting pinfeathers, personally, and am glad I'm not a bird), but this time he was plucking Kaya and not himself, as well as being more pushy and obsessive than he was in the past. Post-separation, he plucked out all the contours on his breast, but now he seems to be letting them grow back in. He's still very obsessive about Kaya, and I don't even let them loose on their tree at the same time anymore. For her part, Kaya likes to stare meditatively into space, seeing and acknowledging no conure while he motions frantically at her. Hopefully, the little feathered stalker will eventually cool it down. Honestly, I knew that this interspecies odd coupling could never last, but I always figured Kaya, not Gavin, would be the bird with the issue.

Parrots are fascinating.

The baby poultry are outside with free run of the pen now, and watching them become chickens and ducks is really fun. I need ducks; something about seeing them ducking about just makes me happy, and I missed them. Still too young to tell if either (or hopefully both) are hens. Duck eggs are the best, and it's nice to have them; I don't actually eat eggs, though I like to bake when I have them, but just about everyone I've given a duck egg said it was delicious. They are hard to find as it is nearly impossible to raise dux in commercial conditions. Even organic, 'cage free' eggs come from hens that most people would say live in suboptimal conditions, and ducks, with their tender feet and messy habits, need a coop that most backyard poultry keepers can easily provide but becomes commercially impracticable. Duck eggs: if you needed another reason to keep poultry, they are it.

I find myself thinking more and more about these things, a core value or mine that has been put off for years while I worked on other projects. I eat a lot of meat and I love animals, and I would like my diet to be more ethical than it is currently. By midsummer, I hope to have a chest freezer full of local beef; when you buy half a cow, it's pretty cheap. I've located a breeder of very high quality black satin rabbits, and as soon as I find time to build the hutches, I'm going to get a trio and begin breeding them for their meat, fur and beauty. I'm also going to try raising a half dozen meat chicks and see how that works out. Between these three things, I hope to gain near-complete meat independence from the supermarkets, and I'm very excited about that.

The next step is to finish predator-proofing the coop and building the hutches. The good news is that the raccoons have definitely tried to get into the retrofitted coop several times, but were not able to get at my birds. Success!
summer_jackel: (Default)
Here are the not so wilderness photos from my recent trip. Vegas is emphatically not my kind of place, but I do have to admit that it's entertaining...Cirque Du Soleil is always incredible (we saw Zumanity and Mystere) being some of the most physically beautiful things I've ever seen people do. There are lions, white lions and tigers, and a pretty good aquarium in various places as well. All of the animals seem about as well cared for as big cats in captivity can be, so it was lovely to see them.

I want to hug and pet a white lion and bury my face in his pretty mane. Yes, I'm aware of probable consequences of that.

Photobucket

kitty kitty )
summer_jackel: (Default)
A snow leopard at play in the Ohio zoo. Everybody Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww...

http://www.ohio.com/news/84130347.html

Spiders

Jan. 5th, 2010 01:50 pm
summer_jackel: (Default)
This post welcomes the two newest members of my increasingly weird multi-species family. I am on a bike, so have a story and a rant.

rambling on about spiders while I pedal. There are pictures. If you don't like spiders, you may not want to look. )
summer_jackel: (Default)
The cat is humping my bathrobe. No need to say which one if you are familiar with my cats. That one. With all the spots. He's not just casually doing this, either; no, there's some concentration going on, and he's been at it for about a minute and a half. I didn't know that a gelded cat could get an erection. At least he doesn't spray. Geez, man, not on my bathrobe, ok? Can't you get a room or something?

And then I think, wait, who am I to judge my kitty's expression of his unique gender and sexuality? (And he expresses it, let me tell you). Maybe I should get my noisy bike trainer at 7:00 at night out of the bedroom and give him some privacy. Wait, though, it's still my bathrobe, I get a say.

Now he fell asleep on it. Aww, kitty.

*

Speaking of pedaling trainer at night, wow, I forgot the effects of being rested in the sense of bike training. This has been a year of heavy emotional stuff...Kestrel and Lucy moved out a little over a year ago now, Kestrel and I called it off for good only in May...and the most useful method I've found of working through it is riding the hell out of my bike, mostly on the trainer. It's actually been really great fun and I feel wonderful, but the result is that I put in as much time and intensity as amateur racers. (I'd be an awful racer, though...lack of balance and handling skills would kill me. MTB may actually suit me more).

So when I haven't ridden for a few days...and there were only 2 major rides in the last 2 weeks...I get so rediculously full of energy that I can't sit still. I was just agro all day today, so I got home and hopped on a bike, and am now much happier at hour 3.5. Riding is a scream, and I have been pounding at the trainer for a good three hours with no sign of being tired. I'm peaked! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

*

Coba is curled up next to Jezebel's ruff. The housefox is using the wolf's mane as a pillow. It's true. They can't be photographed because they are asleep behind my bedroom door, and moving that would wake them up, but oh awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

I'm really happy to see that Jez is accomodating so well to the collie pack. For a couple weeks after Pryderi's death, she spent a lot of time in her kennel, in a surly mood and generally avoiding us. She's the last of my wolf pack, and has never been without another of her kind, but she seems to be really comfortable playing and snuggling with these colliepupthings now. I'm glad; I want her age to be happy.

*

Listening to a whole lot of Tori Amos right now. What weird and awesome music. Got to make sure I don't blare it at my neighbors at 10 p.m, as my sense of musical volume does weird things when I pedal. Although blaring Tori Amos at my neighbors (hey, they play country loud...) is kind of conceptually funny.

*

That cat is still sleeping on my bathrobe. His bathrobe? Well, at least until I wash it. Nice that he doesn't want my underwear like the puppies do.
summer_jackel: (Default)
OK, so I should post Diz pics. There are several. Florida was a fascinating place; I would certainly not want to live there, but it was sure neat to visit. The place was hot and moist and green, full of lizards, palmetto and ponds everywhere. The sky and clouds were bigger and fluffier---more warm moisture in the air, I guess---and the trees bore Spanish moss, blade-fronded tropical ferns and tillandsias. Very very cool. There were really wonderful coasters. [livejournal.com profile] madmanatw and [livejournal.com profile] corpsefairy are fantastic traveling companions, and it was great to see [livejournal.com profile] joreth again. I came back happier than I was when I left, it seems to be holding, and that's a good thing.

By far my favorite bit of the World of Disney was the Animal Kingdom; I guess when you have as much money as Diz does you can throw a damn fine zoo, and they did. All of the animals have excellent, spacious, grassy enclosures and seem very well cared for. There's a thing where they drive you through a few large paddocks full of free-running African animals in a big jeep, which is just utterly too cool for words. A rhinoceros came just about close enough to touch. Hard to have a more excellent zoo experience than that.

There were also (native) black vultures here and there, which delighted me. And this place has white ibis instead of pigeons; how neat is that?


zillion zoo pics )
summer_jackel: (Default)
Coba, there are no less than four places in the house and yard where you could go to get clean water. Why persist in drinking our of the fish barrel?

Chaos, it is really very cute in a somewhat pathetic way that you like to chew on sticks of firewood. Never mind all the puppy toys, huh? Thank you for only needing to be told once that you are not allowed to gnaw on the walls.

Trucker, I am sorry but you may not reside beneath my bed.

oh man, half an hour pedaling already and still full of soreness. Let's see if I can't top 3 hours today.
summer_jackel: (Default)
The Osbick bird just said, very clearly, "what was that?" I just about fell off my bike. Good thing I'm riding a trainer, and not rollers!

He is also now accompanying the techno to which I pedal with some really really adorable parrot sounds. I hasten to mention that he is capable of several parrot sounds which are far from cute in any way, which is one of the reasons he is not joining my permanent zoo no matter how tempting that possibility becomes, or how pretty, sweet and generally undemanding he is.

I bathed him for the first time yesterday, with my kitchen sink sprayer (the method second in rank only to sharing a shower with me amongst parrots in my home generally). At first, he was all flappy and "noooo" but after about 2 seconds, he realized what was happening and went into "OMG pure bliss' mode, complete with poofed feathers, outstretched wings and greedily drinking the waem water from the sprayer. Now he's even prettier and more day-glo;it turns out that parrot feathers get dingy and are not self-cleaning. Tropical birds like baths, they just do.

He will also step onto a dowel from inside his cage now, a huge step that means I don't need to towel him to get him out anymore. It still takes a few tries, but I'm thrilled.

Another cute but kinda gross bird thing is how Miz Kaya likes to lick the sweat off of me after I've been working out; the webbing between my fingers is her favorite spot, and she's very persistent. Um, burd? Thanks, I think, but ew...

You want pictures. And no, Bey still hasn't foaled. I feel like I may be about to, but she hasn't.

obligatory cute bird pics under cut )
summer_jackel: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] leora gave me five words that she associates with me, to explain a little about.

And I'm editing it to go behind a cut because it's longish )
summer_jackel: (Default)
Curled up at or near my feet right now are four dogs and three cats. (Well, Nocturne just left my lap and Magic is on my pillow). Coba just brought his vampire in from the living room to chew on. Tiger is in one of his affectionate moods and just rubbed up against my hand. (yes, the world may soon end). And both birds are on my shoulder.

Life's pretty sweet. I'm just sayin'.

Adopt one today!

Your rainbow is strongly shaded green and violet.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is says about you: You are an intelligent person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. Those around you admire your fresh outlook and vitality. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.




summer_jackel: (catdoglovers)
Neat!

Interests collage )
summer_jackel: (Lady and the Octopus)
Yip!

Check out This really awesome article with video of a big-fin squid. Link via [livejournal.com profile] spacebabie. SO neat. And, of course, adorable.

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