summer_jackel: (Coba ^_^)
I am recently back from BayCon, where I had lots of fun sharing a dealer's table with [ profile] corpsefairy. The con has become drastically smaller since its apparent heyday some years ago---it was one of the highlights of my year for a long time, and this was my first time back in several years. Things have changed, but I still had a wonderful time. My table earnings were modest, but enough to justify spending the time and going to the con.

Still, it's so good to be home. I'm not a creature comfortable for long in heavily urbanized areas, even though the occasional visit and social fling can be a real treat. I spent the morning grooming and walking my dogs and cats (who place themselves between dog and brush when they are in the mood), and the afternoon visiting the horses. We'd all missed each other, and needed to reconnect. It was a good day.


relaxing in the sun )
summer_jackel: (Default)
Little Rogue of Earthsea has been on the world 11 years as of Monday. We celebrated with new bones, a nice walk, and Rogue's favorite NSAID. None of the wolves showed any mood changes from the Metacam, just a bit less pain in the joints and such, but it appears to have a euphoric effect on Rogue. Lucky dog.

Isn't she cute?
summer_jackel: (Default)
I'm busy but happy, and spring is beautiful. To distract myself while working out, I am posting a random collection of animal pictures. Most of them are pretty poor quality, but they are cute and illustrative. Here, for instance, is a rare shot of Trucker somewhere other than the couch, the cushioned chair, or the food bowl! Vivid proof that she actually is a cat!


cats, birds and dogs! )
summer_jackel: (Default)
If you aren't sick of posts from me yet, here are a couple of photos of my pet tarantulas. Cleaning Chanterelle's box gave me a rare unimpeded look at her.

if spiders bother you, please don't click this. )
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.

Bird Spam

Feb. 25th, 2011 05:12 pm
summer_jackel: (Default)
There is a grey African parrot in my living room. I am pedaling hard and listening to music as well as to the parrot, who is whistling excitedly. It's subtle but, I believe, unmistakable; the bird is attempting to match tone and beat to the music. He isn't very good at it, but he's getting enough of it right to convince me that I'm not imagining things. He takes long breaks to listen and is quiet when he's working on it, more confident when he has it right. Adorable. Nicholas Greybird, who I'll be calling "Nikola" in the future due to preexisting associations with "Nicki," is eleven years old; I wonder how good he'll be at whistling along with music when he's in his thirties?

pictures of birds )
summer_jackel: (Default)
When I got home today, Mr. Greybird was happy to see me, hopped right onto my hand and wanted pettings. I'm so touched. I introduced him to his play area and cage in my bedroom (essential to maintain household harmony; most of the sounds he's produced so far aren't any more obnoxious than my little birds', but Nicki isn't quiet, and he can project). He wasn't nervous or hesitant at all; he's hanging out on the tree, watching me ride now. What a sweetie.

Kyn called me this evening, and we both happened to be in the room with birds. Nicki and Ninja started whistling at each other over our conversation; it was hilarious. It is probably for the best that I'm seeing someone who also keeps parrots...

Gavin is regrowing breast feathers, which makes me happy. He still Wants Kaya More Than Anything. Kaya is seeming a little jealous and a bit needier than usual, so I'm giving her extra attention and taking care to handle her before I take Nicki out. None of the other pets seem to care, although of course the dogs immediately added Nicki's cage to their list of areas to check regularly. The area that skirts my birdcages is spotless. This is not because my parrots eat neatly.

Coba and I did a practice obedience trial, and he did very well! We have a real one next month, and I hope we pass it.

I finished a couple more pages of Bone Shard, which you can see here and here. I'm rather pleased at the coincidence that had me finsihing the pages which introduce Travis's Scottish Deerhound, Ghost, on the same weekend that a gorgeous Deerhound bitch took Best in Show at Westminster, for the first time ever. One of my favorite breeds taking BIS is not something that happens much!
summer_jackel: (angry wolf)
This is largely reposted from [ profile] corpsefairy's journal. She and I sent this letter a couple of days ago, and we are asking that those of you interested in acting on behalf of [ profile] eclipsegryph and his three cockatiels send copies or similar letters.

To the Board of Directors of Peninsula Peace and Justice,

We would like to bring an issue to your attention regarding one of the vendors at your upcoming Holiday Craft Fair. We have deep concerns about the ethics of Mickaboo, who are holding three cockatiels belonging to James Spaid.

The birds were joint property of James and Cody Spaid, who are now divorcing. They had verbally agreed that Mr. Spaid would keep them, but Ms. Spaid surrendered the birds to Mickaboo without Mr. Spaid's knowledge or consent. Mickaboo has refused to return them despite the fact that Mr. Spaid has provided them with proof of ownership, including vet records and written statements of the birds' previous owners. Mickaboo has refused to work with Mr. Spaid to resolve this situation, instead forcing him to join it in a divorce suit and expend enormous legal fees to regain custody of his pets.

One of the birds is elderly and all three have special medical needs. Recent legal communications revealed that one of the cockatiels is gravely ill with cancer, but Mickaboo has not allowed Mr. Spaid to see her, nor have they provided much information about the health of his beloved birds.

As parrot owners and firm believers in social justice, we believe that Mickaboo is an unethical organization and it should not be supported unless it dramatically changes its policies and returns Aki, Aya, and Alcyone to their home. We are deeply concerned about this issue. As a Palo Alto resident who has worked with other pet rescues, I am shocked at how Mickaboo has handled this situation.

We ask that Mickaboo be removed from your list of organizations represented at your upcoming craft fair. Thank you very much for your attention in this matter.



The relevant email address is Their website is here. Background on this situation can be found here and here. Perhaps the worst of it is that one of the birds, Aya according to Mickaboo, has recently been diagnosed with cancer and undergone very dangerous surgery. At least Mickaboo treated her, but she remains away from her home and her person. These little birds really need to come home.

Letters to Mickaboo itself might not be a bad idea, either, although they've made it clear that they are going to hang onto these poor birds until the court orders them to do so---which it will, but it may take an unknown amount of time to do so. The legal system works slowly, and Aya may not have much time. Many of Mickaboo's volunteers are ethical people, it's apparently just some of them and the administration that is corrupt. In my opinion, the more public outcry Mickaboo hears about its misdeeds, the more likely someone within it is to actually listen. Their address is
summer_jackel: (Default)
Life's good.


today )
summer_jackel: (Default)
So, last month, [ profile] kynekh_amagire and I made an intrepid quest to the other side of the bay for large, fuzzy pet spiders. When I was an adolescent, I kept a rose-haired tarantula named Gala, lost her to a bad shed, and have wanted another ever since. I'm not currently seeing anyone who seems horribly averse to impressively-sized spiders in the house (at least not that they've mentioned), and Kyn, of course, actively encourages that sort of thing, so away we went.

'Ken, the Bug Guy' ( is a very small office/storefront with a warehouse in the back. They have a wide range of animals that are healthy and, of particular importance to me, at least in some cases captive bred or captive hatched. I will mention that the practice of removing wildlife from other countries (often third-word) and selling it here is morally questionable on a number of levels and quietly refrain from further ranting, but suffice to say that this is an issue which concerns me. Still, I wanted a pet tarantula and this place offered some that were more ethical in provenance than many. Also, he had captive bred wolf spiderlings. I have missed the Lady in Velvet, and she needed a successor.

This post is totally about spiders, so you don't want to peek beneath the cut if you don't like them. But here's something else really cute and not spider-related...I kept the parrots up late the other night, and so Gavin was still asleep in his birdy sleeping bag when I took their covers off. He's usually out of bed by the time I get the camera out, but I think it's just adorable that the conure likes to sleep in his soft, fuzzy blanket.



now, spiders )
summer_jackel: (Default)
After much agonizing, I've decided to split up my cohabiting interspecies parrot pair, Gavin and Kaya.

This hasn't actually been as traumatic as I had worried. The reason for the almost inevitable separation is not the most obvious probability of Kaya growing into a typical poicephalus and realizing that she could and even should kick Gavin's obsessive and hyper conure butt into next Wednesday, but that Gavin in his, uh, ardor, decided to start picking Kaya's nape feathers out. That just won't fly, so to speak.

Having borrowed [ profile] illucian's spare cage (birdy thanks to her and [ profile] kynekh_amagire for the loan) until I've found more permanent quarters that will suit both the spazcon and my upcoming house reorganization, the conure has been moved. It was a bit emotional for both of us; after all, this is not a week after one of the most adorable things I've ever seen a bird do, Gavin burying his face in her chest fluff and muttering "pretty, pretty, pretty" in a totally blissed-out voice. It definitely stressed him, and he picked out a bunch of his chest feathers the next day...but I guess if he is going to pluck, I'd rather he do it to himself than the incredibly laid-back Kaya.

Things seem at least a little bit better now, though. He seems to like his new cage and toys and not spending ALL the time hanging on the edge of the cage next to her headbobbing frustratedly. Although he's spending markedly more "quality time" with his plastic ball now. I grant you, spring IS springing 'round here, and they don't use birds in that old metaphor for nothing. (I don't get the bees, though; only one pair in the whole colony usually ever gets to have sex, at least in honeybees...)

Kaya, for her part, doesn't seem to care. She doesn't seem stressed at all, and seemed more likely to fly off the tree away from Gavin after the cage split. So, I've only been letting them loose one at a time for now, with the other in a cage nearby because they still shriek if separated visually. We'll see how it develops; I'm actually kind of hoping the separation will ease Gavin's plucking eventually. I gather that pair-bonded GCCs are much more cuddly and joined-at-the-hip than poicephalus pairs, though I don't have much direct experience with either. They're parrots of very different genera and native habitat, and while their relationship attests to the flexibility and complexity of such beautiful and alien little minds, it seems like there were some miscommunications there, some different expectations, some ruffled, nay, plucked feathers.

It will be interesting to see what happens. I hope it's best for both. Keeping highly intelligent wild animals happy in captivity is not an easy task, and there are unclear choices to be made.


Mar. 4th, 2009 08:32 pm
summer_jackel: (Default)
And you thought this journal was all-pet-photos-all-the-time before I got my new camera...

Meet the zoo. For the first time ever, I think, headshots of all of the nonhuman critters in my keeping in one post! Some of them are, alas, not the best, because new camera hates Camp Meeker's lighting only a little bit less than every other camera I've tested it on, but I took every last one of them today.


(Also, Adopt one today! and Adopt one today!, Adopt one today!).

fur and feathers, fins and scales, wings and hooves and paws and tails. Fierce and gentle, tame and free, guide, inform and comfort me )
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

summer_jackel: (Default)
I am curled up by the woodstove which heats my house, writing on a laptop. That's pretty darn neat, really.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

pictures of creatures )


Sep. 17th, 2008 11:15 pm
summer_jackel: (Default)
I need to sleep. I'm having a hard time convincing myself to do it. Adjusting to loss, annoyingly sad angst-spectrum emotions and major life changes really sucks. Yeah, yeah. I'm dealin'. So anyway here are some virtual pets.

Real critters, though, are much sweeter. Rogue, for instance, is crashed out on my too-dirty-to-put-away but too-clean-to-wash-yet clothes where they live in a pile on the floor. Note that her presence will likely throw them out of laundry limbo and into the hamper in the morning, although I'll probably wear 'em one more time, to walk the dogs. I'd normally put a stop to this behavior, but she's been so obviously depressed about Skeeter's absence (Kestrel and Lucy took him to Covelo. I kept Rogue. We're a separated family) that I haven't the heart to do it. (Yeah, I know the grammar in that last...sentence?...should get me slapped by the grammar police. So should this whole post. Don't I have a rule about not posting whilst inebriated or tired?) Miz Nocturne, AKA Dammit Who Gave the Kitten Speed Again?! is zonked on my lap in a position that can't possibly be comfortable (do legs bend in that direction? Really? Only when you're a 7 week kitten, I think). I don't dare move her, though. She'll revert to warp drive, oooh, Jackels are climbable mode. Which is adorable too, of course.

I love these animals. Every last fuzzy feathery scaly finny one of them. They, possibly more than any other love, are so unquestionably worth the pain.

Why is the kitten unbuttoning my nightshirt?

There's this...sleep...thing. I /drags self to bed, with sleepy kitten/

Pets name: Bryndel
Adopt your own!

Pets name: Korva
Adopt your own!


Pets name: Ivy
Adopt your own!


Pets name: Vibrance
Adopt your own!

Note that you don't actually have to do anything to these guys to play the game.

Also, Adopt one today!, Adopt one today! and Adopt one today!.
summer_jackel: (Tiger Skeeter cuddle)
I'm reposting this from a Craigslist ad, because I thought that it was funny, and a creative way for a shelter to grab attention. 9 and 6 are particularly true, in my experience.

I bring this up only because I've always had a thing for black cats. OK, I adore the snazzy, glittery spotted kind too (although I don't know how people keep more than one...I know, mine is just extra-special, in terms of energy...) but the little black ones just get me. And, uh, there are now two of them in residence. Magic, of course, who is currently enjoying a bowl of tuna and the beanbag chair I resurrected with great toil and huge mess from its storage beneath the deck and another, much smaller individual.

There will be more, including images. But I need to crash now.

Top 10 reasons to keep a Black Cat:

10. You can always find your black cat in the snow. OK, no snow [this time of year! wish there was!] ... but you can find them easily on any light colored surface such your carpet or your floral bedspread.

9. Black goes with everything - It's true. You know it; we know it. You've got your black power suit on, your white cat jumps on your lap, it's all over. But if your black cat wants a little love and affection, no harm done--your look is only enhanced!

8. Black cats look like little panthers. Their regal breeding is very apparent.

7. A black cat will match any décor. You won't have to redecorate your house to coordinate with your cat. They are totally willing to pose on gold velvet, white velvet, pink velvet, or your sofa cushion to add taste and beauty to any room of your home. They'll perch on the brocade chair; sleep on the rug; curl in the middle of the bed. You name it, they're willing to go to great lengths to help you make your home beautiful. They’re that kind of cat.

6. Black is beautiful. There's the deep, auburn shaded black, the blue black, the black with tiny white highlights here and there, the sleek black, the fluffy black, the black with bunny-soft fur, the black with yellow eyes, the black with green eyes, the black with grey eyes...Well, you get the picture. Black is not just black; there are as many different kinds of black cats as there are cats!

5. Bad Luck, Schmuck! When you love a black cat, luck is on your side!

A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.
- Groucho Marx

4. Black cats have more fun. You only thought blondes had more fun. Black cats are fun-loving, playful, full of spark and energy. They try harder to make up for the image they somehow got as dull and dreary. They're like the sun streaming in a window on a rainy day; like the circus coming to town; they're just plain fantastic.

3. Black cats are loving. Look, they know their reputation--scary. They've seen the illustrations--skinny cats with nasty long teeth. And they're nothing like that. They go overboard to be as affectionate and loving as any fluffy white, pink-nosed bunny kitty could be, and you get all the other benefits too.

2. Love knows no color! Your cat doesn't care what color YOUR hair is!

And the # 1 reason to adopt a black cat is that Black Cats are the least likely to get adopted!
summer_jackel: (Gavin)
OK, so having a flighted conure is really, really cute. Something about having the little beast fly to my finger when called, or spontaneously flying across the room to me, is pretty darn heartwarming. We will see if I can manage to live safely with an unclipped parrot, but for now, Gavin remains in posession of his primaries.

I just wish Kaya's would grow in. They've tried, but she attempts to take off and falls like a potato often enough that she knocks them out when it's just one lone primary with no others to support it. It can take a parrot years to recover from a truly bad clip, and poor Kaya has one mother of a bad clip. Trimming *all* of a poicephalus' primaries down below the secondaries gives the bird no lift at all, basically, not enough even to glide a little.

Meanwhile, non bird related, big changes happening here. I'll write about them when I figure out what to say.
Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!
summer_jackel: (Default)
Once I've washed them, there will be pics taken of the canines. If you're wondering, I'm awfully posty today since I'm on the bike.

EDIT: Bey thinks this is all very boring. YAWN.

whinny and squawk )
summer_jackel: (Default)
OK, this may be snake TMI, but, well, I have a pet python, snakes eat rats and I, in fact, feed him.  If that causes squickage, you may pass now, but I found this warped and funny so I'm sharing...

I picked him up a frozen rat today. Usually, I get a live one and kill it for him if he dosen't make an immediate strike; Delphi is a rather timid eater. Frozen vs. live is a big debate in snake circles, btw; frozen is safer (rats will often bite and even kill a snake, and freezing kills any bad germs it might have); live allows them to indulge their instinct to hunt and stimulates the prey drive of occasionally unenthusiastic eaters like Del. Frozen proponents also claim that it is kinder to the prey rodent, but I am skeptical; Del kills very quickly (and so do I), moreso, I imagine, than being flash-frozen.

But anyhow, I was at PetSmart today, they had frozen, Del needed feeding, so I got him one. This is the first *commercially packaged* dead rat I've ever bought, and it gave me LOLs. This product was called "gourmet rodent." (As opposed to bargain rodent, for working class snakes?) and came in a little purple pastel bag printed with green mice; very eastery. There were instructions printed on the back, 2 of which are worth sharing.

The first was, appropriately in bold, 'Do Not Microwave.' Oh, Amen to that. Seriously folks, I tried that once, and after law school it is one of the stupidist decisions I've ever made. No, no, oh hell no, don't ever ever ever microwave a dead rat. I'm really ok with many very disgusting things; I scavenge road kill, after all, and I've smelled all manner of badness, so trust me when I say this one is in a league of its own. When packaging tells you not to microwave a frozen rat, baby, you'd better listen.

The last instruction was, "not for human consumption."

I don't think I have anything to say about that.
summer_jackel: (Default)
Ah, Jackel's kinky dux...

When I go out to feed this morning, Felix (drake) is trying to mate with Petey (drake) who is trying to mate with the shrilly quacking Vera (duck hen). Whose ducks are the kinkiest?!

...yeah, now all we need is Vera going for Felix and we'll have No Exit in the duck yard.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!


summer_jackel: (Default)

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