Previous Capers

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pinky's gone missing!

Our 13 year old big boy, Pinky, disappeared the Friday before Thanksgiving. He went outside that Friday morning and never came back. At first we thought that he might have been locked in someone's garage somewhere, but it's not like him to wander off like that. He is getting a little arthritic, so he pretty much sticks around the laundry room or huddles on the front porch with several others in our herd.

Before his disappearance, he had an operation for an infected ear growth. It healed very well and he seemed to be fine. He was on antibiotics the whole time and wore the cone of shame. We had him barricaded in the laundry room for 2 weeks. After that, it was business as usual. The morning of his disappearance, he was acting rather strange though. I found him sleeping on the bathroom rug and then he started pacing around the bathroom when I was in the shower. Roland let him out and that was that.

We checked Seattle Animal Shelter, and left a notice in their log book (I could have come home with several replacements! That's why I don't volunteer there.)

Apparently a coyote had been spotted a few blocks away, so that might have been his demise as he is fat and slow, so would make for good tender vittles. Maybe he had an underlying illness and had a kitty stroke or something and crawled into a crevice within the back yard vortex. He could be anywhere. Roland did have a poke about when Pinky first disappeared and didn't find anything.

Pinky is somewhat shy and scroungy, so I doubt anyone would want to carry him off (except the coyote). In fact, Roland kept insisting that Pinky's just big boned and really is an athlete. I said, "Yeah, like a Sumo Wrestler!" His very large blue eyes in proportion to his head, along with the way he 'beaches' himself on the furniture, makes him look like an arctic seal pup.

So, the one cat that shouldn't have gone missing, has gone missing. You'd think several of our problem children would get into trouble first such as, Mamah, who entraps herself on a neighbor's roof periodically or of course, Floyd. But Pinky? Call this one a new Mog Cottage unsolved mystery.

Floyd is Back to Being Floyd Again

I know it's been a while since I've said anything about Floyd. Well, $7500 and 3 near death experiences later, he's now doing great! His nickname is now European vacation.

We switched his regular vet to one who is sympathetic to cats with distended colons and feels they can live a productive life. The new vet told us that he needs a high fiber diet and may need to get flushed out every so often. So far, Floyd's been dropping poops around the place on his own. His bladder never seems to be very full, so we haven't been squoaging him so much. In fact, when I was cleaning out the tomato bed and had the cat proofing grids off, he jumped in and immediately peed. I was so happy to have to shoo him out of there.

Roland's been feeding him an abundance of cat treats to fatten him up and it seems to be working as he has been gaining weight (up to 10-1/2 pounds) but has also turned into a cat treat beggar. He sits on a stool next to the desk and yowls until he gets some. Spoiled thing.

Also, he has been getting periodic acupuncture treatments by a vet that comes to the house. It seems to be helping as Floyd is walking better and getting some continence back. This vet is also having us give him cranberry pill supplements to help with bladder health. That's a battle at times and Floyd has gotten good at spitting the pill out, even holding it in his mouth into another room before getting rid of it. We also have to trap him early in the day of his appointment, otherwise he goes missing. Somehow, he knows, even though the appointments aren't on a consistent schedule. The vet calls first to make sure Floyd's around. Roland has been bartering some of the cost off in exchange for his carpentry skills to work on a yurt in the guy's back yard (he lives in a log house). As you can tell, the vet lives an alternative lifestyle.

Floyd is still gimpy, as his back left leg makes him look like a ballerina in first position when he stands. When he runs, it flails out sideways more than straight back. But, I think it just adds to his charm, which is why we saved his bacon in the first place. Now to keep him out of further trouble before we have to take out a mortgage.

Purple Sprouting Slime & Other Storm Damage

This Fall has been rather rough on late crops. After 8 long month of waiting for the Purple Sprouting broccoli, the Thanksgiving week snow took its toll. Now, you're probably thinking, "Why didn't she put up a hoop house to protect it?" Well, the answer is two-fold.

First, it would have had to be a circus tent as the stuff was huge and swung over the sides of the beds. Second, I got stuck at my place in Arlington during the whole event and Roland was rather, shall we say, inattentive due to an unconscious desire to see its demise. So far this Fall, we've gotten 1-1/2 servings of broccoli heads off the stuff, not exactly a sterling amount considering it's output of leaves and the 3" diameter trunks on each plant.

Now the yard smells like rotting broccoli.
The constant pounding rain hasn't helped either. The only saving grace is that the new growth at the top is still good on most of the plants...and still just leaves. Geotropism is taking over and the ends are bending up. The stuff is tough! I'm going to clean up the rotting carnage and hopefully, the broccoli will make somewhat of a comeback. I found the long lost bale of hay exposed that was buried beneath the foliage and the celery is now getting more light. I'm going to mulch the other beds now that I have a little spare time until January (winter quarter starts).

High winds several weeks ago took out the Cathedral to the Peas trellis. Snapped it right off at the base! It almost looks like it was just taken down and laid across the beds. Roland never was satisfied with the way it turned out as he found the mahogany to be too brittle, and plans to make a new one out of cherry. I told him not to make it so tall.

In the mean time, I've cleaned out the parking strip beds and have planted fava beans and crimson clover for the winter. I followed the advice of an old Sicilian guy who plants his beans 4-6 inches down, depending on the type of winter (mine went in 6" down as we're supposed to have a cold one this year). He stakes them in the spring and usually harvests them in early summer. I'm planting heat lovers in those beds next year, so I'm hoping that the beans will be done and the tomatoes, peppers and zucchs can go in.

I've finally cleaned out the rotting tomato plants, removed the plastic off the cloche and planted garlic and shallots in that bed. My Reemay shipment just came in, so that's going over the cloche and in goes some winter greens.

The swiss chard and leeks road the storm well, although the chard is getting smaller. My other root crops and kale are also doing well, not being eaten alive this time of year. Now I have a hankerin' to make a pot of soup.