Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Animal adventures

When you live in the country and have animals, there is always adventure. Maybe it's because we don't watch much TV and even fewer movies that we are so easily entertained, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

The raccoons have been as voracious as the birds and squirrels for the black oil sunflower seeds. I always check for coons after dark before letting the dogs out, because I don't want either species getting hurt. The other night I followed procedure, but it quickly became apparent from Jackson's barking and behavior that he'd treed something - under the deck! He was sniffing and scratching at the boards, so I ran down to the basement and turned on the light under the deck to see this:

Monday morning I let the dogs out and quickly realized that I need to start checking for coons in the AM, too. In the instant I realized the dogs had a coon trapped on the corner of the deck railing, Jackson jumped up and pulled it down to the deck as I barreled out the door yelling my head off. Fortunately Jackson is able to be called off (Dozer was a little slower to come, but did), and the coon was able to escape - hopefully without injury.

Then there are the cats. Tippy turned my heart inside out when he didn't show up at chore time Sunday night. But he was back Monday morning, so I sternly explained to him that he can't stay out late without calling. Recognizing that my tough talk was a merely a sign of my abject devotion, he purred back, "I love you, too; I do, I do."

Recently both cats followed me into the henhouse:
I think Tippy was just curious, but Oreo seemed to have an ulterior motive - more atypical dining:
Yes, she actually nibbled at the pumpkin in the chicken yard!

Another evening chore time, she showed a predilection for more carnivorous fare:
That is a very dead little bat on her feeding shelf. Worried that any bat she could catch must be sick at best and rabid at worst, I quickly disposed of it and we are watching her for any signs of illness.

This morning both cats jumped up on opposite ends of the sawhorse in the barn and sat down, facing each other. It was a cute photo op, but as I fumbled with my camera they started trash-talking, and Oreo had turned away by the time I got off one shot before my battery went dead:
Obviously, they aren't on friendly terms yet!

That's it for today from . . .


Susan said...

Excitement! Oreo resembles my Cookie from the back view, LOL. Who needs television when you have cats and dogs, no?

Theresa said...

LOL, I always get a kick out of someone enjoying the wildlife other than me. The winter seems to bring them around more. We haven't put seed out yet for the birds. I want to be double dare you sure all bears are truly asleep, plus, I have to blaze a trail through the 2' plus snow to put the feeders up.
Glad no one was hurt in the coon encounter. They can be fierce fighters.
Maybe it was just an old bat, who time had come with the arrival of winter. Where DO bats hang out when there are no bugs?

Nancy K. said...

I can't believe Jackson came when you called him while he had a coon cornered! You must be one heck of a dog trainer.

Sable actually steals big pieces of pumpkins from the ewes and takes them off and eats them.
I figure she shouldn't have any worms anyway!


Michelle said...

No, Nancy, I can't take the credit. Jackson just has a low "prey drive," as evidenced by his complete lack of herding instinct (which is simply a redirected prey drive....). I like him that way, even though it would be nice to have his help with the sheep occasionally!

Tiggeriffic said...

I enjoyed reading your post today.. Racoons are plentiful here.. I catch them in my live trap and take them to the state park near here.
They like to tear the siding off my house near the attic and get into the house.. Not a good thing to have in your house..
ta ta for now..from Iowa

Michelle said...

Oh dear, Tiggeriffic! I guess I'd better be thankful that the dogs keep them from trying to move in here!

Sharon said...

My son has two black cats that they narrowly rescued as babies. Now they're huge like yours. The all black one is Cinder and their oreo cat is Ella. Can you tell they're Disney fans? Yours remind me very much of their cats.