Our year-old kitten, Tech, has recently become more of an outside kitty. We live in the country, so there's not much fear of cars...just critters that share the woods.
The first time he saw our resident herd of deer, he dashed off the back porch and ran right into the middle of the herd. (Now, keep in mind that he lives with three huge dogs, so I don't think the size of the deer put him off.) The deer, on the other hand, we so startled by this little striped dynamo, that the herd scattered and ran off.
Since then, Tech has run right into their midst many times, and they have gotten used to him doing so. They will raise their heads and look at him, then go back to munching...and he will lie down among them and just observe what they're doing.
A couple of weeks ago, I walked into the kitchen to put a plate in the sink and just happened to glance out the kitchen window...in time to see a doe trying to touch noses with Tech!! She would step close to him and stretch out her nose...he would gently push it away with his paw...she would think about it a minute then step close and try again. Darn!! The camera was upstairs in the office!
I dashed up the steps and grabbed the camera, then lifted the blind on the bathroom window. There was a glare on the window, but I was afraid of startling the deer, so I just snapped pics through the glare, then adjusted as best I could in Photoshop afterward.
Here, Tech's lady-friend is attempting to touch noses...
He had just patted her nose away, very gently, and she backed up a step:
Here, she is coming back to try again:
Tech finally sniffed noses with the doe:
Afterward, Tech wandered off through the yard, with his new girlfriend tagging after him! When he stopped, she stopped (and munched my flowers while she waited for him to move again):
This was the last pic I got of them together, as they rounded the corner of the house...too much glare on the window...sorry!
Gee, I think the "dog days of summer" have arrived a bit early! It has been 100 F, or nearly that, for several days, and is supposed to continue to be in the mid-90's most of this coming week.
I have had to take the newfs for walks about 7am, and then it's already mid-70's and unbearably humid. They come home, get a drink, and position themselves in front of an air conditioning vent for a day-long nap, to recover. The outdoor cats are finding shade in the woods, or on the back porch (it's under shade trees), and I notice that they conserve energy by sleeping the day through, too.
The inside cats haven't slowed down. Of course, Tech, Tobias, and O'Malley are still pretty much kittens. Tech and Tobias turned 1 year old at the beginning of May, and O'Malley is 9 months old now....but they zip around the house and act like nuts most of the time. Oh my gosh, you should have seen O'Malley the other day. The three newfs were lying in the kitchen, and O'Malley was chasing Tobias (Toby) through the house. O'Malley saw Toby run to the front of the house, so he took a short-cut through the kitchen...and ran right across Brenna, starting at her nose and running down her back, then jumping off to continue into the livingroom. He did this several times to her, and she hardly moved. Then he did it to Maggie (who was lying in the doorway between the kitchen and diningroom). The second time he tried to run across Mags, she suddenly raised her head and he ran head-long smack into her chest...then she jumped up and started trying to play with him, stepping on him a few times in the process, so that he took off across Brenna again. It was hilarious.
Here's a pic of O'Malley napping with our landseer newf, Lucy:
It has been raining here almost non-stop for the past two weeks. The yard is so saturated that it goes "squish squish" under our feet, and is so muddy that when we step on a patch of grass, the grass shifts and slides in the mud.
Every time we take the dogs out to potty, we have to hose off their feet, legs, and bellies, to remove as much red clay mud as possible...then blot dry on old towels. Doing that still hasn't saved our floors, and the house reeks of "wet dog odor". Ewww!!
Now that the sun is out again, I was able to walk "the girls" (newfs) today, to use up some of their pent up energy, and I've got the windows open to air out the house. The cats are all perched by the windows, intently watching the birds outside. I'm about to run the throw rugs through the laundry, and give the hardwood floors a good scrubbing. Then the house will smell clean and fresh again. Hooray!
The lilacs are blooming early this year. Our weather has been quite mild all winter, and lately we've had several warmer days. The past several days have been cooler, very rainy, and quite muddy. The dogs' feet are like big furry paintbrushes, so we've had to keep a hose by the back steps to rinse off their tootsies before they're allowed to come back in. The laundryroom keeps busy with the washing of old towels and throw rugs that the "girls" have muddied up.
Last year, the lilacs and dogwoods were in almost full bloom for Easter, when we received our only real snow of the season on the night before. I grabbed my camera and a warm coat and slipped outside at first light to capture the quiet beauty of lilac and dogwood blooms covered with snow. These pics were taken Easter morning, 2007.
Just thought I'd share.
"Our Newfoundland Girls"
Hi there! I'm glad you stopped by. I guess I should begin with a bit of an introduction. My husband and I have been married for 30 years. We've raised four children, who are all now grown. We always have had pets, but now that the kids are gone, we somehow added a few more to the mix than usual. We currently share our home with three Newfoundland dogs, and six cats (all live inside, except the three oldest cats, who are inside/outside at will).
Two of our newfs are half-sisters (same sire, different mothers). We had gotten our first newf, Maggie, because our old lab/dob mix, Haley, was aging out and we wanted to get a pup while Haley could still teach it some manners. (pic is of Maggie at 13 weeks, and already 43 pounds).
A few months after getting Maggie, the breeder called to say that they had a female Landseer pup available from a new litter. We resisted, but finally said we would come visit with Maggie to see if she would get along with the puppy. hahaha. Maggie took one look at the pup and immediately took on the role of "big sister". We knew we had to get the landseer with the cute little freckles across her nose. We brought her home and named her Lucy. (Pic is Maggie at 6 months, and Lucy at 11 weeks old).
Maggie and Lucy were inseparable. They ate together, stuffed themselves into the same crate for naps, and were always touching. If I gave them bones, they would end up chewing on opposite ends of the same bone, with never a grumble or growl. They shared beautifully. They still do, and they're over 4 years old.
During those four years, we have fostered another Newf and then placed her through Newf Rescue, with a fantastic "forever family" who adore her. (pic of our foster newf)
We said good-bye to our sweet old Haley dog at the age of 15, and to our wonderful Maine Coon cat, Caesar, at the age of 14+. (I'll fill you in on Caesar another time, because he deserves a whole entry.) (Haley, in her prime, and again at 15)
We pulled an adult Newfoundland from a shelter, at the request of Newf Rescue, and fostered her....then ended up adopting her as a permanent member of our family, when her first placement didn't work out. This is a pic of our rescue, Brenna.
We had three cats: Caesar, Tasha, and Antigone. Caesar and Antigone were Maine Coons, and Tasha is our grumpy long-haired tabby. (Pic of Tasha, squinting at the flash)
When Antigone disappeared one night, we did everything we could to find her. She had been microchipped, and we spread her picture to every vet and shelter in a 60 mile radius, put her picture in the papers...but we never found her. (pic of Antigone, "Annie")
A few months after her disappearance, we adopted Calliope (Callie) kitten from a local vet who spays/neuters shelter kitties and rehomes them. A week later, we adopted Zeus kitten from the same vet, to give Callie a playmate. She was too much for our older cats, Caesar and Tasha. (pic of Zeus and Calliope, as kittens)
Callie spent a week hissing and spitting and calling names at Zeus. Just when we started to think we'd made a mistake in bringing him home, we found them snuggled together on a chair, sound asleep. They were soon best buddies and partners in crime!
In May of 2007, our college daughter called us (when we were out of town), to say that she had "saved a life today". I thought, "that CPR training sure came in handy!"....then she said that she had rescued a kitten from someone who didn't want it. She promised to take "Tech" to live with her when she went back to college in the fall. That might have worked, if she'd checked the pet policy of her apartment before she signed the lease. ~sigh~ So Tech also became a permanent family member. (Tech is named after Virginia Tech, where our daughter had been a student at the time of the massacre there. She has transferred to another school this year). Pic of Tech, trying to get Maggie to play with him.
Then, in August of 2007, our dear old Caesar kitty ran behind my husband's truck as hubby was backing up to go to work one morning. Poor Caesar died almost instantly, and hubby still has nightmares about running over our good sweet cat. Caesar really was one-in-a-million. (One of my favorite pics of Caesar)
I immediately felt that I needed to get another Maine Coon to fill that giant hole Caesar left in my heart. I started cruising the Petfinder site, looking at literally hundreds of pictures of cats and kittens. I kept coming back to one picture of a grey and white kitten. There was just something about that one. I saved the picture, waited a few days, then looked at it again. I felt an immediate connection to him, so I emailed the shelter (about 2 hours away) to see if he was still available, and whether they would adopt to someone in another county. He was, and they would! I emailed his pic to our college daughter to see what she thought of him, and I took off to go pick him up. About half-way there, daughter called me to say "I can see why you're drawn to him....his markings are EXACTLY the same as Caesar's were, except that this one is grey where Caesar was orange". I had not made that connection, but she was right!
That is how Tobias ("Toby"), came to live with us. Toby and Tech are the same age, and acted like siblings from the start.
In October, I sent that same college daughter to the grocery store for me, and she came back with a tiny orange long-haired kitten. "I knew you wanted another orange kitten someday" she said. And so, O'Malley was added to the family.
That's how we ended up with SIX cats. Luckily, our newfs are wonderful with the cats. They all get along, snuggle together, and even play (although, when one of the newfs "pounces" at a kitten, the poor kitty sees a life or two flash before its eyes. LOL). Here's a pic of O'Malley at six months old, with his three "big sisters". He's one little cat who will never have to worry about having his butt kicked by the neighborhood tomcat.
There you have it. We share our lives, hearts, and home with three huge hairy Newfoundland dogs, six cats, and did I mention our Dyson? We couldn't do this without our purple Dyson vacuum cleaner. :)
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