Tag Archives: kenshin

Reflection At Dawn!~Or, I’ll Have A Coffee Minus The Bugs!~

I was up at four thirty this morning. I wandered around the quiet house, then I opened the blinds and kitchen door and stepped outside onto the deck to watch and listen to the sunrise. Birds raised their voices in the cool morning air and sang.

When I make a video I try and choose the best audio I believe fits with the visual aspects. Doesn’t always work…

But, standing out in the early morning sunrise I don’t think anyone could have chosen any sounds better for this moment.

Yellow pink clouds in a clear baby blue sky, mists rising off the fields and the sun slowly rising in the east. I watched as the colors deepened to reds and yellows.

“Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning” I whispered to the Robin sitting on the roof.

The odd weather we have been having lately, baking in the humid heat, to storms with seventy five mile and hour winds, I wonder what today will bring. Behind me to the west the sky was a deep misty grey. I guessed maybe around noon I should see what Mother Nature has in store for us.

Uriah complained. He wanted to go outside. I pushed past the cats huddled near the screen. All were hopefully waiting for a bird or a horsefly to come their way. Kaoru talks to flies and Sanosuke eats them.

“Eat too many and you’re going to throw up!” I warn him over and over.

Kenshin stands close by and in total agreement about the flies.  He had to be given antibiotics because of his infatuation with flies. Now he ignores them. 

Uriah whined again. I let him out through the garage doors, then came back inside and collected his breakfast. Some Iams dry food, two liver snaps and a beef basted dog bone.

By the time I stepped outside he was already hunting out his ‘mouse’ formally known as, That Rat.

If, I call it a mouse he chases it. If, I call it a rat, well, I think he hears cat and we don’t chase cats.

I took a few moments to notice the wet grass and the chilly air was a bit more uncomfortable, while standing in the grass, than on the deck.

Still, early mornings, in the summertime, remind me of camping.

I would wake up starving and make an attempt to light a fire. Some worked most didn’t. When the fire started I would fry some bacon in a pan, add an egg or two and pull out some stale bread, which I would toast by setting on the edge of the pan. 

When the wet wood refused to burn; I would let my nose find breakfast. In state parks they have a small store, with a little area where they cooked up and sold a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage and coffee, milk or juice. Sitting around on a damp picnic table wrapped in a sweat shirt, half asleep, eating like I was starving  in that cool damp morning air, and usually the only meal without the added protein of bugs. Was a wonderful adventure! And that food was amazing!

The sun lifted up over the trees. Bright white yellow and reflecting off the mist and dew everything sparkled.

Uriah munched on his breakfast and I headed into the house for some pancakes and coffee, minus the bugs…

Happy Father’s Day!

Video Of Sanosuke!~ Or, A Mouse Condo Of Poop! “No Vacancies!”~

 This morning when I opened Uriah’s dog food container I  noticed it was very low.  I usually set the bag of dry food inside a tall plastic container, so each time I scoop out a cup I don’t have to lift the bag. Today I lifted a nearly empty bag. 

Time to go dog food shopping!

Uriah has a bad habit of not eating what I give him, at least not right away. When his brothers were alive he would tease them with his food. They ate faster then he did, with his usual, “I am starting trouble!”  grin!  He would sit on his food and wait.  Literally! Sit on his food!  So when they were finished and came nosing around he would show off by slowly eating in front of them.

Uriah, set in his ways, keeps up that play. With no one to show off to, Uriah wanders off and those country rats steal each morsel right under his nose. A problem starts when the mice take his food and carry it into the cars engines.

To get Uriah to eat I have to stand next to his food bowl, no matter where it is.

Or, I try to anyway. Uriah is a dog that has the ability to ‘out wait’ anyone.

He can hold his pee for hours, then still wander around and hold it in until I can’t take it any more. I will stand next to a bush and pretend that I’m lifting my leg, until Uriah looks likes he’s laughing at me, and then joins in.

Today I opened the garage doors and pulled out my car. I opened the engine and Uriah helped me look under the hood. 

Mouse poop littered the top of the engine!

I loosened the air filter and pulled it out. Mouse poop inside under the air filter! Great!  When I had taken my car last month for a fix on a recall, I had to dish out an extra eight hundred dollars to remove a ten pound bag of dog food from my air intake. Lovely little Mice! 

Michael had a doctor’s appointment on Friday.  He took his old Saturn, not trusting my mouse condo.  *His car saved our lives in an accident in 2004. A young girl on a cell phone..* So he totally trusts it to fend off mice:-)

Michael came home two hours late riding in the cab of a tow truck. Seems the mice may have invaded his engine too. Lack of a dollar, means his car is now a paper weight in the garage.

Back to Uriah helping with my engine!

 I pulled out the Shop Vac and vacuumed up mice poop on my engine. Then I popped the hood of the Saturn. I removed the air filter and didn’t see any mice droppings. Michel told me, that the air intake was under the car, and that will need to be removed to find the problem.

If a mouse was sucked into the engine…well, bye, bye engine. I can’t crawl under that car …

I stepped outside with Uriah and we both contemplated the problem. Or, I should say all three of us thought about it!  Me and Uriah, and That Rat who was sitting near the door on his hind legs watching us with a thoughtful, “what’s going on guys?”  look…

I jumped when I saw that reddish- brown haired rat. He in turn jumped and raced into the horseradish plant as I yelled after him.  “We are not your family! Stupid Rat!”

Hmmm! I wonder if he could be trained to keep the mice out of the garage.

I looked down at Uriah; he never made a move to chase the rat. But he did take a mouth full of his food and started to chew, slowly.

*

Sanosuke had me laughing this morning. So I made a video for fun. Enjoy!

Youtube Video of Sanosuke And Kaoru, “This Is Love!”!~ Or, Computer Dating Is For The Birds!~

 

I was shifting through bird names and I pulled up, Dickcissel.  Then I Googled the Dickcissel’s picture; he looks similar to some of the smaller song birds I saw in the Blue Spruce just outside the window next to the computer.

Then I played the  Dickcisselcall/song, both Sanosuke and Kaoru sat up and listened.  As the young cats ran out of the room my attention turned back to checking my email. I had closed the site with the bird’s song, so when I heard a bird singing again I automatically rechecked my task bar.

 It’s like checking if I left the iron on…not that I use the iron anymore.

 It took me a minute to realize, that singing bird was coming from outside the window, in the Blue Spruce. And that bird was talking to my computer. Hmmm!

What all this rambling means is I added a Dickcissel to my list of birds I have seen and heard.

http://www.sdakotabirds.com/species/dickcissel_info.htm

I took this picture while standing in the kitchen, hiding behind the counter and zooming in through the window. The bird, I believe, is a Brown Thrasher.

What do you think?

I played the Brown Thrasher’s song and Sanosuke and Kaoru went crazy, again.  I really shouldn’t laugh when they start jumping from window ledge, to window ledge all excited, but I couldn’t help myself.

http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/679/overview/Brown_Thrasher.aspx

For fun, I put together this video. Enjoy!

,Poem~ EEEK! Mouse In the House!~

One mouse in the house 
Two mice in the garage
Three mice in the barn
By Gerardine Baugh

 

Surrounded by farm land, and

Open fields of untouched soil

Winter is cold wet and frozen

Spring brings a thaw of rains, and  

Flood waters and open creeks

Those swell to streams

And then…they come into the house

One mouse in the house
Two mice in the garage
Three mice in the barn

How tempting a treat to a cat

Hawk or coyote

In a pet shop

You are worth a couple of dollars

To me your cost is closer to a thousand

To fix the damage, when

You, you tiny rodent

built a condo inside my car

Within the air ducts and around the engine

One mouse in the house
Two mice in the garage
Three mice in the barn

Time for Feisty Sanosuke, Kenshin, and PJ

To play with those Sweet little mice

In the garage,

Furry and fat scamper off my walls

I hear your nails scratching, and

your teeth gnawing

Your days are numbered

One mouse in the house
Two mice in the garage
Three mice in the barn

I have to insist,  give up your license

To my car, and my house

Your cash is shredded in this years nest

And plastic is not accepted

So run, run little furry mouse

Sanosuke, Kenshin and PJ want to play,

Tomoe just wants to watch

I will set out sticky traps

And search in every corner

One mouse in the house
Two mice in the garage
Three mice in the barn

Are just one too many mice in my life…

Picture from clip art;

I Refuse To Sleep With A Small Furry Rodent!~

One mouse in the house
Two mice in the garage
Three mice in the barn

 

It was two AM on Tuesday. I woke up to the cats boisterously running through the hallway and sliding into the bedroom.  They bumped into the bed, the walls, and the vertical blinds. I rolled over and drifted back to sleep.

Michael sat up and started talking, “I wonder what’s going on?”

Without looking I muttered, “They’re just playing behind the vertical blinds”

Michael crawled out of bed and carefully stepped in front of the bed, searching the shadows.  “No! Something’s up.”

He came around my side of the bed and flipped on the light. “Look at Sano?”

I sat up and Sano was sitting all pretty and proud with a mouse dangling from his mouth.

“It’s fake!” I muttered and tried to lie back down.

“No, that is real” Michael laughed and Sano nodded his head so the mouse, who was being held by his tail, swung upward  then came down and was hit against the rug.

 Sano’s eyes narrowed; when Tomoe walked up to him and sniffed the mouse, which I need to point out was very much alive. Then Sano growled.

Tomoe glared at Sano as if she wanted to smack him. Michael immediately told me to do something about that growl.

Sorry, I have had one too many mice dropped on my chest while I slept. I am not fond of the critters.  To show how much of a chicken I am, I pulled the covers over my head and told Sano to stop growling and take the mouse to his brothers, downstairs.

Instead Sano dropped the mouse. The mouse ran in a circle. Tomoe hates getting bitten so she stood a healthy distance away and just watched.

Sano played with the very fat grey and white mouse like he was playing a pinball game. He wouldn’t allow the mouse to run under the dressers, but he did let him disappear under the bed.  The one I was cowering on.

I jumped out of bed and ran in a circle flapping my arms yelling at Michael, “Get that mouse out of the bedroom!” Then I headed out into the hall and called Kenshin and PJ.  They recognized my frantic, Oh my!  A mouse is in the house!  Hysterical call and ran up the stairs to see what they were missing.

With the two older males now trying to find the mouse, I crawled back under the covers. Tomoe crouched on the edge of the bed, hanging over the side and stared at the floor and at Sano, who was carefully scooting out backwards from under the bed.

Michael muttered something I couldn’t understand. So I peeked out from beneath the blanket.  He held Sano up for me to see. Sano had that mouse clenched in-between his teeth and once more swinging by its tail.  Michael held Sano over the waste basket, and asked Sano to “drop it” -the mouse- into the wastebasket. Michael had to repeat his request three times before Sano opened his jaws and the fat mouse plopped into the plastic bag.

Sano was confused as to where his mouse went to and searched franticly with Kenshin and PJ’s help under and around the bed. Tomoe kept an eye on Michael and followed him out if the bedroom.

At this point, that mouse was out of my sight and I hoped Michael had given him a first class ticket to the moon…

Or, maybe toss him out the door.

The last mouse that was tossed out the door had been caught in a sticky mouse trap.  Michael was afraid the cats would get into the garbage and get stuck in the glue. So he had chucked that sticky mess out the door.  He figured on scraping it off the grass in the morning.  Instead it landed right in the path of a coyote.  Yapping loudly, that coyote raced across the fields with a rectangular piece of plastic and a struggling mouse stuck to his nose…

Picture from word clip art..

My Valentines Gift Meowed~

Happy Valentines Day, everyone!!

Friday afternoon my husband announced we were going for a ride, and he refused to tell me where we were heading. It was a beautiful sunny day, and he drove south, which took us further out in the country. I was enjoying the ride. I felt like Uriah, except I didn’t hang my head out the window.

I could see the damage that this winter had done to some of the silos and barns, roofs needed patching and paint was wearing away.  The roads were warped from freezing and thawing. Most of the streets around here have streams beneath them, anywhere from a few inches, to a few feet; the flowing water cracked the blacktop and caused waves to set in, making the drive similar to a roller coaster.

We were headed in the direction of Sycamore, Illinois.

Driving along, Michael started mumbling. “Seems someone moved a building…!”

“If you tell me where we are gong, maybe I can help.”

He snapped. “You get lost in the living room!” Michael muttered gripping the steering wheel.  “I missed a turn somewhere.”

“Okay, so, if I was looking for something, what would I be looking for?” I kept my eyes forwards, because I knew he was slowly looking in my direction, he was getting miffed…

“Tails!”

“The animal rescue?” 

“Yes!”  Michael rolled his eyes as he replied.

“Why?”

A very heavy sigh came out of him, I was sure if I looked in his direction he would have deflated half his size. I didn’t look..

“You said Kenshin needs a friend. So for Valentines day I’m getting you a new cat.”

“You mean for Kenshin?” I said coyly.

“You’re on my last nerve!” He answered softly.

“DeKalb TAILS Humane Rescue is on the left, side of Peace road.” I pointed out. “Turn on Barber Greene Rd.” I motioned straight ahead and added. “It’s the second traffic light.”

Michael made a growling noise when I tried to read the road signs. ” Stop! I know where we’re at!” He signaled then turned left, then right into the parking lot. We passed by a volunteer dog walker, and slipped into a parking space.

Our thirteen year old who had been quiet the entire ride, piped up. “This is the same place we parked when we adopted Kenshin over two years ago.”

 “That’s a good sign then!” Michael opened the front door, and held it open as we walked inside. “Maybe someone in here wants to come home with us!”

Straight ahead was a counter and to the left, leashes and dog and cat food were for sale.

Between that area the doors were closed that lead into the dog rescue section, we could hear them barking.

A sweet puppy greeted us wearing a pink collar. She was a patchwork combination of black, brown and white. She wagged her tail happily.  After saying hello, she headed back to a big floor pillow and laid down.

A very nice, woman welcomed us and started pointing out the rooms. They have a small critter room, where we could see birds and rabbits. They even have a rat and a mouse.  This room was between two cat rooms. Both had older cats inside, they walked around, and watched us as we entered. A beautiful Siamese mix walked up to the glass door inviting us in. To bad, ‘she’ was a she. Kenshin needed friend to play with, not a female who would tell him what to do all day. That is Tomoe’s job.

The woman pointed out the large aviary type cage in the center of the room; it held black kittens, all female. The room to the left of the front door was closed off due to illness. Until the veterinarian gives them all a clean bill of health, that room will stay closed, a safety precaution for the rest of the rescue. 

We were taken along a hallway to the room that housed some of the younger residents.

I was interested in seeing one guy who I saw on their web site, Hooligan, an all black male, with gold big round eyes.

The woman took him and his brother, Trouble, from their cage. We thought they were four to five months old, but they were four weeks old when brought in, not four months old as their website had indicated. Now, they looked about eight to ten weeks old, and very tiny.
I turned and saw another pair of gold curious eyes staring out at me.

“Who is that?” I pointed up, “Is that a male?”

Quickly she said, “You don’t want him.” and walked with us back down the hall into a playroom. 

There we watched and interacted with the cutest little boys. They ran and passed off a toy mouse as if they were playing a football game. They were very careful with their claws, and so sweet!! But very small. 

Kenshin is nearly twenty pounds. He loves to grab his very old brother PJ in a head lock and slam him to the ground. PJ taught him that move, and now I think he regrets he had.

Another woman came in the room and started asking questions concerning the type of cat we were looking for. Michael told her about Kenshin, and she pointed us towards the older cat room.

The TAILS rescue is very warm; the cats need the extra heat to stay healthy.  I was melting…

“Can we see the cat I noticed in the cage across from these guys?” I repeated that request several times.

Instead she explained these young ones, Hooligan and Trouble, were brought in at the end of December with some health problems, which have since been cleared up and are now ready to be taken to a new home.

I was wondering about the large gold eyes I saw peeking out at me.  “Ok, so are there any males in that cage I’ve been asking about?”

She said there were two males, I asked to see them. Once more we returned to the kitten room and looked into a cage. That’s when she explained, fearfully, they were on the edge of being feral. When the cage was opened the intelligent looking cat we first noticed came forward, a male named Buddy.  The very cat we had been told we don’t want. His brother pulled back and seemed to scare the woman. She quickly closed the cage door and handed Buddy off to my husband as we headed back to the play room.

“This guy has never been in this room, and he’s never connected to anyone.” She said by way of warning and carefully backed out of the room and leaving us with Buddy.

He ran under one chair then peeked out at us, spotted Michael and ran under his chair. Michael reached down and lifted him on his lap where he sat and kneaded his very big paws. He never purred.

We started to notice the attention we were getting through the door.

The woman came in and said Buddy never reacted to anyone like he was doing with us. “But aren’t you sure you won’t like to see someone else?” 

“Ok.” I said and Michael rolled his eyes.
 Just a note here: Michael gets along with felines far better than he does with any other species, especially humans, and he’s proven to me time and again he knows a rare cat instantly.  (He made me add this)

We left our daughter in the room with Buddy, and we walked across to yet another room with older cats; very sweet, sad and lonely cats. It was obvious they loved the woman.   It was their nap time and one cat she pointed out was about two, but he loved to sleep. He was sleeping on a cat tower and just about to fall through the hole on top. We all laughed and she said, “He will fall through without waking! He can really sleep, not much for running around.”  Then a beautiful black cat came up and started rubbing and purring on Michael, but hissed when he tried to show him to me.

We quickly left that room.  Michael wanted to take everyone home. He pulls the “curmudgeon act” because he’s a complete “softie” at heart, when it comes to animals and his family anyway. Especially cats because; well, he is a cat, personality wise.  

A different woman came forward, and asked which cats we already saw. She turned and saw our daughter cuddling Buddy, she responded like the other lady, “He never reacted to anyone like that!”

Once we saw everyone in TAILS, Michael talked to the woman and I went back into the play room. I picked up Buddy, and stood near the window, where I could see Michael. The lady looked in and seemed shocked, Michael walked up to the glass, and Buddy meowed loudly. He reached for the glass and pressed his paw against it in an attempt to reach Michael, who pressed his hand on the opposite side of the glass…

Update:

He was put into a cardboard cat carrier for the ride home. We were assured he could not escape. But while the paperwork was finalized, which took ten minutes, he ripped his way out of the box. We borrowed us a plastic cat carrier:-)

I haven’t slept at all, since Thursday night. Buddy, is now called, Sanosuke, keeping with the anime flow of names. He stays in a cage, set up in the middle of the living room, until he gets a clean bill of heath from the veterinarian. He has an appointment,  Tuesday at three.

*

*

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagara_Sanosuke

Tails Humane Society

2250 Barber Greene Road
DeKalb, Illinois 60115
Phone: 815-758-2457
Email: tailshumanesociety@tbc.net
Website: www.tailshumanesociety.org/index.asp

Michael Played, “They Say Its Your Birthday”~The Beatles In The Car, Very Sweet!

I had a wonderful birthday! My husband took me out for a late lunch at Red Robin, their specialty is burgers. Then he bought me a camera I am trying to figure it out. Luckily, the cats are just as interested in the odd sounds it makes, as much as the wrist strap that I keep forgetting to put on my wrist. Every time I came near them they stopped and stared.  

Even though I hate hair dye, it is time to try again. I saw the necessity when I turned the camera on myself. I had just washed my hair, what a lovely picture …No it wasn’t!  I just couldn’t figure out how my Grandmother appeared in the room!  I do miss her!

  We also went to the Petsmart where we met Doug; he was working and told us about his seventeen cats he saved from shelters. So many people with kind hearts, they do without to help injured and homeless animals.

My morning walk outside was like walking in a cloud. Standing out in the yard I faced towards the west, the house was in front of me, it was similar to standing in a steamy bathroom.  I should have felt down, with all that grey and off white. But I didn’t! There was a feel in the air, anticipation of tomorrow. Something was happening somewhere and I wanted to see it unfold.

The snow was melting underfoot. I checked out the low area near the trees to the north. I expected water, but I was met with ice. The ground was frozen solid. All the dry air that held in the sub zero temperatures at the beginning of the year had pulled out all the moisture under the snow. So the snow and rain hasn’t caused any flooding, yet.

 The first picture, I took by the front door. You can see the cement front step, the snow and the darkness with the fog beyond.

 I added a picture of Kenshin; I like how he seems to blend in with the rug.

He has blue eyes not red, I need to fix that.

Tomorrow I will follow Uriah around.  I just hope he doesn’t try to bury the camera.

Slip, Sliding Away~ Or, Go The Way Of The Ice

I stuck my head out the door and instantly decided to stay inside until spring.

That didn’t go over well with Uriah, or Kenshin. Both the dog and cat wanted outside. Uriah for bathroom duty and Kenshin had a wild look in his eye; he wanted me to walk him around on the deck so he could sniff the air.

 
”Nope!”   I shook my head at Kenshin, who is an indoor cat.

 He frowned and decided to look out the window.  Uriah happily wiggled out the door.

I pulled on my coat, hat, and gloves.  Grabbed my ski poles and reluctantly I stepped outside. Every thing was coated in black ice, the type that looks like wet pavement, but really isn’t.

Uriah was slipping around the driveway following a scent.

I leaned against the garage doors and listened to the winds howling through the trees. The deck boards creaked and the rain gutters rattled. Sharp ice started raining from the dreary grey sky. The snow, no longer pure white, had sunken in as the temperatures hovered just above freezing. The warmer air held a hint of a damp spring.  In random areas I could see field grass attempting to show through the snow. Uriah stood about fifty feet away from me, just watching and waiting, willing me to follow.

I muttered.  “You win!” and took baby steps into the snowy yard.

I walked a short distance up and onto a snowdrift, and then I started having trouble keeping on my feet.  My non skid boots weren’t connecting to the snow and ice. Instead of standing still, I was slowly sliding backwards.

 I had one of two choices. Keep my ski poles stuck in the snow and end up on my face.  Or, let go and hope I would glide backwards without falling.  

I chose the latter.

I lifted the ski poles, and slid slowly, very slowly, backwards…

All the while I made this high pitch screeching sound, sort of like a sick coyote, until I came to a stop. 

Uriah thought I was playing and ran at me.  As soon as he hit the black top, he slipped and landed on his backside.  He coasted the rest of the way on his hind quarters stopping only when he bumped into my legs. If he hadn’t run into my legs, he would have just swept right past me and ended up in the snow under the Blue Spruce. 

Immediately Uriah scrambled to his paws and started pulling at the cuffs of my pants.

To keep myself upright, I sat down.

”Get out of here, Uriah! Are you crazy?”

He answered me by grabbing my right glove, which I was waving at him, and pulled it off. He ran onto the snow, where he promptly started digging furiously.

 “Uriah! Give that back!”

He looked up and gave me a doggy grin, and continued to dig. Once the hole was large enough, or so he thought. He dropped my glove in and pushed the snow over it using his nose.

“Uriah you’re an idiot!” 

He took that as words of endearment.  And ran back to me and grabbed my left glove and took off towards the pond.

I slowly crawled and shuffled back into the house.

I watched Uriah out the front window. He was digging like an insane dog. 

I’ll get my gloves later!  When the ice melts, or in spring…

I’ll worry about them later.

Right now, I have a cup of coffee and a book, Heat Wave by Richard Castle. I just need to find my reading glasses! Tomoe, my husband’s cat loves to hide them, usually under the bed, or on the couch, or in the liter box…! Sigh!

*

*

Picture is from Word ClipArt

Where Will The Hawks Nest If All The Trees Are Gone?~

Everyone was woken up this morning, at seven o’clock, by Kenshin. He ran across the bed.  He pushed aside the vertical blinds. And he pawed at the closed windows. Then he talked and talked, and talked. Siamese talk a lot. They are very vocal cats…

I crawled out of bed and looked out the bathroom window.

  I saw the dark grey sky. I noticed the reddish color of the decks railings were topped with an icing of snow.   And then, I become aware of a slight movement near the bottom section of the deck. I scanned the lower deck for the rats.  I assumed,  the rats must have gotten Kenshin all worked up.  

But, it wasn’t the rat!  It was a very large hawk perched on the railing, just above the rat’s habitat.  This Buteo was not amused! I disturbed him!  It could have been the Red-tailed Hawk…  But, he looked a lot like the Swainson’s hawk that lives around here.

His breast feathers were puffed up, mottled white and reddish orange, mixed in with brown and black.  His deep rich colors blended in with his beige, downy winter feathers.  

The feathers on his head were slick dark, with browns and blacks. I didn’t notice the color of his tail feathers.  They were hidden by the decks railing. And I couldn’t see the color of his eyes. But I felt his gaze when he turned his head slightly.  He ruffled his feathers, in an irritated matter. His beak was hooked and sharp, thick and dark in color.

His stance was of pride.  A Buteo!  It radiated from him. He was beauty.  Beyond everything that was around him. He lived in this moment.

 I wished that I could be that self-assured, and free… There is irony in that word, “free.”

While he watched me, I saw a flicker of concern flash over his eyes. He stretched out his wings and jumped, and glided effortlessly along the ground.  Then he swooped upward into the trees.

I watched him spin and settle on a thin branch.  I immediately thought of how this hawk lost another nesting tree.

The past few days, the air has held a sweet, woody scent. Yesterday I saw what made that smell.

A few miles from my home, there is a grove of Oak trees.  Their ages ranged from seventy to hundred-fifty years old, craggily towering giants.

 I drove past those old trees yesterday and I saw empty spaces and tree stumps.  The Oaks were being cut down. I saw neatly stacked coffins waiting to be carted away.

Why cut down the trees during an ecological crisis?  Shouldn’t we be conserving nature? 

I find all this all very heartbreaking.  

A few hours later, I stepped  out on my deck. The clouds hung heavy and grey.  

In that muffled, snow covered silence.  I heard the hawk’s high pitch screech…

*

 Today, I reached my 2,000th  hit on my site today..Thank you guys! Comment and ask me to add you to my BlogRoll:-)

You can hear the call of the Swainson’s hawk, and other birds here;

http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/44/_/Swainsons_Hawk.aspx

“The Best Laid Schemes O’ Mice An’ Men Go Often Askew”~Robert Burns

Yesterday  morning,  I was up with the sun. I opened the window blinds next to the computer, the window that faces east and I watched the sunrise.  A blanket of Altostratus clouds covered half the sky, rippling from the sunset towards the west.

  Along the horizon a narrow strip of pinkish, reddish, sunrise slipped through the break in the clouds and spread upwards, weaving under and over the clouds.  Then peeked out to outline the ripple of clouds in a yellow, white, and pink tinge, all the while the clouds raced, from west to east, along the southern skyline.

Kenshin, my half Siamese male, jumped effortlessly onto the windowsill. He settled his hind legs, with a wiggle, positioning himself on the ledge.  The tip of his tail flipped as he stared outside.

Kenshin’s sister, Tomoe, jumped up next to him in perfect pantomime.  With a flip of her tail she sat beside him. Her shining black fur rolled in irritation.   They both turned, two set of eyes followed my every move, his light blue and her bright gold eyes.   

 Loosing interest in me, they turned back to the window and watched a rat hopping around the outside kennel.  Their mouths quivered.  An odd sound came from both of them. He made a high pitch growling meowing sound. She kept opening and closing her mouth with a smacking sound. They both stared out the window, then back at me, willing me to open the window so they could do what cats do best…  Hunt!

“No, Kenshin! No, Tomoe, I have to trap those rats myself.” 

I don’t know if they understood what I said, or just got tired of wishing after a rat,  when I added, “No outside!” They both jumped down, and Kenshin gave me downward frown.  Tomoe just glared, as she flashed those golden eyes.   They both ran out of the room giving me a backward, scowl. A teenage girl couldn’t have done that look any better.  

One rat, was an irritation, I counted six! They aren’t big. About the size of my hand, but they have to go!  Just figuring out how is the problem.

 I Googled, “How to kill a rat humanely.”

One site said, use poison.  Nope not an option!  I don’t want to kill the Hawks and Owls that hunt around here. Beside the obvious, poison can kill my cat or dog if they eat the dieing rat.

If a poisoned rat gets caught in the walls, Well, that smell will be horrible. I  wondered what would happen if it died, lying on the dirt of my garden and I didn’t see it until spring. Wouldn’t that poison leach into the soil? Big, emphatic, “Yes”  answers that question.

 I found, ‘Rat Zappers.’ on Amazon.  Electrocute the rat starting at forty dollars and up. I checked my purse, no money, on to the next idea.

I found a site, that had the stomp and squish method- it says it all.

There is the bee bee gun method. I looked at the windows and the chain link fence and saw how that could go wrong.

The best, economical rat trap is a cat.  If the rat stays outside, and my cats stay only indoors, they won’t come in direct contact with each other.  But if they ever come inside, they will be used as a squeaky toy. The proximity factor just knocked Kenshin and Tomoe out of the equation. 

I have a live catch trap in the barn. I decided that would be the best first try, for now. Besides I won’t need to pay for the supplies.

I headed for the barn, and dug out the trap and placed it in Uriah’s kennel. I put some of his food on the inside platform, which in theory is suppose to close the door when the rat steps on it.  That’s the plan.

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Go often askew,” ~ Robert Burns’s poem, ‘To a Mouse.’

I had three rats in the cage; they were walking all over that platform. And it never triggered the cage door…

I went back outside and tried to loosen the piece of metal.  Then I placed a board across the platform, with food perched on top.

I went back into the house and watched. Not one of those rats came near the cage. I will leave the trap outside all night.

I just hope I don’t catch a skunk…

I got my 1,000 hit on my site today..Thank you guys! Comment and ask me to add you to my BlogRoll:-)

Jones & Son, The rat trap people
http://www.rattraps.org.uk/Rat-Traps/about.aspx
Rat Zapper
http://www.amazon.com/s?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=rat+zapper+ultra
Robert Burns World Federation
http://www.worldburnsclub.com/poems/translations/554.htm