Thursday, October 1, 2009
So many of my readers (and friends and family and extended family) have asked for an update on our animals so I think it is time.
Our four remaining chickens (of the original 9) are doing great. They are laying beautiful brown eggs daily and seem to be quite proud of themselves. The “rooster” (if you read my article several weeks ago) is not a rooster. The children and I have come to accept that now. But she is the first lady in the pecking order. When we bring them food scraps to distract them as we gather eggs, she is the one who gets first dibs on what there is to choose from. The other day I gave them a few pieces of stale French bread. It was funny to watch them eat the middle of the bread out and leave the crust! I don’t eat crust on bread, and neither do my kids, so I guess the chickens are really part of our family.
The kittens continue to leave treasures on the front door step several times a week. Recently they’ve been leaving a small green frog, no longer “with us” but perfectly in tact. I’ve told them to please leave the frogs alone…they eat bugs. So the next morning after my discussion with them, they left half of a mouse. I think I prefer the frogs.
My daughter’s vacation Bible school fish, whom she refers to as her only “pets”, are thriving. We have had a few incidents where one of the kitties was in her room and was caught with wet paws and a longing look in his eye…I think he tried to go fishing. I can say with 100% certainty that out of our 13 animals, these 2 fish are by far the easiest to take care of. Not the most entertaining, but definitely easy. And with our 3rd baby due next month, I am placing more value on the easy than the entertaining these days.
Mallory, our beloved Native American Brown Dog (a very rare breed, if you’ve never heard of it), turned 9 recently. For once being a cat hater, she is doing remarkably well handling the feline presence in her territory. She still won’t allow them to snuggle with her, but she does allow them to live, so I suppose that is more important. Snuggling can happen in time.
The three billy goats gruff are also enjoying life. The continue to have head-butting fights each morning to see who is the strongest, and after that is established, they go about grazing, sleeping, and following their Mama cow around the pasture. Whenever she goes, they follow. When she says jump, they say how high. That is just their lot in life and they don’t seem to mind it.
Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for-a Sweetums status update (and no, she isn’t on Facebook). Let me pause here and say that I get stopped in restaurants and chased down in parking lots for people to ask me, “Is the cow pregnant?” With so many people pulling for her and wondering about her, I think Sweetums has become a local celebrity. The farmer refuses to have my precious cow officially “preg-checked.” He says that all signs (and lack of certain other signs) point to her being with-calf. I do agree with him here, but I would really love to know for sure. She has not come into heat since returning to our pasture in late June. She will not allow us to skip even one scoop of corn, which she gets in the evening. If she hasn’t had her dinner, she will moo and bellow at us until we give it to her, even if it is 10 o’clock at night. Once she gets the corn, she is quiet. There was one morning when she was mooing for food, which is very unusual because she is only fed at night. I started out to go feed her and the farmer said, “You are a push over.” I said, “You don’t mess with a hungry pregnant woman. I know how she feels!” So I fed her an extra scoop of corn that morning and we exchanged a wink. Her middle is really getting big. But then again, she never misses a meal, so this could be deceiving me. Her calf, if their really is one in there, should be due in late March. So until then, or until I finally convince the farmer to get me some real proof, all I’m able to answer your questions with is, “I sure hope so!”
So there you have it. The 13 animals are all doing what they are supposed to by continuing to bring us laughter, frustration, and bewilderment. Can’t wait to see what may happen today…