Sunday, May 25, 2014


I'm taking a class, and one of the assignments is to create a blog based on a topic of interest to me. So here we are. Animals are definitely a favorite for me. I have several pets (and have had many more in my lifetime so far), and there are very few creatures that I don't love. Animals seem to know that they're welcome, too! I'm still wondering if there's a sign outside my house somewhere telling wild birds to come on in. I don't have any pictures of them, but so far in the last month or so, I've had a dove wandering around my living room, a young woodpecker hanging out with my birds, and a cardinal who did not appreciate being captured and put back outside. No, there's not a hole in my house or anything. I actually have a theory about how the birds get in. I have a cat. Unfortunately, he refuses to be an indoor-only cat (which would be my preference, both for his health and the health of the wildlife around us). He is a serious hunter. I keep on hand several cat collars with bells on them, to try to provide the outside animals with a warning when he's around, but he does occasionally get the collars off (which is why I keep a supply). And in case anyone's wondering, no, he doesn't bother my pet birds - he's either learned that they're off-limits, or they're just not as enticing as songbirds. Here's my theory: I think that the cat catches a bird, and brings it into the house. [sidebar: it's not true that cats bring dead things in as gifts to their owners. They're just looking for a place to play with/kill/eat the thing in peace. Yuck, but there it is]. Once the cat gets the bird into the house, I'm guessing that either the bird escapes, and eventually the cat loses interest in chasing it down, or, more likely, the puppy, Sam, thinks there's a game to play, and pesters the cat so much that he can't fend off the dog and hold onto the bird at the same time, and the bird escapes that way. So I come home to find random avian visitors. I found the dove wandering around my living room floor (Lucky bird! The cat must have decided to go back outside and find something else to do). I found the young woodpecker on top of one of my birds' cages. Little stinker actually slipped INTO the cage when I went to catch him to put him back out. Delilah was not pleased, I can tell you! And Sam actually saved the cardinal. He was barking at the cat about it, and I went to see what was going on, and there was the poor bird lying on the floor. Although I couldn't find any cuts or wounds, I would have sworn it was injured and dying, so I put it in a quiet spot in my room, so it could at least die in peace (there's no saving a bird with internal injuries). After 30 minutes or so, the bird started flying around the room! So I captured it, at which point the bird had plenty to say to me - pretty sure there was some heavy duty cursing going on there - which it didn't stop, even when I set it on the railing outside. Finally it realized it was not being held, and it flew off. So that's the story of my recent bird visitors. I only get the occasional non-avian visitor. There's a toad that hangs out on the porch with me, and a lizard that rode home from work on my car, and random other creatures, bugs included, that seem to know they're safe with me.
I once rescued a leaf-bug (they're gorgeous!) from a spiderweb (on my bookcase - eww!). I move snakes, too. Can't help it - if an animal is harmless, I'd rather relocate it than kill it.
Here is a link to a slideshow of my pets and a couple of random visitors.