Fat Cat

Written by Dr. Dolittle on January 17, 2011 – 11:33 am -

donut eating Smudge

Chickens squawking. Rabbits hopping around their pens. Cows mooing for breakfast. Ahhh, life on a farm. It will take nearly all day to tend these hungry critters, so we enjoy a coffee break every now and then, and what is coffee without a donut to go with it? Lurking in the shadows is our donut monster, Smudge. No matter how we try to sneak a package of donuts past that cat, they will both show up about the same time. Mister fussy won’t eat any off the ground. We have to find a barrel or board, something to keep the poor spoiled cat from having to eat his treat right from the dirt. Strange, the other cats don’t have a problem with dirt, just Smudge.

Smudge always licks the sugar off the donut before he eats it proving the obvious, the cat has a sweet tooth. No wonder he’s twice the size of the other two cats, who by the way don’t like donuts. Smudge is just one of many “different” critters here that think themselves as special. I wonder who let them believe that?

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Horrible Hot Summer

Written by Dr. Dolittle on September 17, 2010 – 12:02 pm -

This has been a horrible summer. The heat has been beyond anything we’ve had to cope with before. Our critter losses are horrific.

Several chickens died. They just fell over despite having lots of fans around the pen to move the air. Hundred degree heat is still hundred degree whether it’s moving or not.

Also, we lost several rabbits, same scenario.

Then there is Molly. She suffered from severe COPD. The vet told us to thin her back down so her ribs would show but it got too hot too fast and we lost her.

My favorite cow, my pasture pet, also succumbed to the heat. She left behind a brand new calf who would never know his mother. He is doing well on a bottle, but I sure miss his momma.

It has yet to cool down much here in Texas. The days are getting shorter but that hasn’t cooled the days at all. It’s September and we are still hitting between 95 and 100 degrees everyday. It has been a horrible summer.

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Feeding Babies

Written by Dr. Dolittle on May 18, 2010 – 2:28 pm -

bluebird feeding young

We have spent the last couple of weeks watching a pair of bluebirds feed their young in my bluebird house. One of my grandsons built the house for me a few years ago, and every year we have watched a pair, very likely the same pair, brood their young there. I tried taking photos of the babies in the birdhouse, but the sunshine created an overpowering shadow. I know what is in the photo but it’s unlikely anyone else would. By the time I could get to the birdhouse to try taking another picture in less harsh light the nest was empty, I had missed my chance. But to see the color of the male bird as he tended his young was awesome. Momma bird is pleasant on the eyes but daddy bluebird is breathtaking. Again, the shadow was harsh but maybe someday I will be in the right place at the right time to do him justice.

The super cool part of watching the birds is the fact they don’t pay a lot of attention to us. We can stand within 15 feet of the nest and after checking us out, both birds get back to their feeding duties.

bluebird with baby feed

Just look in the beak of this bluebird. I never knew they could catch and carry so many bugs at one time. Again, nature just blows me away.

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Spring color splashes

Written by Dr. Dolittle on April 28, 2010 – 11:49 am -

moth on clover

Spring is finally here when the colors splach everywhere. This particular splash loved the clover so much getting a photo was no challenge. The hummingbirds are back and buzzing around the feeder. Momma and poppa bluebird have 5 hatchlings in the bluebird box. The dragonflies are flitting around by the hundreds and the toads are once again parked under the security light at night.

Take a deep breath, ahhhhhh…..spring!

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How the Easter Bunny spends his off season…

Written by Dr. Dolittle on April 15, 2010 – 11:30 am -

baby bunny eating grass

This isn’t an Easter bunny, just a cute baby learning grass makes a good snack. He’s still making his home inside a nesting box, so he isn’t too keen on facing the world yet. All too soon for mom, he’ll be racing around the pen and trying to steal an in-between meal snack. (Baby rabbits flip onto their backs and wiggle under momma to nurse.) At four weeks old momma can hardly wait for her offspring to leave the nest, they are rather pesty and normally plentiful besides. When eight or more babies are calling you Mom, especially all at one time, things can get overwhelming.

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Signs of Spring

Written by Dr. Dolittle on March 10, 2010 – 7:36 am -

lone indigo bunting

Every spring when the indigo buntings go through here on their travels north we get a feast of color. They show up just after the masses of eastern bluebirds who travel the same route. These little splashes of blue are everywhere for several days, and then the ones that stay seem to dissolve into the surroundings to raise the next generation. Their initial arrival lets us know warm weather and the critters it brings are surely on their way. Warm up the cameras and charge the batteries, we’re on again!

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Horse Rescue

Written by Dr. Dolittle on February 16, 2010 – 11:58 am -

Curious Molly

Let me introduce you to Molly. We got her a few months ago from a horse rescue organization. This photo was taken the day she arrived at our place, slightly underweight but already heavier and healthier since her seizure by law enforcement. Her history is unknown. She’s an older girl, over 20 by a vets estimation, and appears to be highly trained. Molly has become more trusting of us as time passes. She now allows me to cuddle her face, a sure sign of acceptance.

People have lost their jobs or are underemployed. Some just walk away and leave their horses. Others turn them loose on roadways. Horses even appear in pastures. Right now almost every horse rescue organization in the country is overwhelmed. The overload is staggering. If you can help a horse, do an online search for your local rescue organizations. I know they will appreciate anything you can do to help. Molly would agree.

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I miss the singing

Written by Dr. Dolittle on February 8, 2010 – 11:53 am -

green tree frog

It’s quiet in East Texas when the tree frogs go silent for the winter. They make an awful racket all summer long and the closer you are, the louder the noise. Since we don’t live right next to a body of water we hear them from a distance, making their song a pleasant backdrop in the evenings. After almost stepping on him one fall day last year, this little guy jumped to the side of an outbuilding. He would become virtually invisible in the grass once he hopped down, being in danger of being stepped on. There was nothing but open space and cats between him and the nearest tree line, and being the sucker I am, I moved him to the trees to make sure he had plenty of places to hide. He didn’t react much. Who knows, he may have enjoyed the ride.

American green tree frog (Hyla cinerea)

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Kitt-wit the cat

Written by Dr. Dolittle on January 20, 2010 – 7:27 am -

Kitt in prison

Since most outside critters are taking a seasonal time-out, I’ve found inside furry friends to fill the void. This is Kitt, a friend’s cat. Kitt is a little different, special if you will. He fears little, loves to sit in front of the TV to watch the movie “Ice Age” and thinks people are his personal animated toys. His mom was building rabbit cages, hence the roll of cage wire in the house. Kitt had to play the poor kitty card, so he hopped into the center of the roll and put on his best pitiful demeanor to gain some attention. It worked flawlessly.

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The slob fairy stops here.

Written by Dr. Dolittle on January 15, 2010 – 1:06 pm -

There is definitely something odd about the utility room in our house. Maybe there is slob dust on the floor. Or perhaps some invisible gas is causing our usually bright and perky pets to turn into blobs of fur looking for all the world like they need to go crash to sleep something off. Teddy & Rascal found themselves in similar positions while sitting in the same room. The photos were taken days apart and we we’re pretty sure the dog didn’t teach the cat how to sit like this, but around here you never can tell.

ladylike Rascal

Teddy relaxing

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