Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Category: small furries (Page 1 of 12)

Why having both cats and dogs is necessary

Both Big Friendly and I have been under the weather, with a looming lurgy that hasn’t fully realised but has been simmering; not bad enough to take us to bed, but horrible enough to make the daily grind more grindy.

Jasmine, the old Florence Purringale of the house has kicked into action, following us around, sleeping hard up against us and purring her head off. Chassie has been joining me in the bathroom, rubbing his head on my feet while I sit on the toilet (very disconcerting but well meaning), and the dogs Frieda and Linus are a tag team of love and devotion. It is only Jonesie, the part time cat, who has not picked up on our needs, and continues with his irrational demands to be let in and out again whenever he screamingly calls for it.

Linus offers soft love, of the lolling about sort, while Frieda follows me from bed, to table to couch. She is a deep and close snuggler. Chassie looks for Big Friendly and attaches to his legs when he sits down on the couch. Often, neither of us can move because we are being pinned down by an animal who would be terribly disturbed if we did. The spin-off of being looked after by cats and dogs is that they huddle closer to each other too, which is seriously good for my heart.

The Rat

I should have known the particular “Megan!” that Big Friendly shouted, early yesterday morning, before the sun was even up. I should have recognised the tone, but I was still half asleep, so I wasn’t fast enough when he shouted “close the door!” and I jumped up, too late and a thing crawled in and under the spare bedroom door.

Thus began the stand off between us, the thing, the cats and terrified dogs, that is a rat/mouse in the house. The last time it happened, Chassie had caught a mouse and it was screaming for help as he squeezed it in his jaws. It was a Saturday night and it took Big Friendly two hours to catch it after forcing Chassie to release it, then building a fort, blockages and various other obstacles. I was pretty useless. I was used as look-out and pet body guard. The tension between Big Friendly and useless me was big.

Yesterday’s drama was a bit of a repeat. Big Friendly had to create barriers, and take out most of the stuff that was moveable in the spare room. I took the terrified dogs for a long walk. When we came back the rat/mouse/thing was stuck under the small, but very heavy old cupboard in the spare room. There was no way we were going to manage this operation on our own.

Enter Facebum and our fabulous Woodstock group. I searched for pest control and was immediately reminded of Sebastian Seelig from Pest Free SA. I buy GR5 from him, a strong, environmentally friendly, multi-purpose household cleaner. I saw on Facebum that he also does ‘extermination’ and pests. I called him, desperate.

Sebastian came, and the first thing he asked was, “do you want …?” And we knew exactly what he meant. We said, “please do the other thing, release it somewhere.” and he said “sure.”

And between him and Big Friendly they caught the small rat/giant mouse and got it into a cardboard box, and Sebastian drove it away, and we all saw on Facebum later that he released it at Paarden Island. I don’t know if these guys are territorial. I hope we haven’t started a rodent gang war.

Some of the chat on my thread on Facebum was the best. Apparently rodents don’t like damp cotton balls covered in cinnamon or peppermint. Apparently this makes them run away. We didn’t try that, but I’ll bear it in mind.

But Big Friendly and I have spoken, and we want to save our relationship. These rodent encounters are too stressful. And we have 2 and a half cats (Jonesie the part time cat is actually probably a rodent exterminator specialist, since many a front door mat has had to be thrown away with blood and guts soaked fur or feathered dead thing mashed into it). I mean what are they there for, these cats of ours? We need to let them sing (or kill) for their supper. They eat enough Royal Canin Feline Senior Consult Stage 1 anyway.

There is a construction site down the road, that has basically been a dump since we have lived here. All the feral cats, various rodent life and any other scavenging, desperate thing are being moved out. Some are going to find their way here. And next time we are taking the dogs for a very long walk and leaving the thing to the cats. We will deal with the bloodbath after the war.

Telling the time by the passing of animals

When I met Big Friendly for the second date, Gally, my gorgeous white Taiwanese refugee dog, put her paw firmly on his bejeaned leg and chose him for her own. In time Big Friendly was claimed by Pablo, my ancient cat, who demanded that he pour fresh water into his bowl and take him to drink, and Bayla, the oldest Taiwanese refugee dog, and my first heart dog. When I fell in love with Big Friendly it was partly because of and through my animals.

When Bayla died I was in Grahamstown, and it was Big friendly who had to witness and manage her passing. With Gally we were both there. We are still scarred and raw from the death of Annie, Chassie’s sister and most unusual beloved cat, who was run over in the road outside our house on the one occasion she ventured over the wall. That was about seven years ago.

We know dog walkers from Gally and Bayla’s time, who too have different animals attached to them. Our Linus and Frieda, well known in the neighbourhood and on Facebum as our most beloved pups, will soon be five.

Our nephews’ lives are marked in animal time too, with those that were there when they were born, now gone or leaving, and new ones coming into their lives to mark their transition into puberty and teenage-dom.

Megan’s Head, this blog, is like the historical record of these things, and if that is the only reason to keep it going it is a good one. Frieda’s delicious face stares back at us whenever we open it up.

If you are an animal person you will know how to tell the time with the passing of animals.

Super Crazy Mother Nature

Update: So, Big Friendly read my post, and went and found the leaf. Clearly I hadn’t looked hard enough. Look! Look.

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I was bestowed with a whole lot of plants when my dear friend moved up to Jozi last month. I love plants, but had been going through a lean patch in terms of indoor ones, so I celebrated the bestowal and have been enjoying the green company. My friend had been putting the plants in the bath overnight fortnightly, to soak up grey laundry water, so when I rinsed the dogs I put the plants in that water in the bath.

All was well and I took them back to their positions the next morning. Then yesterday I saw this.

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Something had come in the night, chowed their way through most of the plant, leaving tell tale poo on the chewed leaves. I could not find the bastard. Big Friendly was called to look and there was a cocoon under one of the leaves, see-through enough for me to spy a fat, acid green worm. I was incensed. Who the hell did it think it was and where had it come from?

I saw the plant this morning and it looked a bit worse so I went to inspect. Gone. The cocoon and worm are gone. And I do not know where. Nothing. No leaf that looks like it had cocoon on it, no evidence of a mortal battle. Nothing. And this all happened on the kitchen counter in my house.

So what I want to know is, where is it? Did something else eat it? Did it perform its transformation overnight and become a moth or butterfly that I haven’t met yet? Who buried the leaf it was cocooned on? Is it still in my house?

The Bird Lady

cape20white-eye20pewaAs the year closes in I want to write a little post, a story, that is also a slice of positivity and synchronicity amongst the gloom and news of another celebrity death.

This my story of the bird lady.

About three weeks ago I was still in bed, on my laptop, when Big Friendly came charging into the bedroom. “Jonesie has bird!” Jonesie, our in-and-out cat, who moved in from someone else’s house, is good at catching things and leaving their carcasses on the doorstep as gifts. Actually, considering how well fed he is (read fat) I am sure he steals the bodies from the less well nourished and more desperate street cats in our ‘hood. It is a pretty grim job for Big Friendly to clean up. We have thrown away at least four doormats. This time we both assumed Big Friendly would have to separate Jonesie from the body and throw it away, but then I heard, “It’s still alive!” Big Friendly closed me in the bedroom with all the dogs (2) and cats (3).

He managed to get the little thing into the courtyard and closed the door to stop any further animal investigation or murder. Now what? He kept going out to check and the little pigeon was alert and alive and he couldn’t see where, or if, it was hurt. I am not a bird person. Touching birds makes me feel really funny and uncomfortable, and injured birds really freak me out. I wouldn’t even go and look.

Now we were going to have to ask our neighbour to come and be brave enough to euthanise it, except he wasn’t around. We needed to go the vet anyway to get cat food (oh the irony) and at the vet we asked if we couldn’t bring the bird to be humanely (oh the irony) put down. And the receptionist said, “Here is the phone number of the bird lady. See if she can’t help.”

Brenton called the bird lady and went to drop off the bird to see if it was saveable. He took it, wrapped in a kikoi in the cat box (just to extend the irony a little further). He left it in a special bird-leaving-basket at the bird lady’s gate because she wasn’t home at the time, and followed up with her later. She said a bit of medicine and rest was all it needed. It would survive. The bird lady was a miraculous discovery.

A week or so later I started telling my close friend the story. He was shocked. Just a week before he had taken a baby Cape White Eye baby bird to the bird lady. He had pried the jaws of his cat open to release the teeny thing, and fed it (the wrong stuff that the internet had suggested) every hour, before finding out about the bird lady and taking it to her for saving. When he told the story to another mutual friend she too told her bird lady story; similar in cat assassin and rescue result.

Finally I discovered that another friend had contacted the bird lady for advice about finding a missing parakeet. Her advice was taken and Harvey was found, by my friend, with the help of the bird lady.

I am so grateful and moved that there is a bird lady. Just knowing she is out there, on a mission to help and save birds, makes my world a tiny bit better.

behind the tree

wintry-wood-epping-forest-e1356721602980I was watching this movie tonight. It was a movie by Laurie Anderson. It was called Heart of A Dog, and it is kind of about her dog Lolabelle, and it is about the death of her mother and her friend and America as well, and mostly it is about death because it is a movie dedicated to Lou Reed, who was Laurie’s long time big love who died.

The thing about this movie is it isn’t the usual kind, with a beginning, middle and end. It has strands of stories, and some even fizzle out and come back later, with different pictures, and even different words, and some stories have two endings, and others stop in the middle, or before they even get started. They are a philosophy story moment.

The other confusing thing about this movie is that everything in it is true, from a story point of view, but not necessarily from a true point of view. So, you spend time in your head saying, “that is incredible, but did it really happen? Really? In real life?” And you don’t really know. And it’s so important and not important at exactly the same time. “Is that really, really where she lives?” “Is that really, really where Lolabelle came from?” “Is there really a Goya painting that is just gold ‘stuff’ with a tiny dog head at the bottom?” “Did she really almost drown, and then save, her twin baby brothers?” And while you are asking yourself these questions you are also understanding that truth is a feeling, and sometimes it is the wrong question, and a thing doesn’t need to be true to be real, in story time, because everything is about meaning.

In one ‘scene’ there are these awesome bare trees, moving in the snow. Everything is black and white, with tons of swirling snow falling, and black branches waving in the wind and snow. I became interested in one tree, because if you looked at it long enough it seemed to have a personality different from the others somehow. It seemed to move a little less, in a slower time to the others. Picture this; Laurie Anderson’s amazing, lyrical voice, saying things about dogs and death, her haunting music, and trees in the snow. And I am sure there was a ghost there behind that tree. A ghost short enough to be a dog, on all fours, behind the tree. And if I were a ghost, any ghost, waiting to move on, or forever earthbound somehow, I would choose that tree to be behind while I waited, for the next thing.

In the movie she suggests we come back to this, or another, world as another life. If I could choose, in that time of waiting, I would choose to be a dog, behind a tree, or a tree, in front of a dog.

This movie broke my heart a lot. It’s a huge responsibility of a movie. I loved it and it made me cry. And I came home and spoke words to my dogs, forgiving them for not being artistic, like Lolabelle. I don’t need them to be anything other than receivers of our love. 6a00d8341c630a53ef0133f519c826970b-pi

This blog post is part of a tandem blog post. 7 writers have been inspired by the same topic, Behind the Tree. Go here to read the next one. Candice D’arcy  http://cldg2278.wix.com/findingmeinmelbourne

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