Category Archives: Animals

J’accuse

 

J’accuse

Those who meander the paths of zoos
gain exercise as they peruse
the animals by ones and twos.
Whatever pathways they may cruise
will lead them to new rendezvous:
otters as they blithely ooze
through water as if to amuse.
They watch the bowerbird as it woos
with intricate patterns it pursues,
the aardvarks, elephants and gnus.

Did Mother Nature simply choose

to create hippos and kangaroos
with the intention to bemuse
these interlopers in tennis shoes?
Does our curiosity excuse
and give us license to abuse
koala bears and caribous?

We see it nightly in the news—

the ways that all of us misuse
the wonders of nature. We refuse
to stem consumerism, excuse
pollution, fracking and more taboos.
Imprison animals in zoos,
then honor them with our reviews
of fascinated ahhhs and ooos.

The prompt word today was ooze.

Little Savages

Little Savages

Hungry little savages attack the bedroom rug,
assaulting the tassels as they sortie for a bug.
They pounce upon the jingling ball, climb the sliding screen,
finding potential nourishment in everything they’ve seen.
They fall upon the kitten food and empty out their dishes,
inspecting corners of their bowls–stray morsels now their wishes.
Tidily lick my fingers, tongues curling from their lips,
mining me for fish oil caught in whorls of fingertips.

They can find adventure in anything you’d name—
pursuing errant crickets is like stalking wild game.
Every moving thing around is something to be followed—
to be toyed with, then when humans enter, quickly swallowed.
Frisky little savages win every hunting game.
They pounce upon their victim—live or plastic is the same.
They stalk their largest quarry as though they have a map—
track it down and take a leap and curl up in my lap!

(Click on first photo to enlarge all.)

The prompt word today was savage.

Kitten Afternoon

 

Kitten Afternoon

They tumble off the bed and land on padded feet,
light as feathers blown by wind, their movements sure and fleet.


They leap upon the pillows, sliding down the back
of the leather sofa, this little feline pack.

Off on single sorties, still they must collect
together in a pile to communally reflect

on the adventures of the day: the palm fronds they’ve combatted
and all the tiny spaces they have covertly catted.

They bravely face the secrets under the guest room bed,
approaching cowering crickets with fascinated dread.


They eye the inert bed cat with a careful glance,
then settle down around her, mirroring her stance.

Tumblers and explorers, their days are wildly varied––
sculptures to be batted at, business to be buried.


Laps to be climbed up on, computers to be checked.
Feathers to be batted at. Bird nests to be wrecked.

With their indulgent human approving all of it,
that nests are being shredded matters not a whit.


These kittens are her little bits of kinetic art,
infusing her still house with a spontaneous heart.


Those who say that kittens are a bother and a mess

could not begin to fathom, to comprehend or guess


how those subtle sounds—each skittering and scratching
heard from the next room is another mystery hatching.

Each tiny paw that walks across her unsuspecting chest
as she lies in bed is a most welcome guest,


messing up the covers of her unruffled day
with an invitation to leave her work and play.

Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Two by Two

A two-headed cat, pigs in a poke, marble nude lady wrestlers?  Better enlarge these or you’ll miss it all. Click on first photo, please, to enlarge photos to see details.

 

 

For Cee’s Couples, Twins and Twos Prompt

 

New Foal

IMG_9512 (1)jdbphoto 2016

New Foal

From his mother’s teat, the new-born colt
raised his head with a sudden jolt,
his new world noisier than before
as the truck drove up with its engine roar.
A small boy sat with his window down,
surveying the scene with a subtle frown
as the older man jumped out to walk
slowly toward him, lest he balk,
and reached a hand to touch his coat,
fingers exploring, as though by rote,
feeling bones, sinew and muscle.

“This one here will have some hustle,”
he said to the boy who stood beside,
thinking of his horse who’d died.
“You want to name him?” his father said.
The boy’s toe shuffled. He hung his head.
The tiny colt looked up and snorted—
edgy now, but well-deported.
He moved to the boy to butt his arm.
His nose was soft and smooth and warm
as it nudged the small boy’s skin.
His father watched the pact begin.

 

I saw this unusual colt alongside the road almost a year ago.  I pulled off as soon as possible to snap a few shots and have been waiting for a chance to use them  Not exactly a new-born colt, but close.  I’ve been waiting long enough!

The prompt today is “jolt.”

Some Little Nonsense on the Subject of Copycats

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“Coming and Going.” Although I am in the proximity of this dog and undergoing the same experience, you will note that I maintain my individuality by presenting my best angle to the camera in direct contrast to the dog rather than imitating him. And, as a side note, I was here first.


Some Little Nonsense on the Subject of Copycats

Some folks’ originality comes from what they view,
proving that old adage, “Monkey see and monkey do.”
And there’s another label coined from denizens of zoos.
A “copy cat” is one who mirrors everything he views.

But I find this last one puzzling, and so I’m asking you,
have you ever known a cat to do what you want him to?
Whatever he might see you do as he edges nearer,
is likely what he will ignore, not what he’ll choose to mirror.

It’s true that cattle move in herds and wild geese mimic flight,
and no one knows what sister acts mice practice in the night.
Yet all animals aren’t so easy, in spite of what you think.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

You cannot tell a cat to do what you want him to.
What you desire from that cat is what he will eschew.
Sit or fetch? Roll over? Those things hold no attraction.
Cats simply are not at their best when you prompt interaction.

So let’s dispel this rumor that cats are good at mimicry.
For though they like to bat at strings and other hanging gimmickry,
they don’t want to imitate any other creature.
For in the world of animals, each cat is the main feature.

The prompt today is copycat.

Hard Lessons

DSC07911

Learning Disabilities

I have no water in my house. I’ve had no Internet for weeks. My dog is at the vet’s having major surgery that will cost $1,000 U.S. that I need to go to the bank to withdraw along with another $1,000 I offered to loan to a friend to buy a car they need to buy who just called to say they need the money tomorrow! Problem is I can’t get to the bank because I’m hoping for a call from Telmex saying they’ve figured out my internet problem––and the plumber who is going to try to come at 3. All this and to top off the perfect day, I have amoebas and the new medicine I got yesterday has given me a headache and fever. Or I’m just stressing out and the entire kit and caboodle is giving me a fever and headache.

I’m beginning to fear I’m no longer able to handle running a house. The floor is covered by boxes of three different types of tile I have laid out to try them out. I have a dozen things to complete before I leave in a little more than a week. I’ve been trying to get a haircut for a month, but no time to do so. Gripe gripe gripe. You would think I would learn, but somehow time and time again I am getting into these high-stress situations where hyperventilation is the norm.

From a perfectly organized house last night my house has turned into a disaster area. Files from the file cabinet lay piled on the headboard/case of my bed—leftovers as I looked for a brochure of the water system to try to figure out what particular tube I need for the purification system. My bed is covered by the contents of six different big baskets I pulled down from the closet to look for a pair of gloves to handle the tube I bought after visiting four different water supply places. No, none had a man to come install it. Yes, I broke it installing it. Good thing I had one glove on—all I could find.

My desk is covered by little slips of paper concerning tile types, prices, business cards, discarded amoeba meds (wrong variety for what the lab told me yesterday) and old VHS tapes (what are those doing there?) Earlier, when I needed to call the water place to see if they could locate another purification tube light (answer was no) I couldn’t find one phone of four that I have in the house that was still in its cradle. Then when I did, turns out one of the lost phones was clicked on so I couldn’t call anyway. Search house again. Finally found it on the bookcase by the doggie domain. What in the world was it doing there and where in the world are the other 3 phones that are still lost? Last night I found them all and restored them to their cradles. Do I have Telmex poltergeists infesting my house every night?

Yes. At.The. End. Of. My.Rope.

Should I move? Can’t stand to think about that. Perhaps there is someone pleasant willing to trade free rent of my casita for a few managerial tasks such as dealing with electricity, phone, internet, gas and minor construction. No, I don’t need a keeper yet, but my house certainly does. It seems to be reaching that age when everything needs attending to. Walls aren’t crumbling, but floors need replacing, the walls painted less than a year ago need a second coat, and someone needs to search the Virginia creeper vines to find those hummingbird moth caterpillars that are pooping bee bees all over my terrace table and the steps outside the doggie domain.

Yes. At. The. End. Of. My. Rope.

I need to pick up Frida in an hour and still can’t get hold of Pasiano or Yolanda to come let the plumber in. If the plumber comes. And even then, I won’t have purified water—just water, at least, to flush toilets and wash with.

Headache. Chills. Frustration. Breathe. No one has died, at least today. Calm down. Was I always such a fussbudget? Yesterday I was screaming “Fuck, fuck, fuck!” when I had for the zillionth time lost my keys. They were no place. How could I be so dumb???? It was past time to leave for something important and the other set of car keys had vanished into the void 4 years ago. This was my last set. Last chance. I looked in the outside locks, the inside locks, the bathrooms, kitchen, under the bed, on the nail on the wall where I usually hung them. Emptied out my purse. Twice.

I imagine, now, neighbors passing in the street hearing this madwoman scream invectives at herself. With all my doors and windows open, they must be able to hear me as clearly as if they were inside my house. For 15 years, I’ve overlooked this fact until once earlier this year when all three of my dogs were barking and I roared “Frida!!! Stop!!!!” above the din, a friend protested,“Judy! You are worse than the dogs. You should hear yourself. You must scare the neighbors!” my friend uttered this softly. Unlike me.

I had to shout to be heard above the dogs, right? But did I need to scream at the keys?

I found them eventually and was only 10 minutes late to the appointment I started to leave for half an hour early. I found them by calmly retracing my steps which took me eventually by my open closet door with the new file cabinet inside—my keys dangling from its lock. I had gone to get some necessary file, but the cabinet is so new it had not yet been added to my key recovery route. It has been now.

I am, you see, capable of learning. It’s the remembering that is the hard part.

The End (Perhaps)

Postscript: Just now the lovely lovely girl from Techno Agua called. She has called all over town and located the right water purification tube light. It is 60 pesos above the price I paid for one this morning. Is that a problem? No problem. The plumber can come at 3. I just called Pasiano and although he still is not answering his phone and although Yolanda is working and can’t come to let the plumber in, her husband has agreed to do so; so when he arrives, I can go, hopefully, to the bank and then to get Frida. The tide is turning. Maybe today will turn out to be slightly less frustrating than earlier happenings indicated. 

An hour later: good news and bad news. I got to the bank in time to get the $1,000 U.S. for the surgery and the $1,000 for the car, but when I got to the vet’s I was informed that Frida still hasn’t awakened and so I need to leave her for the night. They assure me they’ll feed and water her when she wakes up, but although I understand I can’t take an unconscious dog home, nonetheless I know she’ll be traumatized to wake up in a cage away from home and to have to spend the night there. Also, I was supposed to sit the info booth at the Lake Chapala Society tomorrow so will have to try to find someone to sit in so I can go get Frida and take her home. Always a new thrill. Still no internet at home, so I am at the mall. Getting to be a regular mall rat as they have free wifi and otherwise it is $15 U.S. a day to use my phone as a hot spot as I was over my limit in just four days.

Are you tired of my whining yet?

 

The Prompt word today was “Learning.”