Category Archives: Cats & Dogs

Morrie Gets Cut

Morrie had surgery for a very fast-growing tumor today. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get it all because it was attached to his ribs. He wanted me to share these photos of him being such a good patient.  (Once he got home, that is.  When I got to the clinic to pick him up I could hear his barks from the parking lot!) We’ll have the results of the biopsy in ten days. Neat sewing and clipping job, don’t you think?

(Click on first photo to enlarge all and see captions.  You do want to hear the whole story, don’t you?)

Daily Menu

Daily Menu

Lately it’s incredible
how many products edible
I’m buying daily at the store.
There’s constantly a need for more.
One type for kittens two months old,
getting more hungry and more bold.

In the morning, when I enter in,
they climb my robe or climb my skin
thinking that perhaps they may
consume kitten tuna souffle
a second before all their peers
consume it. All four little dears,
meows now turning into roar
as though only four hours before
they had not had a late night meal
of special kitten rice and veal.

Then the old cat limps out to see
the special treat that’s brought by me.
Mixed with fish oil, sardine pate—
a king’s ransom three times a day.
She deigns to feed upon this fare,
eschewing edibles less rare.
The small dog with a skin condition
consumes his own special edition
dog food for his special state
I portion out upon his plate.

Just one more left—the old dog claws
the window with his muddy paws,
demanding edibles from me
both by his barks and what I see.
I provide a different dog food for
this anxious dog who mars my door.
The menu, as you see, is varied.
As cook and waitress, I am harried.
But breakfast done, I take a rest
to do the thing that I like best. 
The minute they are finished chewing,
I present their menu for your viewing!

Seven animals with 4 different diet demands make feeding time a big job–especially with the cat and kittens who need to be fed numerous times a day.  I’m off now to apply for a bank loan so I can go to the store with a wheelbarrow for today’s provisions. When days are full, hyperbole helps.

 

The prompt word today was edible.

midnight chocolate

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midnight chocolate

just one crumb
of temptation
left

lying on yesterday’s
pristine
white floor

proof of last night’s sin
today
lapped up happily

by the
smallest
black dog

 

 

Temptation was the prompt word today.

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.

Look Up! (Eulogy for a Good, Good Girl)

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Look Up!

She used to chase the shadows of birds across the ground
and dig where they disappeared
and never once thought to look up,
no matter how many times I tried to tell her to.

Chasing light across the pool, she’d pace
back and forth, along its further edge.

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Her first playmates the cats,
she could not follow them up into the trees,
but stood instead, barking at the bark they clung to.
Thinking herself a cat, perhaps,
or all of them some new species in between,
she followed wherever it was possible to go.
Up the broad steps to the second floor,
across the terraza and just a small leap
to the ledge of the high sloping dome of the roof.
Up to its top to lie or stand and bark at all who trudged up our mountain
to intrude into her world.

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She could see for blocks,
turning like a sundial with the sun
to change her focus, but usually starting at the point,
southward, that most invaders came from.
Neighbors led by unwelcome dogs on leashes
passed below her on their morning walks,
or farmers carrying hoes or machetes
up to the fields above.

Lines of burros plodding beneath her, facing uphill,
small herds of cattle
flooding down to the lake for water—
none escaped the attention of this reina,
who would bark directions to be on their way, fast,
and not to loiter.

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No creature had greater staying power than she.
The cats, bored with the high view,
moved to the bushes and trees to hunt possums, squirrels and salamanders.
Only she stayed true to her original position
as she looked ever down from that high dome,
only deserting it a year ago,
when I locked the gate that blocked her progress up—
not because I judged it unsafe for a dog grown arthritic and less sure of her step,
but because of the new puppy,
untrained by cats and with feet less experienced than hers.

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Feeling punished, perhaps, she traded her high domain
for a place beneath the terrace table

from which she watched the two upstarts
speed by to cavort in the lower garden
where she once chased bird shadows in the grass.

Version 2
She exercised her staying power one last time
as, looking down on a world reduced to only me,
never once blinking, she stared into my eyes
as I crouched beside the vet’s high table,
and looked straight back up into them,
the closest I’d ever been to her.

That table’s surface, straight and gleaming stainless steel,
was where she lay with her front legs spread-eagled
for the long hour it took to finally climb up that high dome again.
I wonder if she heard me as,
“Good girl,” I told her a hundred times that final hour, and meant it.
“Good, good girl. Look up now. And go on.
You were always such a good, good girl, watching out for us.
But now, look up. Go on.”

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The prompt word today is “Original.”

Doggie Domaine #4: Much Ado About Nothing?

                        Doggie Domaine #4: Much Ado About Nothing?
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Probably no one in the history of the world has made so much out of a 6 1/2 by 7 foot room, but for some reason, I am fascinated by this change in my world.  From every door I look out of in the back of my house, from my terrace, my entrance hall, my pool, my bedroom––the view is altered.  Tonight when I got home late from my three hour “Thriller” practice, a new art center opening and dinner out with friends, I opened the door to see what progress had been made.  Before I’d left, I’d taken this picture, which I love:
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But now, tonight in the dark, I opened the door onto what had begun to really look like a room and I felt my entire life shift a bit.
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All three dogs came running up to stick their heads in the door and for the first time, Diego and Morrie came rushing into the house through the new room.
IMG_6743Frida, however, merely stuck her head in the door, looked around,
Version 2and departed.  Whistles, offered treats, calling her name–nothing worked.  She absolutely refused to enter through this new route!
IMG_6747So while Diego and Morrie settled into their cages,
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Frida’s bed remained empty until I opened the bedroom door for her.  Just 5 feet distant from the “new” portal to the house, nonetheless, it was familiar––an accepted and recognizable part of her life.  She entered.  All was right with the world.