Category Archives: Animal Husbandry

Posts related to animal caretaking

The Triumphant Return of Fuzz Lightyear

If you’ll remember, a few weeks ago, Fuzz was cat-napped. We know he was taken rather than just wandered off because my husband’s sister saw the people scoop him up. Well, I’m happy to report that Fuzz found his way home!

I heard the moment he entered La Yacata. The dogs at the corner started barking. There’s a new smallish dog that has adopted that corner. Yet another animal abandoned in La Yacata. The people that live there already have three dogs, so they feed it and let it live on the step, but haven’t adopted it completely. Anyway, that little guy takes his corner protecting job seriously, and set up a howl at about 8 pm one night. 

Then our dogs took up the call, both the Puppers and Cocoa inside. The combined forces of the howling was answered by a pack of coyotes in the area. And then I heard it. Fuzz’s meows.

I hurried down and opened the front door. Fuzz streaked in. Well, it was more of an amble. Fuzz doesn’t go anywhere at speed. It took a few days for him to get settled back in. He also had to get used to Manchas, our newest arrival. But he’s back to his old snoozing routine and we are delighted! 

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Read about our other animals adventures!

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Demon Kitten

The other day, we were walking the dogs and we heard a kitten meowing from inside my brother-in-law’s house. Since he has a large pit bull and isn’t known for his love of cats, we were surprised. So we stopped for just a second and peered under the door. An extremely irate and small, fluffy cat burst vocalizing its dissatisfaction with everything.

All three dogs are several times larger than this kitten. The dogs began jumping around in agitation but this little kitty wasn’t backing up. We decided we needed to get the dogs out of there before someone got hurt. But the little beast followed us. It was obviously terrified. Its tail was four times its normal size. And yet it kept coming. It chased us around the block. And when we tried to get everyone in the house, it marched its butt right in, still meowing horrendously. 

I gave my son all three dog leashes and shut the door to the garage to round up the little kitty. However, as soon as I put it out, it dashed back in. It took three tries to get it out! It climbed the woodpile in front of the house and settled itself into my son’s window, still meowing. The pets lined up at the window to see the spectacle.

So thinking the cat was hungry, my son tried to give it food and water. Since we didn’t want it in the house, he snuck out the animal gate and left the supplies and dashed back in. It certainly was hungry and chowed down on the food like a ravenous monster, sound effects included. 

The evening dog walk was suspended since we were now virtual prisoners in the house. The next morning, I tried again to make friends with the little thing. I let it in the garage and gave it food and water. Instead of eating, it dashed past our pets, up the stairs, and zeroed in on Cocoa’s food dish. How it knew where that was, I’ll never know. Cocoa was having none of that and repeatedly flattened the kitten with his paw to try and get it to stop. 

I scooped it up and tried cuddles but it just would not be calmed. I tried more food, but it was still at a near-hysterical pitch. The way it was acting, I wouldn’t have been surprised if its head started spinning around. I finally had to put it back outside again. 

We snuck out for the morning dog walk when the coast was clear. On our walk, we found a cardboard box on the road near my brother-in-law’s house. We think someone had brought it here to dump, it took shelter in the house, but didn’t count on the big dog. When it heard us, it thought it was rescued and followed us home. And that’s where we stood.

I sent messages to animal lovers and found someone that would take the kitten. I tried to bring it into the garage for safekeeping until they arrived, but it climbed the walls to where we have our solar panel batteries. Fearful that it would get injured, my son put it back outside again. 

Finally, my artist friend Claudia came with a special cat backpack and we bundled the little guy up for his trip to his forever home. Whew! What a stressful couple of days. We are so relieved that the poor little mite found a home. We are well past animal capacity at the Flores ranchito, even if people keep leaving their beasties for us to find.

Here he is, snoodled up with his new friend.

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Animal Updates

Since we are trying hard-core to socially distance ourselves, our only regular companions these days are our animal buddies. Those of you with pets will understand how much comfort furry friends provide. Those of you who don’t, ought to adopt yourself a fuzz-buddy or two. The pandemic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, vaccine or no vaccine, and neither should you. Having some four-footed company will keep away the quarantine blues.

Fred and George Pupper are in the doghouse. Mostly Fred. One day last week my husband didn’t latch the gate correctly. Fred swooped in and caught two of the three rabbits housed in the back. We are assuming he thought they were large rats. Fred is an excellent rat catcher. Cocoa witnessed Fred’s transformation from fun-loving friend to killing machine and is still a bit traumatized by it all. Anyway, Fred must be tied until something is done with the final rabbit. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.  

We finally rehomed Terry. He has a bigger play yard and seems happy enough. He’s the only dog there, which he really needed to be with his dominance issues. Four dogs were too many for our little compound.

We had a bit of drama with Fuzz. Someone (my husband) left the front door open and Fuzz strolled out. There were people having clandestine family gatherings on our road, at least two groups. Well, one of the groups decided to take Fuzz with them when they left. He’s been cat-napped and we are so sad. We are still a bit in shock. I mean, after going through two near-death experiences and the deworming process, someone just ups and takes him. And his first time venturing out the door too. Well, what type of behavior can you expect from people having clandestine family gatherings during a pandemic, right?

Anyway, we are up to 6 kids in the Flores Goat kindergarten. They are just big enough to go out with the adult goats on the foraging run. My husband traded one of the older chivos for a borrego, so now we have a single borrego. He isn’t too old, less than a year perhaps. He likes to play with the kids. Up and down the road they go. Yesterday, the youngest chivita got “lost” and hysterically ran towards the horses that were tied out front. We all watched in horror, sure that she’d get herself trampled. She didn’t, but that ended recess for the day.

Rojo is being saddled trained. He’s doing well. Lady has figured out how to open her door and has been letting herself out nightly. Fred and George don’t mind the extra animal, but she’s eaten all the leaves off the coffee, nispero, and granada trees. Someone (my husband) needs to do something about that.

We seem to have founded a palenque (literally noise place but used in this area to refer to a place with many roosters mostly trained as cockfighters). We have 6 roosters in addition to 4 hens somehow. Although we aren’t training cocks, they fight continuously causing no end of noise throughout the day. I’m hoping some of them can be rehomed, sooner rather than later. It’s quite a cacophony in the morning. 

If you’ll remember, the neighbor’s cat Garfield had a litter of kittens a few weeks ago. She had them in the abandoned house on the other road. My son tried to encourage her to keep taking care of her babies by leaving food and water. After a few days, the kittens were gone. We feared the worst. There are stray dogs, coyotes, and all sorts of other dangers for newborn, helpless kitties.  However, the other night, two of Ms. Garfield’s offspring came to the front door for a handout. One looked like a mini-Garfield and the other was black and white. My son and I joked that they were meowing something that resembled “Mom told us to pick up the food order and here we are.”

Sadly, when Fuzz was cat-napped, so was Garfield Jr. The remaining kitten took up residence in our wood pile out front, so we brought her in after a day or two. There’s room and we have all this cat stuff. She’s a much sweeter kitty than Fuzz was. My husband hasn’t taken to her though–perhaps it’s too soon and he is still grieving Fuzz. Or maybe because Manchas (Spot) is female. Cocoa isn’t sure what to make of her. He wants to play, but Manchas is having none of that. We’ll see how it goes. Cocoa misses his Wrestlemania buddy.

We continue taking the Puppers and Cocoa on multiple walks around the block each day. That bit of sunshine and fresh air makes everyone happy. And year two of the pandemic continues….

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