Tag Archives: cats

Pepé Le Pew

It seems Kitty is in heat. She has had a nightly caller who serenades her with love songs. Only Kitty believes she is human and is horrified at the attention. She looks exactly like that cat who endlessly tried to escape Pepé Le Pew’s amorous advances.

She hides in the deepest recesses of my garden when her would-be-suitor comes calling. Sometimes she comes right up to the screen door and mews piteously to be let in.

We’ve had Kitty three years now and although we think she has been pregnant, we’ve never found any kittens. Maybe, believing she is human, she just abandons them since they don’t resemble her. Who knows?

Only time will tell if Monsieur Pepé Le Pew will steal her heart this year and we’ll have kittens. I think I’m probably the only one excited by the prospect. Meanwhile, the caterwauling continues.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Animal Husbandry

Chat–The Chicken Cat

cam04048-1.jpg

Meet Chat, the chicken that thinks she’s a cat.

She has repudiated all chicken activities. She doesn’t scratch. She doesn’t roost. She doesn’t cluck. She doesn’t lay eggs.

She comes when I call Kitty, Kitty. She makes herself comfortable at night among the cats on the steps, actually sleeping with them. She marches inside to be fed. She allows herself to be petted. I won’t say that she purrs, but she seems quite happy with the attention.

The cats have accepted her presence and allow her idiosyncrasies as good friends should.

Yesterday, Devil, Licky, Angel, and Tiger went out hunting as all cats do. Being cats, they scaled the wall, slipped through the fence or climbed onto the roof to reach the great beyond. Chat does not have the same abilities and had, up until yesterday that is, stayed within the borders of the Flores mini-ranch.

Yesterday, the front gate was open and Chat made good her escape, probably thinking to follow her friends in a little hunting expedition.

And that was the end of Chat, the chicken that thought she was a cat.

***********************

Herbal Academy Online Courses
disclosure

4 Comments

Filed under Animal Husbandry, Homesteading

Old MacDonald’s Farm

All of a sudden we have so many animals that I feel more like the Old Woman in the Shoe than Old MacDonald. And the thing is, we made some drastic reduction in December, so theoretically we should have fewer animals, not more.

shadow

Shadow at nearly 2 years

Joey

Joey at 7 months

Old MacDonald had some horses

Although we exchanged Beauty for the wood to put on the roof (See Up On the Roof that Almost Wasn’t), we still have Shadow and Joey, two of Beauty’s babies (See Beauty’s Babies). Shadow will be two years old this summer and has begun her heat cycles. We are not interested in breeding her yet. The thing is that Joey, as young as he is, gets all bothersome during these heat cycles. As both horses are housed together, this is a wee bit of a problem. I keep after my husband to put the wall he has had planned for ever so long up, but it hasn’t happened yet.

plowing with Fiona

Old MacDonald had a donkey

We still have ol’ Fiona, although my husband threatens to sell her every few weeks. I argue against it. For one, she does all the plowing at present as the horses are not yet trained. Secondly, when we go on our family horse trips, I ride Fiona, disregarding the opinions of onlookers. She is a dainty walker, not a roller coaster ride like Beauty was, and so much closer to the ground. I am also campaigning for her to have a stall, at least during the rainy season. She so hates to get wet. That too is on my husband’s list of projects. (See Donkey races in La Yacata)

mischief makers

Mischief makers

Old MacDonald had some goats

We sold several goats in December to finish paying for the roof. But lo and behold in February, our remaining goats multiplied. (See Birth and Death) In a little over a week, our herd went from 8 chivas (nanny goats) and one chivo (macho goat) to 20. Well, it is the Year of the Goat according to the Chinese calendar, so I guess we should have seen it coming. (See Goat Genetics)

Jill and Mary

Jill has the dark face and Mary is the white sheep in front.

Old MacDonald had some sheep

Even though Flaca and Panzas kicked the bucket (See Birth and Death), we still had little Jack. He refused to associate himself with any of the kids, although he had many to choose from. We thought it best to get him a little companion, as sheep are never solitary creatures. So now, Jack and Jill frolic merrily up the feed trough. (See Separating the sheep and the goats)  And Mary, whose fleece is white as snow, is right behind them.

chickens

Multi-racial chickens, Jack and Brownie

Old MacDonald had some chickens

We have had chickens since the beginning, and I’m ok with that as long as they stay out of my garden. There are periods that we have more than one rooster and the morning ode to dawn is a little more than I can bear. Then I start in on how we don’t want a Palenque (a fighting rooster ranch), and it’s time for chicken soup. (See Why did the chicken cross the road) The number of our hens vary, and as my husband is all about bulikos (speckled), he likes to try for genetic variety in our flock. Just this week, we discovered we have a culeca (broody) hen, and that means peeps before too long!

turkey

Meet the Turkeys!

Old MacDonald had some turkeys

One day out in the field that we share-crop, my husband found a turkey–just out of the blue. He snuck up on it and pounced. With a wing clip, Mr. Turkey joined our barnyard critters. He didn’t much like the kids at first and kept pecking at them. We were concerned he might peck out an eye. I think he thought of them as interlopers. He eventually stopped when the sheer number of kids overwhelmed him.

We then found him a Mrs. Turkey and the newly wedded pair couldn’t be happier. Both are a little young for egg production, but we have hopes. The funny thing is the coloring. Mr. Turkey is bluish, and Mrs. Turkey is pinkish–talk about gender coding!

rabbit

Kinda looks like Thumper!

Old MacDonald had some

We’ve kept rabbits before and always found them light maintenance and reasonably profitable. (See Waskely Wabbits) So when my husband was offered four adult females for $100 pesos, he jumped at the offer. They are currently free-range rabbits, which means my backyard garden is on hold. I think I may have to do a container garden on the roof as rabbits just won’t be contained.

kitten

AWW!

Old MacDonald had some cats

We’ve had at least one cat since moving to Mexico. We even brought our cat with us from the U.S. However, our neighbors have caused the premature deaths of many of our cats with a random distribution of rat poison. (See 101 Perritos)

Licorice, aka Lickie, has had 3 litters, but this is the first time any of the kittens have survived.  This time, she presented us with three little kittens, Lickie 2, Devil 2 (who looks like our adopted rescue kitten Devil) and Sancha.  There’s a joke here.  To be “el hijo de Sancho” means the child is the result of someone other than the husband.  Lickie 2 looks like her mom.  Devil 2 looks like Devil.  But Sancha, well, she looked like the neighbor’s tom cat.  We put Sancha up for adoption, so that cut the engorda de gatos (cat fattening business) down to 4.

My husband, who isn’t a big fan of cats generally has changed his opinion. Our cats are excellent mousers. As we have quite a bit of dried food to make it through until the rainy season for all of our grazers, there are mice. The cats have been doing a bang-up job of keeping the rodent population to a minimum. I’m a little concerned about the rabbits, though. Baby bunnies look an awfully lot like baby mice after all.

chokis

Chokis and Fiona

Old MacDonald had a dog, and Chokis was his name-O

We’ve had a number of puppies and dogs in residence during our 9 years in Mexico. (See 101 Perritos) Our current canine pal is Chokis. My husband has moved him outside the gated community of animals, but he is as faithful as…well a dog. He sleeps next to Fiona right in front of the house and is so pleased to see us pull up on the moto that he pees himself. Talk about puppy love! He does a great job of letting us know when someone passes (as does Fiona).

cow

How now brown cow–uh–bull?

Old MacDonald had a cow

My husband has had a bee in his bonnet for about a year wanting a becerro (cow). I have been opposed to this idea just because we honestly don’t have room. The spacing challenge didn’t dismay him in the least. Finally, he broke down and bought his brother’s year old bull for 3 goats and $3000 pesos. He presented it to me as a rescue mission. He bought the bovine because B didn’t take proper care of him. It’s itty bitty living space was knee deep in mud and poop. Well, the deal was already done, whether or not I approved and so now we have a cow, or rather a bull. The plan is to engordar (fatten) him up and sell him full grown for meat. We tend to get extremely attached to our animals so we will see if that happens or not. Let’s call him Toro

E-I-E-I-O

If you think that this doesn’t seem like many animals for a farm, remember our entire property measures 14 meters x 20 meters, with almost half of that being our house. The multitude does provide plenty of home-grown fun, though. Take a look at some of the chivitos (goats) playing ring around the rosy with Jack.  However, I’m not sure that Jack likes it all that much.

See the video here!

*******************************************
Herbal Academy Courses

disclosure

10 Comments

Filed under Animal Husbandry

Battling Nature–Mice and rats and skunks–Oh My!

mouse

Every now and then, a rustle in the kitchen indicates that we have become hosts to mice. Most generally they are small field mice, although once or twice a bigger rat will somehow find a way in. We keep little food that is not in closed containers, so there really isn’t much in the way of cuisine for them, but I suppose the underwear drawer does provide nicer bedding than the great outdoors.

trap

Up until recently, we had a cat and when a rustle alerted us to the presence, in came the cat who took care of the problem within a day or two. Our cat was poisoned, so we have gone to traditional spring mousetrap for extermination purposes inside. Baited with a little peanut butter and it’s a near sure thing. There really is no need to invent a better mousetrap after all. In my experience, there is no reason for the so called more humane live trap. A mouse released into the wild will find its way back in.

cat mouse

We have some problems with mice and rats outside in the animal feed area and garden. Previously, as I mentioned, we had a cat who kept rodent visitors under control. But since our cats are no more, both Kitty and Kitty 2 having been poisoned, and Licorice Whip and Jelly Bean the kittens are still too little to be much of a threat, we try our best to root out nests ourselves.

Some of the rats are gopher sized. Really. We have discovered that the cow-barn guy, the neighbor, fattens his cows with hormonally enhanced feed. It’s no surprise that since rats like corn just as much as cows, they become super-sized as well. The first time I saw one scurry across the barda (wall) I thought “Of my God! It’s a ROUS! (Rodent of Unusual Size) like in the Princess Bride.” Of course, Wesley isn’t anywhere near to save me and my animals, and we have lost numerous pollitos (chicks), patitos (ducklings) and conejitos (bunnies) to the ROUS that lives off the neighbor’s feed.

recovering kitty

Recovering from her first attempted poisoning.

We have theorized that our cats were unintentional victims of the neighbor’s attempts at extermination. Perhaps he too saw the ROUS one day and then put out the poison. The mice ate the poison and stumbled to our side of the wall where our cats pounced on them as easy snacks. We were able to save Kitty 2 from poisoning by chance once. She had been served a great treat of goat’s milk in the morning, prior to her eating the poisoned mouse. And although it was touch and go for a bit, the milk had coated her stomach enough that she vomited the rat out and was saved that day, only to die by poison a few weeks later.

It seems to me, that as cats are the natural predators of mice, that a better solution to the rodent problem would be for the cow-barn guy to keep a few cats instead of putting out any poison. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a gringa after all.

skunk

Hiding behind Cocoa’s dog house

Skunks???

Yep, we have skunks. Well, to be more specific, La Yacata has skunks. And they aren’t little. The last one we spotted as it climbed a stone wall, was nearly 3 feet long. Yikes!

We did have a skunk visitor, briefly. One early morning, we went outside to feed the livestock and there it was. A baby spotted skunk. The puppies wouldn’t have anything to do with it. So it was up to us to disinvite baby skunky. We chased it about the yard a bit, screaming and terrifying it. We can’t have skunks living in the back yard. Skunks eat baby chicks, baby rabbits, and eggs, besides having a naturally offensive odor. My husband managed to smack its leg with a rake, and it bolted out the gate, not to be seen henceforth. End of story.

*******************************************************

disclosure

1 Comment

Filed under Animal Husbandry, Battling Nature