Tag Archives: kittens

Cat Accomadations

Fuzz, our newest feline addition to the Flores animal kingdom, has been growing by leaps and bounds. Since he’s the first indoor pet we’ve had here, we’ve had to step up our game and make some cat accommodations. 

We’ve discovered that although he’s perfectly capable of opening the screen door to the back porch where his litter box is, he isn’t always so inclined to do that. I’ve had to set barriers around my indoor plants. 

The downstairs fireplace is another area he’s designated as a “bathroom” area. Since he managed to find a way through the stacked boxes we set up as a barrier, we had fireplace screens made by the local herrero (blacksmith). Screens for both chimneys cost $600 pesos and are simple but effective in keeping the cat out. 

I pestered my husband to make a ledge that Fuzz could look out the upstairs window from. We even risked reduced social distancing and bought a few boards at the maderaria for that to happen. He did make an extension, but it’s not wide enough. So stacked some boxes on the table that he could lie on to look outside.

My son also set up a lounging spot in front of his window with his archery target and some books as steps. Fuzz spends hours there watching the world go by. Unfortunately, he doesn’t like his soft squishy bed much. He prefers snoodling in our bed, which isn’t exactly the most comfortable sleeping arrangements, especially when he has tuna farts. 

I bought a few toys for the Fuzzer. He promptly lost all the balls and chewed the string on the chasing toy apart. So I bought this three-level ball spinner. The balls stay in the slots. I also picked up a scratching board to try and save my imitation pleather chairs from harm, fat lot of good it did. Who knew an indoor cat would need so many things!

Fuzz has also gone through 2 more of his nine lives. The first incident was when he got himself covered in motor oil. Then in the space of three days, he had two more near-death experiences. It makes me think I’m not a good pet parent. 

The next incident was probably my fault. Fuzz has been exploring past the tinacos (water storage containers) on the new garden roof, which we don’t want. So I thought I’d deter him by using the hose to spray the area in front of where he was exploring to get him to come back because he’d gone as far as Lady’s roof and I couldn’t reach him. However, instead of retreating, he lept sideways, falling off of the roof. He wasn’t hurt but immediately, George and Fred came a-running to see what was up and that really freaked him out. He hadn’t expected to fall into the dog pit! 

Neither dog attacked Fuzz who had puffed up three times his normal size. George got a little too close to give this furry creature a good sniff, and Fuzz scratched his nose. As soon as I saw Fuzz fall, I hollered for my son to help. Meanwhile, I made my way back into the house and down the stairs to the rescue while my son held the dogs. Fuzz was shaken, gave me a few scratches when I picked him up, but otherwise no worse for wear.

The third event I still don’t know what to think about. I bought some Whiskas at the Bodega to try instead of the cheapy brand I had been buying. Well, no sooner had Fuzz gotten a good bite or two when he started puking his guts out. It was awful! I put him outside to try and clean him up but he kept retching. 

My son stayed with him with some milk. We added a little bit of activated charcoal since we are always paranoid about poisoning having lost so many animals that way. Realistically, no one could have poisoned the food since it is always upstairs, inside, but hey, we never thought Puppy, Lil’Pup, or any of our other animals would die that way either. 

Eventually, the vomiting stopped. We cleaned the poor little guy up and tucked in him for the night. He slept most of the next day, exhausted, but by the next evening, he was eating again. Needless to say, that can of food was tossed and I went back to feeding him the cheapy brand.

Fuzz has done a pretty good job of training us so far. With only one angry poo incident under my son’s bed, we now jump to meet his every need. Then Sir Cocoa Beans joined us. 

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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.

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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!

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