Friday, February 17, 2006

Little Creatures

Finally, it has snowed, again. A lovely load of snow and a sunny day, with most of my chores completed, except for the wash, which has been set in motion. Now I just need to wrangle it from machine to machine to baskets to closets. So, Sara, Molly and I will go out and play in it in a bit, once it warms up a skootch.

Now, my learned friends, I have a question. I know that cats will be cats and their sole purpose in life, aside from stealing things from the dog, sleeping in the sun, and climbing the furniture, is to simply puzzle their people. It's just that I can't figure out why the cat-dog chooses my face as her preferred place to sleep at night. Not the top of my head or under my chin or beside my cheek. Frequently, nay multiple times through the night, I waken to find myself under her person, with fur in my nose and mouth as she has draped herself over my face. Purring. I have many soft, squishy parts, but my face is not one of them. I do not have pillow lips. My chin and nose jut. I am flummoxed.

As you can see, Mad-kitty has been thriving on her diet of puppy food and easily reaches into the dog's bowl with all feet on the floor. This morning, Molly decided that turn about was fair play and snuck into the laundry room and licked the kitty's bowl clean. Twice.


A couple of nights ago, I opened the door from the kitchen to the garage, where the recycling bags sit, all in a row. I heard small rustlings. "Ah," I thought. "Mouse. Damn. Mess. Find." I have pity for the poor cold furry creatures, with big eyes and whiskers, as much as the next person, more than some, but mice in your personal space is not a good thing. They gnaw and poop and destroy lots of things you just really wish they hadn't. There is no reasoning with them, either. Plus, there is a nice, warm shed with plenty of straw and horse poop, where they can winter.

So, I start moving the bags, one by one, but no scurrying creature. I stand still for a minute and the furtive scurrying and tiny, soft squeaking picks up, again. I look in the bags and find this.

Yes. Mouse. Mouse whose tail has been dramatically (and, I assumed traumatically) shortened. But wait. Mouse seems to not have big eyes, rather I can't see eyes at all. And the feet are webbed and stick out from the sides. Plus, it doesn't seem to be shaking, like a mouse would, just keeps trying to crawl straight ahead, into the corner of the bag, and not making any progress.

So, I freed what I thought was a mole INTO MY GARDEN as it was late, and I was tired and clearly was not thinking with even one little neuron. Fortunately, I have now convinced myself that it was actually a short tailed shrew and am feeling better about it. Maybe it will remember me and eat extra bugs? Or maybe it is now really pissed off, with all the snow and soon to be sub-zero temps, without factoring in the wind chill. Damn. I'm still not sure how such a creature, with the legs to the side, climbed into the tall paper bag.

Oh, well. Time to go out and get the small ones really cold and tired so all and sundry will sleep for long stretches this afternoon.

I'm such a good mom.

There are also some new Molly pictures up on the sidebar, too, if you are interested. My, how big she is at about 3+1/2 months old.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly is so cute, and so big! Mine is only a year and 48 pounds. yikes!

I totally understand about your cat. Mine has to sleep either right between your legs, under your knees, or on your hip. any where she chooses, you can't move, and then when you do move, she gets pissed.

cats are strange. I love it when they get all cuddly though, just not in the middle of the night on the middle of me.

you and yours enjoy the snow!

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Cinders, cat of your youth, sitting on a shrew and getting her bum bitten. Kill all insiders on sight. I remember having 50+ mice being destroyed by trap in my kitchen. Recommend mouse poison to be sure and quick.

The Ole RFer

1:48 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Amy- She is getting big! Almost too big to lift. Fortunately, kitty is extremely cuddly. Basically, if you are down, she is curled up on you.

The snow was lovely, except for slogging through the back, where it was about 2", trying to pull Sara on the sled.

Dad- I think she also used to eat the heads off the shrews, too, leaving their little decapitated remains around, when she could catch them. Ix-nay on the mouse (and all other) poisons. Not good in a house with kids, dog, cat, and well water. Nope. Don't need that getting into someone. We've had good success with the sticky traps when needed. Plus, we have the kitty, now.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Amy- Whoops, make that 2 feet deep for the snow. I'm a wimp, but can certainly handle 2" of snow. Heh.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Kate W. said...

No wonder Madison thinks she is a dog-have you noticed the legs on her??!! Cat sleep in annoying places purely to torture their humans. I know from experience- I have had many a suffocation dream only to wake up with a large cat draped across my face. Snow... I'm jealous. I wish it would "stick" one way or another here. Yesterday was 68 and todays high is 36...I'm having a little Spring fever! Have you read about Dooneys day with her mole too?! I shouldn't laugh-it's usually me with the uninvited animals!

4:56 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Kate- They do look freaky-long in that picture, don't they? I dashed off to read Dooney's encounter with the creature. I think her mole and my shrew are the same and made a geek of myself in her comments. You guys were up to 68? Lovely! even if for just a day.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

Wow, she reminds me so much of my Eli, who was a large puppy, and who topped out at an even 100 lbs. when she was 18 months old. Her "bathing suit weight" is about 95, but when she's got her thicker coat for winter she adds 5 pounds. She's very talented at keeping her weight consistent, something I've been unable to duplicate :p

I can't explain the "cat on the face" phenomenon, as our only bedroom cat seems to just enjoy stealing pillow space. Maybe that's the problem -- maybe you're not surrendering enough of your pillow and the face-draping is punishment? We have one kitten who farts up a storm all the time -- now I definitely don't want to let him in the bedroom in case he climbs on my face and kills me.

3:33 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I'm not sure what the thing is about Mad, maybe she wants the warmth from your breath? It's funny though.

She is getting so big. And Molly. Oh, I am feeling the urge to cuddle Eddy. Which will annoy him. But dang it, he's my cat.

9:19 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Molly is getting so big! Adorable.

I don't know why cats sleep on faces, although I've heard that the warmth from your breath might have something to do with it. Or maybe she thinks your nose is cold.

Finding a shrew is an interesting thing!

6:25 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Leigh-Ann- Our first, Maia was a 100 pounder, too. I think Molly will be closer to her than Emma, who was about 60 lbs. Molly's dad is a moose and her mom isn't tiny, either.

If your farty kitten is the little black one that is the spitting image of farty Madison, I will die laughing.

Dana- Thou shalt goest and cuddle Eddy. Why else do we have cats but to annoy them?

Beth- Maybe that is it. My nose IS always cold. What a caring kitty!

Yeah, right.

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Christie said...

I think MadKittyPup has decided she wants to be queen of the house so she's actually trying to smother you in your sleep...she's just too skinny to have much success yet.... And boy is she going to show the pup who's boss once she knocks you off!!

9:44 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Madison is *not* doing her job.

She should have dispatched that shrew for you. She must really think she's a dog.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Christie- Suddenly, I'm afraid to be alone in the house with the kitty.

Rozanne- Sadly, we didn't let kit have a chance to show her stuff as the not-a-mouse was in the garage and kitty is purely an inside kitty. This doesn't excuse the pup, though.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

I'm a bit late on this one, but "farty kitty" is our Siamese. I think I've figured out that his gassy problems are triggered when he eats the adult cats' food, which is a prescription diet. He never gets more than a few pieces of kibble that the adults have knocked onto the floor, but it's enough to surround him with a green cloud of noxious fumes. I haven't noticed the black cat having the same problem, but he's not really into the "scrounging for scraps" thing.

I do have one story about the black kitten which you may want to consider as a cautionary tale regarding Madison. I was at my desk this morning and had just entered into a daytrade of 50000 shares of a stock that I was planning to sell again a few minutes later. I was watching the price tick up and just as I was about to put in my sell order, "little black kitten" came out of nowhere, jumped on the keyboard, and somehow gave me the blue screen of death. He's previously managed to highlight then delete long blog entries with just a single keyboard pounce. So, my advice regarding little black kittens is, no online trading unless they're locked up somewhere, or a protective shield above your keyboard :p

5:36 PM  
Blogger Emini Day Trader said...

Great blog. Nice job you've done here.


9:37 AM  

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