Friday, January 7, 2011

Hey, Who’s in Charge here!

Enter Mr. Peeps Poirot, International Bird of Mystery (it's a mystery why anyone would want him lol--- Wendy), the next member to join our family. Mr Peeps is a beautiful, piebald, or parti-colored cockatiel. He was full grown when he was given to us and had never been finger-trained. No attempts by Wendy, Homer, or myself to make friends with him have ever met with much success. He will exchange kissy sounds with you, but the sight of a finger anywhere near his cage will only result in hissing and ruffled feathers. I have just about given up on ever getting any closer to him. Several times a day I stop by his cage to tell him what a handsome fellow he is and he accepts this as his due with a considerable amount of preening and posing. He shows no inclination to talk, but he will warble along with the wild birds outside our window and screech at any tv program he doesn't like--- although I did hear something the other day that sounded suspiciously like "kitty, kitty, kitty"!

Which brings me to Rudy, the next addition to our household. There is a farm not far from us, where Homer and I love to go every summer to buy fresh produce. It is on the banks of the Potomac River and I think that good river bottom soil must account for the exceptional quality of their corn. It is the best corn on the cob to be found anywhere in the country. One day while we were there, we noticed a sign for free
kittens. Now we hadn’t even talked about adopting a kitten, but before long, Homer was scampering around in the barn trying to catch one of the feisty little barn kittens. Homer finally emerged with a little ball of orange fluff , who was spitting & hissing and not the least bit happy with the situation. He was not used to being handled and wanted no part of us. Since we didn’t have a carrier with us, I wrapped him up tightly in a large towel and we made it back home only slightly bloodied. This little guy was so angry, that his nose turned bright red so we dubbed him Rudy, short for Rudolph (yes, like the reindeer!). It didn’t take Rudy long to establish his place in the household. He intended to be boss cat. When Fred bounced over wanting to make friends, Rudy arched his back and hissed. Poor Fred was totally bewildered by this reaction to his friendly advances and retreated to his corner to pout.

That feisty, playful little kitten has since grown and mellowed (well maybe slightly mellowed). Rudy and Fred are now good friends. They seem to have their own secret means of communicating and I feel sure they sometimes plot together to get their humans to perform on cue. Rudy is a very vocal cat and will yowl loudly if he wants his litter box cleaned (Wendy swears he has obsessive/compulsive discorder about it) or his food dish filled. He considers a closed door a challenge and will pry open even the heavy front door if it is not tightly latched.

Our animal family has given us many hours of amusement and pleasure and somehow we have all learned to co-exist in the same household.  Anyone who has ever lived in the same house with a cat knows that you never “own” a cat.  They know they are the superior species and will only tolerate humans as necessary to their comfort.  They will however bestow affection when it suits them.  I cannot imagine life without my family.

It is a blah kind of day outside, and I have a cold and have been coughing all day.  I think I will go start a big pot of chili with plenty of spice to perk things up.

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