Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Olympian Wagers

The kids drove out with their fancy electric buckboard on Saturday and parked at the end of the driveway, wisely walking in to the compound. Our "driveway" isn't as serious as Malcolm Owen's was, back up on Big Pine, where you needed a horse or a '48 4X flatbed Jeep truck with a creeper gear to climb the boulders. We use pickup trucks is all. But apparently they are making the vehicles much lower these days, and there's no reason to scrap off a battery when your legs are young and strong. Anyway, we brought out the dogies for them to examine, and many photographs were taken. There's one other little black one, pretty much the twin of the one you see here, but he's the hang-backer, the one we are a little concerned with that he's not getting enough to eat. Anyways, the kid once adopted a wild kitty down on Ocracoke Island, and she was of the view that Saturday was the moment to be decisive and bring the whole herd inside. We have a decent collapsible kennel which would have kept them mostly in one place, and we did try that option Sunday for a while, and again on Monday in the daytime. But Momma was obviously distraught, searching for her babies, looking intensely at me, clearly feeling like betrayal was in the air, and there was also the plain fact that she was still nursing, and all of them could use nursing as long as she cared to do that chore, and maybe we could make the shed a bit safer. So we put 'em back.

This was a pretty good plan it looked like on Tuesday morning. There was still a risk of Momma just up and moving them off to unknown quarters in the night, but it'd be a chore, and she had the balancing proposition that nice food kept showing up for her, no one was shooting at her or anything, we talked nice (for humans). She didn't move them, and yesterday Libby sat on the steps and talked to them, also got a lot of the junk out of the shed so there was more open safe space for the dogies to toddle around. Things were looking pretty swell--manageable one might say, were one a manager. And then, while she was recounting this sunny progress to me on the cell (as I'd called to check in mid-morning), she reported that a puppy had suddenly arrived, gone under the house, was barking (phone extended so I could hear). Zeus had tossed his dice.

The puppy, who knows where else he came from, if not the sky. Momma was not amused. Puppy toddled up to say "hi," got wacked for his trouble. Momma was in a protective frenzy, would not go near the shed. Libby got pups into the collapsible kennel (damn glad we have that thing, who knows what it'll be good for next). She drove down to the crossroads store to see if anyone was missing a critter. No one was, but some guy said he knew of a good home. Which I think must have been the moment Mercury said "I'll see your pair and raise you three drachma." So as quick as the puppy had arrived, so had a solution. Not that the pebble hadn't made ever expanding ripples across the blue stillness.

When I got home Momma was growling fiercely from inside the shed. Libby'd left the door shut, and wasn't even sure Momma was in--but Momma has a way of getting in by climbing the wall and going in from the eves, so maybe that's what happened. Anyways, kittens were all accounted for, Momma growled, eyes glowing, from behind a table, I slid some food into the shed for both Momma and kittens, shut the door good, retreated to the TV. When Libby got home later she more or less repeated the procedure, reporting that again all were accounted for. In the late night came a big thunderstorm, with wind, but this morning the critters were all dry, Momma growled less intensely (perhaps), kittens were all asleep in a box near the door where I could easily see them, the door had stayed shut in the wind and lightning, no trees had fallen. Libby did report hearing some creature making a retreat through the woods--there are many candidates, including that scarey Tom I've mentioned, possums, raccoons, foxes, or dogs. We shone a light around and saw no lurking eyes. The worse thing would probably be a coyote, of which there are some rumors in the area, though we've not had personal sightings of them yet.

The thunder was clearly Zeus's pique at Mercury's audacious raise. The bets are still down. The game continues.

Thomas Nickles took the photo. All Obama needs to win is to use kittens as the center of his election campaign. No more ideas or plans, nothing but kittens. He'll be a sho-in.

1 comment:

  1. this is so fascinating to follow. you guys are terrific. and where do all these dogs and cats come from, anyway?