“Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled.”

Yesterday was a delight. Though it was a bit chilly, the sun shined all day. I left my self-imposed hibernation and went outside to do some yard work and Gracie came with me. When I’d finished, I stood on the deck for a while and watched Gracie try to figure out how to carry a slightly deflated basketball in her mouth. She managed and ran around the yard in triumph. I did a laundry, changed my bed and the cat litter, filled the feeders and went on an errand. It was an industrious day all brought about because of the sun. It was like I had my battery recharged. Today is cloudy.

The mouse trap sat in the cellar for over a week, and I only caught two. It is now on the kitchen floor, and I haven’t caught any. Once there were mice. I cleaned out a kitchen drawer and found cloth and cardboard had been gnawed into small pieces, and the mice had left their familiar droppings. I threw stuff away, put most in the dishwasher and hand-washed other stuff. When I took out the drawer, I found piles of chewed paper and more droppings underneath it. With a vengeance, I scrubbed the drawer and under the drawer, and now that everything is clean, I keep checking both drawers, but there are no more tell-tale signs of current mice in residence. I’ll leave the trap for a few more days, but I’m guessing it was Maddie who rid this floor of rodents.

I never saw wild life when I was a kid. I don’t even remember seeing a skunk. I saw lots of fireflies, grasshoppers, tadpoles, frogs and a few snakes, but that was it. The only wildlife I saw was in the zoo. It never occurred to me I was missing anything. I got to see the cows at the farm and the horse in the pasture not far from my house, and that was enough. Here on the Cape I have seen   coyotes, foxes, deer, possums, raccoons and skunks. The latest are the wild turkeys. They are numerous and don’t mind strolling down the street as if in a parade. I love it when I see any of these animals. It means the Cape still has space for both of us.

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16 Comments on ““Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    We have stuff, but not always at the house. Large part of Maggies day revolve around being on full alert on the top of a chair staring out of the window, on a window sill of the bathroom, out of the sunroom or next to the vertical panel by the front door. It is clearly in Maggies job description to make sure anything and anyone passing know that she is in command.

    Her arch nemesis is the spaniel out at the back, who subject to the confines of an electronic fence comes out for morning activities and works the Terrier in to a frenzy.

    Rabits and smaller critters are common place, coyote have been seen but not in our garden but the grassy knoll at the back will house sleeping deer that need to be scattered when we head out at 5.30 each morning. The Streamlight illuminates then and Maggie does the rest.Wild turkey reside at the entrance to our road, and Maggie has not had the pleasure…yet.

    Yesterday we met a quiet and gentle man from the Jesuit community, who’s live has been devoted to the poor and the challenged. The Op Ed in today’s Wall Street Journal began ” The election of Pope Francis may prove to be not only a turning point for the Catholic Church but for all humanity”

    • My Dear Hedley,
      Gracie stands on the deck and barks at any dogs passing by on her street. It drives me crazy, all that barking, but I don’t mind her in the house barking.

      There was a dog in the house behind us and Gracie wanted at it so she jumped the 6 ft fence into the neighbor’s yard. He said he thought she was a wolf. Idiot! As if the Cape has wolves!

      One rabbit stands where Gracie can see her but not get her. I swear the rabbit does it on purpose as it moves from the side to the front lawn when Gracie switches doors.

      Gracie saw her first porcupine on a walk in New Hampshire with my friend Bill.

      I knew right away that he was a different sort of choice for Pope when he chose the name Francis and then I read his background and saw his devotion to the poor and his self-lessness. I hope the Op Ed piece is predictive.

      • Hedley Says:

        Maggie enjoys a good cross section of bark opportunities . She jumped in to her basket last night and then decided to air it out. Jiggers get attention and a good UPS truck. When we have a delivery she will make a break for freedom. We have retrieved her from the Post Office truck after she jumped in ready for a ride.

        It’s positive, really positive.

      • My Dear Hedley,
        In her youth, Gracie escaped often, right out the front door when people didn’t pay attention as they were leaving. The bugger would stand until I’d get close then run. She would never come to me but would run to perfect strangers.

      • Hedley Says:

        We are watching the DVD box set of the BBC series Colditz. Maggie is thoroughly enjoying it !!!!

      • MDH,
        I don’t know Colditz and had to look it up to find out more.

        Gracie got miffed at me as I moved her to stop her from snoring. She got up and went to her crate, and I can hear her snoring from there.

  2. olof1 Says:

    1,4F in the morning yesterday and snofall most of the day. 5F this morning and sunshine all day. We are far from spring here but I don’t mind as long as the sun shines.

    We had lots of wild animals around when I grew up, there was and still is lots of big parks in Gothenburg and I lived close to two of them. Of course I saw a lot of them when straying at our summer cottage but that was out in the middle of nowhere tio be honest 🙂

    How many mice have You caught this winter, I know it’s a new rocord though. I’ve been lucky this winter, so far 🙂 I guess that Bertil the mice killer has a lot to do with that luck 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Christer,
      You are so far away from spring!! The crocus have bloomed in my front yard. How beautiful they are in yellow and purple, and I saw my first daffodil bud. The day lilies have broken ground!

      This winter I caught 40 mice: 35 upstairs, 3 down here (2 killed by Maddie and 1 chased by Gracie and caught alive by me) and 2 in the cellar. The old record was 18.

      Enjoy your evening!

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    We had all kinds of wildlife growing up. I don’t count horses as wildlife but there were several of those in the neighborhood along with other livestock.
    We always had “pet” wild things; frogs, snakes, a pigeon, a raccoon, a fox, a skunk and several spawns of Satan. There were also lots of pheasants in the back swamp.
    There aren’t any more snakes or pheasants. Frogs are a bit scarce, too. But the foxes are back. Racoons, skunks and spawns were always around. The chippies are back. Coyotes, deer and turkeys are newer additions to the fauna. I live one town over from your childhood home. It was hardly country back then and is even less so now. The animals have to live somewhere and we have to learn to let them.
    Yesterday was beautiful. Rocky went to doggy play date and I spent the day doing pleasant errands outside. It was great. Now it’s cold again but my hopes are energized. I can take it. 🙂
    Enjoy the evening.

    • Hi Caryn,
      I forgot about the spawns being around, a convenient memory lapse I suspect.

      I never saw animals in the woods behind my house or near the swamp. I think because it wasn’t all that dense so animals went elsewhere. I remember being in the car and seeing a deer in a field as we drove by it. I was thrilled.

      There are still plenty of woods here on the Cape so I’ve been lucky with the animals I’ve seen.

      Gracie played with her pal Cody for a long time yesterday. They let him out and he comes right down here, goes outside in my backyard, and the two dogs chase each other.

      We had a five minute snow shower this afternoon. It didn’t amount to anything but it was unwelcomed. It is also cold here. I am glad for yesterday.

  4. Beto Says:

    Dogs are, that they might have joy

    That in God’s service, labor here

    Bring us peace, as a child well raised

    And love so freely without fear

  5. Bob Says:

    One doesn’t have to see skunks to know that they exsist because we can tell where they have been when they become road kill. Nothing smells worse than a skunk.

    • Bob,
      I can smell one in the neighborhood which has probably sprayed some hapless dog. One of mine got it right in the face when she tried to play with a skunk who was not in the playing mood.

  6. MT C Says:

    Good to hear that the New England turkey population is still on the rise. I remember my first year of hunting, I must have been 14 or maybe 12, I really don’t recall, but MA does have a regulation on it as they seem to with everything. And my father would have made sure that I was legal.

    It was also the first year of the turkey for bobcat exchange with one of the Carolinas as best I can recall. We were in New Salem for white tail deer and at sunrise I was at my stand designated by my uncle. Shortly after the sun hit the tree tops the first turkey launched from the tree directly above me. I believed that the earth had shattered and I was on my way to the depths of hell (which is where my aunt always, and still does predict that I will end up). It really rattled me and I recall shaking for most of the rest of the day. Of course there were the fresh bare foot prints in the snow on the way back to the car that might have added to it. As well as my brother (4 years older) who quickly pronounced that “It must be a Big Foot! Especially in this weather! At 4 above, I doubt seriously that any human could stand walking barefoot like that. And these deep woods is there perfect place for them to hide, too!” And those were pretty much his exact words, too. LOL

    It was not long before turkeys appeared and found the ridge behind the house to be to their liking. It was fine with me, as I really enjoyed seeing them in the woods. In a way, I was glad that MA didn’t have an open season on them. They were and still are one of my favorite sights. We would even have one or two in our back yard upon occasion. There are lots of them in Montana now, too. I still don’t shoot them, they are such a sight!

    Speaking of MT, I’ll be back there early to mid April and am trying to organize a trip back east to visit, maybe in May or June. I’ll let you know if that works out and when I might meet with you for lunch. Fried seafood, of course.


    • Carl,
      The population of turkeys has grown huge in numbers. It was only a few years ago we saw none. Now we see them even in backyards. A few years ago 14 of them were sauntering down my street.

      I loved it when I was a kid and believed in fairies and elves and Santa and Bigfoot and Yeti and so many more. They gave a bit of mystery to the world. Thunder was angels bowling. That made perfect sense to me. I even believed the man with the hook story my father told us.

      Let me know if you come around!

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