Category Archives: Animals

Their Only Fault, Really…

He's-Got-That-Loving-Feeling-W

He’s Got that Loving Feeling…

“Dogs lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” ~ Agnes Sligh Turnbull ~

It’s turning out that grooming day, or spa day, as we like to high handily call it in the Burch house, it becoming eventful. Eventful in ways I would rather avoid.

As coincidence would have it, the last two times “spa day” has fallen on each pet’s yearly physical. As I recounted in an earlier post, when we picked them up last time, we were told it was critical BabyGirl, our little Rain Man in a dog suit, have her teeth cleaned.

Boy was it ever critical. Tall & Handsome called me on the way home after he picked her up from her dental visit and broke the news, “They pulled 17 teeth.”

Now, those of you who know me really well will know the next sentence was the occurrence of a minor miracle – I was totally and utterly speechless. For about 45 seconds as images of a puckered face BabyGirl flashed through my head. You can read that post to see how BabyGirl and mom survived the outcome.

So, when we sent Watson and BabyGirl off for their grooming a couple of weeks ago we knew it was time for Watson’s yearly. No problem, just a formality to get out of the way.

Oh, wait – did you hear that shoe anvil drop? Yep, there was yet another surprise waiting when T & H picked our pups up after their “spa day”.

Now, for a little background let me preface with this – we rescued BabyGirl in 2012. She was about two years old at the time. As hard as it is to believe she will be with us four years this coming September. This makes her about six years old.

Watson, our Wonderkin, came to us two weeks shy of his first birthday in 2006. On August 30th he will turn 11 years old. As I type those words not only can I not believe it, but I have an overwhelming urge to go into denial mode because there’s a day in our future I can’t even begin to think about. I’ve even told T & H we need to start a Schnauzer Slush Fund to prepare for that day, because I just don’t know if I can survive without another Wonderkin.

So, T & H walks in the door with two transformed pups – all groomed and looking dog show quality. He on the other hand looked like a man searching for something, and he was.

The right words to tell me what he had to tell me. Oh, snap.

He said, “The vet wanted to talk to me about Watson before we left. Watson has a heart murmur.”

What I felt was indescribable. No, that’s not true. I wanted to rend my clothes, sit in sackcloth and ashes, weep and gnash my teeth and then sit Shiva – and I’m not even Jewish (well, maybe a tiny bit somewhere in my ancestry).

You see this little dog has been more to me than a dog. I know everyone says that, but he really has been. He’s been my friend, my buddy, my pal, my entertainer, my protector, my encourager, my confidant, my child and my angel unaware.

I had that once before in my Ladybug – my little English Cocker Spaniel. I never thought I’d have something like that again.

But, Watson has been that and in some ways has “gone where no dog has gone before”. He’s one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever known in my life.

T & H and I thought we were smart when we started spelling words to keep him from knowing what we were saying. Watson was smarter when he learned what we were spelling.

If I’m sitting on the bed with my laptop working on something and the timer goes off in the kitchen, he jumps down off the bed and heads to the kitchen ahead of me.

He’s crazy about Granddad, my Daddy and will greet him at the door with such excitement – screaming and carrying on like a teenage girl at a rock concert. And, then, they scuffle.

Like any “child” Watson has had his adventures and misadventures – many I’ve recounted here in this blog.

For instance, Watson is a chocolate bandit. Yes, I know! Chocolate is bad for dogs! Try telling that to the Jack Sparrow of the Schnauzer world. He’s managed to eat my one and only remaining Godiva milk chocolate and coconut truffle – and look punch drunk satisfied, sated, happy and not one iota guilty. He’d do it again in a New York minute. And, I’ve caught him mid-bite with a brownie bite in his mouth. He did have the good common German sense to let it drop out of his mouth. It was a pitiful sight.

But, like anyone with charm and charisma – you just can’t stay upset with him very long.

He’s the perfect companion for me, a person who battles chronic illness and disability. He helps me do it with humor, style and cuddles. He senses when I’m having a really hard time and then, like I tell T & H with humor, Watson becomes like a big hairy tick attached to my side.

How do you face the absence of that in your life? Roughly.

Right now Watson’s heart is compensating for the murmur and the vet said he should be fine unless he becomes listless or starts coughing a lot. For now, he seems as right as rain. We are choosing to enjoy each day as a good day, and so far it has been.

It is because of the men in my life I have a love for dogs. My Papaw had dogs and my Daddy made sure we had dogs when we were girls. T & H brought Watson home to me when Watson was two weeks shy of his first birthday.

I could extol the many wonderful qualities of dogs. I’ve always said there’s no mistake that dog is god spelled backwards – they are His ministering angels here on Earth. But, I am finding…”Dogs lives are too short. Their only fault, really…”

© 2016 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Animals, Babygirl, Daddy, dogs, Grief, Miniature Schnauzer, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Tall & Handsome, Watson

Out Damn’d Spot!

“Out, damn’d spot! Out, I say!”  ~ Lady Macbeth, Act 5, Shakespeare ~

Feb 10 2014 copy ae edit

Look at this face! Could there be many things more adorable than this?! Innocence and sweetness oozing from those little dark windows into her soul.

Well, let me tell you something, to paraphrase Bette Davis, “Fasten your seatbelt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!”

I have written about the journey Tall & Handsome and I began when we rescued this little pup back in September 2012.

I am totally enamored with Miniature Schnauzers and one day we had dropped by Pet Smart to pick up some pet supplies. A local pet shelter was at Pet Smart facilitating an adoption day. I saw a forlorn and quiet BabyGirl (the name she took to and adapted as her own after she moved in with us) pushed to the side.

She was pitifully laying in a cage. The only thing that would have made it more heart wrenching would have been a Sara McLaughlin song playing in the background.

I told T & H, “Honey, that’s a little Schnauzer.”

In a really loving and sweet way he told me I was crazy and she was a Benji dog.

She came home with us that afternoon and the bumpy ride began.

We discovered right away she had been so grossly mistreated it would be a while before we would gain her trust.

And, it was a while – a REALLY long while…

We discovered she had these little switches that turn on and off earning her the title “RainGirl zipped up in a dog suit.” Yes, a little canine Dustin Hoffman.

I was slightly vindicated after her first grooming, because, abracadabra, there was a Miniature Schnauzer!

baby-girl-went-to-the-beauty-shop_thumb.jpg

She began to really take to me and “mark” on me. I was becoming her person. You have not lived until your adoring dog follows you to the bathroom EVERY time and sits and looks at you adoringly while you take care of business.

It can be slightly unnerving…

BabyGirl made it obvious she was not overly fond of men. But, she had just began to warm up to Tall & Handsome when one day he was walking her in the back yard and he bent down to pet her on the head.

Saying she spazzed out would be an understatement. It was back to square one for those two, and it’s still tenuous to this day.

She is getting better and we see many improvements.

But, sometime back we began to notice she was emitting this odor. When I say odor, I mean ODOR. Like in Shakespearean portions.

The kind that would drop a herd of cattle dead in their tracks.

We knew she emitted this funky odor when she was frightened – we called it skunk juice and wondered if she was part skunk – I know, I know – I told you it was a bumpy ride.

But, this was different. It NEVER went away. We could have her groomed, we could bathe her ourselves and the pall of that stench hovered over her.

We felt like Lady Macbeth, but instead of “Out d*mn spot” it was “Out d*mn stench”!

Then in late February she went in for a routine grooming and when we picked her up they told us they were running a special on dental cleaning and BabyGirl REALLY needed her teeth cleaned. So we scheduled it for March 10th.

Well, fasten that seatbelt! When T & H picked up BabyGirl they told him they had to pull seventeen (17) teeth! Yes, that’s correct 17 teeth were pulled.

Just like in humans, bad teeth can cause dogs a lot of problems. In BabyGirl’s case they said it could be genetics, lack of proper nutrition when she was young or any number of things that could have happened to set things in motion before we adopted her.

Unlike humans, the missing 17 teeth will not and has not affected her desired to eat. She still revels in the “room of food” also know as the pantry where their food bowls and water bowls await them (her and Watson the Wonderkin) daily and they each get treats and biscuits designed to promoted dental health.

So, FYI, if your furbaby ever starts smelling like one of the Walking Dead, and you feel yourself going Shakespearean – get the vet to check their teeth out. There may be something rotten in, well, doggie land.

© 2016 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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Filed under Animals, Babygirl, Dental Care for Dogs, dogs, Life, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Tall & Handsome

Angry Birds, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Angry Birds

A couple of weeks ago I walked out onto my nice big front porch, looked around and thought, “Good grief, who or what has turned my porch into a poop deck?!”

There was bird poopy on handrails and in a certain corner of the floor. I happened to gaze upward and immediately got an answer to my question.

There up next to the ceiling of the porch, perched on a ledge was a perfect little nest. Hello, nest…hello, poop…

I was sooo tempted to tear it down, but the mushy bits in me just couldn’t allow myself to do that. I knew why the nest was there. Dollars to donuts there was probably a family of baby birds on the way. And, had I tried to tear that nest down, the uber-animal-mushy bits in Tall & Handsome would have gone all “Born Free” on me had I dared attempted that home wrecking  maneuver.

Thursday night I stepped out on the porch and happened to noticed what I thought were tiny little heads perched just over the rim of the nest. I called T & H out (he’s got several inches on me) and asked if he could tell if there were babies in the nest.

He took one look and said, “Yep, there babies there.”

I also happened to notice that Momma Bird and Daddy Bird were both hanging around on a ledged near by. T & H and I didn’t know what kind of birds they were at first, but by the end of the day, I had identified them as barn swallows.

Barn Swallows

I went in and got my camera and attempted to take some pictures of the new little family. While doing so I noticed the funniest thing. Every time the flash went off the whole little crew went crazy. There was all kinds of “cheeping”, and “tweeting” and complaining going on after the flash popped. It seemed like the flash never rebounded fast enough to catch the little complaining rascals with their necks stretched out and mouths opened in protest…until today.

Today, like last night, they were still angry (baby) birds any and every time their little space was disturbed by that mean old flashing thing…

…I just kept expecting to turn around and see Piglet on the porch behind me…

Next up…baby birds flying…hopefully sans slingshots…

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Alabama, Animals, Barn Swallows, Birds, Photography, Picture of the Day, South, Tall & Handsome

Chocolate, Godiva and Crack for Dogs, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Chocolate, Godiva and Crack for Dogs,

By Beverly Hicks Burch

I have a confession. I am not a chocoholic. I’m not a big sweet eater. If I do eat something sweet, I prefer something fruity, or a cup of yogurt. I am more of a crunchy, salty, savory type of gal. Give me hot popcorn or a bag of Wavy Lays and a carton a low-fat French onion dip and it’s stress-busting, movie watching, dream come true…no spoon and ice cream carton for me…nor sir!

BUT….

I will confess to an occasional dip into chocolate. Yes, even me. I am not totally impervious to the dark allure of the cacao bean. Although in my case a little chocolate goes a long way…

…and over the course of the last year or so I have made a startling discovery. Chocolate is like crack for my dog! Sad, but true, especially since chocolate is considered poison for canines.

My enlightenment started with a shocking experience when I caught the little bandit red handed or I should saw, red-pawed or red gummed, last fall.

It started like this…I had discovered a product called “brownie bites”. I know, I know…but, at the time I was working from home, T & H was out of town and I thought, “Ok, quick and easy.” A couple of these tiny little gems (about an inch or so across) were just enough to satisfy any sweet tooth longing I might have and not be a calorie buster.

The first time I brought them home, Watson, AKA the Wonderkin who admits to being a typical Miniature Schnauzer in many ways, but is also like a little boy zipped up in a dog suit, went berserk. I swear the dog could smell the chocolate through the unopened plastic container. Knowing what I know now, I swear, he could be the first Miniature Schnauzer trained and used to sniff out contraband down at the local fat farm. But, at the time, I had no idea what that omen meant for me or that chocolate was the trigger until a few days later.

One evening after work I decided to try these little jewels. I was also going to have a cup of coffee. So, smart girl that I am, I took two brownie bites out of the plastic container, placed them artfully and neatly on a saucer. I turned on my Kuerig coffee brewer to warm up and then took my brownie bites to the bedroom where I intended to watch a good chick flick while enjoying my brownie bites and coffee while snuggle up under a quilt on my king-sized Select Comfort bed. Innocently, I sat the saucer down on the nightstand…way far from the edge and returned to the kitchen to brew my cup of coffee.

I then returned to the bedroom and the minute my foot crossed the bedroom door thread hold I knew something was wrong. Standing in the middle of the king sized bed with a HUGE guilty sign flashing madly over his head stood my 15 pounds of adorable, addicted Schnauzer. And when he saw me, something immediately dropped out of his mouth.

When I saw the dark brown blob my first reaction was a screaming brain shouting, “Oh my gosh Willy Wonka is back!” But, I calmed myself and with the heightened senses of a good CSI I began to take in the scene. As I glanced around the room, one of the first pieces of glaring evidence I noticed was a totally empty saucer setting on the nightstand…that’s right, no brownie bites. Then, when I approached the brown blob lying on the bed I saw what strongly resembled an almost eaten brownie bite…it was just kinda flattened, kinda damp (is that called biological?) and with the perfect imprint of doggie teeth smack dab in the middle. No need to make a plaster cast to see whose teeth the imprint would match… That and a very guilty looking Schnauzer equaled one thing…one little dog in deep caca…

But, being the good mom that I am, my mind quickly kicked into worry mode when I began to calculate the possibility of what was going to happen to my little angel who had just ingested doggie poison. Long story short, he was perfectly fine, slept like a baby and miraculously had no side or after effects.

But, from that day forward even the whiff of chocolate has been like crack for this dog. I swear on a good day in a down draft he can smell chocolate all the way from Hershey, PA…and we’re in the South.

Now, here’s where another little confessions comes into play. My Tall & Handsome kinda has an inside to Godiva. This year for Valentine’s Day he totally surprised me with their new bakery truffles which are like OMGosh fantastic. It was a pleasure I managed to share…and stretch out until just the other day. But, every time I took the box out of the fridge Watson went crazy and would attach to me like dust bunnies to Velcro. Needless to say, he just had to dream…no way would I knowingly be enabling his little habit…

Well, he got his well planned little revenge this evening.

Today when T & H came in from work, he brought me one special Godiva truffle…milk chocolate with a coconut center. I was delighted because this is one of my favorites and is kind of rare. I could hardly wait until after dinner…that truffle was my reason for getting through dinner. I could already taste it…

But, oh, how life like to play little tricks on us…and how short our memory is. Once again, I placed my precious little gem on the nightstand and went into the kitchen to prepare dinner. The truffle would be my special treat while I watched Castle…or maybe not…

After dinner as settled in for a little TV I reached over to pick up my special little chocolate morsel…taste buds anticipating heaven. Instead, there was an oddly vacant space on the nightstand. I didn’t even have to wonder. I knew the Godiva loving, chocolate loving, crack addict bandit had struck again…and he wasn’t even feeling guilty…or even a little queasy…he was snoozing peacefully at the foot of the bed happy as a lark.

Does anyone know a good rehab for a chocolate addicted, Godiva loving Schnauzer?

See mug shots below…

Who me guilty

Who Me? Do I look guilty?

Chocolate hangover

Chocolate Hangover

Poison who said poison

Poison? Did someone say poison?!

© 2011 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Animals, Candy, Chocolate, dogs, Godiva, Humor, Miniature Schnauzer, Pets, Photography, Tall & Handsome, Truffles, Watson

Encounters…a Little Further South, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Encounters…a Little Further South

By Beverly Hicks Burch

For any new readers, let me refresh the scene a bit. Last year I had a spat of “encounters” with critters…beasties if you will.

There was Mr. Chicken Hung Phooey…or as we fondly called him “Dead Chicken Walking”. He had a companion and together they brought us hours of joy…NOT!!!

Mr.Chicken Hung Phooey

Then of course there was Punxsutawney Phil’s long lost cousin…yes, a groundhog. No one informed me groundhog’s lived in East Tennessee AND they were citified. I had to find out the hard way…after one bada**, bully, gi-normous specimen took up residence at the house after Tall & Handsome started working in Georgia…before me and Little Bit…Watson the Wonderkin had moved a little further South with T & H. Smoky Sam (Phil’s cousin), my groundhog also crawled under what I used to refer to as my “lead sled” and chewed up the wiring harness making the ol’ gal undriveable…a blessing in disguise…(Bev has a Jeep now).

So, the move happened and the last few months have been spent settling in and getting use to the new home and a new city. (Yes, we are STILL unpacking, but there is light at the end of the tunnel…a very small light, but light none the less.)

When we moved into this nice, normal, settled neighborhood I thought my days of “encounters” were over. All I saw were people walking their dogs…my favorite animal…along with horses. Oh, joy! It was almost like nice little Stepford pets everywhere…no chickens…no groundhogs…and then I met Jack!

Jack is a medium to largish white dog that lives behind us with his “parents” and “sister” canine. He reminds me of a white German Shepherd, but his owner assures me he’s just a mutt…whatever that assurance means. Jack is VERY verbal…did I mention he barks…A LOT.

We were thrilled to discover our house had a fenced yard…and not just any ol’ fence mind you…an eight foot tall fence! That is ample protection for our 15 pound Wonderkin. He dashes out the back door and bounds around his new backyard like a little Gazelle…exploring every nook and cranny. And, eyeballing Jack…and marking the fence…their first encounter was a sight to behold.

Jack was going berserk…bark!…bark!…bark!…and so on. And then IT started. I saw for the first time in my life a real-life, honest-to-goodness, ummm…whizzing contest. All, I can say is this…I was really under impressed…what a waste of time. I think Watson has learned, though. Now most of the time he just quietly stands at the fence and watches as Jack goes berserk…posing, snarling, barking, etc. Then little Wonderkin turns and walks away…what a guy!!!

Watson the Wonderkin

Jack has a way of inserting himself into your life when you least except and in ways you’d never think. Example? Well…

When it’s cool enough I sleep with my window cracked…I can’t stand a stuffy room…or a room that is too warm. One evening I was especially tired…you try moving for the 5th time in four years! I was fastly and soundly asleep. All of the sudden, I started having the strangest dream! What does it mean?!

In my dream I heard a duck…Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack! How odd! And it was very soft…not a loud duck. Was this the Spirit of Donald telling me I needed a trip to Disney World?

Gradually my consciousness was slowly aroused and I was aware of hearing Watson growling…well, there goes that dream. Watson had gotten down off the foot of the bed and was propped up at the window looking out. Poised I listened to what he was listening to…

Jack! Jack! Jack! Jack! (Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack!)

Yes, Jack’s mistress was outside calling him…he had been outside in all of his Jackness and she was trying to retrieve him inside…

As Tall & Handsome says…Oh, brother…

© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Right Reserved.

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Filed under Animals, Chickens, dogs, Fun, Georgia, Humor, Life, Miniature Schnauzer, Pets, Tall & Handsome, Tennessee, Watson

Bee Sweet, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Bee Sweet

By Beverly Hicks Burch

There is a great mystery going on right under our noses…one worthy of Agatha Christie and the Great Sleuth himself…Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately, this mystery is real and not fiction. The world’s honeybees are vanishing and it is stumping the scientists around the globe.

The situation is so serious that it has been given a designation…Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). In 2007 alone some estimate 25% of the honeybee population vanished! Although there have been variances in the populations of the honeybees before…it would even seem that our little friends have pulled these disappearing acts as far back as 1880. The problem this time is the large numbers and the mystifying cause. Is it disease…pesticides…malnutrition…Jupiter & Mars…little green men (just joking on the last two of course)? One thing does seem sure…if the little fellows continue to disappear at the current rate they will be extinct by the year 2035!

Why should this concern us? Well, other than the fact that I HAVE to have honey for my hot tea?! (Republic of Tea Safari Sunset is my absolute favorite…a nice African red tea.) And who can imagine not having a big homemade buttermilk biscuit with butter and honey? There ARE some very serious implications.

Many of our plants are pollinated by our little friends. That includes between 90 – 100 of the world’s edible crops. Think apples, almonds, blueberries, carrots, avocados, broccoli, kiwi, peaches, cherries, strawberries and asparagus to name just a small few. Now, I can’t imagine life without honey not to mention some of the delicious treats above…no juicy, fresh peaches! Heaven forbid!

Is there anything we can do to help out our little winged friends?

Well, as a horticulture loving person my first response is to tell you if you garden keep these little food producer and industrious critters in mind. Before I became chronically ill, I tried to garden to draw bird, butterflies and bees to my garden…now my mind does the design and Tall & Handsome does the labor. We have a saying…we are an”I’m the brains and he’s the brawn” gardening duo. Spring is a good time to consider adding a few plants that will add and draw honeybees to your garden. Some to consider: Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia), Lavender (Lavandula), Clover (Trifolium), Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), and a beautiful and fragrant Butterfly bush (Buddleia).

There are also a couple of other fun things you can do. Burt’s Bees has a website and a mobile tour that will visit 35 cities between now and September 2008. Check out the website and the tour if it comes to a city close to you.

Finally, just in time for hot weather…enjoy a pint of Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Honey Bee Ice Cream ($4.20). Haagen-Dazs donates a portion of the sale of each pint of this ice cream to universities that study CCD and programs related to honeybees and pollination research.

These all seem like simple, small and even fun efforts but, if we all pitch in we are sure to get sweet rewards…

© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Animals, Colony Collapse Disorder, food, Gardening, Honey, Honeybees, Tall & Handsome, Tea

Strange Bedfellows, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Strange Bedfellows

By Beverly Hicks Burch

There is one thing to say about being confined to a two story house with a bazillion packed moving boxes while you feel like your body is slowly but surely destructing one cell at a time…you have plenty of time to observe a thing or two.

Take for instance the two critters who share this abode with Tall & Handsome and me. They are your stereotypical feline and canine…dog and cat…and they act like it, too. They are why the stereotype was created. And at times, it make me want to take chopsticks and poke holes in my brain…or at least staple my eyes and ears shut.

They can and have on occasion provided some much needed comic relief. Today, for instance I was talking on the phone upstairs and had Watson with me. He is quite the little noisemaker sometimes and fancies himself a watchdog…or at least a noisy little bugger. Now, I must explain that like a child would have digression problems with potty training, since the move Watson has had one of his Willy Wonka moments…so we’ve had to keep a watchful eye on him and make sure potty time is in the proper place…outside! To make sure he doesn’t wander while I’m busy, I’ll keep him on the leash and tether it to the bed post where I’m using my laptop.

Well, today, I was using the laptop, talking on the phone and all of a sudden the doorbell rings. For a Miniature Schnauzer that’s like cutting open their adrenal gland and pouring every ounce of adrenal hormone into their little bodies…they turn into extreme sports machines! When the doorbell rang, Watson went from lying silent, prone and tethered on the bed next to me to letting loose with that little “I’m being run over by an 18 wheeler” scream. He the shot up, off and did a full Gaynor off the bed…all while still tethered on the leash. It would have been pretty impressive…except he didn’t go anywhere except to sit nicely on the floor by the bed (yes, the leash is that long…safety first).

Then, take yesterday for instance. I don’t recall what I was doing, but I had busied myself at something…reading or doing something on the computer. Now, I tend to like quietness…even when I play my music or have the TV on. I have discovered that the animals actually are quite fond of that themselves. I had just read something in the last day or two about dogs that said in research conducted, dogs reacted to classical music better than other types of music.

(I think I learned to appreciate quietness as some of the autoimmune disorders encroached upon my systems…noise just seems to “assault” my system. But, I will make sacrifices…case in point? When Tall & Handsome and I went to the Tim McGraw concert at the BJCC in Birmingham. Anyway, I digress…)

Picture yesterday. I’m quietly sitting on the bed with my laptop. The TV is very quietly running in the background…mainly to provide some “white noise”. Once, I happened to look up and notice that the cat, Winfield had graced us with his presence. Watson, the Wonderkin was cuddled up pretty close to me…asleep.

Winfield was asleep also, but on his back is a rather gawky, almost lewd pose…legs were splayed everywhere. He was dead to the world. It was rare that he was on the bed with us…lately he had been making himself sparse…exploring the almost doubled space of his new domain.

All of a sudden, Watson sneezed/coughed…from a dead sleep. Oh, boy! You would have thought Watson’s head had suddenly started spinning and he was spitting green pea soup. I had to scrap Winfield of the ceiling and figure out how in the world I was going to stuff him back into his skin…it was not a pretty sight…and you know things just never go back in the way they come out…

And then, there were the days and evenings it got cold…yes, you heard me…COLD! Even in Georgia, the middle to low 20’s can be considered cold!

Kramer, the Big OrangeFor background, let me give you a little history here. BW…Before Watson, there was Kramer, yes, the one I call the Big Orange Abomination. We had two cats…well, T & H pretended to have two cats. He got to slave at cleaning the caca from the liter box…and boy there was enough to fertilize a small third world country…feed the said sizeable cats…and start all over again. What did he get in return? Not much.

To top it off, the cats hated each other…most of the time…when I was home alone with them, I would hear catfights and crashes and caterwauling most of the day. Imagine a LooneyToon cartoon of two cats in one big ball of hissing, spitting, fighting, twirling action spinning through the house. THAT was Kramer and Winfield.

Or imagine this…when we lived in Northwest Alabama, we had a recliner/rocking chair in our bedroom. Some nights I would be awaken by the sight of the chair bouncing up and down, back and forth because the cats were in it fighting! It defied Disney animated graphics. T & H would sleep through this little ballet in moonlight and I wished many nights that it would be their “Swan Lake”.

What T & H got to see was what I can only call their “symbiotic” moments. Some nights, especially the colds ones, Kramer and Winfield would get up on the bed or in a chair and entwine in one big furry 45 pound ball of cat fur. He thought it was because they “cared” for each other…I on the other-hand knew they were purely having a “scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back moment”…and even then, sometimes they would end up fighting. But, when they would be lying there sleeping, T & H would look at me and say, “Aren’t they cute?” I usually took a Dramamine…

Well, as many of you know, Kramer went to live somewhere else. NO! I did not do THAT to him…shame on you for even thinking that…his fur just became too much for my allergies and he went to a wonderful family that worked with T & H in Tennessee.

Am I Cute or What?Enter Watson the Wonderkin…much to the chagrin of Winfield…he has not been happy with that addition to the family…and he’s let us and Watson know it many, many, many, many times. Usually by ambushing and thrashing the living daylights and poop out of Watson. How fair is this? 21 pound cat vs. 14 pound dog? You do the math…Well, Scoot (aka Watson) is a quick learn…and he developed a few moves himself, but long story short…there is no love lost between those two. Put it this way, if one was on fire, the other wouldn’t spit on him to save him…

So…the other day I saw a fleeting sense of doubt cross Winfield’s mind…as in maybe I shouldn’t have been so rash and done this…

You see, it had turned cold…yes, I said C-O-L-D. Watson was up on the bed beside me, asleep and peaceful. Mr. Winfield hops up on the bed and I can tell right away he’s feeling cold and needing some one to nudge up to. He looked up at me and then down at the sleeping dog. Decision crosses his mind…what to do…what to do. Gingerly, and carefully he decided to YES, hunker down and try to share the space with Watson…he was that desperate for a warm up buddy!

Watson sprang up like someone had yelled, “DON’T TAZ ME BRO!” No way, no how was he going to have any part of that or fall for that trap! He circled, moved to a different position…a little closer to me and flopped down…and I swore I could hear a “Are you crazy?! Thanks but, no thanks” when he did.

Winfield - I know Kramer’s around here somewhereSorry, Winfield, decisions do make strange bedfellows…or lack of…

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Animals, Cats, dogs, Fun, Humor, Miniature Schnauzer, Moving, Pets, Tall & Handsome

Encounters, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Encounters

By Beverly Hicks Burch

I am a suburbanite. I am a child of the burbs. So, what the heck is it with me and critters lately?! Mind you, I’m not talking about your run of the mill, mediocre, pedestrian house pets. Oh, no…

Don’t get me wrong. I dig animals…most of them at least. I wouldn’t give you a plug nickel for a snake. Nope, no way, no how. Never met one I liked. Nor a mouse or a rat either. Over the years as a child of the burbs, I’ve managed to avoid some ugly encounters with some undesirable critters.

This doesn’t make Bev a neophyte or a total animal innocent…no sir-ee… My paternal grandparents had a farm and as a result, I was familiar with the standard farm animals…cows, pigs, horses, chickens, etc. As a matter of fact, one year Papaw let my sister Pam and I help him tend one of his prized pigs. We helped feed him and would visit said porker with glee. We even named that pig, although his name escapes me now…probably from trauma.

Cowgirl Bev circa 1970You see, our favorite little piglet ended up on the Christmas dinner table that year. Pam and I boo hoo-ed our way all through dinner and refused to partake in the cannibalizing of our former buddy. Papaw vowed never to raise a pig again or name the livestock that would feed his family. He was a man of his word…my Papaw was a good man…and he loved us girls. I did develop a special fondness for horses from those years. I guess after dogs…or along with dogs, horses are my next favorite animal…they are noble animals.

I’ve done the zoo thing…many times over. When my son was young, I would take him every year on his birthday to the Birmingham Zoo…just Mom (me) and him…and then lunch and ice cream. Then one year we had the opportunity to go to the National Zoo in Washington D. C. and saw the famous pandas. It was literally a zoo around the panda exhibit…there was barely elbow room for a grasshopper. I hate crowds, especially when they ruin the view…

When my son was about three, I took him to the Bronx Zoo in New York. Boy, there was an experience. After the admission, you kept paying…and paying…and paying…and well, you get the idea.

Then, there were the moose, and the lobster in Maine. I’m probably one of the ten people on Planet Earth that dislikes lobster. The fact that I was unable to crack the shell and Gomez said he would do it and in the process that sucker went flying out of his hands, landed on the floor, rolled over to the next table and landed at the feet of the next dinners probably doesn’t help.

Bev in North Dakota circa 1987South Dakota brought the bison…also known as the American Buffalo. Let me tell you something…those ma-moos are gi-normous, and there are no chicken wings on those puppies. Back in 1987 on the way home from a field assignment in Duluth, MN I took a sight seeing diversion west through North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming before turning south to Alabama. We were winding our way through a state or national park in South Dakota where buffalo are allowed to roam free…on a really big range.

Well, wouldn’t you know it…it was just my luck…we came upon one big ol’ bull and I mean it was obvious it was a bull. This big ol’ galoot was as big as my minivan. Faster than Bat Masterson on the draw, Gomez pulled up right next to that big ol’ bull…on my side, mind you…and told me to “take a picture”. What?!

I turned and looked and him and then turned and looked at the bison grazing and chewing his cud. Chewing Bull was about 18 inches away. I was wedged between a beast and an idiot. My seven year old son was sitting in the back seat of the van. What’s a mom to do?

I turned to (real name redacted to protect the stupid) Gomez and said, “Did you not read the sign back there that said ‘Do not approach bison or attempt to feed because they are dangerous and may CHARGE’? Don’t you think we’re a little close? I could literally reach out and touch this thing…we’re so close I can smell him! It’s revolting!” (Gagging sounds accompanied.)

He said, “Yeah, I saw it, but that doesn’t mean us…we’re in a van. That’s probably for people walking. Just take the pictures. Hurry up. We’ll be ok.”

“Gomez, this is disgusting. I can smell this thing. There are thousands of flies all over it. I can hear it chewing its cud. It has mats all over it…full of heaven knows what…and he keeps eyeballing me…”

Gomez had this unique ability…he could laugh like that cartoon dog on Deputy Dawg…you know the one with the sneaky laugh….our son pointed that out when he was very young. Anyway, the whole time I was sitting there, trying to take pictures, trying to keep from barfing and praying we didn’t get charged and rammed…Gomez is sitting in the driver’s seat laughing like the Deputy Dawg cartoon dog. Nice…

Then there were the iguanas. Back in 1998, Gomez was on another field assignment. This time in the US Virgin Islands. My Aunt LaRue and I went down for an extended stay. We were based out of St. Croix, but, we wanted to go one weekend over to St. Thomas.

Down in the Virgin Islands iguanas run free and are as common as our innocuous, sweet bunny rabbits. I’m sorry iguana lovers, but the two are not in the same league in my ball park. And the iguanas down there are not a few inches long…they are a few feet long.

Well, the year we went down it was extremely hot. You know that kind of hot…the kind of hot that makes you want to rip your clothes off and stand in front of the freezer…push the kids and dog out of the kiddie pool…inject crushed ice into your veins…anything to cool off. The pain of it is that down there central A/C isn’t that common and there isn’t a lot of abundant natural fresh water. They were also in the middle of a drought because tropical systems had not been coming through as they had in past seasons.

After a very busy, hot day sightseeing on St. Thomas and of course shopping, at one of the scenic pull-overs Aunt LaRue and I decided to sit in the car while Gomez got out and took some pictures. The area surrounding the pull-over was really grown up with tropical growth…things that just made me want to start itching all over. As we were sitting there enjoying the view from our air conditioned comfort I suddenly saw the tropical growth eerily start to move. I knew that just wasn’t right…there wasn’t a breeze to beg anywhere.

I kept an eye on the moving greenery when suddenly there emerged a Godzilla-sized iguana. That thing must have been feasting on a Lilliputian sized village in the undergrowth because he had not missed a meal! He was eyeballing Gomez’ naked shorts clad legs and headed right for him. I started pounding on the windshield and calling his name, but he couldn’t hear me. As a last resort, I sat down on the horn.

Gomez spun around kind of irritated. He saw me and my Aunt frantically gesturing at Godzilla. He glanced over and their eyes met. I’ve never seen anyone get chicken flesh so fast. The man was already pasty skinned, but he became an additional 15 shades of white. I thought he was going to plunge over the cliff and into the Atlantic at first, but he made a fast retreat into the car. That ended his picture taking venture that afternoon…poetic justice for the little bison incident don’t ya think?

Given all of that, I would have never guessed I would have experienced what I have the last couple of years since I moved back to the place I was born…East Tennessee.

Now mind you, I’m not living up on top of Mount LeConte or Clingmans Dome. Nope, I’m “citified”…not too far from downtown Knoxville itself. Closer in town than even I have lived anywhere. So, what I’m about to tell you absolutely blows my mind…

I was pleasantly surprised to discover shortly after arriving that I had a couple of bunnies living in my back yard. It reminded me of my house on the mountain in Alabama and the bunnies there. I usually could catch sight of one in the flash of my headlights hopping away from the upper driveway when I came home from work in the evenings.

Mama Dove Nesting in Alabama - Circa 2001An avid birdfeeder, Tall & Handsome and I have thoroughly enjoyed the variety of feathered friends at our feeders. I’ve even had dove take up residence in a potted plant on a porch or my deck, nest and then raise babies. They would usually come back every year to the same spot. But, what I wasn’t prepared for was living next door to a dang crowing chicken in the middle of the city!

Little Miss Undead ChickenYes, Mr. Chicken Hung Phooey invaded my space one time too many…one crow too many…one dead chicken hanging on the fence impersonation too many. But, was that enough? NO!

I guess the neighbors gave up on the twine on the foot thing for the chickens. I discovered that early one morning when I got up to let Watson out. It was just at daybreak and I looked outside to make sure there wasn’t any birds or squirrels or bunnies for him to go chasing after before I opened the door. I promise…I really did. The coast was clear. I unlocked the door, uttered the magic Watson words “Go do you business” and he was off in a blur.

Of course, I was still half asleep…I am not a morning person…but, what happened next was surreal. Watson had taken off in a blur for a purpose. All of a sudden I saw this snowy white object, with wings rise about three or four feet off the ground…with Watson in hot pursuit.

Now, given the dawn’s early light, the stupor of my stunned sleepy mind, my first thought was less than coherent. It was something like, “Watson, you are so in trouble if you don’t leave that angel alone!!” Then, I heard “cluck, cluck, cluck”. I realized it was that dang chicken from next door. So, for the next five minutes I watched Watson and Mr. Chicken Hung Phooey go back and forth…and back and forth…and back and forth in the back yard. It was like watching a shooting gallery. That’s how I found out the neighbors weren’t using twine to keep the chicken at home anymore…that and the fact he kept inviting himself to my garage sale

Of course I’ll never forget the squirrel encounter and it’s a given Tall and Handsome won’t either. As a matter of fact, he probably revisits that squirrel in his nightmares…

It all started late last spring (2006). I noticed a distinctive odor wafting up from downstairs. I mentioned it to Tall & Handsome and he thought maybe the cat box was in need of a quick change. That done T & H felt sure the problem would be resolved. I wasn’t so sure. The scent had not seemed like “odor de cat” as much as I would have like to have pointed a finger at the resident feline. Nope, to me the scent ominously carried the scent of death.

I shared my hunch with T & H, but I could tell he thought I’d been farming funny mushrooms. It didn’t take too many days before he had to strongly agree with me. You just can’t mistake that smell. Well, he went off on a mission…to discover the origin of the offending order.

What he found would rival any CSI crime scene…it was a rotting corpse…with its own infestation of maggots! Once again thanks to our slum lord…um, landlady who is too cheap to put a cover over the dryer vent we had a bonafide mess on our hands.

A squirrel had crawled into the dryer vent…all the way from the outside wall of the house and had just about made into the basement and to the dryer via the vent and duct. Unfortunately he got stuck and couldn’t turn around and get back outside. As a result, he was entombed in the dryer vent. No telling how many loads of clothes helped the process along before we knew what we had in the vent!

Poor T & H, it was a disgusting mess to clean up…a real hazmat zone. It left us both mumbling and grumbling, “How can so much go wrong and be wrong with this place? And where in the name of heaven are these critters coming from?” We were beginning to wonder if we had the animal version of the Amityville horror house.

The best was yet to come…

The most baffling encounter has also turn into a costly encounter…one I’m a little familiar with from working claims in insurance.

Shortly after Tall and Handsome started working at his new job, I happened to look out the French doors one day. What I saw stopped me in my tracks. There was some critter making itself at home around MY stuff. He acted right at home on my deck…the only thing he needed was one of those drinks with the little umbrellas in them to look more at home. I expected him to get a broom and sweep up.

Am I Cute or What?What stumped me though, I didn’t know what “he” was and that made me feel just downright…creepy. I was alone and my big He-man was out of state. All I had for protection was a cranky cat and a 15 pound wonderkin I sometimes call Sugar-cube…AKA Watson. I can see it now, “Sic him, Sugar-cube.” How scared would you be?

At first I thought my squatter was a cat that fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down, but, the fur and the ears didn’t match to be a cat…unless he needed a serious conditioning job. Then I speculated on the possibility it might be a beaver with a bad case of tail envy. Why? Well, it had a nub of a tail instead of one of those nice big, wide flat, flappy tails. I decided he wasn’t big enough to be a beaver, but he was as big as the cat, Winfield, and would probably snap Watson’s neck. What the heck was he?

Well, I told T & H and we postulated and when he got to come in for a weekend he got to meet our squatter. Our postulating had been right. Guess what? It was Punxsutawney Phil or a relative thereof…yep, a groundhog. Come to find out, evidently that’s pretty common around these parts…now they tell me…what’s next a mongoose?

The proverbial icing on this cake was finding out that ye olde groundhog encounter had a price tag. Seems the industrious critter had been hanging out underneath my car…and stayed very busy. He had totally chewed and gnawed away the wiring harness of the electrical system of my car.

Cost of a wiring harness: $400

Cost of a disappearing ground hog: priceless

Cost of a dead squirrel in your dryer vent: stench and maggots

Cost of cleaning up a CSI squirrel scene: priceless

Cost of a sleepless early morning because of crowing chicken: agony

Cost of a fried chicken: priceless

Folks, I am way tired of these encounters…I think I’ll get a pet rock…

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Burch.

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Safari Time, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Safari Time

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Grab your khakis and let’s go on a safari. Don’t worry…no animals will be hurt in the process…except maybe the two that are fighting at the foot of my bed…and that darn rooster next door that was crowing way too early this morning…(which begs the question once again, who keeps a rooster within the city limits of a city?!)… Anyway, back to the safari…

If you haven’t already noticed, this is one Southern gal that absolutely detests hot weather. Hot weather is right up there with that waxing thing I talked about the other day. So, I was giddy when I got up this morning, let Scoot out for his morning constitution and discovered that, Hallelujah, it was gloriously cool…cool enough to have a cup of hot tea.

Partaking of a cup of hot tea is a habit I picked up from my little Momma. She collects teas like some people collect wines. As a result, I have my own little collection of teas.

One of my favorites and also the one I enjoyed this morning was The Republic of Tea’s Safari Sunset. This tea is caffeine-free African Rooibos, also known as an African red tea. Most teas, even the blacks, are appreciated for their health benefits, but the Rooibos is considered right up there among the best for health benefits. It’s low in tannins and high in antioxidants. As a two time non-smoking lung cancer survivor, and some one with chronic health problems…I appreciate the chance to let something healthy and good tasting pass the ol’ taste buds. It beats cod liver oil…

Safari Sunset is seasoned with cinnamon, cloves and citrus…it reminds me of Russian Tea. As with all teas, you’ll want to sweeten it with honey…that is unless you’re allergic to honey. This morning I used a Florida Tupelo honey. Tupelo honey is one of those honeys that don’t crystallize the longer it sits on the shelf and it has a wonderful different taste from the traditional honeys. Tea is always better sweetened with honey instead of sugar and if you lighten it, use milk not cream.

I think I’ll continue my safari…maybe even take along a gunpowder mint tea…now, there’s a tea that packs a punch…

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Wax On, Wax Off, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Wax On, Wax Off

By Beverly Hicks Burch

It’s THAT time. I will super heat an extremely viscous substance, apply it to places on my face and then rip the flesh from my countenance and proudly sport red patches on my skin for some time like red badges of courage. Am I an adherent of a cult or kinky S/M devotee? Nope, I’m talking about waxing my eyebrows. When I wax my eyebrows, I totally understand Frida Kahlo’s look…the unibrow.

Body waxing is a very personal thing. There are many parts of the body you can wax. Eyebrows, upper lips, chins, legs, arms, chests…and yes, even private parts are optional areas and fair game…although, I must say that even though I’ve never had a Brazilian bikini wax, I can only imagine it would feel like having my lower lip pulled over the top of my head.

In these days of metrosexualism, waxing is not just for gals either…nope, the true and the brave stand up and take it, too, like a man. In other words, guys are waxing like crazy. Girls, do you REALLY believe all those guys in those magazines were born hairless…never to clog up your drains or sprout hairy backs? How many naturally hairless guys…over the age of 12…have you seen with: slick chests, slick backs, slick legs, slick arms and slick…yeah…whatever…in your dreams… With only hair on the top of their head?! If you think that really exists in nature in large proportions, then you’ve been eating a whole lot of funny mushrooms.

i-own-everything.jpgWaxing brings back another nightmarish association to mind (other than that lip over the head thing) I fondly call it The Big Orange Abomination…also known as Kramer, the cat. Kramer was a beautiful orange tabby cat…and he was a big sucker. He weighed about 21 pounds. For those of you that aren’t cat people (and I’m not naturally one…I’m more inclined toward man’s best friend) saying you have a 21 pound cat is like saying “I have a 21 pound Yorkshire Terrier.” Kramer was also cunning, cagey, clumsy and at times, I called him our “blond” cat…no offense intended to my blond friends…I can not wax without thinking about Kramer and That Dark Day with the Wax Warmer.

About six weeks after we were transferred (back in my case) to the East Tennessee area it was time to wax. It had been a stressful time to begin with. The house was less than optimal. We had less than a week…about two days really to find a place to live and the place we found turned out to be a living wreck. (For house hunters that are going to rent…even short term…don’t judge a book by its cover.)

What you are about to read I will preface with: KIDS, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! (For those of you that may have heard or read a version of this, please bear with me…)

Anyway, the “master bath” in this house is a small add on with a pedestal sink. (We found out that the “bath” didn’t have heat and air AFTER we moved in, along with the fact the house was full of re-occurring black mold and a terrible water problem and other horrendous problems. All for a highway robbery price considering the size.)

A pedestal sink equals no vanity, so I had set the wax warmer on the closed toilet seat. I was busy looking in the mirror and pulling back my bangs when I heard a noise behind me. I turned around and there he was…the Big Orange Abomination sniffing around the wax warmer. I shooshed him away and assured him he didn’t want to tangle with the wax and wax warmer.

I returned to my business and task at hand…my eyebrows…and had just gotten one brow waxed and the required flesh from my face ripped off with the process when I heard the most ominous, chilling sound…a giant thud and thunk. I spun around just in time to see Kramer in the middle of the dumped wax warmer and…wax spreading everywhere. Kramer was covered in gooey, sticky, viscous wax…his paws, his tails, his body…EVERYWHERE! There would be no “wax on, wax off” for that kitty…no sir…

He immediately knew he was in deep dodo and took off…with me right behind him, calling him sweetly and calmly, “Kramer, baby, come back here you piece of crap so I can kill you.” It didn’t work…my words must have belied my tone and he was gone…spreading wax everywhere. I knew he would come back…all criminals return to the scene of the crime. I went back to the bathroom to survey the damage. It was a good thing he was out of my reach! It looked like someone had some kind of sick candle/wax orgy in the bathroom…it was shameful.

I happened to look in the mirror and realized…I had only one eyebrow waxed and all of my wax was on the floor. There was now about to be human melt down in the bathroom floor. I was right about one thing…the little villain did return to the scene. Mr. I’m Too Sexy For My Fur sauntered into the bathroom…if he only knew…

I pounced, picked him up and surveyed the damaged. Not only was he covered, but, he had waxed his tail to his body…smack dab glued that sucker flat…and there was no way he was going to be able to poop. I knew then we were all in deep dodo. I kept trying to pull it loose, but there was no way, no how his tail was going to budge. I managed to confine Kramer in a pet taxi. Keep in mind, too, this all happened about 4:45 PM. Since this was July…and hot, I had waited till late in the afternoon for that “bathroom” to cool down some

Bright gal that I am, the next thing I did was call Sally’s Beauty Supply and explain my situation. (I had gotten my warmer and waxing supplies at the Sally’s in Alabama.) Surely they had some kind of “takey off” stuff. I can tell you this…you learn to find small blessings in times like this…mine? I’m so thankful I don’t have a video phone…I just hate wearing paper sacks over my head.

The clerk sounded like she thought I was one of those phone calls yanking her chain…but, I reassured her I was sincere. I think she detected the rising hysteria in my voice. After she finished laughing and telling the other clerks in the store what was going on, she essentially told me there wasn’t anything there that could help me. (I also became known as the Lady with the Cat that Waxes at Sally’s.) Ok, Plan B…

I found a vet…one just for cats…and called them. I got kinda the same reaction with a couple of additions. They were about to close and could look at him the next morning, but they added, it sounded like he needed help that evening (ya think?!) She also recommended I place paper napkins or paper towels on Kramer where the wax was so he wouldn’t “accumulate things”. Oh, snap! That would have been my first reaction…wouldn’t it have been your’s?

I had visions of Kramer lugging the dining room table and chairs around as he accumulated them in the wax. So, I get him and “place” paper towels over the wax. Are you familiar with that bridal shower game called Toilet Paper Wedding gown? (Attendees break up into groups and are given toilet paper and their mission is to design and gown one person of their group.) Kramer wouldn’t have won…and he wasn’t very happy. Those paper towels and napkins just weren’t the right length for him. The vet’s office also recommended we take Kramer to an emergency clinic…sigh.

It was time to engage Plan C and call Tall & Handsome at work. I had to retell the tales of Kramer (no pun intended) once again…he knew it was time to come home. I wish I had a picture of Tall and Handsome’s face when Kramer sauntered out of the pet taxi, dragging his paper towels behind…and bedside…and on him… T & H was speechless.

He loaded Kramer back up in the pet taxi and off they went to the pet ER. I was talking to T & H on the cell phone all the way and I could hear Kramer putting in his two cents worth. Once at the clinic and in a room, T & H takes Kramer out of the pet taxi and I hear him say, “Oh, this is ugly.” (That’s Tall and Handsome speak for ‘OH MY GOSH!!’) I wished then I had sent him off with his own personal paper head sack. I took a deep breath and ask, “What’s wrong?” Long story short, on the way to the clinic, Kramer had tinkled…and now his paper towels had accumulated cat tinkle. Gone were his “white wedding gowns”. They were dingy yellow now…

When Kramer was seen by the folks at the clinic, they knew what had to be done. He had to be sedated and shaved…from his neck to the very tip of his tail. A cat tail is an ugly thing under all of that deceptively soft cuddly fur and not meant to be seen by human eyes. Cats are ugly under all that soft fur. I bet that’s why they have soft fur…to lure us into their deceptive trap…to make up like them…care about them…and them…BAM! They reveal their true sneaky selves…and their predilection for wax warmers.

Kramer was so denuded of fur, we were warned by the vet that if he went outside he would sunburn. When T & H and what now looked like a big field rat or 21 pound possum with a cat’s head attached arrived home, the other cat freaked out and started spitting, hissing and batting at him…my feelings exactly.

Several months ago Kramer went to live with a new family. He never adjusted to the new member in the family and Kramer’s massive amounts of fur were absolutely killing me and my allergies. Now, when I wax on, wax off…besides missing the flesh off my face…I think of Kramer in his new home. My wax days are better and I know his are, too.

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Fun, Humor, Pets, Photography, Tall & Handsome, Waxing