1-8-14 – Crooked Acres Wednesday

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So, last night Tony and Melfi were returned. It turned out that someone in the family had worse allergies than he realized, and so back they came.

I’m sad for Tony and Melfi, but I am also a little bit glad that I’ll be able to see them again! (That is, of course, if they don’t get themselves adopted again before Friday, which is always a possibility!)

Edited to add (and I’ll repeat it in tomorrow’s post, for those who’ve already read today’s post) : Meadow was adopted last night!


Crooked Acres Wednesday.

We’ve had a crazy number of bright red male Cardinals around here lately. They’re so bright and pretty!

Bluejay is all “I’ma take care of this acorn for you. YOU’RE WELCOME.”

The squirrels have been all OVER the bird feeders lately, and give me the stinkeye if I wait too long to refill them.


Female Cardinal. So pretty!

Male Cardinal on the left, female Cardinal in the middle, and White-Crowned Sparrow on the right.

Look at all those Cardinals! And there were more out there, I just couldn’t fit them all in one picture.

Om nom NOM.

Pretty rooster.

BB, showing off her pretty, glossy feathers.

For the most part, these past few days, the chickens have stayed in the coop. Fred opens the big door when the sun comes up, and they like to line up across the doorway and warm their feathers in the sun.

Gracie’s all “What cold?” It got down to 4ยบF the night before last, and the dogs slept out in the middle of the back forty. This is the weather they LOVE – they wouldn’t mind a few feet of snow, too, please.

Fred came inside yesterday morning and said “We have a problem.”

“What’s that?” I said.

“The pond is frozen over,” he said. “Except for a small part in the middle, where the ducks are.”

“Are they stuck?” I asked. “They can’t get out?”

“I don’t think they can get out,” he said. So we bundled up and he got a few ice-breaking tools, and we went out to the pond.

“What?” said the ducks.

They swam casually around their small patch of open water.

They dove and flapped their wings and swam around some more. Fred stood at the shore and used an 8-pound maul to break ice. He leaned out as far as he could, and I was SO SURE he was going to fall in. But he didn’t.

Gracie watched carefully, in case her life-saving skills were needed (they weren’t.)

Fred wasn’t able to break the ice all the way out to where the ducks were. So he headed off to find a few heavy rocks that he could toss onto the ice, that would hopefully do the job. When he came back, I said “Are you positive they can’t get out of there if they want to?”

“Well,” he said. “Not POSITIVE. But I think they’re stuck.”

I got some catfish food out of the barrel nearby, and tossed it onto the ice.

And then they went back into the water. They looked at us and said “We never SAID we were stuck. You just assumed!”

“Silly humans!”


This is how John Smith keeps warm when it’s cold outside.

When Fred sees big feathers in the back forty, he picks them up and brings them inside. I found a small pile of duck feathers on a shelf the other day, and took one upstairs to the kittens. They found it pretty amazing.

Bunnie licked it.

John Smith got some chomps in.

Tricki kept a close eye on that feather and its whereabouts.


That is one fascinatin’ feather.

See, Tricki? You just have to be patient, and good things will come to you!


Warmest room in the house, and always chock-full of cats on cold days. Alice is atop the cat tree, Tommy’s on the window bed, and Stefan, Loony Jake, and Sugarbutt are on the bed.

If you’d like to send happy thoughts this way, Alice is having surgery today for bladder stones. She was not a happy camper on the way to the vet yesterday (this is the third trip she’d made in that carrier, in less than a week), but hopefully she’ll recover from surgery quickly and feel much better. We weren’t expecting to leave her at the vet last night, but our vet is awesome and was pretty sure he would be able to get her surgery done today (and if not today, then very first thing tomorrow).

Fred and I are in complete agreement that we LOVE our vet. The funny thing is that I was just kind of making a stab at finding a vet relatively close by, when I made the first appointment with him last year, and totally struck gold with this guy. They’re only 10 minutes from here, we like him, we like his staff, they know us – and in fact, last Friday morning when we were leaving the grocery store (which is next door to the vet’s office – usually when we have a routine appointment for a cat, Fred takes the cat in to the appointment and I run over and get groceries) one of the vet techs stuck her head out the door and asked Fred why he wasn’t wearing shorts (Fred wears shorts year-round. Often, in the late Fall, we’ll go somewhere and he’ll be in shorts and a t-shirt, and I’ll be in jeans, boots, a heavy jacket, and gloves.) So anyway, yes – Alice is in the best of hands, and I’m sure surgery will go smoothly and well, but your good thoughts certainly couldn’t hurt!

(Fred says that now that Miz Poo has hit old age, she’s passing the Money Pit torch to Alice!)


2013: โ€œWhat can I say? Iโ€™m lubbable.โ€
2012: No entry.
2011: No entry.
2010: They sure are kissable, these kittens.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: Moonman has seriously come out of his shell. (Note: “Moonman” is now “Joe Bob”!)
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



1-8-14 – Crooked Acres Wednesday — 55 Comments

  1. Sending good thoughts for Alice.

    So jealous of all of your cardinals! I get one at a time. One red, one brown. That’s it. Sigh.

    • Ditto — if I see ONE cardinal in the park, I count myself blessed. You must feel in heaven. Except for the matter of Alice’s surgery, of course. How long has the poor girl been stoning it up then?

      Lovely and fun pictures today (as always). Thanks! And warm thoughts for Tony and Melfi, Meadow and Livia.

      • We only noticed something last week, and took her to the vet the day after New Year’s Day. Then we took her to the vet on Saturday because it seemed to be getting worse. THEN Fred got a urine sample and took it to the vet on Monday, and they got the results yesterday, and called to have us bring her in for an X-ray, which is when they found the stone. She’s home now, and a bit loopy, but doing well!

  2. Beautiful cardinals!

    Poor Tony and Melfi! I am sure they will get adopted again quickly! I am sure it was a tough decision on whether to keep the kid or the cats! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Best wishes to Alice! Hugs!!!

    Love the Crooked Acres photos!

    • Ha! It was actually the husband who has the allergies. I guess he thought he was just slightly allergic, but found differently. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Sending good luck to Alice, I’m sure she will be fine.

    I used to collect bird feathers for my old cat Muffy when she was alive, she would get very excited. Although she was allowed outside she never went far and never caught anything in her whole life.

  4. Adding some warm thoughts to all warm thoughts being sent to Alice, and sending some more in the general direction of Tony and Melfi – hope they will find THE forever home soon.

  5. (((((Hugs to Alice))))))

    I have a great vet too — he only sees companion animals, no large ones like horses/cows. I’ve been seeing this vet for 25+ years; his wife also works in the office, and we’ve all kinda grown old together! LOL I’ve never lost a pet to any kind of surgery or procedure (unlike the time I took a new adopted pup to the shelter’s vet, died after being spayed). The other great thing is that my vet and I have a good understanding of what is enough treatment in a terminal illness — and that helps a lot when the end comes.

    Hope Tony & Melfi’s REAL furever home comes soon!

  6. Sending good thoughts Alice’s way. How does a cat get stones anyway?

    Pretty cardinals — I’ve never seen that many together at once!

    • Only once in my life have I ever seen a “flock” of them together. They were roosting in a Crepe Myrtle tree at the house. I only had my cell phone with me and the photo was so far away to get the whole tree and birds. Well, it was pathetic….

  7. Alice Mo.
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery!!


    Hey Robyn,
    You don’t have to spend money on new feather teasers – You can make your own! Gather a few from around the chicken yard and the back forty, use a big needle and some fishing line to sew them into a bundle and voila! I am sure the scents are more enticing than with the store-bought ones.

    I have had the same AWESOME vet since December of 1983. I am NOT looking forward to her retiring ๐Ÿ™

    • I don’t think my crafty skills are up to making a homemade Da Bird. ๐Ÿ™‚

      My primary care physician and I are the same age – I keep telling her she’s not allowed to retire ’til I’m dead and gone! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. My cat Bunny had surgery last year for bladder stones. She felt soooo much better after the surgery and for a good while afterwards too, more like her old self than she’d been in a long time. Unfortunately, she is still having recurring UTIs so we make numerous trips to the vet which she does not appreciate. And I spend a lot of time stuffing pills down her throat which she is also not a fan of. But so far, no more stones so hopefully that will continue. I hope Alice makes a speedy recovery and remails stone free forever.

  9. Glad you love your vet, we love our’s too…GO GO Alice, heal quickly, little girl!

  10. Hugs and purrs to Alice (and her Daddy!)!!

    Alice Mo
    The Calico
    Doesn’t need pain
    when she pees
    ya know!

    Yay for Meadow and I know Tony and Melfi won’t stay long. Hummm, maybe Carmela’s new mom would want Tony as a playmate for her since their older kitty seems to be standoffish??

  11. Purrs to Alice. And to you guys too….waiting for news is hard.

    Love the cardinal pics. And mom was laughing about the ducks.

    The pyr of TN got to see snow….being from Florida originally, Minnie is loving it – once she got over being “what the heck is the white stuff in the back yard?” And like George and Gracie, she is discovering that she likes cold MUCH better than warm. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Hello from the Polar Vortex! There is something so beautiful about a male Cardinal in a snowy setting. We have a lot here in Indy (cardinal is the state bird) and they always travel in pairs. Love to watch them look out for each other.
    Hope Alice Mo gets better fast. Hubby just had bladder surgery and is recovering. I guess if you have to be stuck in the house recovering you might as well have Snowmageddon strike to make it fun. Level 5 French Toast alert indeed!

  13. Happy thoughts out to Alice and her people.
    So nice to see and hear of many cardinals somewhere. We used to see at least 8 or more pairs during a snowstorm, (west central OH) but not this year–two, max, of each. I know that birds of prey are supposed to be able to see red, and we hear some owls…don’t know. The male redbird is beautiful with the snowy background and also in an evergreen tree. One of the (few) perks of winter.
    Glad Meadow got adopted, sorry about the return of the other two, hope they have a short stay at Petsmart, happy thoughts about that, too.
    Loved the duck story followed by George or Gracie’s smirk! The ducks might’ve had a bet going about how long it would take to get some humans with food in hand, out there!

  14. We hope Alice gets through her surgery just fine. I know what you mean about the vet bills!

  15. Purrs to you and Alice. Hope she is feeling better soonest.

    Maybe the person that fell in love with Tony, but he was adopted so she brought home Carmela will come back and get him…and his psychiatrist.

  16. The ducks are hanging out in the water because it’s warmer than the air. 32 degrees is lots warmer than 4!

  17. Purrs to Alice and to you, as I imagine it is quite stressful on you.. hopefully by now you’ve heard that things have gone beautifully and are just biding your time till you can pick her up..

  18. Sending healing shouts to Alice…

    The John Smith picture is one of my all-time favorites! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I love it, too! I wish I’d been able to get a picture without Fred’s hand in it, but John Smith was not having this hat nonsense. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. We have wild ducks in a pond in the park near our house. Most ducks prefer to fly to Central Europe for winter, but some always stay behind. There’ll always be some paddling around in the pond as long as there’s a hole in the ice, then they disappear (to open sea, we guess). If the ice melts due to a warm spell, the ducks magically reappear out of nowhere. We can’t figure out how they know about the hole in the ice – maybe they send scouts ahead or something? (Swans sometimes get stuck for real, but ducks never seem to do that around here.)

  20. Wishing we had cardinals around here to give us that pretty red color! Sending good thoughts to Alice! And to you and Fred should those ducks get ‘stuck’ again!

    • Wouldn’t it be terrible (and an awesome picture-taking opportunity) if Fred fell into the pond next time? ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. hugs and love and good healing thoughts for Alice Mo !!!!

    I absolutely LOVE your cardinal pictures !! They are on of my favorite birds, I have only gotten a few pictures of the ones around here.

    Snuggles to all the kitties !!!

  22. For Reader K’s sweet girl Abby, I don’t have an answer for the exact question you asked, but the info I posted very late over the weekend about getting 25% off vet bills might be of help. I’m copying it here:

    “I just came across this great deal: https://local.amazon.com/national/B00HNCVXZY
    I donโ€™t know if that link will work for everyone since it came to me as an Amazon Local dealโ€ฆ but worth a try. Itโ€™s a service that gives you 25% off vet bills at participating vet clinics (there are some other benefits too). Happily, mine is one of the participating clinics. And for my multi-pet household, I just pay $39 with this deal with Pet Assure, and all my vet bills for one year will enjoy 25% off. There are also rates for a single cat or a single dog. Even if all you do is take your pet in for one annual exam, youโ€™ll more than make back the cost of signing up. Unfortunately, I JUST last week took my dog in for his annual checkup and had a small skin tag removed, setting me back more than $600. If I had waited a week, Iโ€™d have saved myself $200 using Pet Assure! arrggghh.

    “Now, if youโ€™ll allow me a shameless plug: thereโ€™s a special going on now for the Pet Protector flea & tick repellent discs of Buy 2 Get 1 Free, which works out to 97 cents per month per pet to keep them free of all external parasites for the next FOUR years. And now that it is the dead of winter and most places are not dealing with fleas, this is the perfect time to get the discs on your cats and dogs while they are free of all those blasted bugs. (BTW, these discs also keep mosquitoes away โ€” and I wear one myself for that reason because Iโ€™ve been a lifelong mosquito magnet). http://www.petprotector.org/?ID=18451

    Loved all the colorful bird pictures.

    Re the duck sequence — when I read the beginning of your conversation with Fred, I thought, “Noooo, the ducks are not stuck!” I remember going to college in Chicago and seeing the ducks in the middle of winter paddling around in the bits of open water of the campus lake and then skidding around on the ice. I always wondered why their feet didn’t stick to the ice — you know, like how you’re not supposed to stick your tongue out and lick a metal pole because your tongue will get stuck to the pole?

  23. I raise show chickens and often have birds in the house for one reason or another. So I don’t tease the cats with any kind of feather. I have had an ancient (11 years old) hen inside for the winter and she had molted in her cage. So yesterday I moved her to a different cage so I could vacuum hers. When I came back in the room, Wesley my brat kitten was on his back in her cage, tossing feathers into the air and catching them. He had feathers stuck all over him, sorta looked like a chicken/cat hybrid.

  24. Oh my, the pics are beautiful as always, but the saving of the ducks? Lol… what lucky ducks! We needed pics of Fred breaking the ice! So many puns, so little time!

  25. Is that the trapper hat from Petco? I saw that and wanted it so bad for my cats, but I resisted the temptation. Glad to see John Smith pulling it off so nicely.

    Sorry to hear about Alice Mo’s surgery. Sending healing thoughts her way. Figaro had to have a stone removed last February, and we’ve had a lot of trips to the vet since then, but no more stones yet. (Knock on wood.) I too love my vet. I hope he stays at the practice forever. He is so good with Figaro, and I can tell he really cares about trying to help him with his FIC. It’s very reassuring!

  26. Love the ducks!!!! I had a pair years ago who had imprinted on me. They followed me everywhere until they were adults and then they up and flew off with some wild Mallards! I quite understood their need to see the world…

    I often get as many as 25 or 30 Cardinals at my feeders. I didn’t know that was unusual? Is it because I live out in the Boonies? I’ve been getting a few Grosbeaks along the edge of the woods too. So pretty!

  27. Reader K may want to look into IMOM.ORG

    You have beautiful birds there. We have hummingbirds, but no colorful songbirds or ducks. Those colorful birds would be fun cat-t.v.

    Sending healing purrs for Alice. I hope all goes well.

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