10-7-11

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Wednesday afternoon, Fred had to work later than usual. This doesn’t happen very often, but when it does it falls to me to feed the pigs and toss out the scratch for the chickens, refill the waterers, and gather the eggs. Feeding the pigs used to consist of dumping their food in their trough, but that changed last week. One of the pigs is going to a different processor – one that the guy who’s buying the pig prefers – and she needs to go next week, because after the end of October this processor only processes deer.

(The other two pigs will go sometime in November, I believe.)

So because the guy who’s buying the pig who will go next week wants her to go to the other processor, he brought his livestock trailer to the house this past weekend, and he and Fred set it up so that the pigs have to go up into the trailer to eat. (This is so that on Monday, they won’t have to chase the pig into the trailer, because she’ll already be in there eating.) Unlike our trailer, which is open-topped, this trailer has a roof on it, so you can’t just get up on the hitch and dump the food over the side of the trailer into the trough. You have to walk across the pig yard and go into the trailer and dump the food in the trough.

Since Fred has been feeding the pigs since the trailer was set up, I didn’t realize I’d have to enter the pig yard until he called and asked me to feed them.

Now, the pigs are about 200 pounds each, which means that they far outweigh me, and I had JUST THAT MORNING been laughing with the lady who cuts my hair about how I do NOT go into the pig yard ’cause I don’t want them to knock me down and eat me.

I told Fred I’d feed the pigs and I put on my figurative big girl panties and went out to the pig yard, bucket of scraps in hand. The pigs greeted me at the gate, and then watched me open the gate. As I started walking across the yard they took turns pressing their snouts against me, none too gently.

“Quit it!” I shouted, and waved my hand in their direction. This used to startle them and send them running. You know, back when they weighed about 30 pounds each. Now that they outweigh me, the waving of my arm and a shout doesn’t apparently scare them much. At ALL, really. They ignored me and got more aggressive about rubbing their muddy snouts all over my shorts and the hem of my shirt.

“QUIT IT!” I yelled and waved my arm again, again to no avail.

And then one of them shoved me and I fell to my knees. Then another grabbed my arm in her mouth and suddenly the “Yeah, Fred will come home from work and he’ll be ‘Where’s Robyn? In the pig yard? No, IN THE PIGS!'” seemed a little less funny.

I was absolutely terrified, and if you’d been watching me from a distance, I imagine you would have thought that I’d been hit by a jolt of electricity, because I screamed and started flailing both arms and punched the nearest pig and struggled to my feet. The pigs had moved away from me, but as I got to my feet they were too close for comfort, and I grabbed the bucket and dumped the food on the ground, and then clanged the bucket against the nearest pig’s head and I ran out of that yard as fast as I could. The pigs, seeing the pile of food on the ground, ignored me in favor of food that didn’t scream and flail.

When I got into the house, after I showered the mud off me and inspected my appendages to be sure they were all there and inspected my arm to see if it was okay (it was; it’s a little bruised today, but no broken skin), I threw my clothes into the washer and emailed Fred and said “In the future, if you work late, the pigs eat late.”

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Yesterday, one of the Peppers was doing something super-cute, so I went looking for the big, expensive, good camera, a Sony DSLR-A100 that we bought shortly after we moved into this house, the camera I get most of my good pictures with. It was sitting on the table, where I’d left it, under a pile of (clean) cleaning rags, which I’d dumped there until I got around to folding them and putting them away.

As I picked up the camera, I noticed something dripping off of it, and I knew. I just KNEW. Things had been going too well, and things had been too quiet.

Someone had peed on the camera.

As I picked it up, I turned it over to see, well, had someone peed on the rags and a little got on the camera or had they soaked the camera? One instant I realized that they’d soaked the camera, and the next instant it slipped out of my hands and hit the floor and I heard something crack in a rather disturbing way.

Today, the camera stinks like cat pee (I wiped it down with Nose Offense the best I could, but it didn’t do a lot of good) and that’s okay because, hey. It doesn’t work anyway!

On the good side, I do have the little camera – the DSC-W300 – to take pictures with while the big camera is off in Texas being examined to see if there’s anything that can be done with it.

I really need a vacation right about now.

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We need to start up a collection to get you a new kitchen rug – your current rug is pretty but it does not provide a proper compliment to the cats. A few of them just fade into it especially Miz Poo – and that ain’t right! What were you thinking?

I was thinking “That’s a good price!” 🙂

We got that rug at the local flea market, it wasn’t horribly expensive, and I knew I did NOT want a solid-color rug. If Miz Poo wants to be properly displayed, she knows she can go to the couch or the carpet in the foster room!

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Robyn, I don’t know if anyone else has said this before, but you keep having these crops of Peppers and I keep reading Peepers. I think you need to name a round of Peepers soon.

When I thought I was going to have a bottle baby several weeks ago, all I knew was that she was a calico and I had decided I was going to name her Polly Pickles. Then when I got Charlie and Patty, I thought about naming them Polly and Peter Pickles, before I decided I wasn’t done with the Peppers surname (also, I really want to save “Polly Pickles” for a wee calico for some reason).

Which is neither here nor there, really – I kind of like “Peepers” as a surname, but I may have to put it off for a while until my fingers stop wanting to type “Peppers” instead of “Peepers!”

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I was thinking about your babies yesterday – have you had a batch named after candy bars yet? Because Zagnut would be the perfect name for an orange kitty. 😉

I have not had a batch named after candy bars, but I did have a Skittles a few years ago!

I like the name “Zagnut” for a cat. I know that a lot of candy bar names (Snickers, for one) have been used for Challenger’s House cats in the past, but y’all leave candy bar name suggestions, I’ll add them to my list of potential foster names!

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Did you tell us that you use olive oil to wipe down the sides and bottom of the clean litter boxes to keep the stuff from sticking? Does that work? I’ve got a spray can of PAM that I refuse to use for food purposes and wondered if that would do the trick? Ever used spray Pam? The main issue I have is that Mackie never aims his butt in the MIDDLE of the litter box, but just kind of haphazardly pees on the SIDES where there is no litter to dehydrate it.

I have used both regular olive oil AND spray Pam, and both work really well – the spray Pam more so than the olive oil, but the olive oil will do in a pinch!

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That yum yum cat reminded of NONONONO cat.

That video freaked me OUT at first, because I thought “What are they DOING to that cat?!”, but apparently the cat was looking at a friend (of the video poster’s daughter)(that’s not a convoluted description, is it?) and making that noise. I’m going to have to state right now that if any of my cats look at someone and make that noise, whoever they’re making the noise at is just going to have to live with not being able to come into my house because I wouldn’t be able to handle it!

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From Elayne:

I honestly don’t mean to be a concern troll or a downer, but I’m actually a bit worried about the cat in that video eating from the spoon. I know a lot of cats will making “mine all mine” noises while they eat, especially if the food is not in a traditional food bowl, but it’s the way he moves his head that bothers me. Those noises and head/mouth movements were EXACTLY what Mr.T was doing, in the days before I learned that his mouth had basically turned into an enormous maggot-ridden* ulcer**.

So at the risk of being That Commentor (sorry), I would encourage anyone whose cat is doing this to check the cat’s mouth, or better yet have the vet check the cat’s mouth, just in case it’s a pain reaction and not just a “don’t you think about taking my food away” reaction.

*To be fair, I don’t know for sure that the maggot came from his mouth. I mean, I saw it fall from his mouth, but IT wasn’t bloody and his mouth definitely WAS, so maybe it had been hitching a ride in his fur or something, or in the towel I had wrapped him in, and just chose that moment to appear. I never did ask the vet about it, first because his kidney stuff was more important, and then because it was all irrelevant.

**Mr.T was never a sit-by-you, let-you-pick-him-up, come-when-you-call kind of cat; he was always reclusive and aloof and don’t-touch-me, so I didn’t realize that he was losing weight until he’d already lost a ton. He obviously wasn’t eating, so I got a jar of baby food, and he tried to eat that, but made those noises and head movements, which was when I noticed that his mouth was bleeding. I took him to the vet right away, but it wasn’t soon enough. He had massive kidney failure, and the vet said that apparently the buildup of toxins in his bloodstream and tissues had caused the mucus membranes to ulcerate – which of course was why he was barely eating, and losing so much weight, and when he DID eat, even babyfood or broth, he made those noises and those head movements because it was hurting him so much to eat. The vet tried for almost a week to kickstart his kidney function, but in the end we had to put him down.

I don’t consider your comment to be at all trollish, Elayne! (And I’m sorry about Mr. T.)

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And will you look at all those cat beds on the shelf in the background of the pic with Molly and Harlan…LOL

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Horrifying, isn’t it? And lately, I’ve been looking at patterns online to see how hard it is to make a “donut” cat bed. I’ve found instructions that indicate it’s not too hard, and I have all this material that I keep buying, so I think it’s only a matter of time before I actually make one. I’m not much of a seamstress, though, so I’m not confident that I’ll be able to do it (just sewing a straight line is, I swear to you, beyond me sometimes), but if I can, it will be ALL OVER. You won’t be able to go two feet in this house without having to step across a cat bed.

(Oh, wait. You already can’t do that!)

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What’s the little spot in Tommy’s right eye? I just noticed it in his last couple of pictures.

I recently noticed that spot and just went back through his pictures to see when it turned up. About a year ago, there was a very small, light spot there, but the year before there was no spot at all. He’s got an appointment next Thursday with the vet. I’m hoping it’s nothing, but I’m worried. He’s always had the most beautiful eyes, I can’t believe it took me so long to notice that spot.

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The bigger Peppers are looking huge; how old are they now?

They’ll be 4 months old on the 12th and they’ve hit that ridiculously long and lanky stage. Remember what scared little hissers they were when we first got ’em, two months ago?

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They’ve come a long way, baby!

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Patty Peppers vants to be alone.

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It’s a rough life, Charlie Peppers.

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Glaring Sally Peppers.

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Check out the size of Harlan’s paw. He’s going to be huuuuuuuuuge.

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Peppers taking over the couch!

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The Beautiful Bookworm Boys!

I managed to get exactly two pictures of Buster and Corbie together this week.

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(“Together” might be a bit of an overstatement.)

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Previously
2010: The many faces of Georgie, Livestock Guardian Dog extraordinaire
2009: “Hey, look! A box! And toys!”
2008: Now that all her babies have been adopted, Kara will be going to the pet store on Thursday, hopefully to be adopted quickly.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Warm little pile o’ kitties.

Comments

Comments

10-7-11 — 19 Comments

  1. Ugh! I’ve heard the “nono” kitty voice exactly once in my kitty career and that was when our tiny new adoptee coughed up his weight in round worms. He has long since passed away, but I still listen for that sound every time one of my cats vomits. *shudder*

  2. The pigs will eat late…. oh my gosh. I used to handle the “livestock”: when David was driving… a couple head of cattle, a herd of sheep (OMgosh, I hated the sheep)… they would always get out!!!! You have much better fences. Glad you didn’t get trampled by your bacon… and that you weren’t seriously hurt!

  3. Wow, Robyn, what a lousy day! I’m kinda scared of livestock anyway (don’t think I want to be anywhere near chickens even, although yours are beautiful) so I can just imagine how frightening the whole pig episode was. Are pigs omnivorous?

    I need good thoughts from the interwebs, by the way – I am getting three foster kittens next week. Unfortunately these three, although seemingly perfectly healthy right now, tested positive for feline leukemia so my house is probably going to be hospice care for them. I am hoping they make it to adulthood but I know the odds are against it.

  4. PS, comment on nononono cat. First I am not convinced that cat is making that noise at all. I think it might be a human voice in the background. Second, if that cat is making that noise, I think he/she may be having a seizure. We had a shelter cat that made strange noises like that and it was basically feline epilepsy.

    Of course I could be totally wrong on all of this because it freaked me out so much I only listened to about ten seconds of it!

  5. Seriously happy you didn’t come to harm in the pigpen, altho I’m sure they were just wanting food, not YOU, that had to be terrorizing. And sorry to hear of the damp demise of the camera. Hope things go better from here this week, or weekend!

  6. PS Corbie is gorgeous as always, the poser! So is Buster, too, of course. They all are, really.

  7. My cat makes the nonono noise whenever I do something to her she doesn’t like. Time to cut your nails … NONONONONO! You stepped in poop, I need to wash your feet … NONONONONO! This is my tuna salad sandwich, not yours … NONONONONO! But she also says MAMA clear as day when she wants me, so I guess that makes up for it. She also does that weird bird chatter and is pretty vocal overall.

    Did you ever watch the HBO series Deadwood? There were several horrible disgusting human body eating pig scenes. I still shutter.

  8. Wow – between the pigs and pee you’ve had quite a week! I bet this is one batch of bacon and pork chops you’ll enjoy more than usual!!

    Keep us posted on Tommy – we’ll keep positive thoughts that it will be nothing serious!

  9. Name for an orange kitten (especially a dulute) Butternut

    No,No,No cat – I’ve heard “oriental” cats make that same sound when in heat. Kitty is probably either saying “yes, Yes, YES” or more likely she learned the sound got attention when she was in heat and now uses it to get the attention and praise from her humans who make it back at her.

    I’ve known several Momma cats that kept making the special “meroooroowwgrrrlpeep” they use with their kittens years after they were spayed because it worked very well when getting human attention, like open the back door now, I want out NOW!

    Melodi

  10. For Mackie’s owner–might try a larger litter box with taller sides. I have a big long-haired cat that needs extra room to keep her bottom inside the box. The litter in the big box won’t need to be replaced as often as smaller ones. The cost will even out in the long run. Your other option is a covered box, but some cats don’t like them. I hate to clean up pee even though I keep a vinyl runner under the boxes.

  11. either the “nonono” cat thought it saw a ghost or the human stole his girlfriend :p

    as for the pigs, wow! I think I would have dropped the bucket the second they came running towards me! I mean all 600pounds of pigs!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that’s a few exclamation marks to show you what 600 pounds of live pigs mean to me!

    chocolate names for cats: milkyway.. buttercups

  12. My 15 year old tuxie makes the NONONONO noise whenever she is going to cough up a hairball. She also sounds just like the cat in the America’s Funniest Video clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHKtx6GO6EA) of a tuxie saying “Oh Long Johson” and “Oh Don Piano”. She looks alot like it too.

  13. I know nothing about pigs. Your description sounds terrifying! I hate to ask, but pigs wouldn’t actually try to eat a live animal (incl. human)…would they??

  14. I flipped the proverbial sh** when I noticed a similar spot in my cat’s eye a year ago because I was dumb enough to google it immediately and scare myself to death. She was at an eye specialist three days later. It *can* be something serious, but it is not necessarily so. Breathe. I hope it’s nothing, but even if it is the worst possible case – iris melanoma – it’s a surgery that’s cosmetically hard to get used to, but for the quality of life of the cat is not necessarily that difficult to adjust to. Good luck, let us know what the vet says, ok?

  15. Are your cats (permanent or otherwise) every really naughty? If so, what do they do and how do you curb their behavior? It seems like my cats feed off of each other and get really bad sometimes, and I have a hard time getting them to stop! Do you have any suggestions?

  16. Sorry, that nonono cat clip is disturbing – kitty is obviously very very very frightened! Poor thing! 🙁

    Anyway! Great to see the lovely Peppers and of course the Beautiful Bookworm Boys!!

    Take care
    x

  17. oh my gosh i’m glad you’re okay! now i don’t feel so bad about the pigs going to get processed.

    i want mollysusie’s talking cat.

  18. Glad you survived the pig attack! They do love to bite and they are really fast. When I was about 11 a friends family raised pigs, they were about the same size as yours, just about to become bacon. We used to play a game to see if you could jump off the fence and run across the pig pen without bit. We wore thick boots so we never got hurt but in retrospect it was probably not a very smart game to play. Needless to say our parents never knew we were doing it.

    • LOL Jean! When we were young, my siblings and I would tease my grandmother’s prize sow.. not a very smart move since she always had piglets and was a VERY protective mother.

      I don’t think she would have eaten us, but if she had got us, we’d have been at least bitten hard and more than once.

      Kids are just stupid at some ages, eh?