Thursday, March 09, 2006

Eastside Farm March Update

The last two weeks have been full of adventures and…misadventures. Mainly animal misadventures.

I’ll start with the porch and work my way back through the house.

Porch Kitties:
There are the five standard kitties: Boomer (male) that looks most like his mama, Joleen, only he is now bigger; Thunder, a black female with very long hair but with a ring of silver around her face thereby looking like a thunder cloud with silver lining; Chloe, a petite little girl with short hair and a tiny little meow; PJ, named after her big brother, Porky, is a black shorthair female; and then Tiger, a male that loves to roll over on his shoulder upon approach. Tiger was caught on Sunday night (after the raccoon incident) and was “tutored”. He arrived back home without his equipment, but safe and sound.

From time to time we see their mama, Joleen, but as of late we just catch fleeting glimpses of her. The last time I saw her, almost 2 weeks ago, she was pregnant and very full to bursting! I am really afraid that she is under the house either getting ready to have kittens or nursing kittens. We don’t need more mouths to feed. Right now the count stands at 29!

Inside Kitties:
Both Ginger and Julian are fine. Ginger has taken to hiding in the closet. I think that Tasso chased her one too many times! Julian is still insisting upon getting up on the kitchen counter, no matter how many times I tell him it displeases me. Oh well, what can you do with cats!!!

The Dogs:
Callebaut, aka Gator Boy, is just fine. He is barfing just as much as he ever does, decorating our carpet with lovely spots. He is a pretty happy boy and just enjoys hanging out.

He is pretty funny around Tasso. You see, Tasso has started his heartworm treatment, which requires that he stay still for 1 month. How do you make a puppy stay still? Put him in a crate. For a month. He is NOT a happy camper. Callebaut knows he is not a happy guy and runs up to me …then runs back to Tasso in the crate…then back to me. It really is the classic, “come quick! Timmy fell in the well!!!”. So over to the crate I go. By now Tasso is so pissed off that Callebaut is making a fuss that Tasso starts to growl and snarl and then BARK! Lovely. I don’t think I have used the water bottle on Callebaut half as much as I do now.

India has been having some terrible health issues. About 3 weeks ago she was sprayed by a skunk. A few days after that she started shaking violently, could not control her muscles and then started having terrible seizures in which she would go stiff as a board and howl. We rushed her to the closest vet where they worked on her like troopers. She was then driven by the vet to the emergency pet hospital and spent the night in intensive care. She was sedated and observed all night. After having had Phenobarbital, being completely knocked out, her stomach pumped and given an enema, she was worn out but fine. It was NOT cheap, but we would do it again. (It was a mortgage payment in Sonoma County. OUCH)

In the last few days she has been experiencing some gastro-intestinal distress and I will spare y’all the details. Suffice to say it has not been pretty. India has been eating a lot of rice in hopes of slowing it down, to no avail. Tonight she will start some medication and go on a strict diet of cottage cheese and rice. Let’s hope that helps.

Back to Tasso: he is off of his special diet of expensive canned food and now onto regular dog food. This is prompting more gastro-intestinal action (can’t seem to get away from that) and he is “having accidents” in his crate. More fun for Chicken Mama and Farmer Jeff!!!

The chickens:
We have good news, and we have bad news. The good news: we are getting lots of eggs every day and one of the banty hens in Napoleon’s area is now sitting on a clutch and acting very “broody”! We are excited because we may end up with some banty babies!!! NICE!

The bad news: Goldie, one of the foster mother bantys, died after having, I believe, contracted Marek’s disease. We have now lost 6 chickens to this. A bit of a drag. I guess it is the life cycle. Poor little tender critters. I really had no idea how fragile they were…but then I think I need to think of them as very large parakeets!

Keep your fingers crossed that Mama Joleen is okay, that India slows the flow, that Tasso will survive his confinement in the crate and stop “having accidents” and that the chickens are done dying.

Heavens! I didn’t even talk about the rats. Oh well…another time! They will wait for me!