Is there a more depressing month than January?? Fiercely cold, depressingly dark, no long weekends (except for the first which doesn’t count as its really part of Christmas). January is a hard slog.
I took pity on our resident stray cat, Fuzz-butt, and let him into the house. He came in reluctantly, perhaps knowing a level of trust would have to develop between us. The first night he was put into solitary confinement in my daughter’s bathroom–I didn’t trust that he wouldn’t spray everywhere in the house if left free to roam. I don’t think he was happy but he was warm. The second night he was segregated in the spare bedroom. More space but still contained. I think I made him stay in there for three nights. Then as we came to understand each other I gave him his freedom.
It didn’t help that at almost precisely the same time I took possession of my son’s dog for three weeks while he was away working in Florida. Monster, or Meat-Head as I affectionately call him, is a pit bull.
There is a meme that’s been going around. These things are hilarious because they are true.
His head is just sooo heavy. A large preternaturally strong dog, all muscle (including between the ears) Monster wouldn’t hurt a flea. Intensely curious and no concept of personal space he proved a bit of a challenge to Fuzz-Butt. But this orange fluff ball is no pushover. He soon dominated the dog and in fact the whole household. He’s very vocal, very affectionate, extremely muscular and just a real sweetheart. I quite love him.
We do have two other cats but I’m not really a cat person. These are my daughters babies. This is Gideon, her three legged tabby making himself comfy on my just dropped coveralls, and tiny petite momma cat, who I don’t really love but I do have a special bond with. She had been an outside cat but one frigid January I found her in the sheep barn tucked up behind a lambing jug. She had frosticles on her whiskers and I didn’t think she’d make the night. I scooped her up, tucked her into my coveralls and brought her inside. She’s been a house cat every since. (She also produced her last batch of kittens several days after her rescue).
She is a formidable hunter siphoning my momma finch out of the bird cage in the living room, and killing outside vermin, large and small. That first pic is a FULL SIZED RAT!!! eeek!!! I’d never ever seen a wild rat before, but this showed up after the neighbors old dairy barn collapsed from old age. My shoe is for scale. Quite dead and the only cat capable of such butchery is momma cat. The second pic is a tiny little shrew, the size of your little finger. Both victims left for my enjoyment on the sidewalk outside my kitchen door. The birdcage in the living room is now fortified by cookie sheets, including on top of the cage. Momma cat leapt to the top and somehow managed to extract momma finch. Daddy raised the babies alone. My little dog is jealous of everyone, fighting with Fuzz-Butt for his egg, nudging the big dog off my lap. As I said the big dog has no concept of personal space and in the frenzied excitement of all the new smells here at the farm, peed on little Marty. But she didn’t hold a grudge and after her bath snuggled up to Meathead. And outside the snowponies don’t seem affected by the nasty weather. Piggy is always a challenge as I can never make her a winter bed she likes. But this year I have mastered the perfect piggy bed–a thick straw base with old down filled sleeping bags on top. Her nights are now classified by one, two or three covers. Usually three as warmth shouldn’t be rationed. Our animals. Such comics. They make us smile. Something so needed in this terrible month of January.