Posts Tagged ‘Cats’

The Neighbour’s cat.

February 14, 2019

001The cat

Neighbour’s cat

This is a picture of the cat that keeps the mice and rats on their qui vive at Harley’s property next door. Harley and his wife keep three chickens which he calls ‘his girls.’ I feed the chickens when they go away. In exchange, Harley, or his chickens really, allow us to keep the eggs.  We like a nice Pinot Grigio so a bottle from that grape variety gets thrown in with eggs. They are our best neighbours and gives a good break from the cyclamen thievery within our compound. It still riles us! Remember how for exchange in saving our Body-Corporate $10.000,- in obtaining a far more competitive quote for the exterior painting, we were hit by abuse and threats for us to move and sell-up, and the twice theft of our potted in beautiful ceramic containers, the oft mentioned and loved cyclamen!

But the cat is what I want to write about. Just forgive my regression on the cyclamen era. The neighbours next to us are not in the same group as the dusty frumpy relics of the past. She, a single mother, moved in a year ago or so. She has two teen-age sons, and two cats. One of the cats is the one in the above picture. It taught Milo, our Jack Russell a bitter lesson. When he saw the cat for the first time he went furious and tried to teach him a lesson amidst the summer daisies. The cat with one swipe did the job. Milo retreated with a yelp and one closed eye. He badly underestimated the stance of this mighty cat. The cat was not to be mangled with. From that moment Milo gave it due respect and no further issues arose. Milo often spends the nights outside and so do the cats. I suppose they met up again and made a truce, if not a good friendship as well. Our Milo was the best of friends with our cat on our farm before 2010.

It turned out that Milo almost lost an eyes with this single swipe from the cat. He still bears a mark on his bottom eye lid. It was that close. What astonished us is when the cat now takes naps on Milo’s outdoor sleeping blanket as shown in the picture. Milo knows and approves. All has been forgiven.

Isn’t that an example how nice it would be if people could behave like cats and dogs?

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The Rat.

February 6, 2019

Image-1White cockatoo

A few months ago we started to feed birds. Our area is populated by large flocks of native Australian birds, especially the white cockatoo. Their loud screeches wake us up very early despite the double glazing. They can graze a fully foliaged tree bare within hours and don’t mind stripping timber windows from their sills. I have been told they, like rats, have to keep chewing on things to prevent their beaks or teeth from growing outlandishly large.

After establishing our elevated dish of special parrot mix on top of the Mexican Chimenea, lots of different birds soon became used to our generosity and became more and more demanding. They would start to queue up before we were ready and while still in our pyjamas, looked in through the windows urging us to hurry up. Even Milo became irritated. It got to a stage whereby when spending time in the garden they would swoop over our heads. After reading something about birds getting spoilt by well meaning bird lovers we thought of stopping the procedure. What really gave our decision to stop and gave us some teeth, was when rats appeared to want to get fed as well.   There were suspicious droppings around our barbeque. One day I spotted a rat looking at me before scurrying away. It had a nasty glint in its left eye. We stopped the bird feeding!

While, after a while the birds stopped coming, not so the rats. We had to take action and went to the local pet shop in search of a good rat trap. We have a large pet shop near us. They are the Costco of pet needs and there is an enormous variety of pet articles, a vast display of aquariums with lots of fish and fishes,  dog and cat medications, shelves full of flea powders, puppy nappies, talcum powders, dog poo scoops and soft bottom wipes. We looked around and I watched a glass cage with motionless pet pythons, all sound asleep, softly snoring. It had a notice taped on the glass cage not to wake up the sleeping snakes. Helvi prefers not to look at snakes, let alone pet them.

We could not find their rat trap division. I asked one of the many shop girls to direct us to rat traps. She said; ” we are a ‘pro-life’ pet shop and only sell humane rat cages.” She demonstrated a small metal wire cage with a trap door that would catch the rat alive without killing it. A normal rat trap breaks the rat’s neck when sampling a bit of cheese with some peanut butter spread over it. It is a spring loaded affair which is set-up with some care! We often used them on the farm with good effect. They work better than lazy cats.

After studying the humane rat cage trap we were told it was $19.90. We then asked what would happen to the rat after it gets caught. Would they take the rat and sell it as a pet to children? I know that we had white mice as pets and we loved them and nurtured them. The shop-girl said, “you are very welcome to give us the rat, and we will care for them”. I asked; ” is there a market for wild rats?”  She answered, “no, but if we can’t dispose of them we feed them to the pet pythons!

What? Feed  live rats to snakes? We shook out heads. What about, we are ‘pro-life’ pet shop with humane cages! We went to Bunnings and bought a wooden old fashioned rat trap that so far has been avoided by a very cunning rat. We check each morning, but no rat so far.

We are not surprised those pythons in the shop looked so happy, snoring away, digesting the latest rat. They are not so worried about the ‘pro-life’ stance of the shop.

Our Garden is an Opera

September 20, 2016

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The way out for discontented souls, is to settle in a beautiful garden. The sustenance that greenery gives, is at times preferable to other contacts. Respite from turmoil and Executive Committee Meeting trauma, needs again to be sought. Emanuel Kant knew that. “We have to be the active originator of experience rather than just a passive recipient of perception.”

Temporary relief might be given by a good discourse with dogs and in some cases even cats. But a good garden is for most cases the only way to regain composure and the soul becalmed. Some peace has returned in our living compound and Body Corporate front. No more thefts but we did notice the instigator of all the turmoil, the Chairperson, talking to the gardener. She was waving her arms about, perhaps in support of more residential parking embargos. Who knows and is it important compared with the beauty of our flowering Clivias?

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A lovely silence since. The little sparrows are twittering about in anticipation of some breadcrumbs. The local Council has put posters up on telegraph poles warning people of diving magpie birds. Some children are wearing helmets with large angry faces painted on the back of them. Some adults look angry enough and don’t need helmets. Many also swing branches about or umbrellas. Life is not dull if you know and are perceptive to the things that might go around you.

This is why an outing to shops can just be as exciting as going to the opera. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve shopping or buying things. Nor does going to the opera needs music to be heard in exclusion to other sensational things. In my case, it is my hearing impairment, whereby I have to improvise and make sense of whatever else is going on. This sense at times might have to move away from the auditory factor. In fact, with imagination and some deft improvisation one could say, all around us is opera. Opera is a dramatic work in which music plays some role but not all. Thinking of some of Gustave Mahler’s music I am right now hearing his famous Adagietto from Symphony no.5 and it sounds as beautiful as when I had my full hearing.

That is not to say, hearing the music played live would not be even better, especially with a nicely dressed audience within the splendour of the Wiener Staatsoper.

Of course, if we accept that opera is al around us, including even, or perhaps especially at Aldi, one really needs to ramp up a willingness to let wonderful experiences be absorbed, wash over us, and take on board that even the little things can grow into big things. Last week, I think it was Friday, we were patiently waiting for the conveyer belt to bring our goods to the cashier who was seated on the special ergonomically designed seat. All cashiers at Aldi are seated on those chairs. (Please note that the personal at Woollies and Coles stand up all day behind the cash register.)

When it came to my turn, the previous shopper presented me with a mauve coloured walking stick. ‘Is this yours’, he asked? ‘No, not mine,’ I replied. It was one of those walking aids that had a four pronged foot at the end of it. I suppose it gives greater balance and security to those not so confidently fleet footed!

Now, what the drama or opera of this story is that it begs understanding and a great deal of musings, on how someone in need of this special walking aid could leave the shop, continue his/her normal live ( the mauve colour might indicate a female, but ….?) and be unaware he/she lost a vital piece of medical equipment. Did his disability miraculously got cured after paying the cashier? Did he /she walk out risen from the near lame? A more cynical person might well surmise it could be a case of someone claiming an invalid parking license, giving it convenient parking spot permits near shops.

Now, this story goes a full turn. The Chairperson, responsible for the mayhem about non problem parking issues is pretty good footed, but…I did notice she has now a disability sticker on her car.

Who knows?

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