2022 · Days of The Week · Wildlife Wednesday

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

Turkey Vultures are the most widespread of all the New World Vultures. They range across most of the Americas from southern Canada, through most of the continental United States, into Mexico, Central America,, and most of South America all the way south to Tierra del Fuego at the tip of Argentina. Northern populations of Turkey Vultures are migratory and will travel south to spend winters in Mexico, Central America, and coastal regions of the United States. During migration season, if you are in the right spot, it is possible to see waves upon waves of thousands of Turkey Vultures, along with other species of vultures and other species of raptors, as they float across the sky toward warmer climates.

Turkey Vultures are adapted to living in a wide range of habitats and can be found anywhere. You may spot one soaring over deserts and grasslands in search of prey, roosting in trees in forested areas, feeding on dead fish alongside marshes or coastlines, perching on fence posts in agricultural fields, or even scavenging around garbage dumps and landfills. They spend a lot of time soaring and can travel great distances in relatively short periods.

https://peregrinefund.org/explore-raptors-species/vultures/turkey-vulture

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Benjamin, The Norwegian Forest Kitty

December 17, 2019

Benjamin is a 15 months old Norwegian Forest cat; we’ve adopted from our local shelter today. This is our third pet, we adopted in 2019; he’s our third Maine Coon next to Joshua and Chewbacca; and now we have six pets in the house. By city ordinance we are officially at our maximum limit.

Sara loves to call him Benny. Benny is still a bit shy, and tippy toes around the house, when he’s not hiding in his “safe place”, behind the Christmas tree. Katelynn lured him out with a toy wand. She loves how affectionate Benjamin can be around her. He rubbed his sides against her, and purred at her. Hopefully, he will be more comfortable around us in the next days to come. We gave him the best Christmas present what a pet could think of: a furever home.

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Say ‘Hello’ To Zoey

July 27, 2019

This week was very busy. First, we’ve got our hearts broken, because we had to let Lexi cross the rainbow bridge on Tuesday. Then I found out that our local shelter is over-flown with dogs and cats, and they call this situation “CODE RED”. Last night, I asked Kevin if we were ready for another dog. The shelter needs relief by adopting those sweet pups and kittens. Kevin agreed, we could take another fur baby in.

This morning, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara, Luis and I went to the shelter as soon as it opened. After a Meet & Greet, we decided we would give Leti, who is now Zoey, a shot. We were told she doesn’t like small dogs and no cats. I heard that before, and was determined that my pets all get along with each other. And sure enough, as soon as Zoey entered our house, Joshua waited patiently at the door (he’s cool with the ladies), Chewbacca watched her from a higher level in the dining area, and Ozzy’s back hair was standing up. But Ozzy wanted to play like a kitten. After a couple of swipes and nips, Ozzy and Zoey got along with each other. They chased one another in the house and played tag. After a nice walk, the dogs are tired and sleep in the front room.

Zoey, the Pitador (Pitbull/Labrador Mix)

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Ozzy, The Kitten

July 1, 2019

Say Hello to our new kitten, Ozzy, we’ve adopted him today. This morning I woke up, and decided, it’s time for a new cat to complete our house again, After Finley crossed the rainbow bridge, I had a hard time even thinking about adopting a new cat for the last two years. But today was the day. I know Finley looks down from cat heaven, and is very proud that another animal found a furever home in our family.

Ozzy came home with us, and we introduced him to the gang. Luis sniffed out the box, while Ozzy tried to get out of it. Ozzy gave Luis a nose kiss, and they were buds from that moment onward. Chewbacca was next, he sniffed Ozzy’s butt. It’s funny, because this is usually the dogs’ job. But Chewbacca is a “dog” in his own way. Then our diva, Joshua, saw Ozzy. OMG, speaking of diva and drama. Joshua hissed and was mad, because he is so jealous. Chewbacca gave him a piece of his mind. And Joshua is mad at everyone, now. We have to give josh’ about 48 hours, and he will be alright. Even Lexi came out from her nap to welcome Ozzy into the family.

Sara played with Ozzy all afternoon. Now, they are both tired and take a nap on the couch. They literally pooped each other out.

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Luis, The (?) Mix, aka. “Sir Fartsalot”

When Ranger passed, we were all very devastated. I shed a lot of tears. And especially Lexi didn’t want to eat. Due to mourning, she ate a couple of milk bones each day. And that was it. After two weeks, I’ve seen enough. We decided to adopt another dog from the shelter, to make our family complete again. Lexi needed a buddy of her kind. The cats did a good job. But it is not the same without another dog. And I needed someone to help me with my grief.

Katelynn, Sara and I went to the shelter. We looked at some dogs, which were playing in a huge fenced area outside. I spoke with a lady, who volunteers at the shelter on a bi-daily basis. After I told her that we just lost a pet, she pointed out “Bill”. The girls and I looked at Bill closer, walked him around in the shelter area, and asked for more information at the front desk. Since he was the “Pet of the Week”, we got him vetted and for a good adoption price. The papers said, he is a pug/boxer. But when I looked at him closer, there was no way that this dog was a partial pug. I looked up pictures of all kinds of boxer mixes. And we came to the conclusion, he is a pit/boxer mix. We are still not 100 percent sure. Only a DNA test could give more information. But I’m pretty confident there is a pit in this dog.

When we came home, “Bill” made friends with Joshua immediately. We were very surprised. Joshua is usually the last pet to warm up with a new fur-friend. But that should change a few days later. Joshua is no friend of hustle and bustle and started to enjoy the “slice’n’dice” moments. He does it only when Luis comes way too close to him. Luis learned quickly that a cat has claws. And those claws aren’t pretty. Katelynn didn’t like “Bill” so much, and wanted to name the dog differently. She said, she likes “Luis” so much better. After some thoughts and how we were going to spell his name, we agreed to “Luis”.

Luis is such a stinker. He came a long way, since he didn’t know any commands when we first adopted him. Now, he is pretty good at it. Sometimes he is still focused on something. And it is harder to get his attention. But we work on it. He loves to chase and protect us from the “evil rabbit”. But then again, when Luis stops to take a leak, the rabbit sits next to him and waits patiently until Luis is done with his business. I think they are more friends than enemies. And I believe Luis chases the rabbit to get some workout. Yes, Luis loves daddy so much that he chewed up a pair of Kevin’s jeans, a pair of shorts, one of his dress shoes, and a pair of old tennis shoes. I guess Luis gets bored with all his chewy and squeaky toys sometimes. But on a good note: Since Chewbacca has a friend, who he can play and rough house with, he hasn’t chewed a cord lately.

Luis does a good job to help me with grieving for Ranger. Ranger was an awesome, laid-back dog. Luis, on the other hand, is soooo hyper. But that is exactly what we all needed: a dog with a different character. That way, we won’t compare them too much. And we accept each pet as an individual. We are very happy; Luis became a member of our family. 

(February 2017)

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Chewbacca, The Ginger Maine Coon

Last November I looked up a cat at a local shelter. She was a sweet Himalayan/Siamese. And she reminded me of “Tardar Sauce” a.k.a. “The Grumpy Cat”. I felt sad, because she was approximately 8 – 10 years old. And pets at that age have it much harder to get adopted, because a lot of people have the perception that older animals are stuck in their ways. They might have never heard of: “You still can teach an old dog new tricks.”

The girls and I went to the shelter and we were almost ready to adopt the cat, when the lady at the desk told me about the adoption fees. My mouth dropped. I just couldn’t afford spaying fees and doctor fees at the same time. I was a little heartbroken. But I didn’t give up. Because I came with the mind-set that we would adopt a cat that day.

I looked in the cages, and there was a cute male Mainecoon cat sitting there and staring at me. The lady at the shelter let us look at him, to see how he behaves. He was very playful. And he showed himself from his best side. I said: “Yep, he might be the better decision!” Papers were filled out and signed. And we could take the cat home. Since his shelter name was Chewbacca, he kept his name. Hey, I’m a Star Wars fan since I was eight years old.

Since I didn’t have a cage to transport Chewbacca, we sat him in Katelynn’s lap and told her to hold on to him on his neck for safety reasons. That way he would squirm and wiggle around, while I was driving. At home I took Chewbacca from Katelynn and I walked with him into the house. Lexi was greeting us. But I forgot, not every cat is used to dogs. Chewbacca jumped towards the storm door and was shocked, because there was a dog in the house. Lexi is very outgoing, and he didn’t like that one bit. After some hissing, I told Lexi to go and called Finley. The cats got along very well, to my surprise. I called Ranger next. Ranger and Chewbacca looked at each other from a distance, and they both seemed to be alright. Ranger is a very laid-back dog. He gave Chewbacca that vibe: it’s all okay. Joshua, the “Queen”, woke up from his nap and wanted to see what this commotion was all about. “Oh hell, no! You brought another cat home??? HISS-HISS-HISS!” I could tell that Joshua was very jealous of the new cat. Finley must have thought it was very hilarious. He finally wouldn’t get attacked by Joshua as much anymore, and he can relax. I think that’s why he liked Chewbacca from the moment they crossed each other’s path.

Joshua was mad for three days. He walked by Chewbacca and hissed as badly as he could. Chewbacca gave him the look: “Dude, if I wanted to do it, I could kick your butt!” That made Joshua even more mad. The same day, Joshua must have gone too far with his bad attitude. Chewbacca gave Joshua a piece of his mind and kicked his butt. Joshua learned a valuable lesson: Don’t mess with someone, you don’t know! All cats started to get along much better. Lexi learned to be less crazy on Chewbacca. And Chewbacca doesn’t feel intimidated by her anymore.

Now, we need to work on not spilling all the water by knocking cups over. And we need to learn to stop chewing on cell phone charging cords. Other than these little “minor setbacks”, he is an awesome fur-baby.

April 2015

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Joshua, The Tabby Maine Coon

It was December, and for days I was following a post about a certain cat on the internet, which was stuck in our local shelter. The local Animal Advocates also posted on their page to let the neighborhood know that the shelter is overflown with pets. They also let us know when the dogs and cats were ready for adoption. When I saw this one cat in a photo, it was like “Love at first sight”. Now, my job was to persuade my husband that Finley needs another playmate other than two middle-aged dogs. “Hell! That cat even thinks he’s a dog! The only thing, what makes him not being a dog: He’s not barking!” I insisted. It took me two hours to get Kevin to ask: ”When are we going to the shelter and take a look at that cat?”

We drove to the shelter; with the hope the cat was still there. When we arrived there, the friendly staff at the shelter showed us the cat room (which brought back memories of when we were looking for Sammy, and adopted Finley years earlier). I looked at the cages and said to Katelynn: “That’s him! Just look at him. He is even more handsome and adorable than in the photo. After getting introduced and observing the cat, we realized he had sniffles. Katelynn and Sara were a little bit concerned about it. But I ensured, the cat probably has the ‘shelter-cold’, what is common in some pets, when they have to stay in a cage for days and wait for a family to adopt them. Katelynn was satisfied with my answer and said: “Mom, are we adopting him? I’ve already got a name for him.” “What would his name be, if we take him home?” I asked. She replied: “I’d name him Joshua!” A little bit later, Kevin and I agreed to adopt the cat. And Joshua came home with us.

At home the dogs sniffed the new family member. We called Finley (Remember Finley thinks, he’s a dog. Yep, he also listens like a dog. LOL) to introduce him to his new playmate. Finley came around the corner, looked at Joshua. And Joshua’s reaction was a big hiss. Finley walked away with the look in his face: “What the …?! Since when do we allow cats in our house?” Ranger’s and Lexi’s conversation must have been like this: “Are you going to tell him, or do you want me to tell him?” — “Naw, let him figure it out himself!”

It took about two days, until the cats were not hissing back and forth anymore. They started to tumble and play fight with one another. It took Joshua about a week to get rid of his cold. We wrapped him in a blanket, where he napped for most of the days. But at 3 a.m. the night was over. Because Mr. Joshua was meowing until the whole house was awake. Unfortunately, that went on until we got another cat. I’ll post about that member next week.

(April 2015)

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Finley, The Domestic Shorthair

In June 2007 our first cat, Sammy, went missing. One day, she slipped out of the house, walked away and never found her way back home again. I printed flyers and taped them to the mail boxes, asked businesses if I could hang a flyer on their pin boards, and went to the local shelter every other day. But there was no sign of Sammy.

One late afternoon, I walked into the shelter again. There was still no lead that Sammy was seen somewhere; she was nowhere to be found. Katelynn looked at all the cats and kittens, said: “Mom, I miss Sammy. But can we have another cat?” I looked at some of the cats. And there was a cute, three-year-old Mainecoon. I had my eye on her, while I called Kevin. Kevin wasn’t so sure if this was a good idea. If Katelynn really wants to get another cat, it would be better to have a younger cat. I was still on the phone with him, when all of a sudden, a small paw reached for me. A little grayish/white kitten meowed, as he wanted to say: “Hey, how about me?!” I rubbed his little paw with my thumb and I fell in love with this little stinker.

After all the paperwork was done, we named him Socks. Socks was actually fairly big for his age. At that time, the shelter estimated him to be four months. But he looked more like a six months old kitten. A couple of days later, I realized I didn’t like “Socks”, because it was a common name. Kevin and I were thinking about a name, when it popped into my head that we could name him after a player or former player of our local, professional basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks. “Dirk” and “Mr. Nowitzki” sounded silly. “Nash” was out of the question. I came up with Bradley (Shawn Bradley). And then Kevin had the idea to name him Finley (Michael Finley). I really liked the name “Finley”. On that day, Finley got his permanent name.

Now, eight years later he is still an awesome cat. He definitely is a character. Finley will let us know, if and when he wants to be petted by rubbing his side on our calves. He can’t stand it, to be picked up: All claws come out, while spreads his ‘fingers’ and ‘toes’. But he loves catnip. OMG, does he love it. Finley is also a very good hunter. At this time of the year, we have to be careful, he’s not bringing any baby bunnies and rats into the house. He feels privileged to offer us food. So, we need to tell him to leave his ‘trophies’ outside.

April 2015

Finley (2007 – 2017)