Monday, April 28, 2014

Rest in Peace Dave

Dave was found with 4 siblings on the side of the road, in Tabernacle, NJ, in a box. The only reason they were found is because one of them had gotten out of the box and was killed in the road. Some kind passerby brought them home, and somehow they ended up at a friend's house. We first named our Dave "The Biter" because he was the feistiest one of the bunch. Later we named him for Dave Davies of The Kinks.

Dave had a great personality and was always quite the character. He pretty quickly got used to life with Maggie, our original feisty cat, and the big Lester and Sophie dogs.

He's been healthy and happy for the past 10 years, although not thrilled with being confined to the upstairs with Willie the cat for the past year and a half. Woody the hound dog still has not accepted the fact that cats are not toys, or food. Sophie comes up to visit every night though, and she helps keep the cat box nice and tidy...because Dave insists on a clean box.

Dave was in Cat Hospital for a week with bronchitis and a UTI. He didn't seem to be getting any better, but at least he had started eating again last Thursday, so I kidnapped him and brought him home. Even though I was pretty good at getting the meds in him twice a day, he still hadn't improved much by Monday, so I called the vet to make a follow-up appointment. Within a minute or 2 of hanging up the phone, Dave came out from his hiding place in the closet and could not walk. He was holding up his front paw and breathing hard. He had been fine just a few minutes earlier when I gave him his pills.

I took him to the vet on my way into work, and they called right away to say he had an embolism—very painful, not easily treated, and not great results with the treatment. The vet recommended putting him down, and hearing poor Dave crying made it clear that had to happen.

I am thankful that he showed me there was a problem before I went to work, otherwise he would have been in pain for another 5 hours with no one home to hear him cry. And I am also thankful that The Husband works closer to home so that he could meet me at the vet's to do the only thing that made sense.

It's never easy, but it was the right thing to do. We miss you Davey! And Will misses you even more than we do—if that's possible!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rainbows' ends

It must finally be spring—we had a short hailstorm followed by a spectacular double rainbow. We get a lot of rainbows up here, but this one was the brightest, and we could see both ends. Usually they are so big we can only see half the arc.

I am working on my baby goat movie, but I am not a very good director/producer/camera woman, so it may take a bit longer. The kids are still fun to watch, and Uncle Jack is keeping a close eye on them. Helen is due to pop any day now.

Another sign of spring—my Greek friends from the city are back in competition for the chicken eggs. They both showed up today within a couple of hours. Joseph wants the eggs, and a pig (too late) and was even eyeing up Jacko for meat. Sorry Joseph, you can't have Jacko, but I am seriously considering giving you 2 of our mean old roosters. They are so rough with the hens that I am never going to be able to introduce the fast-growing chicks to the flock. After weeks of special love and care in the house, I will not send them out only to watch them get killed...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kids and chicks growing up fast—Poor Dave in cat hospital for a week

We have named Lucille's kids Tony and Rose, for 2 of my Irish relatives. They have chosen this as their favorite place to hang out—under the hay manger. The first time I found them there I almost panicked, thinking they had somehow escaped. When they are not hiding in the shed, they are outside bouncing around and being adorable. More pics to follow...

Unfortunately, I did not post on the day that Able Abe came back to be with Helen, so I don't remember when she is due, but it is very soon. She looks to be having 2 kids as well, which will make for much fun and frolic in the pen.

The 3 Buff Orpington and 7 Araucana chicks are now a month old and getting big, except for one who is still a little peeper. They were supposedly all born on March 25, but one of the Araucanas doesn't even have her tail feathers yet. She is only about half the size of the others.

The Orpingtons won't change color much at all, but the Araucanas are changing fast. It is fascinating to see all the different color feathers coming out, and still hard to figure out what they will look like as adults.

About 2 weeks ago, I moved them all from the bin in the bathtub to the big Woody dog crate in the basement. More than a few times some little brave one jumped from the bin into the tub, and the bathroom was getting completely covered in dust. Some of the basement still needs clean up from last year's flood, so I figured that was a better place for them. I put screening all around the crate to keep in the dust and keep out the cats. So far so good.

Poor Dave the cat has somehow managed to get himself sick enough to be hospitalized for the past week. He has bronchitis and a urinary tract infection. He was so dehydrated they had trouble drawing blood, and couldn't give him one of the stronger antibiotics for a couple of days until they got some fluids in him. He had been hiding in the back of my closet for a few days, but it is not unusual for him to find a spot and make it his own. I had no idea anything was wrong until he came and sat on the stairs by the kitchen and just stared me down. I could tell he was breathing funny.

I am hoping to pick him up tomorrow. I don't even want to think about what kind of bill he has run tax time...when we're hurting for cash...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

One day old

It was late this afternoon before the kids ventured outside to soak up some sun. Mom spent a good bit of the day outside, leaving the kids all curled up in the hay. We are only mildly concerned that they don't seem to be drinking enough of Mama's milk, but when I tried to milk her today to relieve the pressure, she would not allow it. Mama knows best!

Karen, who sold us Lucille, Helen and Jack, is coming by tomorrow to see how everyone is doing...including us. She is going to give the kids a shot of selenium which should stimulate their desire to feed off Mom.

Other than having a full udder, Mom seems to be doing well too.

The Kids Are Alright!

Too late to make a post... Lucille delivered 2 kids, we think a boy and a girl, and we missed both of the births. The Husband got home from work probably minutes after the buckling was born. And when he came inside to feed the dogs and call me, the little girl was born by the time he came back out a few minutes later.

More pics tomorrow. I got home from work about 10:30 pm, but I did sneak out to catch these pics just after they were born, around 5 pm.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Expectant goats, bigger chicks, and a sleeping dog

Lucille, Helen's mom, and Helen are both due to have kids very soon. Lucille, the black goat, is actually due today, and Helen in about 2 weeks. Tara (from work) stopped by the house today to check on Lucille and took this pic of her and Jack. They didn't want to come out and greet her.

All 3 goats have been lying outside in the grass, enjoying the warmer weather and showing no signs of any impending activity.

The chicks appear to grow bigger every day. They are starting to lose their downy baby feathers, and their real feathers are poking out, making them all look a bit disheveled. They are also more active and much noisier. I think at least one has jumped up out of the bin and onto the edge of the bathtub to have a look around. Probably in the next week or so, I will have to move them into the big dog crate. There will be no escaping the dog crate, but I am not sure how that will fit in the bathroom where they are now. I need an enclosed space so that the heat lamp can keep them at a warm and toasty 80°, and so they are protected from interested dogs and cats.

Sophie is not very impressed by the chicks or any of the other activity at Lester's Flat. She will be 14 in the next few months (we think) and she spends most of the day sleeping, and most of the night waking us up with her pacing and wanting to go outside. This morning she woke me up at 4:30 am, and then again at 5:30 when she saw something outside from the upstairs window and decided to bark and wake up the WoodMan. The WoodMan is always willing to join a party at 4 or 5 am...whatever it takes...he's up for it!

And, just in case you are paying attention: Happy Birthday Kathy Yohe!