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Answering Googled Questions

1) how much is a dozen chicks
Twelve, just like a dozen of anything else.

2) pictures of braxton bragg
I have a whole set on Flickr dedicated to just this! Wait, you were looking for pics of the Confederate general of the same name? Can’t help you there. But Brax is an uncommonly handsome cat, don’t you think?

3) how to stop turtles from digging out
You can do a couple things to keep your turtle safely enclosed. One, you can put down 12″ x 12″ pavers around the inside of the turtle enclosure; two, you can bury a barrier up to 12″ deep around the edge of the pen. Which you choose to do depends on the digging ability of your particular turtle, which can vary among individuals in any given species.

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More info on Juniper, World’s Most Laid-Back Kitten

Juniper went to the vet yesterday for his check up/initial vetting. I am pleased to say that he is FIV and FeLV negative, which clears him for a potential home with other cats! He is also now free of fleas and has been dewormed, as well as receiving his first FVCRP shot. He goes back on the 28th for the booster and we’ll schedule his neuter then, the vet felt that he was only 10 weeks old and thus too young to get his rabies vax or a quick neutering. He weighs about four pounds.

Thus cleared for interaction with the Usual Suspects, I brought him out to spend some time on the futon last night. He was Not Impressed with the dogs. In fact, faced with dogs he achieved such a phenomenal growl from his tiny frame that he established a three foot Canine Exclusion Zone around himself. My dogs are used to much larger cats than tiny Juniper, and were not about to poke their sensitive noses at a cat who was indicating so clearly that he would bite them off, even if he is tiny.

With cats he was much, much better. Roo sniffed him all over, established that he was not a snack, and then went about his business. Juniper did not react, except to politely touch noses. Aida jumped up, and they politely touched noses, and then she hissed in his face. He did not react. Aida was confused. They repeated everything, from nose-touch to hiss, and Juniper still didn’t react. Aida grumbled and went on her way. Emmaline took one look at him and said “Oh hell no I don’t do kittens” and retreated to watch him disapprovingly from the back of the Cat Chair. The only time Juniper showed any cat-oriented hostility was when Braxton Bragg snuck up behind him and patted his butt to see if he would do something interesting; that got a little growl that sent the dogs into whimpering panic.

Gentle reader, you have not lived until you have seen your 75 pound German Shedder and your 75 pound male Doberman reduced to whimpering and clinging to their Daddy because a 4 pound kitten growled, seriously.

Juniper will get more socialization time over the coming days, we’re hoping to work on the growling at dogs thing because, well, it’s too pathetic to see the dogs like that. But he’s doing quite well, and I think we’re on track to have him in a new home come January!

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New residents, and an honored guest.

Another trip down to Blackthorn Kennel yesterday for Christine’s excellent company and our final two chickens! Very exciting. We also on the spur of the moment agreed to bring Musket home with us for a week. Musket is Zille’s younger half-brother, a fine hairy sable beastie who was in need of a vacation at the Manor to give his ginormous brain something to do. In fact, Daniel summed up the worky dog thing pretty well when he said “You know that light Zille gets in her eyes when she sees a ball? He has that all the time.” We’ve had one incident of minor bloodshed when Musket thought he might play a chasey game with Braxton Bragg, who beat him upside the head repeatedly. Everyone survived unscathed, the blood shed belongs to the dog who pretended not to notice but now runs the other way when he sees Brax.

The chickens are about six weeks old, so not laying age for another 3 months or so. One is a Welsummer, a Dutch breed, and she has been christened Bebelina. Welsummers lay fat dark-brown eggs. The other is an Ameraucana, a hybrid of some breed crossed with the Araucana, which is a rumpless chicken that lays greeny-blue eggs and is indigenous to Chile. She has been dubbed Ayinnanku, which is a Mapuche name meaning “favorite eagle.” The Mapuche are the indigenous people of Chile who were conquered and displaced by the Spanish, who called them the Araucana, from whence the breed of chicken gets its name. Look at that, history and poultry all in one tidy bundle! But yes, I did name my chicken “favorite eagle.” I am, after all, the same woman who named her Doberman “Tinkerbelle.”

Pictures of all this excitement will no doubt follow when it’s light outside, but for now you will have to imagine the fine hairy sable dog and the charming chickens. Bebelina is brown with yellowy neck feathers, Ayinnanku is mostly black with coppery neck feathers and spiffy ear tufts. Fingers crossed that Lorena and Matilda are gracious about sharing their digs. There still might be bantams in spring, but this is it for full-size hens.

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Life: Still Crazy Busy

I feel bad for neglecting you, gentle readers, so I’m about to queue up a selection of cat pictures for your delectation. Daniel gets here Friday (OMG!) so this should take us through to Monday.

We shall start off with Braxton Bragg being an elegant and inky black pile of plushy darkness…against the grubbiest wall in the house, next to a pile of dog hair. What can I say, detail-oriented cleaning is not really part of my repertoire, that’s why I always call Atlanta carpet cleaning. Yet there was something so irresistible about his relaxed sprawled pose, with his head angled gorgeously upward and his eyes catching the light, that I felt I had to reveal my horrible housekeeping, just so I could share his gorgeousness.

Braxton Reclines.

Also, a very happy birthday today to the Best Mother Ever, parental unit extraordinaire!

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Vintage Braxton Bragg

A small black kitten, the front of his neck shaved, lies on top of a canvas and mesh dog crate with one front leg hanging down.  His body is leaned hard to the viewer's left, while his head is upright.

Portrait of the Enforcer as a Young Kitten. This is not too long after I got him home; when I got him he suffered from infected wounds in his neck (hence the shaving) plus two infected ears (with punctured ear drums), and an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection. Also he was incredibly malnourished, such that his body had decided to stop growing fur so it could divert that energy to keeping his organs growing, which meant his hair was a little thin. A kind lady rescued him from a ditch and then I stepped in when her resident cat wanted him dead, hence why I refer to him as a Purebred Sable Tennessee Ditch Cat.