Saturday, May 29, 2010

Toby, Healing

Toby came home the day after his surgery. Our main concern was his appetite. He hadn’t eaten a significant amount since the accident. So I laid out tuna fish, his usual cat food and water. He sat next to them and cried. You know the sad meow/howl. Rex laid on the floor in front of him. Toby immediately crawled onto Rex’s stomach and settled in. No more crying.

Toby has slept and slept. Thankfully his appetite returned after a day at home and he is well on his way to recovery. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Toby, The Loss

Kunta “Toby” came to us a few weeks before we moved here to the Ozarks. He was a birthday present for Blake’s 2nd birthday. Blake will by 8 in July.

Toby is a good cat. He has brought us endless mice, moles, bats, and even a rabbit once. If you happen to be resting out on the porch he will soon be in your lap. And when I hang the laundry he perches up on the post and bats at my hands. Toby lives outside, but has gotten very good a sneaking indoors and hiding.

Last Saturday night I was busy doing laundry late, getting ready for a kayak trip the following day. Our washer is in the pump house and dryer a few hundred feet away in the shed. I wore my headlamp because our yard is not well lit. As I stepped off the porch I glanced toward our wood shed and saw two glowing eyes up on the piled wood. Coon. We’ve been having varmint problems. After I settled the laundry I glanced back at the wood shed, it was still there watching me. So I went in and told Rex a coon was in the wood shed. We finished the movie and I began tucking the kids into bed. Rex grabbed the riffle and went to check the status of the coon. A few seconds later we heard the shot.

Sunday morning I woke with a question. Toby had snuck in the afternoon before and we all giggled at him as he stuck his head out from Savannah’s room and meowed. But why didn’t I see him when I tucked the kids in for bed? When the kids got up I asked Savannah if she knew where Toby was. She said he had been let out last night. That was my first suspicion that the coon could have been our Toby.

Off we went to our day of kayaking. I was unsuccessfully trying to pass my fear off as my normal worry wart personality and put on Rex’s “it’ll all work out” attitude. Not working. I told Rex my suspicion and we discussed all the reasons why it was not a possibility. We’ve never seen Toby up on the wood (he hangs out in the garage), the eyes were too big, and Toby always comes to me when I am going in and out of the pump house hoping for an in between meal snack (which he usually gets).

We got home just at dark. As we stepped out of the truck I could hear Toby meowing/howling. The sound he only makes when he has to ride in the car. I spotted him lying in front of the cabin. I knew immediately my fear was right. I called to Rex to go check Toby as I held the kids back. Rex’s response was “it’s not good.” The kids were crying. Blake was very upset. Savannah wanted to go to him and kept asking “what happened to him”. Rex and I were crushed, how could we have done this?

Rex took Toby some water while I got the kids inside. Then I went to Toby. There was a clear bullet wound in his front leg. But he was very alert. My response was more hopeful, “he might be okay”.  I wrapped him in a towel and carried him to the house. We all stroked him and his crying ceased. I made him a bed in the pump house and prayed he would make it to the vet in the morning.

After a groggy start he was again alert Monday morning. I was at the vet just after opening. Dr. Jones took x-rays and delivered the bittersweet news. Yes, it was a bullet wound. There were traces of lead in his chest but having made it two days there was a good chance his lungs and heart were okay. However the leg was receiving no circulation and Toby had no feeling in his toes. It would have to be amputated. Surgery was scheduled for 2 days later so that he could rest and receive antibiotics.

Tuesday afternoon I went to the clinic to visit Toby. I brought him out into the grass and sunshine. He was feeling better but still in pain. He enjoyed lying in the grass and looking around at his surroundings. After an hour he was exhausted.

Wednesday morning Dr. Jones called to give me an update. Toby’s fever was gone, he was purring, and he was also protesting more with being handled (a good sign). The surgery would proceed as planned. But he reminded me there are always risks with a major surgery like amputation.

Late morning I got the call. Post surgery report was, “it went as well as it could have”.
I am to call in the morning and possibly bring our Toby home tomorrow or Friday.
He won’t have to sneak in anymore, he’ll be let in. 

In the above picture Toby is not hissing. It is a pant. Again which I've only see him do during car rides. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

What's Not For Supper

Here is the reason why I am finicky about washing my vegetables. Cute, but I'd rather not taste him. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Livin' Out Here Ain't for Sissies

I enjoy weeding. It’s therapeutic for me. Yesterday morning as I weeded my flower garden I felt the sun, smelled the earth and listened to the birds. Suddenly my serenity was shattered by the loud squawking of several chickens. This is not unusual. The hens will squawk for a second or two just after they’ve laid an egg as they are racing back to reunite with the flock. But this was different.  It was more than one bird and it was longer and faster. So I stood up to peer in the direction of the noise. Out they burst from the canopy of the woods, running in my direction. But they brought a predator with them. A coyote was hot on their trail! You should have heard me scream. Waaahhhhhh! They were unknowingly headed straight for me.  My only defense was the noise I was making. I hoped I might scare the coyote by screaming. So I screamed louder. I was also instinctively trying to run the other way. I had to take my eyes off them as I tried to run backwards making sure I wasn’t going to fall over our rock wall. When I looked back there was a pile of white feathers and the coyote was walking back into the woods. I guess the noise worked. I walked over to the edge of the yard and peered through the brush. I could still see her walking away, but I couldn’t tell if she had a chicken in her mouth or not. We've lost 4 chickens in the past month and we are pretty sure this is the reason. 
My view, see the white feathers.

The survivor.

And then this morning Blake found this in the bathroom. 

This thing was huge. We've seen them in our pump house for years, but never in our house! I've identified them before but checked my book again and feel pretty certain it is a fishing spider.
As much as we hate to, we may have to spray the bathroom. 

And now we are going to pick flowers. I wonder what we might find. My camera is charged and ready.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Strawberry Surprise

I took some jars of strawberry jam down to my strawberry patch this afternoon for a “photo shoot” with my new camera. I picked a few strawberries and spent several minutes taking pictures in the plants. (Soon to appear in a making strawberry jam post) We then dug potatoes and I returned to finish picking strawberries. This is only the second year for my patch, it’s small, about 4’ X 4’. As I neared the final corner I noticed something furry hidden under the leaves. My first thought was a rat. I screamed, expecting it to jump and run, probably up my arm. But it was frozen and thankfully it was not a rat. 
This little rabbit was so still I had to look closely to make sure it was breathing. He stayed put for several minutes while I took his picture. I wanted so badly to pick him up but knew I shouldn’t. It took all my will power to just let him be.

This was the closest I got. And then finally as I picked the strawberry on the left, it shook the plant above his head and he scampered out. I hope he is back tomorrow. But then I might not be able to resist. We just might snuggle.

Strawberry Surprise

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Picked, Washed, and Eaten

Our bounty from the garden these past few days has included spinach, lettuce, and strawberries. We've had many salads, I am hoping to make strawberry jam tomorrow, and this evening we had spinach lasagna for supper.
Rinsing spinach and lettuce is tedious work. I am finicky about my leaves. I must inspect each leaf to make certain there are NO BUGS hiding in the wrinkles. Luckily this year we haven't seen many bugs, yet. The rinsing process takes a considerable amount of time. I do most of it outside at our water hose. This way I'm not stuck behind the kitchen sink. I turn the hose on to a light spray and enjoy being outdoors, listening to the birds, Commander eating grass, and today thunder rolling in the distance. 

Inside drying.
My very humble spinach lasagna. (And very clean son, who combed his hair all by himself tonight!) Not so pretty but MAN was it good. I won't take the time to include the recipe, the internet is full of them. I used Emril's, with variation. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I’m a Southern American native. Yep, all 34 years. I suppose it is because of this reason one of the MANY political fliers we’ve received in the mail this week didn’t immediately cause me to stop and ponder: “huh, now that’s an unusual picture for a campaign.” Thank you Erika for helping me realize this is a perfect representation of the Ozarks and surroundings. 
Now we wait to see if Mrs. Bledsoe will be successful.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In the Garden

Bad Bug
Good Bug

Little Snake

Big Snake (skin)



Not Working

Still Not Working


Watching the Work

A Spring Afternoon

Feed me?
Will YOU feed me?
Feed from the pump house.

Thank you.
And then there are always the surprise pictures I find on my camera from the kids.

Blake's library book.

Rex letting Commander out to feed on fresh grass.

Weeding the flower garden.