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Archive for the ‘pets’ Category

Kitty loves us! | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on August 22, 2017:

Kitty in the Light 043016Many of Kitty’s fans have been asking about her recently, so I decided early in the week to make her the focus of this week’s column. Before I sat down at the keyboard, I consulted the Internet about the meaning of a couple of her idiosyncrasies I intended to write about. What I found was an article written in 2014 by Modi Ramoson titled “9 Signs Your Cat Actually Loves You.” It provided some very interesting insights into Kitty’s behavior.

1. Your cat brings you their “presents” – When your cat brings you their kill it is actually meant as a present…a love token.

Thankfully, Kitty is an indoor cat, so her presents consist of various toys. Her favorite at the moment is a yellow stuffed elephant. It frequently ends up at David’s feet when he’s sitting on the couch or on my side of the bed when it’s time to make it up. (more…)

Dog and cat updates | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on July 18, 2017:

Good boyAfter reading last week’s column about our exciting first day of dog sitting with Spike, one of my readers commented that she couldn’t wait to read the next chapter. There’s good news and bad news about that. The good news is that Spike and David both behaved themselves while I was away on a weekend retreat. The bad news is that good behavior doesn’t usually make very interesting reading.

Not that he was a complete angel. David didn’t mention any nighttime barking while I was gone, but he has a tendency to sleep more soundly than I do. Spike continued to wake me every night around 3:00 or 3:30 am for no apparent reason other than that he was awake and thought everyone else should be, too. Thankfully, he quieted down pretty quickly. One morning when he waited until 5:00 to make his voice heard, I lay down on the couch – more because I was too tired to walk back to the bedroom than out of compassion for the noisy dog – but most nights I scolded him into silence and went back to bed. (more…)

An adventurous first day with Spike | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on July 11, 2017:

SpikeDavid and I are Spike-sitting again. For those readers who have not been introduced to Spike, he’s a Great Pyrenees mix who likes for us to come over and play when he’s home alone. His people went in different directions this time. She’s on a travel-business river cruise in Europe, and he headed north on road trip, so we’ll be with our furry friend for ten days.

There have been some major changes since our last visit. Kent called on Thursday on his way out of town to let me know that Spike has become a house dog. Although he loves to run around in the woods and the hay fields, he doesn’t tolerate the heat well, so when the triple digit temperatures arrived, he was allowed to come inside during the heat of the day. He behaved so nicely that he has now been invited to spend most of his days – and nights – inside. Not only that, but he has also begun to walk on a leash. (more…)

The Brendles go to the dogs | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on June 27, 2017:

Agility TrialsThe world of training and showing dogs is a subculture that most of us never experience except maybe to watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show once a year. My introduction to the culture came when we moved to Florida in 2005 and I met Sue and Sophie. Sophie is a beautiful, pure-bred Miniature Schnauzer, and Sue was a fellow caregiver who had decided that dog training would be fun and might also relieve some of her stress. Sophie was better suited to racing around an obstacle course then to posing and strutting around a show ring, so Sue decided to pursue Dog Agility.

Sophie will soon be twelve years old, and she recently retired with seven MACH titles. According to the American Kennel Club, a dog becomes a Master Agility Champion when she earns “750 championship points and 20 double qualifying scores obtained from the Master Standard Agility class and the Master Jumpers With Weaves class.” I understood very little of what that meant until this weekend when David and I attended our first dog show in West Monroe Louisiana. (more…)

Kitty – Interior Designer | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on April 25, 2017:

Dining RoomSaturday morning was project time around our house. The first project was in the dining room and the second was in the bedroom – and Kitty was right in the middle of both of them.

The dining room task involved a new table and chairs, or new to us anyway. After David’s mother passed away, his sister inherited a good deal of her furniture. Sentiment only goes so far when it comes to decorating tastes, so she recently asked David if we would like to have the dining table and chairs. Since what we had was really too big for our dining area and didn’t match the built-in hutch very well, he said yes. (more…)

Kitty – when she’s good… | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on April 11, 2017:

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem called “There was a little girl.” For those who don’t remember it, here’s the first verse:

There was a little girl,

And she had a little curl

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good

She was very, very good,

And when she was bad she was horrid.

 That describes Kitty – not the curl, of course, but the good and the bad – especially during and after a week of being left on her own.

In case you missed my last column, David and I recently spent a week playing with Spike, our big dog friend. Kitty doesn’t go with us when we house sit, because she was not very well behaved the last time she visited. She’s very self reliant at home as long as we leave her with a clean litter box and a full bowl. Apparently, though, she get’s lonely.

After taking care of Spike’s needs each morning, David would drop me off at the church, and he would go to the house, check the mail, and tend to Kitty’s needs. Even though she’s still somewhat anti-social, being alone for most of the time made her much more friendly. She rubbed against David’s legs, almost tripping him up more than once, and she jumped up on the couch next to him. She even tolerated being picked up and held in his lap, sometimes for as long as a minute or two.

David is still Kitty’s favorite, but when our house sitting gig was over and we both returned home, she was even affectionate to me. She would jump up on my ottoman several times a day and stand still while I petted her, and she tolerated being brushed once in a while. Every night I wake up with her sleeping at my feet instead of just every now and then. Believe it or not, I have even been allowed to scratch her neck from time to time.

That’s the good part. The bad part is that she learned a new way to get into mischief while she was home alone.

The first clue I noticed was a dead bug or two and some bits of other twiggy-looking things on the stove and surrounding countertop. It had been windy, so I assumed I was seeing debris that had been blown down the exhaust fan (country roofs get very dirty). Nothing else on the cabinet had been disturbed, so no other possibility occurred to me. Then, one day I walked into the kitchen and knew something wasn’t right.

Our kitchen cabinets stop about a foot shy of the ceiling, and there is a small strip of molding around the top. The molding is strictly decorative  and it’s not expected that there will be any traffic way up there, so it’s only held on by a couple of staples and some glue. That day, however, the strip on the cabinet beside the sink wasn’t being held in place by much of anything except one lone staple. It was suspended at a crazy angle, resting against an angel that hangs on the side of the cabinet. I pointed it out to David, and we both knew immediately what had caused it. (Apparently, the molding hides dead bugs and other twiggy things, too.)

That night, David and I were in bed reading when I heard an unfamiliar sound from the kitchen. It took a few seconds for the sound to penetrate past the plot of the latest thriller that had my attention. When it finally did, I put down my book and listened.

“That sounded like a cat jumping up on the cabinets,” I said.

Either David’s book is much more engrossing than mine or he has never listened with a parent’s ears. “What?” he said.

I climbed out of bed and headed for the kitchen. I flipped on the light, and there she was, staring down at me from her perch several feet above the countertops, and looking very pleased with herself. I hurried back to the bedroom and grabbed the squirt bottle full of water that we use for disciplinary purposes. Back in the kitchen, I didn’t see her at first, but then she peeked out from behind the canning pot that stays above the microwave. My first shot caught her in the face, and she backtracked to the corner. I hit her with several more good squirts before she jumped down to the stovetop and took off for parts unknown.

I didn’t hear much out of her for the rest of the night, but by morning, she was waiting by the food bowl for her breakfast. Since then, I’ve seen a bit more dust on the countertop a couple of times, but she has saved her antics for her alone times, so there’s not much I can do. Besides, she’s still being pretty good most of the time, and I’ll settle for that.

Blessings,

Linda

Spike’s Big Adventure | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on April 4, 2017:

SpikeDavid and I spent last week with our canine friend who lives in Alba while his humans were on a cruise. He would have preferred a pair who would have stayed on the patio in case he was hungry or wanted to be petted and otherwise allowed him to run free. Unfortunately, he got us instead, so he had to resort to trickery. (more…)

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