Archive for December, 2010

The Baby at the Cat Station

December 31, 2010

This is shot through the fence. I opened several cans of food and pushed them through several of the openings in the fence.


This baby spends the night under the A-frame in the hay.


It’s Not the End of the Line

December 30, 2010

On Christmas Day, Sugar and I, along with his family visiting for the holidays, went to the End of the Line.

This time the weather was much cooler, the tide was coming in, and the water was gray and choppy.  In the picture above, the water is moving from right to left. 

The bridge stays in an open position to allow boats to pass through.

The birds were on top of the bridge this time, since the posts where they roosted before were covered by the water.

Here we have an obligatory photo of the marsh.  Smell the salty air?  The beer can in the reeds is. not. mine.

On the way back, we passed by the farm where Donkey Ho-tey lives, so we had to stop and say hello, what with it being Christmas and all, even though he was probably tired from staying up until midnight so that he and Jammer could talk.

Don: "Carrots. Mine."


Don: "Awright, awright. I'll ask nicely. May I puh-leeze have some stinkin' carrots?"


Don: "Show me some respect please. I just took the red-eye in from Bethlehem."

Jammer: "Alice and Gladys aren't the only ones a few characters short of a Nativity scene."

A lovely outing.  A lovely day.

The Best Call Last Week

December 28, 2010

Every day we get crazy calls at the vet’s office.  Sometimes I have to put the person on hold (Could you hold just a moment please?) so that I can catch my breath (I need to put you on hold so I can roll my eyes and curse a little.).  Sometimes I just pause, let the message sink in, inhale, and reply.

Caller:  “Oh, hello, thank you for being there today!  I know it’s right before Christmas, but my cats really have a problem.  They’re very lethargic.  I think they’ve been poisoned.”

Me:  “That doesn’t sound good.  They need to be seen immediately.  The doctor is on his way back from lunch.  By the time you get here, he will be able to see you.”

Caller:  “Oh, I can’t come now.  I have two men here who are installing my new countertop.”

Me:  Silence.

Me:  “Can you hold please?”


There’s a Babe in the Manger

December 25, 2010

There’s a baby living in the woods at the feral cat feeding station.  I first saw her last month, about mid-month, during a cold snap, and I thought that she belonged to the mother cat that I trapped and released before.  That’s the mother that brought her litter to the cat feeding station – click here to see the video. She looks like one of the kittens from that litter. I have since seen the kittens from the litter, and they are much larger than this baby.

This baby is always alone.  I had gotten a donation of cat food from Maranatha Farm, and at the bottom of one bag was a new bag of kitten food and some cans of Fancy Feast cat food.  What a coincidence that I need kitten food, and it appears.  Those of you who prefer to call it divine intervention, feel free.  I’m just grateful for the donation. 

The first day that I put out a can of cat food, I could see the baby further out in the woods.  I spotted the mother cat even further out, and she came first to the canned food.  The baby approached it, and the mother cat hissed at her.  I had recorded wildlife videos of this mother with her litter, and she would stand guard on the feeding station while her babies ate.  She never pushed them out of the way, or got in a stand-off with them over food.  It seems clear that this is not her baby.

Sylvia the former feral and current wildlife ambassador has been spending a lot of time at the feral cat feeding station.  Some mornings when I go into the woods, Sylvia is off in the underbrush just outside the gate, or she’s already at the feeding station.  It’s cold – what is she doing out there?  The wildlife camera showed the answer.  There was one night in particular when she’s on the feeding station every few hours.  To the left of the feeding station is a small A-frame that used to serve as the watering station until the raccoons started to throw the automatic waterer off the station to the ground.  I put the waterer on the ground but left the station there as shelter and also as a step-up for smaller animals that couldn’t jump to the table. 

The wildlife camera showed the baby is on or around the A-frame.  Sylvia was hanging out with her, perhaps watching over her.

This morning, I went to visit the station to fill the feeders, and there’s the baby, in the manger, if you will.

This is a shot from the back side of the station. I blocked up one of the openings where the dog was getting in. That's what the pallet and cat trap stacked on top are about. In the foreground, Sylvia celebrates a crisp Christmas morning by taking a bath in the woods after her breakfast. See the dark spot under the A-frame, there to the left? That's our baby.


I bought a bed for the cat station. It's made of indoor-outdoor fabric and stuffed with a removable pillow filled with styrofoam, so it shouldn't hold moisture. See the baby under the A-frame? Where's her mommy?


This shot is the back of the A-frame. See the baby?


And another shot from the back of the A-frame. I can't get within 4 feet of the baby. She's mostly wild.


Last month, I decided when I started naming cats again, I’ll choose names alphabetically.  The last cat was “Alice”.  So this cat must be “Baby”. 

It’s a scientific method.


Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2010

To the two people who made this blog possible – Merry Christmas, Mom and Pop!!


A Christmas Sweater for Keebler

December 23, 2010

About two months ago, the authorities removed 179 Chihuahuas from a home in Marion County, SC.

Maranatha Farm ended up with several of them.  One, a small, terrified male named Keebler, was at the most recent adoption event at Petco on Saturday, December 17, 2010.  He spent most of the day hiding under a towel in his crate, trying to keep warm even though he was wearing a sweater.  When he wasn’t in the crate, someone, like YoursTruly, was carrying him around.

I decided on Sunday that the Keebler elf needed a new sweater.  I had just the perfect yarn for it, given to me for my birthday as part of a larger yarn stash in a beautiful market basket, by the BabyGirl.  Sugar and I were in PetSmart and I measured little doggie sweaters with my hand, using the middle section of my middle finger, which is about 1″ long (yours should be about the same).  I studied the design of the sweaters for sale, noting that the leg openings and the overall lengths of the sweaters take into accomodating the special design of a dog’s body. 

Later that evening, I cast on 56 stitches on a #5 circular needle, joined to make a circle, and went to town.  The sweater just poured off the needles, it was so easy.  The next day I saw Keebler’s foster mom, and we fitted the sweater to his scrawny body.  It wasn’t a perfect fit, but it was darn good, and I noted where I needed to make the adjustments. 

That night I started another sweater for Keebler.  It was in a bright Christmasy red, and I made small adjustments to the design, making the ribbed collar longer for better warmth, and the leg openings a bit wider, and the overall length a bit longer with a nice tapered back.  It took two nights to finish this one, and this morning I wove in the ends and took it to work, hoping to make time to see Keebler and give him his new sweater, perfect for future adoption events.  Who wouldn’t want to adopt a wee darling in a handknit sweater??

Mid-morning, a client called to make an appointment for a nail trim for his Chihuahua.  He’s a wheelchair-bound veteran, legally blind, and a double amputee.  He relies on a community of helpers to transport him, and he enlisted the aid of a relative who brought him and Jellybean to the clinic.  When he got there, he was his friendly old self, and Jellybean was her typical frightened shaking self, and NOT WEARING A SWEATER…

When she left, she was wearing Keebler’s new red sweater, a perfect fit and a perfect color for her.  I couldn’t resist.  I had to give it to her.  She needed it more than he did.

And Keebler?  His new sweater is already on the needles tonight.  The yarn?  A nice, nubbly mix of brown and turquoise that I received last Christmas and haven’t had the time nor the project for it.


A Chilling Experience

December 18, 2010

I’ve been hanging out a lot with my friend, the hot Canadian. The weather here has been pretty cold, and the past week has been nippy at night. 

Last Tuesday, on December 14, 2010, to be exact, a chilling thing happened.  I was lying on the couch, gazing at the Canadian’s face, and he.stopped.putting.out.  Just like that.  It was about 9:30 PM, and the weather forecast was a low of 18 degrees.  I waited for him to come back on, and waited some more.  Then I realized that my Canadian was not coming back, with the same certainty that when your husband says, “I’m leaving now.  Good-bye.”, he is really leaving and you’d best move forward.  I headed for the bed, buried myself under an electric blanket, and waited it out until morning.  I convinced myself that I come from hardy pioneer stock, and a little cold wouldn’t hurt me.

I woke up around 6 AM.  I knew this was the time because I heard that big truck going by, the one that always goes by at 6 AM, and I knew the time not because I got out from under the covers and looked at the clock in the kitchen in the frozen tundra that was now my RV.   When I stuck my hand out from under the covers, the cold bit my hand and made me withdraw.  I made a plan to reach out from under the covers, really fast, and grab the hair dryer hanging in the bathroom, plug it in, dive back under the covers, and wave the dryer around, both under and out of the covers.  That helped, enough so that I could get dressed and head to the Family Dollar to buy a heater. 

The Family Dollar had no heaters, so I headed to the nearest Wal-Mart, about 20 miles away.  They had heaters out the wazoo, and I bought two tower types with oscillation.  As soon as I got back to the RV, I plugged one of the heaters in, and the temperature display started to register, and I watched with horror as the temperature inside the RV showed 60, slid its way down to 50, then 40!

Later that evening, I was talking on the phone to Sugar, and he asked if I was staying warm, and was the Canadian working okay?  I told him what happened to my guy the Canadian, and Sugar told me that he had a Christmas present for me, direct from Canada, in the form of one hot Canadian, bought as a back-up for Canadian #1. 

If anyone needs to borrow a heater, just call me.


Sue Nami, the Charm School Graduate

December 16, 2010

 Remember this girl? She is now a charm school graduate, certified adoptable from a trainer who guarantees to take the pit bull out of a pit bull. She is available for adoption and will return to Maranatha Farm until she finds a home.

Sue Nami Xmas 2010


A LawtonFest?

December 14, 2010

Earlier this summer, we headed out to Savannah in search of a LawtonFest.  Sugar had found a reference to a home in Savannah that belonged to A. R. Lawton.  The reference happened when he picked up a book in the local history section at the Barnes & Noble bookstore.  The address was one that we had not seen associated with General A. R. Lawton, so we set out to see what we could see.

I snapped a lot of pictures.  A LOT.  Savannah reminds me of Charleston in the fact that the city is always dressed up and on stage.  If someone came around your house and took pictures from every angle, you’d call the police and have the crazy arrested.  Not in Savannah. 

The side porches


Another angle of the side porches


Built for William F. Brantly, Designed by John Norris, 1857, Historic Savannah Foundation


A shot of the garden on the front right


More porch love


Finally! We're driving away...


...around to the back alley to scope out more architectural detail. I see a porch!


New construction connects two older structures.


Still in the alley. Driving past the garages, hanging out the window taking more pictures.


The gate to the garden is to the left of the garages.


It appears that there is living space over the garages.


If that's living space over the garages, it's larger than my RV.


The best shot of all. Look on the roof at all those air-conditioning units. What wasn't available in 1857 completes this home.

Thanks for coming along on our StalkerFest LawtonFest investigation.


Alice Makes a Friend

December 12, 2010

When you live in an RV, you become very creative when resolving space issues.  No, I’m not talking about NASA and the space program, I’m talking about ruthrawls and the spaciness program.  Now that I’m a certified spacy planner, I am on call to solve your spacy issues.

The dashboard makes a wonderful place for a litter box, a feeding station, or for the cage of a pocket pet.  Although Gladys is probabaly too large to fit into my pocket, she is a bona-fide pocket pet.  Her cage fits perfectly on the dashboard.

Alice the cat and Gladys the Guinea Pig have been rehearsing the Nativity scene.  Alice is practicing her part for the Angel we have heard on high, and Gladys is… well, of course, Gladys is playing the part of the pig. 

We’re a few characters short of a Nativity scene here at the Swamped! Plantation and Carol-Singing Service.

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