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Cat Walks and other Catterisms
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DaveFerro
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:14 am    Post subject: Cat Walks and other Catterisms Reply with quote

One of the home improvements was the replacement of the infrared detector to turn on the front porch light. Another was an electronic thermostat, so we could keep the temp down at night and have it turn on about 1/2 before my mother gets up.

There were a few problems with the detector: cars driving by triggered it, so I had to readjust the sensitivity and direct the unit downwards. That was better, but now people passing by on the sidewalk caused it to come on. So more adjustment.

One night, the light kept going on, but no one was in sight. Opening the door, I called out - no answer. Just as the light turned off (one minute delay), I thought I saw something in the shadow by the top step.

Was that a tail?

Slug, is that you?

A head raised, looking at the street, trying to figure out where the voice was coming from.

Yes, it is.

That is a favorite place for the cats, esp. in the summer, so they can keep an eye out for the neighborhood.

So, another problem - and I haven't been able to adjust it without losing function.

It has been a boon though, because now I can tell when the cats move back and forth. Only Snip stays in the back and I am glad because I worry about them with the traffic.

One night the light came on and there was Xeno ambling across the street. I chuckled at his waddling. Also his front moved in the opposite direction as the back - only the middle seemed to go in a straight line. Finally I called to him and he ran back (completely straight) to enjoy some food.

So, what about the other two? Slug walks with his paws turn in a bit, like a bulldog. Apropos, since he is so big (18 pounds), and growls sometimes. This is offset by his purr, a kind of rolling 'pert' - leading me to deduce that the other parent was a pigeon.

Snip is more delicate and careful, always looking around before moving, right paw up like a pointer. A few steps then a stop. Not that she doesn't run at dinner time. That sounds like a mini-stampede.

Their paw prints in the snow are personable as well. Six-Toe is easy but he also seems to place each paw almost in the same position as the first.

Someone is dragging their paws too, from the lines in the snow trailing from the prints. (Slug, we're looking at you).

Snip has tiny pawprints - She's the smallest at 6 pounds. Actually has been staying in bed most of the day and night.

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Emmy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave its so good to read about your cats. I have a similar problem with my security lights at night but i've no idea what animal is setting them off
Guess it couldnt be the pheasant which was in my garden yesterday! I think they are sensible and go to bed at night Very Happy
Emmy

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DaveFerro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When we had the lights on the garage working, all sorts of wild animals triggered them. Lots of tracks out back too, coming from the woods beyond our neighbors' yard. They seem to stop at the bushes, so probably deer.

Too bad you could not set up a camera to click whenever something goes by. Bass Pro store here has all kinds of cameras for this very purpose, but we are hunting for photos only.

My cousin still talks about putting a camera on his cats (one missing still) to see just where they go. And what about that cat that goes out at night and takes all sorts of items from neighbors?

Meanwhile, the cats are all tucked in. They finally accept it when I put the sweaters or thermal underwear on them. Just a little swatting from Xeno.

Feeding them is a challenge - when there were only two, there was enough room along the wall. With three (and visitor) we had a tail alignment problem. Hard to walk out there avoiding missteps. Now Slug has his on the carpet or under the plastic sheeting, Snip under the glider (so the other two don't see and desire a bite) while Xeno eats on top of the nearest box. Sometimes they are in their boxes, so in the dishes go.

Snip still uses her two compartment dish, but I had to get Slug a dog dish, nice and deep, heavier too. This is because his tongue activity is so strong that he used to push the dish all over the place and the food out of the shallow dish (Xeno uses that one now). Kind of a Tongue Coriolis Effect.

Still, his head is so big that I can't put more food in the bowl while he munches. And a great amount of loud pert-purring, amplified by the bowl.

I usually call them to dinner by calling and whistling - most of the time they are lurking about ready to chew. When that fails, the sound of the can hitting the recycling bin brings them out. Just like a dinner bell, though sometimes the glue on the can sticks to my hand and I miss the bin.

Time to go out and give them their hand warmers. Sure wish they could be here on my bed instead, like real family pets.

Dave

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DaveFerro
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Replying to mein own post...well, Xeno had been very sick since last Friday and I told him that I was going to bring him to the vet on Monday, but he was not in his bed on Sunday night. Still don't know where he went, check the beds all the time and look around the place but with the snow on the ground it is difficult. Maybe he understood the word 'vet' and didn't like the sound of it.

He has disappeared before for over a week, just last month too. Sometimes he comes back all beat up, but this looked like he had a cold or the flu. Naturally I was worried about him and the other cats catching anything. Didn't eat and only drank a little when I offered the water bowl. He was panting and had blood dripping from his nose and mouth. He has had problems before with his nasal passages, including once coming home with a small hole in the side of his face. Not sure if that was from an animal or some jerk. Just last week I had him on my lap in the kitchen.

So, not very happy about poor Xeno. I hope he went to another home where he seems to go all the time and is back soon. Saturday night I was checking on him, covering him up and giving him the hand warmer, when I decided to take some of the smaller garlic hanging nearby for my mother. Slug went under the work table and I was afraid the possum was under there and turned, knocking the half-brick off the table and it fell on my left foot. That really really really hurt. Hobble around now. Slug was just sharpening his claws on a cardboard box.

Last Thursday our neighbors said Xeno was sitting in their yard, sunning himself when they saw 4 deer there also, with two more beyond their back fence. They just went on eating, with Xeno staring at them. We saw them the next evening.

My cousin Stan said on the way home from our house, he almost hit a small fox walking along the railroad tracks nearby. Maybe Xeno got into a fight with that one.

We got over 10 inches of snow since Friday and lots of shoveling and (ahem) snow-throwing - the auger belt broke and I can't figure out the proper replacement. Used the one from my father's bench saw, but it was not in good condition and broke also. Getting real good at taking the machine apart though. I was able to get our car out to take my mother to the chapel (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday - storms do not stop her), but I had to do our neighbor's walks by hand. It's their machine we use.

The machine was made in Canada, called Snow King, but many other companies called their models that - seems many in Toronto at a web classified ad site are looking for parts for the exact same model, but the places here have not heard of that company.

So, worry worry worry. Nothing from my daughter Missy either.

Dave

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Emmy
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave one thing I can say for sure those cats are very lucky that they have you to take care of them.
We had snow again too but fortunatley so far it hasnt lasted and now its rain and Ihope it keeps that way because it seems I'll need to be using my car quite a bit with taking Bengy to the vet, and if it starts to snow I'm just terrified to take the car out.
Hope your mum is still soldiering on Give her my love and I'll keep you all in my prayers.
ps if those cats could talk I sure would like to hear what they would say to you for all you do for them.
Emmy

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DaveFerro
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emmy,

Still no Xeno around - I went out back down the hill to look, Slug following me meowing when there was an obstacle between us. He certainly is a lovable character. Lots of mud in the area with deer droppings every few feet. Took a while to clean my shoes.

Nothing orange (or marmalade, as Carole called their coloring) in sight. Others have told me he might have gone off to curl up someplace quiet and safe. I think he has another home he goes to sometimes - hope he is okay and will come back. Snip and Slug have been getting more food as a result and Slug doe not need any weight gain. A lady who gave my mother a ride home asked if he was Garfield. I said he was worse and gave the 18 pound figure (I was carrying him - just like a baby). She said her poodle is at 16 pounds.

My mother was at chapel again today, washed a load of laundry in the a.m. Last week at the chiropractor's, still wondering why her back goes out. Doc's appt tomorrow but the office called and said the regular doc would be out for a few weeks and would one of the Nurse Practitioners be alright - yes, as we know them well. She still has those night sweats, only upper. I want to ask to lower or remove some of the two diuretics. Legs are thin, though I know it is also for BP. Also want to get some blood work done to check for sodium and potassium levels.

Hope Bengy will all right - your rainy weather is a relief from the snow, as it is here - all the snow was gone, then it came again, just an inch or four, but just enough to cause trouble for budding plants. Rain means flowers coming up and also water in the basement. By noon all was gone again.

Much trouble getting a new v-belt for the snow thrower. Got the wrong part number from the service desk at Home Depot who were fantastic, 3 and 4 of them running around checking stock, calling numbers and scanning the computers. So got the wrong belt, but then went online and used the name on the plate Canadiana and right away (after hours at the keyboard looking for the model number alone) there was SearsPartsDirect with the name and model number, and the part number for the belt. They have magnified drawings of the machines, so was able to confirm the part and another tension spring that is broken. I was going to e-mail Nuccia to ask if she or her husband had heard of the brand name, considering it is made in Canada. Dual language on the controls too.

Anyway, sent 3 corrections to Ellis and got one confirmation back (the passport helped). Another one to send in too.

Tired as usual - my epoxy patch on the muffler is not working: maximum temperature is 250F with intermittent to 300F - apparently the muffler gets higher than that, as the smell is reminiscent of the skunk that someone hit nearby last week.

Dave

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Gil
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave, If you don't get the right parts, how about trying a place that deals in small equipment. We have just about given up on Home Depot because of the time it takes and the Sears of 2011 is nothing compared to ten years ago. They closed the big Sears repair and parts facility in New London and now the closet one is outside of Hartford and over an hour away. Some of the old fashion auto parts stores are more helpful than the big chains around here. It is really too bad to seer stores like Advance Auto and the other ones put the small local guys out of business as the small stores had people that knew what was what. Did you take the broken belt to have one of the clerks measure it on the funny looking belt gauge?

Enjoy Spring!!!

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DaveFerro
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gil,

Most of the small hardware stores are gone around here too, but there is a great one in Elbridge, about 5 miles away. You know, parts piled up on the floor, several people who have been there for decades and know where everything is. This place also had a lot of young girls who were very good at hardware questions. Several of my friends are from that town, so it is nice to get over there. There is another one there that had a branch in Auburn but it closed.

I did bring the broken belt but no one used any kind of measuring device except maybe a tape measure. The SearsPartsDirect had the name (Canadiana) and model number of the machine, so I know the part number. This big place called Tractor Supply had an good replacement, same length, just a tad over .5 inch width and made of Kevlar. Auto belts are not designed for the stresses.

Tractor Supply used to be a favorite place to look around - lots of farm implements and mysterious devices like calf extractors. They sell chicks and other animals (baby geese) - once I thought I heard a rooster crowing and sure enough there he was way up on the top of a display of heaters and feeders for the chicks.

Waiting on the enjoyment of weather - some flowers are out and the cardinals are singing. Still no Xeno but Six-Toes still around - could call him 'Six' or perhaps 'Sei' --- not sure if he is Italian yet.

Dave

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Gil
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tractor Supply has surprised me as they turned out to be like all of the other "big box" stores by building a new store within 15 or 20 minutes of each other. We have one up the road from me about a mile from Home Depot ans wal-fart. There are now three additional Tractor Supply stores being planned around Eastern Connecticut.

Sorry about your cat. I hope that he found himself a female cat to cuddle up with for a few weeks...

Just think if you get that old snow blower fixed it might not snow much for a few Winters! Isn't that usually the way?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gil said
Quote:
Sorry about your cat. I hope that he found himself a female cat to cuddle up with for a few weeks...


Dave if Xeno has found himself some nice female company just wonder if he'll bring her back with him plus another few little mouths for you to feed and keep warm.
Joking apart I hope you have found him.
Emmy

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave I just read your post and was already looking to see if we have anything you might need. I am thinking the Snow King *may* be made by Noma, which, I believe is now owned by Murray. Can you email me what you need and I will check at work or with one of the local dealers to see if we help you?

Not sure I can help but I will try.

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DaveFerro
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will e-mail you with the info, Nuccia. Like I said, the people at our Home Depot were great, leaving me overwhelmed with attention, even though I only needed a v-belt. Unfortunately it was the wrong part number - might put that one on my Dad's table saw, except the motor sticks - been thinking of putting another one on, for about 9 years now.

There is a spring that is needed too, and I have the number. Just so I won't have to take it apart again and it might be needed to keep the belts from breaking. I think Murray was bought by another company too, at least the NAME - not the factories of course.

The bad weather has prevented the repair of the muffler and getting the side view mirror back on. It ruins everything.

Well, Xeno was very sick, not walking right and brownish-red discharges from his nose, mouth and eyes. That's why I wanted to bring him to the vet, though I should have much earlier. I hope he is all right, and he has been away before for almost 2 weeks, and even more injured and still recovered. He deserved more care. He is the only one not fixed, except for 6-toes.

And now Snip has a bit of that from her left eye, so I have been telling her that she might have to go to see the vet. She will not say anything.

Brought the tape recorder downstairs to get a sample of Slug purring. Very loud and even more happy when eating. Funny.

Dave

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While checking on Snip and Slug last night before going to bed, there was an awful sound of a cat wailing. Immediately got out from under the plastic and listened to where it was coming from - across the gully out back.

Slug wasn't around and I worried but he soon came from the front, pacing back and forth, growling while looking to the back. Snip went under the glider and later was up on the railing.

I got the flashlight from the kitchen and went out back to look around. Slug came with me and stared across to the other side. No eyes reflecting back and the wailing had stopped. So, back to the house to get the bigger flashlight, and my knife. Should have taken the metal clothes pole too.

Down the hill and all around the area into the neighbors' yards but no sign of any animals. Worried about Phil or Six but they turned up the next morning. Of course, could not sleep well and listened for any fighting on the porch below my room.

Someone wrote in the paper to be aware of another predator in our area: the Fisher, a marten that can tackle porcupines. Trapped for their fur, they have weasel-like bodies, 50-60 cm long (20-25 inches) not including the 33-42 cm (13-17 inch) tail and weigh 1.4 to 6.8 kg (3 to 15 lb).

After all the worry about cold, diseases, and foxes, coyotes etc. now there is another one.

Snip's eyes are nice and clear - nice sunny day today with cold wind. Slug was in her bed lately - not nice. He was sound asleep this morning in the new box by the steps, mushing in the top again. Washed some more of their beds.

Dreamed of using an old saw blade on a long stick to cut the poison ivy plant and yesterday just used the one with a broken handle to saw them off. No sap as it hasn't risen yet, and maybe the pesticide I used last year killed it. Used the poison ivy wash just in case. Some unexposed areas itched in sympathy.

Brought back books (two my mother read real quick) got 3 more for her also.

Why won't those cats live inside and lessen the fretting? Slug is eager but not Snip.

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Gil
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We had a fisher hanging around our house a few years ago. The cat we had at the time spent most of the day outside. We didn't have to clean the litter box too often! My son was living at home and spotted the Fisher a few times and after that we didn't let the cat out after dark. The Fisher did a good job of cleaning up most of the gray squirrels a chipmunks. We also have coyotes howling out back. I think that they are more dangerous that Fishers.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! reading that I guess I'm lucky here wherre I am. I think the only problems for some people could be foxes, rats, mice and the wild rabbits who could make a real mess of vegetable gardens. I've never heard of a Fisher before I'll need to look that one up
Emmy

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