The Duck War ~ and I win, barely

 

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Unaltered photo taken with my phone. He got close to me!

This is the most aggressive duck I’ve ever encountered!

We have Muscovy wild ducks living in and around the natural pond behind my condo complex (in NE Florida) and the creek that feeds into the pond. Wild ducks are aggressive creatures. The red markings on this gentleman’s face (and I use the term ‘gentleman’ as sarcasm) are meant to intimidate. Yes, ducks can be cute, or beautiful, or striking in appearance…and wild ducks are also extremely aggressive.

Mostly they are aggressive with each other and it can be hilarious when they form a circle and chase each other around and around. They rarely actually harm each other, but they threaten each other continually. In this photo, this is how close this guy was willing to get to me, a human who towers over him. Why did he do that? What did he want

Cat food! Every morning, when it’s still a little dark and the ducks are still sleeping at the pond and not roaming for food…I feed 7-8 stray cats. If I feed when the sun is up, the ducks will also be up and looking to eat, and they will boldly chase the cats away from the food I put out. I stand there every morning so I can shoo ducks away in case any get there early. However, they are cagey. Two will come from one side and when I chase them, another two will come and get the food from the other side, and the cats will go hungry. The ducks don’t need the food. They get fat eating insects and choice pieces of grass, buds, and seeds. That’s why I feed when it’s a little dark.

This morning this gentleman must have not slept at the pond but rather on the grass just beyond my condo. After I’d put the food out, he aggressively came toward me and flapped his wings effectively chasing the cats away. The felines would try to come back and he’s frighten them again. So, I went inside the house for about 45 seconds to get my broom to chase the duck. When I got out my stoop was a mess with cat food scattered all over and the cats were running in all directions.

I was so mad I started chasing this duck with the broom like a wild woman. Honestly, a few times I nearly swatted hm in the tail feathers with the broom. A good thing my neighbors were not yet leaving their houses to go to work. They would’ve had a good laugh. I must’ve looked like a lunatic. LOL

 

A Hiding Place ~ for Christmas presents

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Beauty, what are you doing in my secret hiding place???

I don’t have to hide Christmas gifts from kids anymore, as mine are adults. However, I have to hide any present in a decorative gift bag from my cats. They love to climb inside bags and hide there, or tear them apart. So, I had a brilliant idea. They’d never find the bags inside the armoire. Would they?

 

 

 

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, ~ John 1:112 [New American Standard Bible – NASB]

Merry Christmas Everyone

 

National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day ~ small blessings

Sophie Winter Coat 2011

 

Sophie the Wonder Dog ~ adopted seven years ago at the Manhattan (NYC) ASPCA. I often tell people, you’re going to find your adopted pet rescued you. Even if you didn’t realize you needed rescuing. Sophie definitely rescued me after my husband passed away too young.

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Sophie and Beauty, one of my adopted cats, at the vet on a senior wellness visit. If dogs become the “heart” of the house and they do, then cats become its “soul”.

 

Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. 25 God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. ~ Genesis 1:24 [New Living Translation]

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Sophie with her Christmas gifts. Santa loves her too. She had so much fun with these “squeaky” toys.

 

 

Goodbye Ebony ~ she left on cat’s paws

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Ebony in 2016 when we first moved to NE Florida. She loved to sleep on the bookshelf where I piled books after I took them out of boxes.

When I returned home from Brooklyn after visiting my daughter for two weeks, I noticed Ebony had lost weight. Well, she’d always been a little chubby, so I figured now that I was back, she’d start eating again. And she did eat.

However, 72 hours later, at night, she had trouble swallowing and her tongue was hanging out of her mouth. I thought it was an abscessed tooth. I told her how sorry I was she was in discomfort…to hang on until the next morning when I’d take her to the vet and they’d pull the tooth.

Dr. Rose did a physical exam and said it wasn’t a tooth. She only had to take one ex-ray. A huge tumor pressed on Ebony’s stomach, liver, and kidneys. She had trouble eating because there was swelling in the back of her throat. The vet said Ebony would not survive this, so there was only one choice. I had to put her down. I hugged her, kissed her, and stayed with her to the end. Dr. Rose always sings at the very end. She sang, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for Ebony.

That song was so appropriate for Ebony. She was sweet, as gentle as a whisper, and affectionate. She had particularly taken to my author friend when Jenna Victoria visited a few months ago. I’m so blessed that Jenna got to know Ebony. She was a dear pet….the epitome of the phrase: on cats’ paws.

After I left the vet’s office, I confronted myself acting as my own accuser. If only…Maybe if I had come back from New York City earlier. Guilt. I should never have misjudged Ebony’s illness and lack of appetite as being caused by missing me. Self-condemnation. After all, I was the one who said ‘yes’ to euthanasia. Judgement. Many people do this. Men feel they should be able to fix all things that aren’t working right. Women feel they should be able to comfort, bolster up, even resuscitate (emotionally and physically) those they love. This certainly includes a beloved pet.

Romans 8:1 [NASB] ~ Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

If there was something we could’ve done better, and there usualy is…we can learn from it for the next situation. In this case, as believers, we must submit to God, repent, accept His forgiveness and grace…walk on and sin no more. Whenever we find ourselves nursing guilt, we must submit to God and push it away. If there was nothing or very little we could’ve done better, again, we must submit to God, and push the truly useless condemnation away. This takes making a quality decision on our parts. The accusation is of the enemy. We must move past it and move on to what God has for us…follow the path He’s set before us.

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Ebony (l), Trouble (C), Meadow (R) when they were ‘kittlets’ ~ not kittens anymore, yet not quite cats. Brooklyn, N&

 

Assaulted by a Cat ~ I’m Almost Ashamed To Say

Mimzie, our feral cat.
Mimzie, our feral cat.

 

I have several cuts on my arms .

If I wasn’t most definitely in my prime, some might speculate age 39 (ooops my nose is growing) ~ though a lady never should tell her age… At any rate, if I wasn’t well beyond my teenage years, one look at my armss and some might think I was an adolescent cutter. Not so! Not at all.

I have a feral cat named Mimzie and was merely trying to clean her ears. [Shh, don’t tell her I said so, but feral cats are somewhat deranged.]

The upshot is, she got away without me achieving my goal. So, I tired to sneak up on her the next day.  She’s partially deaf, which makes the sneaking up not too difficult, but she’s quick and determined not to be held onto.

You’ll notice her crooked lip-line. That’s due to lost teeth. However, what teeth she’s got left sunk into my arm, fortunately, not too deeply.

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This soon became a two-woman operation. I enlisted the help of my daughter Delayne, and we had to block the staircase so Mimsie couldn’t get up there to hide.

 

 

 

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I can’t help but be reminded of that old meme, “How To Give A Cat A Pill.” Ah, the joys of cat ownership. I promise you, she’s not choking the cat, just trying to hold onto her.

 

 

 

For those of you who would like to lead “cruelty-free” lives (meaning you purchase products that do not test on animals, here’s a short and very incomplete list of affordable companies who sell in drug stores and supermarkets, and do not test on animals.

Cosmetics and Personal Care:

Aveda [Estee Lauder]

Caswell-Massey: fragrance, bath & body – can be purchased on Amazon

Elf Cosmetics: Target, most chain drug stores

Kiss My Face: skin care –  in most chain drug stores and supermarkets

Milani Cosmetics: sold in most chain drug stores

Paul Mitchell Hair Products:  most chain drug stores and beauty supply stores

Physicians Formula: make up – sold in most chain drug stores

Queen Helene: hair products, skin care, personal care – sold in most chain drug stores and supermarkets

Shiff: vitamins, in most chain drug stores and supermarkets

Toms of Maine: toothpaste – in most chain drug stores and supermarkets

Wet ‘n Wild: cosmetics, nail products – in most chain stores and supermarkets

White Rain: hair products, in most chain drug stores and supermarkets

 

Household Products:

Bon Ami: scouring cleanser, sold in supermarkets

Brillo: scouring pad, sold in supermarkets

Nature’s Miracle: pet odor destroyer, PETCO, most pet shops

 

Most of these products are “made in America” and do not have ingredients that will cause cancer, or cause other physical harm. Why do you suppose the other companies test on animals? It’s because they’re using potentially harmful chemicals.

Note: the box must say “cruelty-free” “no animal testing” or have a bunny on it. Most of the companies who a few years ago didn’t test on animals have gone back to testing. Why? Because China requires animal testing to sell in their country and these companies quickly gave up their principles. You’ll notice that most celebrities no longer do “cruelty free” ads. That’s because they’re signed with large cosmetics firms that have gone back to testing. How quickly they too gave up their principles.