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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Possum TV

Honey does not understand my interest in my laptop. I don't know what she thinks I'm doing when I sit there working. She'll lie down next to me for a while trying to figure it out. Sometimes she'll go get a toy and throw it around trying to encourage me to join in some real play. She seems concerned that I don't know how to entertain myself. There I am tapping on this object for an hour and I still haven't worked out a spot to chew on or initiated any kind of a chase.

But, Honey found her own entertainment this week: Possum TV.

One of Honey's two cat roommates, Samantha, prefers to eat outside. There is a sliding glass door onto a deck where she likes to be fed. I have always encouraged Honey to ignore the deck - my feeling is Samantha is looking for a little quiet time and privacy and doesn't need a pitbull looking through the glass as she enjoys her meal. And Honey complied until three nights ago.

Samantha didn't finish her dinner and I forgot to bring it in. About an hour later there was a clatter on the deck that sounded like maybe Chester (the other cat) or Samantha had become quite aggressive with the food bowl. A quick look out the window and there was just enough light streaming out on the dark deck to see - you guessed it - an opossum.

Honey was fascinated. First she stood stockstill with one front paw in the air doing her imitation of a pointer (she does this sometimes - seems very ladylike.) Then, she paced the sliding glass door trying to get out. When she realized that wasn't going to happen, she settled down on the floor looking out and starting making strange little noises. I'm not sure if she was trash-talking the possum or was trading some animal small talk ("So whose cat are you, anyway, and are you concerned with your loss of tail fur?") Whatever it was, she was content to lie there watching it and she lay there long after the possum had gone - obviously hopeful it would come back and grab something for the road.

The next night, Honey was lying on her bed when, all of a sudden, she jumped up and headed for the sliding glass door again and - sure enough. The possum was back in all its white-faced, mottled-furred glory. I cracked the door open quickly (to Honey's excitement -- with some encouragement to open it wider) and threw out some cat kibble. The possum backed off for a little bit and then slowly, it started to sniff out the food and then started nibbling it up, carefully inspected the deck for every last bit.

I got on the computer later that night to find out if I was doing something really stupid - starting an expectation with an animal (and possible pest) I'd have a hard time getting rid of later. Well, I found out opossums are great animals! They are very clean - groom themselves like cats do, they are not rabies carriers since their blood temperature is too low, they are considered nature's sanitation engineers and a friend to gardeners because they clean up bugs (including cockroaches), mice, rats, snails, slugs, rotten fruit and any animal carrion, and they are North America's only marsupial (and not related to rats no matter what their tails look like), carrying their young in a pouch until the baby opossums are old enough to climb out and ride on their back.

So, the next night I put out chopped almonds, some old apple slices, water and a little more catfood. Honey, once again, watched the possum food chewing and waddling about with enthusiasm wouldn't leave until long after the last encore.

It's about an hour later tonight and no possum yet. Both Honey and I have checked a few times. I hope it comes. I'm thinking I can start setting up the laptop near the view of the deck, writing emails, reading blogs and watching Honey's show at the same time.


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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pitbulls I don't know

I grabbed this shot the other day and I feel terrible because I can't credit it - I don't remember where I found it. I do want to put it up anyway because it's one I love. The little girl is adorable but it's her two goofy pals that make me laugh.

I'm off to a slow start posting this year but...Honey and I have been watching some movies together so I thought we could do some reviews together....and, that's my trailer for the next post.


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Monday, January 08, 2007

Pit Bull in Disguise

When it's cold out -- relatively speaking, of course, but it does get down into the mid 30's -- Honey likes to have a sweater or jacket on when she goes out. How do I know? Because she will literally turn around and come back in until I put something on her. You have to remember, pits are very short haired (very little shedding problem, too - can we put that in the many plus columns of pits as good dogs to own?) and they have almost no fur on their bellies - at least Honey doesn't. (You can see this in the new picture I have for the profile. That's Honey and Heather, one of her many day care helper pals. You can also see Honey's spay/tummy tuck scar in the picture.)

I mentioned the sweater I would like to get her in a previous Christmas post but, it's a little pricey and I have recently made the discovery that Old Navy, a store with some very cute and cheap clothes for people, has cute and cheap clothes for dogs. Although I am too late to find her size in the elegant herringbone
or the spacesuit-like chevron style (my personal favorite),
I think she will happy in a rugby shirt or even the fisherman-knit sweater.

Another reason I like to put Honey in clothes? People are more open. If Honey and I are coming up to people on a walking path and Honey is kind of pulling toward them to say hi, I always say she's friendly as I guide her away. When she is walking around in just her normal fur suit, people will say things like "Are you sure?" or "Glad you told me, I was nervous." The best we can hope for is if they've had pits, they'll say something like "I know - they get a bad rap, don't they?" But, when she's in clothes, my experience has been that people won't move away at all. In fact, they will often say "That's fine - I have a couple (or one) of my own." At first I thought they meant pits and I thought it was unusual so many people had them but then I realized they meant they had DOGS. They were just referring to Honey as a regular old dog. It's great. Clothes make the dog, too.

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