Thursday, March 26, 2009

Welcome to the Menagerie

My house is turning into a menagerie. Who am I kidding? Turning? It's been a menagerie for a long time now. Besides the various birds that I feel the need to provide tons of feed to, other animals keep showing up...mostly those of the feline persuasion. But, the "herd" is not limited to cats.

Of course, there's the neighbor's cat, Tango. He's a sweet guy, but since another tom cat has started hanging around, he's taken to marking every part of my yard, including items on the front porch. (I've given the people around me the neuter lecture. Only so much I can do.)

Then there's Drifter. This one has been hanging around for a while and still won't let me too close. I think it's a girl, but haven't been able to tell actually. (The new tom cat that's hanging around is jet black. {Haven't been able to get a photo of him yet.} What a contrast the two make.)

And of course, there's always Muffin. She's a sweetie, but a bit odd at times. Yesterday, she ran out into the rain to greet me when I got home from an appointment, then complained the whole time about getting wet. I kept telling her it was her own fault, but she didn't seem to believe that at all.

Squirrels used to be very abundant in my yard, but seemed to disappear for a bit after we had the large maple tree trimmed back last year. No where good to hide I reckon. But, I think they will return. I do know I often see them using the power lines to cross the road and come to my feeder. Maybe they just wanted to use that little trip as their form of exercise. This little guy looked up just as I was taking the picture. How perfect was that? (On a later post, I'll tell you about the three "regulars" we used to have and how they got their unusual names.)

This is Herman, the mostly black opossum that shows up at night to eat the cat food. He's pretty cool really. We have a couple old tables on the porch that were supposed to be hauled off, but the cats started using them, so now their food gets put up there. This guy just climbs right up to eat.

This is the little house Muffin uses sometimes. It sits right by our living room window, and since she doesn't like the wind, when it's cold and very windy, I'll put her plate of food in front of it so she can eat without being bothered. One night, I looked out the window to see Herman happily chomping away. I grabbed my camera and tried to sneak out the door. He panicked of course, and turned and ran into Muff's house. No escape there. I didn't get too close as I really didn't want to scare him any more than he already was, so the zoom feature came in handy. (Took the picture then went back in the house so he could eventually come out and finish his nightly raid.)

And of course my four "little" cuties who love to watch the others from the comfort of the bed or sofa. Have I ever written about how I got these guys? I'll have to check back and see. For now, I'll just say they are a bunch of bottle-raised, spoiled-so-rotten-they-stink fur babies...and I love them as if they were my children, because when you think about it, they really are.

And so the menagerie continues to grow. We even had a mama raccoon at one time that came around in the wee morning hours to eat. (Probably the only time she cold get away from the little ones.)

Wonder who's going to show up next?


Vicki Lane said...

Love the possum and its little heart-shaped face! I used to feed a gang of them (Posy, Ponder, Petunia, and Portnoy)on our back porch, but eventually the dogs scared them off.
I'm always amazed how many people dislike them because of their tails. But then, I've met some very pleasant pet rats.

Susan M. Bell said...

I've never had a problem with the pet rat/mouse or possum thing. They've always looked kind of cute to me. I even used a humane trap to catch a mouse and get it out of my house recently, but that's a post for later.

Only way I'll pet sit for snakes is if something other than live food is provided. (Friend of my husband's used to give his turkey legs.) I just couldn't give a poor mouse to a snake like that. *shudder*

Lucy said...

Love the picture of the white cat eating at the old building. Nice contrast.

Stephanie Stark Poling said...

Thanks for the Blog award - that is awesome and I will work hard to pass it on appropriately. Love your kitties!

Victoria said...

Great pictures, especially the possum. And good for you for refusing to pet sit for people who feed their snakes live mice. I just can't imagine how hard-hearted a person would have to be to not feel empathy and compassion for those poor little mice.

Angie Bailey said...

YOu do have a menagerie!! Tango's face has so much personality! I just love Muffin -- what a beauty. That squirrel pic cracks me up :)

Susan M. Bell said...

Lucy - Thanks. It was actually an even nicer contrast before she started getting into fights. She was a bit whiter, has two whole ears (not one and a half), etc. :}

Stephanie - Now you have to actually make an appearance at a group meeting. ;-)

Victoria - Well, everyone says it's just a part of nature, but if that were the case, the snake would be living in the wild some where. I'd just end up naming the mice, so it really wouldn't work.

Angie - That squirrel shot was so lucky. Isn't he cute? And Tango does have a lot of personality. Just wish I'd been able to convince his human to have him neutered, so he wouldn't fight so much. Maybe that scar on his nose wouldn't be there then. Only so much we can do, though. *sigh*