Thursday, July 28, 2016

Grammy's Big Dog

Beaver is only one of the few dogs we ever owned. When we found him, he was a five pound puppy crying and running along a busy six lane highway in Jacksonville.

Somehow Grampy was able to rescue the little tyke and as we rode to our vet’s hospital, I asked: "What will we do with him? We have five cats and none of them appreciate dogs."

"His name is Beaver," was all Grampy said and I knew I had become the surrogate mother to a pit bull/golden retriever who grew to 100 pounds.

Well, neither Grampy nor I knew anything about raising dogs and our vet told us, "Just care for him the way you care for your cats." Now Doc was telling us to be kind with Beaver and give him lots of love. Of course we did that and to be sure we were doing things right, we fed him cat food, made him a soft bed of downy pillows, put him in our old baby play pen and when he cried, I held him on my lap as I sat in my rocking chair and rocked him to sleep.

Of course, our cats didn’t share this enthusiasm. And the first moment when I set Beaver down on the floor and said, "Look what I got for you," our five 20 pound cats circled poor Beaver and growled unmercifully at him. That was when I put Beaver in the play pen. Poor Beaver cried and cried and cried until our yellow tabby cat named Yolkie sighed deeply and jumped into the play pen to approach Beaver. Before I could grab Yolkie, he grabbed Beaver, dropped him to the floor and laid down beside him. Beaver snuggled next to Yolkie and they went peacefully to sleep.

Somehow, cats and dog survived the next 12 years with Beaver and Yolkie being Best Buddies. As sometimes happens with friends, they both died at the same time, Beaver in the house, Yolkie in our garden.

The next night, I dreamed that Yolkie was running through the house shouting, "Wait for me Beaver! Gangway. Gangway! I’m a-comin' Beaver. I’m a-comin'!" Then Yolkie ran through the front door to catch up with Beaver waiting in the yard for him, then they walked together up into Heavenly clouds.

Now remember, that was just a dream. Or was it?

Posted by Diana for Margaret

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Night Time Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray thee Lord, my soul to keep

Watch and guard me through the night

And wake me with the morning light


Posted by Diana for Margaret

Friday, July 8, 2016

Community Feeding Time

We arrogant humans think that we are the only community-minded creatures but this is not true. Take, for example, the birds who live in Timothy’s garden every year. For about five years, there was a large bush outside our kitchen window. In the center of the bush, I had set a feeding platform.

The birds loved to visit this spot. Young lovers arrived for quick meals during mating season. Mamma and Daddy birds made many round-trips from their nests filled with fledgling babies to the feeders and back again. When the feeders became empty, the parent birds sat on my kitchen window and stared inside our house until I came out to replenish the supply.

Fledglings on their first trip sat shyly on nearby branches, flapping their wings until Mamma or Daddy fed them. Slowly, the baby birds crept closer to the feeder until at last they were able to feed themselves.

Sometimes, one little bird would be pushed aside as his or her fellow fledglings scrambled for the food. Most often, this introvert sat and waited and hoped food would still be there when the others were gone.

One little woodpecker, after being pushed aside, refused to accept such a fate. With a squawk of indignation, he flew into the feeder, sat down in the middle of the tray of sunflower seeds and began eating. Every time another bird tried to get a bite, the woodpecker pecked him. The fledglings who had chased him away had to sit and wait until he finished eating.

The sparrows seemed to be the most sociable. I could hear them arriving long before I could see them. They chattered and chirped like the Vienna Boy’s Choir as they flew across the yard and landed on the bush. These little birds did not fight for food nor did they push any of their companions away from the feeder.

They lined up on one branch, then waited their turn. The first bird hopped to the feeder, ate a few seeds, then flew to the end of the line while the next bird took a turn. This went on and on until every bird was full. Every day, they went through this routine. None of them went hungry. None of them were greedy. There were no fights among them.

Do the other birds ever imitate the courtesy of the sparrows? Do we humans ever have as much consideration as the sparrows?

Posted by Diana for Margaret

Teeny Kitty

On the outside of my bedroom window, I built a perch for our cats so they could sit there at nights when they didn’t want to roam. Every time they got hungry, they scratched on the window so I could let them in. They ate, then scratched on the window so I could let them back out. A cat likes to eat a lot during the night. Five cats eat a whole lot during the night. I wasn’t getting much sleep between feedings.

I decided to put a dish of dry cat food on the perch before I went to bed. This worked fine. I slept beautifully.

One night a week later, I awoke to loud crunch, crunch, crunching sounds outside the window.

“The cats are noisy eaters,” I mumbled and sat up to see which cat was eating with so much gusto. I peeked out the window and saw a raccoon looking back at me.

The next night I set out two dishes of cat food. The raccoons and cats did not disturb each other as they took turns eating on the perch. Eventually, I had to move the feeder because the raccoons tried to come through the bedroom window with the cats.

Posted by Diana for Margaret