Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm Exhausted

We haven't had a minute's peace lately. Herself is on a ridiculous spring cleaning binge and is frantically raking and sweeping and hauling and generally shoving us out of the way every two minutes so she can clean under our feet. She refers to this annual ritual as "Cleaning the Augean Stables". Both cats, the dog and Molly and I are supervising every move, but is she grateful? Hah! She merely glares and asks why it is that one species out of five is doing all the work. When we try to help she "throws a connipshun" (Jack's words) and tells us not to chew on implement handles. Penny skulked off and ate something disgusting that she found in the ditch and Sally fell out of a tree chasing a beige, striped rodent but other than that things are rather quiet today. Jack has become the Renaissance donkey at the sanctuary, lending a hoof in all matters and acquiring all sorts of useful skill sets. He has helped the electrical man so diligently that he is making him a certificate that reads "Jack of All Trades". We have been promised photographic evidence of the presentation. Jack got his blue winter coat off yesterday and had himself such a vigourous roll in the dust that he looked like a dervish flipping from side to side. Then he went off to instigate some rasslin with the much younger Simon and O'Sullivan.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Strange and Unpleasant Visitor

Imagine our excitement yesterday when, as we were supervising the woman's paddock cleaning, a large brown box on wheels drove up and the side door flew open. The writing on the side said u p s - obviously some sort of code. There may be a counter-company somewhere called d o w n s, such are the mysterious ways of the world of commerce. Molly and I were delighted, assuming that a new equine friend waited inside. Molly galloped over through the mud, bellowing and gronking loudly. I followed at a more stately pace, making small huffing sounds of welcome.

A human, clad from head to toe in brown, leapt back onto the step of the vehicle. He somehow assumed that we had no braking ability and would crash through the fence, annihilating him in the process. The woman told him that we almost always got ourselves stopped in time. He sidled over, holding out a small cardboard box and a strange pad and pen device. Molly seized the side of the box and the woman had to wrestle it away from her. The woman used the pen-like device to scratch on the virtual pad and Molly seized that, the result being that the woman's signature came out looking like hieroglyphics.

I examined the brown-clad human's kneecaps through the fence. "Hey", he said, "is this some kinda donkey or goat thing? It has a weird shape." I was stunned. I didn't even know the creature and he was casting aspersions on my appearance and species?! Frankly, he was no conformation-winning specimen himself - toed-in, pig-eyed and a bad mover, amongst other flaws. Another of his plastic devices made ringing noises and Molly tried to grab that. As she gave him her classic Molly-lip-curl expression , he used it to take her photo "to show the guys back at the plant."

With that, he reinserted himself in the u p s conveyance and sped off. Such a disappointment on all levels. No new equine friend, no gifts for us, and a snarky stranger suddenly thrust into our sphere. How utterly typical. I wish we HAD crashed through the fence and trampled him underfoot.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Feline Doppelganger

Things are begining to dry out somewhat but there is still a bite of frost in the air. Molly and I are trawling through the paddock in search of any hint of green. Nothing much yet so we are topping up our fibre intake with fence rails and the odd piece of leather that we can lay our teeth on.

Yesterday morning the Woman came into the barn to the sight of Sally's food container turned upside down on the floor, her bowls moved across the room and Kitty Temptation treats scattered everywhere. Sally's igloo bed had been squashed down and slept upon. The suspicion immediately fell on Violet.

Last evening we were witness to something resembling a Restoration Comedy, where the plot hinges on mistaken identity, one long lost twin and the ability of the cast to shift around unseen. Herself let us into our rooms and I began the tedious task of winnowing out the revolting supplement from the rest of my dinner. Sally was fed and woman pottered out into the run-in. We heard her talking to someone, asking why they weren't attending to their dinner and how they had materialized on the hay bales without her seeing them. She pottered back into the barn, saw Sally working away at her dish and ran back out to the run-in. An identical but somewhat larger Sally stared back at her with amusement.

He (we assume he is a he from his large size and broad face) calmly regarded Herself from atop the hay. He appears well-fed and heavily coated in plush fur so we assume he just dropped for a visit and is in fact not homeless. I find him very pleasant and hope he comes by often. Sally is delighted with the idea of a cat friend who doesn't attack in her in sneaky and underhanded ways. Violet is looking affronted and is attempting to work the false accusations from all angles.
Herself still looks baffled, so I am quite pleased with the outcome.

An early spring snow storm is expected on Wednesday, so this pleasant interlude will be rudely cast aside.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Insanity Prevails

It's taken me a few days to absorb this latest information and it still strikes me as absurd. Doc has gone to live with a human called Janis and her donkey Tequila. This human lost her thirty one year old horse last month to the decrepitudes of old age. Both she and the donkey have been in mourning and came to the realization that another equine was needed to balance their lives. Doc does not care for all the gadding about on trails and in forests that the Woman is determined to do and Janis wishes to ride only in her own backyard, so I suppose the idea makes sense on that level. But good grief, why am I never consulted? The Woman can go and see him anytime but what about me?

First Jack and now Doc gone. I don't care for this one bit. And mud and ice everywhere. I am angry, indignant, outraged and soggy up to my ankles. The Woman has tried to plead her case - that Doc will be happier once he settles in there, that it wasn't fair for him to run and cry and scream the whole time she and Molly were away. That he can do all the fancy footwork he likes within sight of his own barn - blahblahblah. If she and Molly could just stay home like normal people none of this would have been necessary.

Jack, meanwhile, is putting in very full days. Other than perambulating about with his goat satellite, he has now taken charge of the rewiring of the barn. A human who is versed in the mysteries of all things electrical is working away at the sanctuary and Jack is right beside him, giving advice and impeding his progress at all turns. The human is rather bemused but Jack has acquired so much knowledge he's thinking of writing his exam and hanging out his shingle.

Herself did a massive spring cleaning of my room today and took down the divider that we had when Jack was here. I don't care how many overtures she makes, my fury will not be abating any time soon. You can't just ruin someone's dinner with gritty supplements and remove their best friends one at a time without consequences.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I looked out the door this morning and beheld a desert paradise. There was sand as far as the eye could see, trees with Stud Muffins suspended from every branch, and low tables with all sorts of edibles. There was a small pond of cool water for drinking and a platoon of quiet, service-oriented humans to see to our every need. Handel's Water Music gently wafted through the air (I know - an ironic choice for a desert-loving donkey, but there you have it). I sighed deeply with the greatest pleasure and set my foot out the door...

I came to with a terrible jolt. Herself was peering at me over the stall guard and asking if I was feeling quite sane and telling me to get myself out the door. Tragically, it had all been but a dream. By mid-morning a raw day had turned into a hideous spring blizzard, complete with flying ice pellets and slushy snow. I huddled in a corner of the run-in for the day. Molly stomped in and out, never quite settling but managing to rouse me whenever I slipped into a reverie of escape.

Herself gave us extra tidbits in our dinners but we do not care for the new vitamin/mineral supplement she has put us on. She tries to disguise but it remains the elephant in the room. It is brown, gritty and odoriferous. I carefully seperate the powder and leave it discarded in the bottom of the bowl. It is causing the Woman considerable consternation so at least that is a bright spot in a bleak season. I want sugary, oaty, molassesy food, not something that came out of an abandoned mine shaft.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

About March...

It really isn't much different from February so far. Early days, I know, but still...

This month is only two days old but it has already: exfoliated the fur off my face with blizzard-driven ice pellets, blown my hay down to the lower forty eight states, caused my lower lip to stick firmly to the handle of the water bucket and scoured out the insides of my ears with beads of swirling ice. Molly hasn't noticed a thing.

Herself has put Sally on a spring diet and it has not been well-accepted by the victim. Sally makes pitiful mewing sounds whenever she spies a human and leads them to her food bowl. She peers earnestly into the empty interior and looks up at them, head on one side. It does no good, of course. Then she follows them out into the run-in where she collapses dramatically on the floor. The routine would work better if she didn't suddenly start chasing bits of hay around. To date there has been no appreciable weight loss. Like myself, Sally is an easy keeper.

On a bright note, I have discovered that the McNasty spray the Woman has been using liberally on the fences is actually quite tasty. It's an acquired taste, granted, but quite addictive once acquired. This has not gone over well with Herself. I won't tell you what she said because the censor would be sure to shut down my entire blog. I can assure you it wasn't ladylike in the least. She said much the same thing when we ate an entire pound of cayenne pepper mixed with oil which she had carefully applied to the fence with a brush...