Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fresh From Heaven

Alternate title: "Got MILK?!"

Please join me in welcoming Princess's newest baby, Miss Peach, to our humble little herd.

Peach was born yesterday (the 12th) at 4:30 pm and was on her feet (sort of), vigorously slurping down her first meal by 5:00. So far, she seems to be thriving and the lot of us couldn't be happier.

This tribal custom, rarely seen by outsiders, is known as the "Getting a Clean Bed Ready For the New Calf Dance." One of the tribe members performing this sacred ritual is required to wear a bathing suit and pink rubber boots with cats on them while carefully executing the Hokey Pokey. The others simply flail around strewing about fresh hay while inhaling massive amounts of dust.

Just about sixteen hours old, here's a better view of Miss Peach in all her wobbly-legged, wooly, creamy-rich glory. Sooooo sweet.

OH MY GOSH! As I'm typing this, I can see from my office window that Princess has taken Peach to the corner of the fence where our pastures meet so she can meet her sister, Sparky, through the fence. (We've had to keep them separated for the last six weeks or so.)

They were touching noses through the fence, all three of them... I just love living with animal families.

It's so unusual to have all, or nearly all, the members in a family of pets that one rarely has the opportunity to see how very much like us they are. Four of our cats are mom, dad and two kittens. The way they interact with each other is very different from their relationships with the other cats. They even have sounds that they only use with their family and no one else. It's quite amazing and I feel privileged to get to witness it all.

Back to the cows:

When Miss Peach was just born, all the cows in the neighborhood started to bellow. Sparky, Bossy and even the neighbor's cow and her calf were calling at the top of their lungs over the fences. No one bellowed as long or frequently as Sparky, though. She ran up the fence line until she got as close as she could and stood there watching her mom and new baby sister. Sparky then spent most of the night and into this morning up in the trees at the top of my sister-in-laws property yelling some more. I finally had to go up and retrieve her and make sure she wasn't in some kind of trouble.

Was she upset? Happy and announcing to the world about the new addition to her family? Could be that she's just, um, lookin' for some lovin' of her own... you know how teenagers are... but her behavior is definitely not typical.

Life on the Ranch has been loaded with animal issues lately. Ashley had two, count 'em TWO abscesses on her face, undoubtedly caused by a very unwilling victim of her startlingly prolific predatory tendencies. This meant I got to whip out my latent veterinary skills administering antibiotics, cleaning the wound twice a day and feeding her raw milk yogurt to keep her tummy healthy.

We also have a very old cat that we were sure was dying after a couple of bouts with bladder infections and, yes, more antibiotics. He even disappeared for quite a while. We were sure he had wandered off to die... the next morning we found him in a very soft and cushy, though different from his usual, place feeling much better and apparently securely fastened to his mortal coil. More yogurt administered.

On Sunday, we had a stray LARGE, old white dog show up on the Ranch. She was very sweet and wasn't any kind of threat, but we were worried for her safety. And rightly so. In the process of trying to contact animal control and/or find out who her owner was she had wandered over to my in-laws and fell in the pool. It was nearly an hour before Anna found her when she ran up to borrow a movie, but thankfully, being a HUGE dog, she was able to stand on her hind legs in the shallow end with her front paws on the pool deck. She was pretty tired, but unharmed for the most part. James and I lugged her out and she just flopped in our yard and dried out in the sun while she caught her breath.

Eventually, we found out where she lived and my dad-in-law and I took her up and tied her to the front porch after hearing her owner had been asking around about her, but wasn't home when we got there. Turns out contractors going in and out of the house kept letting the dogs out and didn't care, um, I mean, weren't at all worried that they might wander off.

Thoughtless, idiot bastards...


But wait! There's more!

The kittens just turned six months old so that means it's time to make Bob Barker proud and do the responsible pet owner thing... get the girls spayed.

There is NOTHING I hate worse than forcing sweet little animals to wear those STUPID cones on their heads. I know, it's for their own safety, but DAMN! If I couldn't lick my tummy... Oh, wait... I can't, can I... well, if I couldn't scratch where it itches, I'd be pretty ticked off, too.

And THEN, there's the whole my-own-family-doesn't-recognize-me-because-I-don't-smell-right thing... oh, and did I mention I have a freakin' CONE ON MY HEAD?!

Poor babies. Must be so traumatic. It almost makes me want to wear an upside-down lampshade around my neck in a show of solidarity.

Thank goodness for Boo. He is so totally secure in his own hugeness, he fears nothing and loves everybody. Good ol' Boo.

Well, as I've been writing I've gotten an email begging for a quote and one screaming for an emergency PhotoShop intervention... as with all things in graphic design... it's a life-or-death scenario. Better go warm up the defibrilator.


For now, this is Dr. Doolittle, signing off.


Angelina said...

Those pictures are great! I love your new baby calf and want to go see her in person. I went to Lisa E.'s house for a sudden pickling event today and passed by Williamson Road and obviously thought of you, I wanted to turn down the road and see if I ended up on your doorstep. But cucumbers needed me desperately.

Anonymous said...

That is one cute calf, I liked reading your blog. Poor dog in the pool, my poor coco would have drowned if she fell in our pool, that is why I am giving her swimming lessons to learn to get out at the steps and not swim towards the deep end.
I love the name of your blog, so cute.
:) Bren