Cat and dog and bird

Chloe and Zeke faced off in a friendly way on the front walk last week.

dogandcat

Chloe isn’t afraid of the dogs, and especially not Zeke. Sometimes the dogs sniff her a little too enthusiastically and she backs away or swats at them, but usually it’s a pretty casual affair.

I’m adding another picture to what is usually a cat post because a bird trapped itself in our garage on Thursday.

trappedbird

This time it wasn’t a hummingbird, although it had the same problem figuring out how to escape that the hummingbirds have. At first I thought it might be a swift since we have one nesting under our deck, but the beak doesn’t look right to me, based on comparing to images I found online. I’m not a bird expert so I can’t really identify this one. It’s small, dark on top and gray below.

It couldn’t find its way out for quite a while. We were worried that Sylvester would sit around waiting for it to tire out and then pounce, but apparently that did not happen. The bird was gone after while and we didn’t find any sign of it.

Spider constellation

Wolf spiders are common around here, as well as in most of the rest of the world. Around this time of year I often see them at night, running across the concrete part of our driveway. Wednesday night when I took the dogs out for their last walk of the day, they immediately spotted one. I noticed it looked a little fuzzy.

spider_1

It was fuzzy because of the dozens of baby spiders riding piggy-back. According to Wikipedia, wolf spiders are the only spider that carry their young on their back until the babies are able to fend for themselves.

Wolf spiders may be the only spider that carry their young on their backs, but there are other arachnids that do the same thing. When I lived in Alabama, I once killed a scorpion in my house, only to see dozens of little baby scorpions scatter across the floor.

Since wolf spiders are generally nocturnal hunters, and since their eyes are reflective, I can usually spot many, many spiders out in the yard at night by shining my flashlight over the ground. Every spider eye that the beam hits looks like a glowing green jewel.

And so do their babies’ eyes.

spider_2

Some of my other shots showed more glowing eyes, but they were too blurred to use. I was shooting at night with the flash, which is what their eyes reflected, but it was hard to get a good, sharp shot.

The Peaceable Kingdom

The dog lies down with the cat.

peaceablekingdom

It’s not always so peaceable. Sometimes Sam looks at one of the cats with just a little too much interest. And sometimes one of the cats (that would be either Sylvester or Smokey) jumps Dusty or Chloe. But for this time, everyone had their place in the sun, and there was peace in our little kingdom.

A night visitor

Leah has been noticing signs of some kind of animal eating the cats’ food that she puts out in the garage. Saturday night we found out what it was.

night visitor

This possum had found the beds Leah put under the stoop at the door from the garage into the house. We often see cats under there in cold weather, but not on Saturday.

Leah wanted to get him out, but I could think of only one way to do it. A couple of years ago another possum found the cozy cat bedroom and settled in for some sleep. Unfortunately, Zeke smelled him out and tore the leash out of my hand before I could stop him. Zeke disposed of the possum, or made a good effort. There was blood. Neither of us wanted to go that route on Saturday, so we settled for baiting our live-capture trap. It came up empty Sunday morning, tripped but with the peanut butter bait still there. We set the trap again Sunday night. We’ll see how that turns out.

Sam still is

Our neighbor’s dog Sam is still here. We have explored the possibility of having him board a transport for points north, where, apparently, dogs are wanted as pets and are not thrown away as often as down here in Georgia. But so far, I haven’t had the heart. He still stays with us almost 24 hours a day, sleeps in a dog house in our yard and accompanies the dogs and me on our walks. He also still chases a cat if the cat runs, so Leah is not exactly happy with the situation. In fact, I’m not either. We already have two dogs, which is generally one more than I want at any one time. Three would be a big stretch for us.

When we are inside sitting on our couch watching television and the dogs are lying around snoozing, Sam is often on the front walk, staring in.

sam at the door

Staring and staring.

A few days ago we brought him in on a leash. He found Lucy’s peanut butter bong and was fascinated. But Sam’s previous life must have been completely devoid of interaction with people or things. He wanted to get the peanut butter out of the bong but he couldn’t figure out how to do it, because it kept trying to get away. With some coaching, he eventually figured out to hold it with one paw.

sam with bong

A few days later, after our regular Wednesday huevos rancheros and a visit to the grocery store, Sam had his own peanut butter bong. We brought him in (actually he followed me and Zeke in on his own) and put a little peanut butter in his bong. Again, it was a mystery to him.

bong getting away

Leah helped him out for a while.

sam learning bong

Eventually he figured it out again.

sam pawing bong

But every time one of us moved or made a slight noise, he ducked and stepped away from the bong. You can see in the picture above that he’s keeping an eye on me.

We also gave Zeke and Lucy a little bong treat. At one point Sam decided to try out Zeke’s, but Zeke explained in an emphatic way that the bong was his. There were no hard feelings.

After a while we put Sam out again. Neither of us trusts him enough to let him stay inside unsupervised, and, as I mentioned above, we are not really committed to keeping him. He stared at us for a while through the storm door and then went out to his house.