Saturday, June 20, 2009

relative of the rat

I've been off the past week, staying at home doing some projects while my sister and nephews visited. The boys attended Bradley's awesome World of Wonder program. Last night, a friend stopped over - she had not seen my sister in a long while. I walked into the kitchen to get more coffee and saw a peculiar mouse dead on the floor. Earlier I had noticed the cat quite interested in what was underneath the cook book shelf.

Readers of this blog know that I have a severe reaction to mice. I don't even like picking up dead ones. I tried to get the dogs to eat it, but they looked at me like I was crazy. They eat baby rabbits that the cats have killed, so why not a mouse?

I didn't want to cause a scene, so I decided, "I can do this." I found two paper plates and a bag and prepared to scoop it up. When I touched it, however, it moved. Walked a few inches and then sat back down. My sister heard the commotion and came to the kitchen. She has the same feelings toward rodents as I do. Warned that it was still breathing, she was prepared. She grabbed the plates and dropped it in the bag. About then, Riley began to protest that we were suffocating the helpless beast.

Later, my sister asked if I was sure it was a mouse. "It had a long, bare tail like a rat," she said.

"Please God no," I said. I ran to the computer and typed in "Field Mouse" which was what I thought the creature was. Thank all goodness. Field mice are related to Brer Rat, thus the long bare tale and pronounced metatarsals.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Coltrane . . . one of my favorite things

Our little white kitty Blaze found a friend.

He coaxed a shy grey kitty into the yard over the past week. We have watched white kitty and grey kitty play recent evenings. Two nights ago, grey kitty presented with a hurt left front paw. It was swollen, and he held it up.

We took him into our sun room, where we have a litter box, scratch pad, food, and water. Next morning, the swelling was worse. The vet clinic said he needed antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, flea treatment, stool testing, neutering, leukemia testing, and vaccinations.

Little grey kitty is quite affectionate and seems unfazed by dogs or other cats.

I dropped him off at the clinic over my lunch hour. As I drove back to Bradley campus, I tuned in WGLT, public radio station from neighbor ISU. They played John Coltrane on sax performing "My favorite things," one of which is "whiskers on kittens." Coltrane's performance is masterful. I hummed the tune as I picked through the salad bar and soup line. I couldn't get it out of my head.

So, I decided to name him "Coltrane." I love them both.

Here's John on soprano sax:

Later my nephew Riley and I were composing limericks about all sorts of things. Such as the boy from Chicago. Well what rhymes with Chicago, I asked? "Blago" he answered.

About Coltrane, we wrote:

There once was a kitty named Coltrane
He wouldn't go out in the snow or the rain
He liked to sit back
And play tenor sax
And that's how he got his really cool name.