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Airbrush
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Post an experience with a pet that was important to you.

We had a good, long experience with a family of 2 cat sisters, and a little dog (the same size as the cats) for 14 years.  The cats lived to 20 and almost 22, the dog lived to almost 15.

This is what happened to me with one of our cats.  She liked to explore the back yard.  She, and her sister, would beg to go into the backyard.  I tried to supervise as much as I could but she and her sister would get left alone, and even though they could escape the block wall around the back yard, they didn't.  We restricted their time outdoors more over time, because of the dangers of wondering off.  Our cat was waiting at the screen door to get in.  There was something big in her mouth, looked like a tiny bird at first.  It was a huge moth.  I made the mistake of letting her get inside the house with the moth in her mouth.  I shook her to let go of the moth, and she dropped it, so the moth flew across the room.  How to capture such a huge moth?  I didn't want to kill it, but I didn't want to handle it either.  What to do?  I thought of opening the patio door and get a towel to wave it out the patio door.  My cat was aware and she chased the moth leaping into the air, trying to catch the moth as it flew around in the room.  In a few seconds the moth flew too low and my cat jumped up catching the moth in her mouth.  Then I carefully carried her outside and shook her, she dropped the moth and it flew away!

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Hey, I have two cat sisters also, named BB and DD.
Mine are strictly indoor cats, but BB is very adventurous and has sneaked outside the odd time.
The one time she did bring me back a present.
She walked back in with something furry in its mouth, and dropped a little, dead mouse at my feet.

I haven't let it lick my face since.

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One of our cats caught and brought in a Goldfinch.


After chasing it around for a few minutes, I was able to pick it up in a paper towel and release it back outside where it flew away.

Edited by Daecon
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Thanks for posting those pet experiences!

Our dog was a cocker spaniel-maltese, who weighed 15 to 20 lbs.   He looked like a cute polar bear cub, with big black button eyes and button nose.  He was one year old when he was rejected by a family that could not handle him.  He was destined to be returned to the animal shelter when we interceded.  We had a chance to get to know him and decided to try keeping him and see if the cats, who were already 7 years old, would accept him.  He quickly learned to leave the cats alone because they would hiss at him if he got too close, or even LOOKED at them the wrong way.

After his first walk around the neighborhood, he was hooked!  Every day he reminded me that he really, REALLY wanted to go for a walk, by barking and dancing around excitedly.  He got me into the habit of taking him for a half-mile walk about 3 or 4 times a week for years, up until age 12, when I retired, then our walks increased to almost every day.  We covered about (3x52x12=1,872) + (2x350=700) = 2,572 walks of a half mile each walk = about 1200 miles.  I walked my dog a total of over 1200 miles in 14 years!

Here's what happened one time when I took my dog for a walk.  It was a very cold winter evening, so I put on his heavy wool sweater with a turtle neck.  I made the grave mistake not attaching his leash BEFORE I opened the gate.  I never did that again!  He saw a dog across the street, and before I could attach his leash to his harness, he ran to the other dog, twice his size, attacking it.  He didn't know he was a small dog.  The person walking the other dog just stood there and allowed her bigger dog to grab my dog by the neck.  She could have separated them with a foot, but didn't.  I ran over there, and within a few seconds was able to pry the other dog's jaws off my dog's neck.  He survived!!  My dog may have been killed, IF he was not wearing that heavy, woolen, turtle neck sweater!

 

Edited by Airbrush
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22 hours ago, MigL said:

Hey, I have two cat sisters also, named BB and DD.
Mine are strictly indoor cats, but BB is very adventurous and has sneaked outside the odd time.

Good to keep them indoors as much as possible for their safety. 

What is the age of your cat sisters?  Is one of them more talkative? 

One of ours was the leader,  more adventurous.  She was the first one to climb to the top of a ladder I left inside the house, and the first to climb up the security screen door to get on top of the door.  They had to be rescued on several occasions.  One time the adventurous one jumped off the door and landed on her belly in her sand box, and bounced out just fine!

Edited by Airbrush
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One of my very best friends was my adopted Yellow Lab dog.  I named her Goldie.  Never could train her not to go out into the rural/remote woods of SW OR USA,.(42N, 123W, kinda)  Once she caught a small possum and brought it into the solar homestead cabin through both doggie doors and laundry room airlock.  Proudly she dropped it at my feet in the kitchen.  The possum was playing possum.  It was not dead.  It came back to uninjured life thank you.  In the kitchen.

Quite the circus with me, Golder, (the dog) and the very pissed off very much alive possum.  Pretty nasty animals when angry.  Anyhow, with the dog, me and a kitchen broom we managed to herd the aforementioned possum out through the first doggie door.  Then I locked that door and walked around the cabin with Goldie eagerly following ready for some more fun and games.  After putting her back in the cabin I released the pissed off possum.  Much fun for all of us.

Related Kinda.  Before the dog we had problems with mice and pack rats.  I captured a huge bull snake and released it under the cabin.  Problem solved?  Almost.  During cold or snowy weather that snake had the bad habit of crawling up into bed with us.  Just trying to stay warm I guess.  No problem.  But rather disconcerting at first for my lady friend.  She quickly got over it and the snake became a good pet.  Kept the mice and rats away also.  Years ago. Memories.

 

Edited by HB of CJ
w/w s/p
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On 9/15/2017 at 2:49 AM, Airbrush said:

Post an experience with a pet that was important to you.

I once had a Rotty (Rottweiler) who has now passed on at 13.5 years of age. He was a big sook but had the loudest, most ferocious bark you could imagine, and obviously a great watch dog.  In our street we often had the Assembly of God, or Seven day adventists making house calls...generally in pairs. One day I noticed a couple doing their house calls but still a few doors up the street. I immediatley  brought Rocky inside and sat him at the front security door in full view of the path leading up to it and the street. In time the young couple made their way to my place and started to walk up the path to my front door. Rocky (the dog's name) gave just one of his customary barks and stood up. The couple froze, looked at each other and decided to leave me in peace. :) 

Rocky would also have the habit when I was sitting watching the footy having a beer, of laying at my feet, and cleansing/licking between my toes for all the toe jam he could obtain. :) 

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When my dog Spunky was 10 we noticed cataracts beginning to form in his eyes.  Within a month his vision had declined so much that he could barely see.  We researched cataract surgery and decided on it.  It would cost $5000 US.  My wife took 2 weeks off work to keep him company all day, every day after the surgery.  I prepared Spunky for his surgery by introducing him to the cone collar he would have to wear constantly for 2 weeks after surgery.  Before taking him for his favorite daily activity, going for a walk, I put the cone around his neck so he would get used to wearing it while he was having fun.  For a couple of weeks I had him wear the cone every day walking him around the neighborhood. 

For a couple of days after the surgery he acted so helpless, we thought he could still not see.  But then in a couple of days he showed us he could indeed see again!  Success!  It transformed him back to his normal spunky self!  That gave us another 4 years of going for walks!

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We often let our chickens out of the coop to roam our fenced in yard. In the evening they go back in the coop to roost. Except for one. Goldie always waits for my wife or me to come out and close up the coop, runs over to us to get picked up and petted, any only then will go in and roost for the night. Chickens have interesting personalities.

One of our ducks, both females, likes to hump the other when they go swimming.

When my cat wants to go outside it comes over to the couch and touches me on the shoulder, so that I can follow it to the door and let it out. First time it did that I about died laughing. :)

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5 hours ago, zapatos said:

.....Chickens have interesting personalities.

......

When my cat wants to go outside it comes over to the couch and touches me on the shoulder, so that I can follow it to the door and let it out.....:)

That's going to make it more difficult for me to eat chicken.  I would have never thought chickens have personalities.

When her sister died, my other cat became friendly with our dog for the first time.  After my dog died, 7 months later, my cat became interested in the vacuum cleaner!  All her life she was terrified by the vacuum cleaner.  After her sister and brother were gone, she lost fear of the vacuum cleaner, as if considering it a living being.  Several times when I vacuumed the floor, she would follow me and the vacuum cleaner around.

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On ‎9‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 2:52 PM, Daecon said:

One of our cats caught and brought in a Goldfinch.
After chasing it around for a few minutes, I was able to pick it up in a paper towel and release it back outside where it flew away.

I'm glad to hear about the happy ending.

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My cat never kills anything it brings in the house. It just brings them in for playmates. I've found lizards, mice and chipmunks running around inside the house. If she brings in a snake I'm getting rid of her. :)

Edited by zapatos
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Cat's speed

This one happens when I was just a small kid (one of my earliest meaningful memories). My parents were building our home and most of the rooms in the house were still unfinished. I was playing in one almost empty room. There was a carpet rolled next to the wall. At one moment I saw a mouse running into the hole (a tunnel) formed between the carpet and the wall. The hole/tunnel had a small cross-section, just ideal for a mouse. I knew that the mouse can only exit the same way it entered inside, as the other end of the carpet was pressed to the other wall.

I had an idea... I knew where my cat was sleeping so I quickly ran out and got my still sleeping cat. I placed it just half foot away from the opening, wondering what the cat will do in order to catch the mouse. I was quite disappointed. My cat was not excited at all - she just continued napping where I put her... And then, suddenly, it happened...

For whatever reason the mouse decided to break through - it ran from the tunnel at the high speed several inches from the cat's nose. In exactly that instant (I am talking milliseconds) the cat wake up and hit the running mouse with her paw. As a result, the mouse flew off vertically some two feet (over 50cm) high in the air. Before the mouse fell to the ground the cat caught it with its teeth and ran through the door.... I will always remember this episode as it demonstrates reflexes ways above any human can produce.

 

Cat's courage

Many years later and involving different cat... It was summer and it was hot and my home is in a rural setting. All the doors were open wide. I was working in a living room on my computer when suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw something small (but larger than a mouse) quickly ran through the living room and into the kitchen. My cat followed, at full speed, about one second later. (Somehow the cat knew exactly where to go although I am not sure she was able to see that the chased animal turned into the kitchen.) Then, coming from somewhere under the kitchen bench, I heard some fighting noise and a most incredible sound... like a high-pitched scream that freezes blood in your veins.

The fight lasted only 4-5 seconds. My cat was victorious and it ran off the same way it entered, carrying something in her mouth... Later I was examining the body of the animal my cat killed. It was a weasel (of some sort, cannot tell the exact species). The weasel had teeth so sharp and scary that I would never go near it if it was not dead already. But my cat did not care about them.

 

Dog's determination (or dog vs cat)

This is a sad story... I don't consider dogs to be very determined animals. Dogs always look at their owners, guessing if owners are pleased or pissed with their behavior... One day I was in my backyard and my medium-sized dog was in my vicinity, completely relaxed. At once, I saw, my dog froze in place, intensively looking at one spot some ten-twelve meters away. All the muscles in dog's body were tense, and I am pretty sure that at that moment his owner (me) ceased to exist in his mind. I looked in the same direction and saw an unfamiliar cat sleeping in the grass. Very, very stupid cat...

Before I could react in any way, in just a few jumps my dog was there. The cat woke up but it was too late (the cat tried to fly away, not to fight back). My dog grabbed it into his teeth. The cat was dead after less than two seconds of shaking... This part of dog's nature is something that most people don't see very often. It is also funny to me when I hear people wonder if a cat is a match to a dog in a fight - only to a playful dog maybe, certainly not to a determined one.

 

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14 hours ago, NimrodTheGoat said:

My lamb (Bob), escaped his cage once

You have a lamb in a cage? That sounds absolutely dreadful.

On 9/18/2017 at 10:23 PM, Airbrush said:

 I would have never thought chickens have personalities.

It is surprising how different the individuals can be, and I'm afraid to admit that I see more differences in behaviour between our chickens than I see between our human neighbours.

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20 hours ago, zapatos said:

My cat never kills anything it brings in the house. It just brings them in for playmates. I've found lizards, mice and chipmunks running around inside the house. If she brings in a snake I'm getting rid of her. :)

I have a similar problem, albeit with less interesting wildlife.  My two cats are very much outdoors cats, and although most of the time they bring in dead animals (we've had mice, shrews, the occasional bird, one bat, and once they left a dead squirrel outside the back door), sometimes they bring me live mice too.  I wouldn't mind if they actually stayed interested but once they've brought the thing to me they seem to think their part in the affair is over, despite the fact that they're far better equipped to catch the thing than I am!  I also once found a live sparrow perched on my living room curtain rail, which I assumed was their doing as well.

Never a dull moment with cats around...! :)

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1 hour ago, Juno said:

Never a dull moment with cats around...! :)

That's true - cats from our village often trespass in our garden and chase lizards and birds. Needless to say, I treat them as vermin. I can't understand how cat owners think it is perfectly acceptable for their pets to wander without control.

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32 minutes ago, DrKrettin said:

That's true - cats from our village often trespass in our garden and chase lizards and birds. Needless to say, I treat them as vermin. I can't understand how cat owners think it is perfectly acceptable for their pets to wander without control.

Unless you keep them exclusively indoors, they are difficult to control. I can't understand how people can keep any animal always confined.

Do the cats hurt you and your garden, or is it their impact on local wildlife you are concerned about? Or maybe something different? Just curious as most cats that wander my neighborhood don't impact me in any way. They mostly just skulk around in the shadows.

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10 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Unless you keep them exclusively indoors, they are difficult to control. I can't understand how people can keep any animal always confined.

Do the cats hurt you and your garden, or is it their impact on local wildlife you are concerned about? Or maybe something different? Just curious as most cats that wander my neighborhood don't impact me in any way. They mostly just skulk around in the shadows.

Yes, they have a negative impact on our garden because they do chase and kill lizards, which I strongly object to. Of course I can't quantify any damage to local birds, and they don't bother our chicken. When I lived in the UK on a small farm, cats used to use my seed bed in the garden as a toilet, and that made me furious enough to use the shotgun. What annoys me is the general disregard for the environment which cat owners often display, letting their pets wander without restraint. It is particularly irritating that their response is usually "it's in the nature of a cat - that's what they do" as if this justified the behaviour which would not be acceptable for, say, a dog.

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14 minutes ago, DrKrettin said:

Yes, they have a negative impact on our garden because they do chase and kill lizards, which I strongly object to. Of course I can't quantify any damage to local birds, and they don't bother our chicken. When I lived in the UK on a small farm, cats used to use my seed bed in the garden as a toilet, and that made me furious enough to use the shotgun. What annoys me is the general disregard for the environment which cat owners often display, letting their pets wander without restraint. It is particularly irritating that their response is usually "it's in the nature of a cat - that's what they do" as if this justified the behaviour which would not be acceptable for, say, a dog.

Agreed that cats have a big impact on wildlife. I once heard that cats are one of the biggest threats to various bird species. I can't find that article but below is an excerpt from a paper about how bad they are in the US.

Here we have laws against people letting their pets run wild. While I rarely see a dog running wild I see it all the time with cats. I assume it has to do with the generally non-threatening nature of cats and the fact that people feel confident their cats will return.

 

Quote

Here we conduct a systematic review and quantitatively estimate mortality caused by cats in the United States. We estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.3–4.0 billion birds and 6.3–22.3 billion mammals annually. Un-owned cats, as opposed to owned pets, cause the majority of this mortality. Our findings suggest that free-ranging cats cause substantially greater wildlife mortality than previously thought and are likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic mortality for US birds and mammals.

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms2380

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15 hours ago, DrKrettin said:

It is surprising how different the individuals [chickens] can be, and I'm afraid to admit that I see more differences in behaviour between our chickens than I see between our human neighbours.

Does it make it more difficult to kill and eat a chicken when you know its' personality?  I'm from the city and thus not familiar with animal slaughter, so I would not be able to kill a chicken to eat it, unless very dire circumstances.  Are your chickens just for eggs?

On the subject of indoor or outdoor cats, if you want to ensure your cat lives a long life, you better encourage your cats to be content with INdoors.  Have toys, cat games, catnip, scratching pads or posts, and structures to climb and play on, and hide inside.   Have water containers several places throughout the house.  They like to patrol from one water source to another, and back again.  

Cats naturally want to explore the great outdoors.   Try to supervise their time outdoors.  We were lucky our back yard is surrounded by a 5' high block wall.  Our cats could jump up on the wall, but it became harder for them when they got older.  When we caught them up on the wall we sprayed them in the face with a misting spray bottle and expressed our disapproval.  They gradually learned.  Also my dog scared away other cats and opossums with his barking, and he dominated the doggie door which usually discouraged our cats from sneaking out the doggie door, which made our cats safer.

Edited by Airbrush
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6 hours ago, Airbrush said:

Does it make it more difficult to kill and eat a chicken when you know its' personality?  I'm from the city and thus not familiar with animal slaughter, so I would not be able to kill a chicken to eat it, unless very dire circumstances.  Are your chickens just for eggs?

 

They are purely for eggs. In fact, there is no conflict because (generally) chickens are bred either for egg-laying or meat. If you keep those intended for meat, you don't give them names or get cosy with them, and in my experience, an egg-layer is virtually inedible with little meat  anyway.

As for not being able to kill, I think civilisation is only one meal distant from barbarity, and perhaps you would surprise yourself as to how quickly you would change your mind about killing an animal if you were really hungry. Having owned a farm I was often confronted with the really unpleasant need to kill an animal - the worst was having to put down a malformed lamb or calf. The trick is not to give an animal a name - it's difficult to kill something with a name. My neighbour once had a couple of pet lambs called "Chops" and "Curry", and I just could not eat any of the meat he offered me - I need it to be anonymous.

Edited by DrKrettin
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  • 2 weeks later...

I always joked that my dog was my trainer.  After I took him for his first walk, he always wanted more of that!  For the first few years he would remind me that it was time to go for a walk, after I got home from work.  That got me into the habit and then all I needed to do was show him his leash and say "Let's go" and he would jump up, barking in excitement.  I caught his enthusiasm for going around the neighborhood.  After bringing him home from our walk, I would leave him in the yard and I would jog another mile.  He passed away in his bed 14 months ago, but I still love to go for a jog early in the morning, almost every day.  He may have got me into the habit!   I still think about him, and the cats, every day.  I doubt we will get new pets, because they were such a good group of kids that I doubt we could do that well again.

Edited by Airbrush
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