Mother’s Day

I am Mama to two cats and three chickens and that is fine by me.  Intentional, even.   I am thankful that my mother and father did not limit themselves to pets.  I have siblings and parents to spend holidays with. My brothers became this generation’s parents, their wives gave us nieces and nephews to love.  My sister and I decided to have pets instead.  So my Mother’s Day went like this:

Snapdragon discovers the deck.

Snapdragon discovers the deck.

John and I were outside assembling some 2 x 10 lumber into raised beds for planting.  Dana and Paul loaned us some metal corners for raised beds that made assembly fairly easy.  The chickens like it when we are outside.  They came out of the brush to check out the activity and decided to explore our deck.  (Which is also the front porch.)  Snapdragon found the stairs.  Then Clara Barton, intrigued by Snapdragon’s new height, decided to check it out.  Sweet Pea (or Sweat Pea, as I accidentally wrote in a previous story) couldn’t take it, suddenly she was alone and these birds like to move as a unit.  Up the steps she went.  They found the cats’ water bowl and drank from it all at once.

The birds found the cats' water bowl.

The birds found the cats’ water bowl.

Amos discovers an open coop

Amos discovers an open coop

Meanwhile our 14 year old cat, Amos,  found the chicken coop.  I had opened the coop to clean it and turned my back for a minute.  Amos took this opportunity to explore the coop and thoroughly sniff it.  He drank from the water bowl in the coop while the chickens were drinking from his bowl on the deck, which made me laugh.  They traded places.  It’s been interesting to watch Amos adjust to the birds.  He is Mama’s boy and jealous.  He watches them intently, not tail-twitching-about-to-eat-a-bird watching.  More of a “Why do these things appeal to Mama?” watching.  He seems to realize they are pets.  About a week ago he caught a feral cat stalking the birds.  Amos leaped from the deck, over the chickens, onto that cat and taught him a lesson.  Cat as shepherd?  I thought so until this morning; he charged the birds and scattered them.  I yelled at Amos as he approached the birds and he jumped up into a tree and looked at me casually, as if that had been his plan all along.  I am not so sure.

Sniff inspection

Sniff inspection

A bit later I tried to shoo the chickens off the deck.  They are indiscriminate poopers and this is our porch, not a coop.  I approached them and said, “Come on girls, back into the yard now.”  As I followed them, they circled the table and headed back to the steps.  “Good girls!’ I said.  Moving as a unit, they made a hard left and went back around the table, now agitated because I was following them.  I could see the little chicken-wheels turning in their heads as they gauged the distance between the balusters, looking for an escape route.  We went around the table again.  They stayed on the deck.  I have a short attention span so after 3 turns around the table, I walked away and let them have the deck to themselves.  Who rules the roost here?

Later I told my sister Dana that chickens aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer.  She replied, “They were still on the deck after you left, weren’t they?  Point taken.

A lame Rory Gallagher

A lame Rory Gallagher

Rory Gallagher, our 1 year old kitten, tore a ligament in his knee 3 weeks ago.  He is lame, poor little boy.  His right rear leg is weak and unstable.  So far he has had x-rays, ultra-sound, and anti-inflammatory injections.  We have taken him to two vets.  (I know, I know… two vets, multiple treatments… but he is Mama’s little boo-boo baby kitten face.)   He has to stay indoors for 6 weeks, which is good for our chickens, but not for Rory Gallagher.  It is like telling a 5 year old boy not to move for a month.  If we give him medicine to kill the pain, he runs and leaps and has a setback.  If we don’t give him any pain killer, he limps and cries.  He has managed to compensate in several ways.  He sometimes eats lying down.  He likes to play with toys that we can wave around while he lies on his back, he takes a swipe at them and grabs them, but he can’t chase anything.  He has messy fur now, he can’t clean himself fastidiously as a cat prefers.  So we brush him and fuss over him and wipe his butt.  Yes, I did put in writing that we wipe our cat’s butt.  With diaper wipes.  Because he is pitiful and cute.  He bites me to say thanks.  Not mean bites.  Firm, do-not-do-that-again-anytime-soon bites.  Such is the life of a parent.  At least we don’t have to buy him a car or put him through college.

Caprese

Caprese

Then there’s MY Mama.  She is one of the most beautiful people on Earth.  Smart as heck, funny, kind, a good hugger.   We (Dana, Paul and I) took a dish over to Mom and Dad’s.  We had BBQ from Luella’s in Asheville, pinto beans, hush puppies, Caprese salad, and vino.  I ate too much.  So what else is new?

I am so very happy to spend Mother’s Day with my Mom after 20 years in another state!  It’s so sweet to be able to see my Mom and Dad every week.  Truly lovely.  My sister-in-law Cindy (a wonderful Mom herself) came by with her daughter, Kady.

Then we went into Asheville to the Altamont Theater, met my John there.  We saw Frank Vignole and Vinny Raniolo play smokin’ jazz guitar, a wonderful performance.  Funny, too.  Ever see two guys play Swan Lake on guitar while doing ballet?  Good stuff.  These two are world-class musicians, playing note for note simultaneously, harmonizing.  They did everything from Hendrix to Tchaikovsky.  Really.

Now I am happy and sleepy.

Later this week, I will be planting heirloom seeds and seedlings in those raised beds.  At least I hope to.  After weeks of warm temps we have a hard frost warning tonight.  Patience required.

Nighty-night, mothers everywhere.

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