Pets/Animals

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I think maybe you might be able to judge a country on whether it is 1st World or not on how they treat their pets and animals. When people, or the general population of a country, have the luxury to be able to worry about whether the stray dogs and cats have enough food and are healthy, then they have enough food and are healthy.

I was sickened by the reports that they were just shooting/killing big dogs prior to last year’s Winter Olympics in Russia. I was thinking about how cruel it was that humans could care so little to let the situation get that bad to start with. But, those people didn’t have the luxury to be able to deal with the situation. People look after themselves first, then the animals 2nd, if at all.

When I first heard Bob Barker do the spiel about getting your pets neutered or spayed, I thought the guy was a nut. Now thinking back upon it, I am embarrassed about my first impression. I didn’t really think about it, I just judged. He was really doing our society a service. We don’t want or need more cats and dogs running around, or not running around, here. We have enough.

Monday, before 6 am, when I was returning from driving Trudi to the airport, I came upon a fox walking down the street in our neighborhood. Then Monday night, when I was walking Bromont late, I saw another, or the same, fox just standing in a yard. Bromont ran right by him, which should have been mildly embarrassing to him. Then last night, some sirens went off when I was just a couple blocks from the park and a whole pack of coyotes started howling. Like lots that were maybe just 50 meters from me, across a creek. I would have bet you a million dollars that there weren’t 10 coyotes within 100 meters of me right then.

I think it is amazing how wild animals can live in a city with people. Bromont regularly will be out with me running and next thing I know he’s chasing a few deer through the yards. It’s not like I live close to the country, I’m pretty much in the middle of the city. There is a big city park close by, that is left pretty natural, with a creek running through it, so that is where most of the wild animals hang I suppose.

Bromont got an ear infection last weekend. His ear looked pretty gross a couple days ago, but is much better now. I’m not much into cleaning out smelly ear infection stuff, but I’ve been doing it twice a day for him. He knows his ear is bad, so he tolerates it pretty well. I think Bromont gets the ear infections and skin problem every Spring with allergies. He and I seem to mimic each other in that regard.

We’re having all sorts of cat situations. Our long haired cat, Fran, seemed to forget how to clean herself. When I came back from being gone a month, she was completely matted. Trudi took her to our Vet to have her groomed. She came back looking so silly. Sort of like a lion, with a bob on her tail. I think she is embarrassed.

Plus, our cats are rearranging themselves. Wink, the one eyed cat has been pretty much been living in the basement the last three years with the bike stuff. But, a few months ago, during the winter, a feral cat took refuge in the basement and that drove Wink into making a decision. She moved upstairs and now even goes outside. She seems happier.

The feral cat is getting more used to us. It will eat food within 5 feet of me, but there is no way I can touch it. We had this happen once before with Willow, and she became super friendly eventually. This cat is older, so I’m not sure it will be the same. I probably should trap the feral cat and take it to the vet to get fixed, but I don’t want to scare it away. Evenutally.

Okay, just a few things floating around in my brain. There is lots more.

Feral cat living in the basement.

Feral cat living in the basement.

Fran shaved, in the sink.

Fran shaved, in the sink.

Wink lounging in the living room.

Wink lounging in the living room.

The fox in the morning.

The fox in the morning.

Bromont checking out a stuffed racoon at the National Guard recruitment place.

Bromont checking out a stuffed racoon at the National Guard recruitment place.

And Bromont's icky ear.

And Bromont’s icky ear.

14 thoughts on “Pets/Animals

  1. Sal Ruibal

    We have foxes in our neighborhood. One big fox just trots down the road behind our house, not concerned about dogs or people. We’re on a bird migration route so we have several species come through every year going north or south depending on the season. We try to find ways to feed them in the woods instead of the patio, where our cat patrols. There’s a big lake about a half-mile away and there’s always aquatic birds there as well as the ever-present cardinals. Our Little Bear Cat stays indoors with an occasional sunny day foray in the patio. She’s a rescue cat and spayed, but I’m sure she’s curious about the rest of the world. We got her as a kitten, so we are her family. I’ve had lots of dogs and horses in my life. But I like cats best.

     
  2. VCScribe

    My biologist buddy says that coyotes have moved into the cities wholesale. It puzzled the experts for a while, but after they trapped a few and monitored their movements, it became pretty clear what was going on. Seems that, unlike in rural areas, in cities nobody is shooting at them, the food supply is better (people putting out pet food, small unattended pets, and all that garbage . . .), and basically, all these very intelligent critters have to do is learn how to avoid cars. They’re even significantly less afraid of people, although they remain very cautious. They prefer parks, golf courses, creek bottoms, and perhaps surprisingly, freeway medians. Large coyote populations live in New York’s Central Park, Chicago’s Lincoln, Washington, and Jackson Parks, and here in Austin, all along Shoal Creek, in Zilker Park, and on every golf course in town . . .

     
  3. Francisco Mancebo

    That feral cat my just be one of the oft feared laser cats, you may need to wear a welding mask in the basement until you tame him

     
  4. AT

    I agree with Steve’s assessment.

    I had the misfortune to live on a compound in Saudi Arabia for a year. The place was literally colonized by feral cats. The compound had had a vet/animal control on site and they had a really creative solution in dealing with them,

    They trapped every cat, speyed and neutered them. They gave the cats all of their shots and basically did all of the things a responsible pet owner would do minus feeding them of course. The rationale was that since cats were territorial, if they trapped and remove all of the compound’s cats then new ones would certainly move in. What we ended up with was probably one the healthiest and friendliest populations of feral cats on the planet. They helped control the pests and since they were healthy the chances they would be vectors for disease was minimal. Coming back from the pool one night, I had one basically adopt me since he saw fit to follow me home, which seemed like odd cat behavior to me. I fed that guy for the last 8 months I was there, but he never had much interest in going inside my villa.

    Also had a “pet” hedgehog that lived in a hole in my little courtyard area. I fed him too, and he got along with the cat just fine.

     
  5. Bryce L

    Wildlife in cities is also a documented phenomenon which can stem from urban sprawl, where human development colonizes wildlife habitat and displaces mobile species, like deer, coyotes, foxes, racoons, snakes, etc. ( http://www.ebd.csic.es/carnivoros/personal/eloy/landuse/hansen.pdf ). Plants have a similar response to animals in regards to urban growth which colonizes native plant communities, where generally adaptable species that can tolerate disturbance and reproduce quickly increase and higher quality plants and animals which need ‘interior habitat’ decrease in numbers (Forman and Godron, 1986; Forman and Alexander, 2000). Topeka is also low-lying and has quite a few stream channels which pierce the urban fabric and are connected to an extensive agro-ecosystem surrounding the city (ie, plant and animal sources), which act like a conduit of energy and material movement both ways, bringing wastes out of the city and plants and animals into the city. I would bet that Topeka also has its fair share of blighted or empty urban lots within a short distance of streams without road barriers between stream and lot, which function as an extension of the stream corridor habitat. Plus the extensive food sources in cites as mentioned above.

     
  6. Dog

    A few yapping coyotes can sound like 50, because of how they fluctuate their voices. It’s pretty scary to hear from afar, and kinda funny when you see the few coyotes doing it. Have you ever seen 3-4 ‘yokes hanging out? Sure. Have you ever seen 50 of them? Not me.

     
  7. orphan

    Dog is right. And when the litter starts venturing out of the den they can sound like 100.

     
  8. The Cyclist

    The reason Russians care so little is bc they’re drunk all the time. And that is really really sad…

     
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  10. Carl Williams

    It is unusual to see wild animals in the city since it is not really the safest place for them to be. I didn’t know that big dogs were just being shot to die in Russia, I think that is just sad and cruel. I love the fact that you are just allowing that feral cats to eat in your basement and respect its wish not to be bothered. In a city were a lot of animals seem to be everyone, it could use more people like you to look after those animals and treat them with kindness.

     

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