Thursday, December 1, 2011

Creature Comforts

As part of my nurturing nature, I make sure that every being in my care is as comfortable as is humanly possible.  This means that the chickens and ducks have heated water in the winter, shelter from wind and rain, fresh shavings in their nesting boxes (hint, hint, hint), popcorn for special occasions, and, if I am really feeling motherly, I will cook their scratch grains in the slow cooker overnight until it's like hot breakfast cereal.  The goats have their Dogloo house in the barn, with a nice thick layer of straw for cuddling up.  They have a light on a timer, fresh water in a heated bucket, minerals, baking soda, a portion of grain twice a day and hay.  The sheep will soon have a nice, big run-in shed with a thick layer of straw for bedding and, budget-willing, an inside hay rack and an outside hay rack.  They also have a large heated water bucket.

Inside - well, let's just say that some of us are more comfortable than others.  Kramer is the Poster Boy of Comfort.  He knows a warm place when he finds it. 

He only enjoys classical music for its soothing warmth.
 Scrappy has his blankie, which he loves in the evening.  I wrap him up like an enchilada and he is snoring softly in minutes.  As soon as his gentle snorts are wafting about the room, Kramer moves in.

The cats have their own room, complete with a padded comfy chair and scratching posts, two large litter pans (cleaned daily) and cat-sized furniture.  They also have the rest of the house which they use liberally.

I am still trying to find the comfort zone for Bernie.  She has been so deeply scarred from whatever hell her previous life put her through, that I don't think she will ever be truly comfortable.  So we have to just take advantage of the moments she NOT on guard and poised to flee.  She does like the new couch and, in the morning when I'm in my rocker knitting my cabled things, she will tentatively inch toward the couch next to me.  Looking worried all the way.  Once she is absolutely sure it is allowed, she will hop up and curl into a ball with her head on the pillow and gets all squinty.

Every morning, the dogs get their kibble with warm broth.  (Don't tell the cats!  They'll think I love the dogs more.  Which I don't.  Mostly.)  There are bright orange fleecy vests to wear during hunting season and lots of crunchy treats for any reason.

If it were possible, I would love to be one of my dogs.  But I would have to figure out how to be in two bodies at one time, and that would involve time travel and Buddhism or something very complicated - like quantum physics squared by pi.  Not likely.


  1. Wow! When can *I* move in!? I can clean up after myself and don't shed (much) :)

  2. I think if you keep cabling, Bernie will be your best buddy in no time at all. :) Perhaps cabling is the cure for all the ills of the world!

    I am glad your animals are so well taken care of. Reminds me of something my dad said to my mom once: "When I die, I'm not coming back as a person. I'm coming back as a dog at this house, because they have a better life than most humans!"

  3. Poor Bernie :( I am sure that one day she will just just let her guard down and be a relaxed dog. She cant take a few hints from snoozing Scratchy there? It is so nice that you take such wonderful care of your animals. Oh if everyone could do the same it would be a much better world.

  4. Wouldn't it be great if we could read their minds? Not just their expressions, but thoughts. I would love that. I think yours would be thinking they have the best mom in the world!

  5. Your critters must be VERY happy! :o)

    Have a great day, Susan.

  6. Amazing the things we do for our little furball loves, isn't it? But can you really ever repay them for what they give to us? I can only try (with lots of cat treats and bones and yes, even broth in the dog food!).

    Thanks for the pictures!

  7. You are such a loving person to all. Now my question is... what do you do for yourself? We seem to tend everyone else and forget ourselves. Now I am hungry for pi.

  8. Loved seeing those pictures! How long have you had Bernie? I'm sure you've never even said a harsh word to her so she must, indeed, have been through awful times to still not feel comfortable in her forever home with you. Mama Tea is right; if we could read their thoughts maybe we could make it all better.

    Scrappy looks unbelievably comfy and cozy wrapped in his blanket. If only all of US were as well taken care of. No one's wrapped me up like an enchilada in ever so long. Sigh. ;o}

  9. Loved the pictures! My cats are always making their home on random objects. It amazes me how they can curl up on the smallest things and still look so comfortable!

  10. Jenyfer - You have a lot more going for you than the rest of us here! Come on down!

    Mama Tea - Breakthrough this morning - she allowed me to wrap her up and she snoozed on the couch!

    Jane - Bernie and I have been together for over five years. While she's made huge strides, I don't think she'll ever be relaxed. But she'll be loved!

    APG - I would only want to read their minds if they were thinking nice thoughts about me...

    MF - They look after me as well - protecting me from invading squirrels and anyone walking on "their" road. Hope you had a wonderful day, too.

  11. CR - Thank goodness I'm not the only one who puts broth in their kibble!

    Nancy - I think that caring for them takes care of me - they give me a lot back. Mmmm, pi!

    Mama Pea - I know Bernie loves me, so that is something. I have to be careful because, if I raise my voice to the cats or Scrappy (which, bad me, I have done on occasion), Bernie takes it personally. Oh, how nice it would be to have someone wrap me/us up like enchiladas...

    PC - Hi there! It IS amazing how tiny they can get, isn't it? My late cat, Tippet, used to curl up in bowls, hats, anything.

  12. I love those photos! I tell Sally every now and then how lucky she is, but she has no idea. I guess that's the point.

  13. What lucky critters to have you for their mom!! :)
    We used to have a cat that slept on top of the VCR that sat on top of the TV, warmest spot in the house!

  14. I'm the same as you, re: my critters. I can only sleep good on a stormy night if I know that my babies are all nice and safe and warm. Love your pictures....