Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving menagerie

My husband's 40th birthday was on Tuesday, and since that's a pretty major milestone, we both took the day off.  Combined with having the days off today and tomorrow, this is turning out to be a pretty light week, which is nice.  I plan to get some serious work done on my novel this weekend, as well as spend as much time as possible at the barn.

I have lots to be thankful for today, of course: my part-time job with a wonderful family, taking care of wonderful kids; being able to make (the rest of) my living via writing; a supportive husband; and of course, my two horses, two dogs, and (as of recently) three cats.

Our menagerie has plenty of reason to be thankful, too.  Panama is thankful for children...

Panama loves the kids I take care of, and although he is always excited and ready for action when I show up, he is doubly so when I show up with kids.

Rondo is thankful to have a job...

This is what Rondo does every time I put him away after having him out, but especially after having worked with him.  It feels like he's asking, "That's it?  You're putting me away already?"

Emma, being Emma, is thankful for her life of luxury: long naps and short walks.

Emma is a pretty lazy girl, though she does enjoy her walks (when you can get her to walk -- I can, but my husband is not as much of a disciplinarian, and she takes advantage).  She has a pretty easy life, but she seems like the kind of dog that would love her life no matter what it was like.

Grace, on the other hand, has known what it's like to have bad owners.  I'd like to think she is thankful to have been with us for the past five and a half years.

Grace has always struggled with some serious hip dysplasia, but up until a year or so ago it was pretty manageable.  Last fall we had to put her on some serious pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, and that helped somewhat.  Physical therapy and acupuncture have provided some relief as well, but this fall she has been really struggling.  It has coincided with a change in who is performing our acupuncture, so a slightly different treatment might have something to do with it.  But I think, unless we can do a total hip replacement on her (we were told last year that she wasn't a good candidate, but we are going to get a second opinion), this could very well be her last winter.

Ivan, our three-year-old kitten (he never really grew out of the a$$hole kitten stage), is thankful for our new kitten, Izzy (short for Isabel).

Ivan is thrilled to have someone who will play with him.  They love to roughhouse and play chase, and he also seems to like grooming her (usually under protest from her).  I think they are going to be great friends as they grow up.

Cleo is thankful for Izzy, too.

My grumpy older female cat has never been terribly playful.  She is happiest when she's lying next to me on the couch and everyone else is just leaving her alone.  Unfortunately, for the last two and a half years that has been hard to come by: Ivan has wanted someone to play with, and since Cleo won't play, he just ends up chasing her.  I am hoping (and I think Cleo is too) that Izzy will provide the playmate that he needs, and as a result Cleo will be left alone.  (Izzy herself seems to be quite respectful of Cleo's grouchiness, and leaves her alone as soon as she is told.)

Izzy is just plain thankful to have a home.

This is the kitten who had been dumped, along with her sibling(s) who didn't survive, at the barn a little while back.  She is now about 3 months old, and no longer shows any of the timidity or other signs of having been dumped as a just-weaned kitten.  She is quite a character, bold and fearless and playful, yet still very sweet and affectionate.  I don't know how she manages to be all of it at the same time, but this kitten has big personality!  I look forward to seeing how she grows up to be.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope you and yours all have plenty to be thankful for this November!



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