Tag Archives: animals

Before the Roosters Crow

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From my porch, 091416

I got up before daylight this morning and took coffee to the porch.  There was a light drizzle, and gusty breezes sang through the trees.  I snuggled in winter bathrobe–thankful that mid-nineties summer heat has finally eased off–and let mind wander, guided by the rhythms of live oak branches and leaves dancing in the wind.

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Squire on his perch, 091416

Otherwise, all was quiet, no machine noise, and only sporadic crows of the roosters.  They seek reassurance, back and forth.  I answer with my translations.  To Squire’s five-note crow, I respond, “I love you so much!”  To Speckles two notes I sing “You, too!  Go back to sleep.”  And they do.

Silence again, but for the rustling crackle of oak leaves in the waves of wind.  For 20 minutes, I watch the sky lightening, as shades of gray transition into tones of green and blue.   Rain slackens.  Then the primal screams begin again.  This time, Speckles wakens the crows in the trees, who cackle an annoyed reply.  Squire answers once, then all is quiet again, but for the breeze and the drip, drip, drip of rain petering out.

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Speckles and Brownie, 091416

I think about how this weather is my favorite, cool but not cold, and breezy, lifting thoughts and carrying them wherever the wind blows.  Absent human noise, even the birds still sleeping.

The roosters set my daily clock.  Their morning greetings are like love songs to the rising sun.  I sing back in human words, believing that my intent to greet the day joyfully, in harmony with nature herself, carries far and wide, inspiring the dreams of those still sleeping.

Suddenly a gust of wind blows the rug across the porch and over my potted herbs.  A moment of panic startles me out of reverie.  Memories of hurricane Hermine, only a week and a half ago, merge with memories of the garden spider that succumbed to the storm’s high-velocity blasts.  As the storm moved in, I saw the spider struggling at the web’s anchor on the asparagus fern, looking panicked.  A  large twig attached to Spanish moss had blown into her web, ripping it apart.  My heart went out to her, but what could I do?  I had the chance to say good bye, because I knew she had little chance to survive the blasts of wind, this late in the season.  The next day, I could find no evidence or trace of her body.  Only the moss-covered twig, swinging on the strong web anchor from above, proved she ever lived.

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Hermine the Spider’s first web, 072016

I have watched that spider all summer.  She moved her web three times, after I kept bumping into it on the porch.  Finally, the web stretched from the fern on the porch to a low-hanging branch of the live oak tree, out of my way and over my head.  The huge spider was easy to see, with body at least two inches long and legs another three inches.

bananasdown091416The storm also broke the top half of a banana tree that had a rack of green bananas.  I had dearly hoped these bananas would have a chance to ripen before the first frost.  My garden this year was a miserable failure, but the bananas showed some promise, for the first time in over ten years of trying.

Storm Hermine threw branches and moss all over the yard and knocked out power and water for 48 hours, but the spider’s struggles and disappearance remain my most poignant memory of the storm’s passage.

This morning, as the dawn broke, I noted the moss and twig swaying in the breeze, and thought about how everything runs its course.  That oak tree may be over 100 years old, but garden spiders live only a season.  My three chickens are five years old and have a projected life span of not much longer.  They keep me focused in the moment, with more vitality packed into five pounds of feathers and mouth than any creatures I’ve ever known.

At 7 a.m., the roosters start crowing in earnest, and my quiet time ends with the primal rooster message:

“I love you so much!”

“You, too!”

 

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Memories of Hermine, 091416

September 14, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

I Smell a Rat

September 8, 2016

by Dr. Kathorkian
an alter ego of katharineotto.wordpress.com

rat090616I am a murderer.  In defiance of my lifelong aversion to killing–war, capital punishment, abortion for me or by me (others have their own choices to make), physician-assisted suicide–I starved a rat this week by trapping him in the pantry.  I had already protected my edibles in a large metal trash can, because of the rat/mouse infestation that has plagued me for more than a year.

I’m the type of person who apologizes to blood-sucking mosquitoes before swatting them, but I’m absolutely opposed to the government spraying the marsh with malathion to kill mosquitoes at large, or the farming industry spreading pesticides willy-nilly over farmland.

I eat so little meat that I might as well be a vegetarian.  I like bacon but couldn’t kill a hog, even if I knew how, so that makes me a hypocrite. I have been known  to kill shrimp.  Blue crabs, too, but they are too much work to eat. Fish?  I’d rather not and don’t know how to fish.  Since I got chickens eight years ago, I have not eaten chicken.  I wonder these days how many people have even seen a live chicken, and if they had, could they kill and eat them?

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S. Squire Rooster, Attorney, for the Law of the Land

As methods of murder go, poison exists in the same category as bombs, because they are generally non-specific.  I actually bought poison to control the rodents but took it back.  My intention was to feed the river with rat remains, thereby alleviating my guilt, but poison would have made that rat’s body dangerous for the wildlife I like.  Traps are messy, unreliable and non-specific, too. I have a cat and rooster to protect.  The main reason I have rats is because my rooster, Squire, lives in the house and the cat lives outside.  Rats really like chicken food, I discovered, especially sunflower seeds, and they leave husks, shreds of clothing, mouse turds, and urine wherever they go.

In the past couple of years, rats have eaten through refrigerator wiring, a washing machine drain hose, sofa bedding, clothes, walls, packages of food, drapes, and even through a hard plastic cat food container.  They have taken up residence behind the stove and eaten through and urinated on the insulation at the bottom.  Like the human rats in government, I’ve learned that if there is something you have that they want, they will find a way to get it or destroy it, and leave the stink behind.

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Socksie by the marsh

Rat stink was making me sick, I decided, and cleaning up after them was pushing me to re-evaluate my excessively high moral standards.  I had visions of getting hemorrhagic fever from rat urine, bubonic plague from rat fleas, death by asphyxiation.  I bribed and threatened my cat, who watched the rats while they ate her food, then moved outdoors and refused to come back in.

I looked into getting a rat snake.  I discovered the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has outlawed selling native snakes. (The DNR is another blog, another day.) The local reptile dealer says he could be fined $20,000 and shut down if he sold one.

I prayed for a rat snake, and about two months ago, a black kingsnake dropped from heaven (actually out of the attic when I let the stairs down). He may be a cotton mouth moccasin, but he disappeared behind book shelves before I could fully identify him.   He didn’t reappear until my birthday in August, then showed briefly on the bathroom floor that night.  I almost stepped on him, but as before, he began to charge at me then disappeared again behind a cabinet, not to be seen again.  I saw traces of rat-blood on the floor and was grateful for the surprise birthday present.

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The last straw

It took that rat about six days to starve to death while I deliberated about what to do.  The pantry became death row when I discovered a new three-inch hole, made by one of his friends, in a favorite antique wool rug. This sealed his fate, a scapegoat for my pent-up rage. I checked in on the prisoner every day or so, and usually didn’t see him.  The day before he died, or maybe the day he died, he was sniffing around the bottom of the door and seemed weak.  When I opened the door Tuesday and smelled dead animal, I knew he was gone.  I searched and found him inside an open box of plastic garbage bags, looking as though he were sleeping peacefully.  That was comforting, in a macabre way.  I took him outside and showed him to Socksie the cat.  She took a couple of whiffs and walked away.  I deposited him by river’s edge, and Wednesday morning he was gone.  I figure a racoon got him, thereby concluding the latest of my many scientific experiments on human and animal behavior.

 

 

 

 

Rosaliene? Cosmic Balm?

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Iguazu Falls, Argentina, kco0295

Rosaliene Bacchus (rosalienebacchus.wordpress.com) is one of my favorite Double X Avengers in the blog world.  The Double X Avengers are those gifted with the most chromosomes, the most genes, the most sense, cents, and thus the most likely to survive in the future “Survival of the Fittest” paradigm.

In 1995, long before I met Rosaliene in cyberspace, I traveled to Argentina and Chile and took this photo at Iguazu Falls, Argentina.  It does not show the violent food poisoning I got at the fancy dancy hotel, probably from unwashed lettuce.  Shame on me for eating uncooked food.  Should you desire to live among those with Survival Skills Technology, do not eat uncooked food at the Olympics.  Take your own food to Iguazu Falls.

Having said that, I offer another “Lesson in Living from the Double X Gene Pool.”

musleebaker0306

My all-time favorite instrumental, “Moonlight and Magnolias,” reminds me of Savannah. It is cut #12 on this CD.

Here at home, music is cosmic balm for me.  I first heard “Moonlight and Magnolias” on a jazz radio station broadcasting from Charleston (that’s the one in South Carolina, for those who don’t know, where the War of Yankee Aggression began).

The 20th century radio station went off the air before I learned the artists’ or CD name.  I searched high and low, finally finding it two years later at the “listen-stations” Barnes and Noble used to have but can no longer afford.  I ordered the CD.  Kinky.  “Moonlight and Magnolias” is not typical, and it shows what the group can do.

As you may know, everything is free in the Cosmic Commune, and money doesn’t exist.  Therefore, we spend our free time having fun.  Having fun includes swimming at Iguazu Falls after we clean up the water, and dancing to good music.  These are the two best exercises known, except for the third one, and they are free, as well.

Having said that, I add that when you’re tired of swimming and dancing, you may want to sit down and knit some socks, for fun and profit.  The Cosmic Improv Group, deprived of their own  opposable thumbs, likes to give me advice on how to do a more efficient job.

Cosmic Improv Group, Chapter 4:  “The Knitting Dimension ensnares katharineotto.planetearth.ind in Earth Plane Reality”

By katharineotto.wordpress.com, an alter ego of katharineotto.planetearth.ind, representing unlicenced freedom to be who I am.  080116

 

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The first socks I ever knitted. kco0105

January, 2005

The Cosmic Improv Group helps me knit, in its way.  Its unique way, should I choose to see it their way.  I’m to “attitude-adjust” as necessary to get what I want.

I finished knitting my first pair of socks, but the CIG–that contingent of advisors who haunt my imagination and worst nightmares–made it as hard as possible.  I was counting stitches to decrease, to shape the second toe, trying to figure out what the directions were saying, and having trouble reading the small gray print on the back of the yarn label, when the phone rang, startling me and making me lose count, my place in the directions, and my composure.  The caller hung up in the middle of the answering machine message, or so I thought.  But the fax machine made noises as if to receive a fax, and then it quit.

I figured it was Capital One trying to fax the bill I never received and requested two days ago.  Capital One can’t just send a fax then and there.  No.  It has to be processed through another office in another city, so I was told the fax would come before 5 p.m. on the following day, which was yesterday.  So I was awaiting this fax, which did not come through.  My mind runs through a list of worst-case scenarios, primarily that the impatient fax sender lost her job and hung up before recognizing the phone could take faxes.  I would have to call again.  Maybe the fax was out of paper or malfunctioning.  This is the story of my life.

Meanwhile, I hear the Cosmic Improv Group gossiping about me.  Fukyoo leads the band.  “See how easy she is to provoke?” he quips.    “It’s only a fax.  Let’s see if we can make her make a mistake on her sock, so that it’s not just like the other one, and she will have to live with the imperfection forever.”

“Okay,” say the others.  “That sounds like fun.”

“Oh no you don’t,” I respond in my mind, not mad enough yet to say it out loud.  I go back to work.  The phone rings and hangs up again at the same place.  The fax starts and stops.  This happens a third time, and I pick up the phone but only hear fax tones.  I hang up.  I check the fax for paper, and it seems to be okay.  I rail against these angels, who, I decided, have caused my machine to malfunction.  I worry that the overworked, underpaid, stressed out sender at Capital One will give up and I’ll have to call again on Monday.  I change the fax machine to fax only mode so the answering machine will not pick up.

I hear Fukyoo and the others chittering in the background.  “Let’s make her lose her knitting needle.  That worked yesterday.”

Yes, it did.  I took my finished and unfinished socks to a meeting, but when I got home, my fifth double pointed needle was nowhere to be found.  Never mind that I was only using four needles.  I had bought five needles, and my sense of order dictated (yes—dictated) that I should be able to account for all five of them.  I searched high and low and finally decided it fell out of my bag at the meeting.

I had been losing and finding these needles since starting the socks.  Usually they fall in the crack between seat and arm in the recliner, but my cat was sleeping there and I didn’t want to disturb him.  I felt around the sides, to no avail.  When Bud finally moved, I found the needle in the crack behind him, but by then I had been fifth-needle-less for over two hours.  I had gone through a temper tantrum with a good yell or two at the sprites who plague me with their games.

So, I’m still concerned about the fax Friday morning, the toe of my sock is begging to be finished, my feet are cold, and I sit down to refocus on the project.

But I can’t find my fourth needle.  Yes, I know I have a fifth needle, but that’s not the point.  (Pun.  Ha, ha.  Get it?)

“Where should we hide her needle this time?” say the sprightly spirits.

“I know.  Let’s hide it in her hand.  She’s so upset now that she has forgotten how to count to four.”

Yes, the needle was in my hand, but then I couldn’t find the pattern, and when I found that, I was so insecure, that I plodded super attentively though the last few steps.  And a perfect sock I have.  And the fax finally came through.  Twice.

It probably helped that I’d let loose with a belly buster of a temper tantrum at the Fukyoo crowd, at the top of my lungs, somewhere in the middle of this emotional intensity.  “No, you can’t make it easy,” I screamed.  “You have to make it hard.  Why can’t you people get lives of your own so you won’t have to mess with mine?  Don’t you have anything better to do?”

“But you’re so much fun,” they say.  “We enjoy playing with you.”

“Mere flattery,” I say.  “If you think my ego needs sycophants like you, you are wrong-O.  If you really want to have a good time, you’ll do things to inspire rather than infuriate me.”

“She’s hearing voices again,” they tell each other.  “Voices inside her head.”

“Yes, and she’s talking back to them.”

“You know what that means.”  They all look at each other with great concern.

“Maybe we should back off.  She might really crack under the pressure.”

“She cracked a long time ago, if you ask me.”

“Don’t tell her that.  It will only upset her.”

“Good thing she has no neighbors.  If anyone heard her scream the way she does, they would surely have her committed.”

“At least she doesn’t scream or talk to those voices in public.”

“Not yet, but we’re working on it.”

monkeybali0696

How America looks from Bali, 1996

 

 

“We don’t intend to honor patents”

In my wildest dreams, I envision Fidel and Raul Castro refusing to honor foreign patents.  Think of it:  dream dirt, fertilized by oxen and horses since the USSR collapsed in 1991.  Cuba lost its oil source and its sugar market at the same time.  Cubans almost starved, so Fidel invested in the improvements necessary to life:  food and health care.  As a result, he has grown generations of healthy, self-sufficient individuals.

Because of ongoing US spitefulness, in the form of trade embargos, torturing operations, and general scapegoating, Cubans have been forced to remain stuck in time, before tools were made of plastic, before bulldozers and pavement planted thermals in over-heated cities.

Much to United States’ embarrassment, the Castro team has proved that Cuba can survive and prosper without US help.

Hahaha.  Well, if Cuba refused to honor foreign patents, Monsanto and Dow/Dupont’s stockholders would poop in their pants.  Patents are hot commodities, a bloodfest for lawyers, who win either way the FDA blows.  I’ve read that up to 80% of America’s corn is already mutated, so the time for labeling is long past.  Just assume it’s patented food until otherwise proven.

Cuba could then thumb its nose at the FDA, whose nose is up its ass.  (I know this because FDA recommendations stink.  I’m horrified at the succession of FDA-launched food scares, intentional panic-creation with too little or misleading information.)

Beware the patent industry, is all I gotta say to the Castros’ Communal Capitalists, who believe the product is its own patent.  Let the lawyers and government do the paperwork on their own time.

Also, don’t let them trap you into debt.  Eminent domain all foreign assets, including Guantanamo Bay, and especially assets held by corporations like Pfizer, Walmart, and McDonalds.  Use the reclaimed land to pay off any debt, then party with unpatented drugs, and drink to everyone’s health and wealth.

The more I think of it, the better it sounds.  As America drowns in its environmental toxins, it continues to churn out more of them, with no thought of tomorrow.  I think about the growing cesspool of “unintended consequences” now.  I also hate seeing deformed birds, strangled porpoises, and sickly babies that “progress” (downhill fast) is bleeding us to pay for.  Cuba is relatively plastic and packaging free, I hope, at least so far.  Let’s hope they can keep it that way.

Cuba:  A New History, by British journalist Richard Gott, was published in 2004.  I reviewed it on this blog 10/22/15.

In 2005, Harpers‘ published “The Cuba Diet: What will you be eating when the revolution comes?”, by Bill McKibben, April, 2005.  The following month, the ecologist came out with  “Cuba: Health Without Wealth,”  by Brendon Sainsbury, June, 2005.

 

The Slippery Snake of Truth

Truth changes.  It’s a slippery little devil, that truth thing.  That’s why the snake is inherently wise.  The slippery snake of truth is too wise to be held by hostile forces.  it will shed its skin to get out of the choking grasp of the uninitiated.  The snale’s bite can initiate an unevolved soul quick-like, in my humble opinion, but it doesn’t bite twice, unless forced to do so.  Snakes don’t sit around chewing on conquests.  No.  Snakes slither off to bask in the sun, probably wishing only to be left alone in their own space, without being trampled by the unwise.

Why, rattlers even warn the unwise, at great cost to their own self-preservation.

The Poop

THE POOP
“All the Shit it Fits to Print”

 First Edition, December, 2008 (Updated November, 2014)

Scentific, Insectuous, eggs-rated View on Humanland
A holy owned subsidiary of the Church of the Holier than Thou, Incorporated
A for-profit religion where nothing is sacred, and human sacrifice is obligatory

Produced by the Hot Chicks and Warm Cocks of the Poopalot Farms Fertilizer Factory
Chicken Cooperative (Chicken Coop)
Translations by Kaka Big Chicken

 roscoe0908

Blessed by Saint Roscoe Rooster*
President, Chair, and CEO
Church of the Holier than Thou, Incorporated

St. Roscoe’s Eternal message: Cock-a-Doodle-Doo!
Translation: “I decide what God wants me to do. You are on your own.” 

*St. Roscoe Rooster: b. 2/7/09 – d. 12/25/09 May we rest in peace.

STRING THEORY 1208
Around and around and around we go,
Loop de loop,
Upside, downside, inside, outside,
Left side, right side, wrong side, flip side,
Clockwise, counterclockwise, over here, over there,
This way, that way, forward, backward, behind, underneath,
Black and white, yin and yang,
Ins and outs, pros and cons,
Rainbows, lightning bolts, layers of clouds, all in living color,
Pasta, ribbons, loops, cords, spirals, wires, yarn, vines, lines, thread, plumbing,
Bows, tangles, knots.
Strings that lift you up, trip you up, hook you up, tie you up, net, and ensnare you.

 Welcome to Time and Space,
Otherwise known as Now
THE FUTURE HAS ARRIVED 

KAKA BIG CHICKEN
katharineotto.us * independent country of one *
$ world’s only free market capitalist $
Katharine C. Otto, MD, President, Chair, and CEO, Psychiatrists for Sanity
“The whole world is crazy, so if you’re crazy, you’re normal”

Funned by free time, the Quit for America Campaign and String Theory Designs