The Cool House: animals
Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts

Friday, April 20, 2007


Lots of things to celebrate this week in addition to finishing the first bathroom remodel. I got my Social Security number at long last and that means I am a certified, numbered real person and with that and my Dept of Homeland Security photo id I was able to renew my NY state driving license, which expired in November. (Living in NY and being dependent on your husband's visa is both demeaning and frustrating; I've been a kept woman and felt like chattel. It does little for one's self-esteem, especially when they take away your driving privileges because your visa has less than six months to run, even though you've been granted an extension for three years). And the number of places I'm asked to show my driving license here? Banks, stores, airports..... it's impossible to exist without one. But enough of the Kafkaesque nightmare that is USCIS, Department of Homeland Security and NYS DMV. I am now legitimate again.

The biggest celebration though is that after an entire month Sadie the dog has decided that the Fatboy dog bed isn't so scary and she's taken to sleeping on it at night (after Cassis the cat has made it cosy and warm. I'm still waiting for Polly to pluck up the courage to try her bed out.

Ooh, and one more huge celebration. I did not know this until two minutes ago but today is NATIONAL GARLIC DAY. I love garlic: roasted, fried, preserved in oil, in Rogan Josh, leg of lamb, sliced in poached sea bass, Skordalia it's all good. I think I will keep the celebration going all weekend long.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

At Least Someone is Happy

As Brooklyn Row House pointed out in the comments on Noncompliant Dogs, cats like dog beds.
Not a complete waste of money then.

Noncompliant Dogs

sadie lounging
Originally uploaded by modernemama.
I was so fed up of the kitchen looking like an animal doss house that I ordered two Fatboy modern dog beds from Design Public. If you clicked the link you will have seen the extremely cute black lab lounging on his red Fatboy bed.
Maybe my dogs didn't like the colours I chose (lime green and brown), although dogs are colour-blind aren't they? Maybe I didn't adjust the stuffing enough for their comfort. But they have flat-out refused to have anything to do with them. I have resorted to putting blankets on top of the beds to entice them, which sort of defeats the purpose but nothing works.
Here is a nice photo showing the dent that Sadie made when she stepped over the dog bed on her way to find a better place to sprawl out and here is Polly ignoring her bed.

Fatboy dog bed (lime)
Steven suggests I give in and give them their old duvets back but I'm persevering for a while. I want a sleek, modern kitchen with sleek, modern dog beds and I'm not prepared to give up yet.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The eldest and the best

Midge 1987-2006
Originally uploaded by modernemama.
Midge the cat died Thursday afternoon in her favourite spot in the garden. She was nineteen, born in Oxford, England, moved to Belgium when she was just a kitten and then to the US six years ago.
She was so big that the customs guy at Newark Airport wanted to know if I had a dog or a cat in the crate. She loved to spend hours outside soaking up the sunshine or sheltering from the rain. She slept with us every night until this week when she could no longer get up the stairs. If you were sad she would jump on your chest and stay there until you felt better. Even a sniffle would cause her to run to give comfort.
On Thursday she was weak but she crawled to the door and I lifted her out into the yard and took the paper and my coffee so I could sit out with her. She made herself comfortable in the undergrowth and dozed most of the day. After I walked the dogs they insisted on going over to see her. They looked at her and wagged their tails and she raised her head up. I went in to get changed and came out to get her and bring her inside for the evening and she was dead. Steve came home two minutes later.
She really was the best cat , always happy, never bad-tempered even when Cassis used to leap on her back from 10' away. She tolerated the new animals Wilba, Polly, Sadie, Cassis and Jefke although she didn't like them the way she loved her humans. She was the last animal left from the kids' childhood and the last European. She will be sorely missed

Monday, September 25, 2006

Even the bunny couldn't stand it

We had to reseed the front lawn. Over the past few weeks a large patch died off and some marsh marigolds took up residence instead. The huge rabbit that used to come out every evening at dusk decided there wasn't enough to eat so he hopped off elsewhere and looking out at a large brown patch with a few weeds that won't even flower until next spring was getting to depress us.

I asked Neil, landscaper gardener and font of all knowledge about the house and property, what we had caused it and he blames global warming, the fertilizer that went on last month and sunshine. He swears that the season is two weeks longer here than it was seventeen years ago when he took over the business. He now works well into December rather than stopping the week before Thanksgiving as he used to. He also thinks the grass used is becoming unsuitable in the North East as warmer summers make it more susceptible to die-back. Then he thinks that the fertilizer we put down may have scorched the grass but only the areas that get direct noon- 2 pm sun are affected. Whatever the cause, we applied round-up to the marigolds, raked the thatch off, dressed the soil and seeded and hopefully in a few days we will have a touch of green again.
We also removed all the ivy on the entrance to the cul-de-sac and added a couple of loads of topsoil to prepare for the stones and viburnum we are going to put there in an effort to placate the neighbors and beautify the road. I don't have a photo because my camera won't play nice and anyway who needs a photo of soil? But trust me it looks a lot better than the ivy mess that was there before.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Originally uploaded by modernemama.
Little Wilba hanging out in her favourite spot - the herb garden in front of the kitchen window. It was a good spot to leap out from and capture the wildlife on the lawn or the dell.
The day this was taken she brought home two chipmunks and laid them out on the kitchen doorstep. She had already been sink for thre years at that point.
Wilba was a wild Belgian kitten we found in the garden in Overijse twelve years ago. She was so tiny her eyes were only just opening. Her mother, a wild cat who lived next door, moved her from her nest because she was relatively healthy and placed her under the rhododendrons in our garden.
After we rescued her she liked to sleep on top our old dog Sam, but once she grew bigger she returned to her first love: the great outdoors. She survived three moves, including one to a new country and adapted each time without a problem. She was feisty but a great companion and even though she was a little incontinent towards the end we were all sad when she died.
Wilba 1994-2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk
Originally uploaded by modernemama.

This guy has been around a lot this summer. He must have been bugged that a lot of trees were felled after the storms, because I have never seen him on the wires before.
He or she is a Red-tailed hawk and when he flew off a few moments later the wires were really shaking. He flew right towards the house (and me) and then veered off at the last moment.
Wildlife, trees, it's definitely scary living here right now.

Danger all around

You never know what's going to hit you.
Some people won't let their kids go into the city because they are frightened of all dangers that they think abound there. Well, I'm not sure that living in the incorporated village is any safer.
I was walking the dogs down to the beach this afternoon just before the rain started. It's been a beautiful week, warm, sunny, with little wind so I thought we should make the most of the late summer weather. Just as we reached the end of the road there was a loud crack and I jumped, luckily to my right, because a large maple branch came crashing down six inches to my left. Doubly luckily, the dogs were in front of me, pulling me along as they usually do.
The crash, more like a thud really, could be heard by the neighbors back up the road. Damned dangerous these maples.