I was hoping to make this one an entry about the spring… You know, planting season, all the work that needs to be done, the hope, the anticipation, yada yada. Not gonna happen. In true Douchebaggery Ranch fashion, the first day of spring arrived with snow, freezing rain and general disgustingness. Not gonna talk about the effing spring, not until it actually decides to arrive.
Instead, allow me to introduce some of the DR residents. We are no democracy here, but everyone has a job to do and species-based unionization is allowed. The Purrmetic Order of the Golden Prawn thus consists of Lemon, Lasagna and Mouser, the DR pest control team.
Lasagna, also known as the Floofy One, is an orange bundle of fluff that has a cat in it somewhere. Acquired as a bottle baby from the local kitten rescue, she thinks her mother is a human. Perhaps as a result of this, I can count her brain cells on the fingers of one hand, and she has no survival instinct to speak of. She walks up to any and every creature (including my father the cat-hater and a quasi-rabid neighborhood dog that was barking insanely on the end of its leash while actively trying to eat her) and asks for affection. She is best buddies with my next door neighbor’s six-year-old daughter, who can be seen following Lasagna in the bushes, on all-fours and meowing loudly. And wonder of wonders, Lasagna can actually mouse. I even saw her eat a mole once, it made my eyes water with pride.
Lemon, who may well be the most intelligent creature in the household, is my familiar. She owns me, every inch of my human ass, and heaven help anyone who thinks otherwise. I got suckered into adopting her two weeks before I was scheduled to move across the country, when she was an eight-week-old kitten slightly smaller than the guinea pigs. She was being fostered at the vet clinic I was working at, along with her mother. Thanks to a birth defect in her back leg (that has a squiggly little femur between no knee or hip joints to speak of), she walked with a lurch that would put a zombie to shame. If she had been a male, I would have named him Igor. And though she runs and jumps on that leg now (don’t ask me how), she continues to be a lemon to this day, throwing a new health problem at me every couple of months, and perpetuating the local douchebaggery.
Mouser is the barn cat and the latest member of the Order, a reject of the local kitten rescue as too-feral-to-be-adopted. Fair enough. I didn’t even see the bugger for the first 3 months I had him. Every day the food bowl got empty, the litterbox got full, and if I shone a flashlight into the den he had built himself in the haystack I got a pair of glowing eyes and a hearty hiss. Giving him his final vaccine took two people, half a dozen towels and more scratches than I’ve acquired cumulatively in 6 years of working in vet clinics. (I should also add that Mouser is well endowed in the weapons department: as a true Nova Scotia Mitten Paw, he has 7+ toes –and claws- on each paw.) Then, one morning when I went to feed the goats, Mouser emerged from his den, started purring like a diesel engine and proceeded to rub himself all over my legs. He has been like that ever since. I suspect alien abduction or head trauma.
I’ll be honest, apart from the odd time I have watched Lasagna torment some poor rodent in the backyard, I’ve never seen the Order At Work. That being said, I have also never seen a single mouse in the house or the barn (which has more holes in its structure than a sieve) since I moved in, so it appears they at least work as deterrents. Thus I pronounce the cats to be Earning Their Keep. Good enough for me.