Before I start I just want to say to my friend Jane that I know you want photos. I'm not a person who thinks of photos so all the events below have gone unphotographed and some are just impossible to photograph. If I manage to have my camera and a pet behaving strangely in the near future I promise to add a photo or two to this blog at a future date.
There are times when the behaviour of the Spring Rock menagerie cause me to sit and wonder. Recently I found myself creating a mental list of why's.
Why does Nefertiti prefer to eat in the bathroom? I have cat kibble and water layed on in the kitchen for the tree cats but Nefertiti will do little more than take a desperate nibble when hunger gets too much for her if the bathroom cat dish is empty. Nefertiti and Ambrosia sleep in the bathroom so I consider the bathroom food dish just for late night snacks. Nefertiti considers it the only really acceptable food receptacle in the house. Why?
Why does Ambrosia consider an afternoon spent pulling pin out of my pincushion or sewing an afternoon well spent? Yesterday I left some applique on my chair while I went off to do some much needed housework. When I returned the floor was littered with pins while the edges of the applique shape flapped in the breeze. Ambrosia was nowhere to be seen, but I know it was her. She's the only cat in the house that spends her spare time pulling pins out of things. It takes quite a bit of oral dexterity I must admit, but I just can't see the entertainment value in it.
Speaking of my sewing supplies. Why do ferrets steal and stash my sewing tools. Isabella, the first ferret I ever owned, built up huge stashes of thread spools behind our very large bookcase. She added such essential items as orange peels stolen from the bin and if life was really good to her a banana skin or two as well, but time would come when I couldn't find any thread to sew with and had to go and buy not only the thread but a long length of timber to reach the thread stashed at the end of the bookcase. Most of it was only good for the bin when retrieved (what with the dried orange peel and banana skins stuck to it and all) but some was savable. I used to wonder if Isabella had a large sewing project planned. Every other ferret I've owned has found my sewing supplies irresistible and if not caught in the act will take off with whatever they can fit in their tiny little mouths. They have had a bad influence on Ambrosia who finds my thimbles and thread conditioner boxes too tempting to leave wherever she finds them.
Speaking of ferret and their history, why did Isabella's mate Theodore like to steal and stash shoes? None of them would fit him except possibly as a bed. He was so desperate to stash a shoe he found one day that he ignored the fact that Justin was still in it. Theodore just sore the size 13 shoe and he had to have it. He grabbed the edge of it in his mouth and tugged with all his mite trying to get the shoe (and Justin) under the lounge where he could add it to his collection.
Why is Tristan never happy with the side of the door on which he finds himself. Tristan, as mentioned in an earlier posting meows pitifully until I open the door for him to let him in. He then proceeds to meow and fuss until he's let out. Minutes (sometimes seconds) later he is meowing to be let in again only to stay a few minutes and realise outside is where it's all happening and he needs to be. His world record was the day he came inside, just cleared the open door and turned around as the door closed and demanded to be let out.
Why do Hedwig and Hermes, my two galahs, constantly build and rebuild a nest they've made in the hollow log in the aviary? The log's real purpose was to act as a vase for branches of native trees with seed pods or flowers on it for their delectation. These tasty offering were quickly removed and nest renovations resumed so often that I've stopped using it as a branch receptacle and left them to have it as a potential nest. It's been years in the making though and never seems to be just what they'd envisaged when making their renovations. Such things as seed and water dishes from their birdcage and small sticks are carefully placed in the log. The seed dishes cause a major problem because the dish will only fit in the hole in one direction and no amount of banging it will change its shape - not that they don't try over and over again. Once it's finally in there though it's pulled out within days as a new plan for the nest layout takes shape. The log has never been used as a nest (thankfully). I imagine because it's never been brought up to Hedwig's high standards.
Why do the kelpies prefer Billy's bed to their own? Their bed and Billy's bed are exactly the same except in colour. I've tried changing the bedding around after washing it and the girls are more than happy to settle down on what was Billy's bed and feel that life is good. Billy is then the problem. He wants his bed back. Lately this has become moot. Billy in his later life has decided to abandon to the laundry at night and share the kelpies bed, whichever one it is. This doesn't mean that the kelpies are allowed to relocate to Billy's much more desirable bed in the laundry. Billy still defended that bed too by non-stop barking until I got up and sort things out. The girls don't look too thrilled to have to share there bedding with a huge St Bernard, so I've added his bedding beside theirs so they all have a better chance of fitting in. Juno has assumed a permanently resigned expression on her face while Dione keeps trying to garner more of the space on the rugs. There's not much room for a kelpie or two when Billy plants himself in the middle of the two beds. Billy just flops down, closes his eyes and is snoring before any arguments can be delivered.
There's the age old why do the ferrets hate Billy and Billy hate the ferrets. It was hate at first site with no apparent reason for the animosity. Billy took one look at the ferrets, the ferrets sneered back at Billy and war was declared. Billy has lived here for seven years now and he's seen a number of ferrets come and go. He hates every new ferret with the same passion he reserved for its precedents and each new ferret hates Billy on site. The ferrets don't have a problem with the kelpies and the kelpies actually seem to like the ferrets. After all, the ferrets happily drop some of their cat kibble through the wire cage floor for the kelpies to scoop up. It's turned into quite a symbiotic relationship.
Why is it that when I lie down of an afternoon there is a general rush from all cats present to place themselves right up against my right side as close to my armpit as possible? The first cat there digs in and prepares to defend this prime spot of real estate. The two unsuccessful cats find other spots on the bed close to my body but with an air of settling for second best. The left side of my body usually remains cat free for some reason. Why? Back when Guinevere was still with us she refused to accept defeat if she was beaten to the prime location beside me and would begin washing whichever cat got there first. Guinevere's washing was more of a punishment that a grooming exercise and eventually the very soggy cat subjected to Guinevere's tongue would get up and leave to go dry off on another part of the bed. Guinevere triumphantly took possession of The Spot and I was able to get back to my rest. Tristan used to try tucking his head right under my arm in an effort to give Guinevere a smaller target. It didn't work, she just washed whatever was still sticking out. Thankfully non of the present group of cats employs guerrilla warfare.
These are just some of my why's related to the menagerie. I don't have any answers despite pondering these questions from time to time. There are members of my family who say that every one of my pets was as sane as the next animal until it came to live with me. This sounds far too much to me like my nearest and dearest are attributing my pets’ peculiarities on my influence. I refuse to dignify their comments with a response.