Juno now has a huge bald spot on her rump. Billy for some reason known only to himself likes to spend his spare time licking her and as his head is usually resting on her rump, that's the spot that always gets licked. He's going to get a hairball! I sprayed Juno with citronella, because dogs hate the smell of it, and at first Billy was highly offended that the object of his love had taken to wearing such a noxious perfume and worshiped her from afar - well a few feet away anyway. But it's true love and he rose above the smell and returned to worshiping her up close. Billy still rests his big head on her back whenever he can but at least the licking seems to have stopped. We play tag team time out in the laundry now to keep them separated and give Juno a bit of peace. Billy spends some time in there (complaining loudly all the time) and when I think he needs a bit of a walk and drink etc I let him out, grab Juno (if I can - she's very sprightly for an old girl) and put her in the laundry so she can continue to have peace and quiet, St Bernard free. A bit of cat kibble and Juno's world is perfect - a soft bed, her favourite food and most importantly no overgrown love lorn Billy.
Billy isn't the only one causing problems at Spring Rock. As I've mentioned before, Ambrosia the Bengal cat also gets time out, but in the bathroom. She has become addicted to rushing out the back door whenever she can, often nearly bowling me over in her attempts to get outside. You see outside is where the mouse plague is. Ambrosia has had quite a bit of success at catching mice on the back porch lately. Sadly she has had barely any success at dispatching the caught mice. Ambrosia tends to just play with them until they can escape and start life anew in another area of the backyard. I've had to get involved and take the mice off her. I can't dispatch them either so I put them in a plastic jug with a few bits of cat kibble to eat while they wait for Graeme to come and deal with them. Graeme and I have had words about the cat kibble. I've told him I feel guilty enough about condemning the poor little creature to death in the first place, at least it can await execution with a last meal. Graeme just shook his head and recognised defeat when he saw it.
But back to Ambrosia. Her reason for time out is simple. Ambrosia objects to being on the inside of the shut back door. The mice are waiting for her to come and play with them outside and she can see them from her almost permanent perch on the family room window. The mice like to live dangerously and play right outside the window on the boot rack. This of course winds Ambrosia up into a frenzy of mice catching zeal. When that back door thwarts her attempts to get out there amongst the mouse plague Ambrosia complains and complains loudly as only a Bengal can. She follows me around the house voicing her opinions on women who keep cats with a mission locked in the house. When told to keep quiet she simply yells some more. Occasionally things get to be just too much for both of us and Ambrosia is put in time out in the bathroom. I'd like to say that when she comes out she's a chastened cat who goes about her business quietly, but that would be a bald faced lie so I won't. It's not long before Ambrosia finds herself once again behind a second closed door - the bathroom door.
Thus I fill my winter days.
Billy has just released from the laundry and looking for Juno.