Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Percy and Drake the Akita

Micah:  Hey, Percy, I understand you've been looking for a new apartment.  Does this mean you'll be moving out soon?

Percy:  You wish!  But I'm staying.  I'm just looking for a place of my own here.  There isn't much privacy, especially from you.

Micah:  Jan wasn't very happy when you knocked things over leaping to your latest apartment yesterday.  Why would you want to move onto a shelf over the toilet?

Percy:  There was only room for one.

Micah:  You made a bigger mess leaping out of your new digs.  Jan had to wash all her combs and hair items after they bounced around the floor.

Percy:  Well, entry and exit were a bit awkward.  I was going to work on them but Jan blocked access and now I have to find another apartment.  Looking is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Micah:  If you need any help packing, just let me know.  I can throw your things into a suitcase in no time.  Just say the word.

Percy: You sure are trying to be helpful for someone who doesn't like me.

Micah:  Believe me, packing your things would be my pleasure!

Taylor:  Marcus is taking a snooze in his crate.  He's a bit jealous, so this seems a good time to share pictures of another dog. 

Jan has been wanting some photos of a neighbor's dog for months.  He used to live two doors away.  Every time she saw him on the lawn and came inside to get her camera, he would be on the porch when she came out.

Two or three months ago, his owner moved away and the dog moved next door.  His owner John was working with him on obedience training yesterday, and he brought Drake outside the privacy fence so Jan could take photos. 

It was the first time Jan has ever seen him up close.  This is Drake.  Isn't he gorgeous? 

He is an Akiita and he is big - much bigger than Marcus! 

He has a sense of humor.  This is what Drake had to say about Jan making a fuss over him.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Furtive Fire Ants

Cyndi:  What was the commotion on the front porch about a little while ago?

Marcus:  Oh, that was Jan dropping a 3.5 pound bag of fire ant killer on her big toenail.

Cyndi:  I'm glad I don't go outside.  It seems this is a bad year for fire ants.

Marcus:  Yes, new mounds are popping up all over.  A week or so ago, Jan decided to level the lawn beside a corner at the end of our walk.  She reached down, grabbed two handfuls of grass and yanked.  She then had two handfuls of grass and dirt - and her left hand covered with fire ants. And not a mound in sight!

Cyndi:  Ouch.  That must have hurt.  Those bites not only sting, they blister.

Marcus:  She brushed them off, came inside, washed her hands, and massaged several drops of tea tree oil all over her hand.  She had so many bites her whole hand burned.

Cyndi:  So that's why she went on a mad killing spree.

Marcus:  Yep, she killed every mound she could find.

Cyndi:  If all the mounds are gone, why did she drop the bag of killer on her toe?

Marcus:  It's been raining a lot and this morning she found new mounds being dug all over the yard.  She spent the afternoon "edging" the jungle growing over our front walk.  Pulled all that grass and the weeds by hand.  There was a fresh fire ant mound on each side and about a half dozen more around the yard.

Cyndi:  No wonder she was so tired!  Counting fire ant mounds must be hard work.

Marcus:  According to her, edging the walk was harder.  She got down to the end, yanked some weeds out of a crack, and suddenly she had fire ants inside her left glove.

Cyndi:  How did that happen?

Marcus:  Those things are furtive, sneaky.  We went mound hunting in the evening to kill the new mounds.

Cyndi:  Wouldn't it be easier to kill the fire ants?

Marcus:  That's what I meant.  They sure seem to be hard to kill, though.  Jan said she thinks there is some kind of fire ant telegraph system and when those in a mound are killed, a message goes out to distant relatives to come hold a funeral and then they just decide to stay.

Cyndi:  In that case, we'll never get rid of all the fire ants.

Marcus:  Of course, it could be that fire ants are like cats.  Sometimes, for reason unknown, cats just pack up and move next door or down the street.

Cyndi:  Jan has some totes in the closet.  Do you think if we offer each new mound a free tote, the ant's will move to the neighbors next door that don't like us?

Taylor: Excuse me, but do you cats remember the tree limbs Jan cut down recently? ( Sawing Branch as Percy Turns 14.  And Let There Be Light. )  Imagine our surprise to find Jan mentioned (instead of us Funny Farmer Felines) in a Mousebreath article.  You might want to stop by to read Yard Waste Transformed into Cat Furniture.  What a nifty idea for a cat tree.

Jan was all for cutting down that last branch she's been eyeing, but putting a cat tree together with screws is a bit above her coordination level. Besides, we're all out of log screws.  (Anyone know what a log screw is?)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Morning Zoom Groom

Micah:  Hey, Marcus, what's with your new morning routine?

 Marcus:  What new routine?

Micah:  Isn't that what I think it is - you being touched by a vacuum cleaner? You've always attacked the vacuum cleaner.

Marcus:  Oh, I changed my mind, but only for the morning zoom groom.  The rest of the time, it's macho Marcus against the vicious vac.

Micah:  The first time I saw you plant yourself beside the bed and allowed Jan to run that machine over you, I thought I was hallucinating.

Marcus:  Every morning Jan vacuums my personal sheet on the bed and one morning I didn't move away in time and accidentally discovered Rusty was telling the truth when he said it's like getting a massage.  So every morning now I plant myself beside the bed and holler, "Vac me, baby!"

Micah:  You fibber.  You don't holler any such thing.  If you hollered, we'd all hear you.  In fact, you're so loud, if you whispered, we'd hear you!  And Jan would bop you beside your head if you talked to her like that.

Marcus:  I can holler at Jan anything I want to and she'll tell me what a good boy I am and do what I want.

Micah:  Stop telling stories.  You know -  Oh, wait, I get it.  You can holler anything you want- and live - as long as you don't say it out loud so Jan can hear it.

Marcus:  Exactly.  Now if you will excuse me, it's time for my morning zoom groom - otherwise known as my daily vac massage.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Remembering Merci

As we posted previously, our sweet Merci died June 29, 2018 at age 17.  (Farewell Merci)

It was a pleasant surprise to recently receive an email from the blog Alasandra, the Cats and the Dogs (ATCAD) with this lovely graphic letting us know they would be doing a post remembering Merci on the 22nd.

We're grateful we aren't the only ones who remember Merci.  Thank you, ATCAD, for caring.  We're not sure what time they are posting, but we will be on our way over to visit them as soon as we can get online today.  We hope you will drop by there too.  Just click here.

It's hard to believe that there are only two of us Funny Farmers left (Cyndi and Percy) who remember the days when Socks, Sassy, Asta, Momo and many other blogging friends allowed us to participate in their adventures.  We had such fun!  Asta moved from New York to Budapest and now has a brother.  Socks, Momo, Sassy and so many others are now at the bridge with our other original siblings - Cotton, Crystal, Buddy, Cameron, Sam, and Jenny.

Our little red-headed sister will live forever in our hearts.

Update:  It's been a bit rough since Merci left and we temporarily forgot that today would have been Merci's 15th Gotcha Day and her assigned birthday.  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Marcus Has Wheels

Cyndi:  What was that scene about yesterday, Marcus?

Marcus:  Oh, that?  Jan told me I have wheels but she lied.

Cyndi:  I guess she did.  You're still racing around on four paws.

Marcus:  Not wheels on me! Wheels for me. She said now that I have wheels I can go anywhere I want. 

Cyndi:  So what was the problem?

Marcus:  See for yourself!

Cyndi:  I don't see a problem, but you do look angry. Your eyes are closed.

Marcus:  I was counting to ten.  Jan said she wanted to see if I have any problem climbing into my new wheels.

Cyndi:  Did you?

Marcus:  Of course not!  You know how I love to jump .  The higher the better.

Cyndi:  So why were you upset?

Marcus:  Look at where I am.  She opened the wrong door.to take that picture.

Cyndi:  What's wrong with that door?

Marcus:  It' opens on the passenger side!  I am not riding on the passenger side! 

Cyndi:  You want to ride in the back?

Marcus:  No way!  If I have wheels, I want to be the driver!

Cyndi:  But you don't know how to drive!  And you don't have a driver's license!

Marcus:  That didn't stop Buddy!  (The Driving Lesson)

Cyndi:  But you're not Buddy.  You have to be yourself.  Be the best yourself that you can be.

Marcus:  You're right.  I'm going to be me - cool, confident and competent.  Did you see where Jan left the keys?  I'm going to take my wheels for a spin!

Cyndi:  Well, when you stop spinning, I hope you haven't hit anything.  I don't believe you're on the insurance policy.

We are joining the Pet Parade with hosts Rascal & Rocco, Barking from the Bayou, & Bionic Basil

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Warm Butt, Warm Brain

Taylor: Jan says we are a strange bunch. I think we're perfectly normal cats.

Percy: What about Marcus?

Taylor: I wouldn't call him perfectly normal about anything. Marcus must be related to Micah.

Percy: Why would you say that?

Taylor: Do you remember this picture of Micah sitting in a cast iron skillet on the stove? He said the pilot light keeps the pan warm.  (Butt Warmer Skillet)

Percy:  Yes.

Taylor:  Then he took to sleeping with his head in the skillet.

Percy:  He said it protected him from brain freeze.

Taylor:  Jan got tired of washing the skillet without having used it, so she turned it over on the burner.

Percy:  And Micah took to sitting on top of the bottom of the skillet.  (There are no pictures.  Just flip the skillet in your imagination.)

Taylor:  Have you ever sat in or on a skillet to keep your brain or your butt from freezing?

Percy:  No. 

Taylor:  Have you seen any other of the Funny Farmer Felines doing so over the years?

Percy:  No.

Taylor:  If Marcus could climb on the stove, do you think he would skillet-sit?

Percy:  Now that you mention it, I do. He would need a much larger skillet, though.

Taylor:  Don't worry, Jan has a larger one.  I was just pointing out that skillet sitting or sleeping is not normal.

Percy:  But I can see it now.  When we're freezing next winter, we won't care about "normal". We'll have to all huddle together on the stove for warmth.

Taylor:  In that case, we'll probably need a bigger skillet.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Let There Be Light

Micah:  Do you think Jan is going to make it through the summer?

Rusty:  I hope so.  Why do you ask?

Micah:  Well, if she is supposed to be ancient, why is she working so hard in this weather?  Heat and humidity mean it's time for extra naps but she's been doing extra work.  Is she backwards or what? 

Rusty:  Definitely backwards!  But we've had so much rain everything is growing like weeds and she can't keep up.  Remember this tree limb? (Sawing Branch as Percy Turns 14) She sawed it off on Sunday and fortunately, got some help cutting it up or she wouldn't have been able to open our canned food this week.

Micah:  It did help to let some sunshine in the side yard so the grass won't die. But it wasn't enough.  So Tuesday, she looked and found the limb on the neighbor's tree she cut over our property last year had branched out and grown over our yard again.

Rusty:  So Jan cut it?

Micah:  Um, not exactly.  She couldn't reach it with the saw on a pole, so she used a "grabber" for disabled people to pick up things, grabbed and pulled the end of the branch, leaned her weight on it until it started to crack, twisted it round and round, back and forth, leaned on it a few more times and finally it broke off!

Rusty:  That's what it gets for growing over our yard and blocking sunlight, but that sure is a strange way to take down a branch.

Micah:  Yes, but you know Jan often has a strange way of accomplishing things.  This was a smaller-sized branch and Jan was able to cut this one up by herself.

Rusty:  And then Wednesday morning she got a shock!  Our neighbor has refused to cut his bushes.  Our phone and power lines run through them.  They also block sunlight from our pen.

Micah:  I remember this is what it looked like over there last year.  With all the rain we've had, those bushes grew higher than the pole where the lines are attached.  Between our tree, their tree and their jungle, it's been a bit dark and claustrophobic over here.

Rusty:  Jan practically did a dance when those two guys showed up to trim the bushes next door. When they left, our power and phone lines had been liberated and there is now a small path for sunlight to the dog pen.

Micah:  Do you think Jan was serious when she said she could kiss the neighbor's landlord for sending those guys over to do the trimming on their property?

Rusty:  No, you know how humans are always saying things they don't mean.

Micah:  Unlike us.  We always mean what we say.

Rusty:  By the way, you promised to repay the two dollars you borrowed last week.

Micah:  And I will.  Just as soon as my ship comes in. 

Cyndi:  It's been a few months since we Funny Farmer Felines last posted a Mousebreath interview.  Today we feature the Hipster Kitties from Dennis the Vizsla's blog.  Many of you know them.  The little black and white cats and the big red one with the white face.  What do you mean the big one is an imposter?  Are you sure?

Percy:  Stop by Mousebreath to read their interview, Hipster Kitties Charlee and Chaplin  … and Dennis.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Sawing Branch As Percy Turns 14

Happy 14th Birthday, Percy!  You have come a long way since Merci rescued you as a tiny kitten.  You grew into a handsome, cuddly guy.  We all love you!   Well, perhaps not Micah, but in general, you are loved. 

Thank you, Pipo, Dalton & Petcretary for the birthday graphic! 

Marcus:  Since today is a special day, even though it's not Tuesday or Friday, we thought we would share some of why we haven't been around very much.  Jan is swamped with both indoor and outdoor work, and our computer has been spending a lot of time with a blank screen.  A really nice friend has been helping us get the grass cut, but there is so much more that has to be done.  And with all the rain we've been having, everything is growing faster than usual.

Rusty: Two years ago Jan, with a little help from Mr. Doug, sawed some branches on the tree outside the pen.  The branches were so long and the leaves so dense, no sun could reach the dog pen and all the grass died.  Now the branches have grown so much the side yard is in danger of dying too.  

Marcus:  So Sunday Jan decided to cut down one of two huge limbs reaching almost to the sidewalk.  She tackled the larger one.  She sawed and sawed and finally the limb came down.  But just before it did, a man who turned out to be a new neighbor was passing and asked if she needed any help.  When the branch falls, the saw on the pole causes Jan to lose balance and she has a hard time holding onto the pole, so she took him up on that last little bit.  The long branch crashed, taking out half a bush. 

Rusty:  Then came the really fun part!  The branch was waaaaaay too long to put out for pickup.  It had to be sawed into smaller parts.  Evidently it's actually harder to saw a branch on the ground than on a tree.  It was interesting to watch Jan sweat as she sawed away without getting anywhere. 

Marcus:  And then this nice man named Willie appeared  around the tall, leafy end of the tree asking if she needed help.  She started to say no, but the past couple of years have taught her she can't do what she used to force herself to do, so she accepted. (Willie said it is okay to post this picture of him working.)

Rusty:  Marcus and I laid on the steps and snoopervised.  That's hard work too.  As you can see, all they had to work with with a small saw and a saw on a pole. 

Marcus:  Then Willie piled the pieces by the curb while Jan raked up the loose leftovers.  Willie said, "The Lord must have led me this way today."  Jan is so thankful for that!  She could not have lifted or dragged those last two pieces of the branch. 

Rusty:  As much as she claims to hurt, it's good she was rescued and didn't have to saw that branch for pickup.

Marcus:  Speaking of pain, what's with Jan limping and moaning about the pain in her ankle being worse than the pain in her neck and shoulders.  I didn't see her standing on her head sawing with her feet, did you?

Rusty:  No, but I sure would have liked to.  There's another big branch she'd like to cut down. When she finds someone with an electric saw, we can snoopervise again.  But this time we won't blink!  

Friday, July 06, 2018

Wait for Punch Line

Cyndi:  I don't have any idea what to post today.  Do you?. 

Taylor:  How about a joke? 

Cyndi:  It's hard to think of a joke since we're all missing Merci and Those That Came Before Her. 

Taylor:  I never met Sam but I understand he was the clown who kept you all laughing.

Cyndi:  Yes, he did, and he had a joke for every occasion. 

Taylor:  Even for a funeral?

Cyndi:  Actually, yes.  He liked to say, "I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather."

Taylor:  Sam knew his grandfather?  I never knew mine.

Cyndi:  Not Sam's grandfather.  It could be anybody's grandfather.  It's a joke!

Taylor:  Ha, ha, ha, ha.  A good one.

Cyndi:  You're supposed to wait for the punch line before you laugh.

Taylor:  Oh, good, because that definitely wasn't funny.

Cyndi:  Sam would say,  "I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather - not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car."

Taylor: **pause**  So what's the punch line? 

Cyndi:  That was it. 

Taylor:  I thought you said Sam was funny.. 

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

There's A Snake Where?

Percy:  Hey, Marcus, remember this picture of us from a couple of years ago? 

Marcus:  Yes, I remember.  I still had pointy ears then.  I got such a shock yesterday, though, I almost had pointy ears again.

Percy: What happened?  You get chased by a squirrel?

Marcus:  No, silly!  Jan and I take the same route on our walks.  We walked Monday morning without any problem.  In the evening, we set out as usual at a fast pace.  Not fast for me, fast for Jan.

Percy:  I know you didn't trip her.  She returned in one piece.

Marcus:  We didn't get very far before we heard a male voice yell.

Guy: "Ma'am, there's a snake up there!"

Jan:  "There's a WHAT WHERE!"

Guy:  Just ahead of you.  It's a big ole black snake."

Percy:  He was kidding, right?

Marcus:  The guy was sitting in a pickup truck in a turnaround ahead of us on the other side of the street.  Jan and I hotfooted it across the road to the truck.

Guy:  It was over there slithering in the grass beside the sidewalk.  I can't tell from here what it is, but I saw you and your dog coming and I didn't want either of you to get bitten."

Marcus:  Jan's old eyes couldn't see anything in the grass from that far away, but that area of the mill is overgrown and the grass by the sidewalk needs a good mowing.   She really wanted to see and take a picture of that snake, but no way was she going over there.  Whatever it was, she knew it could move faster than she can.  She thanked the guy before he drove off slowly, watching that side of the road.  It was really nice of him to stop and wait so he could warn us.

Percy:  So you turned around and came home?

Marcus:  No, we took our walk on the side of the road with no sidewalk.  I think we're going to be walking on that side for a long time. That really gave Jan a scare.

Percy:  And you?

Marcus:  Not me!  Nothing scares me!   ** leaps onto the swivel chair**  EEK, it's a snake!

Percy:  I thought nothing scares you!  That was Taylor dragging a shoelace through the room. 

Marcus:  Oh ... er, I was just showing you how Jan would have reacted if she had seen the snake.

Percy:  Uh-huh.  Nice try.

I would like to thank everyone who left a comment on our blog (Farewell Merci) or on Facebook, or emailed us.  Merci's passing was not a surprise.  She was 17 years old, blind, slightly deaf (wasn't the least afraid of the vacuum cleaner any longer), and had dementia.  She'd been "in hospice" here for a while.

I nearly lost her last September at the same time Buddy died but she rallied.  I coped these past months by doing what I could for her and not talking about how she was.  Even if we think we are prepared for a death, we actually aren't.

 Thank you, Ann of Zoolatry, and

Ingrid, Pipo & Dalton from Meezer's Mews & Terrieristical Woofs

... for the lovely graphics.