Ballsy visitor

Last week Jake (yes, he’s still with us) had a bladder infection, and the poor fella had to go out to pee every 1/2 hour or so. It was a warm night, so I decided to set him up outside, and sleep on the living room couch to keep an eye on him. I put some blankets down right outside the French door, clipped the line to his collar, then shut the door most of the way, leaving it open a crack so I would hear him if he had any problems.

He laid down on the blankets and seemed as comfortable as he could be under the circumstances. After a while I started drifting off to sleep myself.

Suddenly the door burst open and he came marching through the living room until he was forceably stopped at the end of the line. It was a very unusual and energetic entrance, but I chalked it up to the quirks of an old dog. But it was pretty clear that he wasn’t going back out there voluntarily. I unclipped the line, started rolling it up, and stepped out the door to throw it down on the patio. It landed on a large-ish dark ball on the blankets at my feet. A ball? It was pretty dark, and I scratched my head wondering where the ball came from, especially at that time of night. Then Mr. Ball moved and all at once I understood what it was. A hedgehog!!! It must have been curious about Jake and walked right up to him to investigate, which apparently Jake was having no part of.

I grinned from ear to ear. Though hedgehogs are very common around here, I’ve never seen one of these little cuties before. It unrolled itself and ambled onto the grass, and for the next 15 minutes I watched it snuffle around for worms and yummy big slugs (go Hedgehog, go!) at my feet.

My lucky night. Jake, by the way, has recovered from both the infection and the ballsy little night visitor.

Fireman resuscitates goldfish

From the Scotsman

A FIREFIGHTER performed the successful resuscitation of a goldfish which almost expired in a housefire.

The goldfish was lying in the sooty water trying to move one of its gills.

Mr Todd, a keen fisherman, immediately used his expertise to try to save the pet.

Sadly, the cockroaches were beyond help and all perished in the blaze.

17 inches of pure pleasure

My darling man brought me home a new laptop the other night… a 17" MacIntosh PowerBook G4. My old laptop had been sending out serious signals that it was on death’s doorstep, the most alarming being a column of smoke coming out of the keyboard — I’d like to say that my fiery prose was responsible, but I’d be lying.

I’ve never owned a brand-new computer before, I’ve always made do with hand-me downs and cast-offs from my old company’s IT department. This is a beautiful machine, and Laird tells me that my writing and photography is important and deserves good equipment. I know how lucky I am… for the laptop, but most of all for a loving and supportive mate.

Sad gorillas

GorillaGorillas do grieve.

A female was put down at an American zoo on Tuesday because of an incurable kidney condition. The keepers decided to allow the other gorillas in the tribe to approach the body, resulting in some very moving displays of respect and mourning.

Gorillas in the wild have been known to pay respects to their dead, keepers said.

"I had a headache for the rest of the day after all the tears I cried watching them," (keeper) Green said.

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Mama knows best

Great story about Aurora the octopus and her maternal instincts.

Aurora, believed to be 3 or 4, was about the size of a grapefruit when she was found in 2002 living inside an old tire in front of the SeaLife Center.

Aquarium staff arranged a blind date with an old guy (who was all hands), and the fling produced the desired results. But, after months of waiting, staff concluded that the eggs were sterile and made preparations to move her from her tank.

Aurora probably had some moments of “quiet desperation” last Tuesday while several hundred gallons of water were drained from her tank, Hocking said.

As the water went down, one of the aquarists placed some of the eggs that had fallen from the sides of the tank on a rock shelf. Even then, Aurora persevered.

“She didn’t want to leave them. As the water was going down she was going down with it. She would spray a burst of water on the rocks on top of them,” Kokal said.

She was right, they were wrong, and luckily a sharp-eyed intern spotted the mistake. Her brood of thousands will hatch in the spring.

Continue reading “Mama knows best”