Tag Archives: chickens

The Case of the Disappearing Hen

Keeping with the Sherlock Holmes theme of late and mysteries in general, I address the latest events in my realm of existence. One of the hens disappeared. My sleuthing quickly eliminated alien abduction and canine mischief. Events from a prior day provide circumstantial clues as to the likely fate of the missing hen.

2 Days ago, 6:45 a.m. (dawn…ish)

Miss Diva runs into the house as I’m making coffee. “MOM! One of the chickens almost DIED!” My immediate thought is that Marble has been a bad dog again, but she’s inside with me, and was not outside all that long. Before I can ask, Miss Diva continues, “A huge bird swept down and picked it up, but then it dropped it.”

“Oh dear.” Given that it wasn’t fully light, it was probably an owl instead of the hawk I’ve seen once or twice flying in the vicinity during the day.  “Let’s hope it doesn’t come back.”

Famous last words, I suppose, considering when I went to feed the hens yesterday evening only four of the five showed up. I poked about the yard in the dark with a flashlight and found nothing, but hoped it was simply due to a small flashlight versus a big backyard. I repeated the search quickly this morning and more thoroughly this afternoon. Alas, no little easter egger hen was to be found.

Unless she evolved superior flying skills and took to the skies, which prior observation does not support, I’m afraid I must conclude that our disappearing hen vanished into an owl’s gullet.

Due to the sad conclusion, I suppose I shall not charge the hens a consultation fee.


What the BWACK!?

It started with a disaster. My clothes dryer ceased drying clothes. In a house with three kids and oodles of critters to clean up after (the kids still trump the critters on mess), a non-working dryer is cataclysmic, especially in winter.

So, bright and early I called the appliance repair man who gave me a three hour window. These repair people are worse than I am in nailing down an exactly arrival time.

I’m drinking coffee and sorting vegetable seeds for my garden while awaiting the repairman. My back door is open.

Another disaster strikes.

I spill my coffee!

“Oh NO!”

From the back yard I hear a sudden “Bwack, bwack, bwack,” that I swear sounded like one of my chickens laughing at me.

“Keep laughing and you will be dinner.”

She shut up.

When the repairman arrived, he went in the backyard to check for airflow from the dryer vent. He left the gate open and when I came out a bit later to check on progress the chickens were all attempting an escape.

I herded them back into the backyard.

I think they took affront, because later on when I was getting ready to go, not a single chicken could be found. I looked EVERYWHERE. I called them. I looked EVERYWHERE again, and yet again. No chickens.

I drove off, circled both the front and rear blocks and then came back home. The devious chickens had hidden, quite well I might add, in the neighbor’s back yard.

Either they don’t take kindly to herding or understand English eerily well. In either case, I do believe they purposely hid from me.

Those chickens had better behave. After all, I’m the one who keeps Marble from plucking them naked.



Vacation: Cats vs. Dogs

There are dog people, cat people, and then people like me who are a bit of both. The two species have a few things in common, but on the whole, felines seem to be much more aloof. To earn a cat’s affection takes more than kibble and a clean litter pan.

I went out of town to visit family over the holidays. I boarded the younger dogs while a friend kept Millie. Another friend popped in every few days to refill the water and feeders for the cats and chickens. I don’t think the chickens even noticed I was gone. They probably rejoiced at not having to dodge Marble for over a week.

When I picked up Marble and Zeke they were predictably beside themselves with joy at my return. Millie, in her golden years, is sometimes hard to read. I wasn’t always certain she actually cared about me or if she merely would go to anyone offering food and scritches. She erased all doubt when she attempted to launch her arthritic self into the air in excitement when I showed up to collect her. She also commenced barking her head off, which I was told she did very little of while with my friend. I guess all the barking she does means she assumes I can understand her since I’m her person?

I pulled into the drive and Midnight and Jack, two of the cats, offered a passing “Meow” (translation: Oh. Hi.) before romping off together in the grass. Diamond tolerated a brief petting, but it was clear I was interfering with her attempts to spy on Midnight out the window. Lovey remained ensconced in Miss Diva’s bed. Only one of all my five kitties proceeded to cuddle as soon as I sat down. Junior let me know he missed me ever so much and would I please give him more noms.

One out of five. Well, you can’t win them all.


Deadly Realm

It occurred to me that I live in a dangerous realm. No, I’m not referring to my official induction into the ‘hood, although there is that, but I harbor two efficient exterminators, or six, depending on how you count.

The four hens are death to any insect or worm they happen upon. Too bad they don’t eat flies. I haven’t sprayed around the house in months, and aside from flies and the occasional ant scout there has not been a seasonal invasion of creepy crawlies.

Midnight has been spotted on mouse assassin duty numerous times. She takes out birds from time to time as well, much to my neighbor’s thanks, as the birds kept pecking holes in her wood siding and the squirrels were eating their way into her attic on a regular basis. I’m not sure Midnight has caught or killed any squirrels, but I’ve seen her run up a tree after them.

The backyard is Marble’s domain. She’s kept it rat free. Normally she settles for giving squirrels an evil look of death, as they usually don’t get close enough for her to catch them. Yesterday, however, Mr. Smarty-pants opened the back door and there sat a squirrel.

Squirrel and Marble exchanged a look and I suspect the last thing that went through Squirrel’s head was a squirrely expletive. “Nutter! I should not have come this close to the house.”

Marble-nator took it out in short order and buried it in the yard as a message to all other rodent interlopers. Trespass upon her yard and DIE!

Since I attract all the small critters with acorns, food and tasty plants, what exactly does that make me?

Yard Trek: Incursion

These are the exploits of Basement Kitten: her continuing mission to explore strange new grass, to seek out new life and new noms, to boldly go where no kitten has gone before!

Basement Kitten’s Log: Yard Date 5.25.2012

I incurred a reprimand from high command for disobeying orders. I was confined to yard base for the duration of one day for my refusal to abandon the search for ceiling cat. Alas, despite numerous away missions I can only conclude that ceiling cat must be relegated to myth unless evidence to the contrary is discovered. I understand high command’s concerns regarding the dangerous nature of the missions, but sometimes a kitten must pursue adventure at all costs.

The new colonists were likewise confined to beta quadrant as they were intent on harassing neighboring yard systems. Command ordered their warp drives deactivated. No doubt, it is only a matter of time before they manage to replace them. Command will have to send teams in regularly to deal with the nomadic Gallus gallus domesticus.

I have begun accompanying Captains Marble and Millie and ensign Zeke on their perimeter sweeps of the territory. They have given me the honor of acting as scout.  The dangers are many, from careless carships to hostile alien species. Nevertheless, I trust Admiral nom-giver, who always oversees these perimeter sweeps, to keep us safe.

A recent report says her carship experienced a damaged thruster, but repairs are underway and she will return to yard base at the scheduled time.

In regards to the new inhabitants of our quadrant, Gallus gallus domesticus, I was correct in assuming they have plans to invade yard base. Admiral nom-giver was forced to employ shields this morning to prevent an incursion.

This is not the first attempt at invasion. More than once ensign Zeke sounded the alarm and drove them from yard base.

We shall have to instruct all residents of yard base to engage shields after entering or exiting the premises.

That is all for now.

Basement Kitten, signing off.

Yard Trek: The Search for Ceiling Cat

These are the exploits of Basement Kitten: her continuing mission to explore strange new grass, to seek out new life and new noms, to boldly go where no kitten has gone before!

Basement Kitten’s Log: Yard Date 5.9.2012

I’ve continued my forays into new and unexplored territories. A worm hole just beyond the borders of alpha quadrant leads to as yet unexplored territory. This wormhole sucks in all liquid matter and some occasional solid debris, but so far seems safe for living creatures. One of the new colonists followed me on my exploration of the wormhole. As it passed safely, I took a closer look.

The new colonists are called Gallus domesticus. One has taken to dropping suspicious oval objects in close proximity to the entrance of Yard Base. I fear this may be an attempt to breech our security measures. The leader of the Federation of Yard Creatures, the Grand nom Giver, sends out search parties to collect these suspicious objects and stores them for further scientific studies.

Of special note, our allies in the next quadrant have expressed thanks for evicting Sciurus carolinensis from their Yard Base. Our patrols have deterred them from their nefarious salvage activities.

Throughout the galaxy, tales are told of Ceiling Cat. In an effort to seek out proof of Ceiling Cat’s existence, I conducted an away mission into the bowels of Yard Base’s Ceiling Zone. The dangers were many. The dust threatened to overwhelm life support systems. Communications with Yard Base were cut off for hours.

All reports indicate that no Ceiling Cat is present in the Federation’s Yard Base. The Grand Nom Giver declares that further explorations are not advisable due to the dangers of the mission.

Basement Kitten, Signing Off



Yard Trek

These are the exploits of Basement Kitten: her continuing mission to explore strange new grass, to seek out new life and new noms, to boldly go where no kitten has gone before!

Basement Kitten’s Log: Yard date 2012

It’s been several days since I started venturing out beyond yard base.  My fellow feline explorers are not as bold, with the exception of Junior. He too enjoys the thrill of exploration, but his obsession with the nom box forces him to keep his missions short. Perhaps this is best. I possess superior cloaking skills.

Today I discovered a neighboring Canis lupus familiaris. He snuck across the neutral zone, thinking I wouldn’t notice. I warped to his location and he fled from our quadrant.

General Millie oversaw the mission and approved of my skills in ousting the invader.

Of major concern is the new colony within leaping distance of our yard base. It is populated by an odd looking species.

Captain Marble initiated first contact and deemed them harmless and possibly edible. However, Grand Nom Giver demanded they not be eaten. Ensign Zeke initiates defensive maneuvers whenever the newcomers wander into the beta quadrant.

I conducted a stealth reconnaissance mission. Much like Morale officer Jack, they seem preoccupied with noms collecting. This could become a problem if they wish to seek noms within yardbase. Under General Millie’s orders, I  am maintaining a patrol and will report any suspicious activities.





Basement Kitten, Signing Off.