Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

Chipmunks and squirrels dash across the road, leaves dot branches, and plants pop up in the garden. It's official -- spring has arrived. Along with all the action on the street and in the yard, we might see the newest crop of furry and feathered critters. So ... what do you do if it appears a fledgling or baby rabbit has strayed too far from the nest?

Fledglings without feathers should, if possible, be placed back into their nests. If you can't reach the nest, the Manitoba Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre recommends making another nest from an empty margarine container. Cut small drainage holes in the bottom, line with grass and twigs, then place as close to the real nest as possible. The adult birds will feed both nests. And don't worry about touching them as the parents have a very poor sense of smell.

Older fledglings will spend several days on the ground learning to fly. I always worry about these guys, but this is a perfectly normal part of their development. A few years ago, I found one on a busy sidewalk. I placed him on the grass, hoping he'd be out of harm's way.

Baby rabbits should be left alone. Unlike birds, rabbits have a keen sense of smell. Not wanting to draw attention to the nest, the mother will return only twice each day to feed the babies. If the rabbit is larger than a softball, it's already independent of its parent.

Most areas worldwide have wildlife rehabilitation organizations that will answer questions or take in injured or abandoned animals. If you're searching for one near you, check out this site: Wildlife Rehabilitator Locator

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pet Consumerism

I can never get enough of the weird and wonderful products available for pets:

Swiss Chalet Pet Estate -dog house

I wonder if this dog house comes fully landscaped?

pet peek

This is a great idea! I live two houses down from a walkway, and my next-door-neighbour's dog goes nuts every time someone walks along it. Although I'm not sure if being able to see what's on the other side would stop the dog from barking.


Actually, this cat bed would make a great salad bowl.

JOG A DOG Tread Mill

I don't know -- yes, many dogs are overweight, but shouldn't they be outside in the fresh air and open spaces?

Meowlingual Cat Translator

I know what my cat would be saying if I bought one of these Meowlingual Cat Translators: "You're an idiot."

On Friday, I'm off to Vegas for four days with five of my girlfriends to celebrate our [gulp] 50th birthdays (that's a lot of numbers for one sentence). I've been friends with these women for 30 or more years. Despite knowing everything there is to know about me, they still love me. Go figure.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cone Head

I need your advice. Actually, my friend, Dale, needs your advice. She has a wonderful Tonkinese cat. He's intelligent, affectionate, sensitive and, for the past few months, has had to wear one of those cones around his neck. Why? Because he's licks himself to the point where the wound becomes infected. Each time Dale removes the cone, he immediately begins licking the area again.

The cone (which is actually called an Elizabethan collar) makes the poor guy look pathetic, and I'm sure he feels humiliated and uncomfortable, but Dale has run out of options. The only thing she hasn't done is put the cat on drugs, but perhaps that would improve his quality of life.

Any thoughts?

Photo from Ilmari Karonen/Gallery

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Crazy Cat Picture

A long time ago, I shared my life with a black and white cat named Strider. I always thought she was a perfectly normal cat -- until I picked up this photo of her (playing in a shoe box) from the developers way back in 1985. For a close-up of that crazed but cute furry face, click on picture to enlarge:

Crazy Black and White Cat Playing in Shoe Box