Archive for the 'Animals' Category

Goodbye, Mr. Duncan

October began bleak & gray at the Matlick house, as we bid a sad farewell to our boy Duncan.

Mr. D, Duncers, Dunc-Dunc, Handsome Boy, Duncan MacDuncan, and, when he was very much causing a ruckus,  Duncan Matlick, left us on Tuesday. We knew our time with Duncan was short when he was diagnosed with kidney failure in May, but our handsome little sable boy gamely put up one Hell of a fight!

Duncan and his sisters Fionnlaugh & Shadowfax took up residence in the ferret room in May 2013. They quickly showed their personalities, and got us humans in line.

Dunc-Dunc was the rock solid, what-you-see-is-what-you-get sort of ferret. He liked to dig in the dirt, drink from the pond, and go flat so he could demonstrate how sad and horrid his life was in hopes of securing something delicious from the humans. It usually worked.

When he first came home, he had a bit of a pudgy bottom, but a month of living in a house with lots of stairs got him in top shape. He would stand up on his hind legs for a treat for quite some time and managed to climb all the sofas in the house and the beds, the latter being a bit of a surprise to me.

Duncan’s true passion was bottles. He had an extensive collection, running into the hundreds. He preferred medicine bottles, but was an equal opportunity bottle stasher, his collection boasted shampoo, lotion, and soap bottles, as well as film tubes. Our boy kept his several key bottle stashes around the house: 1. Closet at the top of the stairs, 2. Back of Chad’s closet, 3. Under the dresser in their room, and the biggest and most important, 4. Under the sewing table in the attic.  

One year before Christmas, Mom brought us some of those seasonal scented pump bottles of hand soap. I put the bag on an end table, figuring to disburse them eventually. Inevitably, the bag ended up on the floor before I got around to it; I found it odd that Mom only brought two bottles when we have three bathrooms, but whatever.

A week or so later I was in the kitchen when I heard THUMP…(pause) THUMP…(pause) THUMP…(pause), the unmistakable sound of a ferret moving something weighty up the stairs. Further investigation proved me wrong. It was Duncan bringing the missing third bottle, completely full, back DOWN the stairs! Yes, he had nicked the bottle and taken it upstairs undetected. Then decided it belonged downstairs, because of course it did.

Duncan and his sister Fionnlaugh were pretty much inseparable. They’d been together since they were kits and more often than not, when you found one, the other would not be too far away. 

In September, Duncan and Fionnlaugh  came along with us on a camping trip to Dolly Sods. They had more luxurious, and dry, sleeping quarters than we did on that trip, bunking down in their playpen in the back of the Subaru between excursions investigating our campsite.

We took them on a hike near Bear Rocks, too. They snoozed in their carry bag, enjoying the sunshine and nice soft breeze, while I did all the hard work, scrambling about and keeping them from being jostled.

Duncan left us sometime in the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 3, curled up in a favored sleepy sack. He will be sorely missed by his sister Fionnlaugh, and his humans.

Godspeed, buddy. We’ll miss you terribly. 

chris on October 3rd 2017 in Animals, Family

Little Fuzz’s First Flight

There’s an unfinished nest in the wisteria. It’s one column down from a nest stuffed full of baby robins. A pair of cardinals have come to check out the nest multiple times. I think they are interested, but just not sure if it’s worth a mortgage. The gent cardinal spends an inordinate amount of time carrying on nearby. I wonder if he’s trying to convince the Mrs. that it would be a great spot to raise a family. The other day Mr. C landed on my car and practically did a bird version river dance trying not to slide off.

Last night the birds were raising a ruckus. Dashing madly to the front door in case I was needed to scare off a predator, I instead saw a little ball of fuzz sitting awkwardly on the porch swing. It clearly wasn’t a robin; those kids are big and rather homely. Nearby Mrs. C peeped and flapped and fluttered at what, I could only assume, was her kid.

About this time, our cat Nyx finally realized something really very important was going on right outside the front door. She came barreling from the back of the house, plopped herself at my feet and commenced making terrible threats to Mrs. C, the fuzz, and the entire robin family who, quite frankly, were minding their own business.

The fuzz gave a few valiant flaps of its stubby wings, landing on the back of the porch swing. More encouragement ensued from Mrs. C, who took off to the pine tree bird condo, where I assume the family had found a better piece of real estate.

Nyx was still carrying on with her threats, so I shushed her out of the way and shut the big door, in the hopes that the fuzz wouldn’t pick up such dreadful language.

I checked later that night. No fuzz, no frantic parents. All was well.

chris on August 8th 2017 in Animals

Denver: Ponies, Caching, & Alcohol – July 4

What better way to start of Independence Day than a pony ride in the mountains! And did we luck out, it was just us and our guide, a really nice honest-to-goodness cowboy. Also, you know…ponies! 

The next step for a fabulous celebration of July 4 is obviously to go out in the foothills and do some geocaching and hope that your East Coast lungs can handle what gets thrown at them. They did OK, but good lord almighty were we SLOW going up the trail S..L..O..W.. 

That done, we headed…yeah you know to a brewery. Or maybe two. And then a distillery because it was there and it was part of GW14er pub crawl and we hadn’t gotten to go in yesterday. We had a blast trying out different flavor combinations of infused alcohol. And I got this winner of a tshirt, don’t be jealous! 

A quick pic in front of Coors Field for Mom and we headed back to the hotel to check out the fireworks. 

Goodnight, Denver! You’ve been lovely!

As usual, clickity HERE for pics of our adventures. 

chris on July 4th 2016 in Animals, Geocaching, Travel

Best Birthday Ever!

For my birthday, Chad took me to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh and I got to meet Happy the Penguin! It was AWESOME!

chris on December 16th 2015 in Animals