Cuckoo Shrikes, Mad Earl McGregor and Pingu’s new house

Hi All

Great news…the female cuckoo shrike came for her bit of cheese this morning! We can only guess that she has been sitting on her eggs full time and now her babies have hatched. I was so depressed when I saw that large pile of grey feathers. I still feel sorry for the bird that was caught because I know that if I didn’t feed the ferals, that they wouldn’t be hanging around here, but I don’t feel so bad now that Steve’s “little girl” is fine. I also think that a lot more birds would be eaten if I didn’t feed the ferals. My friend (the witness protection woman who can’t have her face shown on the net because the government will actually be able to know where she is then and she might have to start paying tax or stop running moonshine or whatever it is that she does that means that she can’t be photographed…) forced me to drink too much yesterday…YES SHE DID! She held me down and funnelled in too much beer and wine and after she and her partner left (both Steve and Glen were almost sober so no doubt we will hear tutting noises whenever they talk about the gazebo removal from now on…) I was a bit tipsy. Hopefully that didn’t bleed over into the last post that I did as half of it was typed up with one eye open and the other one wandering around the room on its own journey to ‘wherever’. Thank you for your patience with me (and my usually non-drunk musings). The point of revealing what I otherwise would have kept totally secret from you was that Steve fed the feral cats their usual rations and I was semi-comatose on the sofa. I woke up to Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson being his usual Puffin eating obnoxious self, with an ‘unusual’ taste in my mouth and Steve was fast asleep on the couch. I looked out the window and noticed that it was just on dark and thought that Steve might have forgotten to feed the cats. I headed to the pantry and checked how many cans of cat food were inside and there was one more than there should have been so naturally assumed that he had forgotten.

I looked outside the kitchen window and saw 2 feral cats staring up at me with “I’m hungry!” eyes, and tossed them out a few cubes of cheese, a chicken frame that neither of the dogs seemed willing to eat (one of the ferals would only have come up on the deck later on and pinched it anyway…) and some left over mince that the cuckoo shrike hadn’t eaten. I then opened a can of food and took it down for them. No sooner was my hand out of the container then Jacko (the tamest of the ferals) had his furry whiskers firmly planted in the bowl and not too long after Pink (more timid but still getting tamer) joined him. I left the scene with 2 feral cats bottoms up in the food and El Chupacabra somewhat pissed because it was apparently HIS chicken frame that he was keeping to upset Bezial later on when he trotted in with it and Bezial had already eaten his… I walked into the lounge room and Steve said “where have you been?” (Obviously Jeremy Clarkson had yelled loud enough to wake him from his otherwise unshakable slumber…). I told him (in a somewhat superior manner because even though I was pissed…err somewhat drunk…I HAD remembered to feed the poor starving ferals and save the birds single handedly…) that I was just feeding the ‘poor’ hungry cats…Steve then said “I fed them while you were snoring on the couch!”…go cats!! Clever little sods got more food out of me AND cheese AND El Chupacabra’s chicken frame AND the last of the mince! No doubt I will have doe eyes beaming up at me from now on just on dusk every night….I will just have to avoid looking out the window won’t I?

I am doing this post early because I am off to my daughter’s house today. I have forty squintillion things to remember to do and a brain with a hole in it so I think that I had best make a list (so long as I don’t lose the list I should be fine…). The problem with going to ‘town’ now opposed to when we used to go to ‘town’ is that we are so much further away from it than we were before. If we just drive to ‘town’, whenever we like, we would owe some foreign sheik our first born son (yes that’s YOU Stewart…get your accounting books out…you’re off on a trip somewhere warm….) so we have to ration our trips into ‘town’ to necessary trips and whenever an unnecessary trip comes up, we have to rationalise it by making it more necessary if you get my convoluted meaning so today I am going to be doing the shopping all over Launceston, checking out the price of picket fence palings and H4 treated timbers at various hardware shops around town for our final diploma unit…driving 2 strangely dressed women around Launceston perhaps accompanied by others…baby-sitting 2 dogs and then tomorrow I am off at 7.30am to pick up 2 ducks, up to Polytechnic to drop off a tile cutter to our true sensei Cory who is the fount of all knowledge, and to pick up our plans for our friends garden to drop off to her on the way home. I am then finishing off the shopping at shops that were not open the day before, picking up 10kg of dog steak (only the best for Emo dog and El Chupacabra), leaving said Emo Dog with the girls as well as the ducks (because you can only begin to imagine the carnage with a car full of shopping, Emo dog and ducks left unattended while I went in to do more shopping…I shudder to even THINK about how much mess would be left for me to clean up…) then I will drop off the plans to our friend, who was ALSO half cut yesterday and when she got home, sent us 3 pictures from her phone…2 of the same thing, the gazebo placed carefully down in the rough vicinity of where we have placed it in our plans and a photograph of ducks…I think that the photo of ducks was to remind me that she HAS ducks and that should our adventure with our new ducks somehow not work out how we envisage it to, that she was willing to take the ducks to live on her dam with her other ducks. What a nice friend we have (that’s why we are allowing her to keep her anonymity).

El Chupacabra Knows that I am going away today. He isn’t yet aware that Bezial is also going away and that he and Steve are having a “bonding” day together. When we got Earl, he was 17 weeks old. He wasn’t in that cute puppy stage anymore which makes it so easy to bond with your new dog. That lovely puppy smell, those huge cute eyes, who wouldn’t fall in love with their lovely little baby? Earl was rangy, smelly and somewhat battered. He had huge eyes that were full of fear because he had just been shipped halfway around Australia from the life that he knew, his mum and everything hot (he came from Adelaide after one of their hottest ever summers on record) to a totally new life and it was even raining, something that he had most probably never experienced in his short little life. He has always been a very loving little dog, but he also has a streak of complete madness. I can only assume that if dogs are the result of reincarnated humans, that Earl is one of the red headed, mad McGregor’s of some small Scottish Highlands Island and is prone to “Red Mist” events. I have a picture of him here after he has spent a bit of time redecorating the lounge room carpet. He does this on a daily basis, along with having several mad power running events through the house. People say that you have to walk your dogs…we walk ours twice a day for over an hour at a time. If we have to walk them more, we will die. Simple as that!

That Frisbee that you can see in the picture was straightened out by the boys so that they could play with it better. It survives (unlike its companion Frisbee that bought it, in no uncertain terms in an off leash area somewhere in Gravelly Beach…) merely because the boys have decided that they might have the odd game with it and so Wee Earl McGregor has allowed it to remain intact. The remaining shreds that you see on the carpet behind him, are what remains of this mornings Red Mist event. I think he comes round thinking that Bezial has chewed up all his toys, eaten our house plants, and generally left the house in disarray because he always has this disapproving look in his eyes as if we are bad housekeepers for allowing our home to get this messy…the other day we were greeted (after making Ducktopia and digging halfway to China to bury the dinghy) by a house full of potting mix, tenderly masticated plant material, mangled pots and Steve’s trousers with everything pulled out of the pockets (you need to make your point when you are one of the McGregor clan and you feel that you have been slighted…) so this sort of easily cleaned mess makes my breathing slow down a little. One day I am going to hyperventilate myself into oblivion over Earl’s mess, but for now, we are reaching a little truce….

Everyone has problems with Earl. I think it’s his ability to stare at people, to do crazy things at a moment’s notice, to refuse to even entertain the notion that he should learn ANYTHING and most of all; he has turned into a huge hulking great mammoth that scares people. Our friend, who for the purposes of this conversation we shall call Madame X, has just lost her fear of Bezial. She came onto the deck where she has always cowered on the steps before and Bezial was a true gentleman, even pretending not to be interested in her at all and waiting to see if her partner would come over for a pat….Earl scares her. She said (in her drunken state) that she would take Bezial for a visit to her house any time (I am going to hold you to that Madame X) but that she was scared of Earl. Poor Earl. He is the most loving dog. He snuggles up in bed with us at night and cuddles up with Steve on the couch. All he wants is for people to pat him, but he gives off an aura of craziness and I guess it puts prospective burglers off coming up our driveway, but its hard on him to be seen as a maniac!

Pingu is insane. Sorry, to all of you following his progress…he is still alive…he is eating more than his weights worth of food a day, he is doing all the things that a chicken on the way back from the brink should be doing, BUT he now thinks that a large dog chewed furry rabbit toy is his mum and that we are constantly coming to molest him. He had a few rough days, after he started eating where he had to be cleaned up and lost a few tail feathers. We now put Vaseline on his ‘tender bits’ to make sure that doesn’t happen again, but he now thinks that all humans are perverts and that only his blue fluffy mummy rabbit will save him. It’s great that he is coming on so well, but lord only knows what he is like mentally. I guess, when he is a 10kg rooster he is going to take back his pride…we can only hope that his memory doesn’t run to all those feathers that he lost off his nether regions! He is angry today because he has been rehoused in a washing basket. He had Earl’s dog crate up until now and I need it to pick up ducks so his luxury condominium, is now downgraded. Not only does he have no feathers on his bum…but he has been moved into slum accommodation! I think that both Steve and I have had it when he gets older…anger can fester you know and he has all that time, standing under his tanning lamp to brew up an anger storm….Steve says that he is getting ‘red rage’ from the infra-red lamp that saved his life. I guess you will read about Pingu’s exploits of terror in future posts. Remember us fondly…

Ok, I had best get everything ready to go now. I am not planning on doing much in town so I will take my “My name is Earl” DVD’s, Bezial, my toothbrush, doona, some form of clothing and a hairbrush. The rest can be garnered from my daughters. Have a great rest of your day and see you tomorrow. I may be traumatised by my day in the big smoke so you will have to forgive my (almost certain) rants about traffic, cyclists and EEDIOTS who can’t work out how to use a damned roundabout!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Apr 08, 2013 @ 23:02:17

    We started out watching My Name is Earl but got sidetracked. Don’t really watch too much television.


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