Today's Links (several to Blogjob posts) will go on the Blogspot; the Updates are here.
(1) Me: I've been enjoying my ideal kind of spring weather--very slowly warming weather, daytime highs around 65 and lows around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, with minimal rain falling only after sundown and plenty of sunshine all day--at the Cat Sanctuary. It was hard to tear myself away and come into town today.
It's not about pride, but about honesty: I'll resume eating solid food when I receive solid funding. To my own surprise, although I've lived almost exclusively on liquids--mainly caffeinated soda pop!--since March 4, I've not noticed feeling worse than I did during the ups-and-downs of trying to eat, while neither being paid enough to eat regularly nor being able to choose food I could digest, last year. I don't have enough energy for long walks or heavy labor, but then I couldn't count on having that much energy last year either. As long as I don't break a sweat, I can putter around at home quite comfortably. The only problem seems to be forcing enough fluids to be able to sweat without fainting. So, what happens when the hot weather arrives? Pray for me to receive serious funding, because when I tell youall I've ruled out welfare-cheating and other criminal lifestyles, and don't plan to try to scrape through another year on a yearly total income of $1855 (I wouldn't have tried to make that up!), I really mean it.
I came into town to check the exact amount of money I earned on Paypal in 2015. It was $600 exactly, Gentle Readers. Add $720 from sales and $535 from odd jobs: yes, I ate, paid all but one of my own utility bills, and paid two of Grandma Bonnie Peters' utility bills (while working out of her basement), on $1855, and I don't recommend this experience to a dog. I'm still alive, in my own weird way. Still Irish, therefore cheerful and energetic. Still Cherokee, therefore dark-haired and top-heavy. Still living in a country that fails to prosecute cheating, stealing, and shortchanging people of earned money as real crimes, therefore penniless, shabbily treated, seldom able to practice Christian charity, and avoiding contact with other humans. For how long...depends on how soon I get decent funding.
(2) Phenology: Although they've discouraged House Wrens from nesting right on the porch, the cats never discouraged the cardinals, wrens, orioles, towhees, various (native species!) sparrows, and other tree-loving birds around the Cat Sanctuary. Every year seems to bring more than the year before...and it's also possible to find more dead birds on the ground wherever some idjit has sprayed "pesticides." At this time of year they all sing to establish their home territories. The not-a-lawn, which offers alluring rose and privet berries, is visited primarily by the cardinals but it's become a sort of neutral ground where any bird may flit in and out. Blue Jays are back, this year, and Phoebes bicker with the cardinals. The garden is quite a noisy place.
(Forget the "video podcasts." If you have trees, bushes, open space, outdoor cats, and no "pesticides" ever, you will need this book--printed, suitable for outdoor use--to keep track of the birds that visit you in spring and fall.)
Last year there were hardly any moths and butterflies, so it's pleasant to report that the predominant species seem to be recovering. Spring Azures, Cabbage Whites, Tiger Swallowtails, Zebra Swallowtails, and Tulip Tree Beauties are flying around the Cat Sanctuary again.
They've had lots of time to enjoy the flowers. Cool weather has discouraged some sun-loving flowers from blooming yet and encouraged some of the early spring flowers to bloom longer. Ground-ivy, dandelions, violets, vincas, forsythia, redbuds, and dogwoods have bloomed longer and more profusely than I can remember them doing in previous years. Trees are starting to show pale chartreuse leaves in town, but in the hills most trees still look bare.
(3) Cats: When Inky came here I thought she had to be pregnant, because she kept that round, chubby look for so long. She still has it...but if she'd been pregnant in December she'd have kittens by now, and she doesn't have, thank goodness. Irene has four. Irene and Inky share the unfortunate Manx gene, which means that, although Irene loves rearing kittens (hers and everyone else's) and the kittens born to Irene have been as cute and lovable as any, so far none of Irene's kittens has lived to grow up.
I like kittens and regard any kittens born to Heather, or to Sisawat if Sisawat opts to have kittens rather than helping nurse her young relatives, as Blessed Events. I am not, however, particularly keen on watching kittens succumb to "Manx Syndrome" (slow painful death due to congenital weakness) just around the time they start to learn their names. Those who seriously want more cats to be spayed, as distinct from more personal information stored on the Internet, may donate the cost of the operations for Inky and Irene.
Yes, I would use it for that purpose, because introverts are defined by a sense of honor. What we define as honorable behavior is partly conditioned by our environment. My sense of honor requires me, if I accept donations on behalf of cats, to use the money on behalf of those specific cats. If someone had donated money to have Irene spayed, last year, and Irene had died, I would have felt obligated to get that person's consent before using that money to have Inky spayed.
As regular readers remember, I'm not worried about Irene's being denied the joys of motherhood, because social cats rear kittens communally at least after the kittens start eating solid food--sometimes before. Last year Sisawat induced lactation, nursed Heather's and Irene's kittens right along with Heather and Irene and Ivy, and thus avoided having any kittens of her own. This year, although Heather and Irene seemed to be trying to have kittens together for the third time, Irene's kittens will definitely be older; whether Sisawat will help nurse either senior cat's kittens, both, or neither, and whether Inky will join the extended cat family, remain to be seen.