Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Special Needs aren't Just For Peeps!

A while back (OK, it was weeks - time flies) I mentioned that my house has become a magnet for animals with special needs. Here's a short list of what is going on in the world of ME...

1. I have a narcoleptic Plecostomus fish. Incident #1 - He seemed to be passed out in a plant. Incident #2 - Found him sleeping UPSIDE DOWN at the top of the tank (apparently implementing the energy-saving "Dead Fish Float") Apparently the poor fellow eats himself into a mini-coma and then just gives up movement while he digests...this is not normal fish behavior - they usually like to be hidden or seek shelter from other aggressive fish if they are not feeding. At this point, he will be dead for days before I realize he is not just "sleeping it off".

2. I have a head-banging cardinal AND oriel. It's a female. She starts in the morning - flying INTO my window. Curtains up or curtains down. Over and over and over. On days that I've been home - she will do this for HOURS. Sometimes, she starts again in the afternoon. Doesn't matter if food is out there - she still does it. Doesn't matter if the sun is shining or a cloudy day. (It was suggested that maybe she's seeing her reflection? OR not seeing the glass?) It was also suggested that maybe they see a reflection and think it's a "mate"...but that implies EITHER that birds are color blind - or that potentially these birds are gay, since the female and male varieties look so different. So maybe I have head-banging, poor visioned, color-blind GAY birds?

3. I have a fish that is a vain interior decorator. Okay, so it is common for the Oscar fish to move things around the tank. He digs up rock - and I have LARGE rocks in the bottom - not weak little pea gravel - so this is the equivalent of weight lifting. And by saying "he digs up rock", what I really mean is that i smooth it out to cover the bottom nicely. And he digs it up to build 2 mountains on each side of the tank leaving the middle of the tank open- where he dances and dances around his reflection admiring himself from every angle. He has also buried the "ancient ruins" decoration - so either he doesn't like it or is re-enacting the scene of a landslide. He prefers his plants and heater to float in the tank instead of be mounted. AND recently, he started a new behavior of removing the filter tube from the filter - and burying it in the rubble as well. Perhaps he is part DOG?

4. I have a squirrel that needs behavior management. I am sure that to some extent all squirrels taunt dogs. But I have one - let's call him Chip - that has become a master. I should pay him for giving my dogs a workout...because between their hide and seek / tag games and all the tracking they do to find out where he's dogs are pretty active. And the squirrel is building his self-esteem with each day that goes by because his bravery is growing by leaps and bounds. He was on our deck yesterday - drinking water from the dog bowl - WHILE the dogs were following his path...let's just pray his luck holds out! For if the pups ever get a hold on's not going to be pretty - for either party! Because they are definitely in the same weight class division!

5. I also have a toad that is stalking me! Last year, he scared me on more than one occasion right off the steps of the deck - where he apparently decided to take up house. This year - we keep crossing paths. First, in our new garden site (where I removed his house to make room for the raised garden). Then, near the side door - where he had taken up a temporary shelter under my recently purchased potting soil. Then in a flower bed - under the mulch...after this encounter he relocated in the exact same bed in the exact spot where I needed to plant a week later. And just yesterday - he found me again as I was trying to weed another flower bed. Each of our meetings go something like bent over very near the area, ground begins to move, I scream bloody murder, scramble to get away, and then try to calm my pulse and breathing while he stares blankly in my direction. I don't mind him being there - but if he could announce himself a little better that would be highly appreciated.

6. And lest you think I don't have any animal fun at work - this week I was greeted in the office by a gang of flies. Bad enough to have the critters around at all (and it's quite a mystery HOW they got to our office- it's like Fort Knox) but these seem to have attended kamikazes school and really enjoy dive-bombing people. I don't think I've ever been so happy to count down the days of the life of a fly before.


Karen said...

These are all pretty good, but I think the vain, interior decorating fish is probably my favorite.

Although, I couldn't help but wonder what that toad writes on HIS blog about YOU.

"Dear readers, that lady found me AGAIN! Every time I find a comfortable place to hunker down and get a little R&R, she comes along and kicks me out."

Janet said...

I like the oscar story as well. And Karen's comment about the toad writing about you on his blog. hee hee!

The only special needs animals I have at the moment continue to be my dogs and cats. Oh, no wait! I forgot I have an eyeless fish!