Strange that we’ve had a phrase for these sort of things for decades, but none of the statements about the unidentified flying object shot down over Alaska actually use the phrase “unidentified flying object” or UFO.
The Snowblower Army
Barn cat score?
We’ve occasionally talked about going down to the SPCA and picking up one of their “barn cats“. I assume this is something that’s available at a lot of rural animal shelters — less socialized animals that you aren’t required to keep indoors. Thought a young cat that grew up around chickens would probably leave them alone (they’re fairly large and happy to defend themselves), and Anya has been really into cats since she discovered the Warrior Cat series. We see a few neighbor’s cat wandering around — a big white one, a chocolate point one — and the highlight of her day is just seeing a cat. For the last few weeks, we’ve also seen a black cat. I mentioned to Anya how some people consider them bad luck, and how the shelter I used to volunteer at had more trouble adopting them out.
Today, we were working out in the yard. The chickens were roaming around (well, the big ones anyway — the little guys tend to stay really close to the tractor when they are allowed out). Scott, Anya, and I were getting the hop arbor set up. The black cat came up out of the valley, walked toward us, and meowed. The big chickens, who had been digging around the compost, froze. The baby guys obliviously chirped and ran around the tractor. Tilly, our Columbian Wyandotte, flew/ran over toward the tractor and put herself right between the cat and the chicks. That was really cool to see — the bigger guys will actually protect the chicks. The rest of the chickens made their way toward their coop. I moved toward the chicken tractor too, and Anya went toward the cat to get him moving in a different direction. And it wanted a snuggle.
So she got to spend an hour or so petting a cat (and dragging a rope around for a cat to play with). After a big chicken got close enough to the cat for it to really appreciate the size of a chicken (and that chicken was Sunshine, our very large Buff Orpington), the cat didn’t bother the chicks. It’s an in tact male — strange combo since “in tact” usually means feral, but it’s super friendly. More friendly than any cat I’ve ever owned — my cats loved their family, but they’d hide from strangers. I left my number with the police and SPCA in case someone’s missing this guy, but the police said they get a lot of calls about cats dumped in the park (which is odd — we’ve lived here six years now, and I’ve never encountered a dumped pet … but it’s a big park). I’ve posted a pic to the usual social media places — community FB group, etc; but Anya’s hoping we’ve scored our barn cat 🙂
Zombie Monster Invasion
Anya went almost eight years without developing any imaginary monster fears — right after she entered preschool, she thought there were generic monsters that might be lurking. But I invited them over for tea and cake, we’d chat with them, and she was OK with our new monster friends. She read The Last Kids on Earth series six or more months ago. Tonight, about twenty minutes after he went upstairs to bed, asked to come down and say goodnight again. She was worried that monsters were going to fly zombies into the house. She sat with me, and I explained that the best thing about imaginary fears is that you can come up with imaginary solutions. And eagles are great protection from zombies. And there are a lot of eagles in our area — big golden guys, even bigger bald eagles. Lots of eagles. And they all eat zombies (and probably monsters). She’d forgotten to take the compost out, so she took out the bowl. And realized she forgot to bring the chickens into their coop (which was really odd since she went outside with food and water specifically to bring the chickens in … and she did fill up their food and water. But left the chickens in the tractor). She apologized to the chickens, snuggled them all to warm them up, and came back into the house. I sang her a goodnight song and we chatted about the eagles perched on the top of her bed — a golden girl she named Goldie, a bald eagle she named Balder, a golden guy that didn’t get named yet, and Balder’s mate was over at the lake getting a fish for them (we told them to eat over the fish tank so they didn’t get fish guts all over Anya or her bed). Goldie had an egg that she gave to Anya to keep warm. There were a few zombies, and Goldie ate them. All of the eagles have kevlar jackets that prevent zombie bites, so there won’t be any zombie eagles. Then the egg hatched. Anya put fifty kevlar jackets on the baby eagle (and herself) to protect them from zombies. And Goldie got some small fish from the lake to feed the hatchling. So Anya’s feeding her baby eagle while three grown eagles watch over them. Hopefully that’s sorted the zombies.
Musing on Pardons
Since my website has a lot of information about Microsoft Teams, I can see when a lot of new Teams users came online during the lockdown. Now that people are returning to offices (and, I expect, are more familiar with the platform), I’m starting to see fewer search engine referrals. But I’m still 3-4x the numbers I’d seen pre-lockdown.
Future Idea — Anya Job
Scott had a business idea for Anya — mobile concession stand at the park next door. To me, it seems an easy sell in their off-season — have thermoses of hot cocoa and mulled cider. But he was thinking in the summer, selling their ice cream and bottled water.
A friend pointed out that pants offer a little protection for me, but they are a lot of protection for you … So we can all stop wearing pants now, right? And protesting stores that require customers to wear pants! Freedom! Liberty!
Rules for the Zombie Apocalypse
- Don’t let the zombie bite you
- Don’t let the ship full of zombies dock. Anywhere.
The zombie apocalypse is the one scenario where walls will work (zombies aren’t that smart or nimble); build a big one
- Don’t get lax about safety just because it is tiring. (Really, don’t!)
Also, Anya is working on a plan to train the raccoons to defend our property.