20

There Goes the Neighborhood: The Groundhogs’ Bad Season

Groundhog Photos and Facts

The groundhog family had been living under the porch of the old farmhouse for generations. It was a pretty nice location: the humans didn’t spend too much time outside, and they never bothered the groundhogs. There was plenty of clover to eat and even an ornamental peach tree to climb.

Life had been particularly good in the past couple of years. Something had happened to the male human, and the female human stopped working in the yard almost entirely. The garden in front of the porch got overgrown, and it was hard to even see under the porch. The groundhogs were thrilled. Nothing bothered them, and they came and went as they pleased.

File:Groundhog on rock.jpg - Wikipedia

But this past spring something changed.

Harold: Hey Madge, you notice that the human seems more active than usual?

Madge: Yeah. She’s been over at the side of the house digging around. She’s talking about putting in a rock garden.

Harold: That would be nice. It would give us someplace to sun.

Madge: That’s true. We wouldn’t have to walk around to the back of the house anymore.

Harold: I hope she doesn’t dig up all the clover.

Madge: I wouldn’t worry about it. It hasn’t happened in the 20 years our family’s lived here.

Harold: Excellent point.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

Indeed, soon enough the human stopped digging up the side of the house. She came back one day with a bunch of plants that she put on the porch.

Madge: Did you see all that gorgeous greenery. It looks pretty yummy.

Harold: It’s awfully close to the house. I’m not going up there to explore.

Madge: I think she’s going to plant some of it in our yard.

Harold: Oooh. That will be nice. The more green, the better.

Nature Notes: Winter is Coming | The Michigan Nature Guy's Blog

However, the human didn’t put the new plants in the yard. She moved them into larger pots and left them on the porch. One morning, the groundhogs heard digging.

Harold: Look, Madge. She’s clearing the part of the yard by the other front porch. Maybe that’s where she’s going to grow our new plants.

Madge: That would be convenient. I wonder if we should figure out a way to tell her where to put the stuff we like best.

Harold: Let’s go explore what’s up there.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

The groundhogs discovered that most of the plants were too high to reach. There were a couple of bushes and some catnip. They also found tomatoes and peppers in pots.

Harold: This is very disappointing. I hope the good stuff is in the pots up top.

Madge: Let’s ask the rabbits to check it out for us. They can jump up there and see.

Safe Wood and Other Plants For Rabbits

The next night, Pierre jumped up on the railing and had a look around. All he could see were herbs. Except, there was one particularly appetizing smell.

Pierre: Bad news, guys. There’s nothing really good up there. Oregano, sage, rosemary. Nothing that’s really going to appeal to anyone.

Harold: Well, rats.

Madge: I hope she finishes putting it in soon. At least we won’t have to worry about having a human out all the time.

Groundhog Trapping & Removal Near Willow Grove, Pennsylvania

The human continued cleaning out the yard. The groundhogs weren’t really paying much attention. One Saturday, they woke up to loud noises a few feet from their nest. They looked out in horror.

Madge: Do something, Harold! She’s digging up right next to our porch! We’re going to lose all our privacy.

Harold: What do you want me to do about it?

Madge: I don’t know. We have to stop this.

violentbaudelaire: A squirrel lunch meeting | Cute squirrel, Cute animals,  Animals wild

Later that day, they heard the humans discussing the work. They were very excited about how much “nicer” it looked and how much better it would be once all of the weeds were gone. The groundhogs decided it was time for a neighborhood meeting.

Harold: We wanted to get everyone together to discuss what’s going on in the neighborhood.

Sara Squirrel: You mean the humans’ “Beautification” project? It’s awful. They’re picking up all the sticks, digging out all the weeds, and cleaning up the sidewalks.

Roger Raccoon: Before we know it, the whole place is going to look like it belongs on the front of one of those sales brochures. Like it was when the humans first moved in.

Pierre: We can’t let that happen. What if this human decides to sell it? No one is ever going to be as easy to manipulate as she is.

Texas family wakes up to raccoon on bathroom sink - ABC7 New York

Roger: That’s true. She lets us pretty much run the place.

Harold: Maybe. But she’s destroying my peace of mind right now. She’s ruining the entrance to our home.

Priscilla Rabbit: She’s bringing in nasty plants too. I thought she had planted some fennel. Super yummy. But when I dug up the bulbs, it was only the plant, not the edible kind. Talk about rude.

Madge: A couple of cats have started hanging around too. You know the neighborhood won’t be safe anymore if they stick around.

Roger: We have to do something before we get beautified out of our happy homes.

Next Week: The animals’ plan and how it works out.

18

Cat Forum: Cats and Herbs

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando here. We’ve probably told you that our human brother is an outstanding cook – if you’re a human. He’s the one who introduced lentils to the menu. And chickpeas. And lots of dried beans. He also uses a lot of different herbs. Some of them smell good. Others just smell.

My Cat Smells Like Death - Bad Breath and Other Causes

Mom is trying to help. She bought a bunch of herb plants. Some are outside in pots, and some are inside in pots. It looks like a basil jungle under the plant light. Neither one of us is much for plants, so we’ve been avoiding them. But it did make us wonder if there were any herbs we should look out for.

As is the case for flowers and other plants, some herbs are good for us and we need to avoid some.  In the case of herbs that may be beneficial for cats, make sure your vet is on board before taking them medicinally.

Safe (and possibly beneficial) Herbs

Basil – Has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It also relieves anxiety in some kitties.

Calendula – It has anti-inflammatory properties. It might even be able to help speed up wound healing.

Catnip – It is a mood and activity stimulant and can help calm stress and anxiety. It also has anti-itch properties. Note that it is a member of the mint family and can cause vomiting and diarrhea if you overindulge.

Cats & Herbs | Good & Bad Herbs for your Furry Friend - THE SAGE

Cat’s Claw  – It helps with allergic reactions. It might help with your immune system.

Dandelion Root – It has anti-itch properties so it can help alleviate allergies. It also aids digestion and liver detoxification.

Dill – It can calm the stomach. It also alleviates bloating and gas.

Echinacea – It helps support good immune health. If you’re prone to upper respiratory infections (like the human cold), maybe you should ask your vet about it.

Goldenseal – It has antibacterial properties. It may be useful as a natural disinfectant on cuts and scrapes.

Licorice Root – It’s like the cortisone your human uses, so it helps your mucus membranes. It can reduce allergic itchiness, digestive issues (it is particularly soothing to your bowels), and respiratory problems.

Do Cats Like Mint? (Revealed!) | Pests Banned

Mint – It’s a natural pest repellent. It also soothes your skin and helps you relax. But too much can be rough on your tummy.

Parsley – It can help boost your immune system and support good eyesight (it provides vitamins A, C, and K).

Rosemary – It has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It can help with your skin, coat, and eyesight. It also improves digestion.

Thyme – It has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It also provides fiber to your diet.

Valerian – It is a mood and activity stimulant for cats. It can be used as an alternative to catnip or silver vine. Weirdly enough, it usually has the opposite effect on humans. It is also known to boost the immune system.

Witch Hazel – It can be used to treat feline acne. Simply dab your skin once or twice a day.

How to grow and care for chamomile | lovethegarden

Unsafe for Kitties

Chamomile – There are several types of chamomile. German chamomile is safe for cats. However, English, Roman or True chamomile can cause dermatitis, vomiting, diarrhea, and allergic reactions.

Foxglove – It can cause cardiac failure and death.

Garlic – It is extremely toxic. It can cause vomiting, increased heart rate, and damage to your red blood cells leading to hemolytic anemia.

Growing Lemongrass: Best Varieties, Planting Guide, Care, Problems, and  Harvest

Lemongrass – It can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Marijuana – It can cause vomiting, low blood pressure, hypersalivation, and possibly even seizure, coma, and death. No form is safe.

Onions and Chives – They can cause diarrhea, vomiting or an upset stomach and severe damage to the red blood cells. Onion powder is as dangerous as the whole onion.

Oregano – It can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

St. John’s Wort – It can make you more sensitive to the sun, leading to ulcerative or peeling dermatitis.

Tarragon – It can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Catnip and Cats — In Defense of Plants

We’ve decided to leave the herbs to the humans. Although we are going to try to get Mom to move the catnip inside.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images (not us or our plants)

13

The Biennial Bears` Bonfire – Part 3

The Black Bears of the Smokies - Mountain Realty Group

Background: Every two years Zeke, Anthony, Joe, and Benjamin got together for a week-long camping trip at the lake. One of the highlights of the trip was story-time around the bonfire. This year’s topic is “Chance Encounter With Another Species”. It is Anthony’s turn to speak. You can read Zeke’s story here. Anthony’s story is here.

Now it was Joe’s turn to tell his story.

My story is a little different because it’s about a human.

How About No Bear Meme - Imgflip

As you know, they have what they call “hunting season.” They think that as long as it’s the season, they can do whatever they want in our woods. Mainly they seem to tromp around and make a lot of noise. So I hear a couple of them walking around, trying to find whatever it was they were looking for.

Curious Bear by Joe Motohashi | Bear, Bear pictures, Bear photos

They ended up separating to see if they had better luck. I heard a shot, so I assumed they had been successful.

Then I heard one of the humans start yelling. I don’t really understand human very well, so I went closer to see what had happened. One of the humans was bleeding and the other one was leaning over him. My best guess is that the first human got shot somehow.

Petition · Environmental Protection Agency: Change name of a group ...

I thought I should help, so I went closer to offer. I guess it wasn’t a very good idea. The uninjured human tried to shoot me. Luckily, he was a terrible shot. So he started to run.

I couldn’t believe it. He left his friend behind so he could get away. I  guess he doesn’t know black bears are friendly around here.

I looked down at his buddy. He didn’t look so good. I mean humans are kinda funny looking without any fur, but this one looked particularly bad.

10 Philosophical Bears Thinking Deep Bear Thoughts

I didn’t know what to do. On the one paw, he had been out in my woods trying to kill someone. On the other paw, it seemed cruel to leave him there bleeding.

I  decided to drag him over to Dr. Fox. It wasn’t very far, but when the human saw me coming toward him, he fainted. It was a little insulting. After all, he was the one with the gun.

Hey comment a cute fox image if u love foxes | Object Shows Amino

Dr. Fox looked at the human and asked where I found him. I told him the whole story and asked whether he could help the human.

The doctor said that he would clean up the human and pack some herbs into the wound. It had worked on some others patients, but he hadn’t tried it on something so big. It was going to take a lot of herbs. I  said that I would go out and find them while he cleaned up the patient.

Bears Munching on Ants Indirectly Help Plants | Smart News ...

When I got back, it looked like the human was dead. Dr. Fox said not to worry; he had given his patient something to make him sleepy. I had to admit that he did look a lot better cleaned up and sleeping.

I gave Dr. Fox the herbs. He packed the wound with most of them, then made a paste to hold the herbs in place. The doctor asked how I was going to get him home.

Winter Dens - North American Bear CenterNorth American Bear Center

I hadn’t thought about that. I thought he’d be able to go home after Dr. Fox had fixed him. I certainly didn’t want him in my den; he would scare the children. And I had no idea where he lived. Besides, someone would probably try to shoot me again.

I told Dr. Fox that I needed to go home and talk to Ginny (my wife). She said that he could stay overnight, but that was it. We carried him home and made him a nice bed.The kids looked in on him, but weren’t impressed, so they went back to playing.

Pin on Cute <3

We found a phone in his pocket and found a number for “Home.” I couldn’t call them. Most humans don’t understand bear talk. Ginny said we should text them. She sent, “Git me.”

We waited for a response. “Where are you?” Hmm. That was a good question. How would the humans find him? “Lake Vista beach”

Brown bears in Lake Clark National Park, Alaska image - Free stock ...

“I’ll pick you up in the morning.”

We took him over to the lake in the morning and waited with him. A car finally got there, so we waited in the woods. A woman got out of the car and looked at our human. She started crying and called someone. An ambulance arrived a little later. They said they had no idea who would have packed the wound with herbs, but it saved the man’s life.

29 Animals Waving Goodbye For The Winter (With images) | Cute ...

Nexr week: Benjamin’s story

All pictures courtesy of Google Images

11

Mama Cat and the Badger

Image result for cat on christmas

 

It was Christmas Eve, and Mama Cat was totally exhausted. Her reputation as an herbalist and healer was spreading and she building a good practice. But all that work had put her behind in her Christmas preparations. She had just finished the baking and wrapping. But the house was a total mess.

She was startled by a loud knocking at the door. She hoped it wasn’t that lousy Tom. She should have known he had two other kitten mamas. Mama Cat opened the door.

Image result for badger

It was a very large badger. Mama Cat almost fainted with fear. He asked if he could come in. She nodded and pointed to a seat.

“Are you here to eat me?” She was terrified.

The badger looked hurt. “Of course not. I am asking for your help.”

Mama Cat looked confused. “What could I possibly do for you?”

The badger looked at her hopefully. “My name is Reginald Badger, and I live in the forest. My son was playing with some friends and it got a little rough. He was clawed rather badly. My wife says that you can heal animals and was hoping that you would help our son.”

Image result for badger family

Mama Cat looked around the house. “But it’s Christmas Eve, and I have five kittens in the other room who are waiting for Santa Claws.” Reginald looked crestfallen and nodded. “I told Margery that you probably couldn’t make it. I apologize for intruding.” He got up to leave.

Mama Cat looked at his sad face and then around the room. How long could it possibly take? And how could she let that little badger die? “I think there is time to help your son before the kittens wake up. Let me get my things.”

As she gathered her things, she hoped that she wasn’t volunteering to be Christmas dinner for a family of badgers. Reginald took her bag and offered a ride on his back. Mama Cat was feeling worse and worse about her decision.

As Reginald ran through the trees for what felt like an extremely long time, Mama Cat began to worry about getting home in time to finish getting things ready for the kittens. “I wonder if Santa Claws will leave presents at a house that doesn’t offer him a bowl of cream?”

Image result for santa claws

Finally Reginald stopped. Mama Cat climbed down as he opened the door. She swallowed nervously and followed him in.

Suddenly Mama Cat was being hugged. “Oh thank you Ms. Cat for coming all the way out here on Christmas Eve! I’m Margery Badger, and we are so grateful that you are here. I know that you can help Eugene. Let me show you the way.” Mama Cat was a little overwhelmed. “Please call me Belle. I hope I can help.” She followed Margery into another room.

There was a much smaller badger laying on the bed. He was asleep but was moaning in pain. Belle looked at the wound. “It is rather nasty isn’t it? Let me see what I can do. Would you please bring some warm water so I can clean it out?”

Image result for sick badger

Margery quickly returned with the water. “Now would you please boil some water and let these herbs soak in the water for 10 minutes?” Belle carefully cleaned the wound and got a better look at it. It was deep, but didn’t seem to have caused much damage.

She took some spider webbing and put it in the wound to stop the bleeding. When Margery returned, Belle poured the hot liquid into a cloth and applied it to the wound. “You will need to re-apply the poultice every six hours for two days. Belle handed Margery a second herb. “Make a spoonful of this into tea several times a day. It smells and tastes horrible, but it will help with the healing.”

Image result for herbal tea

Both of the badgers hugged Belle and asked how they could repay her. Overcome with fatigue again, she said that a ride home would be nice.

When she opened the door to her house, Belle was amazed. It was spotless. There were gifts from Santa Claws for the kittens and a note on the table.

“Dear Belle – Since you were away helping the badgers, I decided that the best gift for you would be to have an elf clean your house. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! All the best – Santa Claws.”

Belle thought she must be dreaming and curled up with the kittens.

Image result for mother cat with kittens

6

Inside Mega Medical Insurance

If Congress ever stops obsessing about whether Vladimir Putin’s attire (or lack of) is an indicator of Russian foreign policy, maybe they can actually look into the running of the medical insurance companies. In the meantime, maybe this is what’s happening inside the boardroom:

Chairman: Gentlemen, we have invited you here for an explanation of why profit margins have plunged so dramatically.

Board Member A: The investors are very unhappy. Our largest shareholder had to use existing funds to make the payment on his ski lodge. Another had to postpone his trip to Fiji and Micronesia.

Chairman: Let’s start on the pharmaceutical side. What is going on, Mr. Hogg?

Lester Hogg (Pharm Guy): Well, you know that it’s hard to get companies to create new drugs because it’s so hard to get the government to approve anything. It’s all going generic.

Chairman: We’ve heard all that. Are there any new trends?

Hogg: A lot of people seems to be trying herbs and other supplements. We’ve even heard of psychiatrists prescribing them. That pulls people completely out of the pharm system.

Chairman: That makes no sense. Insurance doesn’t cover herbs. It has to be more expensive.

Hogg: Talk to the twits over there (points to the medical insurers). Copays for drugs keep going higher.

Julius Bones (Med Guy): You people can’t keep your costs down. We had to start charging them a percentage of the price instead of a flat fee. You said it was the only way to make a profit. The customers said the premiums were too high.

Hogg: And whose fault is that? You guys are letting patients get CT scans for a sprained ankle.

Chairman: We thought that forcing people into HMOs and such was supposed to keep costs down and profits up.

Bones: Well, it didn’t work out quite the way we expected. We thought that by forcing everyone to go through a primary doctor, a lot of the specialist fees would be eliminated.

Chairman: What happened?

Bones: Them. (Points to a team of attorneys)

Phineas Shark (Legal Guy): We have to make sure the doctors don’t get sued for malpractice.

Chairman: So you decide which tests are needed to protect the doctors?

Shark: In a manner of speaking. We make sure the doctors don’t make promises they can’t keep.

Hogg: So they try herbs instead of drugs.

Shark: There are fewer proven side effects. People don’t want to die from their treatment.

Bones (aside): That completely dries up the flow of money.

Shark: And we make sure enough tests are done to avoid missing a problem.

Chairman: So why aren’t we making money off all these extra tests?

Bones: Well, we made some reforms in the past that are cutting into those profits. We forced the providers to form groups for internal referrals and improved communication. And we made them switch to electronic communication.

Chairman: So??

Bones: So instead of taking the x-ray and sending the patient somewhere else for further diagnosis, the patient is referred internally and the x-ray is available for anyone in the system to see.

Chairman: What idiot thought that would be good for the insurance industry?

Shark: We never thought the medical world was organized enough to actually follow through. Our bad.

Chairman: This is totally unacceptable. It seems that every time we come up with something to protect our interests while still looking like the good guys, they figure out how to actually use it.

(He looks around the table.)

Chairman: I’m giving you insurance executives 90 days to come up with a way to exploit the holistic medicine industry or you’re gone.

 

History in the (Re)Making

History, Historical Fiction and everything in between

Writing, football, humour

Football, lancashire life, and passion for nonleague.

mike's HUMOR

injecting hope & humor - he who laughs, lasts!!

Wandering Cat Studio

Cats and crafts and craziness

We Like Cats & Kittens

Cats, cats, cats and kittens! We like cats! If you like them as well please share our page! Thank You!

The Chester Chronicles

A do-nothing cat.

Catwoods Porch Party

~ CATS, art, nature, animals, science, weather. Painter at heart ~

Bad Cat Chris

The Baddest Cat You'll Ever Love

Homestead Prowlers

Celebrating the humorous behavior of cats

Flavors by Parween Khan

Food. Travel. Lifestyle

15andmeowing.com

Daily adventures of living with a bunch of cats

Unclearer

Enjoyable Information. Focused or Not.

Expression, Healing and Words

Just enough love to make it interesting.

Idyllic

Positive mindset, Faith, and Health