Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

March 14, 2017


I've had a few reunions recently. All were pretty cool but one was very touching to my heart and soul which you will see.

First off, we were quite a ways west of our home last weekend and I stopped into a very popular Screech Owl spot for a very brief moment. I first saw this Owl back in 2012 and most years in the month of March when we are in the area I try to see "him". I've been successful every March except for 2016 when the Owl was not showing. It was a peaceful moment with the bird and not another person seen; I wasn't there more than a couple minutes mind you. It was a quick view, kinda like a "hello" and away I went. I snapped a couple shots for the blog and they do look like pretty much any other photo I've taken of it years before.

It's nice to know this bird is doing well and surviving out there in the wild.

Then just days later I chanced upon another Screech Owl I know, who is no where near as popular because this bird's location has not been shared publicly. This Owl lives minutes from our home. Last winter I saw her quite often with my outings but this year, not so. The last time I saw this bird was back in November 2016. I don't actively seek it out and it's another one of these "nice to know it's still around and surviving in the wild" scenarios. A pass by, a short view, smile and continue on.

We were fortunate to see 2 Owls last winter but what I hear from another who frequents the area daily, it's only her this time around. I suspect this to be a female because her partner last year was considerably smaller.

She was trilling in the early morning of my encounter. Spring is just days away. Is she calling for a mate?

You can see the throat expanding in the second photo compared to the first. Attaching a very short video here as well.

Notice how enlarged it is?

Hopefully she does have a mate. Hopefully it's the same bird as last year; it was quite timid and often ducked back in the box upon noticing being observed. The 2nd Owl was rufous so easily distinguished from this one.

But now let's move to the last reunion. Meet Sabrina! Formerly known as Skittles.

11 years ago in February I almost ran over the tiniest of kittens in front of the house. I threw my car in park right there in the middle of the road late in the night, jumped out and gave chase to the cat, but quickly lost sight of it in the darkness. I went home bothered by seeing this wee little cat out on it's own, especially in the coldest month of the year. I kept a look out for it but did not see it again. Well, that is until some weeks later when I happened to go down to the old shed for something. I opened the door and there was the cat sitting on a shelf looking at me. We both startled each other. She quickly backed up, then darted out a small hole in the roof. It was obvious she was making a home of the shed judging by the numerous mouse parts I found scattered about.

I began to leave food out for her and it took over a week for her to ease up with seeing me. I set up a box in the shed, put some old t-shirts within, and draped a couple heavy towels over it. It took her no time to figure out that I had made her a bed, well more like a shelter, and she could hide inside, being as warm as she could for being outside in the late winter.

It's funny to think back to this time. It was before Angie lived here. We were obviously just getting into the birds because for years now I am in the shed morning and night. Why was it so long between my last visit to the shed? Maybe I did and don't remember now so many years later? But whatever the case, it was weeks before I saw that cat again. I remember how startled I was at seeing her but also amazed. I knew it was the same cat I almost ran over.

Gotta give her some credit for being a survivor at such a young age. She learned how to hunt on her own. She found that small hole in the shed roof and knew it was the best possible shelter she could have for herself at such an unkind time of year weather-wise.

I just found this cell phone photo of her on Facebook. She's laid out in her box.

Meadow, my last cat, made it clear that she was not keen on Skittles living here, not even down back. One afternoon Meadow slipped out the back door and went right for the shed. It always was a one cat house with Meadow AND it was also a one cat backyard with her too. You can easily see that with this photo of Meadow and another homeless cat named Smudge.

Meadow was always on a leash and harness and her getting out to where Skittles was, was accidental. So lucky for us Meadow wasn't into much free roaming. She left the house with a purpose and I can only imagine what she would have done to Skittles if she got to her. Skittles was not home and Meadow couldn't figure out how to get inside the shed but she knew damn well there was another cat living in there. She must have smelled Skittles on my hands.

More than a few cats have felt Meadow's wrath, even with her on leash, she had no problem letting them know this was her home and they were not welcome. Most cats never came back. Swear on that one I do!

I remember Angie and I sitting on the deck one weekend talking about Skittles. She was growing up fast. She was hanging around the back of the yard, showing herself a lot more often to us. She had become quite comfortable with her surroundings, and us, she wasn't "skittish" like her baby days. I think we were talking about somehow trying to make this work with her and Meadow or something. Then suddenly Skittles jumped up at the bird bath and pulled a Red-winged Blackbird right out of the water. We both jumped out of our chairs and started running to help the Blackbird. I remember wiping out on the wet grass that early summer's morning. Angie half debated stopping to check on me but she knew the bird needed help ASAP and she kept going. The bird was quickly freed from Skittles's clutches and we decided that we really needed to find her a home.

Finding any animal a home isn't easy. Skittles had youth on her side but the fact she was living outdoors all her life, she was not spayed and had no vaccines were against her. But luck have it that Angie found someone through her work. The following weekend Skittles was off to meet her new family. They changed her name to "Sabrina" and Angie took that as a good sign since it's the name of a comic character she enjoyed reading the adventures of when she was a little girl.

An unfortunate incident happened recently. The death of a person who was related to Skittles, er, Sabrina's owner occurred. Angie knew the deceased woman as well. We went to the memorial service which happened to be in the condo party room of where Skittles now lives. So we got to have a little reunion with her after the service. It was wonderful to see her again after all these years. She's a lovey girl, living the life of a spoiled rotten princess as it should be. She was affectionate so that made it all the nicer to mingle with her. I like to think that she remembers me. Hey I can pretend! She couldn't tell me otherwise. LoL! I did feel sadness for the family and friends of the deceased but I took what positive I could from the situation. Most will get that I am sure.

I'm sure there are some people out there from my past, that if I had a reunion with, I'd be quite delighted about but y'all would never hear about it in my blog. This is "Rob and the Animals" after all.

As always, thanks for stopping in.



Anonymous said...

Nice reunions Rob. I always feel bad for that red Owl. So many people go to see and disturb it. I'm sick of the photos I see from too many people on Facebook. They do look all the same.

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Reunions are always good, that is really good post. Thank you for sharing it with us and keep posting such nice posts with us