Category Archives: pets

Cruella the Cat



I have a furry friend hiding in my house. She is a cat. Her name is Cruella.

As a tiny kitten, Cruella was rescued when her mother abandoned her. For her early weeks, she was fed with a bottle. She should be the sweetest pet ever after all that special care. She is not

Cruella is crazy. That’s probably why her mother left her and took her siblings to another hiding place in the barn.

Cruella has fights with her tail. This video is just a small sample of her tail attacks. It’s difficult to catch her on video as I never know when she will have one of her tail issues. Here she’s watching her twitching tail. She growls at it around the 20-second mark. It’s not her biggest tail encounter, but just an example.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agggIJ9eXo4

I tried embedding the video here and it just didn’t work.

Staying mostly to herself, Cruella avoids visitors. Son-in-law Andy came across her a couple of weeks ago. She was on my bed upstairs. For the first time ever, she didn’t run and hide. In fact, Cruella let Andy pet her–he was honored.

I hope the attached youtube video works for you.

BTW: Cruella sleeps with me every night. She purrs like crazy right by my head. Too bad she uses her claws to knead and wake me.

I’m going to try reading another old column later today, but first, before the rain, I’m going to take Sunny for a walk.

Copyright 2020 Susan Manzke



Othello, the cat

I was studying Shakespeare’s Othello when two cats came to live at our house. Rebecca named the runt Peter Michael Manzke (Pete outgrew being the runt). I named the other Othello.

Though Pete has crossed the rainbow bridge, Othello is still with us at the age of 16. He’s a scroungy old cat, needing a good brushing.

Pete hates to be brushed. I do a little of him at a time, usually quitting when he starts biting.

Last year this time, while Bob was struggling with his cancer, Othello wasn’t well. I couldn’t bring myself to put him down. I’m so glad I didn’t. He is fine, and good company, sleeping with me.

Othello, without the scroungy half of him showing

Today, I share my home confinement with my pets, so I am not completely alone.

Othello is a beggar, always wanting treats, he gets them, too. I better not run out of his treats. I don’t know what he would do to me if he didn’t get a few every day.

So that’s my blog for today. It’s extra quiet here. I think that’s because I should stay to myself. The crazy thing is that I was finally getting out of the house after losing Bob.

Oh well, this too shall pass….though it will take a while. Good thing my freezer is well stocked.

I hope everyone is comfortable and safe, too.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

A helping family

A prospective storm changed our family get-together. All our children were coming to help tomorrow, but a Sunday snowstorm changed plans.

Other commitments meant everyone couldn’t come this Saturday. Rebecca, Rachel, and Arianna made it here and helped with writing thank-you cards.

After spending hours together, writing, stamping, and addressing, Rebecca went home to do her own chores. Rachel and Arianna decided I needed more fish in my fish tank–I have one. So off we went to a pet store in Green Bay.

With Arianna’s help, I chose two guppies and then decided to get a beta to take up residence in his own bowl in the kitchen.

After choosing my new pets, Rachel asked if I needed anything else. We were near enough to Fleet Farm so I asked her to stop for water softener salt. “I don’t need anything else.”

After we got inside the store, I remembered I also needed cat food, wild bird food, cat litter, a trail mix and pecans for snacking.

With all the heavy bags, it was a good thing Rachel was there. She not only loaded her car with my purchases, but she also unloaded at home and carried everything everywhere from the basement to the front porch, to the upstairs.

The photos that follow were taken by Rachel as Arianna and I pushed our over-full cart out of Fleet Farm and to Rachel’s car.

It was a fun adventure and a relief from writing thank you cards.

Now everyone is on their way home. I’ll be alone on Sunday, but that’s okay. I’ll spend some time watching my new fish and then look out the window at the snow coming down outside–knowing not one of my family is trying to drive out to the farm on slippery roads.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Crazy Cat

Along with a birdfeeder, we also have a heated waterer attached to a porch post. Birds stop there for a drink, but so do barn cats–not at the same time.

I understand the cats coming for a drink when everything is frozen outside. I just don’t understand how they take a drink some of the time.

Most get up on a ledge, also built for feeding birds, but mostly empty these days as cats like to sit there. Some cats take a sip from the edge near where they are standing.

Adventurous cats plunge their paws into the water and drink from the opposite side of the ‘birdbath’.

Taking a drink this way isn’t bad on a mild day, but I’ve seen them do this when it is extremely cold outside.

I haven’t seen any frozen cats, but I can’t see the reason they have to drink while dunking their tootsies.

I just hope they can off their feet fast before they freeze.

Taking a drink from the far side of the heated birdbath.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

The runaway

It snowed today. Not more than two inches, but that made a spot in our yard slippery. As I threw a bit of garbage in the outside bin, my foot slipped. I was heading head over heels, knocking the bin over, but somehow saved myself from a complete fall. Thank goodness. Too many friends have had falls lately that left them bruised and hurting. I’m happy to have saved myself today.

After bringing in the mail, I went to check on my seven hens and give them some table scraps.

Since the hens have been docile, I left the outside door open. That was a mistake. One white hen raced passed me when I opened the coop door. She stopped suddenly when her feet hit the snow.

I figured this was my chance to recapture her, but she had other ideas.

Not liking the two inches of snow, the hen flapped into the air and flew about twenty feet away to an open space under a nearby pine tree.

Grumpily, I followed after her, hoping she wouldn’t go farther afield.

The hen did think about escaping under her favorite bush, but the snow made her rethink that exit.

Little by little I turned her toward the coop, my arms outstretched giving her directions.

She went left. She went right and then back again. The cold snow stopped her again.

“You’ll have to fly home,” I told her and to my surprise that’s what she did, flapping right to the open door.

At least she was home. I returned to the house, carefully stepping over the slippery ground.

This episode gives me more reason to rid myself of my little flock, but the question still remains. Where?

The hen who escaped.

Copyright © 2019 Susan Manzke, All rights reserved