Mouse Hunt

I have two cats, Feste and Orsino, and Ferdinand the basset hound. The good news is they all get along. The bad news is they all get along. The get along so well they are a hunting pack. The good news is they keep the house free of pests although not so much the insects. The bad news is the only reason some of the pests are in the house is because some member of the hunting pack brought it in through the pet door. Normally they like to bring their trophies to me live. If I realize a prize has been brought in early enough, I can usually catch the prey and release it back outside relatively unharmed. Otherwise I’m on past prey patrol. Voles, moles, and mice are the main prey. Once in Texas, Puck the cat brought me a lizard. I’ve seen one dead bird. Luckily no snakes. Ferdinand the basset hound takes the prize for once while we lived in North Carolina bringing me an adult live opossum. He dropped it off in my bedroom. Wasn’t I impressed? No, I screamed like the girl I am. Eventually I got my wits about me after calling my mom in Texas, which of course was going to help somehow. She told me to call 911 because well it probably wouldn’t be the stupidest phone call they ever got. [Side note: I did call 911. Orange County North Carolina probably doesn’t get that many phone calls expect for drunks on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. In fact in Orange County you are supposed to call 911 for wildlife emergencies which is my justification for calling them. A very nice operator told me they would come help for wildlife that can carry rabies. Turns out opossums have too low a body temperature to carry rabies so all he could do was give me the phone number of a animal removal company. Still, good to know about opossums and rabies.] Anyway I finally calmed down. The opossum kept playing dead while both basset hounds and both cats kept watch to see if it would move again. I managed get a large trash can over it and pushed it down the hall and out the front door all while I was trailed by my hunting pack. After safely closing the door, I watched the opossum finally realize it was free. Before walking off, it looked at me as if to say thanks and possibly give me the middle opossum finger. I then went to go find a very large glass of wine.

This morning I heard the warning signal of both Feste and Ferdinand running across the living room. The I heard a squeak. I investigate, and both of them are staring intently at something. Great. It’s a mouse. It runs. Feste catches it in his mouth. Lets it go. Ferdinand catches it in his mouth. Lets it go. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Finally, Feste grabs it in his mouth and runs downstairs into my office. I then spend the next 20 minutes trying to catch the poor mouse that is trying to figure out how to get out while Feste mainly watches. Several times I would get close to getting a container on top of the mouse, and it would run to Feste for protection. I kid you not, it would run to Feste who would shelter the mouse in between his front legs. They would just look at each other. The mouse would move away. Feste would bat at it a little. I would try to catch the mouse. Repeat. Finally the mouse ran out into an open location where I could get a trash can over it. I got the trash can over it, turned it over, and got it out the front door. Then it took me a few minutes to get the mouse to finally leave the trash can. I kept telling it to be free. I have to go to work. Look there are nice plants and leaves for you to hide in. Be free. It finally did as I asked.

Ferdinand in the Snow

We got about 4 to 5 inches of snow yesterday, so I took Ferdinand out to play in it. The snow went up to his chest. He hates rain but loves snow. I attached a GoPro to his harness just to see what kind of video I could get. Below are photos and video I took of him as well as the video he took.

Ferdinand with a GoPro on his harness

Ferdinand with a GoPro on his harness

Running through the snow

Running through the snow

Running through the snow

Running through the snow

Digging head first into the snow

Digging head first into the snow

Rolling in the snow

Rolling in the snow

Rolling in the snow

Rolling in the snow

Rolling in the snow

Rolling in the snow

Rolling in the snow leads to being covered in snow

Rolling in the snow leads to being covered in snow

The video I took of Ferdinand playing.

The video Ferdinand took with the GoPro on his harness.

Ferdinand’s Face

I just bought a macro lens for my camera. [For photography geeks, I have a Canon 6D, and my new macro lens is their EF 100mm 1:28L IS.] I have been wanting one for a while, and my upcoming trip to Iceland seemed the perfect reason to buy one. Once the lens arrived, I decided to test it out on my favorite subject, Ferdinand the basset hound. Thus, here is a Ferdinand’s face, a photographic study.

Ferdinand's face

Ferdinand’s face

Ferdinand looking up

Ferdinand looking up

Ferdinand's eye

Ferdinand’s eye

Ferdinand's nose

Ferdinand’s nose

Ferdinand asleep

Ferdinand asleep

Ferdinand in profile

Ferdinand in profile

Ferdinand licking his paw

Ferdinand licking his paw

Ferdinand's paws (not technically his face)

Ferdinand’s paws (not technically his face)

Ferdinand's snout

Ferdinand’s snout

Ferdinand’s Spot

Ferdinand has a dog door, so he can go into the backyard whenever he likes. He likes to go into the backyard a lot. He sometimes wakes me up at 2 a.m. because he is outside barking at some prey he is hunting. If it is sunny, then he can most likely be found in his favorite spot underneath an azalea bush. The temperature doesn’t matter, even if it is below freezing, he still loves to nap in that spot. I finally managed to get a photo of him sleeping in his spot.

Ferdinand napping in his spot

Ferdinand napping in his spot

With his tricolor fur, he blends in nicely with the leaves.

Ferdinand napping in his spot

Ferdinand napping in his spot

Uh oh, he hears me and wakes up to see if he is needed.

Ferdinand wakes up

Ferdinand wakes up

Realizing that it is just Mama yet again taking photos of him, he goes back to sleep.

Ferdinand goes back to sleep

Ferdinand goes back to sleep

Ferdinand Loves the Snow

Ferdinand sniffing the snow

Ferdinand sniffing the snow

We got a lot a snow here, and Ferdinand couldn’t be happier. He hates the rain, but he loves the snow. The snow is deeper than Ferdinand’s legs are long, which necessitates him leaping through the snow. Ferdinand seems to quite enjoy that though. He also loves digging his head in it rolling around in it.

Ferdinand leaping through the snow

Ferdinand leaping through the snow

The snow is deeper than Ferdinand's legs are long

The snow is deeper than Ferdinand’s legs are long

Ferdinand leaping through the snow

Ferdinand leaping through the snow

Ferdinand loves rolling in the snow

Ferdinand loves rolling in the snow

Ferdinand’s Nemesis: HVAC Condenser

Ferdinand loves to hunt rodents and other little animals. These type of animals constantly seem to take refuge underneath the HVAC condenser in my backyard, and then Ferdinand spends hours trying to get to them. Normally this hunting occurs at 2 a.m. Today, he was doing this for about two hours, came in briefly when I called him to dinner, and quickly returned back to the hunt. He is out there as I type. A short video to show the futility of this hunt, but Ferdinand is nothing if not persistent in his hunting.

Ferdinand Eats an Apple Core

Almost everyday I eat an apple with lunch. Ferdinand loves apples, so every time I eat an apple, he sits there and drools until I am finished. When I finish, I break the apple core into bits so that I can remove the seeds. [Apple seeds have a small amount of cyanide in them, so I remove them just to be careful.] Then Ferdinand sits there patiently while I feed him apple bits. He really has a hard life. As you can see in the video, the poor dog has to lift his  head to eat his treat.