Rat Race in the Andes: How Anderson Cooper Came to Cuenca


It all started with the disappearing dinner rolls.

No, actually, it began when we woke one day to find a bite taken from the apple left on our kitchen counter overnight.

(Interesting, how many archetypal stories start with an apple incident.)

Well, our most recent adventure in the Andes got going with exactly that kind of event, when one morning we saw someone had nibbled on our Macintosh—a midnight snack attack carried out undercover of Cuenca’s darkness.

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Then, when Sara got up the following day to discover an entire bag of whole wheat rolls had disappeared while we slept, she knew we were in trouble.

A very hungry someone was hiding somewhere, eating us out of house and home-baked buns.

So Sara did what any reasonable, bread-loving gringo would.  She pulled out the refrigerator, looking for said someone—

—only to discover this desecration of all things “panederia:”

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And this:

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So again, she did what a good gringo should—

She woke up her rodent-ready partner—“Holy rat tail, Bat-Wife,” she yelled.

So, we did what gringo lesbians do—

—we built a rat trap.

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Okay, actually, it was a chute constructed of left-over lumber, meant to tunnel the apple-loving rodent out our nearby front door.

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But while we were assembling that rat-chute, we heard this out in our court-yard—

(Click http://www.mgpr.org/newsite/GP_Info/Hungry%20Pig.htm to listen.)

“What’s that noise?”  I asked.

“Probably a bird,” said Sara.

But when it persisted, Bat-Wife Sara went to investigate.  She discovered this:

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Be assured, your eyes are not deceiving you.  In a country where roasted guinea pig is considered a delicacy, when a baby “cuy” appears at your door, you do what you can to save him from a fate that IS death.  (“Cuy” is the Andean Spanish word for “guinea pig.”)

You usher out one rodent, only to invite in another.

Yes, we adopted the infant, still with a scab attached to his belly button.  We have NO idea where he came from—our albino angel, white-haired and chatty—but we named him Anderson Cooper—after the CNN anchor with the cuy-like giggle.

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We constructed a play pen in the yard.

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The dogs got to know him.

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I’ve been hand-feeding him.

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Guinea pig sites on the internet recommend carrot or pea baby food or canned pumpkin for abandoned newborns unable to nurse.  Since we had neither, I went to the market and purchased fresh vegetables that I cooked until soft and then blended into syringable-substance, I’m now feeding Anderson 4 times per day.

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We even constructed him a home from lumber left over from our bed-building project.

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He has places to play.

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Places to eat.

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And a place just to sleep.

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We love the little guy—though he’s exhausting me with needing to be held and needing to eat—3 times during the first night alone.

So, it seems that Anderson Cooper has come to Cuenca, in a round-about kind of way.

He may not be broadcasting the news, exactly, but he’s certainly prompted this cuy query.

Why does he poop and pee ONLY on me, and NEVER on Sara?

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When’s the last time you rescued anything?  Have you ever had an unwelcome visitor in your home?  Did you own any breed of pet rodent when you were a kid?

45 minutes before this post was scheduled to go live, Sara woke to find Anderson had died overnight in his little bed.  It would seem he was what’s called a “lethal” guinea pig.  Sometimes all white cuy are blind and/or deaf and have internal deformities that make their lives quite short.  We had convinced ourselves this was not the case with Anderson, though yesterday I had begun to suspect he was deaf.  He was probably let loose just after birth because whoever raises cuy in our neighborhood knew his fate.  We are trying to comfort ourselves knowing we loved and nurtured him, and he had a beautiful final week–one with lots of hand feeding and cuddling–even last night after feeding time I held and loved him longer than usual before putting him to bed for the final time.  I’m so sorry to post this fun piece and then be forced to share this tragic news. 

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122 thoughts on “Rat Race in the Andes: How Anderson Cooper Came to Cuenca

  1. Aww … I loved the photo story with captions. Sorry for the ending but know you gave him a better (albeit short) life in your loving hands than he would have had out in the elements.

    Did you ever find the thieving rat?

    We rescued critters all the time as kids; I remember Dad bringing home a bunch of coyote “kits” (pups) who wintered in our basement till they were old enough/strong enough to be let free. Gosh they were cute!

    MJ

    • Thank you for reading. It was such a fun post to put together, and he was such a sweet boy. I suppose he was meant to be with us, so he could be loved, at the very least.

      I appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Hope you’ll stop by again soon–for better news.

  2. I was so joyful…smiling…then I got to the green print. The corners of my smile fell south; a cold wind blew through my Soul. Now, here I sit barely able to type and trying to figure out what I shall wear for mourning clothes. Oh, Kathy & Sarah, how sad does Life have to be? A.C. was such a cutie pie, such a lucky little guy and his giggle would have become music in your happy home. I think I’ll watch What Does The Fox Say more than a few times today, in memory of our dear little A.C.

    • I know. I still can’t believe he’s gone. We just buried him in the garden.

      Don’t know why my heart feels like it’s breaking, JK. He was a precious little fellow. I just wish I could have been there with him in the end. He was alone, and that’s killing me.

      Thanks for the video. Loved it!

      • Hi, Kathryn, I always hesitate a bit to mention this, but I have used an animal communicator on a number of occasions with my dogs and foster dogs, including those who are now on the other side. One of my dogs died alone at the vet’s office in the middle of the night, and I was really torn up by her death. I found this process (of speaking with the animal communicator) really comforting, and I think you might too. Lots of love … I know how tough it is, especially when you feel you didn’t have enough time with your companion animal.

      • Thanks so much for your comment, Heather. It’s great to hear from you.

        To be honest, I’ve never heard of an “animal communicator,” but I’m glad you were able to find comfort that way. It’s so painful to know your pet has died alone. I’m thrilled you were able to feel better.

        Thanks again, for stopping by. I hope you’ll come again soon.

    • OMG–Thanks for sharing the Anderson video. I needed that this morning, as the ending really hasn’t been all that happy. It’s been, in fact, tragic. Maybe you missed the text in green added after we woke up this morning. Anderson died in the might. I know. I’m sick with sadness, but the Anderson giggle certainly helped with that. Thanks for leaving it, Frank!

  3. Oh my what an adventure ! Wonderfully told through words and photos! It was sweet of you to give the little guy some love, imagine…

    Sad that he had to leave so soon. There is a message there in your experience…

    I am sure as kids we brought all kinds of little creatures home to nurse. I was given a pair of mice from the biology lab when in high school for the summer. Within weeks they had babies. We had these lovely little mice for sometime, they added so much joy to our lives…

    Hugs from NJ
    Jeff

    • Great to hear from you, Jeff.

      When we found him that morning, Sara kept saying, “I know we’re meant to have him. How did he get here?”

      Now we know. We were the ones meant to love him for this past week. Isn’t it amazing that the universe would care so much about the little guy to bring him here–for lots of love and cuddling?

      Still, I can’t stop crying. Thanks so much for your comment! Hugs to you, too, my friend!

  4. “Holy rat tail, Bat-Wife” deserves its own t-shirt. Anderson was a handsome little fellow (how could he not be with a name like that?). And you two win at parenting. I don’t know if I provide my human child with such a well thought out dwelling! So sorry he had to leave you so soon :(

    • Thanks, Tori! How great to hear from you, my friend.

      However, I would disagree with you. I don’t know that I’ve watched a mother love her child as much as you do, dear Tori. Thomas is so incredibly loved.

      Glad you enjoyed that line! It was such a strange day–to be ushering out one rodent, only to invite in another. Hugs to you and Thomas from Cappy!

  5. Oh man—I didn’t see that ending coming!!! At all. I love how much you loved Anderson (the name is perfect) in such a short time. It appears he took over your house and your yard and your lives!!! And yes—he had a wonderful final week due to your kindness and big hearts!!

    • I didn’t see it either, Beth Ann. The post was minutes from going live when I woke to the news. I wrote it yesterday. I had so much fun putting the post together. He was such a sweet little guy. We buried him in his little black and while polka dotted house in the garden just a few minutes ago!

      Can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comment this morning!

  6. oh I so enjoyed reading this…and then, the end. But still, you gave him a grand few days of nurturing and brought us joy in the sharing. We should all be so blessed as to have someone to tend to us with love and to leave smiles behind.

    • Thanks so much, Joss! I had so much fun writing this piece yesterday, but I couldn’t stand to not let it post even after our tragic discovery this morning. He was such a precious boy.

      By the way, saw your comment on FB just a few minutes ago–that you were looking at rentals in Cuenca. We would LOVE you to come here. Note, however, that generally prices posted online are hugely inflated and marketed to an expat audience.

      I’m so loving your posts from France!

  7. With all the “balloons”, your adventure was really fun to read! I know Anderson’s week of life with you was much better than it would have been out on the street. It was wonderful you took such good care of him!

    • Thank you, Marilyn. We loved the week we had with Anderson. He gave us so much joy and so many good laughs. We couldn’t help but care for him. It’s just who we are. And I SO appreciate your comment this morning. It’s wonderful to hear from you!

  8. Glad you got rid of the rat, but sad you lost your guinea pig. Growing up it wasn’t unusual to find a bat in the house. My sister came home from school at years end with the two class guinea pigs. Their numbers quickly swelled till it seemed we had a basement full of them. We relocated them to an outbuilding where they eventually escaped. When through the same experience later with rabbits.

    • Great to hear from you, David! Your stories of early creature encounters cracked me up. You all had quite a few fuzzy/fluffy beings around your house growing up. We loved the week we had with Anderson. Our poor dogs are so confused–especially Ralph, who was especially fond of the little guy. Have a great week.

  9. Lucy and Ethel meet Animal Planet meet Dispatches From the Edge in Ecuador.

    Growing up on a farm I was indentured to my own Planet Animal. We kept a series of English Bird Dogs that my father had for pheasant, dove and quail hunting. I raised two black Rat Terriers , Inky and Fusty and a number of cats. Being a member of 4H I bred and raised, Blue Ribbon Chickens, Grand Champion Rabbits, pigeons, ducks, guineas, as well as wild Canadian Geese, Mallard Ducks, pheasants and quail hatched two–hundred and fifty at a time from incubators. Oh boy, were those tiny little quail chicks the cutest little creatures one ever saw.

    And… yes… I had a number of guinea pigs – it was all the rage for prepubescent boys.

    Thank you for posting this sweet story.

    Hugs,

    R.

    • Okay, Robert, I adored your comment! You, too, had quite a few furry/fuzzy babies around when you were young. That’s quite a catalogue.

      I had no idea that guinea pigs were all the rage for little boys. Guess, I was too much of a little girl to notice.

      Truly, I appreciate your comment this morning, dear Robert. You’re a sweetie. Hugs to you, too, my friend!

    • Thank you, dear Colin. However, I’m afraid you may have missed the postscript I had to add at the end of the post this morning. We woke today to find that our sweet guinea pig had died overnight. I know it’s too, too sad. We’ve been crying all morning.

      I wish he were about to enjoy that playpen today!

      • That happened to a number of readers. You all were so focused on the story–which was so fun–you missed what I had to add this morning. It might have been better that way. Sorry to have to pass along the sad news.

      • All of this makes me sad. The other voice in this house, can you believe it, I can’t dictate policy tells me that this is the progress of life. It doesn’t make sense but I want to think that while it, he or she and I was together we enjoyed our time.

      • I know, Colin. It is the process of life and death, but, I suppose, we don’t have to like it. Reminds me of your finding the bird in your garden. That story touched me so deeply. We’re doing okay here. Crying a lot. Just can’t help it. Take care, my friend, and keep writing. I LOVE your blog!

      • I have been thinking of expanding my blog to incorporate more observations on the stupidty of life and other such things. It is porgress. You behave yourself.

  10. Oh, Kathy. I am so sorry about your little guy. Rest assured you made the little bit of life he had sweet and wonderful……….. That being said, Holy Vermin, Batgirls, the wildlife in Cuenca is becoming dependent upon your rescue abilities. I want to make you and Sara a “bat signal” but can’t decide whether it should look like a dog, pigeon, guinea pig…….

  11. Sorry for your loss, but it sounds to me that AC had a much better single week of life with you two than all other healthy guinea pigs in Ecuador that are destined to meet their maker as someone’s lunch or dinner. If only that rat was cute and cuddly.

    • Damn, isn’t that the truth! Damn rat! Animal lovers that we obviously are, we just couldn’t find it in ourselves to fall in love with that rodent.

      You’re right, AC had a good week, and he made ours even better! Great to hear from you today, LA!

  12. I swear, we should all promise to just take in tortoises…or those large exotic birds that outlive us…as it is so very painful to lose a pet. Most times, most species, that is a truth we accept when we take them in. The way it happened for you, Kathy, is most touching, as he was just a helpless baby. You did all the suffering for him, and you suffer the loss. I’m so sorry!
    The way you wrote the story…then with the aftermath…let us all share your high hopes, and then your heartbreak. Hugs to you, Kathy!

    • Oh, Cindy, thank you for your sweet comment. I was so torn this morning, whether or not to remove the post. I didn’t want to put my readers through the same rollercoaster I’d been forced to ride.

      Anderson Cuy-per was such a precious little thing–so tiny, so hungry, so affectionate. He only wanted to be loved and nurtured. It was our honor to do that for him. He was a huge gift for us–short-lived but dear! Hugs to you too, Cindy!

  13. I always suspected gringo lesbians built rat trips, but I didn’t want to fall prey to the stereotype. Thanks for clearing that up, though. I was going to mention they sell very effective traps that will crush the little rodents’ necks, but something tells me you’re against that kind of cruel fate. ;)

    So sorry to hear about Anderson Cooper. But like you say, at least he had a really nice final week.

    • Actually, I wrote this post, in part, to clarify that very fact–at the very least, THESE gringo lesbians build rat traps–of sorts. There could be more of us out there. So, reading rats, beware.

      Thanks for the empathy, Mark. We were blessed to have the little guy for one very precious week!

      Great to hear from you. If any rats manage to make their way into your townhouse, you now know who to call.

  14. I’m cracking up at the wonderful way you relayed the exchange of one unwelcome guest for another most-welcome one. And cute as a bug’s ear, to boot!

    The photos are perfect — just like reading a picture book :)

    • Thanks so much, Laurie. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. It was so, so fun to put together, and even more fun to watch the pets together over the past week.

      Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, you are not alone in having missed the tragic postscript added to this post this morning. Sara woke to find the sweet boy had died in his bed overnight. You can read the postscript for an explanation. We are so, so terribly sad. I’ve been crying all morning.

  15. I am laughing so hard! My goodness, you do have an adventure a day, don’t you? And the way you described it–is hysterical. Good luck with your rodents, both dead and alive. :)

    • I’m so glad you had a good laugh, Kathy. The post was a hoot to put together and we loved taking photos of our little Anderson. Then when we woke this morning to find he had died overnight, we were devastated. We were totally in love with the little fellow. I think our little guy would have been happy you laughed.

  16. I love that you welcomed him with abundance into your home, and even created an adventure out of crafting him an outdoor play yard and a handsome little multi-story home. All that hand feeding and holding and nurturing made his short little life rich with tenderness and love, and even though I am sorry to hear of his passing, he very clearly brought some light and sunshine and happiness into your life. If it is possible to do so in such a short window of time, I already miss your little Anderson. He was a delight.

    • You have said this so well. Thank you. He was a delight, indeed, and he gave us a lot of happiness in the last week. We shared many tender moments.

      Great to hear from you today, my friend. Hope your week is going well!

  17. I’m so sorry that Anderson didn’t pull through. At least he spent his final days receiving love rather than loose on the streets of Cuenca. You and Sara are special people and I bet Anderson knew that.

    • Oh, yes, he wouldn’t have survived at all on the streets. He was a newborn. Thanks for your kind words. Now we wonder just how few hours old he was when we got him. We already miss him terribly.

      Great to hear from you today, Jackie. Hope your week is going well!

  18. Luckily I’ve never had a rat problem but that’s mainly because I grew up with a cat and a jack Russell. So sorry to hear about Anderson’s death. It’s horrible when a pet dies that you looked after. I know how it feels.

    • Thank God our rat problem is over. Cats always help in that regard, don’t they? Thanks for your kind words about Anderson, Megan. It’s great to hear from you. I SO enjoyed your post about Australia! Hope your week is going well!

  19. OH MY GOLLY! I thoroughly enjoyed this. I saw the apple evidence and thought “uh oh”. I saw the rolls by the fridge and thought “hmmm hmmmm”. I saw the “rat trap” and laughed! How incredible! Kathy you guys truly crack me up. How in the world do you two come up with this stuff???? I love the hacienda for Cuy. This is just too adorable. I would have LOVED to have seen this!

    • Oh, Colleen, you would have loved it–you really would have. I don’t know how this stuff manages to happen to us. Little AC was so precious.

      However, I’m afraid you may have missed the postscript I had to add. I hate to be a downer, but when Sara woke this morning, she discovered Anderson had died in the night. I offer an explanation in the postscript in green. Many, many readers were so excited about the story they raced on to comment. Maybe that’s for the better. We have both been crying all day. Gotta stop writing or I’m going to start all over again.

      I hope you’re okay, Colleen. I’ve been thinking about you!

      • I have no idea how I missed that!

        I don’t see tragedy in having found a little fella needing care and love, and giving it to him. I suspect he stayed as long as he did just because of you and Sara. You postponed his departure and gave him some fun and laughs. Because surely he was laughing at the two of you. :)

        I’m glad to be thought about. I’m getting better. David is good. We were just talking about you and Sara last night and chuckling over little AC. How many other little cuy’s were talked about world wide yesterday?
        <3 Many hugs.

      • Ha! Don’t you know it! Sara and I are the most laughable creatures in our house, for sure. LOL

        You are not alone in having missed it, Colleen. I suspect almost half of the readers missed it.

        Glad you and David are feeling better. Take care and have a great day! Hugs to both of you!

  20. Wait Kathy, I’m a little confused. Did you have a rat problem or was it only Anderson Cooper taking the buns, etc.? Either way, I’m not the rescuing kind, unless it’s a dog like Oliver. We did rescue him and he’s such a loving pup. Though he did eat entire patches of my carpet which I’ve learned to live with, sadly. But still, he’s a cutie–and so is Mr. Cooper. I love your menagerie. Quite a family you have there.

    • Thanks, Monica. Sorry for the confusion. We had one rat in the house. In the process of getting it out, we discovered Anderson in our courtyard. Weird synchronicity.

      However, like so many other readers, you missed the postscript, I suspect. We woke to find Anderson had died in the night. Discovered this just minutes before the post was scheduled to go live. Explanation in green at the end of the post. We are so terribly sad.

      By the way, didn’t know that Oliver was a rescue.

      • You’re right. I missed that tragic news. But you did give him a good life in the end, probably even extended his life because of it. You’ve a good heart, Kathy. Mr. Cooper couldn’t have found a better home.

      • Thank you, Monica. Over the past several days we’ve come to believe he was meant to be with us for that short time, just so he could be loved and comforted during his short life. But, gosh, we miss him. Hope your weekend is going well.

  21. I am so sorry to hear about the ending. I have to agree with everyone, you gave AC a wonderful week and he left this world knowing he was loved and cared for.

    • You’re sweet, my friend. We are so sad. Spent much of yesterday crying. We think he was meant to be with us for that one week. I’m glad we had the opportunity to love him, even for 7 days.

      Hope your day is going well. By the way, I started Marionette last night. I’m loving it.

      • I once cared for a bird that I found who was injured. I fed him and tried to nurse him back to health. He died a few days later and I cried. My best friend helped me bury him and we still talk about him today and how much I loved the little guy. That was 15 years ago. My thoughts are with you.

        I’m glad to hear you like it. Fingers crossed.

  22. Aren’t we funny creatures? So selective in which rodents are considered acceptable housemates. (I feel the same way about squirrels that I do about rats, but hamsters would be okay. I don’t get it.)

    Congrats on the latest addition to your menagerie, Bat-Girl!

    • Isn’t THAT the truth. Perhaps, we are the strangest creatures on the planet.

      However, I’m afraid that like so many other readers you may have missed the postscript I had to add about Anderson dying in the night. Sara found him minutes before this post was scheduled to go live. Explanation in green at the end of the post.

      We are so, so sad.

    • Thanks so much for your kinds words. We was a sweet boy–and he gave us lots of love, as well. We’re honored to have had him in our lives.

      I appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Hope you’ll come back again soon!

  23. :( I am so, so sorry, Kathy. I don’t even know of anything really helpful to say. The loss of an animal is such a poignant sadness. I’m sorry you and Sara lost sweet Anderson so suddenly. :(

    • Thanks so much, Amanda! I’m excited to hear from you. Hope you all are doing well. How’s that sweet girl of yours?

      And thanks for the empathy about Anderson. We have been so sad, but we were blessed to have him for almost an entire week. He was dear!

      And if I don’t talk to you, hope you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving!

      • She’s doing so well! We started her in pre-preschool this year when I went back to work full-time, and she is just blossoming. She’s the youngest and smallest in her class (although she’s in a room for her age group, haha), and her teachers are always telling us how articulate she is for her age. Yesterday, her lead teacher told me that some of the other teachers at the school were surprised to see Melanie in the youngest class, considering she was able to enunciate her words fairly clearly. I suppose it couldn’t be helped with two English teachers for parents. ;) But we really are just so proud of her. (Excuse me for the brief parent-brag…hehe.)

        It sounds like you guys are blossoming in Ecuador, too! Are you doing anything for Thanksgiving? (Like heading back to the States or possibly sharing a troubled American holiday with your new neighbors?) Have a happy Thanksgiving, too!

      • I’m so happy to hear your Melanie update. You’re right–how could she help but be articulate. What a sweetie. Of course you have to brag. That’s your JOB! LOL

        No, we’re not going back to the US for Thanksgiving–or Christmas. We will go out to eat with friends next Thursday and have friends from the US here for the holidays in December.

        Hope you all have a great weekend!

    • It’s heart-wrenching, isn’t it? I think you’re right though. We were the right people to take care of him during his very short life. I love that God is looking out for even little guys like Anderson.

      Great to hear from you, Andra. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Thanks for the hugs, Robin. We loved the little guy so much! It’s crazy how quickly you can become attached when you are hand-feeding a little thing so many times a day.

      Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. It’s great to hear from you!

  24. I am so sorry that your lovely story of rescue ended as it did.

    I once rescued a baby “robin” and named him “Christopher Robin”, until he fledged. We then changed his name to “Stirling Starling”. And happily he did live to fly away. When I’d found him he was bald, bald, bald !

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Sybil. Your little robin sounds precious. How wonderful that you were able to nurse him until he was able to fly on his own. Our Anderson was a sweet boy, and we were blessed to have him even for a few short days.

      I appreciate your coming by and taking the time to leave a comment. Hope you’ll come back again soon.

  25. Just back from vacation in Hawaii…would write more but I’m still laughing at the events described in you post….just love how you two address daily issues…oh you may want to add a sign to Anderson’s home “no alimento para llevar” or something like that. :-)

  26. As kids we all had guinea pigs but they never had a magnificent house like that. So sad that your boy died. Miserable. Do you think that maybe wee Mr Anderson might encourage you to buy yourself a guinea pig of your very own.. or maybe two? Not a hamster though, i cannot bear them.. but I have always had a soft spot for guinea pigs.. c

    • Thanks so much for your kind words. Anderson was such a sweetie, but I don’t think we’ll be getting another guinea pig quite yet.

      Also, I just got back from visiting your blog and loved it. How fun the photos of your dog and cat were. I subscribed.

      Hope to see you around here again soon. Happy Thanksgiving!

  27. I love that you named him Anderson Cooper. Best guinea pig name ever! (And so sorry to hear of his untimely demise. At least his final days were kingly for him.) xo

    • Hi Dana! Thank you so much. He was a sweet boy, and we miss him. Just thought the name was perfect. We were happy to make his final days kingly. We were gifted to have him.

      Hope your week is going well so far!

  28. We offered sanctuary to the science class guinea. He eventually lived “free range” in a walled courtyard with a giant Rex rabbit. Best friends they dug tunnels and were constant companions – the Rex would bark and growl threats if a hawk dared peek in. You had the perfect guinea set up. Your kindness has been noted buy the universe. His was a happy world.

    • Thank you SO much for your comment. It’s wonderful to hear from you. And I’m sorry to be several days delayed in responding. It’s been busy around here.

      Loved hearing about your guinea pig and rabbit adventures. Sounds like a wonderful set up.

      We miss Anderson but were blessed to have him, if only for a week.

      Hope you’ll come by again soon!

  29. Aw, such a dear little creature, Kathy. I know you earned a host of angel stars by giving Anderson a happy ending to his life.

    I rescued an adult cat once, a fluffy brown and white tuxedo cat, and my daughter and I bottle fed prematurely born kittens — requiring the 24/7 time of a litter of newborn human babies.

    As for household visitors, up until the other day when I ushered him into the laundry room via which he could make his way outdoors if he so chose, I had a cricket — Jiminy or maybe Jennifer. I didn’t have the heart to go in for the kill. One cold morning when I came downstairs to the kitchen, there was Jiminy/Jennifer greeting me with, “Couldya TURN up the heat? I’m a little sluggish.” I noticed that when I turned on the oven to bake the scones I made that morning, that he immediately sensed the heat and headed towards the stove, where he disappeared underneath. Interesting. A few days later, he headed for the laundry room where I have a little heater. I eagerly ushered him through the door. Haven’t seen him since. I decided I’d let him decide his fate — would he dare to go outside in the snow?

  30. This post had me all over the place. First the rodent I can not even name. It is the the utmost compliment that I went beyond the tail. Terrified. I’ve done everything to desensitize myself–to no avail. Which ticks me off even more because I mostly refuse to be afraid of things. For god’s sake I’m a city girl.
    Poor Guy, may he rest in peace, how absolutely adorable. I loved all the pictures and delighted in how he was nurtured even if he was not meant to thrive. So sad that he died and I’m so glad you found each other even for a little while.
    Rescue? How much time do we have? However, there is Solstice our parakeet that hates me, she was left beside my car at the grocery story with a note that said “Please give me a good home.” There was a reason she was left in a parking lot and of-course I was the sucker who found her with my then 12 year old–who wordlessly picked up her cage and put it in my car whilst suggesting we swing by the pet store for bird food and a few toys. When we arrive home, Joe looked at the bird, the toys, new cage, and quipped I thought you went to the store for milk. Men! Count your blessings. I don’t know why Solstice hates me–If it weren’t for me she would certainly die of hunger and thirst. I even buy that precious bird fruit treats and she bites me or tries to every time I approach the cage. She adores Cole. Over the years I’ve become a little hostile and lie on the floor under her cage and meow. She’ll live forever, and of-course when she dies I’ll be heartsick.
    I often wonder why we do this to ourselves, swears never again, until next time, of-course.

    • Oh, Katybeth, this is just the BEST comment! Your description of finding Solstice is priceless, as it the fact that she doesn’t like you. So predictable. Sometimes the ones who put forth the most effort don’t reap the rewards. But then, you DO meow at her. Hmmmmmmmm– Well, I’m sure THAT has nothing to do with anything. LOL Glad you enjoyed seeing the photos of Anderson. Why do we do these things to ourselves? I have NO idea. But I love you for doing it to yourself!

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