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Posts Tagged ‘Beatrice’

Beatrice-Plus-Four

If you would have told me a year ago that moving to Haiti would result in us become one of those “Cat People” who has a ton of cats running around their house, I would have never believed you.  But Beatrice made that dream come true yesterday by giving birth to a healthy litter of four little kittens.

It all began in our backyard garden, as just when I was getting ready to leave to run some errands I found Beatrice laying under a small bush with two new additions to her family.  I freaked out and called Jillian to ask her what to do next, as giving birth out in the open with Bumble Bea (her other, older kitten) jumping around and batting at the newborn kittens didn’t seem like the best situation.  I took out an empty box and put a towel in it, and Beatrice moved the two kittens there, and then had two more!

Four-Kittens

The five of them are safely holed up in the box in our living room, and even though the little kittens cry all the time (the bags under our eyes this morning was proof of that), they are a welcome addition, and it’s exciting that all four of them appear to be healthy and thriving.  Now please excuse me as Bob Barker is on the phone, we’re discussing plans to get this momma spayed!

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Snoozefest

Soooooooo, Bumble Bea has been coming back to our house pretty much everyday since we returned her to her 4 year-old owner, but we’re not complaining!  Right around 10am every morning she trots in the back door like clockwork, wrestles with her mom, and then the two of them hop on a chair in our living room and zonk out.  They wake up around 2ish, wrestle some more, and then we bring her back to her real home.  She really is about the cutest thing in the world, and the fact that she also spoons with her mom solidifies that fact even more.

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OLIE!

On May 27, 2010 a small chocolate lab puppy was smuggled into Haiti and given to Jillian and I, thus starting the year of the Brown Dog.  The year was a tumultuous one, marked by an accidental poisoning, a mouth-stick injury, and ending with a nasty case of hook worm.  But the year did not end in vain.  The Brown Dog, better known as Olie, took a voyage to a distance land known as Connecticut.  There he found land to run and play, but was forced to battle a vicious adversary, aptly named Jack “Attack”, in an effort to allow him to call the land his home.

Olie-Jack-Battle

The battle lasted for days, with only brief breaks for naps, or a bowl of kibble.  Day and night the two fought, defending their ground like the Hatfields and McCoys.  Only when the sun set would they rest (with one eye open, of course), but when the day broke, the fighting began again.  Even when the winter weather brought inches of snow, the two did not tire, and the battle continued into the cold winter tundra…

Jack

Perfect-Olie-Specimen

Olie-and-Jack

Tug-of-war

Snow-Wipeout

But in the end battle fatigue set in and the war ended.  The two shook paws and accepted the terms set forth by the Geneva convention: a war with no purpose cannot last forever.  They trotted indoors and for the first time were able to rest with both eyes closed, and the townspeople were able to walk the streets without having to constantly listen for the rumbling of puppy paws in the distance.

Olie-Head

Snoozin-Jack

But while one war was ending in Connecticut, another was brewing back in Haiti.  Having waited long enough in the pregnant tummy of Beatrice for 8 weeks, a turd sized ball of fur exploded into the world set on leaving a path of death and destruction in its wake.  The turd was named Bumble Bea…

2Bumble-Bea-at-the-Door

When we returned to Haiti after the Christmas break, there were rumors on the street that such a vicious creature had entered the world.  In a country rife with political turmoil and ex-dictators, the last thing Haiti needed was a ruthless animal trolling the streets in search of tiny children to prey on.  Unfortunately the rumors were true, and on the eve of the country’s independence day, the creature was carried by its mother into our house and placed into an empty cardboard box in our closet.  The country was independent no more…

Under-the-Covers

Little-Bumble-Bee

The reign of terror began immediately, with a shrill meow that seemed to penetrate the deepest caverns of your ears at the most inopportune times.  The cries began early in the morning, and ended never, leaving those within a 5 mile radius with nothing but groggy days, and sleepless nights.  And once the creature gained enough strength to escape the cardboard box that was imprisoning it, we knew the end was near.

Bumble-Bee

Soon the creature began recklessly running around the house, and attacking enemies that weren’t there.  “She was soooo cute!”, explained Jillian after being released from the hospital where they had attended to her kitten-attack wounds, “Who would have ever thought she could be so vicious?”  Someone had to reign the kitten in, someone had to step-up and take on the beast.  It was a call heard around the world, and Beatrice decided to answer it.

Chowing-Down

For Beatrice the decision was easy.  Bumble Bea had been eating her food, and the constant nursing was leaving her worn down and unable to kill the dozens of geckos that she is required to kill and then dump on the floor in our house (in an effort to meet a self-imposed quota).  The kitten had also begun running away in the middle of the night, hiding from Beatrice and leaving an already hungry mother, terrified.  This had to stop, this had gone too far…

Bumble-Bea-and-Bea-Fighting-2

Bumble-Bea-and-Bea-Fighting

Bumble-Bea-and-Bea-Fighting-3

While it appeared that Beatrice had Bumble Bea pinned and defeated, the kitten quickly twisted away, bat Beatrice in the face, and then ran away.  Bumble Bea had won the battle, but not the war…

The two began fighting at almost every chance they got.  Ruthlessly wrestling each other the ground, the two made Wrestle Mania look like an episode of Winnie the Pooh.  But eventually they also realized the harsh realities of war, and much like the computer in the 1983 techno thriller “War Games”, they looked at all the possible outcomes of the war continuing, and found that in every scenario everyone would fall victim if the fighting did not end.  Thus, they walked inside, shared a plate of Fancy Feast, and then fell asleep, snuggling like a pair who had just found love.

Snoozin

For us, the entrance of Bumble Bea has made the fact that Olie is back in the States much easier to handle.  We brought Olie to Connecticut during Christmas break because of a number of factors, and left him there to frolic with Jack and Jillian’s parents (wow, Jack and Jill, I just realized that…) until we figure out our next move.  When we came back to Haiti there was a kitten waiting there for us, and we have (inconveniently) become rather attached to it.  But because our landlady’s 4 year-old daughter experienced the kitten being born, she wants it, so we will be handing Bumble Bea to her rightful owner later today.

It’s amazing how an animal like Olie or Bumble Bea can have such a positive impact on your life.  The two have given us solace on hard days, and have always been a welcoming friend to come home to.  For me, I’m just worried that I will no longer have anything cute to take pictures of any more, and I know for Jillian, not having Olie around has really dealt her a blow.  But one of these days we will be reunited with our beloved Oloffson, and Bumble Bea will fall in love with her new owner (a 4 year-old who will manhandle her and change her name every week according to how she’s feeling), and the world will go on.  It’s just a bummer that, for now, the wars won’t be fought at home, with us.

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Beatrice is Hungry

Beatrice-is-Hungry

Yes, what you are seeing is Beatrice with her entire head in her bag of food.  The idea was to feed her only enough so that she would survive, as we need her hungry enough to hunt for rats, but she clearly has other ideas.  The kicker is that she doesn’t wait for us to leave before she dives in, she just does it right in front of us, and then pops her head out and looks at you like you’re in her house.  Excuse me, Bee, but that’s just not the way it works…

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Beatrice-Sitting

About a month ago Jillian’s parents came down for a visit and were awoken by the scurrying of feet in our living room.  They looked into Olie’s crate and found him soundly asleep, so they returned to bed, thinking they must have just been imagining things.  But 10 minutes later they heard it again, and this time after a quick glance around the living room the culprit was clear…we had rats!

We carried their mattress upstairs in an effort to keep the rats from gnawing away our parent’s fingers, but were awoken AGAIN by tiny little footsteps walking up the stairs!  The next morning we looked at each other with tired eyes, having gotten little to no sleep, and decided something needed to be done.

This actually didn’t come as a surprise to any of us, as our landlady had warned us to get a cat (or two) to protect us from the mice that may or may not be living in our ceiling.  But after Jillian and I got Olie, we realized we already had our hands full (overflowing, actually), so we found a new home for the kitten that we were supposed to get from Ben and Alexis.

Kitten

So because we were catless, and had a puppy that could care less if a rat was running around the house, we decided to approach our landlady.  “We have rats in our house,” we explained, “what should we do?” “You should get a cat!” she looked unfazed, “I have a cat and I never have a problem with rats.”  “Well, where do we get a cat?” we asked.  “I don’t know, find someone that has a cat that had kittens,” she said, clearly thinking that was a stupid question.  We looked around and saw a little white cat with black and tan spots.  “What about that one…can we have that one?” we were really reaching here.  “That’s my sister’s cat, so you can’t have her,” she said, and then walked away.

Well, needless to say, as American’s we have a relentless sense of entitlement, so we adopted her anyways…and named her Beatrice (or Bee).  By luring her closer to our house day by day with kitty food and some friendly petting, we finally got Bee inside the house, and now she’s a regular visitor to Kay Thorp.  What we didn’t anticipate was the relationship she would have (or not have) with Mr. Olie Fe Dezod.

Beatrice-and-Olie-Outside

At first Olie didn’t know what to do with this strange creature that had invaded his little puppy kingdom.  He would approach her in an attempt to play, but when all she wanted to do is make strange groaning noises and violently bat at his face he quickly learned that Bee was his sworn adversary.  “Did you have fun playing with your new friend, Olie?!” we would ask him.  “She’s no friend of mine…” he would curtly respond, and then chew a toy in the corner by himself.

Beatrice-is-Angry

But the worst is that Bee has decided that the kitchen table is now her domain, protecting it with complete and utter disregard for anyone elses safety (or Jillian and my’s eardrums).  You see, Olie doesn’t often bark, in fact he’s really good about not being obnoxiously loud, but when Bee is on the kitchen table you would think that someone had stolen all of his toys and decided to burn them right in front of him.  The ear-piercing yelp is always a clear indicator that Bee has entered the building, and that a stand-off is underway.

Beatrice-and-Olie-Inside

These are usually short-lived, as Olie will typically get a few paws to the face, retreat, and then start chewing one of his toys, forgetting all-together that Bee is even in the house.  And while sometimes it’s a little more trouble than it’s worth, it’s kind of fun to have another animal that we don’t really need to take care of.  She comes and goes when she wants, and we feed her when we feel like it.  It’s win-win for all the parties involved.

And the strategy has worked.  Literally the next day after the first time we had Bee on our kitchen table the rats were no longer scurrying through the house trying to gnaw off our fingers.  It’s pretty astounding that it just works like that, but we’re not complaining as we’ve gained a new friend, and Olie has finally learned that world doesn’t revolve around him.

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