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Keeping in the swing of things in Siouxland

20 Dec

During the fall months and even warmer days in December, I like to sit on my porch swing to read or just enjoy the neighborhood. And my cat does as well. On those chillier days I am not against taking a fleece blanket out with me to wrap up in and cover my legs, must like being on a cruise ship. It’s a nice place to read and spend some time. And my cat likes to jump up onto my lap and burrow itself down into the fleece.

One day I noticed the swing moving through the window, and thought it odd, since the wind was not really blowing day. Then I noticed the little fur ball hunkered down, getting comfy, and figured out that my cat enjoys the swing as much as I do, not worrying as it gently rocks itself into place after leaping onto it. It was a bit surprising. But pets can be that sometimes.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Small Fry sitting on the porch swing Dec. 5, 2015, enjoying a warming trend for the week. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga ©)

Small Fry sitting on the porch swing Dec. 5, 2015, enjoying a warming trend for the week. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga ©)

Cat hostel in Siouxland

9 Jul

Some days I feel I am running a cat hostel. The neighbor’s cat, Clyde, has been a frequent guest. Recently, another stray, neighborhood cat (called Pumpkin for want of a name) drops by and is friendly enough. And eats. He doesn’t get to come inside as he is not yet fixed. Should we become friendlier and he does get fixed, that could change. But he eats, and likes a treat every now and again and some catnip. Then he likes to lay in the sun. But Clyde and Pumpkin are not permanent guests.

Poof, one of mine, is older and tends to stay on the deck, well above the fray. As a younger cat, she was a bit of a hellion and taught some neighborhood males to stay out of her yard. But with age, she has mellowed, which thrills me, since the vet bills become more minimal without check ups for bites and such. Everyone keeps a decent demeanor for the most part. And when they sometimes congregate in the yard at the same time, I play traffic cop, scolding and shooing each in a different direction. The yard is big enough, even though the cats might think otherwise.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Cats in Siouxland

21 Jun

An ongoing summer theatrical venue is located at Morningside College in Sioux City, at the Betty Ling Tsang  outdoor performance stage on the school’s campus. Music and theatre can be heard there during the summer as performances involving professionals, students and talented town folk are involved in the productions. This weekend a short rendition of the popular “Cats” production was performed, and it was very entertaining. Of course the actors and actresses, if such gender distinctions are still  recognized could take a lesson from Clyde, a visiting neighborhood cat that likes to hang out once in a while. Stretching, yawning and still not falling off his comfy perch puts all the smooth moves I saw this weekend at a different level of performance. But it was a nice performance and break from a summer routine, basically in one’s backyard.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Pets in Siouxland

7 Apr

Everyone, most everyone, has had a pet at one time or another. Growing up and living on a farm, there was one family dog and then the barn cats. Having been away from the farm many years, and inheriting a cat many, many years ago, which is now chasing mice in that cat heaven somewhere, I still have cats for pets. Generally, they are lower maintenance. No being there to let them in out and to take care of business when a litter box will do.

But no matter what kind of pet you have, dog, cat, gerbel, fish, mice, etc., they generally each have their own personality and traits which takes a little time to learn. I have an older cat, that these days likes to sleep, eat, and occasionally wants to be petted, and a younger cat, that still likes being a bit mischievous but can be sweet when it wants to be. Like people, you have to take them for who they are, and for all one’s foibles, they still like you at the end of the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland catnaps, Yogi style

19 Mar

There is a neighbor’s cat that for some reason likes to come over and visit from time to time. Clyde, as the neighbor kids call him, seems to know when it’s lunch time, meows outside the door, saunters in and eats whatever my cats are having. Then for a digestif afterwards, he goes crazy for a little catnap, before he finds a place to take a nap. Sometimes I believe he is a Yogi and returned to this life as a cat from the variety of different positions he assumes as he manages to pass an entire afternoon on the couch, or bed, or window spot that he sometimes likes. My cats, begrudgingly, allow Clyde to nap and they find their own space. Then later, when it’s time for a snack, he awakes, then saunters to the door with a meow to let me know it’s time for him to depart. In my next life…….

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Clyde the Cat

Cat napping in Siouxland, find a comfy place

26 Sep

I have been accompanied throughout my life by various feline friends. Those past and those current have been good little buddies, even when I am sure I irritate them (veterinary visits) and when they irritate me (that 4:30 a.m. wake-up call with a meow from across the room). Recently though my of current buddies, Poof, tries to help me out with my laundry. She likes to make certain some of my clothes are pressed after drying. And if I have learned any lessons, it’s never to argue because it just doesn’t do any good.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Pets in Siouxland

26 Jul

I grew up on a small farm and so have been exposed to a variety of animals quite a number of years before leaving home.  My father and mother milked dairy cows, raised pigs and chickens and we had barn cats and a pet dog. After leaving home, finishing college and then pursuing a career, I was petless for a number of years, because it one just can’t have one and not care of it. Well, a persons should not have a pet or pets if they are not going to take care of them, that is seeing they get regular veterinarian care as well as spending time with them. I found that having a cat was the easier option, in that they are more independent that dogs and with a litter box and a bowl of food, one can leave them for a two-day trip and not find the house in shambles upon your return.

When working in Louisiana I acquired a cat by default. Someone “nice” person had left a kitten on a street in town in a box hoping it would get run over. There are those people we all know who are brimming with compassion. A co-worker talked me into taking it. That cat was a little wild, and eventually we made a truce and it “allowed” me to occasionally pet it when it was in the mood. But the little stinker got out one day before I had it spayed and returned three days later. I had given up hope. And a few months later, she had a family.

My journey with pet cats has continued. When moving to Sioux City via California and another job I still had that kitten and one of her kittens with me. It was sad when they both passed on, as the cat became friendly over time. I think it just took pity on me. And the kitten of that cat had had its own adventures from which I rescued it a couple of times. I acquired over time some more rescue cats who currently live with me.

So I like animals. The neighbors new puppy is always glad to see me. And a new cat in the neighborhood is another ad hoc addition to my small crew as it comes and goes, mostly looking for a snack or quick drink of water as it wanders the neighborhood. It likes hanging out with the youngest member of my clan who doesn’t always appreciate the company, and my other cat, which is older, tolerates the youngster as long as it doesn’t bother its nap time, which is most of the time.  And I guess the neighbor cat has gotten comfortable, because on a very hot and humid afternoon, after its snack, it decided a quick nap was just the thing before heading back out for more adventure before going to its own home.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

cat siesta Next door cat

Cat napping in Siouxland

23 Jun

Recently as the weather keeps bouncing between wet and somewhat dry days, there are times when it is actually pleasant in Siouxland. This weekend was one such day. It rained early Saturday into late morning, then stopped, and the day became nicer, less humidity, although dampish. And that was when my feline friends and a neighbor of theirs decided to to enjoy the day, or the rest of it anyway.

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

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