We've had our cats for the last several holiday seasons. Some years we've had a horse or two. What we haven't had in a few years is a puppy... Wow...
Big Puppies, Holiday Decor and Holiday Guests
This week started with more than a bang. Two of them, and super weird ones. First, one of our cats decided that during the stress of holiday goings-on, she wouldn't eat cat food unless it was canned and heated. She's always a hard keeper so we give in a LOT. We usually add a bit of hot water to the food to hydrate the cat, but this time we put the food in the microwave for a
few moments and I didn't think much of it until I heard a pop from the kitchen. I ran in and the food was smoking, but I thought I just put it on too long. I put a fresh little pile of wet canned food (cod, sole and shrimp) on a paper plate and put it back in. Set microwave for 8 seconds. Turn on. SNAP CRACKLE POP WOW! The cat food was sparking like the time I left a spoon in my coffee cup! I mean SERIOUSLY. I was a little freaked out, so I found some pre-cooked turkey in the freezer that was leftover from thansgiving, heated that, and give it to the cat. I was busy doing that when I heard a yelp from the living room.
I found the poodle puppy whining and saw Christmas lights dangling from the tree, no longer lit. Some shreds of green plastic were on the floor. I examined the dog and found no burns or signs of real harm, but apparently she had decided to taste the delicious lights and received a small shock.
We've had our hands full with teaching the dog not to jump on every visitor that drops by and getting the dog groomed to prepare for travel. I've never seen a poodle that hated to be brushed, but she hates it, so we have to brush her daily while feeding her treats to get her used to it before she murders a groomer. Sigh... I do love the holidays, but I'll be glad when the dog is a bit older next year! I had to take my usual pill (worth every penny) to fall asleep last night, but at least it worked. (Here's a link if you're curious, this stuff DOES work! If you decided to try it, I appreciate the small commission I'll get to help replace the Christmas lights!)
I did a bunch of googling trying to figure out what the deal was with the cat food. It turns out that some vegetables spark in the microwave too, due to the high mineral content. I checked out the cat food cat and it does have added iron, magnesium and zinc. I am guessing that is what causes the sparking, but I'm still feeding turkey until I talk with my vet. I would LOVE to hear from you in the comments if you know anything about cat-food sparking phenomenon or if you have tips on coping with pets, puppies and holidays! Season's Greetings to all readers!
This story is a contest winner from our November writing contest. Congrats to Katie! See her writing credits below the story. Enjoy!
I recently had a stand-off with a deer. I’d like to say I’m kidding, but unfortunately, as my luck with animals goes… I’m not.
I’d also like to say I ended up winning this stand-off, but then again, I’ll let you be the judge of that.
This encounter happened last month while I was visiting my hometown of Caro, Michigan.
If you’ve never heard of Caro, I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s a small farm town that sits in the ‘thumb’ of Michigan, about 2 hours north of Detroit.
My mom and step dad still live in the outskirts of town off a dead-end road. It’s the same house where I spent most of my high school years riding quads, mowing the lawn and having bonfires. It also happens to be the same place that this stand-off of mine occurred. After the summer the raccoon’s outsmarted our paintball guns… I should have known something was up with the animal’s around there.
With my mom and step dad's cottage being in such a remote spot, the quiet aloofness makes for a great home to various types of wildlife such as squirrels, chipmunks, birds and of course… deer.
Thanks to its rustic charm most of the year it really is a great spot for wildlife and deer to be…MOST of the time. The exception? Deer hunting season.
…If you’ve never seen the movie Escanaba in ‘Da Moonlight, you may not fully understand how much Michigander’s love their deer hunting season. Here’s the jist—hunting to a Michigander is like pumpkin spice to Fall loving females. It’s serious.
I was back in Michigan right before the start of hunting season this year, so the deer were still frolicking around rather care freely, just like little Bambies.
This particular afternoon I ran into town to wrap up a few errands. When I came back and was pulling up my drive, I noticed a young male buck was hanging out grazing in the front yard. He was right near the driveway and didn’t startle when I pulled up alongside him. So, of course, I did what any true Michigander that’s seen the same animal 100 times would do... I took pictures.
I was only about 20 yards away from him with my car’s music blaring yet the whole time he stayed put. He peeked up for a brief moment, but then went right back to his grazing. I figured country music must not be his thing. After a while of watching the deer and taking photos I decided it was time to move along. I pulled the car the rest of the way up the drive and began unloading my things.
As I hauled my bags in, I noticed the deer was still in his spot, maybe 15 yards away by this point. He hadn’t moved an inch.
This seemed odd as most deer usually get skittish once they see human’s, especially when hunting seasons right around the corner.
Something seemed off with this guy…
I walked inside and set my stuff down before heading back outside; I wanted to see if I could figure out what this deer’s deal was.
When outside I found that he was still in the same position, except for one thing. Instead of grazing, he was looking right at me… as if I were the one intruding on his property.
Not cool deer, not cool.
I looked him right back in the eyes and yelled out, ‘HEY!’, hoping to give him a start.
He cocked his head towards me as if I were annoying him. We each stayed there standing our ground in silence… eyes locked on each other in a rather intense stare-off.
Then, he picked up his right hoof and let out a huge puff of air while he slammed it down onto the ground.
The words ‘oh crap’ came to mind as I grew a bit uneasy with my current situation at hand. I’d never seen a deer do such a thing let alone be so bold. It was clear he meant business.
I decided I’d best show him I wasn't going to let him win that easily. So, I hovered my right hand over the door handle—just in case I needed to make a quick getaway to safety—and then picked my right foot up and slammed it right back down at him.
He cocked his head, probably wondering if I were actually serious.
Oh, boy was I. I‘d never been so serious in my whole entire life.
He picked his hoof back up and slammed it down with a louder huff this time, his gaze fierce, trying to eye me down.
So, this was how it was going to be, eh?
I matched his movement again as I picked up my foot and slammed it down just as hard, adding a ‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!’ For good measure.
This foot-stomping charade went on for quite a while.
With each stomp, I grew increasingly more annoyed with our little game. I needed to end this battle once and for all.
I took a deep breath, mentally preparing myself to extract my hand from the safety of the door handle. Then, in one swift motion, I stomped about 5 steps forward yelling, ‘GET OUT OF HERE GET OUT OF HERE GET OUT OF HERE!!!’ at the top of my lungs.
You’d think my antics would have at least phased him.
But nope, not this cavalier deer.
He observed my idiotic outburst and then very… very… slowly, turned and meandered off. Just like the careless or fearless deer he was.
I watched him a moment longer until what had just happened finally sank in.
It was mine.
I’d beaten a deer in a stand-off.
A smirk spread across my face as I watched my opponent saunter back off into the wild, wishing him adieu.
“Well played you beautifully, brave deer. Well played. I wish you the best of luck out there”.
Katie Bertrand is a freelance Article, Fiction and Narrative non-fiction writer.
She received her B.S. in Merchandising and Product Development from Western Michigan University. In Katie’s free time she enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, reading her way through a good book, or hanging out with super fun, interesting people.
Among friends & loved ones she's best known for her Michigan accent, her fiery red hair, and her 20-pound orange rescue cat, M.G.
I've been slow to keep the posts up in December with a number of freelancing projects coming in, but I did want to pop in for a quick post to wish everyone seasons greetings! I'll be back soon to put up a winning animal story from last month and I think you'll like it! Hope your season is going well and a bit more even-paced than mine!
Most of the good stuff about Maddie "Be Yourself" Gee is on the About page, but that page got out of hand. Don't go there. Maddie is an animal expert, a crazy person, and a writer. Full Disclosure - this blog does have Amazon affiliate links in it for products that Maddie likes. Your use of the Amazon links is greatly appreciated, but the intent is just to help keep things running and offer giveaways. You are welcome to search for the items elsewhere if you prefer it.
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