A New Chapter

IMG_2093b.JPGIt’s the last day of the year; time to reminisce. The woods are a good place for it, especially on a foggy morning. There were some good parts but also tough parts this year especially towards the end with Ms. Zulu going to the rainbow bridge. IMG_2081b.JPGNew seeds are bound to sprout from that which no longer is. We hope that the new year will bring lots of happy new beginnings for all beings small and tall, young and old. Be kind towards one another as well as yourself.

B & A

 

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A Dangerous Affair -Update

First of all, thank you all for your concerns regarding my oops incident. I’m fully recovered and there seem to be no side effects of almost swallowing a non-edible furry thing.  A little bit of advice to you canines and felines out there:  don’t eat them. Now that is all behind us I can give you an update on the dangerous affair I reported on in March.  Go to the links if you need to refresh your minds.

Yesterday I patrolled the perimeter again to see how the Pinecone Forest is doing. As always I took Ms. Zulu, my lovely mentor and counselor, with me.  I am happy to report that the palm trees, palmettos, wiregrass, and pine trees are doing well. We should have an excellent pinecone harvest later this year. My chauffeur/ cook/ photographer/ you know who I am talking about, took some photos so you can see for yourself. There is one photo that shows the difference between a site that was burned in 2013 for the last time and one that was burned in March of this year. The gopher tortoises that we are trying to shelter should be happy as a clam as their home site is getting restored.

Wishing you a happy weekend, don’t burn down the house/ forest,

Benji

The Archives: 2

About a week ago, I told you the story about the Pinecone Forest Queendom. In this queendom lived Katja de Kittycat. Her story began long before there even was a queendom in the Pinecone Forest. As promised, today I will tell Katja’s story and it began like this:

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Katja de Kittycat

Katja was born in sunny Florida. Unfortunately, her story began similarly to many cats and dogs, on some dark and lonely streets. She may have been an indoor cat at first but it didn’t take long until she got pregnant with little ones. For some reason or another, she ended up homeless. She looked for a safe place away from predators to give birth. Her instincts told her to pick a spot that was dark and sheltered.

It was not easy to find enough food for herself and the little ones. Katja often felt hungry and it was no surprise that she got sick and infested with fleas. When the kittens were about three weeks old they started to walk. At first, their walk was wobbly and they only took a few steps at a time. But after a couple of days, they got more confident and were ready to explore their new world. Katja tried her best to keep the kittens safe. She carried them in her mouth back to safety one by one if they wandered off too far from their little cave. This was getting harder and harder. Each day the kittens roamed further into the deep unknown. It was during one of these events that a nice elderly lady discovered Katja and her kittens.

The lady wanted to make sure that the felines were safe but she was too fragile to take care of them. So she walked over to her neighbors and asked them what she should do.  The neighbors decided that it was best to provide momma cat and kittens with shelter, food, and care at their headquarters. They put up flyers to make sure that no one was looking for them, informed the animal shelter, and brought the felines to the vet for vaccinations and care. And that was the beginning of Katja’s life with the humans who you got to know as Q and M.    

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Finally enough food for all

It was a fun time at headquarters these early days. The kittens were playful and grew, and grew, and grew. Katja did well too and morphed into a beautiful feline with long fur.  

After several weeks, permanent homes were found for the kittens and then two weeks later even Katja moved out to another home. And headquarters felt silent, too silent. That’s when M stumbled, okay she may have asked and asked around, across a beautiful and sweet 7-month-old rescued pup at the vet… The furry canine had been found as a three-month-old pup sitting on a blanket chained to a tree on the side of the road with a bowl of water.  How could one resist such a pitiful story? So the household grew by one again. The pup was called Amie (meaning dearly loved in French) after Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. But that’s a story for another time. 

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Amie

Three weeks after Amie was adopted, Katja was returned to headquarters. The two cats in what was supposed to be Katja’s furrever home did not get along with her. Luckily, nothing was standing in the way for Katja to stay forever after at Q and M’s place.  Amie having lived at the vet’s office for several months liked all creatures so that was not an issue. Hence, headquarter’s household grew by one again. Katja moved with headquarters four more times until they all moved where I and Ms. Zulu live now. This is the place where Katja spent the remainder of her years. 

– THE END = TO BE CONTINUED –

Wishing a safe home, food, and clean water for all creatures big and small wherever they may be,

Benji

The Archives: 1

M has been digging into the archives again. This time she took out some old photos of furry ones I’ve never met but who walked in my pawsteps and paved my way. Five other dogs and two cats have lived at headquarters before I arrived, Ms. Zulu told me. Rumors say that even a snake lived under a temp headquarter’s facility at some point. I guess I would do the same if I were a snake and the cats didn’t chase the mice away.

Not every animal lived at headquarters at the same time but at some point, the monarchs did consist of four canines and one feline. Here are some photos of when the empire was at its height. Today’s story is about that empire.

Once upon a time, a long time ago there was a Queendom in the middle of a big green forest, with extremely large pine cones I might add. Ms. Sierra, a.k.a. Sashia, reigned the Queendom with howls, drama, and laughter. She was well-known far and wide for her endearing talents and howling good morning talks. She had two mighty shining knights: Mr. Charlie a.k.a. Coco and Mr. Bo who would do anything for her. One day these humble guys even helped their queen climb a tall fence that surrounded headquarters and had a full day of adventure before they returned hungrily at the end of the day just in time for dinner. 

And then there was Ms. Zulu, my big sis, who you all already know. It’s hard to imagine now but she grew up in that mighty Queendom too. Ms. Zulu was Mr. Charlie and Bo’s real sister. The three siblings came from a family of 12 puppies. Her real mom was supposedly a purebred Border Collie,  who unexpectedly got impregnated by the wrong [Ed. as defined by the breeder] dude. Hence, the puppies were unwanted and thrown in jail the shelter.  Ms. Zulu was the first who found her forever home. When M went back to the shelter several months later to drop off some goods, she found out that Mr. Charlie and Bo were on death row. M quickly transported them to headquarters and decided to foster them. They eventually became foster failures as nobody wanted 8+ months old black pups from the shelter. I know it’s unfair but it’s the truth.  

Last but not least, there was Katja the kitty cat. Not as big as my friend Lion but she knew how to stand her ground. All canines learned one way or another that she would give two warning shots with retracted claws. Katja liked to give these shots from her throne of thrones. The third shot was always a charm and ended up in one little bleeding dot right on the nose. This last shot always sufficed to humble even the mightiest warrior. So Katja showed them that even the tiniest of cats, she only weighed 9 lbs, demand respect and love. And they all did end up loving and respecting her, even the high queen. Katja had been part of several other King- and Queendoms before she ended up in the Pinecone Forest Queendom. Maybe someday Ms. Zulu will tell you her whole story.  

It is no surprise that when one after the other died in the Queendom from so long ago,  Ms. Zulu felt alone and a bit depressed. She loved her peace, naps, and time with her humans but it did not seem to fill the void completely. It was then that higher forces decided that it was time to look for another friend. And guess what, that turned out to be me! I am now happily living and playing ever after with my big sis Ms. Zulu in the Pinecone Forest Queendom.

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-THE END = TO BE CONTINUED-

Happy tails

Benji

Then and Now: 5

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11-24-16

After the prescribed burn I went back to my favorite tree stump to see if it was still standing. I am happy to report that it did! There is always a new find on top of the stump. Lucky me, this time I found a pine cone!

03-4-17

Happy Finds,

B

A Field Day

This morning the ZAB team (Ms. Zulu, my mom, and I) went out for a walk. It was one of those fine mornings with cool temps, tempting pine cones, and falling leaves. Pictures were taken too. Not sure about the occasion.  There doesn’t always seem to be one. Even though there are better things to do [you know, sniffing trails to make sure everyone got home okay last night, softening the landing of falling leaves, sorting pine needles, making sure sticks are out of the way, you get my drift], I do like to oblige. OK, OK, I will admit but only under some pressure, it did help that there was a pine cone dangling in front of me.

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Wait…

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Did I hear “pine cone”?

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OK, let’s throw that thing

Happy tails, Benji