Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another one of the kitties....

This is Ciaran (KEER-an), Celtic for 'little dark one.'  He has been here the second-longest of my cats.  Two years ago this month, I suddenly got the urge to get a (then) second kitty.  I went to the Lexington Humane Society, and although my heart went out to all the cats, just didn't see one that spoke to me.  I was just about to leave empty-handed when I heard a cat meowing loudly.  I looked up at the upper row of cages, and there was a black cat 'hollering' at me, with his arm up to the shoulder out the bars, waving and trying to get my attention.  I didn't really want another black cat or a male.  My 'Max,' a black male, had died about 2 years before that, at age 17.   But this one was persistent, and though I didn't sense a bond, I found myself taking him home with me......and I have never regretted it.  SUCH a LOVER!!! 

It was St. Patrick's day week, so he ended up with a Celtic name, to go along with the girl kitty I already had, Fiona.   Ciaran was the only "male" (neutered, of course) in the house until last weekend, but is the 'nanny' of the bunch.  He takes care of everyone's appearance and grooms faces if they will let him, and loves to cuddle with the littlest one, Yoshi. He was the first one to check out the bunnies, including the new one - although Niko doesn't quite know what to make of him.    


He is a real sweetheart.  He is the only climber, but doesn't do that too often. I think he has Burmese or Siamese behind him, because he is VERY talkative, and is very sleek and slim (not skinny) even though he feels heavy, and his coat feels like silk ('a brick wrapped in silk' - the way they describe Burmese).  He looks black at first glance, but as you can see in the top picture, is really dark seal brown.  In strong light, you can see tabby stripes too.  

I took some pictures more of the new bunny, Niko. I think these might still be darker than he is, but the photo distorts if I try to change it too much.  His 'points' are really pale.  He is learning to like to have his head and ears stroked as much as 'the girls.'

The one above looks pretty accurate.  Isn't he cute!?!  

Holly and Ivy wanted new pictures taken too!

Holly - clipped about a month or 6 weeks ago, with her coat growing in. 

Ivy (also growing in new coat) nibbling on her piece of cardboard. They both LOVED their cardboard, but Holly was so enthusiastic about digging and chewing hers apart and eating it, that I was afraid it would effect her digestion, and took what was left away from her after a few days.  

OK, now that I have played 'proud parent,' and forced you to look at baby pictures, I'll stop.....until next time. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Here he is....

Meet Angora Eden Niko

I drove to Indiana this morning to meet a very nice young man, Dustin Maschino, who is selling several French Angora juniors for his friend who is ill. Her rabbitry is where the 'Angora Eden' prefix comes from. I wasn't sure what his name would be, but when I saw him, none of the ones I had considered seemed to fit.  On the drive home, it came to me....Niko.  (Nee-koh)

He is the result of a brother/sister mating ( ! ), so I thought about Caligula  (ha - ha),  but decided not to do that to the little guy, besides not wanting such a gruesome name here.   Although that would be too close in most other species, I'm told that is done sometimes, but rarely, in rabbits for the same reason anyone would line-breed, to try to imprint good qualities on future generations. 

His color is a mystery.  Dad was a smoke pearl, Mom a lilac. In this photo from Dustin's blog, Niko's face and paws look very 'taupe,' but really he is quite a bit lighter.  His face and front paws are a light beigey/fawn shade.  He does have some gray mixed in on his nose, but lighter than the photo.  His back paws are barely colored, and his tail is the same as his body color.   His pedigree says 'lilac tort,' but Dustin says he is definitely a chocolate pearl.  The irises of his eyes are dark for sure, but I haven't gotten a good enough look in strong light to make out the color, and his pupils definitely are a red/pink.   His body color is a lovely creamy/white, and baby soft.  He is still a 'baby,' at four months old, even though he is every bit as big as my other rabbits.  (It's amazing how fast they grow)

He's a sweet little guy, who doesn't seem to mind being picked up - unlike 'the girls,' who still hate that - and seemed to take the car ride and new surroundings in stride.  He is very inquisitive, sniffing everything, and sitting up on his back legs to look around.  As  before, the cats took a look, but were otherwise unperturbed, and he doesn't seem to mind them either .  Niko is resting in his brand new cage now, getting used to his new home.  No, I'm not planning to breed him to one of my girls.  He will be a fiber producer.  But now the next one ........

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Something's coming, something good.....

But I'll say no more just yet.  Suffice it to say I am spending this weekend assembling cages......

Most of my seeds have started, but because the only place I have for them isn't the best for direct sun, they are are already very leggy.  That's OK for tomatoes, because you can bury the stem when you transplant.  I'm not sure about the rest.   I am going to try to grow a little of a lot of things.  I have Japanese-style eggplant, patty pan squash, beets (I hate beets, but they say when they are pulled up as babies and roasted, they are completely different), bush beans, a few different tomatoes, potatoes (in buckets) and as usual, lots of herbs.   I yanked out clumps of lambs ear yesterday to make room for them.  I left a few small clumps, and it spreads so fast, there is no danger of not having any left.  I have not been able to find sugar snap pea 'seeds,' but I would like to grow some of those too.

There were lots of signs of life in the garden yesterday.  Crocus and early daffodils up, Dutch Iris and daylilies sprouting, the few roses I have left are budding, along with Alpine strawberries and artemesia putting forth new growth.  (My garden is both ornamental and food crops)  As beautiful and warm as it was yesterday, it is hard to resist the temptation to start putting things in the ground, BUT....... we are far away from our last frost date, so only cold-loving plants need apply at this point.

I bought a blueberry plant ("Duke" variety) which is supposed to be able to be grown in containers, so I am going to give it a shot.   I bought a bunch of 5-gallon buckets at Lowe's - less expensive and sturdier than plastic pots - and will be growing some things in those.     I don't think I am the only one more interested in growing some of my own food this season. At Lowe's, they had LOTS of food plants for sale - potatoes, asparagus, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and many more.  Much more than I have seen in the past.  It's a good trend.