They Call Me…Cinderella

Our pastor: “Laura, you love animals more than people. Why do you love animals so much?”                                                                 Me: You’ve met people,right?

I love animals. I do. I’m yet to find one that I couldn’t bond with…except snakes. Uh uh, nope.  I’ve had fish that’d swim to the glass to greet me…ok, so they thought I was coming to feed them. That’s ok though, we can bond over food, I’m cool with that. The thing is, I don’t really know how to deal with the different creatures that I’d either come across or ended up with.  I didn’t know a thing about any of them so I just went with what I did know, dogs.  I treat all of them like I do my dogs…which is like babies. Lol.  No wonder all my animals have identity issues .

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I’ve  raised a baby skunk who loved scrambled eggs, baby rabbits, baby armadillos and  no one in my family would even raise a brow to find me sitting in a field, holding a new born calf.   They call me Cinderella.   People often gasp in surprise when some wild thing wanders up but Clay proclaims, “It’s her! I tell you she’s Cinderella!”

I met my husband online. In my profile, I stated that if I ever found myself in a position where I had to kill for my food, I’d become a vegetarian trying to convince my dogs to eat the darn berries!

Now that he’s retired and we’ve left the ranch for lake life, Clay  bought a boat and has taken up fishing.  He seriously said he needs to buy me a fishing pole. I laughed, “Whatever for?”    So you can be my fishing buddy, he says. Fishing buddy? Oh no! I’m your fishing companion, I reply.  We take off on the lake, find a cove, he throws a line. I open a book.

Bless his heart, he got so excited when he caught his first fish.                                          Clay:   Look! Look! I caught one!                        Me:   Awwww….he has sad eyes.  You should throw him back.”                                                      Clay:

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I’ve found myself surrounded by raccoons once during a camping trip.  I had barely gotten out of the truck and sat the dog bowls out to offer refreshment after a long drive when a raccoon wandered up.  Reaching into the bowl, I offered a piece of kibble.  Instead of fleeing my outstretched hand, it came closer, took it, dipping it into the water and ate it.  I can only guess that others had been watching the exchange for before I knew it, I was surrounded.  Sitting at the picnic table with dog food bowl in my lap, they sat in a circle about my feet, awaiting their turn.  When I failed to hand it out fast enough, the inpatient coons would tap on my knee. Lol

I soon learned that raccoons are cleaver little thieves as well.  At the end of the evening, we made S’mores with all the kids then put away the supplies into ice chests before heading into our tents for the night.  The next morning we emerged from our tents to a campsite completely covered in marshmallow vomit!  They had made good use of those opposable thumbs by breaking into the ice chests and eating 4 days worth of marshmallows which obviously didn’t sit well.  Haha

Horses, they’re amazing! They don’t just warm up to anyone like puppies.  A horse is a huge, powerful, scaredy cat.  I’ve seen one flip out over a plastic Walmart bag that blew across the yard!  No, a horse has to trust you.  It’ll never lower its head around you much less lay down near you without absolute trust.  I could and have spooned our horses.

 

He’s a kisser!

Our dominate mare would come whenever I yelled for her,  ”Momma!”, just like a puppy, and lead all the other horses with her.  This was exceptionally handy when we faced a wildfire.

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Here we are, laying on the ground cuddling with kisses.

I have been deathly allergic to cats my whole life,  yet they’d meow after me everywhere I went!  I chalked that one up to cats being cats. They’re kinda dicks.  They snub you when you want to pet them then annoy you when you don’t.

After buying a ranch, we needed barn cats. That should be fine as they’d live in the barn and I’d have little if any contact. We found 2 “fixed” cats on Craigslist.  They loved me and right away mated! (Craigslist wankers!)  First the male disappeared. He was a Tom so may have wandered or, it is the country and therefore coyotes.  The “fixed” female had 5 kittens then disappeared as well leaving me with ophaned kittens.  All the cats had the same names…baby baby,  tigar tiger.  They came when I called just like dogs.

Funny that these and all the kittens born there after, never bothered my allergies! They crawled on me constantly with no ill effects! I thought to myself how funny to find that at age 50 to suddenly no longer be allergic to cats!  So, the next time I went to visit my mom, I snatched her cat up right from the porch rail.  Big mistake!  Thought I was going to die!  Apparently I’m only non- allergic to the cats I love. 😊

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While purchasing one of our mares, I fell in love with the owners mini donkey, Tiny Tim. He was barely taller than my knees! He nannied their horses and was a fierce protector having killed 8 coyotes! Now owning a ranch in the country, horses and there were coyotes…we bought 2 baby mini donkeys.  I named them Kevin and Greg.

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Baby Kev

Being new to the area, we found a little country church just around the corner. We’d been attending more than a year before someone finally realized that the Kevin and Greg they’d heard so much about were NOT our sons! Lol

Being 2 males, they needed separating as they grew older.  Greg went to nanny a nearby mini horse.  Kevin stayed home. Kevin too would come like a puppy when you called him. Wherever he was in the pasture, he’d kick his tiny legs into high gear at the sound of me yelling ”Baby Kevin!”  Kev loved brushings, being sang to and playing fetch with a Jolly ball.

For my 50th birthday, my husband took me to the Grand Canyon. We rose early, packed lunches took off to hike down the canyon.Once we’d reached the area of decent, I busied myself filling bottles from the fountain. When I turned around, I was greeted with this sight….

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Sweet Jesus, what is happening! A…pparently, there were some French gentlemen, in spandex leggings, stretching out before taking off down the canyon and Goob here, thought it was a good idea. Not sure we’re pulling off their level of cool though.   This guy kills me! Keeps me laughing til the end of time!

Reaching a low point, we settled on a flat rock to eat lunch. Dozens of gray squirrels scurried about the rocks. I pitched a Frito toward one who greedily took it then came straight to me for another. Before I knew it, I had squirrels eating Fritos from my hands.     Who knew? Squirrels love me too! Or at least fritos.

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We’d decided we’d better start the journey back up as we were a few hours down and it takes longer climbing up. I don’t think either of us had considered that the return would be all uphill!  I’m going to recommend right now that if you’re thinking of taking on this adventure that you start training for it now!                           Thought I WAS GOING TO DIE! I must’ve looked like it too. I was so devastatingly frightful that elderly hikers, and I mean white headed, were stopping to feed me snacks and drinks!

We once took the kids tent camping for a week on a lake.  A huge beaver would swim up to our campsite each morning, crawl up on bank and curl up in the grass and nap the day away.  In the afternoon, he’d slip into the lake again and disappear until morning. Our then teenage daughter dubbed him, Justin Beaver.

Dogs, of course there’s my dogs….

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My shirt says ” Perfect-ish”.  Boy ain’t that the truth! Lol

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Even the dogs walk the dogs around here.

Moving onto a lake in the mountains, I discovered new creatures. I have already wooed a pair of ducks that came to me at our boat dock and recently a mother Mallard with her six ducklings came to swim with me.

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There’s a red fox that has ventured onto our deck and a large groundhog that lives in my yard. I will make them love me!  Also, chipmunks are everywhere! I suspect that I’m alread on my way with them.  Interesting fact about chipmunks, they aren’t exactly herbivores as proven by a fallen piece of raw chicken.

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 I have recently befriended a giant carp and a turtle.  The deer are now having their little spotted babies and I’m out for making new friends. 😊

 

UPDATE: Yes! The ducks are now my ducks! They love me!

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Even out on the boat, I get hitchhiker’s!

P.S. my niece has inherited my Cinderella gene too. Brook with her horse, Spirit.

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25 comments

  1. Your story was what I needed this morning. I’m so over people just now and the kindness, trust and love shown to you by ‘the wild things’ was truly lovely. Obviously your spirit tells them a lot about you, and they can’t help but respond in kind. I think you might even have tamed that ‘Goob’ 😁

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    • I’m so sorry people have worn you down but I understand it all too well. Animals definately exhibit agape love far better than we do. As Sally said, “Animals put the E onto human…HUMANE”

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  2. I love this. Thanks for the more detailed account! I have such that bleeding heart. I rescued a firefly last night from a watery demise in a bird bath. What? I swear I could almost hear it say thank you.

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  3. Those kittens are adorable! I have a hard time passing on kittens. Animals are easier than humans cause they don’t talk back, or point out our mistakes and they never “one up us.” They don’t like cooking, so there is not following in the kitchen and the like all our friends!As long as they pet them.

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  4. WOW – you definitely aren’t an introvert when it comes to animals :-)! This is such a fun post to read – your animal tales are so varied and entertaining as well as your trail adventures with the Goob. My youngest calls her significant other – Goob. He would’ve done the same thing to pose on a mountain top. And my daughter is just like you too – she loves all animals and is allergic to cats, except the ones that love her like her adopted one from the farm. I love animals too, especially my little dog. Enjoy your new friends from the lake!

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    • You know, Shelly, I may not have been introverted if people were more like animals. Lol. They are like that special friend that you can just spend time with where there is no need for constandly filling the void with words but completely comfortable and at ease with each other in silence. 😊 except my dogs…they ate jerks who boss me around all the time. Lol

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  5. You are too funny! First your poor husband. Lol. Poor guy. Doing a stretch and now part of a blog story. Love the Squirrels enjoying the fritos. I adore them. Fritos. And the white hair people giving you a beverage. I so relate. Years ago we went hiking in New Hampshire. My husband is in good shape. But we do not climb. Heck I am in the tech field. Computers are my friend. Anyways we were dying climbing up a mountain. Two women much older than us power walked passed us and they were talking. Yep. Our egoes took a big hit! Have a great day! 💕

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