Monday, November 20, 2006

Cats and dogs (and snails, oh my!)

They're everywhere. Everywhere. Here a stray, there a stray, everywhere a stray, stray. There are so many cats in this city that I am now convinced that stray cats reproduce like rabbits. Only the difference being that rabbits don't need to be fed or loved or cared for by humans. So we don't mind the rabbits, do we? But the cats? It's too much.

Now, people don't actually own as many cats as there are cats to own. Instead they just feed the strays. Technically, you might think that this makes each cat a belonging of somebody, but no. The cats just go everywhere.

Unfortunately, The Price Is Right is not shown here, and as a consequence, no one is reminded to spay or neuter their cats. But I guess, since no one actually owns the cats, there is nobody to pay for that. If anyone actually speaks to Bob Barker, give him the message that there is dire need for him here when he retires.

Who knows, though? There are probably as many cats here as there are in the States, with the difference being that there isn't very much room for them to spread out like there would be at home with all that land. It's a small island and all. And I don't think cats can swim.

Having been deathly afraid of dogs since I was bitten by one at the age of 13, I am pleased at the nature of canines here. To describe the Kiwi culture as 'laid-back' would be an understatement, and dogs follow the lead of their owners. I have yet to see a single dog on a leash, a dog that misbehaves, or a dog that barks at strangers. They just sniff other dogs' bottoms and follow their owners around like lost puppies (no pun intended). I walk by them and pet them and we're friends. Just like that.

I have often wondered if cats actually like eating snails? And maybe having cats around keeps the snail population down? All I do know about snails is actually quite a lot.

1. Snails come out at night.
2. Snails move V...E...R...Y slowly.
3. When you lift up the rubbish lid at night, there could be as
many as 15 or 20 snails on the inside.
4. The next morning, they're all gone.
5. When you step on a snail, it sounds like glass breaking.

Now, the last fact brings me to my saddest story. It never fails that I don't remember that there are snails all over the ground until after I have stepped on one. I have done it twice now. It gives me the goosebumps and makes me feel horrible, but I can't have expected the snail to move fast enough to get out of my way. Or to hear me coming. But when I do step on them, I instantly stop once I hear the crunch, and then I check to see if it is ok, and then I wonder if the actual slug comes out to find a new shell. And where the heck do the snails get the shells in the first place?

Maybe I don't know as much about snails as I thought.


1 comment:

Grandpa Dunaway said...

Good morning Sweetie,

I have just updated my "Wendy Stories" file. There are now 31 pages and that is with narrow margins. I had missed some because I forget to check your blog. I am keeping them all on a Word file and print the latest ones for your great grandma Dunaway. She told me she has read them all at least twice and really enjoys them. That is good because she is bored a lot of the time. She can't stop thinking she should be working as much as she did all the rest of her life even though she can't do a lot of things anymore.

I can assure you, wanting to work all the time is not an inherited trait.

The weather here has been so nice. I trimmed bushes last week and have a trailer full of branches, etc. I think I will take some pictures of them as I have cut the hell out of them and want to remember how much they were cut back in case they survive and I want to do it again in a few years. Someone said it doesn't hurt at all to take 50% off. A few of mine are probably at about 70% to 80% now. I always have strong bushes because the little buggers have to be tough to survive me!

Retirement is still great. Like I tell a lot of people, it is the best job I have ever had. I stay busy with volunteer things and haven't caught up with a lot of things I want to do yet. But that will come, too. If for some reason it doesn't, somebody else can do it after I am gone!

Have a great day. It is fun reading about your adventures so keep them up.

Love you lots,

Grandpa D