Sunday, August 27, 2017

gone and back again

An exciting thing happened Monday.
No, not the eclipse.
The reappearance of this character:

Zebra Mouse.

Last Autumn, Della found it. All by herself. I had never seen it before - I can only guess it was in the bottom of the little bag of treats sent along by the shelter. It became Della's very own special toy. Moxie played with lots of things; Della played with Zebra Mouse. It was very little - as was Della - and it was fuzzy with bright white stripes and a tail made of curly feathers. By November, when the picture above was taken, Zebra Mouse had clearly been through the wars. I was rather touched when Della surprised me by placing it on my keyboard, inviting me into the game.
(I'm not much good at sports, but it is true that I can throw a stuffed mouse farther than anyone else in this house.)

Then - cue dramatic music - one day last Winter, Zebra Mouse disappeared.
Della didn't know where it was. Moxie didn't either.
Sweeping and vacuuming were futile - I tried! And I asked my Occasional Helper to please keep an eye out for a small, ratty-looking, greyish lump.

But months and months went by...

...and Monday, Zebra Mouse was back. On the carpet in the middle of the parlor floor. A couple of feet away from Moxie, who was not playing with it. She never had.
I think Moxie found it for Della.

Mox is very talented at finding things. In this picture, she has found a tiny frog*:

Moxie has been eating a little better, and being a little bit more active for short periods of time. I think she devoted one burst of energy to fishing Zebra Mouse out of whatever crack in the universe it had fallen into.

And oh my gosh, the excitement level around here has skyrocketed! These pictures are blurry because Della is in constant motion. Constant, happy motion.

 Thanks, Moxie!

Now, the other disappearance/reappearance of Monday.
I had no special plans for watching the eclipse, but about five minutes before it began to be visible in my neck of the woods, I made a little camera obscura with a cardboard box, and went out to the garden by the south paddock. Here's what the sun looked like in the box, just before the eclipse:

The sky clouded up just as the actual eclipse was beginning. So I stopped stumbling around with my face stuck in a box, and turned to see this:

Fern, watching my performance.
Unimpressed by eclipse.
Wondering if there's something good to eat in that box.

We've had some really nice weather this past week, so I've been mostly off the computer and outdoors: taking Piper to the woods, catching up on a few outdoor chores, and painting a little. Trying to cram as much "Summer" as possible into every non-raining day. Still plenty of mosquitoes, so it feels authentic.

I hope you all had a great week - here's to the one ahead!

*I rescued the frog.


  1. I never thought of that - I bet the people watching during the eclipse was great! lol

    Huzzah for a found zebra-mouse. That's a great story. :-) I'm glad Moxie is having some good days.

  2. The found zebra-mouse got my day off to a happy start. Thanks for the story and the great pictures esp the one with the mouse in Della's mouth.

  3. Congratulations to Y'all on the Happiness!
    Zebra mouse is so tiny, its amazing its been found. I wonder if the mouse has the scent of the shelter and familiar cats that makes the toy so special.

  4. This might be my favorite of your posts :-).

  5. I totally knew where this was going with that photo. My beloved Seamus had 2 toys like that. One was a red mouse that had some kind of grains inside. Red mouse disappeared for years, during which time my stepfather "operated" on mousies w/o little grains to make them have a sound, but they were sloppy seconds. Later, there was a large, white mousie who saved the day; so much that he began falling apart and became Duct Tape Mousie. Both Seamus and Duct Tape Mousie lived a long time, and now mousie sits with the little box of Seamus's ashes.

    1. Thank you for sharing the tale of Seamus and His Mice! Like your stepfather, I tried to find a substitute for Zebra Mouse, but even my closest effort, Martian Mouse, apparently doesn't have quite the same panache. I'm glad Red Mouse was finally replaced successfully with Duct Tape Mousie - these are the things that light up our lives :)
      RIP Seamus, who was Very Much Loved

  6. What a wonderful story! Our cats both used to fight over the little plastic coil 'things' (similar in look to miniature Slinkies) and would manage to lose them in and under things all the time. The excitement reigned supreme when we moved the fridge and would discover several residing under there along with the dust elephants. Heaven help us if we only found one!! So glad to hear that Moxie is doing better.

    1. The plastic pull-loops from gallons of milk are very popular with Moxie. I bet she'd enjoy those slinkie-things.

  7. What a sweet story. Moxie is a wonderful kitty to find her sister's toy! I'm glad to hear that it made Della so happy!

    We've been on a 3 week odyssey that included a trip to the center of the band of eclipse totality. It was utterly stunning. The world suddenly went from daylight to nighttime - in a snap! Sorry about your clouds :(

    I'm almost tempted to become a total eclipse chaser after our experience. I haven't flown in years due to my spine but a 6.5 minute totality period in Egypt sounds almost worth it!

    I'm glad to be back online and catching up with your happenings!

    1. Glad you were able to enjoy the trip and experience! Everyone I know who travelled to see "totality" absolutely raves about it and talks about doing it again. It's probably a good thing I did NOT see it ;)

  8. The eclipse was a non-event for me. Would have had to travel to it, and that wasn't on. Lovelovelove the tale of Moxie, Della and Zebra Mouse! Cats are the most wonderful creatures!

  9. Your cats are great characters. So cute that Moxie found the zebra mouse for her friend. Isn't the weather this September amazing?! Glad you are out enjoying it :)


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