A PSA from W. Charles Marmota

Animals don’t like fireworks.

That should be the logical, common sense end to the discussion, but noooooooooooooooooooooo.

Fireworks are loud, flashy, and unpredictable. None of that is appealing to animals. Fear makes US unpredictable and we really tap in to that flight instinct.

Let us stay home. Crowds create anxiety, people suck, and it’s July so it’s as hot as Satan’s balls in polyester booty shorts. If you HAVE to take us with you to big crowded events, then this might be more about YOU, and you might be a douche bag. Find some other way to get attention from strangers. (I’m talking to you as well, lady who brings her parrot on  a baby stroller to festivals.)

Let us stay home. Better yet, bring us indoors. Let us panic within the safety of solid walls. Protect us from the neighborhood asshole who thinks it would be funny to light firecrackers near us…or worse.

Overall we prefer May the Fourth.

Keep us safe.

W. Charles Marmota




I mowed for the first time this spring a couple of weeks ago. Presumably it was time to mow since the curb grass that the city planted when they repaved the road was edging towards a foot tall, the neighbor to the right had given his lawn a crew cut primarily so he could use his leaf blower WHENEVER POSSIBLE, and my much saner neighbor on the left had mowed at a reasonable length.

As I came around the side of the house to edge along the fence, I discovered well worn paths in the grass. We had an incredibly mild winter so the grass was rarely buried in snow and the critter population must have kept moving throughout the season. One path hugged the flower bed by the house and scooted under the gate. Two other paths came from different angles through the sane neighbor’s yard to converge at a point under the fence.

Given the warming spring weather and the full moon, I decided to put the game camera out, two days and nights on each path, to see who was wearing away the grass.

Unfortunately, I need to play with the camera settings or maybe invest in a new SD card because my night photos are whiting out and my day time photos have taken on a strange pinkish tint. From the night photos, I was able to discern a cat ear, some skunk stripes and maybe a opossum.

The day time photos featured some random birds landing in the right spot and plenty of squirrel action including my favorite.  I love this majestic beast stalking through the grass for a close up. WGI_0047

A Very Buggy Day

I was lying on the bed reading, when my brain finally computed that the rolled leaf on the tomato plant with the stripped leaves outside the window was not a leaf.

It was a tomato hornworm.

It had a smaller buddy on an adjacent leaf and at least one other on another plant. There are probably more. They’re like staring at one of those pictures within a picture. You stare from all angles, squint with one eye and eventually…worm!

So even though the world is on fire today-my phone agrees – I went out to spend a few minutes in the garden.

Holy cats! I have never gotten that message before!

This praying mantis was waiting to ambush me by the garage door.

I patiently explained that the success rate of finding other bugs to murder would probably be higher in the flowerbed than on the house. After some negotiations, a transfer was agreed upon.

I cleared out the tomato worms as well as my collard greens which had been reduced to lace by the worms they were coated with. Shudder. There were a lot of worms.

I relocated a swallowtail caterpillar from a basically dead piece of dill to the hoppin’ parsley patch. The dill has not done well this year.

As I was considering going back indoors out of the fire, a female goldfinch started pathetically squeaking really close to me. I kept edging closer for a picture, but she didn’t move. Just kept chirping with her wings spread. The best I could interpret was: “It’s too fucking hot!” Goldfinches are notorious potty mouths.

Her pleas made me scramble for a DIY birdbath. It’s not ideal, but I don’t have  a ton of shallow lids or pots laying about. No storage. I swore to the garden creatures that I would go thrifting in search of more suitable materials.

Catzilla! Part 2: Child of Catzilla!

Raised by radioactive raccoons in the deep woods of Southern Ohio, Child of Catzilla (They’re not really related. In fact, they’ve never met.) grew to massive proportions and terrorized local villagers!



No one was safe! Roads were destroyed!


Privacy was disrespected.

I see you in there. Rowr!”


Also showing as matinee features:


Cat-Squatch Attacks

Return  of the Cat Clones


Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

Shit’s going down again at Grammie’s house.

To be clear, the “someone” was some little animal. Given the formation and the lack of seeds and insects, I’ll wager cat.

After several prompts, —I think she was stalling–MomBert finally went to look. I cropped out most of the image because it was REALLY fresh. Basically the rib cage attached to the complete head and one little paw.


This is the part of the conversation that is probably only funny to me.


Really? I know that the birds carrying a dead raccoon would be vultures.

I gave it 30 minutes before I told her it was a Monty Python  bit. Still not quite right.

African sparrows, geeez.

Damn squirrel kids!

We have a juvenile squirrel who is- I hate to be this obviously punnymaking the cats nuts.


This photo even captures the glint in his/her eye!

He (no idea but going with “he”) is consistent in his visits which are loud as he thrashes around from fence to feeder to tree etc… Being quiet is not on his skill list yet, and he falls off whatever he’s climbing more often than not.

Yesterday, he had Birdie racing window to window as he alternated feeders around the house.

IMG_0902 copy

Even Sookie was up in furry, frustrated arms!


“Squirrel, I am talking to YOU!”

Sookie rarely has anything to say, but yesterday the squirrel had her fired up.

I think this translates to: “Get out now! I am a tiger who will eat you!”

With a angry follow up (She learned the banging on the window and profanity from me): “I said get the fuck out NOW!”

Today he was back in his usual spot on the fence and I happened to be in the  yard doing my morning perimeter check. He hid when I approached, hanging upside down on the other side of the fence.


He thinks I cannot see him.

Wanting to see how stealthy he would be, or what would provoke him in to biting me, I took some paparazzi style photos over the fence.


Squirrel booty

This did not last long and he ultimately fled the camera. He’ll be back.


She Sees in Rainbows

Birdie was on drugs for a while because her hoo-ha hurt. It more or less came down to a UTI caused by the invisible stressors that only cats can see. So she was on antibiotics, painkillers and briefly an anti-anxiety med that we will not be revisiting.

Much as she loves getting high on the nip, she does not enjoy the vet induced high. It makes her wobbly, super grumpy, and she refuses to just sleep it off. Instead she camped out on the kitchen treat/nip toy and saw the world in rainbows. She was so high that I was able to photograph it. There’s probably a ghost in there too.

So high.

She made me think of the Rollng Stones song: “She’s A Rainbow.”

Meanwhile, Miles wanted treats and the Bird was exactly where the treats go, but she could care less because this was not a munchy kind of high. Miles sensed that there was something wrong, so he had to get treats via a sneak attack.


Birdie can barely be bothered to even think about treats.

It’s as if I starve him. All thirteen pounds of him.


Finally it was down to one leftover treat inconveniently placed in front of Birdie who had zero interest in it. Miles cannot live if there are unaccounted for leftovers.


It was hurting his soul that there was a treat just sitting there. I tried so hard not to laugh as the drama unfolded.

Yes, he finally got the treat. The Bird is finally done with all of her drugs and all bits and pieces seem to be working.


Your face when you are pooping and peeing pain free.

Toad Prom

Prom was this weekend. I saw things that I can’t unsee. It didn’t help that there was a balcony for the teachers that gave a bird’s eye view in to the inferno.

It’s hard to talk about it anymore. Prom PTSD?

I went for a walk at a park the next day, and got sucked in to the same situation all over again. First, there was an obnoxious, unintelligible, screeching noise that I couldn’t figure out. Was it natural? Was it mechanical? Was someone torturing a robot? Is this what the youngsters call music?

Then there were a few individuals who thought they were more than qualified to add to the general noise and chaos. Always with the yelling and the screaming!

This guy:

All shapes and sizes. Couples and singles and groups galore. All mingling and cavorting amongst decorative “streamers” of eggs and other bodily bits and pieces.

They also let me get pretty close with a camera because they just did not care! Kind of like the student who had a whole conversation with me about his mother while he was going deep on his date. Didn’t miss a stroke and his date never stood up. “Ok, catch ya’ later.”


These toads are the best photographic approximation I can give (plausible deniability, like my job etc etc…)to how teenagers dance. I assume the teenagers are not TRYING to breed, but it’s a fine line.

At least the toads don’t pull up their dresses to the waist to adjust their Spanx while chatting with friends in the middle of the dance floor.