Roots 'n' Shoots: Fur & Feather Pets

Fur & Feather Pets

This is a whole page dedicated to our furry and feathered companions, who help out in the garden... well most of the time You will likely come across many of them throughout the blog and hence they have a formal introduction here.

The Whisker Flowers

Now as per the Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats written by T.S Eliot, our cats generally have three names. First 'the name that the family uses daily', second 'the name that is peculiar and dignified' and the third 'the one that the cat himself knows'... and lots of nicknames! Here they are complete with their own allocated subspecies nomenclature:

Barischnikov Micheal   i.e Felis catus var. smootchmonsterii 

Barischnikov with his beloved catnip
He does believe himself the Baron of the House
He is a Exotic Persian x Black Russian, which means he is one big teddy bear! He is always ready for cuddles and regularly becomes the smooch monster (hence subspecies name). He believes kittens are awful things and runs away from them whenever one is present in the house. He is more of a loner and likes all the attention to himself, but he tolerates the other cats and keeps them in line with stern discipline. He can be a real pain when it comes to snack-time and often refuses many treats that the other cats gobble up. Likely he feels them beneath him and would let you offer everything before leaving to get himself a mouse instead! He is named after a famous Russian Ballet dancer.

Nicknames include: Swartkat (black cat), teddy bear and pudding face.
Mayet Pointers   i.e Felis catus var. sol solis

Mayet in a prime sunning spot
She is a Seal-point Siamese that looovvveeesss the sun and her favourite pastime is sun worshipping, so much so she will be out in the sun when it is 31oC in the shade! Thus, sol solis is Latin for the sun. She is very intelligent, but struggles with absentmindedness, clumsiness and a split personality! Yes there are two sides of Mayet, the sad-looking, woe-is-me hunched back Mayet (90% of the time) and the other 'darker' Smeagol-Mayet that stalks Diesel around the house and poor Diesel can't cope when she goes all psycho! She and Barishnikov looked after Asjas when she was a kitten, although Barishnikov was running away most of the time he did bring some mice for her to eat before she started hunting by herself (much to our horror!). This means that Mayet is very protective of Asjas and if Diesel only seems to be mean to Asjas, Mayet goes into psycho mode... Mayet is named after the Egyptian Goddess of Judgement Ma'at (Mayet is an alternate spelling) and Pointers is the name of the breeders we got her from.

Nicknames include: Mayeta - it's very Afrikaans to add an extra 'a' to an existing name, "poeppies" (for when she is in one of her pitiful modes J )

Asjas   i.e Felis catus var. woesgattatus


Asjas being -well- herself
BTW don't be tempted to scratch cute spotted tummy
if you want to keep your limbs J
If you are looking for the crazy one, Asjas fits that description. We picked her up at the pet shop and we suspect that she is an F1 (first generation) African wildcat cross (she has black ears and black shins, typical in wildcats). WILD is her middle name, she was very hyper as a kitten tiring all the adult cats (Mayet & Barischnikov) and all the adult humans. One night she made a horizontal Parkour run across the TV screen! She is very excitable and goes into psycho-kitten mode very quickly - NOTE not the same psycho as Mayet's attack-Diesel one - she just races through the house at ultra high speed and play-pounces anything along the way, much to the despair of the person/furry being pounced! She and Diesel have some personality-clashing and generally steer clear of one another. 'Asjas' is an Afrikaans word for someone who is cheeky or naughty, of which she is both and 'Woessie' is the diminutive of the Afrikaans word 'Woes' which is wild (and leads to the subspecies name as well).

Nicknames include: Cutie (because she has her moments), Woessie, Asjassie, Snaaksie (diminutive of someone who is being 'silly')

Diesel   i.e Felis catus var. squeakyi

Diesel in another prime sunbathing spot
Pssttt... don't tell Mayet!
This is our orphan cat that we adopted after he was abandoned to fend for himself. He used to squeak a lot when we picked him up, when we just got him - he still squeaks, mainly when he is removed from the TV sofas to make room for humans He is such a sweetie (except when he is mean to Asjas) and he likes sweeties too! He seems to know the difference between sweet packets (chips, chocolates and marshmallows...) and similar packets such as pasta or rice, which he ignores - someone taught him bad habits when he was a kitten He also likes his catnip, but doesn't have the same crazy response as Barischnikov. He loves to play with twine and only when it gets wiggled around by his humans - when the humans get tired and leave the game he follows them all around the house for a few hours thereafter J He is named after Vin Diesel, since he fended for himself for such a long time and got a bunch of muscles to show for it - he is a real muscle-cat! (although you can't really see it in the picture as he has fattened up a bit...).

Nicknames: Squeaky toy

Slap-face and glares in the garden over catnip
They did get each their own catnip,
Asjas almost-always interferes with Barischnikov's high...
The cats bring companionship to our house and garden and they enjoy lounging around while I am working in the veggie patch- sometimes catnip falls from the sky and playful slap-facing ensues. They bring lots of joy and laughter to us as well as keeping flying fruit-thieves at bay (most of the time anyways). Asjas is always willing to help by playing will all the rocks and plants I dig out from the garden J


The Feathered Flock

It seems that we finally have a stable flock with girls who will be around for a good long time - we had several changes due to ill chickens and extreme broodiness. The flock is made up of 1 indigenous chicken (Koekoek), 3 grey Leghorns and 5 red Hylines.

The High Rankers

These are the Leghorns, a light breed from Tuscany. The are the highest ranking members of the pecking order in the flock. The one with the largest comb (Kammetjie) is the 'flock manager' - because I am the boss chicken! J - and she leads the flock around the property. Then the fatter of the leghorns (Vettie) and the smallest one with the longest tail feathers (Stertjie) occupy the 2nd and 3rd positions. They are very striking with their regal looks.






Here Comes KoeKoeK!

AKA: The Enforcer. She is a indigenous Potchefstroom Koekoek and the only remaining member of our original flock from Jan 2012 when we first got chickens. She is bossy and a real bully that usually has someone by the head feathers (when promply 'I the Boss Chicken' shouts at her to stop the nonsense and I get the evil eye from her in return J). She is a heavy breed and stomps around the yard with the leghorns.








The Super Girls

These are our 5 Hylines and they are awesome. They are happy bussy bodies that are super healthy, love scratching and are reliable layers that will lay even when the others stop (high or low temperatures). Each has slightly different plumage by which we identify them; a few black feathers (Blackie), equal white and red (Candy), very red (Nicole), very white (Blondie) & one black feather (Stripes).




The chickens are very amusing to watch and they can get up to all kinds of chicken antics. It is also nice to have extra animals on the yard that come running every time they see you hoping to get something yummy to peck up.



That concludes the furs and feathers of our yard. Be on the look out for them when you browse around the blog!

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10 comments:

  1. I am intrigued: How do you keep the claws away from the feathers?
    Ek is nuuskierig: Hoe hou jy die kloue en die vere uitmekaar?

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  2. The full grown chickens (those already in lay) are too large for the cats to catch; the chicks as well as those under 20 weeks are fair game as far as the cats are concerned. We do not have a cockerel as little chicks are just going to feed the cats - and we certainly do not want to make a feeding ground for the cats in that way! The very first chickens we got were 6 and 10 weeks old. We kept them in the coop during the day (this was well before the El Nino, else we would have had KFCs!) and they would have 'supervised playtime' from about 4pm to 6pm and if any of the cats started looking predatory we would chase them away. After the chicks grew too big, the cats lost interest in them completely....

    There are a few shenanigans every now and then that can be very amusing, such as Asjas loves to run full speed into the flock when they are foraging and is delighted at the feathered chaos, wing flapping and startled squawks that ensue. The chickens do get their revenge at times; once when Asjas was grooming herself on the pavement, one chicken managed to sneak up on her and just before the chicken could deliver a good peck Asjas bounded out of the way! It makes for good human entertainment to see how the two groups interact with one another.

    [PS I am not going to translate to Afrikaans, although I am Afrikaans I might embarrass myself as I have become way to English when it comes to writing - terrible grammar might follow - LOL!]

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  3. I love cats, and wish we could have chickens, but our estate doesn't allow poultry. They sound really entertaining! ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ”๐Ÿพ

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  4. Your cats are so cute, I wish we could have so many. We have only one cat. This year we bought chickens (hens) for eggs. I never knew they can be so noisy. Sometimes I run from 6 a.m. To there coop, to try to keep them quiet. We also have vegetable patch and small berry orchard. It is nice to finally find someone, who is just as interested in gardening as we are.

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  5. Hey hey! When it is feeding time the hens to make a huge fuss and especially if they want to be let out of the coop in the mornings (or after the rain). Generally we let them out before 6 during the week as I am up and out of the house by 5h30, on the weekends they stay in the coop longer. Luckily for us the coop is on the other side of the house so we don't hear their weekend tantrums LOL!

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  6. We have neighbours bedroom not far from the coop. We can hear our hens, when we are in the house so neighbours probably too. O well that is life. I am looking for help in finding a hazelnut tree. I want to plant it in the garden. I've got two custard apple trees last year, now it is time for hazelnut tree. If you can help me I will appreciate it very much.

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  7. Hey hey! I think the best bet to get some nut and custard apples would be the Austraflora nursery or Gardenworld. You can find their addresses here @ http://rsandss.blogspot.co.za/p/suppliers-stockists-products.html

    Else you can contact Malanseuns directly info@malanseuns.co.za or malanseuns.co.za/

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  8. Hello, thank you for advice. Please let me know if you are interested in meeting one day for coffee somewhere. We would probably have a lot to talk about vegetable garden and pets. We live in Centurion.

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  9. Oh hey! Thanks for the invite ;) In the mean time, you're more than welcome to keep picking my brain!

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  10. You welcome, I am just interested to meet people, who is just like me serious about growing vegetables and fruit. I came to this country from Russia 14 years ago. First thing I did is, I started a proper vegetable patch. With the fence from the dog and later my husband (who is very good at building and welding) made a structure for net. Now it is so good, you won't even see it like vegetable patch. My parents still grow everything for winter in Russia Siberia. If you have a facebook page pls let me know, I can share the pictures of my vegetables and my Mom's. I did prune my raspberries and black raspberries with the thorns and without last week for the next season. Tomorrow we will eat last cucumber, unfortunately the fruit fly spoiled everything, and I was to lazy to use organic pesticide. I only recently discovered a company Biogrow. They make organic pesticides and fungicides. Next season I won't let my peaches and nectarines go to waist. Well that is it for today. You see I can talk about gardening for ever just can't find enthusiastic people. If I did write with mistakes Sorry, I am Russian. I also do love baking if you want check my site it is Irina's cakes.

    ReplyDelete

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The Shroom
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