animals


…adding to the countless this past year and a half or so, where I’m juuuuust at the crest of that wave about to plunge me down into slumber when suddenly I’m yanked back into a random sadness for any one of our beloved animals no longer with us.

This time the image was Jig in our arms at the moment he ceased last Thursday. On Tuesday it was Pepper enfolded by us, purring to his end. Tomorrow night on the one-year anniversary of Buster’s horrible death, it might very well be me finding her lifeless body on its carapace near the top of our backyard walkway, as if the raccoon involved in her destruction then playfully knocked her lifelessness around the yard.

With some of these as if by a miracle (and increasingly of late with the help of an AdvilPM… or two), I’m able to catch that wave and escape into sleep. More often though I find myself suddenly pulled back to full consciousness , wide-eyed with a sharp inhale as I lay there in a visceral sorrow until I finally rise and come downstairs to occupy my mind with television or the internet until exhaustion finally drops me.

I was struck this morning, not only by the subject matter (Jig rarely lounges on the side bureau in the dining room bay window), but by the luminous quality of the light. Click the image to enlargify.

UPDATE (May 22): If you had told me that a week after this photo we would be euthanizing our beloved Jig I would have spewed a string of flavorful invective in your specific direction. But that’s just what happened and I am heartcrushed. A couple days after this snap Jiggy became a bit lethargic and reclusive, not in and of itself cause for concern. Then on May 20, his appetite diminished and he completely refused breakfast and dinner the day after. We knew something was up and planned to address it medically, and on Friday morning we found his head had swelled so badly that it was pushing his left eye outward. Two local hospitals were unable to see him (one not until the following Tuesday!), so we got him to an emergency hospital with my hope given the sudden inflammation that it was an abscess caused either by a bad tooth or perhaps an embedded foxtail. The doctor counseled that her examination did not show that relatively simple explanation and that it appeared to be a growth more than likely malignant — or if it was an infection of some sort it was from deeper inside his head. The suggestion was to do a CT scan for the most definitive view, but that would come at a tremendous cost and seemed most likely would lead to a surgery of which Jiggy’s survival was in doubt and his prognosis poor. So we elected with much difficulty and much sorrow to say goodbye. Thankfully, though in this Covid-19 era of telephone-only veterinary treatment, Susan and I were allowed to be with Jiggy at the moment of his passing (coincidentally in the same room we said goodbye to our beloved Ranger in November 2018). Farewell my dear Jiggy.

We’ve been coming to Olvera Street’s annual Blessing of the Animals event since 2004. First a couple years with Shadow and then one with Ranger. Buster, our 18ish-year-old Russion tortoise, has been the designated representative of the various pets of our household every year since 2007.

This is the second year that we’ve joined with the fine folks at the Reptile & Amphibian Rescue Network and been a part of the initial processional. Last year we lucked into accompanying them basically by being at  their booth wherein they invited us, and this year we did the same thing, thereby getting ceremoniously doused with the holy H2O by Archbishop Jose Gomez at the front of the long line of other pet owners, and allowing Susan and me to quickly get to the real reason for coming downtown: margaritas at La Golondrina.

I set up our GoPro on a corner of Buster’s basket and timelapsed from prior to the event’s commencement of the procession to well into our lunch. The following stills pulled from the video show Buster and me prior to the event; the moment a bemused Archbishop Gomez flings water in our general direction; Buster in line at La Golondrina with a curious little girl; and lastly the moment Buster escaped the confines of the basket. Thankfully her freedom was short-lived thanks to Susan’s sharp-eye.

If the following press release ends up getting covered by any of the local media outlets, it stands a good bet that you are acquainted at some level with the Friendly Neighborhood Humane Officer involved in this all-together awesome of a happy ending, more than two years in the making.

JUSTICE FOR KING
2015 Animal Cruelty Case Results in Conviction

Los Angeles — Rather than stand trial on April 28, 2017, Marcus Kemp (DOB 11/15/1965) entered a no contest plea to one misdemeanor count Penal Code 597(b), animal cruelty, at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center (Division 47) for his part in the suffering of King, a four-year-old pit bull mix dog in his care. The terms of Kemp’s probation include 36 months summary probation, $250 fine plus penalty assessment, and 16 animal cruelty classes, among other conditions (Court Case #6CJ01732). The charges are the result of an investigation by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA). The case was prosecuted by Michelle H. McGinnis, Supervising Deputy City Attorney, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Criminal Division.

In April 2015, spcaLA Humane Officers responded to an animal cruelty tip on the 800 block of E. 109th Street in Willowbrook. In the backyard of the residence, they found King tethered to a cyclone fence by a heavy metal chain . Fatigued but alert, King was underweight and had a severe ligature-type wound to his left hind leg resulting from becoming entangled in the chain to which he was unlawfully confined. This injury resulted in undue suffering and neglect. Criminal charges were filed against defendants, Kemp and Keesha Price (DOB 11/26/1970) in March of 2016. Price later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

King, before and after.

While in the care of spcaLA, King recovered from his injuries with proper veterinary care and nutrition. Despite neglect at the hands of his former human companions, King remained a happy dog who loved to play and receive affection . In February 2016, King was adopted into a loving home.

spcaLA is the only private animal welfare organization in Los Angeles that is also Law Enforcement. spcaLA Humane Officers hold the same powers of Peace Officers in the state of California when investigating animal cruelty. spcaLA is a non-profit agency that relies on donations for its programs and services, including animal cruelty investigations. To donate, please visit spcaLA.com or call 323-730-5300 x233.

For more information, please contact Miriam Davenport at 323-730-5300 x233, 323-353-4658 cell or mdavenport@spcaLA.com.

Since 1877, spcaLA has been the premiere independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization serving Southern California. There is no national SPCA, parent organization, or umbrella group that provides financial support to spcaLA. Donations run programs and services including Cruelty Investigation, Disaster Animal Response Team, Humane Education, and a variety of shelter services.

Bonus video of King romping about: https://youtu.be/YvHSQ6_qi4E

Adding water to the birdbath, somehow I caught something reeeeally tiny on a rock just as it got washed off. It took some looking but I managed to rescue this littlest of mantises and brought him inside to get the following vid/pix and let it dry off before returning it outdoors.

It’s odd how you can get the biggest sense of accomplishment from the smallest of acts.

mini mantis movie link

No April Foolin’! Susan and I brought Ranger with us and drove all the way out to Wind Wolves Preserve near Bakersfield and enjoyed its magnificence via an eight-mile hike up a canyon and back along a plateau. Here’s a two-frame 360-degree panorama of Ranger and Susan with seemingly the entire park to themselves somewhere between the fourth and third mile markers of the Tule Elk Trail (I’d encourage clicking to embiggify the image):

From the kitchen window I spied this little red-headed bird sippin’ and scratchin’ and shakin’ for a spell in the backyard fountain…

Then here’s Patchy Cat entranced by the same birdy during a replay on my computer…

Next Page »