Fur — a bit of fluff…

If there were a pill that would make me grow fur, I’d take it in an instant.  Fur is soft, beautiful, warm, and a natural sunscreen.  Furs were used as money here in the Pacific Northwest in the 17th century, like tulips were being used in Holland.  Furs and tulips both have a sensual beauty, a magic, that everyone agrees has value.

We live in a fiber rich environment.  It’s the light, not heat, that triggers shedding, and on this Midsummer’s week when the sun rises at 5:14 a.m. and won’t set until 9:12 p.m., the fur is flying around here.  Fibers stick to our corneas and hang from lampshades.  We inhale them, drink them in our coffee, and watch them float across the room like bubbles.  Clops of fur glued together with sap and seeds dot the landscape.

Actual critter fur samples

But it’s this fur that is the big lure for our three Twenty Somethings, who are all working full-time, real-life regular jobs in the Emerald City this summer, and crave the comfort of fur, as well as long naps and good food, to recover after the work week.  They come here separately or in pairs and sit with the finished-shedding dog and still-shedding cats for hours.

Yes, catS.  Ditto, our younger daughter’s visiting cat, who dislikes our tabby Garfield (a lot, apparently…), is staying with us for ten more weeks until she returns to her duties at nursing school.  We put her on Craigslist and our older daughter, a social media maven, put her whiskers out, but people who want a cat now can have their pick of kittens, and anyone who loves cats and just wants another one already has one, and Ditto just doesn’t like other cats.  AND our daughter just broke up with her boyfriend and needs her cat.  This daughter also wanted to cut her bangs this weekend, an archetypal impulse.  Women cut their hair after relationship break-ups.

The CATastrophe was a month ago now, and the whole upsetting issue is finally resolved.  Ditto has the cat condo and the east side, Garfield has his little trailer house and the west side plus the inside of the house.  In between is Ruby, who they both like, and a spray water bottle which either one will experience with any hissing or growly-prowly posturing.  Détente.  Compliance not optional.  Sort of.  They’re doing better.  We have yet to squirt one of them, but we told both cats and the bottle stays in plain sight.

Ditto in her eastside cat condo

Time-out.  A retreat.  A nap.  That’s what this place is to the kids.  And as they pick up the dozen eggs on their way here on Friday night as I requested, they joke about whether or not we will ever get the chickens, much less the goats.  We explain that we are doing all of our fencing grief up front.

Fencing in front of the goat barn, with coyote-proofing trench which will be filled with cement. In the area where Ruby is, the fencing will go up to the roof. A solid outdoor cage...hopefully coyote and cougar-proof.

We point to the finished hoop house, make them walk through it and check the temperature.  It’s 105 degrees!  Too hot.  Open some doors.

Two-week-old corn and pumpkin plants, started in the hoop house, and transplanted to the garden. I'll let the corn get going and then plant the pole beans next to them so they can climb the stalks.

And then they return to the napping house to pet Ditto and sip a bowl of homemade chicken soup before falling into bed.  Fur, food, sleep.  It’s worth a lot.


6 responses to “Fur — a bit of fluff…

  1. Reading this made me think of fur, and the various associations it has/had. First off fur=luxury, back in the 50’s every housewife wanted a mink coat or at least a stole. It was luxurious, and a status symbol. I remember when I was in school, all the girls had rabbit fur coats in the winter….except me. I thought it was incredibly vulgar to kill a rabbit just so I could look stylish. But then again, that was no sacrifice for me…trendy, I am most assuredly not! I have had dogs all my life and I am well familiar with shedding. My first dog was a miniature Poodle, Sugar, and she and I would do everything together. I spent many afternoons brushing out her beautiful white hair so she would look stylish…ironic isn’t it! LOL I am very happy to read this issue this week, and it couldn’t have come soon enough. Work has been going great for me personally, but all up and down the line people have had short tempers, arguments are popping up everywhere. So, not surprisingly, you and I both have had to deal with the fur flying, but in different ways. I love your “blog” Christi, and I will wait patiently again until next Thursday. I promise to try very hard not to get my dander up! Say Hello to everyone at the Farmlet, Human, animal, vegetable, and mineral, and give yourself a big hug! Be talking to you soon.

  2. Christine Widman

    105 degrees – too hot in the hoop house.
    Here in the burning country it’s too hot period. The idea of fur is unimaginable. :-))
    Driving home from Flagstaff two nights ago – at 11:30 pm in Phoenix it was 97 degrees.
    A new fire has started in one of our favorite canyon areas and I am thinking of the hummingbirds there. Their iridescent feathers. Hoping they have flown away from the flames.
    While on our road trip, I was thinking of hair.
    ( I always find it a wonder how our minds roam in similar patterns. And yes…hair is archetypal. I cut my long to my waist blond hair in a subconscious stress sign of protest during our move from the east coast to the west coast.)
    We have a family of blondes. Light hair in sunshine – how it reflected on our grandson’s white head as he climbed down into the dark kiva at Mesa Verde. How I had to think at Canyon Lands and Goblin Valley of covering the grand-kiddos heads from the bright sun.
    Sometimes I wonder at how actually unprotected we humans are – considering the heat and cold conditions of our planet.
    The “fur” diagram – an “lol”
    Question: your coyote proofing trench will be “filled with cement” – is that to make the trench walls smooth so a coyote would slide and not be able to get enough “purchase” with their claws to jump the fence???

    • Christine, I love your descriptions of the hot Arizona life. It’s like we live on two different planets — it’s 45 degrees here at 9:30am!! And I do love hair. Fur just seems like perfect hair!:) Regarding the cement in the fence trench, it stops the DIGGING of the weasels and coyotes. Digging under the fence is the biggest problem. The cement also anchors the fence.

  3. Christine Widman

    Hi Christi,
    Dennis is out photographing in Florida (Floor-ee-da/spanish for flowered) Canyon. Some rarer Hummingbirds hover there.
    I’ve been re-reading your blog for the sheer renewal of it.
    It struck me that I was heat anxious at this same time last year.
    Here – now – No monsoons yet. Desiccated prickly pear and rabbit ear cactus.
    Yet the rains came then and the cactus survived and thrived. And so did I.
    Always the desert is a testament to resiliency.
    Still I’m doing my prayers to the rain gods.
    And again, now like then, we have spent one-on-one time with our grand-kiddos.
    They were here for 4 days.
    I bought my grand-daughter a “wedding” coloring book that she spied on a store rack…”Oh Grammy, I just have to have it because I need to know about weddings!!!”
    Her auntie is getting married here in October and our grand-daughter is going to be the “Jewel Fairy” – carrying the rings.
    She dedicated herself every day to her coloring book while wearing a hippie-gypsy bangled spangled diaphanous long skirt that she saw at Savers and swooned over. I couldn’t resist buying it – the image of her long blonde hair and flowing skirt brought back the flower children of my long ago youth. Hair. Family. Rain. Friends.
    Yes, it is worth a lot.

    • Oh, Christine, I wondered who was registering all those visits on the blog last night! And what a compliment that you reread them for renewal. Thank you.

      I love the image of your beautiful granddaughter in that hippie skirt working in her wedding coloring book! “I need to know about weddings!” LOL How exciting that she is the official Jewel Fairy. Love to you!

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