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     My daughter loves her persians. They all came to her from hard times, hard situations. The black one was a stray on the streets and was being held at the Orange County Humane Society. When we went to see him, he was way back in a corner and completely aloof, he would make no eye contact – not even when picked up. Somehow my daughter knew this guy was for her. Mussa is now like a dog that follows her everywhere. He is very picky about her boyfriends and won’t warm up to them until they have been dating for a long time. If he gets mad at my daughter, he will go up to her and sit with his back to her in protest. It’s funny to see his personality come out.
      The second cat, black head, white body came from a lady who had fallen on hard times and had to sell her cat because she needed money.  The lady cried as she gave her up – We could not even see the cat until after the transaction. The poor cat was so sickly, but once again my daughter knew this bundle was for her. Lola and Mussa got along fine.
       Then came Coco, my daughter said it was the right time for number three. Coco was on a website for animals that had been rescued. Coco had been badly abused. She is a beautiful owl-eyed persian. She was  burned on her side. It’s sad how people can abuse animals, makes no sense to me, but I know what I would like to do to such creepy morans and waterboarding would be too nice. Luckily there are wonderful people who take abused pets in as foster parents and rehabilitate them like “A New Beginning Pet Care and Rescue” of Orlando.  The lady who rescued Coco thinks nothing of taking in animals that might otherwise be put to sleep. It’s so wonderful to know there are such genuinely concerned animals groups around, especially in these hard times.  
  My daughter thinks these cats are her children and speaks to them like they are.  They are spoiled ‘children’ having every new toy that comes out. The other day my daughter bought this battery operated mechanical, extended arm thing that has tips with feathers and things to entice the cats into playing with it. It also has variable speeds so the arm can go fast or slow. The cats seem to enjoy the slow speed a lot, this is one toy that has been getting a good work out. 
  As with children, sometimes the cats must get their hair trimmed. It was time for summer shave. Once a year, the cats get a nice cat-cut, they are shaved. Mussa and Coco got their cat cuts, Lola didn’t need one. An animal grooming service pulls up to the door and takes the pets out in their van and works their magic, the cats didn’t seem to mind. They were just glad to get back into the house. What is really funny is how the cat who did not get shaved became quite dominant and bullied the other two, ridiculing their cat cuts. The other two cats looked as if they felt very self conscious about how they looked, like they were naked now. They become so small without fur, but they feel like soft little chinchillas.
   I am so happy my daughter found three perfect pets for her. And even though they look like freak aliens with big puffy heads and tiny bodies from some farway cat planet, they still love to be loved and they love to give love…Hair or no hair…

    All but one of the pictures show a crane and cat encounter. Since the sandhills come and go throughout the neighborhood, they know how to navigate through the ‘locals’ without having a problem. The cats want nothing to do with the cranes, it would be like looking up in the eyes of Goliath for a challenge and none of the cats even risk it. It’s actually funny to watch the cranes chase the cats off. They don’t even bat an eye or raise their wings anymore, cats are just bigger rats to them.
  The baby crane’s face is changing color, he is beginning to lose the beige and start the gray and white phase. Underneath is a hint of the red that is to come. It is a wonderful metamorphose to watch over time. He’s still very baby like, and whines alot. He has a very lovely high pitched sound
that’s almost musical to hear, so different from his parents deep voices. His parents still are very protective and keep the cat’s and other animals and humans they don’t know at bay, that’s exactly the way it is supposed to work.
   The cats usually avoid confrontations, but once in a while the birds will just fly over and plunk down close by. And while cats are fairly bold, (and Ringo will go after the heron),  when those cranes come in for a full frontal attack and the cats see a beak that’s longer than their whole body coming after them, they do scatter like rats!

 P/S, click on the pictures a few times to magnify if you don’t see a cat, they are in all but one photo

 

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  The Anhinga are odd. They have paddle-like feet that make it awkward for them to land in trees. When they go swimming, they look like a snake gliding with half it’s body out of the water.  They dry their wet, raggedy looking wings by spreading them wide in the sun. Funny, I don’t see them in the rain. But when they fly overhead as I fish, they land on the pine tree quite clumsily wrapping those feet-paddles around a branch tightly and squawk loudly as if to say, “whoa, that was close.”

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