Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Bane of My Existence

Ah...Baby Sage & Blue Bear
Way back in 2006 a young kitten and his friend were added to the household at Fairlight Farm.  I had recently lost my lovely sweet Salome kitty and Meshach was lonely again. (This was way back when I still was sane and had only two cats in the house at a time). Fortuitously a tiny little scrap of kitten showed up at my Mom's house, once I made up my mind to adopt a second cat again.  After a few weeks, I decided to take 'her', after getting it vetted and vaccinated.  Once tested and vaccinated and deemed a he, the little kitty moved in to  the house, with temporary quarters in a cat condo to help the introduction go well between him and Meshach.  But that is all another story.  The story here is that Sage as he came to be known, was sent along with a blue teddy bear from my Mom to help him settle in.  He loved his Blue Bear, and shortly after he got here he cottoned onto a little brown teddy bear that my niece had given me.  Brown Bear quickly replaced Blue Bear as the favored one, although until just a year or so ago, both were still in the running.  Recently though Blue Bear seems to have been retired. 
Baby Sage biting his foot..which he used to do allot--all of his feet--you can just see Brown Bear behind his neck

Now you might think according to the title of this post that Sage is the bane of my existence, and sometimes he has been.  Sage is very high strung and very quirky but he is still my big rotten boy and we deal with most of his silliness.  But Brown Bear is really pushing my limits.  Other than periodic washings Brown Bear lived a rather in the shadows type life until a few years ago.  Then one night one of the puppies got him.   It wasn't pretty.   Chunks of his back were gone, stuffing everywhere.   His little face was intact, thankfully.  I re-stuffed him, stitched patches over his holes and Sage had his friend back.  I also got in the habit of putting him up at night so that the puppies wouldn't get to him again.

Really...this expression sums Sage up in a nutshell--and yes, Brown Bear is at the edge on the right
However Sage loves his little bear and when he isn't carrying him around, crying like a wounded rabbit, he tucks him into the edge of a fitted sheet that covers one of the living room chairs.  This evidently keeps the other cats from 'discovering' this rare and precious treasure of Sage's.   Unfortunately I'm an out of sight out of mind sorta person, so one night I didn't put Brown Bear up.  Which would have been okay, but Sage felt the need to bring him into the 'puppy zone' and dropped him on the wrong side of the ex pen that separates the room from puppy to no puppy area.  
Baby Sage tries to kick the stuffing out of Brown Bear
This wasn't that long after the original mauling that Brown Bear suffered.  He survived his second mauling by a thread.   Oddly enough his cheerful little face remains intact.  Re-stuffed, with bigger patches applied, Sage was once more reunited with Brown Bear.  

Brown Bear & Baby Sage resting--BrB even still had a ribbon on his neck in those days
You have to understand that Brown Bear is a necessity.  If Sage is separated from him, then Sage turns surly, and morose and starts stalking Gabe (his evil twin separated by six years and less  hair) even more.  If he can tell Brown Bear his stories of a cruel world and the Injustice Of It All, then Sage can keep up the appearance of being almost normal. 

Baby Sage taunts Meshach with his BFF BrB
Sage is very High Strung and at times, surly and hard to live with.  He lives in angst most of the time.  And he bites.  And he is a very large cat with very large teeth.    Brown Bear is his drug of choice.  His 'binky' if you please. Hey, I understand, I had a 'binky' when I was little until my dog took it away from me.   Every effort is expended to keep Sage on an even keel.   For his sake and my sake.  

Sage & BrB...after assault one or two by the puppies....
Well, you guessed it, Brown Bear fell to the curse of the puppies yet again.  Most of the stuffing removed, holes ripped.  All in all though BrB was still functioning, if a little more limber, so I left him as was.  Maybe I even gave up the good fight for a time.    

After even more patches applied....
Then about a month ago, the nasty thing caught my eye, and upon closer inspection it was discovered BrB was not only half stuffed, in tatters, but had also got caught in the crossfire of the whiz wars.  Yep. 

BrB on his last leg....a far cry from that neat little bear of yesteryear

Wearing elbow length gloves, I took the rest of the stuffing out removed the old patches and immersed him in a long vinegar spa soak.   And I mean long.  Then it was two more soaks and washes in washing liquid.  Then a few days to air dry.   Then I forgot about him.  Then Sage started being a Stalker again, and was making Gabe even more twitchy, and even terrorized poor minding his own business Noah a few times.  The light bulb finally went on (remember out of sight out of mind).  BrB's lifeless shell was retrieved, new (clean) wool roving stuffed in and (more) patches applied, with an erratic line of hand stitches to close him up.  

And yet his little eyes still blaze bravely....
I ceremoniously presented him to Sage who was sitting on the back of the chair.  He looked at him, grabbed him by the head, bit him and threw him in the floor.  And that was that.  BrB was back but Sage wasn't letting on how happy he was until the audience left.  

Spa Soak number one
Life is back to normal again now.  Sage drags BrB around in his mouth wailing, and when he is done tucks him back up in the sheet.  Most of the time I remember to put Brown Bear 'to bed' at night on the high shelf.  Most of the time. 
BFFs once more....and I believe BrB is jauntily smiling!  (Really, squinch your eyes up...I'm sure he is...)

Wish I had a backup BrB.

I figure if I'm lucky we are only about half way through BrB's and Sage's  life span.  


Sue said...

I loved this post. I never knew a cat who had a stuffed friend but of course my Bailey has stuffed friends. She used to carry Monkey everywhere and when I saw that he was nearing retirement I was worried that she might not accept a replacement. Thankfully she now has several friends and each morning chooses one to carry around that day. Pink Bear has been her favorite till a couple weeks ago when Bunny moved into that spot.

Rae said...

That was a wonderful story. Lmao! Poor BrB!

My MiL's female Jack Russell has a big purple elephant that's pushing 12, I think. Zoey likes to hump it, and will lay in the living room, eyes half closed, blissfully mouthing it (no holes in that purple elephant). My MiL named it Bimbo. Lmao. Mostly because of the humping...

RationalSpin said...

LOL funny. Great post and thanks for great read. :)

thecrazysheeplady said...

How bizarre. But we would expect nothing less ;-).

Teresa Coltrin said...

Chloe had a turquoise bear that she kicked the stuffing out of on a regular basis--and loved with all her heart.

The Frugal Shrink said...

Poor brown bear!! What a life he has had. ;)

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, this is hilarious! I've never had an animal get so attached to a toy. You are such a good cat mother.

Kathy said...

I love it! Every cat needs a BrB Buddy!
Thanks for that bright spot in my day, Tam!