Animal Magnetism

Anne Kimball

Life on the Funny Farm

I've said it a million times. I don't have a green thumb.
I do, however, seem to have a hairy thumb. Or at least I used to.
The quality of the care of my critters appears to be indirectly proportional to the number of children I have.
Stupid critters haven't gotten the memo, though.
They keep finding me.
For example, on my birthday, we were driving to dinner, when I spied what appeared to be a hawk in distress. Before Fred could say "late to dinner", he was making a u-turn. But as it turned out, what I thought was a hawk hanging upside down by his talons caught in netting above a Little League field, was just the hawk trying to eat a bird that had died in said netting.
Disaster averted.
Walking back to the car after dinner, I spied a little kitty wandering the parking lot. With no houses anywhere nearby, and a busy highway not far away, I figured he was doomed. Soon enough, most of the kids and myself were trying to chase him down in the parking lot, getting down on all fours, peering under cars, shining flashlights hither and yon, but to no avail. We finally had to console ourselves with the knowledge that there were dozens of workers at this strip of restaurants, and surely someone would find him and get him to safety.
Then a couple of weeks ago, the stray cat that had been slinking around our barn for some time finally decided we were trustworthy enough to befriend. She is now living on our front porch in a box filled with blankets, and a never-ending supply of chow and water and belly rubs. We're trying to find a home for sweet little Miss Kitty, and oh by the way, she seems to be pregnant.

You can add her to the list of cats that seem to find us, including Mamfy and Mali who live with us permenantly; like the stray we call Smoky Joe that lives in our barn; and the new long-haired grey, as yet unnamed, that showed up last week.
Of course, cat food on the porch has led to a new critter in town.  Another grey, only this one has beady eyes and a revolting rat-like tail.  A possum.
Then last week, my husband's birthday, actually, there was a bird loose in the house. It somehow flew down the chimney and found its way out in our basement. I caught him with a towel and set him free, but not after he gave chase to myself and four crazed kitties hungry for a little afternoon snack.

This is all just in the last few weeks, mind you.
Yes, animals seem to be drawn to me as if by magnetic force. 
I don't know why.
I do know that the balance point has been tipped.  I am no longer in control.  I am overworked in my duties as zookeeper.  The dog-hair dust bunnies have begun to breed prolifically, I buy more cat food than cereal, and I shall soon be responsible for finding homes for kitties for God's sake.
If something's going to be attracted to me magnetically, why can't it be chocolate or my couch and heating blanket or wine or George Clooney?
Why kittens and fledgling starlings?

Help Wanted: Assistant Zookeeper No pay, but you get to pet soft things and clean up lots of poop.
Any takers?


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