Category Archives: Effieland

It’s my catnip and I will defend it!

20171016_110321Effie is an only Cat, and she is very sweet, but she will not readily share her toys or her food, or especially her catnip growing in a large plastic flower pot (visible in her front paws) in Effieland!

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Filed under Cats, Effie, Effieland, Gardens, Home Life, Photos

Delicious Flame (Grapes)

I had  finished my chores and eaten lunch, and decided to go outside to Effieland and pick some more Flame grapes while proprietress Effie napped inside.

I picked a pound and five ounces in a couple of minutes, and it took another 10 minutes or so to rinse and stem the grapes. Effie slept through the whole project, completely incurious.

Flames are now my favorite variety of grape. They are sweet with zing, and festively colorful.

Earwigs tend to like grapes as well. Earwigs are also my least favorite bug. With fair consistency, one will emerge from the grapes while I am rinsing them and race creepily along my hand. One did this as I rinsed the grapes I picked today. I flicked the slithery creature into the drain and provided  a hot-water escort to hasten its journey.

Flame grapes

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Filed under Effieland, Fare, Gardens, Home Life, Nature, Photos, Rural life, Seasons

Effie Runs off a Herd of Deer

Nine young female mule deer formed a troupe and congregated on our property this morning, and Effie was not welcoming. She gathered a look like thunder in grey clouds. She stuck a menacing paw through the fence surrounding Effieland.

She has done this to Cat Halvor, who is close to twice her weight, and this morning she deployed The Look and The Paw and sent nine does hightailing it away and out of sight in a few seconds.

Good for Effie, defender of our grapes she understands are important! The grapes were well out of reach for the deer, but they turned tail and ran when Effie’s power paw came through the fence. The deer evidently had no sense that a fence kept them apart from Effie, as well as keeping them from the grapes.

This all happened as I watched through the window, and the deer were gone before I could fetch my camera. I have these photos from previous occasions.

Warning yowl directed at Halvor. . .

 The Paw says she means it. “Does this look like Halvorland to you?”

I mean it. Any further questions?

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Effie and a too-close goldfinch encounter

Effie has never killed a bird, but her chasing of birds has resulted in a few avian injuries. She has injured them but backed off and let them recover and fly off. This morning was different. Looking out the window, I saw her tossing a tiny bird in the air, batting it, and catching it with her paws and her teeth. When the little creature hit the ground without getting up, I intervened.

Effie lay down on her haunches next to me while I examined the little bird, a tiny female goldfinch. Her eyes were closed, but she was breathing. One wing looked disjointed. She flexed her feet continuously, and I thought it could be rigor mortis.

The birds who have hit the ground of Effieland stunned have been ones who entered through the fence and eventually crashed into the outside of our house and simply landed there, stunned for a while. Effie always left them alone to recover, and eventually they regained the strength to return through the wire fencing and depart. Invariably these birds were mourning doves. They were large and strong and canny, and Effie only chased them when they were flying and her attempts to snag them were thwarted.

The goldfinch was very small, and I was furious to see Effie playing a catch-and-launch game with it. When the little bird hit the ground and didn’t get up, the game was over. I gave Effie to understand that I was her prey’s protector. She yowled to return to her garden, but I stood fast. She was grounded whether she understood the reason or not. She is napping peaceably in her chair.

I went out to the spot where the bird had been after about an hour, grim at the thought of Effie’s first bird kill. But the little finch was gone! She had left her spot and I could not find her anywhere in Effieland, though it would be almost impossible to see her among all the vegetation. In any case, Effie is not there for now, and no other predators can get in.

Thanks to God’s preserving grace, this tiny female goldfinch is a true survivor!

AFTERWORD: Confident that the little goldfinch escaped, I relented and let Effie out to resume her proper role as sovereign of Effieland. She played cat and bird too roughly, but the bird evidently survived and will likely select gentler play companions in the future.

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Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Nature, Gardens, Birds, Cats, Effie, Effieland, Photos

The Heart and Mistress of Effieland

My name is Euphemia, Effie for short. My people have a garden named Effieland, and it is a place where I love to prowl, hunt, and nap, and eat a variety of delicious grasses. In summer and early fall, my Mom picks a few fresh catnip leaves for me every day from a flower pot of catnip my Dad planted. I also hunt bugs and run and jump a lot here, so I get lots of healthy exercise, in sunshine, rain, and snow.

My Mom is paranoid about foxtails, which are sharp little spears of brome growing in Effieland. She is afraid the foxtails will penetrate my skin and cause an abscess. This happened to a dog she had a long time ago, and the vet had to operate to remove the sharp little projectile. So she combs me every time I come indoors! But foxtails are very bad, so I let her comb me and I only leave a few teeth marks in her hands if I get playful or just bored.

I love Effieland because I am the Effielander, and Effieland is my dominion–but I do let my Mom and Dad pick grapes, berries, and tomatoes from the vines they planted. I just don’t understand why they don’t like to eat bugs! Bugs are so delicious!

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Effie greets the welcome rain

The rain is beautiful, I suppose largely because it was so long awaited. Effie put up quite the Royal Fuss to enjoy its delightful wetness on her fur, and to show me the wonderful mud she will present when her toes step back indoors and onto the polished wood floors. (I honestly can’t remember right now what sort of wood they are, but they are fairly resilient.)

The fires are out, at least for now, and the grey sky bears rain instead of smoke. The soil is well soaked, and the autumn rain has taken up its annual needed and prayed-for roles, one of which is Effie’s happiness.

Effie rockets off into Effieland after some extensive pining.

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Smoke: The sequel

Smoke is no exception to the rule that the sequel is always worse. Probably because of the wind direction, the smoke from a new batch of forest fires surrounds us. The smell is the worst yet. The basalt hills are not yet completely screened out, but this time we are surrounded on all sides. It’s thick. Effie of course wants to be out in Effieland. I picked some catnip sprigs for her to eat indoors. She was momentarily compensated but now wishes to be let out again.

It’s going to be kind of a day here. . . .

Effie looks longingly through the window at her beloved Effieland  and I try to combine consolation with my chores. She caught and ate a tiny bug, which brought her transitory happiness.

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