On Saturday, August 24, 2019, the largest tree in our yard, a Black Locust tree that might have been as old as our Eisenhower-era home, changed its stance from vertical to horizontal. Enjoy the ride – and click any pic to imbiggen it!

Friday, August 23, 2019. Last known living photograph of the deceased.

The intrepid team of After Hours Tree Service spent some time wandering the back yard, deciding where they wanted to lay the tree down. And darned if they didn’t put it EXACTLY where they planned to. They made it look easy. Chainsaw out a wedge facing in the direction of the fall, then go around and make a deep cut right behind that, and let gravity take over. The tree cracked twice, loudly – and the cliches are correct! It sounded like gunshot. I don’t have words to describe the sound of it slamming onto the lawn.

After The Fall: Comes the Chipping. Much less exciting and glamorous than the CRACK CRACK THUMP part. The guys cut small branches off the felled tree and fed them into an industrial chipper, which shot the chips into the back of that white truck.

The chipper was super-impressive… until it jammed. They had secret meetings, poked it a lot, drove off, came back, and then it was working again!

Cutting branches loose from a tree this large reminds me of sharks feeding off a dead whale. Sorry, I watch a lot of documentaries.

And when they went to cut the main trunk in half, BOING! The tree had other plans. I had no idea it was a spring-loaded tree, but that was fun to watch.
We’d requested that a few feet of stump be left intact, for future creative purposes. Incidentally, directly under that felled trunk are a bunch of hens and chicks plants. About half survived, and the other half were turned into Has-Been Hens and Chick-en McNothings.

Yep, that’s a rotten spot in the stump’s center. No worries, we have a cunning plan. It involves expanding foam. 😀 But first we’re going to let the stump dry out and settle. The roots are still trying to ‘feed the tree’. This may take a while. Stay tuned.

The view from my Girl Cave was a BIT different that day.

Chives watched everything from a safe spot with a great view. As you can tell by his body language, he was quite distraught. (He didn’t even flinch when the tree cracked and slammed onto the ground! That boy is fearless!)

Chives Discusses the Health Benefits of Catnip

Good Day, Humans!  My name is Chives and I’m a special guest blogger today. Don’t tell Ceejay, she’s already jealous enough of my quick wit and classically handsome looks.

Anyway. I’m here to bring you an important message from the Cats Lofty Association of Whiskered Society. You may know us as CLAWS.  You may also recall our last educational campaign, “Tuna: Get It Out Of The Sea And Into Our Bellies”.  Our current campaign is “Catnip: Better Living Through Herbs”.   Be good to your feline friends, give them catnip often! Really, it’s like you drinking that herbal tea, right? That’s healthy for you, right?  Same thing, my friend. Same thing.

My humans have been well-trained in the art of Feline Herbology. In fact, this Christmas (which fell on January 17th due to something called an “Ice Storm” back in December), my human aunt gave me the most thoughtful present anyone could ever give a cat.  Let me tell you about it, with pictures, since really, the internet needs a LOT more pictures of me. Speaking of, if you just can’t get enough of me, Like my Facebook Page!

Today I want to demonstrate the benefits of giving your cat the best gift of all – catnip. Note: All photos were taken by Caribou Ken, who laughingly thinks he’s the Alpha Male of the house. Due to my quick movements and thrashing about, many many photos were attempted. These are the ones that did not blur.

A Bag! And Crunchy Paper! And another Bag! And something inside THAT!
A Bag! And Crunchy Paper! And another Bag!

I was presented with a festive gift bag from my human Auntie, filled with wonderfully crunchy paper. Inside the paper was a small plastic zipped bag. I knew I needed to get to work to find out what was in the little plastic bag.

One must never overlook the possibilities a bag, ANY bag presents.
One must never overlook the possibilities a bag, ANY bag presents.

When opening gifts, NEVER overlook the opportunity to fully explore and celebrate the packaging. As you can see, I have located the gift, but it must wait until I’ve finished with the bag.

I unwrapped the mouse all by myself!
I unwrapped the mouse all by myself!

Moving on from the bag, I picked up the plastic wrapped item. My sharp eyes have detected that it is a mouse, somehow trapped inside. I must free it!

Catnip Effect #34:  Reverse Vampire Mode
Catnip Effect #34: Reverse Vampire Mode

SUCCESS!  I have freed the mouse. Through cunning use of technology, the beast has been taxidermied and stuffed with Mother Nature’s finest gift to felines – CATNIP.  My joy was beyond measure. The mouse is made of something called ‘felt’, perfect for snagging deftly with one’s claws to toss joyfully in the air and then give chase to. I find that catnip mice are perfect for throwing down a staircase, chasing after, and bringing back up again. My humans were a bit alarmed at my facial expressions, but rest assured I am acting perfectly normally, considering I am now stoned out of my gourd.

YOU grow up. I'm too busy having fun.
YOU grow up. I’m too busy having fun.

This is one of those shots that might haunt me later in life, especially if it ends up captioned on that ‘Cheeseburger’ site. But the joy and bliss MUST be expressed!

Thank you for the thoughtful gift, Auntie!
Thank you for the thoughtful gift, Auntie!

Eventually I sobered up. But I’m not letting go of the mouse. No way.  MINE. Although, occasionally it vanishes and I longingly await it’s return.  I’m not sure where it goes, but sometimes I see a mysterious mason jar that I have noticed contains something mouse-shaped.  After a time, the mouse is returned to me for more wonderful bouncy fun playtime!

In conclusion: If a cat shares your residence, buy it a catnip mouse. A fat one. Made of felt. You will enjoy the antics, and your cat will be ever so grateful for your thoughtfulness.

And now I can add ‘Blogger’ to my resume!  Rowr!