HONEY ROCK DAWN

To Bee III

I’d been told beekeeping goes from hobby to obsession very quickly, and though I heard this numerous times from numerous people, I remained skeptical. Obsession? I assumed hyperbole.

Well, let me add my voice to the chorus:
O  B  S  E  S  S  E  D !

I am obsessed with my bees, with all bees, and will do anything and everything I can to encourage others to become bee guardians, too.

I have a top bar hive, so I can only speak on that – I have no experience with Langstroth hives (the boxes) or Flow hives. Top bar hives mimic a hollow tree or other cavity that wild bees would naturally make their home. Put simply, Langstroth hives were designed to prioritize the beekeeper’s time and profits, and top bar hives prioritize the bees, giving them a home quite similar to what they would look for in the wild. It’s also much cheaper to get into beekeeping with a top bar hive – materials to build my hive cost $28 (even if you hired someone to build your hive [free plans are numerous online], it can be built in a day), and there’s no need to buy extra equipment like plastic comb foundation or a centrifugal spinner to harvest honey. To harvest top bar hive honey, you just cut a honey-filled comb off the top bar, crush it into cheese cloth over a bowl, and let the honey strain from the comb.

Speaking of honey: I am doing this for the bees, not the honey. I will harvest very little, if any, honey this summer. My bees are starting from scratch – they must build all their comb, plus expand their colony numbers, plus make honey stores to last the winter. Even in established hives, you just take surplus honey and leave them plenty to eat all winter and into the spring. Beekeepers get less honey from a top bar hive than a Langstroth hive, but more beeswax.

I have wanted to get bees for years but always put it off because I didn’t feel I had the time to take it on. Turns out, the bees really don’t need much of your time – in a top bar hive, they get on just fine without you! Bees have been living strong, happy lives in the wild for a very long time. I think a person could get a top bar hive, have a local beekeeper install the bees, and never touch it again. Like a birdhouse: no one pokes around in a birdhouse, they just provide a safe, cozy house for a bird. But, it also turns out, you MAKE time. Thousands of tiny seductresses lure you back and back again. It’s shockingly easy to make time for the bees. See: obsession.

I’ve also been pondering where people might set up community hive yards in suburban and urban areas, when having backyard or rooftop hive might not be feasible due to space, neighbors, or zoning. (A hive yard is a designated area for multiple bee hives, just as a stack yard is a designated area for haystacks.) Placing a community hive yard in public parks and gardens might not go over well with the general population. I must credit Mike with this brilliant idea: place community bee yards in the back of cemeteries!

Mike has an epic fear of bees but he, too, has fallen in love with my bees and is eager for me to get more. He hasn’t been in the hive with me, or even very close, but is taking baby steps to spend time with the bees and wants to build a bunch of hives.

Going back to bee fear – that’s big for some people. Bees have different temperaments, and it really depends on the genetics of the queen and the drone with whom the queen mated whether you have gentle bees or grouchy bees. Therefore, it matters where you get your queen – I got mine from local bee guys with a great reputation, and my bees are calm and gentle. They deserve respect, but not fear. Bees ask you to get calm and centered and to stay calm and centered. And to just slow down when you are with them. Zen and the art of beekeeping…..

Going into a beehive is like entering another world, another realm, and having a local bee mentor is so beneficial. Being able to shadow an experienced beekeeper diffuses all the giant question marks. My friend Carol let me tag along when she worked her hives last fall, and I credit an enormous percentage of my budding knowledge and success to her willingness to share her knowledge and success with me.

“In the hive” means taking the lid off the hive and lifting the bars out to check for the queen, for eggs (if you don’t see the queen but see eggs, you know your queen was A-OK three days prior), for cross-comb, to add room, etc. My hive has a false wall right now, about a third of the way back, so the colony is not overwhelmed by too much space and can regulate the temperature more easily. I’ve moved the false wall back once, and will move it again the next time I’m in the hive.

I’ve never used smoke with my bees; I don’t even have a smoker. Since Wyoming can be so incredibly vulnerable to fire in the summer, I wanted to be sure I could work with my bees without being dependent on a smoker. But this can be another layer of protection against bee fear.

Going into the hive disrupts the bees and I have to force myself not to do it as often as I want to. Right now I go into the hive about every two weeks, but I visit them and sit outside the hive with them and watch them fly in and out and listen to them through the walls much more often. My next hive will have a viewing window!!

I saw capped drone cells earlier in May, and saw a number of drones walking around the combs when I checked in on the bees over the weekend. This is proof my bees are feeling strong and confident. Drones are male bees (and they have no stinger). They don’t help out in the hive – they are not worker bees – and they will eventually fly off with the goal of mating with virgin queens that might be in the area. Even though drones are a drain on colony resources (honey, cells, care, etc), bees like raising drones in the spring. [edited to add: worker bees decide when and whether to raise drones (and queens, for that matter) – the male/female aspect not determined by chance as it is with mammals, it’s a calculated decision made ahead of time.] If one of these drones mates with a wild virgin queen, the genetics of this hive live on, elsewhere. If hives didn’t produce drones, there would be no males to mate with virgin queens and all bees would eventually die off. So, my colony is giving a lot of energy and resources to raising these drones, with no direct benefit in return, but they do it for the greater good. WE HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN FROM BEES.

Les Crowder, bonafide bee whisperer, has a wonderful little book called Top-Bar Beekeeping that I highly recommend, even if you’re not going to become a beekeeper and just want to learn more about bees and how you can support them. Even if you can’t keep a hive, there are many other ways to support the bees. We all make agricultural choices every day, even if we don’t realize it: FOOD = AGRICULTURE and FOOD = MONEY. Every time we buy food, we fund the agricultural practices that produced the food we just bought. Buying organic whenever possible is such an important part of being a bee guardian, especially organic meat and dairy! Corn is the primary staple of conventional feedlot and factory farmed meat and dairy, and corn is by far the biggest culprit when it comes to neonicotinoid pesticides, which are linked with Colony Collapse Disorder, which is decimating the bee population. As Les Crowder writes, “Bees are like the canary in the coal mine, letting us know our environment has become too poisonous.”

May I take a moment to rant? Why is it normal for people in the US to spend $40,000 on a car on credit (with interest and full coverage insurance on top of that), but then buy the cheapest food they can find? It’s so backwards! Spend less than $10,000 on a car and $10+/lb on meat and cheese and I’m willing to bet those same people would come out ahead in health and happiness… and financially. (And if you’re in the market for organically, ethically, humanely raised meat, may I direct you to Star Brand Beef – there’s just a few weeks left to order for July and August delivery.)

Anyway. I have been thinking so much about bees and mycelium and humanity. Our potential (ours as humans – the bees and mycelium are already honorably living up to theirs). How much we must remember and relearn. How diligent we must be in all our choices, because every single choice we make is linked with everything, everywhere.

butterfly

Epiphanies, Email, & EMDR

Back in December, I was talking with a friend about being stalked. It came up naturally in the midst of our conversation, I can’t remember how or why. I was stalked throughout the summer and early fall of 2010, and have felt “over it” for years. At some point in 2011, I actually felt bad for the guy, because he was suffering from mental illness and the court system totally failed us both. (To this day, I hold enormous anger toward the courts, for two reasons: 1) he was found guilty, convicted of stalking, and was allowed to walk out the courthouse door the very next day; and 2) the psychologist who administered the required mental evaluation declared his condition “beyond the scope of my expertise,” yet no other eval was done by a more experienced person, no treatment plan was offered or even discussed, and the whole issue – which was the crux of the larger issue – was completely ignored by the judge, the county attorney, and his court-appointed attorney.) When I found I had empathy for the person who stalked me for months, who harassed me daily, who eventually showed up with a loaded gun, I declared myself Over It, Zeroed Out, Free.

Back to the conversation in December with my friend: I mentioned that prior to his arrest, the man who stalked me sent me dozens of emails every single day, sometimes 50 a day – and the moment those words left my mouth, I stopped short. I couldn’t finish my sentence. It was like I was thrown into that cliche movie montage when all past events join together in one flash when everything clicks.

Epiphany.

THIS is my email problem. This is the source, the genesis. This is proof that, in fact, I’ve never gotten over it.

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you know about my email problem. I’ve written about it a number of times, I’ve tried to brainstorm various ways to get a handle on it. I haven’t been able to keep up with email since Charlie went viral back in 2007, and while that unanswerable volume was a source of guilt, it never caused panic and anxiety. It was simply an issue of time. I still enjoyed reading email and answering what email I could.

While I was being stalked, email was the primary, daily, method of assault, and checking email became a source of panic. Dread. Physical tension. It’s never gone away. Now, like then, when I check email I feel my heart beat higher and faster. Sometimes I mentally shut down, and, for hours or sometimes days, can’t click on the emails that come in. All this time, I have thought my email anxiety, and the incompetence that anxiety caused, was my failure. All these years, I believed it was an area of life in which I sucked and couldn’t improve, no matter how hard I tried. Now I realize this is the f*cked up way that f*cked up experience damaged me. How it has affected me on a daily basis ever since, how it has affected my business and my ability to do my work. It’s been seven years, and I still can’t look at email without my autonomic nervous system activating a panic response. Until my random December epiphany, I never put it together, never identified the timeline when the task of email shifted from “too many to keep up” to “if I touch this I might die.” All this time, it was my psyche having a reaction in my body – a total and complete rejection of email – in order to protect myself.

This issue of protection is multilayered. There’s the obvious part of becoming conditioned to fear new messages, of not wanting to see what came in, of bracing myself for the awful and the disturbing every single time I sat down to check email. But it’s so much more than that.

In the series I wrote on stalking, the first installment of which I posted the day after his sentencing, I shared a lot of details. But I didn’t share everything, because I didn’t know if it was over. I didn’t mention that a friend who worked at Google put some code on my blog to track his IP address and activity, and that the man who stalked me had been visiting my blog over 100 times a day. That works out to every five minutes for ten hours a day, every day until he was arrested. I didn’t mention that I had knives stashed everywhere, indoors and outside, including a huge chef’s knife I kept in my shower (I had no escape route from my shower, what if he showed up when I was in the shower?). And the bigger part of this issue of protection is not wanting to bring this on myself ever again. This makes me cry as I type. Because the man who stalked me was a regular commenter on The Daily Coyote. I recognized his name, as I do with all regular commenters. He wrote me a totally normal email in the early summer of 2010, and I responded. And then all hell broke loose.

I wrote back. I wrote back. Might I have saved myself the misery if I hadn’t written back? If I hadn’t responded? For another woman, the thought that haunts might be I walked home alone or I didn’t want to be rude or I had that drink or I trusted him. Even though the violence we suffer is never our fault, where else do you put the focus – by which I mean, how else do you protect yourself from that day forward – when you can’t trust others not to harm you?

This epiphany left me reeling. It was illuminating, and also depressing, and it made me really sad for myself and really, really angry for all the women who endure violence or assault or harassment, because violence against women is still, so often, minimized by men – “twenty minutes of action.” Yet, this is the aftermath. I have been affected every single day since 2010 and, as I wrote back then, I got the shrapnel version! I was mentally tortured for months, but I wasn’t hit, I wasn’t raped.

Along with the shock and the anger and the sadness that came with this epiphany, I also felt thrilled. Downright giddy. Because now that I had determined the true root of my email problem, I knew I could fix it with EMDR.

The first time I did EMDR was after my apartment building in San Francisco burned down, which also happened to be my greatest lifelong fear. I woke one night, at 3AM, to the sound of my neighbor’s screams. Flames were everywhere. I called 911 but wasn’t the first to do so. I ran out of the building barefoot, and to get out of the building I had to run past windows that were exploding from the flames. Two buildings were destroyed and two of my neighbors died that night. Afterward, the smell of smoke – even the scent of a distant barbecue – would send me into full-body panic-mode. Two sessions of EMDR cured that; I love the aroma of wood smoke in the winter air, and am typing through a haze of smudge smoke right now.

The second time I did EMDR was after being invited to give the commencement address at CSU. I wasn’t about to turn down such an honor, yet public speaking happened to be my second greatest lifelong fear. Three sessions of EMDR (plus daily meditation and tons of practice), and I rocked that speech.

I love EMDR is because it works fast. It’s like being in a dream. It’s often described as entering the REM state while being awake. And it works in spite of yourself.

I’ve done two sessions of EMDR for this, and have one more scheduled, and things are different. I still can’t keep up with the volume of email I receive. I still prefer to compose longhand than on a keyboard. But the fear is gone. The anxiety is gone. I don’t want to hide anymore.

Click HERE to find EMDR practitioners near you. Many offer a sliding scale.

Stand With Standing Rock: An Action Plan

{My mother forwarded me an “Action Plan” for Trump’s impending presidency. The following is my response. Please share.}

Much of what you fear under a Trump presidency is happening RIGHT NOW under President Obama against the indigenous people of Standing Rock.

1) State-sanctioned racism. The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was originally routed through Bismark, ND. The [white] people of Bismark said “no way, it’s too great a threat to our water supply.” So Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the DAPL, with the power of our government behind them, rerouted the pipeline through Sioux treaty land. Here is a map.

2) State-sanctioned violence against citizens. Attacks against the unarmed protectors at Standing Rock include the use of pepper spray (photo), concussion grenades, batons (video), LRADs, attack dogs, tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, and more. Also:
Women arrested for rioting (ie, walking in prayer) have been kept in dog kennels.
People have been held for 80+ days on trespassing/misdemeanor charges.
People have been shot in the head and back by rubber bullets at close range.
This woman may have her arm amputated after being struck with a concussion grenade (edit as per press release).
Another woman had her shoulder dislocated while she was being handcuffed.
Another woman was shot in the eye by LE and is now blind in that eye, likely permanently.
A man was hit with a club in the throat by law enforcement and sustained permanent damage to his larynx, can now barely talk.
((There are many more such incidents))
Stingrays and scramblers are monitoring and interfering with communication to and from camp.
Planes, helicopters, and drones buzz the camps (on private land) 24 hours/day despite private airspace laws.

Burial grounds on treaty land have been bulldozed and dug up for the DAPL. The Natives were kept away from this land by force – mace, mass arrests, beatings. Imagine a corporation bulldozing your sacred spaces, your grandparents graves, your memorials.

Last night, protectors tried to remove a blockade from Hwy 1806. In October, ETP and law enforcement erected this barricade by bringing in a pile of old vehicles setting them on fire. ON A PUBLIC HIGHWAY. This barricade of charred vehicles and razor wire means it takes twice as long for emergency services to reach Standing Rock via alternate routes, since Highway 1806 is still blocked. When the unarmed protectors approached the barricade last night, they were attacked with tear gas, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and sprayed continuously with a pressurized water cannon (think fire hose on steroids). The temperature was below freezing, mid to low 20s (ºF). According to reports on scene, law enforcement pivoted to tear gas the medics who were treating protectors for hypothermia and rubber bullet wounds.

This is our government right now. This is Obama’s America.

** The ACLU has been to Standing Rock; here is their report and their letter to the DOJ. Amnesty International has also visited Standing Rock, has condemned the excessive military violence and called on Obama to halt construction. Obama’s Attorney General has done nothing.

3) Mainstream media blackout and information manipulation. The big media outlets are not talking about Standing Rock. They are not showing images and video from Standing Rock. They share more details about Ivanka’s jewelry than about Standing Rock. Oh! And a journalist filming at Standing Rock faces 45 years in prison.

** The peaceful protests and non-violent work of the water protectors – and the attacks upon them by militarized police – have been going on since summer.

4) The US government using militarized force to defend corporate interests. This is the long and short of it. It’s not about where you stand on fossil fuels. It’s about the government taking Native land BY FORCE… AGAIN. It’s about militarized police using violence to defend corporate interests as they steal and desecrate the sacred land of the most marginalized group in the country. These people need your help and action NOW.

** It has been described as “a war zone” by US military veterans who have traveled to join the protectors.

Earlier this month, ETP was told to halt construction pending review of an easement by the Army Corp of Engineers. They have not stopped. They have built a giant wall around their work and are continuing to work 24 hours/day. And they have law enforcement protecting them.

Obama has done nothing to stop the theft of tribal land nor the militarized police violence against the indigenous people of Standing Rock. Hold Obama accountable.

ACTION PLAN:

1) Share this info. Talk about this. With everyone. “Thanksgiving” is a natural opening to discuss the abuse of indigenous people by the government.

2) Call your government. Here are tips for calling if you have social anxiety.
White House: 202-456-1111 & 202-456-1414
US Dept of Justice: 202-353-1555
Governor of North Dakota: 701-328-2200
North Dakota legislators: 1-888-635-3447 & 701-328-3373
Morton County Sherrif: 701-667-3330 & 701-328-8118
Army Corps of Engineers: 202-761-8700
Your Congresspeople: use the menu midway down on this page to find the names and phone numbers of senators and reps from your state (thanks to mlaiuppa in the comments for this addition)

3) Call your banks.
Many banks have invested in the DAPL: Wells Fargo, Citibank, Sun Trust, ING…. here is the full list, with phone numbers. MOVE YOUR ACCOUNTS. DIVEST. MOVE YOUR MORTGAGES. Inconvenient? Yeah, it is. Being an ally is inconvenient. They are banking (har har) on you not making the effort. Here is a handy, eloquent template.

4) Boycott.
Conoco, Sunoco, and Phillips 66 are behind the DAPL. Fill your car elsewhere.

5) Donate.
Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund. Oceti Sakowin Supply List. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Or you can send money with people going to Standing Rock who you know will use the money for supply runs as dictated by the Natives. This is actually a very efficient way to contribute.

6) Travel to Standing Rock / Help an indigenous person travel to Standing Rock.
**Please see Caitlin’s message in the comment section (#13) regarding helping an indigenous person get to Standing Rock**
If you go, first carefully read this and this (better yet, read the entire website).
If you go, don’t go to watch – go to stand with the protectors.
If you go, make sure you are set up to handle the weather – it is cold and windy.
If you go, make sure you bring MORE than you take/use and won’t infringe on their resources.
Anyone who goes can stay at my house en route.

7) Learn more:
Dallas Goldtooth
Tara Houska
Ruth Hopkins
Yaz Like Jaws
How To Talk About #NoDAPL: A Native Perspective
The Financial Powers Behind The Pipeline
Dakota Access Is In Financial Jeopardy
#NoDAPL

Please add your additional suggestions and resources in the comment section.

More Words

I want to clarify something.
Fear is not meanness.
Protest is not meanness.
Anger is not meanness.

FEAR
PROTEST
ANGER
are somehow being used interchangeably with meanness (by some).
are somehow being used to justify meanness (by some).

Bigotry IS mean.
Hate IS mean.
And while bigotry and hate often grow from fear and anger, these words are not all interchangeable.

I think it’s obvious to anyone who has spent mere minutes reading my work that I don’t support Trump, and I think Pence is the second coming of Satan. I’m glad that Mike didn’t support Trump. BUT. I have friends who voted for Trump. It’s not unlikely that 100% of my ambulance crew voted for Trump. Wyoming had the distinction of being the state with the very largest percentage of Trump voters in the nation. And maybe I’m being sensitive, or maybe I’m being naive, but I’m having a hard time with this sentiment: “Now I’m the person who doesn’t love you, Trump voters. I don’t want to be. But you hate your neighbors.” And this: “A lot of people’s terror doesn’t come just from Trump being elected. It’s knowing half the country is enjoying the pain of the other half.” And this: “A Trump supporter just followed me on Instagram. I’m not sure how I feel about this.” These statements are real, they came from very intelligent artists. These statements, and others like them, make me so sad.

It makes me sad because it’s more division. It’s division based on one thing. And whether that thing is superficial or not is up for debate and whether that thing is inherent bigotry or not is up for debate, but from where I stand in Wyoming – from my experience and that alone – I don’t agree that all Trump voters are bigots. I don’t think the blanket statements are helping anything.

And this does not negate the fear! It does not negate the anger, or disregard the protest! It can all be true. I went to Planned Parenthood on Friday for my annual exam, as I have always done. But I caught myself, as I was leaving my house, wondering if I was going to be shot to death during my appointment. My privilege – being white, in a hetero relationship, with a job that allows me to spend the majority of my time exclusively with animals – means I only feel this fear sometimes, not all the time.

I was riding my horse this weekend, wearing a tank top with Mapplethorp’s Flag printed on it (I have been riding my horse daily in tank tops in the middle of November in Wyoming, what is this world?). I was out in the hills, completely alone, no sign of human life, much less other humans. But I wondered to myself, what if I was wearing this tank top in public today? What if people who weren’t familiar with Mapplethorp’s work and life just saw me with the American flag on my chest? What would they think of me, just from that? How many would hate me, just from that? How many would fear me, just from that?

I received this in a email, and am posting it with permission:

“Several weeks ago my partner said she saw Trump as a heyoka (Lakota clown who mirrors the dark side). The heyoka’s role is to illuminate the shadow and ultimately help the people. In my prayer this morning, in despair at the election, I got back immediately that you do not engage the heyoka. You stay seated on the ground and you do not give into the fear that the heyoka creates. Stay in your prayer. Stay out of speculation. These just feed that kind of energy.

I got very strongly that the best medicine for us as a people is to keep our homes peaceful and calm, to engage in our community, to do all the small things that make up a good life, to remain kind and thoughtful, to stay in our prayer. We are part of the nurturing, and we have no idea how many of our small acts are helping other people, who go on to do other small acts. Strong community, strong neighborhood, strong households.

I have to say that usually my prayers are short and I don’t get a whole lot of words back, only a feeling or two. But this was a kind of torrent and as I stood there with my sage burning, the wind came up very strongly. Lastly, I got that humor, art, and ceremony are crucial in these times. I hope this is helpful. Big hugs to you all. I am so glad to count you as my community.

​Love, mitakuye oyasin (we are all related)” ​
–Caitlin Sullivan, Seattle

And lastly, this is really important. This is for everyone outraged by racism, white supremacy, the lies of those in power, the abuse of power by those in power, and systemic disregard for the environment. Please stand with Standing Rock TODAY!

Go to www.nodapldayofaction.org to find events in your area. TODAY. Trump has invested in two companies behind the DAPL, so if you want to hit him where it hurts, PROTEST THE DAPL.

Yesterday the Army Corps and The Obama Administration issued a statement that essentially told Water Protectors to wait. Today, across the nation, in every state, in every major city, we will tell the Army Corp and President Obama that their statement is not good enough. We will make it loud and clear that we demand a decision that honors Indigenous Rights, Human Rights, and Climate Justice! No easement for Dakota Access Pipeline! #IndigenousRising #NoDAPL #WaterIsLife

A photo posted by Dallas Goldtooth (@dallasgoldtooth) on

IVAN

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been down at the corrals this year. We turned the front yard into an ICU for Sunshine when he was declining in January – the corrals are down a hill and over another hill from the house and we wanted to keep Sunshine close to us. The yard became Sid‘s playpen when he was born this spring, and it naturally became the place where I helped him bond with Daisy, and, at that point, I just started milking Daisy in the yard, too.

So, I’ve only been down at the corrals a handful of times, when we’ve needed to sort cows or tag calves. Just over a week ago, we took Sid, Roxy, Ixchel, and a couple of other calves to the corrals to wean them. Ixchel, Fiona’s calf, is gigantic. She is nursing solely for comfort at this point. And Daisy was producing SO much milk – she is such a devoted mother – that she has become too thin. The more food I gave her, the more milk she would make – she never gained any weight herself. She became so thin, I became worried for her well being in the inevitable cold and decided we must wean for her sake.

Whenever we wean, we put the calves in the inner corral and leave the outer corral open to the pasture. This way, the mother cows can go in and out of the outer corral and spend as much time as they like right next to their calves. They can sleep and eat side by side, see and smell and talk to each other, and the entire process is very calm for everyone. And very quiet. When calves are weaned and immediately taken away from their mothers (which is the norm), the calves and mother cows cry and call out for each other for DAYS.

The morning after we weaned, I walked down to the corrals with Chloe to check on everyone. I happened to arrive just as Mike was driving up with some hay for the calves. I was standing in the inner corral petting Sid when I heard a very loud meow. An urgent meow. Crouched in the dirt, not three feet from where I stood with Sid and Chloe, was a soggy little orange kitten. I called to Mike, but when he came over, the kitten scampered away and huddled under the railings of the round corral. I threw Chloe’s leash to Mike and scrambled over the railings, dropped into the round corral, and crept towards the kitten. It looked awful – I couldn’t tell if it was sick or crazy or just weak. I took off my t-shirt, and while the kitten was focused on my shirt in my left hand, I reached my right hand behind him and plucked him from his hiding spot by the nape and wrapped him up in my tee. And then. And then! When I held the little bundle against me, he started purring!

We zipped over to the vet, and I’ve spent the last week IN LOVE. He is 11 weeks old. He is neither sick nor crazy, he just needed food and care. We don’t know his origin story – my vet believes he was feral, Mike wonders if he was abandoned. I think the stork of souls dropped him in my path. He’s very likely Eli’s kin. To honor this, I chose a name that begins with the “long i” sound that Eli ends with: Ivan.

Ivan and Chloe are pals – Chloe lets him climb all over her and they are very sweet together. Charlie is really calm and submissive with Ivan but Ivan wants nothing to do with Charlie. Mushy is pissed. She has never not been the baby of the house and she is furious. She’ll get over it. Mushy always seemed so little, but she is positively gigantic compared to this kitten! He is tiny. But his paws are not, and he is already noticeably larger than he was a week ago. He purrs whenever I touch him. I have spent so many hours supine because he fell asleep on me…. and I consider it time very well spent. Here are pictures! If the embeds don’t work for you, you can see them (and more) HERE.

A photo posted by Shreve Stockton (@dailycoyote) on

A photo posted by Shreve Stockton (@dailycoyote) on

A photo posted by Shreve Stockton (@dailycoyote) on

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