The Crew

We've got a pretty large, rowdy, and super fun crew up in this homestead.  Here they are, in order of when we acquired them.

Sun hunter extraordinaire
aka: Cuddle Ninja, Sir Gustifer, Gussy Pants, Gussy Wussy was a Bear
Alter ego: Jeffery 
Favorite Food: Sour Cream (otherwise eating, in general, is yucky.)

Gus is 11 years old.  He sleeps a lot, doesn't like to eat and thinks that calories can be obtained by sitting on someone's lap.  He's a very sweet kitty and wouldn't hurt a fly... unless it's a fly.  He's pretty good at catching and eating those.  He's known as the Cuddle Ninja because he sneaks up on you and you don't notice him until he's fast asleep on top of you somehow.  

The alter ego shows up a half an hour after he gets his anti-anxiety medication (to prevent him from peeing on things he's not supposed to whizz on.)  Jeffery runs around and beats the crap out of or humps the other cats in the house.  Jeffery also likes to make out and bite Shawn's head. Update: He's off the meds now, since we don't live with my sister's crazy kitty anymore.

Crazy eyes.
aka: Asshole, Mr. Grumpy Pants, Skipster, Skipface
Breed: Lilac Crowned Amazon 
Favorite Food: All carbs and currently dates.  (Not picky, as long as it's human food.)

Skipper's age has been roughly determined by a veterinarian to be about 58 years old.  (In human years.)  We adopted him from an older couple who found him in a tree.  They figured out his name when he promptly told them "Hello Skipper!"  They also found that he loves children more than anything when he let their grand kids play with him.  They took him to the vet who guessed his age at the time to be about 40 years.  They had him for 10 yrs and then we got him.  

Yes, Skipper is quite the grumpy pants.  His loyalties lie with whomever is the youngest person in the room, or someone he doesn't know.  My sister is his favorite, but I think he likes me enough to tolerate me so I can handle him also.  Shawn has worked really hard and has gained his respect and is now "loved" by Skipper as well.  Being loved by Skipper does not guarantee that he won't be an asshole to you though.

Skipper talks.  A LOT.  His main vocabulary is limited, with "Hello" and "Hello Skipper" being the most used.  When desperate, he'll throw out a "how are you?" or two... or eight.  He always responds to a sneeze by someone nearby with a sneezy sound of his own and will give out the quintessential catcall to anyone walking by our house.  He did that once to the shirtless neighbor coming home from his run, to my great embarrassment.  He also laughs.  It's a creepy deep belly laugh.  I think  he learned it from a large man.  He'll cry when it's bedtime and we put his sheet over his cage, and make kissy noises when trying to get your attention.  

The best trick he does is his singing.  Skipper is a terrible singer.  He can only sing about 3 notes and he makes sure to accompany them with a really strong vibrato.  We can usually get him to sing if we sing to him or dance, or both.  He started singing when he heard Justin Bieber once.  I bet now you're not surprised he's such a bad singer...

Yes, he's an asshole and sometimes he's screams to the point it drives you crazy, but he's also equally awesome.  How many people can say they have a pet that interacts with them?  He's incredibly intelligent and requires a ton of attention.  It's like having a toddler in the house sometimes.  We try to keep him occupied by moving him to a perch at our front window to give him a fun view and we take him to see groups of children every chance we get.  It helps that both Shawn and I are or have been in the childcare/education industry.  Skipper has made many a children laugh.  He's a good bird.

No one makes sitting in bags cooler.
aka: King Nikolai, Nickle Pickle, Mayor Nicklesworth
Favorite Food: All FOOD.  (He "dies" if he doesn't get fed promptly, leading him to "die" several times a day.)

Nikolai is 9 years old.  I acquired him when I said I would "foster" him for a few days.  Yeah, right.  I knew from the second I took him home that he would be mine forever.  

Nikolai has a crooked tail because he came from a house of a cat hoarder and is therefore the result of inbreeding.  But fortunately, that's his only flaw.  Otherwise, he's pretty much the coolest cat that there ever was.  He super confident and will walk into any room and flop down right in the middle of it as if to say "hell yeah, I own this joint!."  He's a true man and doesn't take to cuddling very often, but when he does ask for it, you have to drop everything and give him some snuggle time.

He's really cool.  If he was a human, he would be Brad Pitt... a fat, fluffy Brad Pitt who talks too much.

Sunbathing beauties.

aka: Queen Bitch, Aberforth, Abs

Breed: Barred Plymouth Rock

Favorite Food: Green leafy things, and squiggly worms (not picky)



aka: Franasurus Rex, Fran
Breed: Black Australorp
Favorite Food: Worms, grubs, corn, etc.

Abby is our #1.  She's the highest in the pecking order and she should be.  She's the smartest, most social, and averages an egg every 25 hours.  It's impossible to do any gardening with Abby next to you.  She thinks that playing in the dirt means it's delicious-worm-and-slug-buffet-time and will literally peck at or kick up the soil you're working with.  Many seeds have been planted and promptly dug up and eaten by Abby.

Frannie, who came in the same batch as Abby is our #2.  She's supposed to be more productive in egg laying than Abby but I think she gets lazy sometimes, so she averages an egg about every 28 hours.  Oh well.  She lays prettier darker eggs with brown speckles so I guess it's worth the extra wait.  She's taller and is scarier looking because she's all black and has these dark beady eyes.  Hence the dinosuar nickname.  But she's actually really sweet and is nice to the other chickens when Abby isn't watching.

They both act like little dogs in that if we're eating anything near them, they beg.  But they're much more aggressive than dogs because they'll do anything to get it from you, including jumping up on your lap and ambushing you from behind.  Damn dinosaurs.

They love each other.


aka: Pearly Pearl

Breed: Delaware

Favorite Food: Green leafys, etc.



aka: Elsie

Breed: Partridge Plymouth Rock (same as Abby, just a different color)

Favorite Food: Apples and Tomatoes

Pearl and Elsa are our second batch of ladies.  They're 11 months younger than Abby and Frannie.  We got them from a much more reputable source so I think their development was faster than the other two and they're overall healthier chickens.

Pearl is just like Abby in personality.  They like the same food, they're equally social, and therefore, they butt heads.  Abby really hates her, I'm assuming because she's threatened by her.  She's holds the very treacherous spot of #3 chicken.  But she's really smart and knows what she needs to do to survive.  And she's beautiful.  Well, they're all beautiful, but Pearl is white so that makes her extra fancy-looking.

Elsa is just like how Mabel used to be.  She's super dumb and is a total follower.  She can't really figure things out on her own and has to be shown how to do things by Pearl.  For this reason, she's at the bottom of the pecking order, but I don't think she understands that, and Pearl protects her from the other two so she's probably in a better place than Pearl.  I think she's as cute as a button.  Her beak is slightly shorter than the others' and that gives her face a rounder look that makes her look like a baby all the time.  Her feathers are the prettiest.

So that's our animal crew.  Life's pretty hectic around here with everyone needing attention and care all the time, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

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