From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Stinky Stuff

All In The Family... More About Birds and Animals... The Rural Life...



I tried some Google searches tonight to see if I could find an explanation of why our cat Skittles likes to roll in powdered cow manure every spring.

I found several discussions of dogs rolling in stinky stuff, but not a single mention of cats indulging in this behavior.

The main theories I read for dogs are:
  • a. They enjoy the strong smell and want to wear it. (Variation of this theory: They are so excited when they find a strong smell in large quantity, that they roll in it to celebrate.)
  • b. They have an ancient instinct to mask their scent so they can hunt better.
  • c. They cover themselves with the scent so when they get back to the pack, everyone will be able to smell the latest dog news.
Skittles has opinions about bad smells. For example, one day after lunch, she found a small piece of cooked broccoli under the table. She checked its smell thoroughly and then tried to scratch the floor and cover it up. Apparently she thought broccoli was something that actually belonged in the litter box. (I agree with her, by the way.)

I'm surprised (or I would be if I weren't accustomed to Skittles's strange ways) that she wants to bury a piece of broccoli, but she will go out to the neighbor's barn and roll in cow manure.

I guess it's Skittles's idea of a refreshing spring tonic! She's well dosed with Frontline, so it shouldn't be a flea control mechanism.

She came inside to eat a couple hours ago, perfumed in Funky Barnyard Essence. I put her back outside. If she doesn't have herself cleaned up when I let her back in, I'll have to wipe her down. My nose and her nose don't have the same preferences.


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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.