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Animal Farm

Oh, hey - I'm back in Boise! What am I doing here? Well, I didn't actually do much in Boise during my brief stay last year. If you know me, you know I'm an introvert. And if you know introverts, you know we need some alone time to recharge. When I was here last time, I had just spent a week in Banff with one friend, met up with a few other friends at Mt Rainier for a few days, and then met up with a cousin I'd never met before in Yakima. So, when I got to Boise, I mostly vegged out. 

Now I'm here again for a two and half weeks and ready to go out and explore. But did I come back here deliberately to explore? Actually, no. I didn't entirely stay holed up in my little AirBnB last year. I have an old high school friend in Boise, someone I hung out with a lot back in the day but didn't really keep up with too much post-school. She's been living in Boise for a long time and we met up for dinner last year. And that meeting turned into an invite to housesit this year with all her critters (well not the dog - the dog went with them) while her family went up to Canada for a few weeks to their second home. 

Since I didn't really explore Boise much last time and location & timing-wise it made sense, I said yes. So here I am on my first official housesit. Bringing in the mail, watering the plants, feeding the animals, aaaaaaand cleaning lots of poop. Kind of gross, but pretty simple, really. I'll post about Boise later, but in this post, I'd like to introduce you to my temporary feathered and furry family. 

Ceres the Cat

I have a mild cat allergy but if I wash my hands after petting a cat and don't have cat hair all over my pillow and bedsheets, it's mostly fine. So I thought I could keep Ceres out of the bedroom, but the very first night there was much crying and scratching on the door to be let in. So never mind that plan.

Ceres had a few days where he was extremely affectionate and needy, but for the most part, he ignored me, frighteningly so. The first day I didn't see him for over eight hours and got super paranoid that maybe I had left the door cracked open when I went to get the mail or tend to the chickens and he must have gotten out and run away. I searched everywhere in the house. Seriously, everywhere, three times. I don't know where this cat's hiding spot is, but it's a good one. 

I think Ceres enjoyed the peace and quiet. The light in the stairwell to downstairs is on a motion detector, so in the evenings it would come on and I'd see him slink up the stairs. He'd look at me, look around to see if anyone else was here, and then go back down. Except sometimes when he'd go into the master bedroom to stare out the window.

Henna the Sun Conure

Unlike Ceres, Henna was very demanding. I think Henna really missed the attention of a house full of people. She would scream a lot whenever I walked by - and I mean scream. That bird is SO loud. And he just wanted to sit on my shoulder all day long. Which would have been fine if birds didn't poop every fifteen minutes. Seriously, this bird poops non-stop. 

When she got sleepy, though, it was very cute how she'd tuck herself up in the corner of this cage where the cage cover was draped. I'd pull the whole cover over at night so she could have some privacy, and in the mornings, she'd make these soft cooing sounds until I opened her back up to the world.

It was fun to play pirate for two weeks and I never would have just let her sit in the cage. That's cruel. Every animals needs stimulation and affection. We had some fun bath time too in the sink. But while it was neat to see what it was like to own a bird for a few weeks, but this is definitely not a pet in my future. 

Rosie and Gertie

While Ceres and Henna seemed to be truly confused about what happened to the people they knew - like they were in some alternate universe where the house was the same but the humans had changed - the chickens were clueless and just did their chicken thing.

The whole yard to my friend's property is fenced, so the chickens are free range during the day. They are inseparable and spent most days roaming the perimeter together and around the bases of the trees, hunting for insects. There was a large flower bush in the front yard that they loved to sit under for hours. A few times, I found them in the neighbor's yard. I don't know how they got over there, but they couldn't seem to figure out how to get back. 

When it was time to put them in for the night, I'd shake their bag of dried mealworms (a treat they are obsessed with) and they'd come running from wherever they were. Super cute.  

I don't eat a lot of eggs generally, but since they were right outside the door in the coop and fresh, I ate quite a few during my time in Boise. Chickens are pretty low maintenance and I could see me possibly owning some in the future, if I start traveling less for some reason.  

One thing I had to watch out for though, were the hawks. This pair was always up on the electric pole in the morning and at night, looking for a tasty meal. I have to say that it pleases me a little more than it should to say that they were watching Rosie and Gertie like, well, like hawks.