Respite Open Thread: Gabe’s New Adventure

Gabe got to go outside this morning. This was our second attempt. A few weeks ago I tried it and he headed to the gate, as if to leave, so I swooped him up and brought him back inside.

Zander and Gabe wishing I would go away

Today, I grabbed a cup of coffee and joined the cats outside, ready to snag Gabe if he tried to leave again. Instead, he was content to hang out by the catnip and roll in the grass.

This is how I usually train the cats to be backyard kitties. I hang with them and discourage them from jumping the fence or finding an opening I didn’t realize we had.  It takes a few times, but they always seem to get the idea. If they want to hang out in the yard, they must stay in the yard.

Emma joins the boys

I have also been known to send Bixby out after them to bring them back in. He’s very protective of his kitties. And I figure, better he scares them than the dog next door (even though the dog next door weighs all of 4 lbs and is terrified of the ducks).

To be fair, the only way to leave the yard is to jump the six-foot fence and for Gabe, that may no longer be a possibility. We don’t body shame here, but he seems to have grown as round as he is long.

Bonus Penelope (FKA Pearl):


Most of the white stuff in the water does not belong to her, but to my neighbors’ cottonwood.

Respite open thread

ETA: Someone added a “Duck Blogging” category and it wasn’t me! I swear.

39 replies
  1. 1
    Elizabelle says:

    I love Gabe’s face. And glad to hear Pearl is doing so swimmingly.

  2. 2
    debbie says:

    So much drama in your back yard!

  3. 3
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Hooray for duck blogging! Mets win, and the Bucs are up 1 against the Brewers.

  4. 4
    spudgun says:

    As always, love the critters, thank you for the pix! My fave Gabe has certainly become a chonky boi, hasn’t he? :-)

    I was actually hoping you would keep both names and call her “Penelope Pearl” – it has a lovely flow to it. Anyway, I will always think of her as Penelope Pearl. And she’s looking very healthy!

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    When the boss lady speaks, they know to behave. Just another day at the zoo.

  6. 6

    @spudgun: I actually do call her Penelope Pearl, but I’m assuming it will transition to just Penelope – unless of course she’s in trouble and I need to use her middle name.

  7. 7
    zhena gogolia says:

    Wow, I never had cats I could corral into a yard. But then I’ve never had a fence.

  8. 8
    PapuJones says:

    She really is a lovely duck.

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Pearl is so cute 😍😍

    Glad to see the kitties getting some outside time 🤗

  10. 10
    Betty Cracker says:

    I assumed you had added duck blogging — wasn’t me either! 🤣

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    @TaMara (HFG): OMG please don’t. That happens to be my middle name, so I know the fear involved in hearing it.

  12. 12
    John Cole says:

    I thought we had settled that the damned duck’s name was Pearl.

  13. 13
    Ixnay says:

    In an “Engineer’s Guide to Cats” they explain both “corporal cuddling” (as sort of punishment) and in lieu of body shaming, “aspect ratio drift”, as the cat’s chord vs it’s wingspan (length in this case) expands.

  14. 14
    Manyakitty says:

    I had no idea that ducks could smile. Lovely!

  15. 15
    spudgun says:

    @John Cole: You’re the one who wanted Penelope!

  16. 16
    CatFacts says:

    How cute! And in Gabe’s case, how… spherical. I say this affectionately, of course, since my former kitty was a LARGE long-haired tortie. ;) Seriously, he looks so happy to be with you. And so does Pearl/Penelope!

  17. 17
    Mandalay says:

    Since this is a cat blogging thread….I don’t generally go gaga over cat videos, but that changed when I learned via Digby of this incredible man, Sarper Duman, who has 18 rescued cats. He doesn’t do cat-being-cool videos; he does cat-and-human-interacting videos:

    I’m guessing he might be known here already since he has a large following on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, but it’s not often that a human deserves equal top billing in a cat video.

  18. 18
    MomSense says:

    Her name is Pearl!

  19. 19
  20. 20
    kindness says:

    Sure looks like a happy duck.

  21. 21
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    Not quite Central Park, but kind of in the vicinity.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    WaterGirl says:

    Raises hand. That was me, TaMara. We all love the ducks. I’m not sorry I did it.

  24. 24

    @Major Major Major Major: and I have pictures

  25. 25
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Sure looks like a happy duck.

    “Happy duck, keep squawkin’,
    Happy duck,
    Squawk about pools you’d like to swim….”

  26. 26
    J R in WV says:

    I thot Fishin’ in the park was illegal!!! ;-)

    I guess maybe except when you get a bird to do it for you…

  27. 27
    MelissaM says:

    @WaterGirl: If you weren’t working on the re-do…

  28. 28
    Yutsano says:

    Well in the annals of this damn blog and its quirks…

    I can’t seem to get it to open on the latest version of Firefox. It keeps giving me a time out error. I’d complain more except the site rebuild isn’t that far off.

    I hope anyway.

  29. 29
    debbie says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I miss Central Park more than just about anything else in NYC.

  30. 30
    debbie says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I once saw a cormorant lounging at the model boat pond. They are huge!

  31. 31
    realbtl says:

    I once floated by a Great Blue Heron in a inner tube. From 10′ away and at water level they are huge.

  32. 32
    CarolPW says:

    @Yutsano: Since mid-afternoon yesterday until about an hour ago I got the time out error on both Firefox and Chrome on my desktop, and on Chrome on both my tablet and my phone. Tablet and phone have no ad
    blockers, and only whatever setup comes on Chrome when you open the box. I think the ducks healed it.

  33. 33
    J R in WV says:

    I see on the news that President Carter, who broke his hip recently, had surgery to repair things, taught Sunday School this morning. Clean living pays off. Sorry he missed his Turkey hunting trip after his injury.

    What if President Trump broke a bone? Could he teach Sunday School after that? Really — could he teach Sunday School even without an injury? Has he ever attended Sunday School? Could he read the daily lessons to the folks?

    I did attend Sunday School, not that it took after I read the original texts, as opposed to the pictorial 3rd grade handouts.

  34. 34

    FKA Pearl it is.

    I read it as “fucking-aye, it’s Pearl!”

  35. 35
    MazeDancer says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Yes, was thinking that the main problem with keeping cats in the yard was lack of a 6 foot fence.

    But my spry cats would just think it was a fun thing to climb faster than I could reach them.

    My 3 shelter cats are the first I have not let outdoors. They do have a 3-sided screen porch which they love. One has gotten outside twice. Yard too big. Woods with coyotes and bears nearby. Just too hard.

    But, as always, love the Colorado Critter reports. Continued envy of your brood.

  36. 36
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Beautiful kitties and I think I like Pearl better than Penelope for yer duckies name. She looks like a Pearl! regarding herding cats, one of our cats behaves like a dog and I can call him inside any time I want. No sit, a cat that will actually come back to you if you call him. He a really horrible cat in the sense of being a cat;

    He rarely lands on his feet if he falls.
    If he wanders too far he comes right back home when you tell him he’s gone too far.
    He likes to play fetch and will bring whatever you throw back to you.
    If his claws get hung up on something and he can’t get loose then he just hangs there waiting for me to save him.
    He comes to you if you call him and goes inside if you tell him “Time to go inside”.
    He likes to roll over on his back and get his belly rubbed.

    He’s the oddest cat I have ever had.

  37. 37
    villiageidiocy says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Look for the zipper. There must be a dog in there somewhere.

  38. 38
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @villiageidiocy: One last thing, he has never drawn the blood of a human. Ever. Five years old and still as gentle as a kitten…err, puppy.

    He’s a sweet little guy.but definitely odd.

  39. 39
    Butch says:

    I guess some people in this rural area think it’s a little odd the way I hover when I take the four kitties outside. There’s enough traffic from trucks and farm machinery – I don’t want to find a squashed kitty, so I supervise.

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