I knew it was going to be strange walking today... Tux met me at the door, and said, "Well, about time."
I stared. Was my hearing out of whack, or did I just catch something on the MP3 player?
Tux turned, and said, "Are you going to feed me, or not? I am rather hungry this morning... Can't tell who's eatable around here..."
I figured I was losing what was left of my mind, but hey, the chance to talk with my cat would be fun on the way, so...
"Uh, eatable? I don't think that's a word. But yes, I will feed everyone."
We walked out to the kennel, and I let Rudee out. He was excited, as usual, when I let him out. He flew out of the cage, swooping in barrel rolls and loop-de-loops around the house. When he came at me flying as fast as he could, I ducked, in time to hear a tremendous crunch in the bamboo. I looked up to see him looking not too much the worse for wear, big pink forked tongue, pointed tail wagging, and little red horns on his forehead, his beady red eyes glistening with happiness.
I sighed. "I am going nuts."
Tuxedo washed a toe. "Not so much more than usual, did you forget this is the day that the mists between the worlds thin, fate spins her wheel of fortune, all that lovely crap that symbolizes Halloween? Oh, and I do NOT have jelly bean toes. Jelly beans are disgusting, sticky things."
"I think they look like jelly beans... " Rudee then took off again, leathery wings tearing out bamboo as he lifted off, making a spray of leaves and sticks all over the place.
I walked to the hen house, where the llamas were standing. Lorenzo took one too many steps too close to Llama, and she rared back and spit. Fire. Flames shot the length of the building, I ducked, then looked up to see Lorenzo back up and spit back. A blue fireball erupted. I decided getting in the chicken house might be really prudent, (Rudee and Tux being smart enough to vacate the area quickly.) I managed to get into the hen house without too much incident... If you don't count needing to put out the back of my hat, which was smoldering.
I opened the bin, put out the food for the chickens, took out the food and fed the llamas, (thankfully without further incident), and closed the bins. Buttercup was sitting on the roost, staring at the bins, and then spoke up. "Nevermore..."
I set her on the bin, with a little extra food, and said, " Not until tomorrow, at any rate."
I left the hen yard, only to have the whole flock try to fly at me, running nearly simultaneously into the fence. "Guys and gals, if you want to do the scene from "The Birds", you really have to fly better than that. Oh, and be scary..."
I swear, one gave me a raspberry, before they all wandered off back to the hen house.
"BLEAH!!" I turned to see Tux with a glowing, greenish goo on his front paws and face.
"What happened?" He scowled, glaring at me with disgust.
"The eatables are hard to tell today... I just caught another blasted bird that is... NOT EATABLE!" I decided to not mention that I still suspected 'eatable' probably wasn't in the dictionary, and pulled out my hankie. Whatever the stuff was, it was sticky, and glowed when I tried to wipe it off Tuxedo's face... Which didn't exactly endear me to him, in his present mood. I finally managed to get most of the slimy mess off him, and he high tailed it for his food bowl. I called for Buzz. No Buzz. I called again. Tux snorted with complete disdain. "She is enjoying this falderall, give her a minute to make an entrance."
I put the food out, and POP, Buzz appeared in a tiny puff of smoke. She ate like she was starving, as did Tux. "Why the rush today, guys? You don't normally act like you are THIS hungry..."
That's when I heard the meowing. There must have been about a dozen cats, most glowing, one or two skeletal, all stampeding to the food bowls. I recognized several of them as some of the geriatric cats that had passed away since we'd lived here, but there were two or three that I didn't recognize. Tux saw my confused expression, and said, "Well, I believe this is when the dead come back to visit the living, right?"
Oooooh, boy. This could get interesting.
I finally had everyone fed, and went out in the field to walk. I met a cow, lowing and lumbering toward me, hooves about 4 inches from the ground. I registered this must be the cow that the crazy woman killed when she was here.* I saw it come up and look at me. "Sorry, old gal, I don't have anything for you." The cow then lifted her tail. Suffice to say, ectoplasmic cow plop is just as messy as the real thing...
I heard meowing behind me, and realized one of my old cats was standing at the creek, confused, just like he'd been before. Tux looked up at me. "He seems to not know he can cross by moving over about a foot." I remembered that he would figure it out when I called him. I did, and he slowly moved to the culvert. Put a foot gingerly to the top. Hopped over, then disappeared. I decided not to ask too many questions. I had much too much to do just trying to avoid skeletal and ghost cats that had decided to follow me up the hill. So much for my boots...
Finally managing to avoid tails, toes, and one or two faces that would appear and disappear unexpectedly, I made to to the treeline. Where I saw my two former llamas, Rama and Ding Dong, chasing some skeletal deer. Ding Dong was snorting, and running them from 'her' territory. I think Rama was just seeing if anyone had food. Rudee suddenly swooped down, long tongue flapping crazily from his mouth, nearly crashing into Ding Dong. He then landed, barked, and took off after the deer. The deer jumped the fence, and Rudee started to fly over. I yelled no, and he made the mistake of looking back. While flying.
With a tremendous thump, he accordianed right into the big wooden support. He landed on his rear, sat up and looked at me confusedly, and then came over and drooled on my shoe. Which started to melt.
Lovely, acid dog drool. How could this get any better?
I started my MP3 player, and after "Highway to Hell", "Werewolves of London", and "Don't Fear the Reaper", I decided perhaps I should just turn it back off.
That's when the blackberry bush grabbed my leg. I yelped, and tried to pull free. Not a good idea with a thorny, viney plant. "Leggo, or I will cut you into bits!" I tried unwinding the vine. No luck, it just latched onto my arm, too. That's when I got the idea to call Rudee. He bounded over, and I started saying "MINE, MINE, MINE!", which is the signal for our game of tug of war. He caught on immediately, and latched onto the vine. I didn't know blackberry bushes could squeal like that! The bush backed off, and Rudee figured that meant it wanted to play some more. The more it moved, the more Rudee ran and grabbed. I figured, at this rate, I might not have to do any brush cutting come spring!
I caught sight of the cougar that had eaten Ding Dong, but he saw the skeletal deer, and started off after them. I was rather relieved. Somehow, I don't think mace works against ghost cougars.
I walked back down the hill, and saw Tux. "Buzz seems to think you will appriciate her nonsense. Look in the tree."
"Tux, this is the wrong season, but I believe you are a Halloween Humbug."
"I am. Let eatables be recognizable as eatables, and no green goop!" With that, he snorted, and walked to the barn, hopping up on a hay bale. I chuckled, and then walked to the tree where Buzz had ensconced herself. I decided not to make to big of a deal about it, or Rudee would try flying up to knock her out of the tree. Buzz looked at me, and said, "BYE!" Then she disappeared slowly, until all I saw were her eyes, and her smile. And a left ear.
Then all that was left was the ear. "Buzz. Your ear..."
Sooo, do any of my readers have any idea how to get ectoplasm out of blue jeans?
* Yes, this cow, as well as all the other characters, are based on animals I know were on the property. The cow died because a renter here before us had one get stuck belly deep in mud. She wanted to leave for the weekend, and put a gallon of water and a bale of hay by the cow, and left. Couldn't understand why the cow died over the weekend, or why the owner of the house evicted her and called the Sheriff. She was a real bit of work, from what I understand.