Buster the Beloved

Written by Janette Blackwell

Continued from page 1

The bewildered tom sent a few more air-raid siren noises into empty air. Then he fell silent. At last he wandered off in another direction.

After that Buster was accepted as a neighborhood cat in good standing.


Buster woke me inrepparttar morning by bouncing on my waterbed. I would dream I was in a small boat in a choppy sea. And gradually wake to find Buster leaping straight up inrepparttar 148922 air and briskly landing on all fours onrepparttar 148923 waterbed. KER-THUMP, KER-SLOSH. KER-THUMP, KER-SLOSH. The waterbed waves grew higher and higher as Buster briskly bounced . . . until, groggy and seasick, I rolled onto solid ground.


Buster believed inrepparttar 148924 essential kindness of people and automobiles. When summer arrived, I began hearing cars honk in front ofrepparttar 148925 house. And looked out to see Buster waking from a nap, which nap was taking place inrepparttar 148926 middle ofrepparttar 148927 street. He foundrepparttar 148928 sun-warmed blacktopped pavement ideal for that purpose. Fortunately ours was not a through street; drivers were honking at Buster and waiting for him to leisurely wake up and move out of their way. But how long could that last?

Whenever I saw Buster napping inrepparttar 148929 street, I yelled at him to get out. To which he paid no attention. I had to go intorepparttar 148930 street, pick up his warm, luxuriously limp body, and carry him indoors.

Andrepparttar 148931 next day I’d hear a car honking again.

“Why didn’t you keep him indoors, you idiot?” you are thinking.

Well, with 20/20 hindsight I know I should have. But I hoped thatrepparttar 148932 honking cars would teach Buster not to sleep inrepparttar 148933 street. They would have taught any other cat.

And, while I dithered, camerepparttar 148934 heartbreaking day when Buster didn’t return from his happy neighborhood rounds.

I of course made inquiries -- and learned about his tours ofrepparttar 148935 home snack bars.

But he hadn’t been to any of them that day.

I asked a group of kids if they had seen Buster.

“Is herepparttar 148936 cat who chases cars?” they asked.

Chases cars?

And then I recalled a half-forgotten memory: that of a little grey and white figure bounding joyously inrepparttar 148937 wake of an automobile.

“That’s him,” I said.

But they had not seen him lately either.

I will never know for certain what happened to Buster, but clearly he trusted inrepparttar 148938 essential kindness of people and automobiles one time too many.

Enjoy our cat mystery sleuth and find gifts and stories for cat lovers, at Janette Blackwell’s Cats and Flowers, http://catsandflowers.com -- or visit her at Food and Fiction, http://foodandfiction.com/Entrance.html

Betta Fish Breeding Basics

Written by Amanda Fenton

Continued from page 1

Place your submersible heater intorepparttar water. Remember, most heaters of this type have to be submerged for a while before turning onrepparttar 148718 unit, at least twenty minutes. When you turnrepparttar 148719 heater on set it to about 80-82 degrees. Also add a thermometer, plants, a rock to hide behind, and half a Styrofoam cup forrepparttar 148720 male to build his nest under.

You’ll want to placerepparttar 148721 chimney inrepparttar 148722 center ofrepparttar 148723 tank forrepparttar 148724 female. The chimney is a great place to letrepparttar 148725 two fish get acquainted beforerepparttar 148726 actual spawning begins.

Placerepparttar 148727 male inrepparttar 148728 spawning tank a day ahead ofrepparttar 148729 female. Let him get acclimated torepparttar 148730 water. When he seems comfortable, it’s safe to addrepparttar 148731 female torepparttar 148732 chimney. Leaving a light on will stimulate a hormone that will encourages spawning activity.

When you first releaserepparttar 148733 female she may hide fromrepparttar 148734 male. But, most likely they will swim toward one another and try to findrepparttar 148735 right position by swimming in circles around one another. It may take them a couple of tries to get it just right. Asrepparttar 148736 male squeezesrepparttar 148737 female she’ll probably release about thirty eggs. After she expels these eggs bothrepparttar 148738 fish may stop moving, and that is normal. Once they start moving againrepparttar 148739 male will start blowingrepparttar 148740 eggs up intorepparttar 148741 bubble nest; most females help with this process, too. The spawning process can last many hours and they will continue this cycle until she has released all her eggs.

Oncerepparttar 148742 eggs have all been releasedrepparttar 148743 female can be removed fromrepparttar 148744 tank. The male will continue to care for their bubble nest and eggs until they hatch in about 24-48 hours. Oncerepparttar 148745 fry are all free and swimmingrepparttar 148746 male must be removed or he may eat them.

Remember that you should be offering food torepparttar 148747 Betta’s throughoutrepparttar 148748 spawning process.

There! You’ve done it! You’ve just bred your first Betta fish! All ofrepparttar 148749 fry may not survive but as long as temperatures are kept just right you’ll end up with more than a handful for which to care.

Amanda Fenton is a Betta fish lover and contributing writer to http://www.bettafishcenter.com, a site providing information and tips on betta fish care.

    <Back to Page 1
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use