Backyard Wildlife

Berkowitzs and Animals. We go together like meat and potatoes. Like sauerkraut and beer. Like steak and beer. Like a cheese sandwich and beer. Like sushi and beer. There's a tangent somewhere here but I'm not sure where it leads. Growing up we've had many an animal roaming our backyards.

Cats: Hutzie. Mitzi. Molly. Jiblet. Callie. Rocky. Dumdum.

Hutzi was the original. The dude. The one who started it all. I don't really remember him besides for her playing with these huge locust looking things.

Mitzi and Jiblet were kittens we found in Israel. Devorah Leah and I spent three months with our mother in the summer of I have no clue when. I was eight and if I was bored enough I'd do the math. Anyways, Mitzi we found somewhere with a hurt leh. She was like 2 weeks or so. Cute as anything. Jiblet we found a week or two later. Ugly little thing with big ears. I'm not sure what happened to the cats after we left, but for some reason DL thinks someone ate them.

Don't remember Molly. Just the name.

Callie was a stray kittne we smuggled home from school one day. There were always a bunch of cats running around the place and Levi F. was always finding homes for them. Now he's making beer in Israel. We knew our father wouldn;t let us take her home so we put her in my backpack. We were coughing very loudly the whole way home. If I remember correctly my father guessed something was up, pretended to be angry but let us keep her. He always put on a show of not caring for the animals, but we knew he did.

He once stopped traffic on a busy street to make sure a crossing tortoise would make it. Afterwards he said he just did it so he wouldn't hear the crunch.

We had a boarder sleeping in our house. She saw Callie run away when we were leaving to school but she didn't say anything, as she didn't want to be late. I still don't really forgive her. Callie was a crazy cat though. If we would have taken her to the vet she definitely would have had some Riddlin prescribed.

Rocky was awesome. He was a stray who hurt his leg and was crying by our back door so, we fed him. His leg got better but he kept on coming to the door with one leg up and whimpering. Smart thing. He lived indoors and out and guarded DL fiercely. We used to go on walks and he used to follow. Just like a dog. But unlike a dog, he was quite able of controlling his bladder. Eventually we took him to New York with us. When my first neice was born he allowed her to pull his tail poke him and do all sorts of kid stuff. But he grew old, got cancer and had to be put to sleep. Shame.

Dumdum was hands down the stupidest most neurotic animal we've ever had. Don't know how or why, but I came home from 9th grade to this whimpering weird looking cat. When my mother moved to Israel, somehow DL convinced my father to take care of her. If I'm not mistaken she's still alive, living at David's house.

Birds: We had two cockatoos. They could hum the whole Shalom Aleichem with us. I think a cat got them (not ours). We also had two baby hummingbirds that their parents abandoned (stupid druggies). Those things are so tiny. And cute. We fed them a some sort of sugar water mixture from an eyedropper. There was no internet back then so I think we actually had to do some real research. The next day we were taking a walk around the block (DL, my father, and I) and we saw this real pretty dove just sitting on the sidewalk. It wouldn't move when we came closer. Afraid a cat would get it we planted it in a nearby tree. On the way back we realized that cats climb trees. So we took the bird home. Now we had these two baby hummingbirds and this relatively giant dove hanging out in our living room. Well, the dove flew way the next day and we took the hummingbirds to some bird sanctuary.

Duck. Yes we had a duck. Those big white ones. I had just turned three and he followed us home from Shul one Shabbos. The next morning we took him back, but he just followed us home again. I was terrified of that thing. Yossi used to chase him around the yard, and he would chase me. If you're thinking of getting a pet duck, don't.

Rabbits: We started with two. Kushy and Pepper. You could guess what happened next. We ended with over one hundred rabbits. Kushy was a big black rabbit who used to prowl along the walls and chase the cats away. Really. Rabbits have this thing of finding interesting places to have their babies. I remember one time we were all sitting down by our Shabbos table for when my father just bursts out laughing. There's this rabbit schlepping my mothers shabbos robe across the dining room. Working quite hard. She looked at all of us laughing at her and then just kept on going. We eventually sold them all to a Korean restaurant (joke. I have no clue what eventually happened to them).

We also had a tortoise, tarantula, toad, turtles, and whole bunch of different fish.

Nowadays all we got are kids. I honestly have no desire for pets, but my kids might. A horse would rock. Seriously. It's in the works (I had too much to dream last night).

Here's our backyard wildlife. A baby bird was just hopping around our backyard. The kids kept on running to the garden to pick out worms and insects for it to eat. I told the kids to chew them up and regurgitate them into the birdies mouth. They refused. Other than that we got the usual plethora of beetles, bugs, flying creatures, worms, and the occasional dragon.

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Geekspeak: All shot with the Mamiya RZ67, 110mm 2.8 lens (mostly stopped down to 5.6 or so), and Portra 400.