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This week we take a peek into the life of a mouse. Not just any mouse, but the one, the only... Anonymouse!

Nonnie, as she is known by her friends, lives in The States, but has had a lot of personal influence from Europe, Oz and others over the past 5 years or so (thanks to the net! ;-), so she likes to consider herself as a resident alien currently residing on Earth. When asked about marriage she responded in typical Nonnie fashion (with humour);
'Isn't that some paper you sign so you don't have to fill out so many tax forms?'

For those of you who have been keeping up with her father she is pleased to announce that he is officially back on the schedule at
Wal-Mart as the best Greeter they can ever hope to have. He goes back (or, when this is published, will have -gone- back) to work on 19 April. However, Nonnie, for now, is still Transportation Manager and General Flunky. She giggled a bit and told me that she has many
lives... unfortunately none of them are hers hehe!! Recently our dear Nonnie has been honoured by being made a part of a small closed beta-tester team for a popular mail client. Unfortunately all I could get out of her on how this was going was that she preferred not to
get into that just now as software wares fly hehe!!Actually the software flies. ;-) The software-wars (not wares) are what usually get started when you start talking about which is the best mail client.

Everyone has a 'Hero', someone they look up to in life. For Anonymouse this someone is none
other than her Dad. Why, you may ask? Well, because he's just always been there for her, and
for so many others. Of course, as Nonnie has grown older, there are things they do not always
see eye-to-eye on, but she has never been afraid to state those disagreements (though sometimes
she's bitten her tongue for various reasons, but never fear). He's never been the tyrant type,
always allowed her to make her own mistakes. He's got a big heart. (It sounds to me like
Nonnie has a good role model to look up to)

Due to her busy schedule she says she feels that she has been neglecting her job of greeting
the newbies, but promises to return and wanted to make sure we all knew she missed us greatly.
One other thing she wanted to say was a big Hello to all the newbies that are reading this
article. She is pleased that you found your way here and suggests that you bookmark it, create
a shortcut, put it in your favourites folder or whatever it takes, so that you can keep coming
back every week.

Nonnie found her way to us while on an IRC channel with friends. She says that, as usual, they
were mostly off doing their own, personal things, with a bit of chatting in between. Someone
posted the URL, mentioning that the site had to do with 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'
which, coincidentally, she'd just been playing (the text-based game version ). Luckily, Nonnie
happened to be watching the channel at the time, so she popped over to take a peek. After
poking around a bit, she registered, played around with her homepage, journal and a guide
entry (Marvin) just to see how the
editors were set up. She then disappeared for seven weeks, mostly forgetting about it, but
popping by occasionally to see if anyone had made any comments and to play a bit. Nonnie had at
one time made a comment in her journal along the lines of 'on the off-chance anyone reads
this...' and lo and behold, Fairly
to the rescue, closely followed by
Fenchurch and
MadMunk. That day she started
spending so much time here that she set her browser's default homepage to 'U40077' and the
rest is history.

So far, during her time on h2g2, the only thing that she would like to see changed is possibly
the addition of little folders that we could use to organise all our threads in. Personally she
cannot wait to see what arrangements are in the works for the organisation but does hope they
have a care for the older browser users (And linux users... that was her biggest problem with
h2g2 in the beginning... it's not very linux-friendly. To quote a friend of hers,
'It's not always possible to be lynx-friendly, but try at least to not be too hostile.'.

Nonnie greatly enjoys the fantastic people with wonderful senses of humour she has met since
she began popping in. The diversity of h2g2, along with the coming together of so many cultures
and viewpoints is, in her opinion, the best feature. She is however quick to point out that the
same thing can be said about most good parts of the 'net' (I am sure ours has a special place in
her heart though).

I am not sure how many of you are aware of the 'ongoing story' which can be found on Nonnie's
page so I thought I would have her explain it a bit for you. She doesn't really consider this
page to be hers, it belongs to anyone involved in the stories, and she just puts them up and
does her best to maintain it. She began doing this when involved in a thread with
Technoyokel on
Ask h2g2, and it rather
snowballed from there. A discussion got started about moving the story to its own page, and
like most discussions here, *grins*, they got off topic, so Nonnie put up the page for approval
from the group (Apparently it was approved). There are several stories dangling in the forums
of the page, and she personally can't wait to get back to see how they are progressing. The
page and its threads are open for anyone that would like to join in or start new ones.

Nonnie, among the other wonderful things she has on her page, has a section called 'Rounds'.
These are things that she has seen passed around in email, sometimes over and over and over.
After a time she felt they needed a place to rest. If you ever have a free moment I suggest
that you take the time to visit them. Some, if not all, of them are quite good and will serve
to entertain you quite well. You can start here at
Things that have made the
and work your way through to the newest.

Now I am going to tell you about Nonnie's pets. Yes, I said pets. For most of us this would
include a cat, dog or possibly a goldfish. Not for Nonnie. Currently a pack of wolves have her
for a pet. Okay, she admits they are only part wolf, and a shrinking part at that, but they
still have the extra toe (close enough for me). But this is not the end of the story my
friends, only the beginning. Now I will tell you about Nonnie and her addiction to animals
(quite a good addiction I might say as I happen to have my share of them LOL!!)

Anonymouse and her adventures through life with animals...

When she was wee little they had an all white cat, Snowball (of course). He disproved the
theory that tomcats were the ones who prowl for females when he would sit on their front stoop
and preen while the females would gather in the front lawn mewing at the top of their lungs.
Unfortunately he met with a rather large automobile. Of course, that wasn't the story she was
told until later. Sometime during his life she also had a parakeet, which unfortunately met up
with Snowball and the parakeet was, from then on, only a fond memory.

When she was four, during the summer, they were visiting her grandfather. His neighbours had
taken in a batch of small puppies someone had tossed into a burlap sack and thrown out along
the road. While they were visiting, one of them (the one that had chewed his way out) chose
Nonnie. Living in the city with a rather smallish yard, her parents asked what kind of dogs
they were and how big they would get.
'Oh, they're just little beagles I think,'

was the
reply, so they proceeded to name their new puppy Peanut ('not much bigger than a peanut').
However, as he grew, he was eventually nicknamed Sam because he turned out to be a big ol'
Black and Tan Hound.

A couple years later Nonnie acquired a puppy which was half-beagle from a neighbour. He also
chose her, falling out of the doghouse which was set up on concrete blocks and into the mud at
her feet. Nonnie would go over as often as her mum wasn't looking, to play with him, and when
he was old enough, he 'followed her home' as puppies are apt to do with young children. Her
mother named him Shane, which ticked Nonnie off a bit because she had already named him.
Unfortunately he went by Shane for more years than the name she had picked, so she has long
forgotten what it was.

Soon thereafter, they moved to the country. The three of them (Sam, Shane and Nonnie) settled
in to what was then, to them, a vast world of adventure (25 acres, very small today). They
moved in October and... lucky for her... there was a riding stable across the street. So the
following August Nonnie came riding home on the horse she had just purchased with her savings
account moneys, much to the surprise of her parents, who now had to mend the fence enough to
keep him in it. His name was Silver (hhmmm, me thinks she must have had a thing with the
letter S, right? Hehe!!
). He was all white with 'glass eyes' and very much a one-of-a-kind.
So now the four of them became close friends and adventurers. The next year Nonnie received a
pregnant mare with a yearling colt at side. This meant that she was to become a broncobuster as
well, since Nonnie had to train both the colt and the filly that was born the next spring.

Sometime in their second year of being 'countrified', they became owners of an old mowing
machine that had been modified from a horse-drawn machine. What this meant was that someone had
to drive the tractor whilst someone else rode on the mower and controlled the sickle bar
(raise it over bumps, groundhog holes, logs and other blade-busters; operate the clutch which
turned the blade on and off, etc.). During the first mowing a small, occupied rabbit nest was
discovered, quite by accident. The two youngsters hadn't opened their eyes yet and, because
their home was destroyed (and their mum probably wouldn't be returning), they became house
guests. (Do you know how tasty an electrical cord or a carpet or upholstery is to a bunny?)
They were the first of eleven rabbits that year. This event started an annual summer tradition.

One Easter Nonnie's Dad came home from his truck-driving job with four cute little yellow
furry things. Now they had ducks. Sam, having mellowed in his mid-life years, simply raised an
eyebrow and went back to snoozing. Shane, on the other hand, thought that the squawking they
made when he chased them meant they liked the game. Nonnie discovered that they made quite a
mess in the back yard, but did do quite a job of lowering the tick population (a kind of six of
one, half a dozen of the other play off! ). And of course they had duck eggs when they got
older (the ducks turned out to be three females and one male).

Nonnie's Mother made a grand discovery in her mother's attic... an incubator. (Do you know how
badly warm duck-eggs stink up the house when they rot inside an incubator?) This didn't
discourage her Mother, however, and, in fact, it gave her an idea. Not long afterwards, two
very large boxes arrived by UPS (United Parcel Service), chirping merrily. Inside were 250
live fuzzy chicks. They learned to perch nicely on a shoulder, especially when they got their
wing feathers. Dinnertime wasn't the same until Nonnie's Aunt and Uncle donated an old chicken
coop (Which they chain sawed in half, disassembled, loaded on 'Betsy' (the pick-up which had
found it's way into the family), hauled home, and re-built.

One summer an old farmer, up the road from them, was having health problems. He was due to go
into the hospital for a while and, when he came out, he wasn't expecting to be able to care for
his small flock of sheep. While her Mother pinched her brow and shook her head, Nonnie's Dad
cheerily said,
'Sure, we can take care of them until you get on your feet!'

being a retired cutting horse from the western states, thought this was great fun. He now had
something he could herd around in the pasture. Sam gave his plaintive, 'Oh come on, now...
what next?!' look in his old age. Shane, by this time, had disappeared on one of his two-week
visitation tours but alas had not returned. Nonnie's Mother began setting about the business
of selective breeding. Within five years she had turned the 10 ewes, 1 buck and 5
almost-ready-for-market lambs into a flock of around 35 ewes and an annual average of 60 of
'the best darn eating lambs I've ever seen' (as spoken by the local meat merchant). You may
not think of sheep as pets, but all of theirs had names, and more than one had been brought
into the house for their first month or so, when a mother would refuse or be unable to feed.

Sam's 'what next' was soon answered. If you have sheep, you need a Border Collie. Luckily for
them, Nonnie's Mother's Aunt just happened to have a registered Border Collie that had just
had puppies. She'd (the aunt) paid to have her (the dog) bred by a registered male in hopes of
going into the breeding business. It was only after trying to register the puppies that she
learned that, in order to register Border Collie puppies, the whole litter had to be 'proven'.
Border Collies are working dogs, and 'proven' means that all the dogs must prove they can herd
sheep on command. Nonnie's Aunt Blanche didn't have any sheep, nor access to any. So Annie
became their next family member, and she didn't need papers to prove herself to them.

Nonnie recalls that she was probably the smartest dog they had ever known, when it comes to a
herd dog. She constantly amazed visitors that she, when told 'get the lambs', would cut the
lambs from the rest of the flock and bring just them to the feed lot. She did the same with
'get the ewes' and 'get the buck', although to the latter she would respond first with an
'oh no...do I have to?' look. Bucks tend to be a bit more stubborn, and she'd been rolled more
than once, but always went back and eventually would change the buck's way of thinking to hers.
She also turned out to be the best 'mother', raising not only several litters of her own, but
also ducks, rabbits, chickens and anything else young, including one human child.

When Annie was in her old age, no longer able to have children of her own, one of her
daughters had a litter of puppies about 4 weeks old but still nursing. The daughter wandered
into the road and was killed, so Annie, not being able to stand the pleas of young children,
gently moved the puppies from their comfortable doghouse to a more cosy and warm (it was
winter) spot under their front porch. As if this wasn't enough, Nonnie's Mum and Dad arrived
home from a short shopping trip and Nonnie noticed her Mother holding the front of her coat in
an awkward manner. This turned out to be a very small kitten that had been seen wandering along
the road. Nonnie nearly died laughing. You see her Mum professed herself to hate cats, but had
insisted Nonnie's Dad stop and pick the poor, wet, bedraggled thing up. Patches was found
missing from her box a couple days later. While wandering around the house looking, they heard
a strange-sounding puppy whining under the porch. Upon closer inspection, of course, this
turned out to be a perfectly normal-sounding kitten, nursing a dried up teat alongside 6
puppies. Patches also turned out to be quite fertile and, at one time, they had a total of 20
dogs and around 25 cats (estimated, since the cats never seemed to be around at the same time
to count).

When Nonnie finally moved out, Annie's progeny (five at the time, she thinks) included a
mixture of the breeds Border Collie, Australian Blue Heeler (erroneously nicknamed around
these parts as 'dingos') and Miniature Dachshund, but the cats had mostly moved on. She moved
to a rental (apartment) in town, so, of course, Nonnie couldn't take any of them with her,
which was actually a good thing. Taking a dog from the freedom to roam in the countryside and
trapping it on a chain in town is cruel, and she probably would have left 'her' portion of the
menagerie home anyway.

After several years Nonnie finally managed to purchase a house with a yard. Whilst they were
packing to move, a white visitor with pink ears, one blue eye and one yellow eye wandered in
the open door and made herself at home. She was keenly fearful of any male voice and carried
the evidence of cruel abuse, but she'd come right to females. Thanks to the kindness of males
like her Dad, Velvet Vanilla Sundae quickly got over this peculiarity. After moving, a hungry
yellow tiger adolescent named Garfield (Nonnie didn't name him!) came home wrapped in the coat
of another 'I hate cats' person, who shall remain un-named. The cat was worth keeping.

One day some friends of Nonnie's showed up with a 3-month old puppy that had an odd name she
cannot recall (She does know she didn't like it). They wanted to know if she knew anyone who
would be interested in a half chow, half wolf. Of course Nonnie wanted to know why. It seems
that friends of theirs, who were moving to a place where no pets were allowed, had kept her in
a garage somewhere. Her mother was Chow, her father wolf, and she was the only one of the
litter who had taken after the wolf side in looks. She tried very hard to adopt Nonnie
immediately, and Nonnie knew she would succeed if she stayed. She happened to know a mutual
friend, whose dog had recently been run over, so she sent them there. Fortunately those
friends had already found another dog, so Tasha came into their lives (apparently she didn't
like her old name either, because she took immediately to her new one). Velvet, who disdained
any new arrival (and only would have anything to do with Garfield when she was in heat) glared
at Nonnie from the stairs, then ran up to hide. Garfield wandered through curiously, Tasha
yelped softly, and the two began a game of tag.

Tasha had a very pleasant personality, was quite well housebroken, and was quite good when
they were away from home (except for shoes... shoes left in her reach didn't survive long).
She loved riding in the car and wanted to go everywhere, and, of course, they obliged whenever
they could. On a trip home to do laundry, Tasha became quite good friends with Speckles, who
was Annie's son and was half Border Collie and half Blue Heeler. She had her first litter of 8
about 9 weeks later, and the puppies made the basement home.

A newly-divorced and newly-bereaved friend of theirs needed a place to stay for a while. One
night he came home, from wherever he wandered, and introduced them to a dark grey female.
Velvet perched on Nonnie's shoulder and made it quite clear that it was her spot. Garfield,
who by then had perfected his non-nonchalance (and besides, she thinks he had become used to
the female 'if I don't need a male, I don't need one at all' attitude), gave her a passing
glance and curled up in his chair. Shade walked straight under the chair Tasha had made into
her home. Nonnie fully expected her to come flying out again (Tasha was quite full grown by
then), but instead heard the loudest purring ever. She peeked under and Shade was sitting
between Tasha's massive paws getting a very sloppy bath. During the days the two were
inseparable. At night, since Tasha, Garfield and Velvet shared the bed Nonnie slept in, and
that was quite enough, thank you, Shade attached herself to Nonnie's daughter.

During one winter, the pipes froze and broke under their house in town. What was supposed to
have been a temporary stay back at the farm until they could make repairs, turned into moving
back and the eventual renting out of the house in town. Once again, the farm had cats. Tasha
had a litter of ten and another of nine and another of 11 before she was killed prematurely
(Nonnie finds herself missing her still). She thinks the new neighbours either shot or
poisoned her. (How sad) Her progeny, however, live on, mingled with Annie's. She and her
daughters have added Lab and King-of-the-Road to the mix. Currently they number seven plus
between 1 and 3 strays, which were given to new homes, but keep wandering back on occasion.


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