Neighborhood Animals, Phobias & Fears

Over the weekend I was walking around my neighborhood and saw some animals…

A black cat just chilling.

I think the cat is well fed. What do you think?

And then I was walking past one of the dozens of restaurants within a block of my home, all which have outdoor patio areas, and noticed a man studying.  With his two “un-leashed” birds just standing on the railing that bordered the outdoor eating/patio areas.

The white bird was more stand-offish and just stood on the railing.

But this smaller and more colorful bird was scampering up and down the railings.

Walking back and forth, shuffling it’s little feet

Moving side to side on the railing

I was pretty surprised the birds didn’t try to fly away and that the man was so chill about not having them somehow “leashed”.  I am obviously not a bird person because I guess I assume that birds will always fly away, or try. Clearly these were his pets and they just stayed on the railings next to him.   Maybe their wings were clipped?  I have no idea.

As as aside, it would have freaked me out if I was trying to dine next to birds. 

I have a semi-phobia of flying birds and their, ahem, waste. It stems from childhood memories and Florida family vacations and tourists feeding the seagulls massive amounts of human food.  Do the math.

Ever since childhood, I really don’t like birds too much.  I am not scared of them, but I just don’t really like them too close to me.  I fear that they will, well, you know…all over me.

Not to mention, it seems like it would be a health code violation to have birds that close to food.  Then again, people bring their dogs all the time into restaurants, grocery stores, and malls here so I guess it’s not much different.

After my walk was over, I followed up my animal sightings with some plant eating.

A crunchy, fresh salad + Vegan Slaw Dressing

And some Mango Ginger Maple Tofu

I just mentioned how much I love mango things and recipes

From my last post about Granola and Granola Bars, many of you said you do make your own granola at home and told me your fave recipes.  For anyone who is still buying granola, try making it at home.   It’s so easy and you’ll save so much money!

I’m glad you enjoyed my granola and granola bar recipes as jumping off points.  Thanks for all the great comments on that post!


Dessert: Peanut Butter Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, GF)



1. Do you have any phobias or fears?  Either of animals or otherwise?

I would not really call my dislike of flying birds a phobia.  I just don’t really like birds.   Just like I don’t like onions but I am not phobic or fearful of them.

I also hate ants!  They skeeve me, make me shudder, and where there is one, there are 25 behind it.  I would say they definitely creep me out.  

And snakes, yes.  Fear and phobia.  As well as most other reptiles.  Ick!  Not for me!

Also, big dogs (un-leashed), yes, I tread lightly around them.

Gosh answering this question made me realize a few things.

However, I am not afraid of elevators, small spaces, I’m not claustrophobic, I am not afraid of clowns, or losing my teeth or some things I’ve read are “common” fears or phobias.

2. Is it common for people where you live to bring their pets out in public places like stores or restaurants?

When I first moved to California, I will never forget the day I was in Nordstrom trying on $200 jeans when a lady’s toy chihuahua walked into my dressing room.

Ever since then, when I go to the mall, I see dozens and dozens of tiny, purse-sized dogs along for some shopping in stores like Neiman Marcus to Victoria’s Secret to hanging out at their owner’s feet in open-air cafes. 

Or just hanging out in their owner’s purses being pampered with doggie nail polish and hair barrettes on.  And I’m not kidding.

In my neighborhood, there are lots of young, childless, fabulous people who treat their dogs (and apparently birds) as their children and bring them everywhere.  Many times I wish I came back in my next lifetime as a toy poodle in this zip code because oh boy, it would be a very pampered existence!

3. Best thing you ate or did over the weekend?

I hung out with Skylar and enjoyed our 78F and sunny weather on Saturday.  Sunday it was rainy, cold, and nasty.

P.S. If you’re just catching up on posts from the weekend, here are mine since Friday:



71 comments on “Neighborhood Animals, Phobias & Fears”

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  2. I hate spiders, mostly Daddy Long Legs cos their legs look so creepy to me.

    I absolutely LOVE birds. I think they’re so cute! It’s not a phobia but I don’t like other people’s dogs. I hate it how dog owners assume you will love their dog and will let the dog fuss over you. I think dogs smell and I hate them licking me!!!

  3. I believe some birds return home by themselves if you had them for some time. Though i never tested the theory because i don’t like birds or pets of any kind. Some might get upset when i say this, but i believe pets are for old and lonely people to keep them company. Since i have enough friends and an active social life, what would i need a pet for?
    I’m also not a very reliable person :D

  4. That is one gorgeous cat. And he just looks like he *knows* he’s boss! LOL The only thing that freaks me out 100% is spiders. Just the thought of them wakens up my fight or flight response. Well, maybe just my flight, b/c I’d never get close enough to “fight” one. *shiver*!!!!!!!!! I don’t often notice folks around here bringing their pet places with them. Those birds are stunning, but I wouldn’t want to eat next to one, either…

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  7. I made your no bake oatmeal raisin carrot cake bites over the weekend with a raw cashew icing to dip them in. Yum!

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  9. I’m afraid of CATS!!!!! they are so freaky!

  10. Sienna wants to come down there and give you a BIG lick on the face. And Ellie wants to give you a big hug. :-)

    They are only 40 pound dogs though, hope that size is ok. Medium dogs are my favorite because I’m always afraid I am going to squish the littler ones.

    I am afraid of snakes too. Yikes!

  11. Not afraid of birds, but I wouldn’t want to eat with them so close! I’m afraid of heights – shudder! I am working toward doing a drop back into urdhva dhanurasana – I know all I need to overcome is the fear factor.
    People in Tucson don’t bring animals inside, but there’s often a dog tied up outside the co-op waiting for his/her owner. I worked at a health food store once, and one time a guy came in with a bird on his shoulder! We made him leave.
    I had delish vegan Chinese food this weekend. I also made your coconut oil protein granola bars, and they came in handy to have tasty snacks as I rushed through work and workouts!

  12. I totally know how you feel! I have a major bug phobia thanks to a tennis incident my Senior year in high school involving me getting swarmed by probably 100 bugs! I think I must smell good or something! :) But this phobia still impacts me to this very day! Last year I was riding my bike with my boyfriend and had a grasshopper land on me mid ride! Needless to say, it resulted in a 10 mile walk home, a bent bike frame, and some bruises. But it’s okay! Maybe someday I will overcome it! lol! Have a great day!

  13. Aww I actually love birds! They’re so smart! Growing up, we had a huge walk in aviary (cage) with like 200 different kinds. Now my family just has a few parrots inside including the ones you pictured (a white cockatoo and a conure). If you clip their wings, they know they can’t fly away.

    Dogs are what I’m afraid of! Big or small, they freak me out; biggest pet peeve is when they aren’t on leashes!

  14. My only true phobia is of lightning. I follow my cat’s lead and hide away from windows til it’s past.

  15. I really really really despise ants. Really.

    I spent some time with the kids this weekend and it was bliss. Chopped my daughters hair OFF because she requested it. I was thinking I would be a wreck about it but we were both smiley about it because she looks so stinkin cute now. :)

  16. Cool shots, I remember seeing parrots like that in South Beach all the time. I don’t worry so much about parrot poop, but seagulls and pelicans are another matter! :-)

    1. Unleashed dogs because I’ve had so many of them come after me while walking my dog.
    2. Not really because they’re not allowed in stores or even outdoor farmer’s markets. I’ll occasionally see them at outdoor seating.
    3. Went to the Whole Foods raw foods fest.

  17. I’ve said it before, but Skylar is so beautiful!

    Weird with the birds. I bet their wings were clipped. The poet whose class I was at this weekend read a poem about colorful birds being kidnapped for pets and the whole ethics (or lack of) with that industry. Chilling. Speaking of chilling, I misread your comment about the black cat just chilling first time–thought you were saying that the cat was chilling! (Those creepy eyes…) I can’t believe you have dogs in Nordstroms! This is Alaska and back of beyond and no one wears make up and bears and moose walk around town…and no one brings their animals into stores and restaurants! Bird poop is great fertilizer–but I agree, not on your head…

    I wrote in my blog last week about discovering that I’m more scared of heights atm than I have been in my life. But the only thing I’m really scared of is electric shocks. I hate them so much! And that includes little static things from people’s clothes as well as the bigger ones…

  18. I think this is my first time commenting but I’ve been reading your blog forrrreever! =) I have, by this point, made your vegan PB cups for every person I know haha.

    Anyway I am also terrified of seagulls you-know-what-ing on my head! Probably because I grew up by the beach and… happened a few times =o(

  19. great pics…can’t beat so calif
    i’m one of the lucky ones also…orange county

  20. I am mildly agoraphobic. Meh.

    The best thing I did this weekend was discover your blog! I posted my own just a few minutes ago about what is now my new favorite breakfast! Your microwave banana oat cakes. Delicious!

  21. I am terrified on roaches and spiders. I don’t go near them. WIll not. Never.

  22. i am with you on the phobias! mine are almost 100% animal related: all dogs; the look in cats’ eyes (evil and possessed, i am telling you! as evidenced in your photo, above, too!!); flocks of birds cawing; snakes and all reptile types, fish in the ocean when i am swimming…i just justify it by saying i am a PEOPLE person NOT an animal person!
    so glad you’re having great weather – enjoy!

  23. Looks like someone kidnapped my cat and took her to Cali!! She’s a chunky panther kitty too! :)

    Love all the animal pics! I’m afraid of cock roaches, scorpions, and spiders!!! They are just SO CREEPY!

    And I agree w/ the bird thing, they are just annoying to me. I think they are pretty in the wild, but why someone would want to own one as a pet is beyond my understanding. I can’t stand the squawking!!!

  24. i was going to say…that cat is definitely a little chunk ball :)!

    big dogs freak me out, too! well, i should specify by saying big dogs that jump freak me out. i’m only 5′ 1″ so when big dogs jump up, they’re basically as tall as me. i’ve been scared of them since i was a kid but i’m sloooowly coming around to them. at least the ones that don’t jump ;) i also hate spiders. and looking at pictures of things underwater. the beginning of titanic? skip it, thanks! i’m weird :)

    the best thing i did this weekend was rock climb! i hasn’t gone in just over a week and it was spectacular. lovelovelove climbing. oh, and all the yoga i did this weekend, of course!

  25. I can’t go surfing without thinking of sharks. I guess you could call that a phobia! And whenever I go hiking, I think about mountain lions and bears and wonder what the chances are of coming across one. That freaks me out….a little bit!

    The best thing I ate this weekend was excessive amounts of chocolate. This tends to happen often!

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