Shitfire! How come none o’ yous told me Survivor was coming on?! If Fred hadn’t read about it somewhere, we might have missed it completely! Luckily, we did not. I note that contrary to the most recent seasons of Survivor, they’ve moved away from casting really, really good looking people. Far, far, FAR away from … Continue reading “2-8-08”

Shitfire! How come none o’ yous told me Survivor was coming on?! If Fred hadn’t read about it somewhere, we might have missed it completely! Luckily, we did not.

I note that contrary to the most recent seasons of Survivor, they’ve moved away from casting really, really good looking people. Far, far, FAR away from it, in fact. Heh.

GodDAMN I loathe Jonny Fairplay. And yay! Yau-Man! James! Ozzy! Cirie!


When is the grand opening of Crooked Acres Cat Sanctuary?

As soon as I convince Fred to build me a building in the back forty where we can foster a meellllllion cats!


Where the hell did all the gnats in my house come from and can I borrow McLovin’ or one of the girls for a week or so to take care of them for me?

I cannot spare McLovin or the girlz – McLovin because he keeps the girlz hoppin’, and the girlz because they (supposedly) will start laying eggs more regularly now that the days are getting longer.

HOWEVER, Miss Stank is quite good at hunting down little bugs (and eating them), so I’ll happily offer up her services for a nominal fee. You have to come get her, though. Good luck getting her into the carrier!


Do any of the KATG ‘characters’ get on your nerves?

I don’t know what it is about Matt Bray but the second I hear his voice, I can’t listen to the episode. I don’t know if it’s the sound of his voice or if it’s that he’s a little bit condescending and smart-alecky but he just ruins the whole show for me when he’s on.

I don’t love Matt Bray, but he also doesn’t annoy me too much – I know what you mean about him being condescending, though. I really REALLY hated Keith’s old roommate (Adam, I think?), because every time he says something funny he does this little nasally laugh, and he sounds just exactly like Butthead to me. He’s kind of grown on me, but the nasally laugh still annoys the fuck out of me. I don’t like Liam McEneaney at all, though I want to. His voice just annoys me, and his insistence on telling his story THE LONG WAY annoys me, too. I really want to like Dina (the Friday advice girl), but I really don’t – although her trainwreck of a life is kind of fascinating to me. I would LOVE IT if they replaced Dina with Eats Paste. I just caught the show he called in on, and I really like him. Death threats aside, I think he’d give some excellent advice – or maybe bad advice, but entertainingly done.

What I want to know is, where the HELL is Patrice? She’s my favorite, far and away and she hasn’t been on in forever. I don’t even care about the “entertainment news”, I just find her entertaining, “news” or not.

I like Jesse Joyce a lot, too. Speaking of him, I came across this picture of Myrtle from last year:


and I thought “Hey! She’s doing her impression of Jesse Joyce!”


#1 How did the name Crooked Acres come about

I could have sworn I wrote about this, but apparently not, since I can’t find it in my archives anywhere. Fred and I were trying to come up with names we could call home in our journals, and I was lobbying for “Horseshit Alley” (that’s the name I’ve always sworn I would use for my home when I won the lottery and built my zillion-dollar mansion on the ocean), which Fred wasn’t crazy about. Then one day I said something about how everything in the house is just a little bit crooked – not horribly so, just a wee bit out of square – and I said “Even our land isn’t straight! We have crooked acres!”, and there you go.

#2 Did you not at one time refer to one of the Kitties as Stanley or have I lost what little is left of my mind?

Mister Boogers’ “legal” name is Stanley, though why I don’t just tell the vet his name is Mister Boogers, I don’t know. We also called him “The Bean” for a few months before his REAL name evolved.


1. How often do you go into “town” for groceries, appts, and what not? How long does it take to drive there? Does this ever seem inconvenient or do the benefits of Crooked Acres make it all worthwhile?

Since I have duty at the pet store on Monday mornings, I usually stop on the way home to pick up groceries, and if there’s anything I need at Target, I get it at the same time. Fridays I usually run to the post office in Madison (I’m seriously considering opening a PO Box in Nearville, because the drive to Madison is getting to be a pain in the ass), and if there are any groceries we need, I can stop on the way home. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the pet store in Huntsville on Mondays, and a trips to Madison take about 20 minutes. If there’s some grocery-related item I need right away, it takes me about 5 minutes to get to the nearest Piggly Wiggly. We’re in the country, but not that far in the country, so it’s not bad. It’s a matter of a 5-minute drive to the grocery store versus a 2-minute drive. It’s not my beloved Publix grocery store, but it usually has what I need. Also in a 7 – 10 minute drive is a Lowe’s, a second Piggly Wiggly, Super Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreen, Mexican and Chinese restaurants, Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday, and more movie stores than you can shake a stick at. The only thing Nearville really lacks is a pet store and a book store. And I’d like to have Target closer, but I’m right by one every Monday, so it’s not a big deal. We’re in the country – but we’re not in the boonies.

Most weeks, unless I have an appointment somewhere, I’m home Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and don’t need to go anywhere. I rarely go anywhere on the weekends, either, unless Fred and I need to run somewhere, usually a trip to Lowe’s.

It’s absolutely worth the extra drive (like I said, it’s not a bad drive, either) to have a lot more land and a lot fewer neighbors.

2. Can you explain to me and other non-pet people why you prefer cats to dogs? It seems to me the appeal of a dog would be that they are more affectionate than cats. It seems like cats are more independent and hide a lot, so they aren’t as interactive–is this true?

It really depends on the cat, but I get more affection than I can handle from our pack o’ cats. Not all the cats are particularly affectionate, and some of them (Sugarbutt, especially) run hot and cold (he’s a middle of the night lover, but during the day if you pick him up he’ll put up with it, but he’s just marking time ’til you put him the hell DOWN), but I certainly don’t lack for kitty lovin’. Some of our cats hide – Miss Stank, for one, would rather be hanging out on top of the bookcase in the kitchen than in the middle of the kitchen floor – but as long as it’s just us here, they can be seen out and about in the house.

The thing about dogs is that they’re so NEEDY. They need to be let out, they need to be walked, you can’t go away overnight and leave them alone for they will expire from the heartbreak. With cats, you make sure they have a clean litter box and plenty of food and water, and you can leave them alone for a day or so. Also, with the occasional exception, cats smell good. Dogs smell like dogs. NO OFFENSE, DOG OWNERS.

3. What pets did you have growing up and before you married Fred?

I had a cat when I was little and we lived in Guam. She had a litter of kittens and went to live on a farm (or so I was told, AHEM) and we kept one of her kittens, a little orange boy I named Charlie who kicked off my lifelong love of orange cats. Charlie eventually ran away (or was eaten by some wild thing that lived on the woods, who the hell knows?), and that was it until I was… 9 or 10, I think. We got our dog Taffy when we lived at Loring Air Force Base in very northern Maine. She was a puppy, and I was carrying her outside one day and dropped her on her head, poor thing. She was a good dog, but I’m not sure being dropped on her head did her any favors. I don’t remember how old she was when she was put to sleep, but I was grown and the spud was a baby.


Also, when I was 11ish, my sister and I lobbied very hard for a kitten for Christmas. We ended up getting hamsters, one for her (she named hers Shirley) and one for me (Laverne). Those two hamsters lived the longest of any hamsters we had. Laverne was the first to die – I was in 6th grade – and I was HEARTBROKEN. We had subsequent hamsters, but none of them lived very long.

It was at some when I was in middle school (I don’t remember exactly when) that we got Tabitha, who was a kitten who’d been living in a cage with a rabbit, and seemed to be under the impression that she WAS a rabbit for her entire life. She lived a good, long life too, and I’m pretty sure I was living in Alabama when she had to be put to sleep.

There were other dogs before Taffy, but I don’t remember them all that well. Taffy and Tabitha were our main pets growing up (along with the varying hamsters). When the spud and I moved to Alabama, we brought her cat – who had many different names, but was “Katie” toward the end of her life – with us.

4. You mentioned that you originally wanted to get the lap band surgery but you had to do the roux en y instead (not sure how to spell this). What are the differences, advantages/disadvantages between the two??

The major difference is that lap band surgery is far less invasive than RNY. There’s no rerouting of intestines, no cutting off one part of the stomach from the other, and thus less potentially harmful side effects in the long run. Lap band can completely be reversed; RNY can technically be reversed (that, I believe, is why they leave the nonfunctioning half of your stomach in there, instead of removing it), but there are few doctors in the country who perform RNY reversals. At the time I was researching both surgeries, though Lap Band patients lost a lot slower than RNY patients, the weight loss at 5 years out is about the same, and lap band patients tend to go on to lose a bit more.


Oh, I have questions-all cat related-and purely for fun, so if you’d rather not answer-not a big deal.

1. Which of your cats, if they were human, would you actually want to hang around the most?

I think Mister Boogers. He’d be the one who would hang out and make bitchy comments about other people and make you laugh ’til you choke.

2. If this were possible, which cat would it be easiest for to sit on your lap on a plane trip to Maine?

Miz Poo, ’cause she’s the lap sitter of the bunch.

3. Which of your cats would find it easiest to be adopted?

Probably Miz Poo, because she’s the friendliest and would walk up to any potential adopters and howl until they gave in and took her home. Second place would be Tommy, because he’s almost as friendly, and he’d flop over and present his big ol’ belly and charm the hell out of anyone who looked at him. The other cats would need a little time to get friendly.

4. Which cat would your mother like the best? And why?

My mother LOVED Maddie, and told me many times that if she didn’t already have someone coming to get her (that would be Nance), my mother would take her home. Of our permanent residents, though, probably Miz Poo would be her favorite, because Miz Poo is a great big demanding baby who climbs into your lap as soon as you sit down.

5. If the sky fell in and you and Fred had to have just one cat, which one would it be?

My one cat and Fred’s one cat would, I assure you, NOT be the same cat. For me, it’d be Miz Poo because she’s my baby. If I had to guess for Fred, it would be either Mister Boogers or Joe Bob, probably depending on who was closer.


Joe Bob and our JoJo must be related, no?

Kissing cousins! 🙂


Are you planning on letting any of the eggs hatch this coming year? You know, now that you have the big Cock and all (snort!!) I remember chicks hatching as a kid on the farm, so cute.

That is an excellent question… and I have no idea what the plan is. I know that Fred was talking about letting some eggs hatch once they were moved into the new coop, but I have no idea what his plans are. I’m not sure he has any plans right now, to be honest. Maybe once the chicks we’ve ordered from the hatchery have grown to a decent size, we’ll start talking about letting the girlz add to the flock.


I have to tell ya, that picture of Tommy and Sugs, with Tommy’s leg slung over him… that’s very Brokeback Mountain-ish. Maybe it’s all the press coverage of Heath, but that’s the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw it.

It’s not Brokeback Mountain love – it’s Guy Love!


What did the doc say when you looked at him with the bloody eyeball?

Would you believe he didn’t say one single thing about the Crazy Zombie Eye? Not one word! I meant to say something to him about it, but I completely forgot to, and if he’d asked I would have told him what happened, but nada. Not a damn thing. Only one person has ever asked me what the hell was going on with my eye – the bagger at the grocery store. Weird.

Crazy Zombie Eye update!


MUCH improved. This is what it looked like over the weekend, and this is what it looked like originally. Better, no?


How do you tell the difference between the love eyes and the het eyes? They look the same to me!

I knew they were Love Eyes because I don’t think Joe Bob even HAS het eyes. Joe Bob is all about the love. Except when he’s all about the running in terror from his Momma – which is happening less often as the days go by, thankfully.


I wonder if you and Fred have insurance for pets and if not, does Alabama offer it? Also, does your home/property insurance cover your animals in case of “damage” or theft or death? Does Alabama state income tax allow for deductions in the event of loss of “stock?”

We don’t have health insurance on the cats – it’s available, but we opted not to get it.

I don’t have any idea if Alabama state income tax allows for deductions for loss of stock – we don’t prepare our own taxes (we have an accountant do it) and the only stock we have at this point are the chickens, none of whom we’ve lost (yet!).


I’ve got a touch of the early senility going on, so bear with me, but was Mister Boogers ever the Bean at some point? I could swear you had a gray cat called the Bean–I think because he raced around like he was full o’ beans? I’m probably making all this up. It’s Mary Kate Olsen’s fault!

I think most everything can be blamed on those damn Olsen twins. Yeah, Mister Boogers was the Bean for a few months ’til his true Boogery nature appeared and we switched over to Mister (Meester, Mr.) Boogers.


My heart shall always stay true to Tommy Cullen. Once you go black and furry, you won’t go back in a hurry. (I totally just made that up! Am poetic genius!)

I always love it when you guys express a preference for one cat over all the others, I don’t know why. It just warms my heart.


We have an eight-year-old (orange!) kitty, Stella. Not the friendliest cat. Then two months ago we brought in a foster (ha ha), Cowbell, who is so lovely. She’s snuggly and cuddly and doesn’t mind if we pet her. Hallelujah! Only problem is…yep…Stella hates her. So much so that she hadn’t left our bedroom since Cowbell moved in, and if they so much as LOOK at one another there is shrieking and growling and the fur flies. So it’s Stella in our room, and Cowbell everywhere else.

Here’s the thing. We really really want to keep Cowbell, because she’s awesome. But will they ever get accustomed to one another? What can we do? My husband is convinced that tough love, i.e. forcing Stella out of our room, is the thing to do, but I think that’s mean. Help!

They may never really become friends – Miz Poo LOATHES Mister Boogers after all these years, a situation he exploits from time to time when she’s laying in the bed he wants to lay in – but I would imagine (though I can’t guarantee it) that over time Stella will learn to tolerate Cowbell. If I were you, I’d make a point of bringing Stella out of the room on a regular basis – every evening, or whatever’s convenient for you – and if there’s something you can bribe her with to stay out, a treat or a toy, try bribing her with that. If she wants to go back into the room, let her, but be persistent in bringing her out and encouraging her to stay out.

Readers, if you have any tips, feel free to jump in!


Hey, have you guys seen this hilarious/cute cat/kitten video on Youtube.com?

I think YouTube is the coolest damn invention on the internet, just for the cat videos alone!


With all your cats, how in the world do you know who is doing what, like peeing in inappropriate places or barfing or having the diarrhea, god forbid? We found cat pee on the bed and the couch yesterday and for the life of us, cannot figure out who did it. Short of watching their every move (which is impossible), any suggestions? I suspect a vet visit is in order, but crap, we just can’t tell who is having the problem! One is a 15-yr-old male and the other is a 13-yr-old female. He’s never had a problem before but she did several years ago. They are both in overall good health but the male seems to be skinnier these days altho he eats like a pig. (Sorry, I know you aren’t a vet, but figured you might have some experience with older cats, too.)

It takes time, but usually we find that whoever’s found looking guilty in the vicinity of the pee or barf or diarrhea is the likely culprit. Sometimes, unfortunately, it takes several incidences before we realize who’s doing it, and sometimes it entails just stumbling across them in the act, though I will sometimes get out the video camera, train it on a certain spot, and keep taping until I find out who’s doing it.

If your male is eating like a pig but still losing weight, I’d get him to the vet; that sounds like Spot about six months ago.


I actually had a dream about you and Fred last night. I wanted to come visit Crooked Acres, but of course it’s hours away. But one day I was driving in on my way to work, and suddenly there was a house that looked just like yours, and you were having a yard sale or something. Turns out, you were only 20 mins away in the dream. You had people walking through your house like it was a museum or something. It was really very strange.

And then we all had to leave because something in the air was making the cars explode.

Oh, how I love it when y’all dream about me!


Do you have any idea at what age an un-neutered male cat will start to spray? I fully intend to get Burl fixed but I can’t find any cheap clinics around here and my house taxes have to come first. He’s 7 months now and hasn’t done it yet but I don’t want him to start!

This page says that they start when they reach sexual maturity, which is between 5 and 12 months. Probably the sooner you can have him fixed, the better!


This seems to be the place to discuss Dy$ons. I am a big lover of vacuums. I can be found in the vacuum aisle of most any stores. Not that I need one. I am the proud owner of a Kirby, but I really want to know how those “D’s” work. So I bought the hand held for the steps, because the Kirby is one heavy mofo, and I have no patience to constantly be changing out the equipment.

Here’s what I love about the handheld:

It has awesome sucking power. The steps look great.

Here’s what I hate:

You only get 6 minutes before the battery goes dead. Totally dead. And there’s no plug in. So you have to really hurry. For 150 bucks, I think that awesome sucking power should last longer than 6 minutes. Or am I missing something? Any handheld owners have a secret to maintaining the sucking???

I’ve only seen one Dyson handheld and only used it for a minute or two, but I’ve been thinking we could use a handheld vacuum (Fred says I’m obsessed with vacuums. Heh.) so I’m disappointed to hear that it only lasts for six minutes!

Y’all out there with Dyson handhelds, any advice? And while I’m asking, if anyone out there has a handheld they LOVE, tell me about it. Every home needs a handheld!


So did you watch the Superbowl for the commericals? I did not since the Green Bay Packers lost in the playoffs. I tried to watch it for the commericals, but heck it was a snore so I switched channels. Today, I was happy to hear they have them on the web. I’m going to look for them as soon as I get home.

The Superbowl was a complete nonevent for me – I didn’t even remember that it was on ’til the spud texted and asked me if we were going to watch it (we didn’t). The last Superbowl I bothered to pay any attention to was back in… ’86? ’87? Whenever the Patriots played the Bears, because Liz was a big Bears (and Jim McMahon) fan. We recorded The Superbowl Shuffle and watched it over and over and over again.

MY SUPERBOWL SHUFFLE WILL SET YOU FREE! All these years later, that is one cheesealicious song.

I checked out the Superbowl commercials online (damned if I can remember where!), and I think either the Budweiser Rocky spoof or the E*Trade baby commercial was my favorite. The EDS cat herding commercial from 2005 is my all-time favorite Superbowl commercial, though:


Fred’s probably talking smack about you behind your back, Robyn!


Hey, I know Fred is a great guy. I’m wondering if Fred could maybe be telling JoeBob or insinuating that Fred is the more lovable one? Maybe extra treats?

Oh, Fred doesn’t talk smack about me behind my back – he does it right in front of me. “Don’t listen to her,” he says to Joe Bob “She’s just a big old mean lady. She doesn’t love you like I do. She took you to the pet store! No one loves you like your Daddy!”



I noticed that both of your neurotic cats are Daddy’s boy/girl. I do I sense a hint of jealousy here? Just kiddiing. I’m sure JoeBob will settle down and lurve his mommy soon enough. He probably remembers that you were the evil one that took him to the pet store each time he went. He already lurves his Daddy because he saved/picked him up this time.

That’s what Fred says, that Joe Bob remembers me taking him to the pet store and Fred rescuing him. I think that might be attributing a little more brain power to Joe Bob than he actually possesses, but who knows? And actually, that could explain why Miss Stank is less afraid of Fred than she is of me!


Pigs? “…where the pigs were going to go..” ????


For what it’s worth, pigs like mud holes, and I hate pigs. Because they are MEAN. Tell Fred they eat chickens. I had a few pigs once and one of my guineas got trapped in their fence and they ATE HER. Well, most of her. It was not pretty. I would much rather have goats than pigs.

Yeah, we’ve talked about getting pigs, raising them to slaughtering weight, and then… sending them off to be slaughtered (although I’ve told Fred that he should slaughter them himself because I look forward to writing the entry about how he tried to kill the pig, but cried like a baby and ultimately couldn’t do it). I don’t know if we’re definitely going to do it, but we’re considering it.

It’s not a matter of goats or pigs, though. We’re getting the goddamn goats just to shut Fred up (and because he said we could get a couple of pygmies!), but there’s room back there for a couple of pigs. Or a cow. We’ll see.


Here’s something for you to puzzle on: Every few years (anywhere from 2 to 5), my mother will discover – out of nowhere – a pile of maggots on her kitchen floor, about half of which are dead and half alive. Not always exactly the same place, but close – within a foot or so. In the middle of the floor, not close to any cupboards, cabinets, or walls.

They went so far, several years ago, as having the entire floor retiled, thinking that despite the floor being apparently water-tight and uncracked there must be a tiny crack somewhere through which the larvae were coming. Removing the tiles showed nothing under the floor, no evidence of any water seepage (and if water can’t get down, nothing else should be able to get up, right?), and no evidence of insect life under the tiles. The original tiles were replaced with larger tiles (I don’t know if they’re terrazo or ceramic or what), but a year or two or three later, there was another pile of maggots – in the center of one of the new tiles.

The first time or two it happened, they had two cats, so my mom thought the cats must have found something maggot-infested and brought it to that spot and eaten it, leaving the maggots behind; however, they were catless (entirely indoor-pet-less, in fact) the last several times it’s happened. My mother, I should add, is almost Germanic in her cleanliness, so it’s not a question of a dirty house.

I want one of my readers to solve this mystery, because I think would be cool for Elayne to say to her mother “This crazy internet chick I know helped figure it out!” So get to guessing, y’all!


I have a question…First, my cat, Angel, is a little OCD, so it’s possible that there is nothing wrong with her. I noticed the last few days that she has been scratching a lot. When she occasionally gets fleas, I have to cut her claws down to keep her from scratching herself bloody AFTER the fleas are gone, but she doesn’t seem to have fleas this time. She’s mostly white, so I can see the little buggers when they crop up. ANYWAY, she’s scratching and I can’t SEE anything wrong, but she’s kicking up dander something fierce. Is it possible that she’s having the same problem that I am? (Super dry warm air inside, cold wet air outside)I’ve actually scratched MYSELF raw, it’s pretty bad. Does that sound right to you?


I used to have a dog who’d get “hot spots” like that – we lived in a tropical climate so dry skin wasn’t a problem, the vet said it was something akin to eczema. The only thing that’d make them go away was a tapering course of oral steroids (the animal equivalent of a Medrol Dosepak). Maybe your vet can suggest something similar.

I was going to say that it sounded like the dry air thing, but maybe not! Is she scratching herself in one spot, or just kind of all over? In any case, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to get her to the vet and make sure it’s the dry air and not something that needs steroids!


Have you been to this website? Some of the product descriptions are priceless!

I had not! I love it when companies show their sense of humor on their web site. And I love those cat plates – but not for $45 for 4 of them! 🙂


When evenings are cold, I settle under the electric blanket on the couch. Sometimes Fred’s cold, too, so I share my blanket with him. Inevitably, Mister Boogers gets in on the warmth, and stretches out and sleeps the sleeps like a log.

Whenever I get groceries, as I empty the bags, I leave them on the kitchen floor. Tommy comes running in and writhes around on them for some reason. Whatever makes him happy, I s’pose.


2007: I judiciously left off the “You fucking motherfucking asshole.” part.
2006: And then the spud said “Is he trying to go to Narnia?”
2005: I’ll take my anonymous life, thank you.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: “What?” he said. “I WASN’T geeky!”
2001: No entry.
2000: Tomorrow, I’m going to go see Dr. Judy for my ear, out of which I still cannot hear anything but constant white noise.