Happy birthday, Anita!!!!   So do you sleep on the right side of the bed? It looks like the kitties are saving you a spot, as if they are trying to coax you into taking a nap with them. Yeah, the cats like most to sleep on my side of the bed. I think they’re … Continue reading “2-21-08”

Happy birthday, Anita!!!!


So do you sleep on the right side of the bed? It looks like the kitties are saving you a spot, as if they are trying to coax you into taking a nap with them.

Yeah, the cats like most to sleep on my side of the bed. I think they’re keeping it warm. Or it smells like me and they like that. Or they’re leaving all their extra fur on my side of the bed, so if I lay down to read for a little while, I’ll get up coated with cat hair. Or maybe ALL of that.


do you think McLovin’ could take down a hawk? Finally, per Megan’s comment, you should TOTALLY do a podcast.

If he needed to, he could at least do some damage – he’s as big as a hawk, if not a little bigger – and scare the hawk off. I reserve the right to claim that I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about if I look out my window one day and see a hawk flying away with McLovin in its talons.

I’d do a podcast except that I don’t much care for the sound of my own voice, and I don’t think y’all need any more ammunition to prove that I’m a blithering idiot. 🙂


Have you ever noticed in your pictures of Miss Stank when she’s with another cat that she’s almost always sniffing their rear? So funny.

Miss Stank is a butt-sniffin’ motherfucker; most of the time the other cat will put up with it, but sometimes there’s a growl-hiss-swipe in response, followed by the sound of multiple cats racing through the house.


I’m not trying to start anything, I swear! But you seem to REALLY like Elle and Joe-Bob kind of seems like he’s a pain in the ass…any chance of her being permanent too? Maybe just to even things out?

I realllllllllly don’t want the permanent residents of the house to go into double-digit territory. I really like Elle, and I really REALLY like Punki, and if we hadn’t adopted Joe Bob I’d probably be pushing to keep Punki, but I’m not going to for the aforementioned reasoning. I do bitch about Joe Bob a lot, but it’s just a matter of him adjusting to his new home; he’s really a pretty good boy, and fairly unobtrusive unless, ahem, someone does something like sniffsniffSNIFFSNIFF his butt, which pisses him off, and sets him on the hiss-growl-scream-smack-run course of action.



Here’s a question for Robyn, what is the condition of Maxi and Newt’s teeth considering they have probably spent more time eating outdoors compared to your other cats who have been eating dried foods?

I believe Maxi and Newt’s teeth are just fine, as far as I know (note to myself: Maxi and Newt need their yearly checkup and shots). Though I should point out that the raw food they eat (squirrels and birds and mice) also contain bones, and they eat those as well as the softer meat.


pardon my ignorance. but what is trilling / keening??? as a cat owner, i should probably know this. heh.

I call it keening, but I don’t if anyone else calls it that, that’s just what it sounds like to me. It’s mostly Miz Poo who does it around here; she gets a toy in her mouth and walks around the house meowing an unending, high-pitched meow that gets incredibly annoying after a few minutes. I thought at first that it was a mother-cat kind of thing, that she was treating the toy as her “baby”, and the keening was to announce that. I’m starting to think – because Tommy does it from time to time (not that a male cat can’t be motherly OH MY GOD GET OFF MY CASE!) – that it might be a hunting call. Like, “I caught this awesome prey, now come praise me and tell me how smart I am!”

Here’s a movie I made of Miz Poo when we lived in the old house, showing her mad keening skillz.

(Or you can see the mpg here.)


When I read about Spot’s marker I couldn’t help but laugh: imagine the next owners of Crooked Acres, many years from now, tootling around the garden then finding “Spot” – they’re going to wonder exactly what spot you were marking *heh* Maybe they’ll start looking for a treasure map…

I wondered, when I ordered the stone, if the people at the place I ordered it from were thinking “She wants to mark a spot… with a stone that says “Spot” on it? Weird…” I imagine that by the time we’re ready to sell this house, though, there’ll be a few more graves out there, each marked with its own stone. Hopefully not anytime soon, though!


That Tommy is one shiny cat. Has he ever fallen off when straddling the back of the chair? He must have perfect cat balance.

Tommy’s got pretty good balance. He sometimes struggles when he first gets up there, but once he’s balanced, he can stay there for hours (or until his Dad moves and Tommy can move down to the seat of the chair!)


Are you in contact with Athena from Lexxicon? I followed her for years and then a year or so ago (maybe longer?) she took down her site. I guess I was just wondering if she was doing OK and was back on the internet. Thanks!

I think I last emailed with Athena about a year ago. At that time, she wasn’t back to blogging, and as far as I know, she still isn’t. Last I heard, she’s doing just fine, just keeping busy!


Does it irk you that clumping cat litter comes in those huge ass plastic tubs which are just so great for the environment when we toss them in the trash? Why can’t they put it in a bag or at least a cardboard box?

I do hate the fact that the litter comes in those big buckets – it’s such a waste. I saved some of them and we use them for everything from storing bird seed in, to putting the litter scoop in next to the litter boxes, and I think Fred uses some as buckets, too. But at a certain point, you kind of run out of things to use them for, and you have to cart them to the recycling center. It would be awesome if I could take the truck to the Fresh Step factory, fill up the bed with litter, and not have to worry about getting rid of the containers!


Since you two are like me and believe in an egg being too “eggy” and chicken tasting “too chickeny” do you also believe a pig can taste “too piggy”. I experience this at Cracker Barrel with their ham. It tastes like a pig pen smells to me. Do you (or anyone else out there) ever think like that or am I the weird one? My husband thinks it is funny that something can taste like something you have actually never tasted but in fact, what it smells like.

Yeah, I imagine most meat can be too whatever-it-is (though I can’t say I’ve ever heard Fred accuse beef of being “too beefy”), so why not pork?

I think that salt and vinegar chips smell and taste PRECISELY like sweaty gym socks. And cumin smells and tastes like horrific haven’t-showered-in-three-weeks body odor. Gag.


In the interest of science, I wouldn’t mind seeing a picture of chicken lovin’, if you can swing it.

I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to swing a picture of it, because it lasts about 10 seconds, and that’s with foreplay. By the time I figure out it’s happening and grab the camera, McLovin’s off after another hen and the besmirched hen is smoking a cigarette and bemoaning the lack of romance in her life.


You never mention seeing deer at all. Do they have deer in Alabama?

We definitely have deer in Alabama – in fact, last Monday when we were driving in the country, we saw three of them. We see plenty of them, though I’ve never seen one in the back forty (which is not to say they don’t wander through there – just that if they do, I don’t see them!). Most of the time when I see deer, they tend to be laying dead in the median on the highway.


First let me say that I’m nooooot giving unsolicited advice. Because I wouldn’t do that. Because I know you hate it. But, I want to offer a suggestion, haha. Have you tried putting pics of the kitties up for adoption on your local Craigslist page? I wonder if that would give them, and the shelter, more exposure. I don’t know anything about this shelter so I’m not sure if it’s a pretty popular place, but it couldn’t hurt to get more attention sent its way, right?


Do they have them listed on petfinder.com ? Maybe that would help.

The shelter has all the cats on their petfinder page, and they occasionally mention the shelter in the newspaper. The shelter I volunteer for is well-known in the area, and they hold adoptions at a local pet store several times a week, and have regular hours at the shelter itself. I don’t know if the shelter manager would go for my posting pictures of the cats on Craigslist, but I’ll mention it to her!


Do any of your cats do the “puke up whole food thing ” all the time? I have one that seems to do it the most. all 3 are healthy and have never been outside. I’m stumped…..and sick of stepping in cat puke.

We occasionally have incidences where someone barfs up whole piles of food for a few days; it’s usually when something they’ve eaten doesn’t agree with them (ie, when I switch up the kind of food I give them at snack time). It’s entirely possible that whatever you’re feeding them isn’t agreeing with them – or you have one of those cats that gorges and then gets overfull and barfs because s/he’s gotten too full.

Readers, I know someone out there has had to deal with this sort of thing – advice?


Robyn I am curious, have you had trouble with freezer burn when you make a large dish and freeze half for later use? I don’t have one of those vacuum seal things and I am trying to make double batches of meals to make busy days easier. Any advice on freezing would be appreciated.

When I make big batches of food and freeze them for later use, I almost never use the FoodSaver, actually. If it’s something like soup or chili, I’ll put it in one of those bags meant specifically for the freezer – OneZip makes freezer bags – then press as much air out of the bag before I zip it closed. If it’s something like lasagna or chicken and rice casserole, I put two layers of foil directly on top of the food to help prevent freezer burn, and wrap the foil around the edges tightly. Whatever you can do to prevent air from touching the food will help prevent freezer burn.

That’s my advice – if any readers have more advice to add, feel free to share!


Thanks so much for posting your recipes. Tonight I tried the chicken and rice casserole. I didn’t have breadcrumbs so I used Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoned stuffing instead. It was delicious — even my kids ate it, which is a huge compliment considering how picky they are. Thanks again!

Great minds must think alike, because I’ve recently started using the Pepperidge Farm stuffing instead of bread crumbs, too – it adds a little extra flavor to the dish, and when I think of it, I’ll add that note to the recipe so everyone can give it a try that way!

My favorite recipe this week is a stir-fry recipe I got from my mother years ago. I can’t swear to it, but I believe it was a Weight Watchers recipe. It can be used with chicken or steak (I prefer steak) and it makes two big servings. I had it for lunch several days this week (and for breakfast this morning), and the leftovers are even better than the fresh stir-fry. I imagine you could toss lots of different vegetables in there, but I love it just the way it is. Recipe is hither.


When you launched into the visit-to-Lowe’s story, I had to stop and ask myself if I accidentally opened up “Vituperation” Then I wondered if Fred was doing a guest entry. Finally, you mentioned rugs and vacuums and I was all, “Whew…she’s back.”

I am secure enough in my femininity to make visits to Lowe’s if I need to!

(Also, I like to look at the rugs and curtains and plants and bird feeders!)


About the kitty litter: Have you ever tried that kitty litter that’s made from pine sawdust? It is more expensive, BUT it doesn’t stink! Really! It comes in little tiny cylindrical thingies, and when the cat pees, what it pees on just turns into sawdust, and after the whole box is sawdusty you can take it out and compost it. As for the poo, you just scoop it out as usual, as often as usual. But the pine really, truly keeps down the smell of the pee. I buy it at PetSmart here, but almost every place carries it.

The cats pees on the pellets (for lack of a better word), and the pellets turn to sawdust – but is that dry sawdust or a wet? I’ve never tried that stuff before, but I might be willing to give it a try.

After I get through the 200 pounds of Fresh Step I bought at Sam’s today, that is. I was loading litter into the cart, and this frail-looking little old lady who was half a foot shorter than me and probably 50 pounds lighter came running over and said “Oh my! Let me help you with that, ma’am!” I held her off ’til I got the cart loaded myself, because I didn’t relish the idea of seeing her snap in half under the load of a 40-pound bucket of litter. Of course, she probably would have totally kicked my ass – maybe she’s one of those little-but-strong women.


So let me get this straight, soft cottony tampons irritate your, uh, um, lower area, but Scott tissue doesn’t? That stuff is like wiping with newspaper! (Is it odd that I know so much about your bathroom happenings?)

It is not odd that you know all the details that I share about my bathroom habits – but it is rather odd that I apparently feel the need to share them and then immediately forget that I’ve shared!

The Scott Tissue does not piss off my lady parts because the Scott Tissue does not include a long, thick cotton thread that dangles and annoys and irritates, no matter how much it’s tucked out of the way.


How often per day do you count noses? Boring Diatribe: I scooped up bath towels this morning from the floor, where my (rotten) kids had left them piled up. (GOD FORBID anyone else put the damn towels in the damn wash, about six steps from where they left the pile. Lazy shits.) Anywho, as I was cramming the towels into the washer it struck me that they (the towels) had sort of been half on/half off a throw rug which one of my cats like to sleep on (I have two cats. I often prefer them to the two kids referenced above.) and I had better determine Cat Locations before putting the washing machine on. Plus the towels are white and neither cat would particularly benefit from being bleached. The cats were safe and then I thought of you and how many times you must have to count noses to make sure everyone is ok.

Actually, I don’t really do all that much counting. My main concern are the cats who hang out in the back yard and have the tendency to hop the fence (Tommy, Mister Boogers, Joe Bob), and so every once in a while I go and check on them. I usually know the favorite spots of the other cats, so if I wander past, say, the guest bedroom doorway and don’t see Miss Stank sleeping on the guest bed, I’ll go looking for her. I’ve kind of developed a sense of when I haven’t seen a cat in a while, but I honestly don’t remember the last time I did a head count.


Robyn, what do you really think of your foodsaver? Is it really worth it or just slightly better than regular plastic bags?

And Kristin said:

Jai, I know you didn’t ask me, but my Foodsaver freaking rocks and I love love LOVE it. Things stay so much nicer and there is never ANY freezer burn. Also, the bags are much cheaper on eBay.

I agree with Kristin – I love my Foodsaver, and it does an awesome job of keeping stuff fresh. Also, she’s right about the bags being much cheaper on eBay – I buy my bags there, and saved a bundle!


Do your cats open up a can of whoopass on a tennis ball sometimes? Keeka does that, and I think it’s so funny.

What I think happens is that the tennis ball (which has been laying out in the back yard ever since we had that old dog here for a few days – I took it outside and threw it for him, and he looked at it and then at me like “Your point is?”) taunts the cats. Because the cats will be out in the back yard hanging out, and then they’ll start stomping back and forth, giving the ball dirty looks and whipping their tails back and forth, and then suddenly they go running at it and kick the holy hell out of it. It’s a mouthy little bastard, that ball.


What’s going to happen if Fred or you decides you lurve the pigs and can’t kill them?

First off, I really do believe that Fred will be able to kill the pigs – I like to make fun of him, but I don’t doubt that he’ll be able to do it. However, if he realizes that he can’t, then we’ll send them off to be processed by a professional. If we can’t bring ourselves to do THAT (which I highly doubt), then we’ll sell them to someone who can. There is no fucking way we’re going to have two huge pigs living in the back forty as pets.


Here’s a cat question – how often do you bathe your cats? We have 2 indoor-only shorthair Siamese kitties that do a good job of keeping themselves clean, but I was wondering how often they should get a good dunk in the tub. Any words of wisdom on this topic?

We never bathe our cats. The last time I remember bathing a cat is when we had Sugarbutt as a foster, and we had to bathe him every day to keep the poop off his back end (long story short: we thought he had a prolapsed rectum, and he would get feces all over his back end every time he used the litter box. Turned out, he had impacted anal glands, and once they were expressed, he never had another problem, thank god). Before that, we gave Miz Poo a bath once because she couldn’t groom herself. Other than that, we let the cats clean themselves and don’t bathe them. I feel like I read somewhere that bathing a cat isn’t good for their skin, but I might just be making that up.

Readers, do you bathe your cats? And how often?


My cats don’t like to share snack either, so we have to give all three of them separate plates. Our youngest cat will quickly eat all of hers, and then go bully the other cats away from their plates and eat all of their snack too. We have to stand guard like the snack police!

Miss Stank, Mister Boogers, and Joe Bob are the resident pigs. They’ll share a plate with another cat, but once the food is gone off that plate, they start wandering around to the other plates and will try to bully the other cats away from their snack. It mostly pisses me off when they do it to Spanky, because he will totally let himself be bullied, and run away. If I see them closing in on Spanky I’ll push them away, but most of the other cats will stand up against the bullies.


Is that a happy-looking Joe Bob, or what? (flickr)

Sugarbutt loves him some grass. (flickr)


2007: “She keeps abandoning us for that damn Smallville house and those damn Smallville cats. Let’s pee in her bed, Suggie!”
2006: Holy hot dog! That’s a good freakin’ show!
2005: Questions answered.
2004: No entry.
2003: “Why, god? Whyyyyy?”
2002: He was in the room with me for less than 90 seconds. Was I happy? Oh, yes. Thrilled.
2001: I don’t know about that man…
2000: New vehicle.