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4-30-08

by @ Wednesday, April 30th, 2008. Filed under Fostering, Life

Thanks, you guys, for your photo editing suggestions. I was emailing with local reader Jean, and I realized that there’s nothing I need to do that I probably couldn’t do perfectly well with PaintShop Pro. It’s not like I really need to PhotoShop my pictures all to hell and back – I prefer the more natural look, so aside from lightening, sharpening, and cropping pictures, I don’t really do anything that should be all that difficult. I’m going to get me a book that teaches me how to use PaintShop Pro, and if I find that it’s not meeting my needs, I’ll move over to PhotoShop Elements and then maybe some of your other suggestions.

I had no idea, by the way, that PhotoShop is THAT expensive. Holy cow! For a price like that, I hope they provide you with an instructor who’ll come to your house and yell at you for doing it wrong and maybe bake you a cake on the way out.

Thanks, also, those of you who recommended the over-the-door towel rack. I know I’ve seen those before, but had completely forgotten that they exist – that’s exactly what I need, and I’ll be looking for one when I go out tomorrow. Several of you suggested putting a towel rack on the side of the cabinet, but I don’t want to do that, because I’m not sure how well it would work (I don’t think the cabinet’s made of solid wood) and I don’t want to mark up the side of the cabinet in case I suddenly decide I don’t need ANY of that bathroom stuff, toss it, and decide to use it for something else.

And yes, Smocha, Fred could move the towel rack to another spot, but the issue is that there are no other spots in the bathroom where the towel rack would work, unless he hung it over the litter box and I don’t relish the thought of drying myself with a litterbox-smelling towel.

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So, Monday night Fred said something, and I realized that I hadn’t, as he’d asked via email earlier in the day, taken two pounds of coffee out of the freezer and left them by the side door so he’d remember to take them to work with him. Yes, they provide coffee at work, but it’s Folger’s or Maxwell House, and his delicate taste buds shudder at the very idea and so he has a coffee maker in his office and he makes himself the fancy stuff and won’t share it with anyone else, because did they pay for the fancy stuff? They did not.

I said “Oh, I forgot to take your coffee out, why don’t you go do that while I finish making dinner?”, and he gave me a skeptical “You just PRETENDED to forget, you always make me do everything WOE IS ME” look and he went and started looking through the freezer. A moment later he said “We may have a problem.”

“WE don’t have a problem,” I said. “I don’t drink coffee!” I helped him look through the freezer, and sure enough, he was down to one pound of coffee. While I was searching, I came across some frozen broccoli I’d put in the freezer a few months ago. At the time, I was making stir-fry a couple of times a week for lunch, and so I’d bought a big bag of fresh broccoli and separated it out and froze it so that when I needed broccoli, I’d have the perfect amount I needed, on hand. Naturally, I’d fallen out of love with the stir fry and moved on to something else and the broccoli had been sitting in the freezer unused.

“I’m never going to use this,” I said, taking the frozen bags out of the freezer and setting them on the counter. “I’m going to let them thaw, I bet the pigs would love some broccoli.”

And so, on the counter the broccoli sat all evening long and into Tuesday morning. Mid-morning, when I was getting ready to make breakfast, I rediscovered the broccoli and decided to open the bags and put the broccoli into the pig bucket sitting on the counter so that when Fred got home from work, he could add whatever he was taking out to them (which he mixes with their Pig Chow) and the pigs could have themselves a nice, healthy snack.

I cut open the first bag and dumped the broccoli into the pig bucket, then tossed the bag into the sink (Food Saver bags can be washed and reused, as long as they aren’t holding meat. I mean, I’m sure bags that held meat could probably be sanitized enough for reuse, but I don’t like to take the chance) and turned to grab the second bag. I was about to cut the top off the second bag when the smell from the broccoli I’d tossed into the pig bucket hit my nose.

As an aside, let me inform you that I have a fairly strong stomach. I clean out litter boxes twice a day, and the damage Joe Bob does to a litter box – both visually and olfactorally – would do a weaker-stomached person in. I eat lunch at my desk which overlooks the back yard, and it’s not uncommon for me to look up from my lunch to see a cat making the back yard their super-sized litter box, and I am unfazed and go right back to eating. We routinely discuss cat and chicken poop while we’re eating, I suffer cat farts with mere exclamations of disgust, I walk through clouds of septic tank stank with just a grimace. I am not easily overcome by the nastiness of daily life, is what I’m telling you.

So when the smell from the opened bag of broccoli hit my nose, I was surprised to find myself standing over the sink gagging. It was the nastiest thing I have ever smelled in my entire life.

It smelled like evil.

Holding my nose closed, I dumped the broccoli from the pig bucket into the trash, took the trash out to the trash can, and came back inside to find the awful stench dancing merrily from one end of the house to the other. It took the better part of a day that included scrubbing down the counters, sinks, and pig bucket with bleach, lighting matches, spraying air freshener, and lighting candles in every room of the house before the smell was completely gone.

And that’s always a fun way to spend your day.

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These goddamn kittens are never going to open their eyes. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that they’re all going to be blind (well, except for Inara, whose eyes are actually open) and plan to take up a collection to buy little white canes and miniature seeing-eye dogs for them.


(pic) Little pink toes and little round belleh.


(pic) Kaylee, nursing.


(pic) Not an uncommon sight – River, Inara, and Zoe snoozing in a pile while Kaylee communes with the wall of the box. She likes to scratch at it, I think she likes the sound it makes.

There are some truly awful pictures up over at Flickr. Like I said yesterday, I’m refraining from using the flash so as to avoid damaging their brand new eyeballs (assuming there are eyeballs IN there) but I couldn’t let their 12th day go by unrecorded.

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(pic) Newt wonders who that good-lookin’ guy in the mirror is.

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Previously
2007: I think you can imagine our happiness.
2006: No entry.
2005: Always/ Sometimes/ Never
2004: Erin should be more concerned with the fact that he’s been killing people and burying them in the back yard and less with his lying.
2003: I believe there’s a seat in the ass-singe section with my name on it.
2002: Sucks to be her.
2001: “Fuuuuuuuuck,” he said.
2000: Don’t come back here looking for no entry, my friends.

4-29-08

by @ Tuesday, April 29th, 2008. Filed under Fostering, Life

Things I want you to answer for me:

1. Is Photoshop easy to use? Because I’m just not that crazy about PaintShop Pro, and I’m thinking about getting Photoshop (eventually, even though it’s kind of expensive) but if it’s not super-simple to use for stupidheads like me, I’m not going to bother.

2. Bev asked We have heard a lot lately (and for a long time) about the horrendous conditions in puppy mills. I never hear anything about “kitten mills.” Do you know if there is the same problem for pet shop kittens as there is about pet shop puppies? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of there being an issue with kitten mills, but I know someone out there knows the answer to this, so share!

3. Um. That’s it, actually. I thought there was more, but apparently not!

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So, I’ve been meaning to mention this, but kept forgetting. Remember Romeo, that old beagle who showed up in horrifying condition, and we kept him for a few days before we found him a new home with the vet tech at the vet’s office? And she took him the day we had Spot put to sleep?

A few weeks ago, Fred went back to the vet’s office for something – I can’t for the life of me remember what the issue was – and he found out that as it turned out, Romeo was fine for a couple of months, thriving, fitting in well at his new home. Then one day he started getting very sick and started going downhill quickly. They found a mass and it was cancer (they think it was pancreatic cancer), and the very next day he was dead.

The vet tech was sad, but said that given a chance, she wouldn’t hesitate to take him again.

I thought you guys would want to know.

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So, when I moved upstairs, as you all know, I also started using the upstairs bathroom. The problem is that when I was downstairs, I had a desk that I used as a vanity, and I could keep all my extra shit in there. But I wanted to use the desk as a sewing table, which meant that I needed to move all my bathroom shit upstairs, and the problem there is that I have A LOT of bathroom stuff, and it wouldn’t all fit under the sink.

After much looking around and measuring and all that, I ordered this storage armoire from JC Penney. I actually ordered it at the beginning of April, but it was out of stock and took a few weeks to get here. Then the box sat on the front porch and then in the front room before Fred put it together over the weekend. I tried to figure out how to put all my stuff in there without having to pile it on the shelves, and then later in the day he was running an errand in Closeville, so I went along with him and ran into Big Lots, where I found plastic bins that I thought would work. Not only did they work well, they fit perfectly, and now all my shit is neatly arranged and all my bathroom shit is stored away in the upstairs bathroom, where it’s supposed to be.


(pic) The only issue is that I can’t hang my towel on that towel rod, and hanging the towel on the hook on the back of the door doesn’t allow it to dry in the 23.75 hours between showers. The only solution I can think of is to put a towel rod on the back of the door. I think that would work out okay; I don’t like hanging my towel over the shower rod, because I don’t like the way it looks.


(pic) Possibly I mentioned that I have a lot of bathroom shit.


(pic) Lots of hair stuff (the stuff I actually use on a day-to-day basis is in the medicine cabinet). You can never have too many extra bottles of shampoo!


(pic) I have ten tons of lotion, and yet I hardly ever use lotion. Go figure. I imagine I’m searching for the perfect lotion that will make me WANT to use it every day when I get out of the shower.


(pic) Stuff for my teeth.


(pic) Extra soap and contact stuff.


(pic) Bath bombs and salts, and in that little bag? Makeup. Lot of makeup for someone who never wears it, no?

And there you go. My bathroom organization. I actually considered labeling each bin, but I think that would be a little over the top.

Shaddup.

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Sometimes, when the babies are hungry, it looks like Kara is under attack, what with them all climbing on her and squirming and kneading.

It’s so cute I pass out from the sugar shock.


(pic)


(pic)

Inara’s eyes are definitely starting to open, and I think Zoe’s eyes are starting to as well (though I can’t quite tell). Kaylee and River, not so much. The shelter manager said eyes open around 10 – 14 days, so I have a few more days before I need to worry. I’m going to run a warm washcloth over their eyes later today in case there’s any gunk holding their eyes closed.

Kitten pictures may be scarce for the next few days; bright light can damage their fresh new eyeballs, and I cannot for the fucking life of me get a decent nonflash shot in that room, since it’s so dark. I mean, I’ll keep trying nonflash pictures and share whatever I get, but don’t hold your breath and don’t worry – there’ll be ten thousand pictures a day when I don’t have to worry about making them blind.

A few more kitten pics are up over at Flickr.

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(pic) This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a snuggle.

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Previously
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: So, Fred has now been officially neutered.
2004: All I have to say about the kayak is this: those fuckers are HARD to get out of!
2003: Except that best laid plans and all that jazz.
2002: I love old houses with deep porches.
2001: No entry.
2000: Even now, Fred and I talk about that, and we refer to it as my “Walking the gauntlet.”

4-28-08

by @ Monday, April 28th, 2008. Filed under Fostering, Life

Pet store kitty pics from the last several weeks (I take the pictures, I save them to my hard drive, then I just cannot get motivated to upload them and write a quick pet store kitties pic post, I don’t know why) are here.

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So, I got the video camera out early last week with the intention of making movies of the bebbes. The bebbes, however, don’t do a whole lot other than sleep, and since we keep the room so dark and they sleep in the very back of the box, I wasn’t really able to get much footage of them, except for about five minutes of Kaylee (the raccoon) doing her damnedest to nurse. That movie – about five minutes long – will be up later this week, probably Friday. In the meantime, here’s a video of Momma Kara. When I got down on the floor in front of the box and pointed the video camera at the babies, she flopped down between me and them in the interest of getting herself a belly rub.

My favorite part is where she’s kneading the air as I talk to her. My second favorite is about halfway through, when she glances over her shoulder to check on the babies.

Here it is on YouTube:

And if YouTube isn’t your thing, you can see it in mpg format, here. Right-click and save it to your hard drive if you expect to watch it more than once – and you know you will!

For the record, there’s a link in the sidebar to the right, under “me, elsewhere” that will take you to my YouTube “Channel”, which has all the movies I’ve ever uploaded over there.

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Friday, shortly after noon, I was hanging out in the foster kitty room, petting Kara. The kittens were sleeping as usual, and Kara was nestled up against me purring like mad as I rubbed her belly. She’d just finished off half a can of kitten food and seemed about ready to take a nap.

She perked up suddenly, and ran over to the door. Sometimes Mister Boogers or Tommy starts sniffing around the bottom of the door, and Kara has to establish the fact that she will rip their faces off their bodies and hang them from the nearest cat tree if they even consider thinking about coming inside and looking at her babies, something she does by growling like a hellcat, hissing loudly, and sticking her paw under the door and waving it around wildly. Usually they’ve already run off like the scaredy-cats they are by the time she gets to the paw-waving step, but she’ll do it just for good measure.

I’ve rolled up a towel and pushed it against the outside of the bottom of the door on the hallway side, but somehow they’ve outsmarted this high-tech blocking technique and have figured out how to pull the towel away from the door for maximum sniffing action.

So when Kara ran over to the door, I figured Tommy or the Boog was out there, and there’d be some hissing and growling. I rolled onto my back and watched to see what would happen.

I was absolutely frozen in horror as the door began swinging open. I knew immediately that I hadn’t made sure the door had latched when I came in earlier, and Mister Boogers in his singleminded sniffing was pushing the door open. I knew there was no way this was going to end happily, and I was certain Mister Boogers would be dead in a matter of seconds, because you do not FUCK with a hormonal postpartum Momma.

My legs flew up into the air, giving me leverage as they came down to hop to my feet. As I got to my feet, I screamed “NOOOOOOOOO!”, knowing that Mister Boogers had not long to live. I ran at the door, arms outstretched, hoping to slam the door shut before the carnage could begin.

“Whuh – okay!” Fred said, and pulled the door closed.

Filled with Spring fever, he’d decided to leave work early and come home to surprise me. Instead, he gave me an adrenalin rush that lasted through most of the rest of the day.

And Mister Boogers lives to het again.

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Friday has become my experimentation day when it comes to dinner (and dessert). This week, I decided to try Paula Deen’s Grilled Apple, Bacon and Cheddar Sandwich with Roasted Red Onion Mayo. It was actually a fairly simple recipe – the most labor-intensive part being the roasting of the red onion and the blending of the red onion with mayo – and when we sat down to dinner, I had high hopes.

I don’t know if the problem was that neither of us was all that hungry (we’d eaten a late lunch) or what, but Fred thought it had way too much cheese on it (given, four slices of cheddar are an awful lot for one sandwich), and I thought it would have been better without the bacon. I like bacon every now and again, but I can mostly live without it. We both agreed that the roasted red onion mayo was fabulous, though, and we saved the leftover to have on our hamburgers Saturday night.

For dessert, I made these S’mores Cookies. I love S’mores – LOVE THEM – so I was really looking forward to the cookies. Nothing against the cookies, but I really just didn’t that much care for them. I used the really good Ghiardelli milk chocolate chips, and I love me some toasted marshmallows, and the cookies weren’t bad, they just weren’t anything I’ll really ever crave again. I let everything cool for a long time, but the chocolate just wouldn’t harden and drippy chocolate makes me angry, because I’m a total slob, so upon Fred’s advice, I put the pan in the refrigerator and it turned into a block of concrete. Fred cut a small piece (and practically needed a hammer and chisel to do so) and microwaved it for a few seconds and it softened up just fine, but neither of us was that crazy about the cookies. I told Fred that I thought it would have been better if I’d just put down a layer of graham crackers, then a layer of melted chocolate and then the marshmallows and broiled them to toast them, and Fred said “Those would not be S’mores Cookies. Those would be S’MORES. Just make S’mores, they’d be easier.” True, that.

The pigs gave ’em two hooves up (each, for a total of four hooves), though!

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By Saturday morning, I just couldn’t stand it anymore. Kara’s been shedding like it’s her job, and every time I went into the foster room, I would pet her and pet her, and tons of hair would go flying, and I could actually see the thick layer of cat hair on the carpet outside the box where she and her kittens spend all their time, and so I decided it was time. Fred put Kara and the babies in a big carrier, I put the carrier in the bathroom, shut the door, and started vacuuming.

I think I must have vacuumed that rug for about fifteen minutes before I decided I was done, and while I was at it I changed out the towel in the box for a fresh, clean one, and then I filled up the water and food bowls, and when I went into the bathroom to get the carrier, Kara and her babies were sound asleep. Kara woke up when I picked up the carrier, but once back in the foster room, I gently lifted out each of the kittens back into the box, and I don’t think they even woke up.

It’s nice to be able to lay down and get up and not be coated in cat hair.

The kittens’ eyes are not open yet which is causing me no end of worry because as you may or may not have realized by now, I am a total worrywart. I’ve read their eyes should open between 7 and 10 days, and then I read between 7 and 14 days, and now I’ve read that I shouldn’t worry too much until about day 18, and if they’re not open yet, they should go to a vet. I’m sure they’re fine, though, they’re healthy, they’re gaining weight (oh my god, Inara is a porky little thing, and there’s nothing I love more than porky little kittens!), so I’m going to stop worrying.

Okay, no I’m not going to stop worrying. I’ll just try not to harass them about opening their eyes 15 times a day, picking them up and looking closely to see if there are any eyeballs visible yet. Okay, yeah. I’ll probably keep with the harassing, too. OPEN YOUR EYES, BABIES, DAMNIT!

Last night when I was hanging out with Kara and the babies, Kara was off eating her canned kitten food and River decided he was going to explore a little, so he crawled around the towel a bit, and I reached out and petted him. AND HE PURRED FOR ME. Okay, not a lot, but still. PURRING. Because I was petting him!

Clearly he is a genius. Now, if he’d just open his damn eyes!


(pic) “But I do not wish to open my eyes, lady. Also, whose tail is flopped across me? RUDE.”


(pic) I took this picture, and then I picked up all the kittens and smooshed them to death. The TOES. The little hanging-open mouth! AGH!


(pic)


(pic) Zoe, 10 days old.


(pic) River, 10 days old.


(pic) Kaylee, 10 days old.


(pic) Inara, 10 days old.

I’ll do single pictures of each of them again at 2 weeks old and HOPEFULLY by then their eyes will be open. Fingers crossed!

Today’s uploaded kitten pics are hither.

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(pic) “Ah laks to sniff at the door and make that Momma kitty freak out. Ah call it ‘passing the torch o’ hetred.’ Hahahahahah ::wheeze::”

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Previously
2007: No entry.
2006: I love my cats, but sometimes I really HATE MY FUCKING CATS too.
2005: KIND OF LIKE HERPES.
2004: The mind boggles, does it not?
2003: Sam’s! Whoo!
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Ah, the intrigues of 11 year old girls…

4/26/08

by @ Saturday, April 26th, 2008. Filed under Fostering, Life

An impromptu Saturday entry to share cool links with y’all, and then a couple of bebbe pictures!

An Engineer’s Guide to Cats (via readers Rossann and Lanna Lee and then about a thousand of you):

(If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, forward to 4:24, disciplining cats, and watch it through cat yodeling. Cracked me UP.)

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Also via Lanna Lee (I’d seen it before, meant to link it, but kept forgetting):

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Christian the Lion’s reunion with the people who raised him. If the look on his face when he realizes who they are doesn’t make you tear up, you’re heartless. (I’d seen it before, but thanks to Flagger, who reminded me of it):

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This is about the neatest thing ever. If a deer hung out in my back yard…. well, first of all I imagine I’d look out to see Mister Boogers riding around on the back of one of them, radiating hetred as he went, but after that, I’d just keel over from the thrill of it.

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Dancing Machine (the America’s Funniest Home Videos video of the husband whose wife keeps locking him out and won’t let him in ’til he dances for her). My favorite America’s Funniest Home Video EVER.

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26DSC09455
(flickr) Yesterday, when they heard the camera focusing, three of the four lifted up their little heads and hissed at me. Nance pointed out that they look like they’re laughing about something. Probably a fart joke.

26DSC09480
(flickr)

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26DSC09203
(flickr) Tom, on the boxes our computers came in (this is from last week. Obviously, I cleaned up. The boxes are piled in the CORNER, now.)

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Previously
2007: (What I wanted to say: YOUR MOTHER. Now go to bed!)
2006: So, in essence, the fucking DVR TATTLED on me.
2005: E’gar goes into the shop.
2004: I must be mumbling or something today. Everyone I’ve spoken to has looked at me like I’m speaking French and they can’t understand what the hell I’m saying.
2003: No entry.
2002: Blah blah blah.
2001: No entry.
2000: “Um… you mean, she lies on your butt to muffle your farts?” he ventured.

4-25-08

by @ Friday, April 25th, 2008. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life


(pic)

HG has gone to the pet store – room opened up, so I took him with me yesterday when I went to scoop and feed. He was quiet – worried – on the trip there, and a little hesitant when I let him out of the carrier in the cat room. He roamed the cat room while I did my thing, sniffing all around, making friends with the other cats. He was the last one I put in his cage when I was done cleaning – and I waited until I absolutely had to leave to make my 9:00 appointment – and he immediately climbed into the litter box and meowed sadly at me when I walked by the window.

Poor HG. He’s under strict instructions to get adopted by next Thursday. Hopefully he will!

(The sidebar will be updated by the third of When I Get the Fuck Around to it.)

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If you get a chance to add this to tomorrow’s part 2: When you freeze the onions (and bell peppers too, since you told me I could), how do you store them so that you can get only as much onion as you need out later? I thought I was clever the first time I froze onions and chopped up like four huge onions and put it in a tupperware-knockoff figuring I’d just open it up, scoop out how much chopped onion I needed, and close it back up. Brainiac that I am, I didn’t think about the fact that it’d all be frozen into a solid onion brick. So, what do you do, a few teaspoons between sheets of waxed paper? Individual baggies? There’s got to be something easier and more sensible…

I put my chopped onions in sandwich bags and stick them in the door of the freezer. If I just need a few Tablespoons, I roll the bag back and forth between my hands so that the lump of frozen-together onions break up, then measure out what I need. Voila!

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How to figure out the girl kitties from the boys:

On their back side:

Boys will look like this = o

Girls will look like this = +

Just sayin’!

Yeah, we’ve actually sexed kittens pretty often. I find this page pretty helpful, but once you’ve done it a few times and know what you’re looking for, it’s not too hard.

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Why is your ire so damned funny, Robyn? (Does Fred think so, too?)

Because it’s ALWAYS funny when someone’s pissed off and it isn’t directed at you!

Fred usually finds it funny when I get pissed off as long as it’s not at him (though sometimes if I’m over-the-top swearing and stomping-around annoyed, he finds it funny even if it’s directed at him) and as long as it’s not something he’ll have to fix (ie, the GODDAMN COMPUTER).

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How very organized of your cats to place themselves so symmetrically on your bed! A tad OCD, isn’t it? And oh my GOD those kittens are to die for! I can just hear the tiny mewing. I so envy you!! Except all that litter box cleaning, eck. No thanks!

I think it’s funny that they were located equidistant from each other. Apparently they all have the same personal space requirements!

The litter box cleaning isn’t so bad yet, since Kara’s taking care of all the kittens and their elimination needs. Once they start using the litter box (another 2 to 3 weeks, I believe – hard to believe those little squirmy things that sometimes can’t quite locate a nipple that’s right in front of them will be using litter boxes so soon, isn’t it?) the scooping will be a pain, but it’s worth it!

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I’ve been meaning to ask you this and keep forgetting! I had my husband rototill half of our freaking yard last week, so our veggie garden is going to be HUGE this year. I’ve never tried canning and I was wondering if there was a book or anything you’d recommend for someone who has no idea what she’s doing. Did you learn any hot tips last year?

The Ball Blue Book of Preserving. Absolutely, without a doubt, the most useful book when it comes to canning. When I got my pressure canner, it came with a book and I read the book and was instantly in a panic, saying “This doesn’t make SENSE, I don’t UNDERSTAND, I’m never going to be able to figure this OUT!” The Ball Blue Book takes you by the hand and leads you step-by-step and makes it so very, very simple. Two thumbs up – and actually, once you understand how to can, the world is open to you, because you can go online and get tons of cool recipes online! It might seem complicated at first, but it’s really not. Just take a deep breath and dive in!

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So cute. Those pink toes – I just want to nibble on them!

I can report that those pink toes taste like cotton candy. In case you were wondering. Not that I would lick them myself or anything!

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Does the sideswipe blade get the stuff down in the little divot at the bottom of the bowl too? That’s the stuff that drives me nuts. I have to dump my cookie dough out and remix the bottom part to make sure the good stuff is all evenly distributed. I might have some sort of cookie-related OCD.

Yeah, that was my pet peeve, the stuff left behind in the bottom of the bowl. I love my Kitchenaid, but I’m thinking for a damn mixer that expensive, there shouldn’t be shit left in the divot at the bottom! I’ve only tried the Sideswipe once, but I can report that when I dumped the cake batter out of the bowl, there was NO unmixed stuff at the bottom of the bowl. Other Sideswipe owners, your experience?

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You should totally watch Firefly… the character of Jayne is a boy (BTW), but River is a great name too!

I actually thought of naming the gray tabby Jayne, since Jayne is a boy, but I thought that might get too confusing for potential adopters!

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How much do the kittehs weigh? I need to know so I can send the correct FedEx package and airbill so the kittehs can be sent to me. OkThxBai.

As of last night – one week old – they all weigh between 8 1/2 and 9 1/2 ounces. Kaylee’s the littlest and Inara is the biggest. I know you’re kidding about the FedEx, though. Only UPS properly ships kittehs!

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Also, have you ever had experience with a cat with a broken elbow? I have a cat, Gracie, who broke her elbow back in January. I don’t know how she did it – I was handing out treats one morning, and she didn’t come to get hers, so I went to find her and she was laying in her favorite sleeping place, with a broken leg. She spent the last three months in a cast, and the last x-ray didn’t show much if any improvement over the previous one, so they removed the cast yesterday. I am VERY disillusioned with my vet’s office, let me tell you, first because of a billing issue last week, and then because yesterday when she had her cast off, they just took her in the back, removed it and brought her back out to me. I never saw a vet, and never got any instructions on how to care for her now.

I got her home, and her leg is weak and stiff, obviously, from being in a cast for long, and it was very much in need of a grooming. I pulled out as much of the dead hair that I could, so she wouldn’t ingest it, and she finished cleaning it up. The fur is a little thin now, but it looks much better. Anyway, though, she is using the leg, with a very obvious limp. I don’t trust her to jump down off anything onto it, so I’m watching her like a hawk to keep that from happening. But it troubles me a lot, because it doesn’t seem right to me. She even sometimes doesn’t seem to realize that her foot has turned under. She can straighten it back out, just sometimes doesn’t seem to realize she should.

I wondered if you or any of your readers have had experience with this. Since I got no instruction from my vet – am I doing the right thing by being so protective? (If she breaks the elbow again,she’ll lose her leg.) My plan right now is to have her loose when I’m home to watch her, and to encourage her to walk on it as much as possible, to try to strengthen it. (She has been living in a crate while the cast was on, and is in there now when I’m at work and at night when I’m sleeping, just so I know she won’t break it while I’m there to watch her.) Is there anything else I should be doing for her? Am I just being overprotective? (Also, there are pictures on my blog, if you want to see her when she just came home yesterday.)

I have never had any experience with a cat with a broken elbow, but I think you’re probably doing the right thing, being protective and making sure she doesn’t jump down and reinjure herself.

Readers, words of wisdom?

From Tina, in yesterday’s comments:

I have a dog that had ACL surgery, not a cat or dog with a broken elbow, so this may be assvice. With the dog, we were to gently extend the leg until he pulled back – like 10 times a couple of times a day. Then the opposite, gently push the leg in towards his body as far as he would let us. Also 10 times a couple of times a day. This gets the muscles working and the blood flowing.

I would baby the cat for a little bit – give her a “boost” onto the bed and furniture. I would slowly let her do more otherwise she won’t heal. If you are really concerned, get her some pet stairs so that she doesn’t have to jump up and down onto the furniture or bed. My arthritic cat has stairs and he uses them in both directions.

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Hey, why don’t you call them back tonight at 3 in the morning so they can see how it feels?

A week after my hubby got back from afghanistan, my brother called my house at 3 am… i woke up freakin’ and shaking because I forgot hubby was back and thought they were calling me to tell me he was injured or died… 3 am phone calls only mean one thing to me and that is death! It took at least an hour for me to calm down enough to even TRY to get back to sleep. I haven’t spoke to my brother since then either…

I tell you what, I was tempted – except that I would have had to get up at 3 am to call them, and I need my beauty sleep! The very next night after they called at 3 am and woke me up, I was sound asleep and the phone rang and woke me up and my immediate thought was “Are these people FUCKING KIDDING ME?” But it was actually only 10:45, and it was my friend Liz, so all was good.

Also, after that 3 am call, I actually went back to sleep and dreamed that it had been a call from someone telling me that Fred had died, and then the Real Housewives of NYC came over, Luann was lecturing me on the proper way to write thank you cards, and Ramona was trying to get me to go out dancing with her. Good lord.

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So – does Kara keep that towel clean or do you have multiple purple towels that you keep replacing daily?

Kara keeps that towel perfectly clean, except for all the cat hair that’s starting to build up. I’ve thought of putting a clean towel down, but right now I think it’s probably best to leave that towel in place, because I’m sure it smells like Kara to the kittens, and smells like home to them. Once their eyes are open and they can see what’s going on, I’ll replace the towel on a somewhat regular basis.

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Since you DID answer the phone at 3am.. have you ever thought of running for president? LOL

I tell you what, you do NOT want President Bitchypoo answering the phone at 3 am. “HELLO? Do you know what TIME it is? Oh REALLY. Well, did anyone DIE, someone better have DIED for you to call me at 3 am! They…. HOW many? GodDAMN it. Nuke those fuckers and don’t call me back ’til after 8 am, you hear me?!”

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Are those your NEW purple towels?!

HELLZ no. That purple towel under Kara and the kittens is an old one I’ve had kicking around for a long time. We have quite a collection of old towels, there’s no reason to sacrifice my nice new ones!

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I have read a lot of birth stories on the Internet and this is the only one that made me teary.

I actually got teary several times during the process, first because it was so hard to see Kara in pain (always easier to BE in pain than watch someone in pain, I always say!), then because – well – MIRACLE OF LIFE!, and then because I was thinking about our cats and imagining what they must have looked like as newborns. I bet Mister Boogers was one seriously cute (yet hetful) little thing.

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By the way, started the morning today at 5:30 with an earthquake and then went in for a job interview during which we had an aftershock. Not sure if that is a good sign or bad.

We actually felt that earthquake! Well, the aftershock, I guess. We were both awake, me in my room and Fred in his. I felt it, but thought it was a cat tromping across my bed. Fred felt it and knew it was no cat, ’cause the cats aren’t allowed in his room at night, so when he got up he checked the news and found that, indeed, it had been an earthquake.

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What is Firefly? I’ve never heard of it.

There’s a sudden lack of oxygen as the entire internet just gasped in horror. Firefly is a cult hit TV show (that is no longer on) that everyone appears to LOVE, and you can read more about it here. And when I’m done with October Road (shut UP), Firefly’s going to the top of my Netflix queue, promise!

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(pic)


(pic) The look on Kara’s face – with the tongue stuck out – is cracking me UP. “No milk for YOU!”


(pic) Pretty Kara.

Kara was out wandering around the room yesterday afternoon, so I gave her a catnip bag to see what she’d do. What she did was roll around on it and get high and then get aggressive with me (grabbing my arm and nipping it), so I took the catnip bag away from her ’cause I didn’t want her eating no kittens!


(pic) She’s a mean drunk.

Pictures uploaded over at Flicker and can be seen here.

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(pic) Miss Momma (Maxi), snoozing on my bed. She haz a nipple. Let her show you it.

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Previously
2007: Alternately, I came up with “expressional”.
2006: A belly rub is a religious experience for Our Tommy.
2005: Friday sucked ass for the following reasons
2004: No entry.
2003: I am apparently married to a 100 year-old man.
2002: “Your air gap floopy.”
2001: And thought about putting my motherfucking fist through my motherfucking monitor because my motherfucking internet access has been going down every 9.8 seconds.
2000: “There’s no Easter bunny, there’s no tooth fairy, and Bruce Willis is DEAD, he’s DEAD, DEAD!”

4-24-08

by @ Thursday, April 24th, 2008. Filed under Fostering, Life, RHoNYC

Real Housewives of NYC Reunion show (cut and pasted from an email. To Shelly, if you MUST know):

Okay, I couldn’t get to sleep because I knew the Reunion was sitting on the DVR taunting me, so I got back up and watched it!

Man, I don’t WANT to feel bad for Simon and Alex, but it’s kind of hard not to! I mean, I agree with Bethenny telling them to just own their behavior, but with everyone jumping on, I was starting to feel bad for them!

The look on the host’s face when Ramona got up and walked off cracked me UP, ’cause he was all “What the hell am I supposed to do NOW?”

I didn’t understand Bethenny’s non-answer. Are she and Jason still together, or not???

Who are these idiots emailing the countess about manners and making her think she needs to write a BOOK? Does she not realize that there have been 10,000 books written on the subject, for the love of god.

I still don’t know who Ramona thinks she’s fooling, claiming she’s never had plastic surgery. MY ASS. Brow lift AT THE VERY LEAST.

Jill was fairly restrained, but I don’t know how on earth she and Ramona can claim to be friends, because if I had a friend I got along with (or DIDN’T get along with!) the way those two do, I’d cut my losses!

Okay, my eyes are crossing, I’m going to bed. This was a REALLY good reunion show. They’re not NEARLY as nice to each other as the OC housewives. And I love it! 🙂

(and then)

Ramona is just an idiot. She doesn’t see that she’s being a TOTAL hypocrite, though to be honest even if she did see it, I don’t think she’d care. I can’t stand the way she talks, either, and she sits there and makes faces like a little kid ever time she says something – like “Why is he here?!”, and then does a total bug-eyed look to the side. Did you notice that she refused to even look at Simon when he was talking? She has SUCH a chip on her shoulder! And I think it’s funny that she was the most disgusted by Alex & Simon’s house when she’d never been there!

I totally noticed that the Countess brought up the idea that they should finish their house before they go dropping tons of money on clothes. She stole my point! Obviously she has her spies reading my email. I could never be a Countess, though, I’d have to toss a “du” or “de la” into my name, and Robyn de la Anders0n…. Hmm. Actually, it has a ring to it!

Did Alex actually say something about them being the sort of people who like to “get their hands dirty” renovating houses, or did I make that up in my head? I don’t see either of them being in any way shape or form into renovating. Though if they’d pay me the amount of money she spends on a SINGLE DRESS for the OPERA, I’d renovate their damn house for them! And I’d be all “Yeah, that linoleum came directly from the sweaty brow of an old Italian man in :coughcoughcough:opoly! I know, you’d think I nipped down to Lowe’s and grabbed it, but totally not!”

I don’t know if they’ve even started filming the NJ Housewives, but it can’t be soon enough for me!

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Instead of waiting ’til today to get potting soil so I could pot the plants on the front porch, I decided to run to Wal-Mart yesterday and buy potting soil and a few other things I needed. I picked up some eggplant plants for Fred (he adores those Japanese eggplants!) and a few other things, but I looked every damn where and couldn’t find potting soil anywhere. Since I knew that Lowe’s would have it in bigger sized bags and it’s not very far from Wal-Mart, I just went ahead and ran over there.

Two huge-ass bags of potting soil later, I was home. Instead of doing the potting right away, I opted to wait ’til the afternoon and spent the morning watching Work Out. As the show was ending, I got a call from my plastic surgeon’s office. The woman I spoke to had just gotten off the phone with my insurance company and wanted to let me know that they’d denied my pre-approval for plastic surgery.

I was turned down for not meeting criteria, so the nurse said I could come back to have more pictures taken, and if I wanted to write a letter to send in with the appeal, that would probably be very helpful. I spent the afternoon Googling around trying to get an idea of how to start such a letter – I knew what I wanted to say, but I had no idea, seriously, of what the first few sentences should consist of. After much Googling and ending up on very unhelpful pages, I discovered that To Whom It May Concern: I am writing this letter to appeal the decision of [Insurance Company], which denied me preapproval for a panniculectomy. was a good way to start, and once I got those first few sentences written, the rest came pretty easily. It’s always getting started that’s hardest for me, I find. After some writing and editing and tweaking, I was done.

So after I’m done at the pet store this morning, I’ll be going to the plastic surgeon’s office, where I’ll be getting naked for a strange woman, who will take pictures of me.

One hopes they won’t end up on the internet.

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Okay, the kittens – as I mentioned yesterday – have been named. Fred and I had discussed going with a Shakespearean theme, and he had a lot of different suggestions, all of which were good ones, but I wanted pretty names for these babies, not silly or goofy ones. I know, I’m a dork. Probably once these kittens are adopted, their names will be changed anyway, so it doesn’t matter THAT much, but it does to me.

Anyway.

Elayne made a suggestion in my comments mentioning names from Firefly. I’ve never seen Firefly (it’s on my mental list of shows to watch on DVD some day), but the names she mentioned were pretty enough that I went to the link provided and looked ’em over. And I liked them enough, that that’s what I went with, a Firefly theme. So meet the newly named babies:


(pic) Zoe.


(pic) Inara.


(pic) Kaylee.


(pic) River. I know that the character of River on Firefly is a girl and this kitten is a boy, but it was a name that could be either a boy or a girl, and at the time I matched the name with the kitten, we weren’t sure, so River it is.

(We double-checked last night. River’s the only boy; the rest of them are definitely girls, by the way.)


(pic) Momma Kara and Zoe.

A TON of really cute pictures uploaded over at Flickr.

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Previously
2007: Behold, I have The Internets in my home!
2006: So they had a baby. BIG FUCKING WOOP-TI-DOO. Now can we give it a freakin’ rest?
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: $65 for that bullshit. Bargain, eh?
2001: Dumbass, take two.
2000: THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLE IS APPARENTLY WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO COME TO A DEAD STOP AND STARE, WITH GLAZED EYES, AT THE 145 POUND CANS OF KETCHUP

4-23-08

by @ Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008. Filed under Fostering, Life

The phone rang at 3:45 this morning, scaring the shit out of me. I had to stumble across the room (the phone is on top of the dresser), fumble for the phone, drop the phone, peer at the caller ID, then answer, to find out that it was a wrong number. I wanted to yell “DON’T YOU KNOW YOU DON’T GO CALLING PEOPLE AT 3:45 IN THE MORNING?!”, but I didn’t (the bouts of irrational anger are over for another month THANK GOD). Then I had to pee, and Fred had heard the phone ring, so thought I was coming to knock on his door to tell him one of his parents had died or something, so we talked for a few minutes and then went back to sleep.

Being woken up by the phone in the middle of the night = FUN.

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I went to Wal-Mart yesterday because when we were there on Saturday buying our computers, I noticed that they had a lot of really nice, healthy-looking plants, and I need plants for the front porch, so I wanted to see what they had.

I ended up getting pots of Impatiens, Mexican Heather, and Ivy for the front porch (the Ivy will be in hanging pots), and a few other plants, the names of which I do not know, to put in the plant stand by the front door.

It wasn’t ’til I got home that I realized we have no potting soil here, so instead of spending the rest of the morning potting plants on the front porch, I lay in the foster kitty room and petted Momma and her babies (which really is much more fun than having to deal with dirt!), and I’ll pick up potting soil on the way home from the pet store on Thursday. The plants will be fine ’til then.

I sure do love Spring.

Fred’s father and stepmother came by on Sunday. They have a friend visiting, and they wanted her to see the Crooked Acres sights. Fred’s parents are very into gardening – they’ve done a gorgeous job in their back yard, it’s really something to see – and I think they’re a little disappointed that we have all this land, and I don’t work, and we do the bare minimum when it comes to landscaping.

I just don’t really enjoy that kind of gardening, and I’ve decided to stop feeling guilty about that. If we had a million dollars and could pay someone to come put in a lovely garden and then keep it up, I’m sure I’d enjoy it and love it a lot, but as for doing it myself? Nah. Just not into it!

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Recipes I have recently made, and consider worth sharing with you:

On Friday, I made a recipe I’d gotten from Cooking Light magazine, Ham and Cheese Macaroni Bake with Peas. Fred liked it a lot. I kind of liked it, but thought it had too much pasta in it. I’m not anti pasta (ha!), by any means, but I really think that if the recipe were made with about half as much macaroni, it would be a lot better. However, we put the leftovers in the big refrigerator to feed to the pigs, and the next day I had nothing in the house for lunch, so I decided to give the Ham and Cheese Macaroni (etc.) a try. Sitting in the refrigerator overnight had allowed the flavors to meld or something, because it was much better than it had been the night before.

I still think it would be better with half as much pasta, though.

Also on Friday, I finally got around to making Eclair Cake. Local reader Jean (hi, Jean!) sent me the recipe a while back after I made Paula Deen’s Banana Pudding, and oddly enough, a few days later, Fred’s mother and stepfather stopped by to drop off leftovers for the pigs, and since it was Easter, they also brought us a dish of… Eclair Cake! I’ve been meaning to make it for the past few weeks, but this past Friday I finally got around to doing it. The good thing about this is that you can lighten it up by using skim milk to make the pudding, and Light Cool Whip – or if you’re of a mind to, you can go with the whole milk and regular Cool Whip. The important thing is to let it sit overnight – and the longer it sits, the better it is. I made this Friday morning, and by Sunday afternoon I was saying “You had better take this out to the pigs, or I’m going to eat it ALL!”

(The pigs really liked it, for the record.)

And lastly, my mother makes a broccoli casserole that is so good I always LOVE and it wasn’t until my most recent trip to Maine that I thought to get the recipe from her. I made it on Thursday to have with leftover Kahlua/ Kahula Pork and then we had it again on Sunday with leftover Kahlua/ Kahula Pork, and then I had it with my lunch a couple of times. It’s not a terribly healthy dish, what with all the cheese and the mayo, but you can make it a little lighter with the substitution of light mayo for half the mayonnaise, and reduced-fat cheese. I wouldn’t use all light mayo, though, because I’ve been told that doesn’t work well.

And there you go. Happy cooking!

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Momma Kitty and babies continue to do just fine. Those of you who think they’ve gotten bigger – rest assured, they clearly have. Kittens are supposed to double their weight in their first week of life (or so I’ve read), and these babies are growing so fast I could probably sit and actually see them growing. They’re getting round little tummies and I can barely keep my hands off them.

Momma Kitty has now been named – her name is Kara. Not named after anything or anyone in particular, but I realized that I’ve been calling her “Cara” in my head for the past few days, and since that spelling has been used by a previous shelter cat, I just changed the spelling.

The kittens have also been named, but since I want to introduce each of them with a picture and we’re taking individual pictures of them this evening, you’ll have to wait ’til tomorrow.

My favorite thing to do, when hanging out with Kara and babies, is when one of them starts sniffing around, I put my finger in front of their nose, and they sniff for a moment, then make the MOST disgusted face. Like, “HUMAN. God, those things REEK!” It’s about the cutest thing on earth.

I took a look at the gray kitten’s hind end last night, and I’m 99% sure it’s a boy; Fred concurs.


(pic) “Momma!!! We is HUNGREE!”


(pic) Pile o’ cute.


(pic) The wee raccoon.


(pic)

Tons o’ pictures up over at Flickr!

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(pic) Miss Stank does not appreciate the flash.

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Previously
2007: Things I should have done this weekend but did not:
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Fred and I came up with the perfect name for a rapper: Skid Markee.
2003: Damn that Rob Rummel-Hudson. Damn him straight to hell. He gave me The Pink Eye!
2002: Note to self: Get life.
2001: how the hell did I ever get everything done when I was working full-time? (I still wonder this)
2000: I had hoped to see Tom Cruise’s penis, so I could pause the movie and look closely at it.

4-22-08

by @ Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008. Filed under Fostering, Life

So, it was fairly early on Saturday that I knew the day – if not the entire weekend – was going to go to shit. I was taking a break from cleaning the house (just a surface clean, mind you, not anything fancy), when I found that the toilet in the small bathroom off the computer room wouldn’t flush. I tried plunging it, it didn’t work, and so I asked Fred to come inside and take a look at it.

When I tried flushing the toilet in the hallway bathroom, it flushed but it made a scary gurgling sound, and that’s when we realized there was going to be some kind of issue.

Luckily, Fred had the business card of the guy who’d run water lines to the chicken and pig yards, and he’s a guy who deals with all kinds of outdoor plumbing, so Fred called him to ask for advice. He said it sounded like a septic tank issue, that he needed to get his truck, and he’d be over as soon as he could.

In the meantime, Fred told me, I needed to stop the washer and dishwasher, use the toilet if I had to, but NO flushing. I think you can imagine my heartfelt joy when I heard those words. I finished cleaning the house, spent some time with the various foster kitties (and non-foster kitties), and then sat down in front of my computer to look at some of the pictures I’d taken.

I’d looked at a few when my computer slowed down considerably, and I shut down PaintShop Pro and reopened it, things slowed down even more, so I rebooted.

I should say “ATTEMPTED to reboot”, actually. Because my goddamn computer would not reboot. No matter what I tried, it wouldn’t reboot. Finally, after several temper tantrums, I had to summon Fred inside to try to figure out what the fucking fuck was going on.

What the fucking fuck was going on, apparently, is that my motherboard was fried. Gone. GONE. GODDAMN IT. And me with ten million pictures on my computer, and not having backed anything up in, oh, about a year. I tried to get Fred to promise me that we’d be able to get all my stuff off my hard drive, but he is a cautious man and would promise me nothing.

Bastard.

Meantime, the outside plumbing guy had shown up, looked at our septic tank, said that it needed to be pumped out, but hey – guess what? Apparently the septic tank had three covers, and when the Banks’ (the previous owners) had the septic tank pumped out a couple of years ago, they just uncovered one of the covers and pumped that part of the tank out. The other two covers needed to be uncovered (they were under a few feet of dirt) and the entire tank needed to be pumped out. The plumbing guy had to go get his backhoe to dig out the rest of the septic tank, and would be back in a few hours.

He’d just shown up to do so, when Fred finished up what he was doing outside, and decided it was time to go get dinner and maybe stop at St@ples to look for new computers.

“New computerS?” you’re saying. “Did Fred’s computer die also?”

Why, no. Fred’s computer didn’t die also, it’s just that I was going to need a new computer, so he decided he needed to get himself a new computer as well. NO FAIR, I say. I wasn’t going to argue, though, because if I’d even tried, no doubt he would have been all “Well, you have a LAPTOP, you should just use that!”, and I’d have no good comeback to that.

So we stopped at St@ples, and not only did they not have much to choose from, they didn’t have any computers other than laptops, and so we shrugged and went along our way and Fred was all “Should we stop at W@l-Mart and look?” and I was all “Ugh. I do NOT want to stop at Wal-Mart on a Saturday evening, because there will be too many people there, and you will act like a bitchy princess.” He promised not to act like a bitchy princess, so we stopped.

Fred pumped the guy working in the electronics department about one of the computers and the guy had to go look up the information, and I wandered off to the fabric department to look at (obv.) fabric, and was just walking back to the electronics department when Fred called me on my cell phone and told me to hurry along, he was checking out.

So we got brand-spanking-new computers, Hewlett Packard something-or-other, with the blah blah blah and the blah blah gigs of blah and RAM and blah. Alls I know is that when we got home and Fred hooked up my new computer, he said “It said it would take about 20 minutes to run through the first time” and I said impatiently “Well, are you going to turn it ON?” and he told me it was on, only it was so amazingly quieter than my old computer that I couldn’t even tell it was ON.

The best thing we did when we bought those computers was to buy a Seagate Free Agent Go 160GB Portable External Drive, and Fred put my old hard drive in his old computer and booted it up, and all I had to do was copy everything from my hard drive to the external drive, and it took a couple of hours to copy (due to all the pictures, music, movies, crap, etc.), but if I’d had to burn everything to DVD, I’d still be sitting there doing that. Once my stuff was copied, I started copying it to the hard drive of my new computer, and then Fred copied stuff from his old hard drive, and the external drive is big enough that it could hold all our stuff on it with no problem whatsoever.

And now I’m going to leave the external hard drive hooked up to my computer, and I’m going to schedule a hard drive backup once a week so that when this computer shits the bed (and I have no doubt that it will), I won’t have to have a hissy fit about MY PICTURES! and MY MUSIC! and MY DOCUMENTS!, because it will have been backed up.

Regarding the septic tank, the guy got the septic tank pumped out with no problems. He told Fred that in his opinion the septic tank was too small for the house, and Fred and I talked about having it replaced and we decided that we’re going to put that off ’til we absolutely have to deal with it (you are WELCOME, Future Robyn and Fred! Suck it!) and the guy left the septic tank uncovered and said he’d check on it in a few days and then cover it back up.

For the record, an uncovered septic tank (and I mean that it’s got lids on it, it’s just that the lids are meant to be covered. Septic tanks are not meant to be uncovered, they belong under a couple of feet of dirt!) FUCKING REEKS. If you stand outside the computer room door and take a deep breath, you will swear that the wind is blowing from the pig yard. Septic tank = pig yard stank. In case you were wondering.

Oh, and the other thing that happened Saturday regards the coverlet I ordered from JC Penney for my bed (this one, in Smoke Blue Solid). I ordered this coverlet in Queen size (since my bed is Queen size) and I liked the look of it a lot, but the Queen size wasn’t quite long enough on the sides for me. I’d rather have the sides hang a little too long than a little too short, y’know? So I sent it back and ordered a King size instead. The replacement came on Thursday and I put the package on my dresser, because obviously one cannot put a brand-spanking-new coverlet on top of DIRTY sheets. Saturday morning I changed my sheets and took the coverlet out and shook it out onto my bed, and then I paused and thought “Oh, I’ve got that on there wrong”, and I moved it around the other way, and still it wasn’t working, and then I looked at the tag, and those fuckers had CHARGED me for a King size, had put a shipping sticker on the outside of the package the coverlet came in that said it was King size, but in actuality it was Queen size.

I was FURIOUS. Because all I fucking want is my new coverlet for my bed, one that will go with the bedroom and not show the grimy cat prints, and here I was going to have to wait EVEN LONGER.

Now might be the time to mention that I was feeling a wee bit premenstrual over the weekend. If you must know.

So I stomped down to my computer (before it died on me. Maybe the hatred I sent at JC Penny while I was (nicely) asking the customer service people what the fuck I was supposed to do now BECAUSE I AM NOT PAYING POSTAGE TO RETURN THIS GODDAMN THING AND I AM NOT PAYING POSTAGE FOR YOU TO SEND ME THE CORRECT ONE, MOTHERFUCKERS caused my computer to die. Who knows?) and I filled out a form on the JC Penney page, and eventually I got an email back from them saying they’d send me a UPS label to affix to the package and I could either request a refund or ask for the correct item to be sent to me.

Good enough, I suppose.

Sunday’s bout of fuming and irrational anger centered around Fred and I going up to the foster kitty room specifically so I could take pictures of each of their little faces and I got a bunch of really good pictures aside from those, and then when I sat down at my computer to look at the pictures, I found that the memory stick hadn’t been in the camera so none of those pictures had really been taken GODDAMN IT. I don’t know WHY this fucking expensive, fancy fucking camera can’t give you an error message if you try to take a picture without the memory stick in it. I also don’t know WHY my fucking husband can NEVER put the fucking memory stick back in the fucking camera when he’s DONE WITH IT.

Also, he’d decided that he was going to make Splash the Feral Kitty love him no damn matter what, so he dumped her out of her kitty pyramid and tried to pet her, and she ran under the sewing desk and hunched there, looking terrified. I talked to the woman Splash belonged to (who came and picked her up on Monday) and arranged to have her come pick Splash up, and then I wondered how the holy fucking hell I was going to get that damn cat in the carrier. Because if she was in the kitty pyramid, it had been my plan to hold the pyramid with the opening matching up to the cat carrier opening and gently coax her to move into the carrier. Coax her with a little force, if necessary. But since Fred had dumped her out, she’d apparently decided the pyramid wasn’t safe, and so she’d taken to hiding under the desk or the bed or the dresser, but not anywhere where she could be cornered. We tried to coax her back into the pyramid, but she wasn’t having it, so I decided to take her food away, put the carrier in the room, put some food in the back of the carrier, and hope she’d decide that was a good place to be. At bedtime, she was still hiding under the bed and my general plan for catching her on Monday was to put on heavy clothes and heavy gloves, and just basically chase her around the room until I caught her HA HA HA AS IF.

And, let’s see. Monday’s bout of irrational, over-the-top anger centered around the hour when I couldn’t connect to the internet because our phone and internet service had gone down for no apparent reason AS IT LIKES TO DO FROM TIME TO TIME GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

I think, let’s see… Yeah, that’s about it. That’s what my weekend was like.

The two good things that happened yesterday were:

1. Fred looked in the guest bedroom before he left for work, but Splash was still hiding under the bed. By the time I got up an hour later, she’d decided to move into the pyramid, which I hoped would make it easier to put her in the carrier. When her owner called to let me know she’d be on her way soon, I went into the guest bedroom, put a heavy denim shirt over the sweatshirt I was wearing and put on some heavy gloves because I absolutely knew that she was going to escape from the pyramid and I was going to have to grab her and I didn’t want to have my hand shredded in the process. So I held the carrier up to the pyramid, pulled the little cushion she was hiding under out of the way, and she looked up at me and casually moseyed into the carrier and settled in with no problems at all.


(pic) Giving Mister Boogers and his hetred a run for his money.

2. Upon reading the email instructions for returning the coverlet to JC Penny, I saw that after affixing the label to the package, I was to drop it off at a UPS store to be sent back to JC Penny. This PISSED ME OFF because I wasn’t the one who fucked this up and I didn’t think I should have to drive to a drop off center (did I mention that there’s recently been some irrational anger in my life the past few days?) and I couldn’t schedule a UPS pickup without a UPS account of my own EVEN IF IT WAS TO BE BILLED TO THE RECIPIENT OF THE PACKAGE and even after I signed up for a UPS account, I couldn’t schedule a UPS pickup without the recipient’s account number, which did not appear to be anywhere on the goddamn label. I’d finally given up and accepted that I was going to have to drive the goddamn package to the UPS dropoff center when the doorbell rang. I went to the door to find a package left for me by UPS. And the UPS man hadn’t crossed the street to his truck yet, due to traffic, and I was able to wave him down and give him the package with the coverlet in it, and I was (briefly) happy. ‘Til my internet went down and I dove into that Pool o’ Irrational Anger.

The irrational anger might be gone. But it might not. I advise you not to piss me off and find out, if you know what’s good for you.

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Momma Kitty and the babies continue to do just fine. I spent a lot of time in there yesterday afternoon and got to see the whole nursing process from beginning to end (ie, the part where the babies are done nursing and fall asleep with nipples in their mouths. Too seriously cute.). The gray tabby started jerking and shaking and I was freaking out trying to figure out what was wrong, when I realized she was hiccuping.

I think they’ve all lost their umbilical cords, which is not as gross as it sounds. The dried up umbilical cords look exactly like dried-up stalks off a plant and if I hadn’t found them in the box where the kittens are, I probably would have thought that’s what they were.


(pic) Time for an after-nursing nap.


(pic) Pile o’ monkehs.


(pic) “Momma! We is HUNGREE.”


(pic) (Over to the right) “This is not a nipple! This is a TOE!”


(pic)

Today’s ton of uploaded pictures (the ones above, and more!) can be seen over at Flickr.

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(pic) Joe Bob in the daffodils, where you cannot see him. No you can’t. No you can’t. NO. YOU CANNOT.

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Previously
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Annoying.
2003: Holy FUCK, look what JUST wandered across my front yard!
2002: The big flies make a very satisfying THWOOMP! sound as they fly down the attachment tube.
2001: No entry.
2000: Aren’t they, um, AMERICANS?

4-21-08

by @ Monday, April 21st, 2008. Filed under Fostering, Life, RHoNYC, Survivor

This section regards last week’s episode (and season finale) of Real Housewives of NYC. Skip to the next section if you haven’t seen it/ aren’t interested!

I’m just basically cutting and pasting an email regarding this show so I don’t have to type it up again!

Bethenny was cracking me up at the beginning, with her reaction to Alex saying that she wanted men and women to be equal which, you know, of course they should be IN THE WORK PLACE, but it’s a crime to want to spend time without the opposite sex around? And then her saying (regarding vibrators) “Why is she plugging it in, what generation is she?!” made me laugh, too. She doesn’t hesitate to say anything about anyone, and I wonder if she’ll end up getting shit for that from the other women.

When she flipped out on Jill though, if I were there, I would have been horribly uncomfortable. I mean, what the hell? Couldn’t she have been a wee bit nicer about it? I was impressed that Jill didn’t flip out in return, since she usually adores her some drama.

The whole thing about Bethenny’s father interested me enough that I went looking to see who he is. He’s apparently some big deal horse trainer. YAWN. That was weird at the race track with her father’s friend giving her lingerie. AWKWARD.

OH, and look what else I found:

http://tinyurl.com/69bsnj

Her boyfriend lost his job due to his involvement with the show! Damn Bravo, wrecking careers!

Francois cracked me up when he was intentionally doing the puzzle wrong, because he was so obviously doing it on purpose, then the “What year is it?” and “What country do we live in?” was making me laugh, because please. What four year-old knows the answers to those questions??

Ramona was an ass at the end, at dinner, when she was pushing Alex about what she did when Simon was gone. Well, you know, Alex apparently works during the day and takes care of the kids at night (and suddenly, given the shape of their house, I’m wondering if the au pair is live-in. They usually are, aren’t they? What the hell must her room look like? Is it the closet under the stairs, or what??), so maybe she didn’t have time to go out flitting around and meeting up with her girl friends, RAMONA. Jesus. And she had some nerve, showing up so late, I thought Jill would flip out on her but was nicely surprised again.

I just cannot believe that with Francois running around screaming like that, Alex and Simon did NOTHING. And when he was stabbing Jason’s $30 burger that MUST BE MADE OF GOLD ($30 for a BURGER. Seriously?), I am amazed that Simon was just all “Oh, you have boys, you know how it is!” HA.

I cannot. Cannot. CANNOT WAIT until the reunion next week. I had to go make sure it was set to tape, because I am SO not going to miss that! That is going to be the trainwreck to beat all trainwrecks, I can’t wait to see Ramona stomp off!

I just read that Bravo gave the go-ahead to start filming Real Housewives of New Jersey. That’s just too damn close to NYC for me – I’d rather see another area of the country. Atlanta? Chicago? Seattle?

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This section regards last week’s episode of Survivor. Skip the next section to begin the Comment-Answering Extravaganza.

I liked Ozzy, a lot, I love the fact that he’s an unassuming little powerhouse, but when the FUCK are these people going to understand that the instant you think you’re in the power seat, the instant you feel okay to start getting cocky, is when you’re GONE? And how stupid is Ozzy to mention the idea of using the Immunity Idol and then NOT DOING SO? I liked Ozzy a lot, but I LOVED seeing him get his ass blindsided. A good blindside is worth its weight in gold. Or somethin’.

I loved seeing Eliza’s reaction to Ozzy getting voted off.

I think if Parvati makes it to the final three, she’ll be able to use the fact that she talked everyone into voting Ozzy off in her favor. It’s just going to be a weeeeee bit uncomfortable around camp between now and then!

Also, I think it’s shitty that people at that challenge would promise not to vote whatshisname off and then go right ahead and vote for him. Crossing your FINGERS? What are you, two years old? Assholes. On the other hand, he was an idiot to believe anything they’d say.

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soooo, I’m thinking pork and Kahlua? That’s a strange combo – then I looked at the recipe. I just might have to try it!

When I told Fred the name of the recipe, he made a face and said “It has KAHLUA in it?!” I cannot think of a single entree that would be improved by the addition of Kahlua. Luckily, there’s no Kahlua in Kahlua Pork – and we managed to get three meals out of what we made, with a little left over. I love only having to cook once, and ending up with three meals from what I’ve made!

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I always think the fosters are so cute and that you have to be crazy to let them integrate with the other cats because they almost always seem to fit in so seamlessly – but for the first time in a long time I want you to keep this one. An impossibility perhaps but damn he’s so cute!

I have to say, HG is a little sweetheart. I had my doubts at first – I’m always worried when we get the ones who won’t let us touch them at first – but he’s integrated really well with the other cats, and that doesn’t always happen. There’s usually some hissiness involved, if not flat-out fighting, but HG is submissive enough that if another cat hisses at him or smacks him, he just goes on his way, no hard feelings involved. I’ve been calling him the little Ambassador-in-training, because the other cats seem to like him quite a bit. Even Miz Poo doesn’t have a fit when he rubs up against her, and that’s unheard of. Unfortunately, though, we’re just going to love him while we’ve got him, and when there’s room at the pet store I’ll take him so that someone else can fall in love with him and bring him home with them.

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www.thecountryhouse.com is an awesome catalog for curtains also. I was lucky to be in the area where they actually have their store and I think you would go nuts in there. I spent over 5 hours in there and still didn’t get to see everything! I have bought curtains from them below online and they are really good quality.

I really like the curtains I’ve looked at so far – but I don’t know who I’m kidding. I’m starting to think that curtains just aren’t in the cards for this house, because I’ve been looking for over a year and I’ve liked a lot of the curtains I’ve seen, even bookmarked a bunch of them, but have I ordered any? No, I haven’t. I don’t know what my issue is with just ordering the damn things and getting it over with!

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Have you heard of the Kong Cat Zoom Groom Robyn? It really works. I bought one at Pet Smart but I see you can get them at Amazon. It really pulls the loose fur out. The fur can indeed go flying in fluffs into the air so be careful what area of the house you use it in. My cats love it. I imagine it must feel like a real good massage to them. It works so well you might want to be careful not to brush them pert near furless!

I actually thought we had one of these, but after looking in all the usual places, I’m not seeing it. I’m starting to think that either we had one and it ran away with the Feliway, or I just thought about buying one but didn’t. I’ll have to think about giving it a try – none of our cats particularly like being brushed, so if I can trick them into thinking they’re getting a massage when I’m actually getting rid of the loose fur, I think it’d be a good thing all around.

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I read one of the syndicated advice columns recently (can’t remember which one) in which a person complained because his/her partner allowed the cats (dogs? maybe?) to eat from “the dishes that we eat from and cook with.” Is this really an issue? My animals all have their own bowls in which the vast majority of their food goes, but I *ALSO* have a dishwasher and, before I had a dishwasher, had these really amazing things called “soap” and “water” and “dishcloths,” and if I want to put the goddamned plate down on the floor for the dogs and/or cats to eat the scraps off of it, as long as I was it, or put it in the dishwasher – where it gets bombarded for eleven hours with all sorts of caustic chemicals and water that’s like 8 million degrees – afterwards, what is the big fat hairy deal? “OMFG your CAT licked your PLATE! Remind me never to eat at your house again! OMG THAT’S SO GROSS!” I mean, what the hell? How do people function if an item exposed to momentary unsanitary-ness is forevermore tainted and UNCLEEEEEEEAN? I cook with the same hands that have cleaned up baby poop (and grown-u… well, never mind), but hey, guess what, I’ve WASHED them since then! What a radical concept!

Heh – I’ve heard of people having ISSUES with animals eating from people plates, but I’ve never understood it, myself. We do have special plates for the cats at Snackin’! Time!, but that’s just because we use so many of them that if we used people plates for cat snacks, there’d be no plates left for us when we wanted to eat. And I actually do run the cat snack plates through the dishwasher, though to be honest I’m sure I could just use the plates over and over without ever washing them, and the cats wouldn’t give a shit.

But anyway, yeah. I don’t get why it bothers people that animals would eat from a people plate, as long as the people plate is washed before people eat from it! Maybe it’s just a mental thing, like they look at the plate and think of the cat licking it clean, and it triggers a gag reflex?

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Also, the FurBuster seems to be the same basic concept as the Furminator. It works very well, and is (from what I can see) about half the cost of the Furminator.

Thanks for the link. It does appear to be about the same thing!

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If you don’t already have these, you need them.

I agree!

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Speaking of disapproving animals, you have seen this, right?

But of course. Nothing disapproves quite in the way bunnies do.

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I watched the mascots video and started watching others. Got a question and would love for someone to answer it. http://www.maniacworld.com/cat-confused-by-scratching.html My cats do that too. Why???

That’s an excellent question – just rest assured that your cat is not alone. Various of our cats will do that whole stare-off-into-space licking-the-air thing if you scratch hard at or near the base of their tail. I have no idea why they do that, just always assumed it was hitting some kind of nerve. When I was Googling around looking for an answer, I saw somewhere that it might be a built in reflex – when they’re babies, the mother cat licks them in that area to stimulate them to nurse. I haven’t seen any evidence of that with our current mother and babies, but if I see anything like that, I’ll be sure to let you know!

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The plant reminds me of Pachysandra, a ground cover. Does it all grow from a single spot or are they like a bunch of separate plants growing together to look like a single plant. Also, if it is Pachysandra it will spread each year.

I think I agree that it’s Pachysandra. It appears to be several different plants growing together (though I haven’t actually poked around much to see for sure, because I don’t want to run into anything that might be living under there!). It’s pretty and the leaves are green and very glossy, so I’m going to let it keep growing. There’s nothing else growing in that area, so why not?

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I’m pet sitting for my sister’s two cats, one is a six month old tiger and the other is a grown up ragdoll. He doesn’t seem too big under the fur and the other one is still mini but MAN ALIVE these cats are producing some monster dumps! I’m scooping every day and it seems like the piles are unending. And some of them are disturbingly substantial. (They haven’t really mastered the art of burying either so it’s kind of a constant litter box monitoring gig.)They only have been eating dry food but these babies are still potent.

Is this normal? I was going to get a second cat for myself after graduation but if the litterbox is going to be so…scary then I’m not sure I’m up for it. Also, I’m not sure I’m getting paid enough for this. Robyn I know you’ve said before how many boxes you have set up and how often you change them. She’s got a small place (and I likely will too) and shouldn’t one for only two cats be enough?

My only other explanation for this abundance of poo is that they’re nervous with their mommy gone and are taking it out on me via enhanced digestion but they seem perfectly comfortable with me.

I really think that one litter box for two cats – as long as you scoop regularly – is plenty. I think a possible issue here might be what the cats are eating. If they’re eating food that has lots of filler or fiber, that could be causing larger litter box piles. My cats don’t fill them up too terribly much (though I do have to scoop twice a day, or it can get bad; that’s probably because I have three litterboxes for nine cats – though Maxi and Newt don’t use the litterboxes, since the entire WORLD is their litterbox) and I feed them pretty decent food that doesn’t include a lot of fillers.

So anyway, my point is that what they’re eating could be the cause of their litterbox shenanigans. OR it could just be that they happen to be two cats who, um, go a lot. Or you’re right, it could be a stress sort of thing – they can be perfectly comfortable with you, but still stressed about their mommy being gone. Cats like to have things follow a certain routine, and when things are changed up, they freak a little, each in their own way. If I were you, I’d ask your sister what the usual litter box situation is like, find out what she’s feeding her cats, and make a determination from there.

Readers, as always, your experiences are appreciated!

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Okay, woman: What was the pet store where you found the Stink Free? Petsmart, Petco??? I swear I’ll buy it by the case if it really works that well …

I get 99.9% of my pet supplies at PETsMART – when I refer to “the pet store”, that’s the place I’m talking about. Occasionally I pick stuff up in other places, but usually it’s PETsMART, and that’s where I bought the Stink Free. I’m not crazy about our local PetC0, it just kind of gives me the willies.

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A dumb question just occurred to me when I saw the pig pictures. Do pigs wash themselves at all? You know, like dogs and cats do. Inquiring minds want to know. :))

Nope, they sure don’t. They’re fairly clean pigs (except when they roll around in the mud like they did this weekend) and aren’t terribly stinky, but I have to admit I’d like to see them plop down on their butts and stick their rear legs in the air like the cats do. That would be a seriously funny sight.

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I have read several reports of people who used various odor-removing products and it took a while for the odor to go away. One guy treated his hardwood floors three or four times – cat piss soaked by the previous owners – but the smell was still so bad that he finally just closed off that room. A few months later he was doing something to the house that wound up with him sanding the floors in that room (I don’t remember the details of what he was doing) and he says that he realized as he was sanding that there was absolutely no odor – even when he sanded down deep into the wood, where you’d expect some odor to remain. So sometimes the smell might remain initially but if you give it a little time it’ll work. As I understand it, the enzymatic stuff contains… little things that eat the bacteria that cause the odors. So if there’s a lot of bacteria to eat, they maybe will take a little longer to finish it all off. (Does that make sense? I’m tired.)

It makes sense, and that’s actually what I heard, too, that it takes time to work, but the back of the Nature’s Miracle said that if it dried and you could still smell the odor of urine, to reapply. And after reapplying three times and still smelling cat pee, well, I got impatient, man! My life is not such that I can sit around and patiently wait for the stinky smell of cat pee to fade slowly from my couch, y’know? So far, the cat pee smell has NOT come back – and I’ve checked regularly. Two thumbs up (so far!) for the Stink Free!

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What about trying a Dog Whisperer technique on Splash? Sit in the room with her, but don’t look at her, don’t talk to her, and don’t touch her. I’m not sure how long it would take, but if you take a book in to read, maybe you could do it for an hour or so a day. What happens if you take the kitty ambassador in with you and she sees you interact with a kitty that likes you?

I do sit in there and just read for at least part of every day. Moving her from the foster kitten room to the guest bedroom has apparently traumatized her, because she’s refusing to come out in “public” while we’re in the room at all. I know she’s coming out, because she’s eating and using the litter box, and I know she’s in there, because I check to make sure she’s still alive, but nothing I’m trying is working. She reacts to an attempt at petting by hissing and clawing, if I just sit and look at her, she actually shakes. I feel bad for her, but I’m not seeing that anything I’m doing is making any difference.

I did think that if she could see another cat reacting toward me in a friendly manner it might help, which is why I put HG back in the foster kitten room with her for several days. I’d go in there, hang out, pet HG, he’d climb all over me and purr, and she’d see it happening, but it hasn’t made any difference at all.

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hmmm. Am I the only one who thinks the Vidalia Chop Wizard makes MORE work? I mean, I have to cut the fruit or veggies into pieces of a length that are “handle-able” in the Chop Wizard. So I usually end up just keeping hand chopping till its all done. And then, I have to clean not only the cutting board, but the chop wizard and those awful grates that don’t easily come clean??? Maybe I am doing it wrong.

I actually just toss all the pieces of the Chop Wizard in the dish washer, and it comes clean. I use it mostly so that I get uniform size pieces, because if it’s left to me to do the chopping, I end up with wildly different sizes, because I’m unskilled when it comes to chopping. I also like to chop several onions at once, then freeze the leftovers for future use. I figure if I’m going to get it dirty, I might as well do extra onion-chopping so I won’t have to in the future!

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Robyn, do you ever order from Penzey’s? penzeys.com, one of my favourite places on the Internet. Doesn’t matter how arcane the spice, herb, or seasoning mixture, they’ll have it, and it’s always very, very fresh and the flavour just zings. I love it. And if you ask for their paper catalog, it has GREAT RECIPES, the never-fail, not-complicated, delicious kind of recipes. I clip them and save them.

I have actually never ordered from Penzey’s and had never heard of them, then Nance and Rick sent me a collection for my birthday (actually, now that I think about it, they might have sent it for Fred, but I claimed it for myself!). I’ve been using those spices ever since – usually on steak, a couple of times on chicken – and really like them a lot. When I visited Nance and Rick, we actually stopped at the Penzey’s store, and it smelled fabulous and looked intriguing, but I was a little overwhelmed and ended up not buying anything. I have to say, I’m definitely a Penzey’s fan, and I’ll be checking out their online site!

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I dreamed last night that your bottle of Feliway was sitting in amongst all the shit I have stacked on my dryer. For the record: I did not steal your Feliway.

Liar. I KNEW SOMEONE HAD STOLEN MY FELIWAY! GIVE IT BACK!

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I am industriously grading papers while I sub a class this morning. Then I have my own class to teach tonight. In between I am going to take a nap. I am in the early days of baby making and am sooooooo tired.

Please be advised that I am very good at taking care of those in the end stages of baby making – just ask Momma Kitty! I give many belly rubs, I tell the baby maker how pretty and smart and good she is, and I offer several tasty snacks a day. Just keep that in mind when your time comes. Also, I will make for you

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Hey do you like high thread count sheets? Overstock.com has an awesome looking set on sale right now, 1200TC all sizes $69.99. Read the reviews – these are apparently some stout sheets, some like em, some hate em. But if you like heavy, high TC sheets, this looks like an awesome deal.

I actually cannot stand sheets with a high thread count – sheets that are really soft drive me crazy. I much prefer the 250 thread count percale sheets. Clearly I am not made for the finer things in life! However, if any of you out there are into high thread count, there you go. That’s a damn good price!

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Long time reader here, bad bad lurker. BUT! I had to pipe in about the Sideswipe. I have had one since Christmas and I LOVE IT! One of my biggest pet peeves with my baby (oh, I’m sorry, I mean my KitchenAid) was that I could never scrape down the bowl without making a complete mess of my hand or the spatula. Well, the Sideswipe completely takes care of that. It’s a lot lighter (its a plastic material) than the attachments that come with the mixer and depending on what you are mixing it is a bit harder to scrape off the batter, etc. from the blade itself, but like I said it is totally worth it.

Lauren, on your say-so I actually went ahead and ordered the Sideswipe. I’ve only used it once, but already I have to say – you ain’t kidding! That blade is awesome. I think it’s totally worth the price, and from the one experience I’ve had with it, I highly recommend it!

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Hey, I have a question: if, God forbid, poor Splash never learns to trust and be friendly, what will happen to her? Will she live forever as a foster hiding in your kitty condo? Or what? I mean, I get that it’s a no-kill organization but what the hell do you do with a cat like that?

Splash is actually going to be going back to the woman who had her, later today. She was hoping – we both were, really – that since I had more time to devote to taming wild kittehs, I could work with Splash and at least tame her a little. She knows someone who wants to take Splash and her sister (who the woman was never able to catch), to keep them as barn cats, so that might be where she’s going.

The shelter does have a few cats who are so feral that they can’t really be adopted out as house pets, so they’re adopted out as barn cats, but the shelter makes sure that they’ll be in safe, protected environments.

I’ve tried to convince Fred that he should put up a building in the back forty, one big enough to shelter twenty or so cats, and we could keep cats that are just really unadoptable – hell, he could run a fence around the building and give them safe outdoor access, even! He won’t go for it, though. It’s like he has a day job and can’t always do my bidding or something. Hmph.

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Do you find it hard to cook for two, or do you just make big meals all of the time and eat on the leftovers for a couple of days? I love to cook but always feel so wasteful because it’s just my boyfriend and me so we have way too many leftovers. Do you have any favorite two-people recipes?

I actually don’t find it very hard to cook for two. We end up with plenty of leftovers, but we either save them and have them another night for dinner or Fred claims them for himself for lunches to take to work. So, I’m no help here – but I bet MY READERS are! Readers? Got a favorite cooking-for-two recipe? Share with us!

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Robyn, I was wondering…. My roommate has 2 cats and I’m new to this whole cat thing. I ordered the FURminator after you mentioned it a while back (on eBay) and it just came today so we haven’t used it yet. It never occurred to me until just now that maybe the SoftPaws would be a good idea too. I was wondering how you determine whether you need small, medium or large though. Her cats are almost a year old or just about. She got them in July…. and I have no idea which size we need to order. So if you end up posting the comments answering extravaganza and can happen to answer my question, I’d be appreciative cuz I’m lost. Addendum, I just wanted to buy them for the cats as a surprise for the roommie, and I have no idea how much they weigh. And I just realized that’s how you determine the size. I guess I’ll have to ask her how much they weigh. So…. nevermind. I guess I should think before I post.

I know you’ve probably already asked your roommate how much her cats weigh, but in case you haven’t, you can probably do a decent job of guessing what size her cats will need by looking at the size chart. If they’re adults but on the small side, I’d go with size small – if they seem pretty average size for adults, the medium. A note, though – if you’re uncertain, it’s better to go with the smaller size, because you can use a smaller size on their claws, but if the caps are too big, they won’t stay on the claw. Does that make sense?

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I am unable to access the rest of my comment email (I save the comments I plan to answer in email format. I can’t access it for reasons I’ll get into in tomorrow’s entry.), so if you asked a question or expected an answer to a comment and didn’t see it, feel free to ask again, and I’ll get to it in Friday’s entry!

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I know y’all are only here for the bebbe pictures. Momma Kitty and her babies are doing just fine, I finally got a picture of each one of their little faces individually, and I intend to do that every three days or so, so we can marvel at the changes.

I really wish Fred had bought that webcam for the eggs in the incubator, because how much fun would it be to have a kitten cam? SO MUCH FUN. The internet would have exploded from the cute.

So, the kittens are as yet unnamed, just so you know. I think we’ve got at least three girls (it’s too early to figure out their sex – though to be honest, we also haven’t really tried) because three of them are tri-colored which almost always indicates females. The fourth, the little gray tabby, I just realized this morning has a little bit of orange on the face – though it could just be a trick of the light, I’m not sure – so might also be a girl. Time will tell!

I’ll stop yapping and just show you the pictures, shall I?


(pic) Momma and babies.


(pic) Note that Momma Kitty is kneading the air, and in the background, the little gray tabby’s got her paws in the air like she just don’t care.


(pic) The bitty pink paws are going to be the absolute death of me.

The kittens, in birth order (though I may have switched #2 and #4, I’m not sure):


(pic) #1, the little gray tabby. I definitely see some peach coloring across her cheeks, so I’m going to guess we’ve got 4 girls here.


(pic) #2, with the bitty freckle on her nose. Don’t those bitty claws just KILL YOU?


(pic) #3, who looks JUST like a little raccoon. Both “Rocky” and “Bandit” have been used as names in the past, though. Hmph.


(pic) #4. She looks very much like #2, only without the bitty freckle on her nose. Also, she’s got orange on her forehead, and #2 doesn’t.

As soon as I get this entry uploaded, I’ll upload a ton of pictures over at Flickr. You can see them here.

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(pic) When I went upstairs to spend time with Momma Kitty and the babies the other day, I found this on my bed. And there was no fighting. Will wonders never cease?

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Previously
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I want to hear “Fine, thanks. Here’s your Supah-sized Diet Coke. Have a nice day!” Understood? I swear, I’m just going to STOP asking, that’s all.
2003: Some day I’ll create a housecleaning schedule and actually keep to it. Ha!
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: So, my last official day at work. Ho-hum.

4-18-08

by @ Friday, April 18th, 2008. Filed under Fostering, Life

In lieu of my regular Friday Comment-Answering Extravaganza entry (which will be up either this weekend or – more likely – Monday), I have for you a birth story.

Before I get on with it, though, a couple of you have asked if it’s possible that Momma Kitty’s got owners who are missing her and heartbroken. Sure, it’s possible – but the impression I got from talking to the shelter manager is that Momma Kitty showed up on this woman’s porch, was pretty much living there, then disappeared for a while and showed back up pregnant. Before any cats are turned over to the shelter, all attempts are made to find their owners. Last year, Fred’s coworker had a cat show up at his house (he lives way out in the country with no one else around and has issues with people dropping cats off near his house) and it was such a sweet and friendly cat that he wanted to know if we could foster it and the shelter could adopt it out. I asked the shelter manager, and before she’d agree to take the cat, the coworker had to do his very best to find the cat’s owners, including asking his closest neighbors and keeping an eye on ads in the paper. (In the end, the coworker ended up keeping the cat himself.) So yeah, it’s possible that Momma Kitty belongs to someone, but all attempts were made to find owners with no success.

Preggo Kitty is now the proud Momma to four little bitty babies. One’s a gray tabby and the other three are, I think, torties. It’s kind of hard to tell at this point, but I know I’ve seen orange on at least two of them, so we’ll see what they look like when they get a little bigger.

So I spent all day in the foster kitty room with Momma Kitty yesterday. She would get up and pace and peer under the door, and if there were other cats out there, she’d growl ’til I ran them off (a blast of compressed air under the door does wonders) then she’d pace some more and then lay down to have her belly rubbed, then she’d nap and get up and pace and start the whole process all over again. She checked out various places in the room – we’d set up a moving box in one corner of the room, covered the top with a towel (with the towel hanging down to make the box darker) and lined the box with towels. She checked that out, she checked out a kitty condo, and she checked out a pyramid bed. She didn’t do any serious nesting, though, just kind of looked around to see what was what.


(pic) Poor miserable Momma.


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I have never assisted in the birthday of babies in any way shape or form, though when I was seven or eight, I had a cat who had kittens, but my sole contribution was being woken up in the middle of the night to see her laying with her babies on my parents’ comforter, then stumbling back to bed. As you can imagine, I was a little nervous, so I said “Miz Google, I’ve never birthed no babies! Tell me what to do!” And after Googling around for an hour or so, I decided that what I’d do is just stay the hell out of it unless it looked like there was a problem, then I’d run around in circles screaming until Fred did something.

That’s what usually works well for me in an emergency.

Fred got home at 3:30, gave Momma Kitty a belly rub, and then went out to ready the old chicken coop for the little chickens. I stayed in the room with Momma Kitty ’til 4, when I had to go make dinner. Momma Kitty howled sadly a few times at the door then gave up. I made dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, did a few more things, and then after dinner I asked Fred if he’d mind carrying Momma Kitty into my room and staying with her while I vacuumed the foster kitty room. I should have done that Wednesday before I went to get her from the vet, but I was in too much of a rush to get my hands on her. I knew that once Momma Kitty gave birth, I wouldn’t be doing any vacuuming in there for weeks, so I wanted to get it as clean as possible before the birthing began.

We went upstairs around 5:30, maybe a little before. I was plugging the vacuum in and Fred was in the foster room getting Momma Kitty, when he called “Bessie, her water broke!”

“Just now? When you picked her up?” I asked.

“No, her whole back end is wet, it was already broken.” Fred wrapped a towel around her and carried her into my room and shut the door. I vacuumed and vacuumed and vacuumed some more (it had been a little while since I’d vacuumed, so I got a LOT of cat hair up), then I refilled her water dish and made sure she had food, and Fred brought her back in.

I came downstairs and grabbed the camera and my bottle of water, then went back up to wait for it all to begin. I’d read that if contractions don’t start in 2 – 4 hours after the water has broke, it could be a problem. I needn’t have worried. Momma Kitty (who I’ll call MK from here on out) asked for a belly rub, did a little pacing, and then she laid down in the middle of the floor, looked at me, and I wish like hell I could have gotten a picture of her face, because she puckered her lips (I have never seen a cat do that in my LIFE) and pushed. I was worried that she was going to birth those babies right in the middle of the rug (which I don’t care, it’s not like it’s a nice rug or anything, she’s free to stain it up, I just didn’t think it was a particularly comfortable place for baby kittens to lay), but what came out what her mucus plug. Much as you’d imagine from its name, the mucus plug was mucusy and green. I wiped her off, and she paced a little then laid down again.

Fred came in to see what was going on, and she went over to him and purred as he rubbed her belly.


(pic)

Fred left the room and she went over to the box and settled in, and then she started panting, meowing, and pushing. I called for Fred, who came right back in, and we sat and watched her yowl and push.


(pic)


(pic) Starting to push.

The yowling and the pushing went on for less than a minute, and then she started licking something. She was sitting with her back to us so we couldn’t see anything – DAMNIT – but eventually she turned around, and we got to see the baby, who was squirming and wiggling around.


(pic)


(pic) Chewing through the umbilical cord.

After waiting for a little while, Fred had to go finish what he was doing outside, so he left and I sat with MK and the baby. MK stayed busy, between the licking of the kitten, the chewing through the umbilical cord, and whatever she was doing with the placenta (I have a firm don’t-ask don’t-tell policy when it comes to placentas, thank you.). I think it was less than twenty minutes later that she started pushing and yowling again.

Less than a minute later, she delivered number two.


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She did her thing, industriously cleaning and chewing and making sure her babies were okay. About five minutes after number two was born, I had to leave the room because the freakin’ camera battery was dead (ain’t it always the way?) so I came downstairs, switched out my camera battery with Fred’s, got a drink, and by the time I got back to the room (it was less than two minutes, I’d guess) she was yowling and pushing again. A few seconds later, number three popped out.


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MKDSC06554
(flickr)

In about an hour, she’d given birth to three babies, and after number three was out, she made sure all the kittens were clean, all the umbilical cords taken care of, and then she settled down for a nap while the babies nursed.


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At my request, Fred felt MK’s abdomen to see if there were any more kittens in there. He said he thought he felt another couple, and we sat in the room with her for a while longer, then decided to leave her alone for a while and watch Survivor.

We watched Survivor, pausing a couple of times so Fred could check on the kitten situation. About fifteen minutes before the end of the show, he reported that she was laying with her back to the opening of the box, licking something, so it was possible that there were four kittens. Once the show was over, we went up into the foster room and did our best to figure out how many kittens there were. After sticking our heads in the boxes (but it was too dark to see anything) and taking a picture, Fred felt around and decided he felt four distinct little heads.


(pic)

Fred felt MK’s abdomen and said he thought there was another kitten in there, but I reminded him that he thought Miss Momma was pregnant last year (right before we had her fixed) and swore he could feel a kitten’s head, but it turned out she wasn’t, that he’d just felt her liver or something, so he conceded that maybe MK was done.

I thought about going back in and keeping MK company after Fred went to bed, but decided to just leave her alone and check on her through the night. I knew if she started yowling again I’d hear her – since I was just in the next room – and off to sleep I went.

Not only did I not wake up and check on her through the night, I slept like a log the entire night through and only woke up when Fred called to me from the foster room. He’d gone in to check on MK and the kittens, and when he went to leave the room, MK saw one of our cats in the hallway and rushed the door, hissing and growling. I had to shoo our cats off and then Fred was able to come out of the room.

The final report: four kittens, she hadn’t had any more during the night. I went in a little while later with half a can of cat food on a plate for MK and to take a few pictures. She wolfed that plate of cat food down in no time flat, so I went back downstairs to get more cat food and some clean towels. While she made short work of the second plate of cat food, I pulled the towel (with the kittens on it) out of the box, put clean towels in the box, and lifted the kittens onto the clean towels. MK came over to see what I was doing, and she kept an eye on her babies, but she was perfectly fine with me handling them.

I’ve been back in to visit a few more times, bringing canned cat food every time. MK’s voraciously eating everything I give her (and she has dry food available to her at all times, too) and the babies are always either sleeping in a little pile of adorableness, or rooting around trying to nurse.

They are seriously cute, and I worry that I will squish them, because I just want to squeeze and hug them!

Momma Kitty was a champ during this entire process, and she’s a good, protective, sweet mother. I cannot wait to see the kittens’ personalities develop over the next few weeks and months!

(And, no. We’re not keeping them!)


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As soon as I get this entry posted, I’m going to go upload a metric shitton of pictures over at Flickr. I’m going to go through and caption them all, but it’ll take a while. You can see those pictures here.

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Previously
2007: I don’t know that I’ll know how to act when I’ve got internet whenever I want it, it’s been so damn long since I’ve had it!
2006: No entry.
2005: Taking the week off.
2004: No entry.
2003: Fred: That was a cowardly yellow-dog liberal DEMOCRAT thing to say.
2002: Things are getting back to normal.
2001: One of these days I’ll get my ass in gear; I just never know when that day will be.
2000: Squooshiness begets squooshiness, you know.

[Bitchypoo is peeing-her-pants excited to be powered by WordPress.]