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9/30/09 – Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, September 30th, 2009. Filed under Crooked Acres, Life


(That’s from Jane‘s Holly. I’m going to save this letter and then when she becomes president, I am going to sell it on eBay for a MILLION DOLLARS.)

 

 

Dear Holly,

Thank you so much for sending Flat Holly to visit us. We had a lot of fun with her, and she’s awfully helpful for a flat girl!

She arrived on a Saturday, and we put her right to work, scooping litter boxes. We have a lot of cats, Holly, maybe your Mom told you. We have a few of our own and we also foster kittens for a local cat shelter. This means that there are a lot of litter boxes that have to be scooped at the beginning and end of each day. Flat Holly pitched right in and scooped and scooped.


Tommy inspects the scooping.

It’s the Fall and though our garden is winding down, we still had some gardening to do. Flat Holly helped us pick tomatoes to make fried green tomatoes. She also hung out amongst the dried corn stalks and played hide and seek with one of our cats.


Flat Holly of the corn.

We grow a lot of hot peppers, and after we harvested the ripe cayenne and habanero peppers from the garden, Flat Holly helped me dry the cayennes and then grind them into powder. I had to fashion a makeshift mask for her face. One thing you do not want is to inhale cayenne powder because it makes you cough like crazy. She also helped me slice the tops off the habaneros and put them into a bag for the freezer. We did a quick habanero inventory, and it’s Flat Holly’s opinion that we have plenty of habaneros. She’s right!


Fresh cayennes.


Cayennes ready for the dehydrator.


Powdering dried cayennes.


Pouring out the cayenne powder.


Fresh habaneros, right from the garden.


Freezer full of habaneros!

Since we had so many habaneros, I asked Flat Holly if she was up for helping me make a test batch of strawberry-habanero jam. She was, so we did. She was particularly helpful when it came to supervising the cooling of the canned jam, and checked to make sure the jam had jelled (it had!). While we were canning things, we went ahead and made and canned some jalapeno jelly too. Flat Holly was in charge of watching the pot to make sure it didn’t boil over, and she did the job well. We rounded out the day of canning by making and canning caramel-apple jam, which was the only non-hot food we canned while she was here.


Strawberry-habanero test batch.


Jalapeno jelly.


Caramel-apple jam.

There was a lot of hanging out with cats, and luckily Flat Holly seemed to enjoy all the cats. We were glad she’s a cat lover because there were many, many trips to the vet. With so many cats, there’s always someone who needs a trip to the vet. We made seven trips to the vet’s office while Flat Holly was here, Holly. I’m not exaggerating. She was willing to sit near the cat carriers and keep the kittens entertained during the many trips, thank goodness. Those cats do not like going to the vet!


Nap time with the True Bloods.


Play time with the True Bloods.


Nap time with Miz Poo.


Vet time with the True Bloods.

We have chickens, pigs, and turkeys, so Flat Holly got to meet them all. There was a disturbing incident where a turkey thought Flat Holly was food. It grabbed her by the arm and ran off with her, but we rescued her quickly. She sat in a nest box and chatted with a friendly chicken, and then helped us gather eggs. It wasn’t all work for her, though. We suited her up in a rain coat (which looks a lot like a Ziploc bag) and let her go for a ride on one of the pigs. It wasn’t much of a ride, since the pig only ran over to the trough to eat, but she seemed to enjoy it. She also met our dog, George, and went for a ride on him as well.


Making pig cookies.


Feeding chickens.


The offending turkey.


Doesn’t George look thrilled?


Gathering eggs.


Hanging with the hens.

Since we have so many animals, we often have to stock up on food for them. We ran to our local feed supply store and bought hundreds of pounds of chicken and swine feed. Flat Holly helped load and unload the truck – you wouldn’t think a flat girl could toss around fifty-pound bags of feed so easily, but she was surprisingly strong.

Her last day here, we were out running errands when Flat Holly pointed to a rocket standing proudly over Huntsville and asked what was over there. What was over there was the US Space and Rocket Center and Space Camp! We went over and wandered around for a little while, but the museum wasn’t open, so we didn’t go inside.

We’re returning Flat Holly to you relatively unscathed, though she might have nightmares about being abducted by that turkey. We hope she had a good time visiting us and she’s welcome to come back to visit any time, as are you.

Sincerely,

Robyn and Fred Anders0n

 

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Previously
2008: “Paul Newman is dead too! What are the chances that… Oh.”
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: I’m a badass, that’s right.
2004: I
2003: In adults, I am anti-”bye-bye”.
2002: Day in the life.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

9/29/09 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, September 29th, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

Yes ha ha HA, people, the Holy Cat Lady is NOT me.

1. I do not sport a mullet (I don’t have the patience to grow my hair out, or I’m sure I’d be totally mulletted up).

2. I have not broken the flannel out yet this year (actually, I’m not sure that I even own anything flannel…)

3. I do not buy my litter at Walmart (they don’t sell them in large enough containers).

4. Last time I bought litter, I bought 10 40-pound buckets of Fresh Step at Sam’s Club. That woman is an AMATEUR.

 

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Thanks, you guys, for your dip recipes! Now my only problem is deciding which one to try first!

 

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We had the most beautiful day yesterday. It was sunny and in the 70s. If you were in the sun, it was hot, but if you were in the shade it was just perfect.

Thank you, Mother Nature!

And now my favorite time of the year is coming, and will be gone far too quickly – the time of year when I can drag all my hoodies out of storage and wear them with jeans. I love short weather, but I REALLY love hoodie weather.

At the beginning of the summer, I went out and bought a 6-pack of men’s size large v-neck t-shirts, white ones, and then I dyed them different colors. They’re lightweight t-shirts, and all summer long I wore them around the house and they were just perfect. They show a bit more upper arm than I’d like (I prefer all my shirts to come all the way to the elbow so as not to traumatize anyone with my swinging arm flab), but they were the perfect size and weight, and I didn’t have to worry about getting them dirty or stained, because they were just cheap ol’ shirts.

They’re pretty well trashed now, so once I’m sure the weather isn’t going to turn warm again, I’ll turn them into cleaning rags and do it again next year!

 

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Is it not amazing how the tiniest things can make the worst smells?

A few weeks ago, we had some broody hens sitting on eggs. Fred checked them to see which were growing and which were duds, and found one that was a dud. The hen had been sitting on it for a couple of weeks, so if he hadn’t taken it out from underneath her, it would likely have eventually exploded and made a huge mess.

He carried it out to the back forty when we went out to close up the big chicken coop.

“Listen,” he said. “Rotten eggs sound like firecrackers when they break!”

He tossed it into the pig yard, and he was right, it sounded just like a firecracker going off. The pigs ran over and nosed around the rotten egg, took a few bites, and then decided they weren’t interested.

And then the smell hit us. Rotten eggs, you may be surprised to learn, do not smell good. AT ALL. I was breathing through my mouth so I wouldn’t have to smell it, and I swear the smell was so thick I could TASTE it.

What’s worse is that we left the back forty and went into the back yard, and we could STILL smell it. It was nasty as hell. I don’t believe I’d ever smelled a rotten egg before, and I’d be just as glad to never smell one again.

Speaking of little things making big smells, I just cannot believe the SMELL that comes from a gassy kitten. Those damn things can clear a room! It’s just wrong to pick up a smiling, purring kitten, lean down to kiss them behind the ear, and then be assaulted by a stench from hell. AND THEY JUST KEEP ON PURRING AND SMILING UP AT YOU.

Don’t even get me started on the damn litter boxes. It’s all kinds of WRONG when you know which cat has just used the litter box because you recognize the smell (Sugarbutt has particularly pungent skunklike poops. Oh, sorry. Were you eating? Me too! Good thing about all this fostering, the nastiest things no longer phase me. Can I tell you how many cat asses I looked at yesterday? Actually, I can’t. I lost count.).

 

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We’re getting close to the point where the True Bloods are almost ready to go to Petsmart and (hopefully) be adopted very quickly. Sam, Bill, Hoyt, and Lafayette have all lost their eyelips, and their eyes are looking really good. The biggest difference is in Bill – he used to sit around with his eyes squinched shut, but not you can actually see his eyes.

I’m going to call later and get an appointment with the vet, so she can look them over and decide whether their eyes need more tweaking, or are ready to go.

Speaking of their eyes – I was amazed yesterday when I looked at Terry. Now, I don’t know if I mentioned this in the past, but one of his eyes was cloudy and looked like there had been some damage to it. I figured it was going to end up being permanent damage, but that since he had the surgery, there’d be no more damage to the eye itself.

When I looked at him yesterday, that eye wasn’t cloudy. I think his eyes are getting BETTER.

That is just awesome.


“Lady, why would you need to reach your computer, when you can reach your Lafayette? Computers don’t purr! They also don’t bite and kick you when they’re feeling feisty, but that’s neither here nor there.”


Five of the six (Lafayette was laying over in front of my computer). My desk/ filing cabinet looks like this most of the time, with little brown tabbies piled up all over the place.


Six of the six!


Looky there – Bill has eyes!


Bill keeps an eye on the goings-on.


“Hey, guys! There’s a world out there! Come look!”


“EXCUSE ME, MY BED WAS MADE INCORRECTLY, I DIDN’T GET ANY FRESH TOWELS, AND I DIDN’T GET A CHOCOLATE ON MY PILLOW. WHAT KIND OF CUT-RATE PLACE ARE YOU RUNNING HERE?!”

 

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We’ve had these kittens for a week, and I’ve only had to give two partial baths to clean poop off kittens. That may very well be a record!

(Fred pats himself on the back ALL the time for bringing home such awesome, healthy little kittens.)


Violet has the giggles.


Mike considers whether he might be hungry (he always is!).


Look at the SMILE!


I love how she looks all serious and earnest, like she’s trying to tell me something important and making sure she’s getting her point across.


“Who, me? Trying to break into the closet? Why, no! I’d never do that!”

 

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“Really? You little brats knock the cat bed off the desk and that’s not enough for you? You have to sniff sniff SNIFF at my tail, too? Well, I’ve been patient, but I’ve had ENOUGH! Cut it out, squirt!”

 

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Previously
2008: Did I mention SHADDUP, YOU?
2007: No entry.
2006: No need to send out the announcement that we’re freaks just yet, I suppose.
2005: What a fucking day, I tells ya.
2004: Which makes me think he’s out there talking shit about me, of course.
2003: I know I’ve lived in Alabama too long when 70 is a bit too cool for me.
2002: No entry.
2001: I swear, my work is NEVER done.
2000: No entry.

9/28/09 – Monday

by @ Monday, September 28th, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

After all the excitement on Friday, things calmed down THANK GOD, though I didn’t really get much done the rest of the day. I ran to get my groceries (didn’t go to Wal-Mart, because after 10 that place is a nightmare, so I went to Publix instead), ate lunch, and then lay on the couch and watched Grey’s Anatomy.

WARNING: GREY’S ANATOMY SPOILER IN THIS PARAGRAPH. SKIP TO THE NEXT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE SEASON PREMIERE. I don’t get what the big deal was about whether or not to donate George’s organs. George is dead, donate the goddamn things! Also, McSteamy cracked me up when he asked if George was hung, because George was a “dorky little dude” all the hot women were atwitter over. Also also, I can’t stand Izzy and wish she’d been the one to die YES I SAID IT.

It rained all day Friday. I’m trying not to complain about the rain because at least we’re not getting it as bad as Atlanta, and we didn’t get it as bad as we did in the Spring, and I know there were several times over the summer when we were wishing for rain. But DAMN it was making it hard to get laundry done. I kept putting off doing laundry, because I was hoping for a rainy day, and then Fred would say “Um, are you ever going to wash clothes again?” and I’d have to do a quick load of laundry so he wouldn’t have to go to work naked the next day, and use the dryer, which I hate to do.

Finally, on Saturday I gave up and did all the laundry in the house, and guess what? Sunday it was sunny as could be.

Mother Nature, you damn trickster.

Fred processed nine roosters Saturday morning, racing the rain, and managed to get them done, cleaned, and in the fridge about 20 minutes before it started raining like hell. We went out to do errands, and ended up going into Madison to visit the bookstore so Fred could buy some books he wanted (hey, if we had a Kindle, he could have just downloaded them without leaving the house!), we went over to Publix to buy Chrysanthemums for the front porch (Chrissie-anthemums! Anyone else remember that episode of Three’s Company?), then we picked up Chinese food for lunch and spent the rest of the day at home.

I figured Fred would be all antsy and pacing because he’s not usually a sit-and-relax kinda guy, but he actually spent most of the afternoon reading on the couch and petting kittens.

At one point Saturday, when he looked at my desk, which was loaded down with kittens, Fred said “I sure do love having all these kittens around. I think we could have fifty of them running around, and I’d be happy. I’d like to be like Scrooge McDuck, only instead of laying in a bed of money, I’d be laying in a bed of kittens.”

Which is when I told him that I’d answered the eternal question: How many cats have to be in residence before the house smells like litter box all the time? (Answer: 21, apparently.) He says it’s not that bad, but it seems like more often than not when I’m near the laundry room, there’s been recent usage of one of the litter boxes.

We must have cats with the healthiest and most active bowels on earth, I’m telling you.

After all those days and days of overcast, rainy days, Sunday dawned bright and sunny and BOY was it nice. We had to run to Lowe’s so I could buy some potting soil to repot the Chrysanthemums (Chrissie-anthemums!). While we were there Fred talked to the manager about the fact that the riding lawnmower that was delivered on Friday was incredibly difficult to steer. The manager told him to double-check and see if the cruise control (!) was engaged or something else would be going on that would impede steering, and if he was still having the problem, to call the store and they’d swap it out.

While I repotted my Chrysanthemums (Chrissie-anthemums!) and discovered that I hadn’t bought enough potting soil (damnit), Fred double-checked the riding lawnmower, found that it really was the lawnmower and not user error, and called the store. They had a new lawnmower out to the house by 11, and Fred spent the next few hours mowing the lawn while I puttered around the house and did laundry, cleaned, vacuumed. The usual fun stuff.

It was a good weekend but, as usual, went by far too quickly. I always feel like there’s a long list of stuff I need to do that just never gets done. Not enough hours in the day, you know?

I don’t know how on earth you people with actual jobs ever get anything done!

 

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Lately, it’s been about the dip around here and I’m not talking about Fred HAR HAR HAR.

When I was in Publix on Friday, I tasted some of their imitation crab dip (I don’t remember the name of the stuff for certain, but I believe it might have been “Kajun Krab Dip” or something along those lines. I know they spelled it “krab”). That got me in the mood for some sort of dip, so I looked at the dips and spreads they had in their seafood section. I ended up buying a small container of lobster dip. Since it cost $2.99, likely the closest lobster got to it was when the guy who made it thought of lobster while he mixed it up, but it tasted like lobster to me, so I was happy. Then on Saturday, I made Hot Artichoke and Garlic Dip, and it was good. It was a little salty for our tastes, until I realized that it wasn’t the dip that was so salty, but rather the crackers we were eating it on. When I switched to pita chips, it became perfect. (Also, it’s just as good cold as it is hot!)

Fred thinks it would be good with a package of chopped spinach mixed in.

I’m in the mood for more dips and spreads – what’ve you got for me? Please, nothing with peppers or pimentos (the mere existence of pimentos offends me), and nothing too complicated.

Share your favorite dip/ spread recipe with me!

 

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Those Wonka kids are doing just fine. They seem to be losing interest in the bottle on their own and have all started showing some interest in baby food. My next step, I suppose, will be to mix the baby food with canned kitten food and transition them over to that. I put out a bowl of water and a small dish of Babycat on Sunday, and I’ll be damned if they didn’t all four at least give it a try. We’re still supplementing with the bottle, to get some fluid into them, and judging by the litter box, they’re getting enough food and fluid in. I weighed them this morning, and they’re all solidly over a pound (they gained from 1 1/2 ounces to 4 ounces since I weighed them on… Tuesday, I think?), running around with big bright eyes and play-fighting. They are killing me with the cute, I’m telling you.

We’re currently letting them out into the guest bedroom to run around during the day. The cage is still in there, and they seem to all understand where the litter box is. When they get tired, the boys always return to the cage to sleep (the girls tend to flop down on the condo or on the bed across the room). At night we put them in their cage and lock them in, and they don’t seem to mind. When they’re a little bigger, I guess we’ll just allow them full access to the room all the time. Right now they’re still little enough that they get lost in the corners of the room (“Oh WOE, I am lost, someone please save me!”), so we’ll keep them locked up at night.


Violet, Gus, and my knee (and foot).


“So, I’m WALKING ALONG, minding my own BUSINESS, and suddenly there’s this cage door! NOW what the heck am I supposed to do?!”


Gus requires a post-meal massage.


Even this little, they see a closed door and they’re determined to be on the other side of it.


Look who climbed up onto the condo all by her little tiny self! It’s Violet!


Mike followed, and she bit him on the butt for his trouble.

 

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THERE’S A MONSTER IN THE BOX! STAND BACK! BILL WILL SAVE YOU!


First, Bill identifies the monster as being monstrous. “Yes, that is a monster. And it is in the box.”


Second, Bill names the monster. “That is a monster of the mean and bitey genre. Must be a Hoyt monster.”


Bill decides his strategy. “Stop flailing at me, mean and bitey monster. I am thinking here.”


Bill approaches the issue from another angle. “Ah, yes. The mean and bitey monster looks completely different from here!”


Bill taunts the monster. “Can’t get me now, CAN you?!”

And then Bill runs off because he thinks someone was maybe considering that it might possibly, in the next six hours or so, be snack time, and he doesn’t want to miss that.

 

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When I see pictures of Stinkerbelle from two years ago…

And then from now…

It’s hard to believe she’s the same cat, isn’t it? She got so dark!

(Still gorgeous, though.)

 

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Previously
2008: No entry.
2007: I do not know, honest to god, how men walk around with those things.
2006: YOU’RE WELCOME.
2005: Phear my l33t fotograffic skillz.
2004: Dear Stephen King: Stop defending what you did, and just write the goddamn story.
2003: Meet Gizmo.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

9/25/09 – Friday

by @ Friday, September 25th, 2009. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life

You know how you wake up in the morning and you think your day is going to go one way, and it becomes obvious from pretty early on that the day has plans of its own?

I woke up this morning and my plan was to get my entry up and written, run to Wal-Mart to buy everything on my extensive list, get home before 8, get some baking done, maybe make a batch or two of jam. Instead, as I was looking through pictures trying to decide which ones to post, Fred called from work. We had a lengthy discussion about the riding lawnmower he recently bought from L0we’s, which he’s only used a few times and which has already broken. I reminded him that he’d gotten the extended warranty, and since the thing was broken, it was time to call L0we’s and see what they were going to do about it.

He asked me to scan the receipt for the riding lawnmower purchase, so I did that, then went back to looking at pictures. A few minutes later he called back to report that they were going to replace the mower. Good news, right?

Except guess who had to go out and push the riding lawnmower out into the driveway so they could come get it?

I did that, put all the booklets and spare parts that came with the damn thing out there with it, and then came back inside to work on my entry some more. Fred told me that the manager told him that it would be about an hour and a half, and that they’d call first.

So I was working on my entry, and Sookie was laying in a cat bed on my desk, and she decided she needed to be on the other side of the desk. I shit you not, I had JUST typed the part about how the True Bloods are pretty good about staying off my keyboard (you’ll get to it eventually if I ever get this fucking thing posted) when she reached one little paw out and hit a key that made everything go black. I was pretty sure she hit the “sleep” key, so after some fiddling around, I got everything turned back on and began working on the entry again.

And then I realized I had no motherfucking internet. I fucked around with that, ran a diagnostic whateverthefuck, and the computer threw up its (figurative) arms and said “Fuck if I know.” I called Fred and growled at him, told him what had happened, said I was this close to tossing my computer out the door, and found out that he’d gotten himself the blue screen of death on his own work computer not ten seconds before. He told me to reboot the router, and told me how to do so. I did, and since our internet provider also provides our phone service, the phone went dead.

Somehow, I managed to not throw the phone against the wall.

I rebooted my computer three times, and on the last time it connected to the internet.

I began working on my entry YET AGAIN when the driveway alarm went off. I hadn’t received a call from L0we’s, but then again the phone had been down for a few minutes, so maybe they’d tried. I went out, and they had backed the truck into the driveway and were lowering the lift. I pointed out the old mower to them.

“What’s it been doing?” they asked.

I shrugged. “I have no idea. You’d have to ask my husband.” I’m sure Fred told me what was going on with it, but it had gone in one ear and out the other. I’m sure I wouldn’t have understood it even if I could remember what he’d said.

One of the guys started the mower and drove it up to the truck. He drove it onto the lift – the back tires hanging off the lift, and the other guy hit the button to raise the lift.

That, I thought to myself, does not look very safe. But I guess they know what they’re doing.

One instant later, with the lift halfway raised to the back of the truck, THE GODDAMN MOWER FELL BACKWARDS OFF THE LIFT.

WITH THE GUY STILL ON IT.

FELL.

OFF.

THE.

LIFT.

I reacted as I always do in an emergency. First, I gasped loudly, and then I raised my hands to my cheeks, and stood there staring in horror, my mouth hanging open. The other guy ran over and started pulling the mower (which was resting on its back end and had leaned backward so that the guy on the mower was kind of pinned), and after a long, long moment of not being able to think of what to do, I first ran a few steps toward the house to get the phone and call 911, and then stopped and ran up the driveway to help pull the mower off the guy.

By the time I reached them, the other guy had pulled the mower up enough so that the other guy could roll off it and get to his feet, and he stood there, shaking his head and brushing dirt off his pants. I was SURE he had to be hurt – at least a broken leg! – but he assured the other guy that he was fine.

“I braced myself when it started falling,” he said. (I don’t care what that man says, he’s going to be HURTING tomorrow morning.)

“JESUS,” I said, hand to my chest.

They pushed the mower onto the lift, and the other guy (the one who hadn’t been on the mower) held it on the lift while the lift raised, and then they pushed the mower onto the truck.

They left, assuring me that they’d be back with the new lawnmower and the paperwork (“Don’t forget the worker’s comp paperwork!” I wanted to say.), and now I wait. I wonder if I’ll be able to get my entry finished and posted before they show up? That would be too bad. I’d have to write a whole other entry about how they unloaded the lawnmower and one of them was crushed to death by it.

Edited to add: They just showed up and delivered the new lawnmower, and as far as I can tell, no one was crushed in the process (though I also haven’t looked at the driveway. I’d just rather not know.) Now I can’t go run my errands because the babies will need to be fed in about half an hour. DAMN YOU FRED ANDERS0N THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT.

 

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Of COURSE after I said yesterday that I hadn’t had a midday slump since the iron infusion, I spent a good hour snoozing on the couch in front of the TV. Figures, doesn’t it? It might have something to do with that whole getting up at 4:30 thing.

I worked my way through my recorded episodes of Oprah yesterday afternoon. I don’t know the last time I watched an entire episode of that show, I usually fast forward through until I see what I want to see, then delete it. I did end up watching almost the entire episode with Mackenzie Phillips.

If you’re not up on the gossip, Mackenzie Phillips has written a book. In the book, she alleges that she was raped by her father and that it eventually turned into a 10-year “consensual” sexual relationship. I didn’t watch the show because I wanted the details about that – I’d read enough online about it already – but because I was most interested to know what her siblings thought of the allegations. Oprah didn’t ask that particular question until almost the end of the show, and the answer seems to be that they have an issue with it.

Two of her stepmothers have denied the allegations, but I actually think that Michelle Phillips’ denial lends credence to what Mackenzie Phillips says. Michelle Phillips says that in 1997 Mackenzie told everyone in their extended family about the sexual relationship, then called her the next day and said “You know I was just kidding, right?” Sounds like she got a taste of what the fallout from sharing that secret was going to be, and it made her back off for a long time.

I have no idea if Mackenzie Phillips is lying. It’s an odd thing to lie about, and it’s certainly not something that makes her look better to anyone – that it went on for so long is disturbing.

I don’t know if Mackenzie Phillips is telling the truth or if she’s so damaged from so many years of drug use that she doesn’t know what the truth is. Most of the time when a quasi-celebrity puts out a tell-all, it annoys the hell out of me because they’re so clearly desperately looking for a piece of the limelight. (I tend to leaf through celebrity autobiographies at the store to check out the pictures, but don’t buy them.) But Mackenzie Phillips claims she’s sharing her story because if it happened to her, she can’t possibly be the only one, and she wants to bring light to the topic. That actually seems believable to me.

Who knows?

It surprises me that I’m willing to believe Mackenzie Phillips, actually, because I don’t really like her. Her interview with Oprah didn’t change that – she was twitchy and weird and off-putting (which, to be fair, I’m sure being on Oprah and talking about her book can’t have been stress-free).

I guess I’m not sure what my point is, here. I guess I hope that whatever peace Mackenzie Phillips is looking for, she finds. I don’t know that writing a tell-all book and then promoting it on Oprah is so much the way to go, but good luck to her.

 

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Boy, I’m so glad I never had a cat that pulled the TP off the roll. I have one that occasionally needs a bite of TP – must be low on fiber, but he just takes a bite and runs away. He runs because he knows if I can reach him, I will take the paper out of his mouth.

Is it wrong that the image of a cat running up to a roll of toilet paper, frantically grabbing a bite and then running off to chew it makes me laugh and laugh?

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Hi Robyn! I never see you blog about it, but do you ever have problems with the older, established cats and improper elimination? (aka pooping and peeing outside the litter box). My cat has been pooping next to or close to her litter box every day for months now. I have tried everything – new litter, cleaning more often, extra praise, you name it. I am now trying Feliway. Nothing has changed and she only pees outside the box occasionally. Any advice?

We had a problem with Mister Boogers peeing outside the litter box, and let me tell you – I miss the hell out of that cat, but I surely do not miss the peeing outside the litter box. If I had to guess, maybe there’s something about the litter box itself that she’s not liking. Is it a covered litter box? Some cats don’t like those. Is the litter deep enough for her? I know you’re cleaning more often, so I’m guessing cleanliness isn’t an issue. Is she the only cat, or could she be objecting to sharing a litter box with another cat? Have you tried Cat Attract litter at all? (I’ve never tried Cat Attract myself, so don’t know for sure whether it’d help or not). Does she have any problems getting in and out of the litter box? If she’s older, it’s possible she’s developing joint issues that you may or may not already know about.

Those are the only things that come to mind – readers, feel free to jump in here!

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Who’s the kitten in the box? CrAZy eyes!

I’m pretty sure that’s Jake. What I love about Jake is that he really looks like such a little lunatic sometimes. He’s got the crazy eyes down pat, for sure!

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Oh you silly woman, that’s not a box. It’s a cat trap.

Shhhh, the cats might hear!

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Robyn, I ran across this website and immediately thought of all your kitten pictures!

Oh lord, you guys are so bad for my Google Reader. SO FREAKIN’ CUTE.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Why aren’t you supposed to read while eating?

Because THEY say that if your attention is on what you’re reading, you’re not paying enough attention to what you’re eating, and it’s easy to overeat.

But seriously, what are you supposed to do, just sit there and EAT? What the hell? How boring is THAT?

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

A bakers dozen so far and the months not over!

Debra, I have pondered this comment from every direction, and I swear I don’t understand what you mean. I thought at first you meant the number of fosters in the house, but there are 10 of them now. And then I thought, well, you meant the number of KITTENS in the house (Jake and Elwood still being kittens), but that only comes up to 12. With the other permanent residents added in, that makes (gulp) 21 cats on the premises, so I’m at a loss. Did you miscount or am I missing something?

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

I just counted 21 cats that you have in residence right now. Can that be right?? I don’t know whether to be scared or jealous… LOL!

Be very very frightened. Heh. Actually, it’s really pretty neat to have so many of them running around (well, to be fair only 17 of them are running around – the little ones are contained in a cage most of the time). Fred has really warmed up to the True Bloods now that they climb all over him and flop over and beg for love, and he doesn’t have to go upstairs to spend time with them.

Last night, he had six cats on the couch with him, and I had three with me. The others were off racing around. As long as they don’t tromp on my keyboard (which they’ve been pretty good about, knock wood), I really like having them out and about.

My only objection is that Terry flopped down on Fred’s lap last night, when there was PLENTY of room on my lap. And then Bill went over and curled up against Fred. What the hell? They’re supposed to love ME most of all, damnit!

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

I woke up with a baby spider crawling down my comforter and it was oh, so much more effective than an alarm clock in getting me UP.

The day after the spider crawling down my face woke me up, I was making my bed and found a dead baby cave cricket RIGHT WHERE I HAD BEEN SLEEPING. What the fuck is up with all these bugs in my BED all of a sudden??

And, how is The Hour I First Believed? I’m getting it from the library and was wondering if it’s worth it.

The first half of the book was very good. And then it just kind of dissolved into a mishmash that I like to call “I’ve been working on this goddamn book for 9 years and just want to get the fucking thing done.” I recommend the book for the first half, but don’t recommend the second half (though of course you have to wade through the bullshit to find out what HAPPENS).

I think Wally Lamb, bless his heart, has hit the level of fame where his editors aren’t editing him enough any more.

That’s just my opinion, of course. I know a bunch of you have read the book, what did you think of it?

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Oh, lordy, have you seen this video yet?!

Y’all are trying to kill me with the cute, aren’t you?

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Robyn, lots of people all over the world have had their iPod hard drives corrupted after installing the new iTunes version. There’s a forum discussion on the Apple Support home page but people aren’t getting responses from Apple or if they call support, they are being told to just buy a new one if theirs is out of warranty. All report theirs were FINE before installing new iTunes version. Same here. Now mine makes clicking noises, says there is NO MUSIC, no nothing and people who have restored theirs say it doesn’t work. Please ask your readers if this has happened to them and, if not, tell them not to install the new iTunes version especially if they have an iPod Classic. My 160GB bought just over a year ago is DEAD. I’ve had 5 different sorts of iPods and nothing like this has ever happened.

I haven’t connected my iPod to my computer in about a week and a half, I think, and now I can’t remember whether iTunes has updated itself recently or not. I can tell you that if my iPod dies, it’s going to be the last goddamn iPod I ever own. I really, really like being able to watch TV shows on my iPod, but the majority of the time, I use it to listen to podcasts, and it doesn’t need to be an Apple product for that.

Anyone else out there having this issue?

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

I was wondering if you own a Kindle? I know you are a big fan of Amazon and such an avid reader. I really want one but am torn about it for some reason. I would be interested in your opinion of it whether you have one or not. Thanks.

I don’t own a Kindle, but I’ve played around with Nance’s Kindle and I liked it quite a bit. Fred and I were recently discussing buying a Kindle, actually. He doesn’t like the fact that books are so expensive (and you can’t buy them used!), but I did point out to him that a Kindle isn’t a replacement for real books, but rather a supplement. It would be super handy to have when I’m traveling and to keep in my purse for when I’m stuck in line somewhere, but I imagine I’d still trade books at Bookmooch and browse through book stores.

Maybe I’ll see if I can’t talk Fred into buying a Kindle as our Christmas present to each other this year.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

The Wonkas are doing well. They’ve all been using the litter box because they are BRILLIANT. None of them but Gus are much interested in food versus formula from the bottle at this point. We’ll give it a little more time before we get pushy about making them eat food.

Fred is amazed at how quickly they’ve adjusted to us. Mike will still spit at us, but even he comes over to be petted occasionally. They’re all purring for us, and Gus has turned into such a love bug. This morning I held him like a baby and rubbed his belly for a long, long time.


I bought a cat condo (with a shelf!) at Petsmart ’cause I didn’t think we had enough cat furniture. ::snort::


Mike approves of the condo.


Something’s got Gus disturbed.


Miss Veruca’s got something to say (and in the background, Gus is all “You tell her!”).


Three of the four (Mike is off to the left, snuggled up under that big stuffed Momma cat).


“What you MEAN ‘no more belly rubs’?!”


“Rub mah belleh, or I will mess you UP with these little needle-sharp claws!”

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

The True Bloods are living the life, having the run of the house from about 7 am ’til 9 pm, racing around, falling down in a heap of kitten cuteness to snooze the day away, then getting up to do it all again.

They have no complaints (well, except for Hoyt. Who ALWAYS has something to say!).

There are literally six kittens on my desk right now (including our Jake and Elwood), and Lafayette and Terry are in my lap. I just tossed a pen across the room to see if they’d run over to check it out and let me get this entry posted without interference, and they sent an investigator (Bill) to see what it was. He went over, sniffed at it, and then announced “Just a pen, guys, nothing to worry about.” and climbed back up on my desk.


They love to hang out under the couch and smack at each other.


Well, of course. There ARE only 200 cat beds in the house. Why not snuggle up to the boots to sleep, Sookie?


“DID I MENTION I HAS A COMPLAINT?”

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 


Miz Poo says “If I don’t look at him, this is not happening.”

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Previously
2008: No entry.
2007: Imagine if a very industrious person took all the milk in the world, put it in one location, and let it spoil.
2006: I blushed, even though he couldn’t see me, and no doubt as a GI he’s elbow-deep in shit the majority of the time.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: I’m sure my tendencies toward dumbassery has something to do with it.
2002: Sometimes when I’ve just finished doing my Firm tape, I feel like my brain is leaking out my ears.
2001: Maybe I should just shave my head.
2000: No entry.

9/24/09 – Thursday

by @ Thursday, September 24th, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

Wow. Is it really only Thursday? Is it just me, or has this been a really long week? I guess I’ve packed a lot into my week, between the iron infusion and the new kittens and the canning and laundry and stuff.

(Have I mentioned that adding a new litter of little bitty kittens to the household seems to triple the amount of laundry I do on a regular basis? Maybe I need to add some more baby blankets to my supply so I don’t have to keep doing a load of them every day.)

Yesterday I left the house at 8 am, ran into Huntsville to go to Sam’s, to Target, and then PetSmart. I absolutely love the fact that my Sam’s membership is a business membership (through Fred’s company), because it allows me to go there earlier than the regular public. And it’s never busy, and I can get in, get what I need, and get the hell out of there without having to dodge a bunch of other people. I got most of what was on my list (I wish Sam’s carried canning supplies, though. I could use a bulk supply of jelly jars!).

I ran to Target to get some canning jars and frozen fruit (I’m stocking up to begin making habanero-fruit jam and habanero hot sauces. It seems that I really am on schedule to start selling them at the beginning of October!), wandered around a little bit, and then headed for PetSmart.

My two goals at PetSmart were to get (1) nursing bottles with shorter nipples, if possible and (2) a little pyramid-cave type thing to put in the cage with the new kittens, so they could go in there and snuggle up and hide if they want to. As it turns out, I apparently made up having ever seen a little pyramid-cave in the ferret section at PetSmart, because they had no such thing. There was a soft-sided pyramid in the cat section, but it was so big that it would take up half the cage. I walked around and dithered and dithered and dithered some more, and then my reasonable side came out and said “They are perfectly happy, snuggled up to each other in that cage, stop fretting about it, GEEZ.” So I bought a cat condo with a shelf on it to put in the guest bedroom (for when they’re bigger and able to have the run of the room) and some kitten food, and called it good enough.

(That cat condo with a shelf on it (which I would provide a link to, but isn’t on the PetSmart page) was a HUGE hit with the True Bloods and Jake and Elwood when I brought it into the house. I didn’t get it three feet from the door, and it had four cats crawling on it.)

I got home, and it was time to feed the new guys, let them run around for a while, and do laundry. You know, the usual.

I’m thinking that the iron might have, in fact, given me a bit of a boost. I feel a tad more energetic*, and haven’t had my usual mid-day slump leading to a nap in the past couple of days. I also feel a bit more alert – or it might be all in my head. Who knows? I just know that the last two days I’ve been up at 4:30 (to feed the new kittens before Fred goes to work) and haven’t needed a nap AND I’m not ready to pass out at bedtime.

*Before I had the iron infusion done, I said hopefully to Fred “Maybe this will perk me up!” and he said “You never struck me as needing more energy.” But really, there are times when I have to force myself to get stuff done, and it would be nice to not have those days where it feels like I’m walking through quicksand. Maybe I am not, in fact, a lazy ass. Maybe I was just anemic all these years! On the other hand, I feel a whole new excuse coming on. When Fred calls me and asks me to do something for him, I can say “I’m feeling anemic today. I’m going to go take a nap instead.”

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

We have named the new guys! Well, Fred did. I thought we should name them after the How I Met Your Mother characters (Barney, Marshall, Lily and Robin), but then Fred suggested other names, and I thought they had a little more sass to them.

(We’re all about the sass.)

I particularly liked Amy’s suggestion for truck stop waitress names for the girls, but I’m going to hang on to that idea for when we have a whole little litter of girl kittens.

Without further ado, meet:


Augustus Gloop (I think we all know that his nickname’s going to be “Gus”!).


Violet Beaureguard (previously known as “The friendly calico”).


Mike Teevee.


Veruca Salt (previously known as “The hissy calico”).

These are all characters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (in case you didn’t already know that). Collectively, I’ll be calling them the Wonkas. That’s right – we named characters after the book/ movie and didn’t include Willy Wonka or Charlie Bucket – we just liked (the name) Mike Teevee better.

The Wonkas are doing well – they’re eating well (still on the bottle, except for Gus, who likes to lick Gerber chicken baby food off a spoon, which is supplemented by a bottle. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the others join in.) and they’re bright-eyed and active. Mike still has an immediate spitting reaction about just about everything, but they’ve all become so friendly in the past two days, that socialization is not a concern for us. Veruca and Violet and the purringest little things, love to climb on us, and then run across the room.

(Anything cuter than when they run at this age with their tails sticking straight up in the air? I think not.)

Gus enjoys a good belly rub (actually, all of them do), and after he’s done eating, he climbs in my lap and demands that I rub him all over. I imagine it feels like his mother giving him a bath.

GOD THEY ARE SO CUTE. Fred’s really pitching in with these guys, insists on getting me up at 4:30 before he leaves for work so we can feed them. I feed them once during the day, and then when he gets home in the afternoon we feed them again, and then again at bedtime. He’s really good at getting the food in them.


Veruca, running around like a crazy little thing.


That really looks like a splash of peachy-orange on his face, doesn’t it? I’m 99% sure he’s a boy, or I’d almost call him a dilute torti. (Making a mental note to double-check his nether regions…)


Gus, going crazy-eyed while he’s getting a belly rub.


Mike has a splash of white on his chest, and check out that “frosted” appearance.

Are these not the most gorgeous little kittens?

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

The first few days we let the True Bloods out into the house, we put them upstairs at 6:30 so they could calm down before bedtime. Last night, I shrugged and decided to let them stay out until it was time for us to go to bed. If the TV scared them, I figured they could run off and hide.

The TV did not scare them in the slightest. Bill snuggled up to me, Hoyt and Terry snuggled up in a cat bed on the couch next to Fred, and the rest of them hung out on the cat tree in the other part of the front room. It was a bit of a pain to get them all upstairs at bedtime, but we got it done. They complained a little, but I let them out bright and early this morning, so they’re none the worse for wear.

It’s funny – the Wonkas complain about being confined to a cage (though they never complain for long – they get plenty of running-around time at feeding time), the True Bloods complain about being confined to one room (or the entire upstairs) and until I open the back door so our cats can go out into the back yard in the morning, they complain about being confined to the house.

Never happy, are they?


Terry, napping in the cat bed on the couch.


Someone discovered the toilet paper!


Snoozin’ Sam.


Sam and Hoyt, asleep on the couch, and Sookie and Terry asleep on the upside-down cat bed on the floor (which was originally on the couch, but they knocked it to the floor.)

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 


Man, is that a Mister Boogers look he’s got going on there, or what?? (I’m pretty sure that’s Elwood.)

 

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Previously
2008: Taking time off to hang with Liz.
2007: I informed him, yesterday, that he should feel free to pull up the cucumber plants, because I’ll shoot dead the next person who brings any cucumbers into my house.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Of course, it’s not like she gets much of an example on how to socialize from Fred and Robyn The Cranky Shut-Ins.
2003: SHE HAD TO BE KIDDING BECAUSE NO ONE IS THAT STUPID.
2002: A lemon hat! So cute.
2001: Damn cats.
2000: No update.

9/23/09 – Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

ATTENTION, Long Island, NY residents! Weren’t you just saying you needed a kitten?

Reader Rosemary has four kittens who need a home.

I am in Long Island, New York. The kittens were born to a feral (but friendly) mother in the boatyard where I work. We noticed them July 22, when they seemed to be three or four weeks old, so they were probably born the last week of June. A coworker and I had them spayed and got their rabies shots through a local animal rescue, but I had to bring them back to the boatyard because no shelter could take them and I am unable to foster them. They’re living in a barn on the boatyard, so they’ve been relatively safe and sheltered during the warm weather, but it’s not weather-tight for the winter. After I brought them back, Molly, the momma cat, disappeared – I hope she just decided that the kittens were old enough to take care of themselves. I’ve been feeding the babies, and they’ve gradually become more friendly. The kittens don’t realize they are supposed to be feral, and they don’t know how to hunt. They are used to being fed.


Barney is an orange boy, loves to play but needs some socialization.


Clown is a sweet and cuddly dilute calico female, grey and orange. She loves to be held.


Phantom is a beautiful all gray male, very skittish still but you can tell that when he gets some concentrated attention, he’s going to be a lovebug.


Skittles is a gray male with a white chest and paws, playful and bold but will purr if you hold him.

Anyone interested in adopting one or two or four kittens? Let me know, and I’ll pass your email along to Rosemary!

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Things that are annoying the SHIT out of me lately.

1. My uterus. GODDAMN. I went on the pill to regulate my period and stop the between-period spotting, and for a few months it worked, but the spotting is back. IT’S BACK, O JOY. It’s not heavy spotting, it’s fairly light. Just heavy enough, y’know, to make it a pain in the ass. You know, I’m not USING the goddamn thing (my uterus, that is), I’m thisclose to demanding that my gynecologist just yank the fucking thing out. Yes, I’ve heard of the endometrial ablation, that’ll likely be the next step. STUPID FUCKING UTERUS.

2. We live across the street from a truck driver and his family. I rarely ever even see them over there, I just assume they’re all alive and well. What fucking irks me is that when he’s home and an 18-wheeler goes by, they feel the GODDAMN FUCKING NEED to blow their goddamn motherfucking air horns at his house to give him the ol’ HEYHOWYADOIN. This pisses me off because it scares the fucking shit out of every animal on the property. The chickens go screaming to the chicken coop, and cower underneath it. The dogs bark and bark and bark. And inside the house, every cat goes hauling ass to the back of the house. If they’re in the back yard, they come hauling ass inside and hide. I suppose I should just thank my lucky stars that they don’t do it at NIGHT.

3. About two miles down the road from us, they’re putting in an interchange off a major interstate. My life is going to get easier when they open it, because I can just drive down to the interchange and hop onto the interstate, then drive straight up the interstate to Tennessee to get to the vet. I’m estimating that it’ll cut about 5 minutes off the drive (which currently takes 25 minutes). To all appearances, it seems to be complete, but they’ve still got it blocked off. Most of the signs are up, the entire thing on both sides is completely paved, but it just SITS there, blocked off. Mocking me because I have to drive up into Closeville and hit 500 traffic lights to get on the interstate. I’m sure they’re waiting to have some sort of stupid-ass ribbon cutting ceremony, but I’m thisclose to just using the goddamn exit, blockades or no.

4. I made two batches of jam/ jelly yesterday, and of course – OF COURSE – I failed to check first to make sure I had enough jelly jars. I did not – and had to use two pint jars. Who the hell needs a pint jar of jalapeno jelly, I ask you? NO ONE. One day I’m going to get my shit together before I get the bright idea to start making jam.

5. I was super excited to find that in the shopping center where they’ve put the Publix I love so much, they were putting a Pet Dep0t. There are no other pet stores in the area, and my favorite pet store – Petsmart – is half an hour away. I figured, I’d keep Petsmart as my usual pet store, but Pet Dep0t could serve in a pinch since it’s only ten minutes away. I’ve had three or four pinches, and let me tell you – Pet Dep0t is absolutely fucking useless. They have two small aisles of cat food, none of the kind we use, and a few other cat supplies. I went in there yesterday to see if they had nursing bottles with shorter nipples than the bottles I had on hand, and they only had the same kind of bottles I already had. Which, you know, okay. Maybe they don’t MAKE nursing bottles with shorter nipples, what do I know? But then I started looking to see if I could find something for the new kittens to use as a little cave, and not only did they have NOTHING in the tiny, useless cat section, they didn’t even have little pyramids in the FERRET section, which I know Petsmart carries, because I’ve often considered buying one in the past. Of the three or four times I’ve run into Pet Dep0t, I’ve come out of there buying absolutely nothing every single time. Even Wal-Mart has a better selection.

6. It seems like at least three times a week, I sit down with my lunch in front of the computer (yeah, yeah, not supposed to read while you’re eating, tell someone who cares) and the goddamn motherfucking internet is down. And then I have to send a text message to Fred saying “O LOOK, INTERNET IS DOWN AGAIN, I AM SO GLAD WE PAY PROMPTLY EVERY MONTH JESUS GODDAMN FUCKING CHRIST OUR INTERNET PROVIDER SUCKS ASS, HAVE I MENTIONED?” and then I swear that one of these days I’m going to just toss my fucking computer right out the door and spend the rest of my life computer-free IMAGINE HOW MUCH MORE I COULD GET DONE and then after I’ve finished eating lunch the goddamn internet comes back up. Fuck you, internet provider. You might be the only choice in town right now, but it won’t always be so, and I dream of that day.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

I only managed to get this one picture of one of the new guys (the friendly calico) yesterday, I was more concerned with getting them to eat. They’re all eating pretty well, we’re getting a nice amount of formula in them at each feeding, and at least two of them – the friendly calico and the gray kitten – are interested in Gerber chicken baby food, and will lick it off a spoon (I’ve tried putting it on a plate, but they just walk through it). The kittens are as of yet still unnamed, but Fred’s under strict instructions to come up with names for them today. The gray and black kittens are both boys, so we’ve got two boys and two girls.

They are so sweet, these little kittens. The black boy has a hair-trigger spitting reaction to just about everything. The hissy-spitty calico is less hissy as time goes by, but she’s still spitting plenty. The friendly calico is just that – very friendly. After we feed them, we let them run around the room for a while to explore, and she always ends up in my lap on her back demanding a belly rub.

The calicos are definitely peeing in the litter box. The boys might be too, but they’re still giving me plenty of urine when I stimulate them at meal time, so I’ll keep doing that ’til I actually see them in the litter box.

I’ll get more pictures of them today (the incredible sweet fluffiness of the gray boy MUST be documented), and hopefully by tomorrow morning they’ll have names!

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

I let the True Bloods out of their room yesterday morning at around 8, and they spent all day, until about 6:30, out and running around. They really REALLY like running around the house, as I’m sure you can imagine.

They also really like snoozing on the couch.


Hoyt cracks me up with his woe-is-me expressions.


Hoyt and Sam, asleep on the couch.


Sookie and Bill, snuggled up on the kitchen rug.


Terry and Lafayette, asleep on the filing cabinet next to my desk (and Miz Poo, asleep on my desk).


Bill and a toy on the kitchen floor.


Terry, asleep on the kitchen floor.


Sam, coming down the stairs to see what’s going on.


“I HAS A COMPLAINT.”


Look at how SMUG Hoyt is, laying there next to Miz Poo. And Miz Poo is struggling with the eternal dilemma – to smack, or not to smack?

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 


Need a kitten? Just put out a box, and one will show up within five minutes. Guaranteed!

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Previously
2008: I’m sure SOMETHING will get peed on while she’s here, anyway.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH.
2004: Questions and answers.
2003: I feel like Eudora’s a creepy old lady hovering over my shoulder, reading my email, and threatening to tell my mommy on me.
2002: Anything more complicated than that, and I think you’ll have to look elsewhere.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

9/22/09 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life, medical crap

What a DAY I had yesterday.

I left here at 7:45 to be at the appointment for my iron infusion at 8:30. I got there about five minutes early, sat in the waiting room and read until they called me back. They checked all the usual vital signs, took some blood for more blood tests, and then took me back to the chemo room. I sat and waited for about ten minutes (the nurse was having a hard time getting an IV in a patient who arrived before me), and then the nurse came to talk to me.

As it turns out, I had been scheduled to have five days of one-hour bags of Venofer, one each day Monday through Friday. But Blue Cr0ss apparently decreed over the weekend that unless the patient receiving the iron infusion had kidney damage (I do not), they’d get INFeD instead.

The difference is that INFeD is given through one four-hour bag, once. The up side was that I’d only have to be there that one day and wouldn’t have to go back Tuesday through Friday. The down side was that when all was said and done, I’d have to be there for about six hours.

Would my schedule allow me to have it done, or did I need them to reschedule me for another day? the nurse asked.

I thought for a moment, shrugged, and told her I didn’t have anything pressing, that I wouldn’t mind getting it over with, and let’s go for it.

So she went off to do the paperwork, I went to the bathroom, and chose a recliner to spend the next six hours in. She came with the IV kit and poked around on the underside of my arm for a few minutes, looking for a good vein. She thought she’d found one, and put the needle in, but the vein was being tricky and she ended up having to pull the needle back out.

(She apologized profusely, and when I said it was okay, she said “No it’s not!” and I said “Well, it’s not like you were doing it on PURPOSE” and she laughed.)

She ended up putting the IV in the back of my hand, and then she gave me Benadryl through the IV. I know she told me why I needed to have the Benadryl, but I don’t really remember. She warned me that it was a large dose, and it would likely just about knock me out.

It’s Benadryl, I thought skeptically. How bad could it really be?

She slowly pushed the dose of Benadryl into my IV, and I thought Oh, come on. I don’t feel that at all.

And then it hit me. That was one big fucking dose of Benadryl and I was high as a kite.

She set the timer on my IV for 15 minutes and then went off while I sat in a daze in my chair and stared off into space and then dozed off.

The timer went off after 15 minutes, and she came back with a test dose of the iron. What they do (and some of you even told me this last week, and you were right!) is give you a test dose of the iron, wait an hour in case there’s an allergic reaction, and then put the rest of it in your IV bag. She told me all the symptoms to watch for, and then slowly pushed the test dose into my IV while I stared at the wall.

“I can see you’re concentrating really hard!” she said after a few minutes.

I laughed. “No, I’m just sitting here being high!”

I had no immediate reaction to the iron (she said that if you’re going to have a reaction, it’ll usually happen immediately, that it’s very rare for an allergic reaction to show up during that hour wait, but they still have to do it just to be safe), and she set the timer on my IV for an hour and went off.

For the next hour, I dozed, woke up briefly to look around, then dozed some more. When the hour was up, she put the rest of the iron in my IV bag, offered me something to drink, and then told me where the drinks and snacks were, and if I needed to go to the rest room, I could just unplug my pump and wheel my IV stand with me.

For another couple of hours I dozed, stared at the wall, and dozed some more. Finally, around noon I was awake enough that I decided to get up, go to the bathroom, and get something to eat since I hadn’t eaten anything at all earlier.

(Had I realized I was going to be spending six hours there, I would have brought more than a bottle of water and a book with me. I would have brought TWO bottles of water, some magazines, and probably my iPod.)

The last three hours of sitting there went by slowwwwwly. I finished my book and then went back to re-read the parts I’d skimmed, I went to the bathroom and got more cheddar crackers (I’ve never been a fan, but when you’re starving, they’re pretty damn good!), I eavesdropped on the conversations around me, I dozed a little. FINALLY the bag was empty, the alarm went off, and the nurse came and took the IV out.

She told me that I might feel a “boost” from the iron today (so far, I do not), but that I wouldn’t really feel the full effects for a few (she might have said “several”) weeks. She said I might feel achy today (my right arm is aching, but otherwise I feel fine), and then she showed me to the door.

I stopped at McDonald’s to get a cheeseburger (DON’T JUDGE ME, I WAS STARVING), and while I was waiting in line at the drive-thru, Fred called to make sure I was still alive.

“I have a surprise for you when you get home,” he said. “And I think you’ll like it a lot.”

“Is it food?” I said, being very very hungry.

He laughed. “Well, I guess in some countries you could eat it…”

Which is when I HIGHLY suspected that it was a kitten, and if not a kitten, then something living. Maybe a duck or a chicken.

I got home, and Fred met me at the door.

“This is the rash I got…” he said, holding out his rash-covered arms. “From the sticky bushes…” He led me inside. “Where I found these.” He opened a box, and there were four small kittens. Four little faces turned up to look at me, and all four of them hissed and spat at me.

(I suspect they didn’t get the memo that there’s nothing cuter and LESS threatening than a hissing kitten.)

Someone who works with Fred had spotted these four kittens under a bush near the window of his office. He watched them for the better part of the day, and then just as Fred was going to leave work for the day, this guy thought “Now, who do I know who has the word SUCKAH written on his forehead when it comes to cats? Hmm, who who who?”

And Fred rode to the rescue.

“I hate you,” I said to Fred. “And I hate your coworker and I wonder why the universe is insistent that we have another set of fosters in our lives?”

(Remember Ike?)

So I looked them over and then weighed one of them and then set them up in a cage with some soft blankets and a place to hide, and a litter box. I called the Challenger’s House manager and blamed it all on Fred, and told her we’d foster them, and she agreed that they could be Challenger’s House kittens.

(One of the women who works at the office near where the kittens were found has already said that she wants the little gray one.)

I think they’re about a month old, given that they weigh around a pound. They’re in really good shape, very clean, and I didn’t see any fleas on them at all. And most telling of all, their eyes are not goopy in the slightest.

It’s my very strong suspicion that they were dumped there, and that likely they weren’t there for long because they’re in such good condition.

So we tried putting some canned food on a plate in the cage, and they were uninterested. Then we tried bottle feeding them last night, and they were uninterested (though if they got some formula in their mouths, they’d swallow it). There’s one friendly calico and one hissy-spitty calico, the little gray one spits at Fred, but this morning he clung to the front of my shirt and let me pet him for a long time. The black one is hissy-spitty, but s/he’s not hissing and spitting like s/he means it.

We know the calicos are girls, but aren’t sure what the black and gray ones are. Fred’s the one with the kitten-sexing skills in this household, and he glanced and couldn’t tell what they were, but he’ll look more seriously tonight.

This morning we tried giving them bottles again, and they chewed on the nipples and swallowed the formula that came out, but didn’t really latch on and suck. We got some formula into them, though, and I wiped each of them with a paper towel to make them urinate, but later on one of them used the little litter box I’d put in the cage.

The gray one, as I mentioned, latched onto my shirt and let me pet him/ her for a long time (even purred a little!). Then I got out a jar of chicken baby food and tried smearing some around his mouth. I ended up getting him to lick some off my fingers, but none of the others were interested.

So, they’re cute, and they’ll be here for at least another month. We haven’t named them yet, but I’m sure once we figure out what the gray one and the black one are, Fred will come up with names for them.


This one has a few white spots, and has a kind of “frosted” look.


This one’s spoken for – and the biggest of the bunch.


The hissy-spitty calico. She’s all “UNHAND ME, SIR!”


The friendly calico.

 

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Eyelip count: Hoyt’s left eyelip came off yesterday, and Lafayette’s got one that’s hanging on (I think it’s actually still attached by some tissue, which is why I haven’t snipped it off). This means that Sookie and Terry have both (all four?) of their eyelips still (and they’re looking good!), Lafayette has one and a half, and Sam’s left eyelip is hanging on for dear life – it’s not even pretending to want to come off.

After I said on Sunday that we’d probably start letting the True Bloods out into the house “later this week”, Fred came upstairs while I was with them, and they all crowded around the temporary door and looked up at him with hopeful eyes, and he said “Come on, let’s just let them out!”, so we did.

So far, everyone’s behaving. Kara’s had to put the smack down a few times, and the True Bloods respond by immediately going docile, because they’re no dummies. Mostly, they run around and play with each other, and explore the house. Yesterday, they discovered the toilet paper and pulled it all off the roll. (They were QUITE proud of themselves.)

I haven’t gotten any pictures of them out and about, but I will, I promise!


Sam shows that rope just who the boss is.


Terry (before surgery), hanging out on the upside-down cat basket.


Four of the six.


Six of the six!


Bath time: so annoying!


Sleepy Sam.


Hoyt, stretching and trying to decide whether to go wake up Sookie.


Jake’s all “This is FOOD and thus it is MINE” and the True Bloods are all “Think so? ‘Cause we don’t see it that way.”


Sweet Sam.

 

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Miz Poo, up close.

 

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Previously
2008: “Shit!” he exclaimed. “We forgot to check Nick for toots!”
2007: No entry.
2006: If I were manic-depressive (wait. Do they call it bipolar now? I haven’t kept up on my psychiatrically politically correct terms lately), I think I would have been considered to be in a manic state yesterday.
2005: Never-ending.
2004: If you had any idea how much time I spent backspacing and retyping words when I write my entries, you’d burst into tears of sympathy.
2003: Who the fuck are Nikki and Paris Hilton, and why would I give a good goddamn what they’re wearing or doing or driving or fucking?
2002: No entry.
2001: You know you’re getting old when you have to ask a 12 year-old girl who’s on the TV.
2000: No entry.

9/21/09 – Monday

by @ Monday, September 21st, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

SAFE Haven for Cats, in the North Raleigh area of NC could use your help!

Safe Haven for Cats has a live auction every year. This year, however, not enough items have been donated:

“As all of you know, the live auction is fast approaching as it is scheduled for October 10. Last year at this event we made $10,000 and we desperately need to make this much again to help over 120 cats and kittens in our care today.

Unfortunately, at this time, our donations have been very slow. We are in danger of having to cancel the entire event. Please don’t let this happen!

We need each of you to look at items you might have, as well as work your networks of friends, co-workers, etc., to try to get additional items ASAP. The details are outlined below.”

Items large and small may be dropped off at SAFE Haven for Cats, 8431-137 Garvey Drive any day between now and Monday, September 28th. We are open from 8 am to 5 pm 7 days a week.

In addition items may be dropped off at Raleigh Auction and Estate Sales, 4900-A Craftsman Drive , Raleigh on the following days and times:

Any Tuesday through Thursday from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Sunday, September 27 from 1-3 pm
Saturday, October 3 from 10 am – 12 pm
Sunday, October 4 from 1-3 pm

Limited pick ups of larger furniture items may be possible on Sunday, October 4.

For a complete list of items we know we can sell please go to http://www.safehavenforcats.org/auction.html#like

 

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Hey, anyone out there heard of Sensory Processing Disorder or had a child who suffers from it?

After doing some reading about it, I’m guessing that there are some overlaps with ADHD and Autism and Aspergers. In fact, so many of those overlap each other that I’m wondering how the hell anyone ever comes up with a solid diagnosis for one or the other!

 

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Last weekend, when Fred and I stopped by the flea market in Cullman and then went to the Tool Shed to look around (AWESOME store!), we saw these signs which made us laugh.


(We need this one for the pig shelter, I think!)

Sadly, though, there were none that read “Horseshit Alley”, because I would have had to buy that one.

(I’ve claimed, since I was in my twenties, that I was going to win the lottery and then build a huge house with a long driveway, and name it Horseshit Alley just to piss the neighbors off. Hasn’t happened yet, but I’m still young!)

 

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WARNING: SPIDER PICTURES IN THIS SECTION. SKIP TO THE NEXT SECTION IF SPIDERS GIVE YOU THE OOGIES.

A few weekends ago, I was going to get groceries, and I glanced up at the garage as I pulled out of my parking spot. Hanging there was a huge Orb Weaver, so as I pulled out of the driveway, I called Fred and told him it was there.

Naturally, he went out to look at it, and took some pictures.

It stayed there for a week or so, then I think the rain we’ve had lately drove it into hiding or off to a more hospitable environment.

And in a related (perhaps) story, I slept in ’til 6:30 Saturday morning. What woke me up?

A spider crawling down my cheek.

(A little one, not an orb weaver. If it had been an orb weaver, I’d be writing this from the Great Beyond, having died due to a heart attack brought on by the horror of having something the size of my head crawling down my face. The baby spider was bad enough, believe me.)

 

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Back in July, Janice left a comment, and in the comment she left a link to Ina Garten’s Easy Sticky Buns recipe.

I printed it out, and then I forgot about it, and then a few weeks ago I re-found it and decided to give it a try.

They are a BIG hit around here. The first time I made them, they got a little overcooked. The second time I made them, I cooked them for about three minutes less, and they came out perfectly. And then the third time I made them (this past weekend), I cooked them for about three minutes less AND cut the amount of topping (the butter and brown sugar part, not the pecans) to 1 1/2 teaspoons in each cup rather than 1 Tablespoon, and they were deemed absolutely perfect, don’t change a thing.

(I also left the raisins out all three times, because I don’t like cooked raisins. Blech.)

Like the name of the recipe says, they’re very easy to make (although I always have an issue with my second sheet of puff pastry sticking together, and that drives me nuts), and they’re easily halved so you can end up with only six instead of a dozen. Also, I recently bought a couple of Silicone Muffin Pans, and they make life SO much easier when it comes to getting the sticky buns out of the cups – they’re also a lot easier to deal with when I make Bacon, Egg and Toast Cups. No matter how much I buttered the muffin tins, my BE&T cups were sticking to the cups. With the silicone cups, not only do they not stick but I can skip buttering the cups altogether!

Highly recommended (the recipe AND the pans) – and thanks, Janice!!!

 

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Sam is king of the (small) cat tower!


Every evening, I turn the hanging light on, and Sam is just obsessed with sitting and staring up at it. Maybe he thinks it’s the sun.


“Bleh.”


“Halp! Halp! CALL 911!!!” (Sam, with Bill laying behind him, biting the back of his neck.)


These kittens ADORE walking carefully (and sometimes not-so-carefully) along the footboard of my bed.


Sprawling Bill.

 

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Snoozin’ Joe Bob.

 

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Previously
2008: No entry.
2007: I think I need more sleep.
2006: Photographic proof that I met a (Not So)Scary Internet Person and lived to tell the tale!
2005: I mean, it’s not bad enough the man has road rage, he’s got to have fucking walking-through-the-house rage too?
2004: “No, this is real time!” Fred sighed.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: Written by hand.
2000: No entry.

9/18/09 – Friday

by @ Friday, September 18th, 2009. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life

I got a lot of stuff done yesterday – canned chicken, made cookies for the pigs, finally got the damn bird feeders filled and the hummingbird feeders filled with fresh nectar – and it was nice to get all that stuff done.

Today, I only have to run to the bank, to Big Lots, and to the recycling center. Other than that, I don’t need to go anywhere, and I intend to take full advantage of that!

That’s right, more canning.

I buy the big-ass cans of canned mushrooms from Sam’s Club, and then recan them into half-pint jars. I’d give you all the exact numbers, but I’ve lost the sheet of paper where I wrote them down, so you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that by buying the big can of mushrooms and recanning them rather than buying the small cans of mushrooms here and there whenever we need them, I save $10.

(Which I’m sure I immediately blow on buying books I don’t need. But hey, a girl’s gotta have priorities!)

The chicken canning went well yesterday, right up until I was taking the jars out of the canner. The first and second jars were fine, but when I went to lift the third jar out, it broke.

ARRRRGH.

That’s one entire chicken, gone to waste. I can’t recan the chicken, because I’m not willing to take the chance that there are shards of glass in and amongst the chicken, and I can’t feed the chicken to the dogs or the pigs for the same reason.

Ah well. I’ll be canning another five chickens this weekend – hopefully I’ll get no more broken jars, damnit!

(And for the record, one deboned and shredded chicken fits nicely in a quart-size canning jar.)

 

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Bill’s just crying blood like any good vamp cat.

Considering how hard Bill can bite sometimes, I’m thinking he really might be a vamp cat!

 

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I think Stinkerbelle took over the look o’ “het” from Mister Boogers.

I don’t know, I think she’s been pretty filled with hetred since the very beginning!

06DSC00997

 

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Have I skimmed over the part where you guys started using the term “eyelips”? 😀

I mentioned that Fred came up with it in this entry:

So far, Sam’s doing fine. His eyes looked a little rough to me yesterday, and I made Fred come upstairs and swear to me that they looked okay and his eyelids weren’t going to come popping off and go bouncing across the room (also, he referred to them as “eyelips”, and I laughed and laughed).

but you were probably distracted by the beauty of Jake and Elwood.

 

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Also, I was curious (tho I think it impossible), will their eyelips ever have fur?

Yes, no, maybe? At this point, I don’t know. When she took the pieces off their lips, she took the inner part – the mucous membrane part – of the lip to use underneath their eyes. The outer part went on top, and it had fur attached. The bit of graft that sloughed off Sam’s eye doesn’t appear to have grown fur, but who knows what’s going to happen? All we can do is wait and see – and actually, his eye looks good enough that if fur doesn’t grow there, I doubt many people would even notice.

 

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I didn’t realize that you got new pigs??

We got ’em back at the beginning of July – there was kind of a lot going on back then, with Mister Boogers passing on, it was easy to skim past, I think.

 

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So here I thought I knew absolutely everything there was to know as far as tips and tricks while browsing the internet, but the scroll wheel new tab thing is TOTALLY news to me and also now my favorite internet tip. Just like that. How have I survived the last several years of tabbed browsing without it?

Is it not the BEST tip ever? And Fred acted like I was an idiot for not knowing this particular tip (for those who missed it the first time around – if you click on the scroll wheel of your mouse while hovering over a link, the link will open in a new tab), so I’m glad I wasn’t alone in not knowing!

 

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Stinkerbelle is not allowed outside????? No wonder she’s a stinker.

She’s allowed to go outside – she’s just too much of a scaredy-cat to actually go out there.

 

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Do you have any experience with cats with arthritis? I think my Poo-clone may be developing it, and I’m wondering how much I need to rely on the vet for treatment.

I don’t have any experience with cats with arthritis, though I know there are over-the-counter Glucosamine supplements you can get on the cheap at Wal-Mart, rather than pay the inflated price at the vet’s office.

I know at least one of my readers has experience with an arthritic cat or two – readers? Advice?

 

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Robyn did you see Kate Gosselin’s new hair? I think it’s a big improvement-she looks a lot softer. Guess she got tired of all the jokes about her old style.

I did! I think it looks a lot better, but I really wish she’d grow the back out a bit. I’m not terribly fond of the reverse-mullet thing.

 

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I just saw this on my sister’s facebook page. It made me think of you. I don’t have cat’s cause I can’t breathe when they are around. But, I have seen many cat things on your page, but never something like this!

I really, really like the considering look the cat gets on his face when he’s dunked his head under the stream of water and he’s lapping up… nothing. That is hilarious!

 

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I made pumpkin muffins last week that were a complete and utter fail. My first thought was “I wouldn’t have to throw these out if I could feed them to pigs”.

Pigs: BEST kitchen implement ever! Not only do we feed them our kitchen waste, Fred’s mother saves up their kitchen scraps as well, and those are some well-fed (and not picky!) pigs! I think everyone should have a pig or two in their back forty.

 

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All that talk of blood and his cold hands made me wonder if that doc is not a vampire. Then again maybe I have been watching too much True Blood. Heh.

Nah, he was out in the daylight, and in fact sat in a beam of sunlight. That would certainly be a good job for him, though, wouldn’t it! “Let me just get a few vials of blood from you… okay, I’ll go, uh, EXAMINE this blood, be right back!”

 

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I also thought you were talking about canning the cats. Just for a second.

It only saddens me that I don’t have a canning jar big enough to put a kitten in and take a picture to post to respond to this. 🙂

I like to browse through your “previously” links and 2 years ago Thursday you had the sweetest picture of you and Mister Boogers. Does seeing random pictures like that unexpectedly make you all misty-eyed?

It does – and I see a LOT of random pictures of Mister Boogers. My screensaver shows pictures from my “cat pics” folder, and at least once a day I see a picture of Mister Boogers pop up on my screen as I walk by. Even now, when he’s been gone for more than two months, it still occasionally takes both Fred and I by surprise that he’s gone. We never ever expected that we’d lose him like that, and he had such a large personality that he left a huge hole behind when he went.

Good ol’ Boogie.

 

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I showed up at the vet’s office bright and early yesterday morning to drop off Sookie and pick up Terry. When I walked in, the receptionist looked at me and said “Thank god you’re here!”, and a moment later one of the nurses came out, holding Terry in her arms like a baby.

It appears that Mister Mouth had howled and howled and howled at the top of his lungs until they couldn’t stand it anymore, and took him out of his cage to give him love. From the nurse’s arms, Terry gave me the smuggest look.

“TERRY,” I said. “I thought I was your true love! I thought you loved me best, and now you’re laying in her arms like you could just lay there forever!”

And he said “Have we met?”

BRAT.

His eyes look amazing. This will sound silly, but I almost don’t recognize him. I’ve gotten so accustomed to the way his lids were before, kind of jagged, and now to see a smooth eyeline on him is odd – I’ve mistaken him for Sookie more than once since I got him home.

I know he’ll look worse before he looks better, that as his eyelips heal, they’ll get scabby and kind of gross looking. But now I have some idea of what he’ll look like when all is said and done, and I think he’s going to be a real little heartbreaker!


Every afternoon for a while, we pile up on my bed and take a nap. Well, THEY take a nap. I just lay there and watch them sleep, and pet them and listen to them purr. This was yesterday, when Sookie was at the vet’s office, or she’d surely be in there with them. Lafayette’s not in the picture because he was curled up behind my knees. (Pardon the camera strap.)

I dropped Sookie off in the morning, and at 3:00 (as I was laying on my bed with her brothers, as a matter of fact), the phone rang. The vet’s office was calling to let me know I could come get her. I left immediately to get her, and that little girl howled allllll the way home. Oddly, despite the fact that her eyelids required less work than Terry’s, she actually looks worse than he does.


Don’t they look sore?

She was fine, though, racing around and snuggling up to her brothers, and eating like a horse.

When we’ve hit the two-week mark after surgery for Terry and Sookie, I’ll feel like I can relax a little. Until then, I’ll be casting many a worried look at them, I’m sure!

(I’m keeping my fingers crossed that next week brings zero trips to the vet. I’m ready to NOT make that trip for a little while!)

 

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“What?”

 

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Previously
2008: Nepotism in Hollywood is alive and well and stinking up the joint.
2007: Okay, birds – time to start paying a LITTLE better attention to your surroundings, please.
2006: *Of course I want my daughter to be in a relationship with someone who treats her well, isn’t a criminal, and is carrying no communicable diseases. But I flat-out do not care whether that person has a penis or a vagina.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: Dirk is a happy, happy man. Dirk is very close to orange.
2002: Instead of finding it cute and amusing, I am, instead, bitter that I’ll never get that 94 minutes of my life back.
2001: (he’s a dumbass, she’s a dumbass, they’re dumbasses, wouldn’t you like to BE a dumbass too?!)
2000: No entry.

9/17/09 – Thursday

by @ Thursday, September 17th, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

So the scheduler called from the hematologist’s office yesterday, and I’m scheduled to have my iron infusions next week, Monday through Friday at 8:30 every morning. The process will take about an hour each time. I imagine that the drive will get to be a pain in the ass by mid-week, but at the moment I’m kind of looking forward to having an excuse to spend time on that side of Huntsville. There are lots of stores I’ve always wanted to check out, and assuming I’m not too wiped out by the infusions, I’ll have plenty of time to do so.

 

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Yesterday, after I dropped Terry off at the vet, I stopped and got a few groceries, and then came home and cooked four whole chickens, one at a time, in the pressure cooker. Once they cooled, I deboned the chickens and shredded them (while Jake and Elwood walked around the kitchen rubbing on my legs (and the cabinets, and anything else they came across), crying that they were starrrrrrving to death and that chicken sure did smell good…). Later today, I’m going to can them. We have a lot of recipes that call for shredded chicken (or can be adapted to use shredded chicken), and I’ve been talking about canning chicken for several months now. I’ve certainly used canned chicken in the past from the grocery store, hopefully the home-canned chicken will be tastier.

I plan to clear out the garage freezer, actually, and can all the chickens we have out there. A guy who bought hatching eggs from us several months ago ended up with 15 roosters (out of 3 dozen eggs, so those aren’t bad odds). He doesn’t want roosters (and you really can’t have that many roosters in a flock as small as his), so he’s letting us have them for a very low price. We have roosters from our own flock that need to be processed too, so Fred’s going to be one chicken-processing fool this weekend.

You may have seen the link going around that shows what happens in many big hatcheries to male chicks (I won’t link to it, I’m sure you can find it if you Google around) – they’re tossed into a grinder alive, because there’s a much larger demand for hens. When we get chickens from hatcheries, we get a “straight run”, which is basically a “you get what you get” sort of thing – they don’t sort them by sex, they just grab ’em and box ’em. As a result, we tend to process and eat roosters exclusively (you can only have so many roosters – too many roosters in a flock, and you end up with harassed hens who have bare backs).

But it makes us both happy to know that rather being tossed alive in a grinder, the roosters are allowed to live a pretty pampered life before they’re quickly and painlessly killed and then processed.

(Fred once said “It makes me sad that they’re killed like that just because they’re male.” I said “In a world where human babies are abandoned and allowed to die on the street because they were born female, I’m having a hard time mustering up too much sympathy for male chickens.” But I lied – it makes me sad, too. Of course, if we were the true softies we like to think we are, we’d be vegetarians. THAT ain’t gonna happen.)

 

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Terry ended up spending the night at the vet’s last night. His surgery took longer than she expected – I know I’ve mentioned he’s got the worst eyes of any of the kittens – and when I showed up at almost 5:30 to pick him up, she was just finishing his surgery. She said that I could hang out and wait for him to be ready to go, or let him spend the night. Since I knew I would be dropped Sookie off this morning for her eye surgery, I opted to leave him there overnight. I figured that being confined to a cage wouldn’t hurt, and I knew he’d be safe and warm.

I can’t wait to see him in a little while, though!

When I took Hoyt, Lafayette, and Sam to the vet on Monday, she mentioned that Sookie has the most normal eyelids of any of them – it’s not ’til you look closely at her eyes that you see there’s eyelid missing on each eye. Kind of funny that the one with the worst eyes (Terry) and the one with the best eyes (Sookie) are the last two to get their new eyelips.

I got these pictures on Monday, after the kittens got their vaccinations, which made them sleepy for the rest of the day. Obviously the only way to get a decent shot of all six of them, they need to be drugged and very, very sleepy. (I still couldn’t get them to sit in a line, though. Brats!)

 

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Spanky disapproves of this “foster kitten” nonsense.

 

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Previously
2008: The Godfather Catmother
2007: I don’t know what you do to surprise your husband – lingerie, or a gift from the local “adult” store, perhaps – but I know the direct way to Fred’s heart, and mowing the lawn so he was free to come home and work on his shed instead of having to mow the lawn made him one happy man.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: How’d you like to wake up in the dark and see the Baldwin noggin coming toward you? I bet your life would flash in front of your eyes.
2003: “Freakass freak” is two words.
2002: As I pointed out to Fred this afternoon, it makes me uncomfortable when Dr. Phil is nice.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

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