10/16/09 – Friday

Vote for me! Please? Good Mood Gig from SAM-e (It’s to become a 6-month paid blogger for SAM-e. Details are here.) Thank you all for your votes! 🙂   * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * … Continue reading “10/16/09 – Friday”

Vote for me! Please?

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Good Mood Gig from SAM-e

(It’s to become a 6-month paid blogger for SAM-e. Details are here.)

Thank you all for your votes! 🙂


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We like costco ground meat a lot. Higher quality and lower price than the chain grocery stores. How was their price on kitty litter compared to Sam’s?

I actually don’t know, because the only kind of litter I use is Fresh Step (the dust is a killer, but it clumps really well), and once I’d checked to be sure they don’t carry it, I didn’t even check the price on the litter they do carry.

(I feel very Vincent Vega, with that answer. “I don’t know. I didn’t go into Burger King.”)


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For the non cat owners, what is FIV?

Via Wikipedia: Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus that affects domesticated housecats worldwide and is the causative agent of feline AIDS. Approximately 11% of cats worldwide, and about 2.5% of cats in the USA, are infected with FIV.

(If I ever slip and say “HIV” instead of “FIV”, please point that out to me so I can correct it. My brain keeps trying to get me to say “HIV.”)

From the reading I’ve done online, it’s unusual (though not impossible) for kittens to get FIV from their mother, so I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that they come up negative with their second test in 53 days.

Unlike Feline Leukemia, which can be spread through casual contact, FIV doesn’t spread as easily and FIV+ cats can often be integrated into a household with FIV- cats with no issues.

A vigilant pet owner who treats secondary infections can assist an infected cat to live a reasonably long life. (Via Wikipedia)


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I’m wondering… do you vaccinate your permanent cats for FIV? For many years, our cats were strictly indoor-only, so we didn’t get any vaccinations (no risk, so no benefit). But we recently moved to a house on a road with very little traffic and a nice fenced back-yard, so the cats have started spending time outside (they LOVE it, by the way, and I feel terribly guilty that we couldn’t let them outside for so long). We did the standard rabies and combo vaccines (distemper and whatnot), and also decided to do FIV. There are lots of wandering neighborhood cats, and FIV is so easy to spread, we didn’t want to take a risk. With your cats being outside, but maybe not so many neighbor cats to interact with…. what do you think of the FIV vaccine? Worth it? No? And even if all the other cats were vaccinated, would you still want to keep a confirmed FIV+ cat away from them? (vaccine not being 100% preventative)

Except for Maxi and Newt, none of our cats come into contact with any cats who wander through the property (I’ve never seen any strange cats come into the back yard, and our cats are kept inside at night – again, except for Maxi and Newt.). We’ve considered vaccinating those two for FIV, but if they were ever caught by animal control and tested for FIV, they’d come up positive because of the vaccination, and would likely be put down.

FIV, from what I’ve read online, is not that easily spreadable – it requires deep bite wounds and scratches, where the infected cat’s saliva enters the other cat’s bloodstream (again, via Wikipedia), and I’ve read of cases where people integrated FIV+ cats into a household with FIV- cats with no issues.

(I’ve also read that neutering male cats can help to lessen the spread of FIV, as neutered males aren’t as territorial. If you go by our cats, I’d have to agree with that – the most aggressive cats in our house are Maxi and Kara. How do I get THEM neutered, can someone tell me please??)


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I am shocked you don’t watch Food Network! It’s like a default channel for background noise. Sometimes I learn something worthwhile, mostly I get annoyed, but it’s better than ESPN.

I don’t even know if we get Food Network. And I don’t really leave the TV on for background noise – we only have one TV (I know! It’s like we’re living in the freakin’ Dark Ages!) and it’s on the other end of the house from where I spend most of my time during the day. I listen to the radio for background noise!


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Did you always tell your younger sister tall tales? I’m the oldest of five-the sister and brother closest in age to me I teased, fought with- a lot of sibling rivalry. The baby brother (8 yrs younger) and sister (11 yrs younger) I teased a little but mostly adored and protected like a second mother.

No, not really – I seem to recall telling her once that I was adopted (how dorky is that?!), but that’s all I can recall. I’m sure she’ll correct me if I’m wrong!


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The big question is – did you leave the towels up there then forever since the cats like them so much? And Now I’m thinking you probably need to add flour sack towels to your list of things to buy since you don’t have any to actually use. I understand this concept, this is why we end up with tissue paper and boxes left out for weeks – because the kitties like ’em.

Oh, that pile of towels is still up there. Every once in a while if there’s no cat up there, I’ll pull out a towel or two. The pile is slowly diminishing, but I suppose that if I want to get all my towels, I need to put a cat bed up there for them to lay on instead!


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We are moving to a house with a bay window and I will need to get cat beds. Do your cats favor one kind over another? (Right now our tabby will sleep on anything but always chooses to sleep on the thing you most don’t want furred up. Our Siamese gets annoyed that we are taking up so much room in HIS bed.)

My cats aren’t terribly picky – it’s really about location; if I put a bed on my desk, they’ll eventually end up in it, no matter what it’s like. They really like the round Berber Faux Sheepskin beds, like this.

Also, I have these square beds with high sides that I picked up at Big Lots.

And they like them. They’re also fond of cushy beds with high sides.

But if I had to recommend one, it’d be a faux sheepskin bed – they come in small (like at the Petsmart link) or they come in a larger size, which you might have to venture over to the dog section to find.


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I just looked through your virtual tour of your houses. The first tour was so different! The Spud had toys all over her room, Miz Poo (who you referred to as “the kitten” followed you everywhere, AND there was a picture of “4 of the 5 cats.” !!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

HA – I can’t believe there was a time when we only had FIVE cats. And I’m sure I regularly said “I can’t believe we have FIVE cats. That’s so many! We’ll never have more than that!”

For those of you who don’t look over at the sidebar, there’s a link (to the right) that says “Virtual House Tour”, and it’s got tours of all three houses we’ve lived in since I started this journal ten (!) years ago.

Man, I can’t believe we used to have a cookie jar collection.


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Do you just walk around the house with the camera strapped to your side all the time? Or do you have a camera in every room or? I ask because it seems like whenever my cats are doing anything amusing or cute, the camera is in another room or too far away to have even a chance of capturing the moment before it ends.

Nah – usually either something’s going on in the computer room, and I always have at least one camera within arms’ length so I can start snapping pictures in just a few seconds, or I’m going into the kitten room and grab a camera to take in with me. For every cute picture I get, there are probably ten that I wish I’d caught. With 21 cats in one house (albeit temporarily!), you can pretty much bet that any time you wander through the house with the camera, there’s going to be something interesting to take a picture of.


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I finally got myself and my girls some new kittens. Both of our much loved Cats passed over the summer. You would think they are still here, as much as we talk of them. But someone dropped some kittens at a bank here in town,and I stopped in and you can guess the rest! But the kittens would not purr for 2days? they do now, a lot, but have you ever seen that before? they are both sweet personalities, and beautiful tabbies…..Thanks love the blog!

Oh, I’ve definitely seen that before – are they very young? It seems like when they’re very little, they don’t know how that purring thing is supposed to go, and then they accidentally do it, and decide it’s kind of neat, and then they do it all the time!

Or maybe they were just nervous for the first few days. 🙂


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I’ve had several requests for close-up pictures of the boys who are going off to the adoption center today. I did my best to get pictures yesterday, and paired them up with “befores” – some of the “afters” are not so great, because these kittens were on FIRE yesterday, racing around like crazy. When they weren’t doing that, they were sleeping like the dead. In other words, it was hard to get good close-up pictures of them, but I did my best!

(And for the record, Terry is NOT becoming a permanent resident – he and Sookie are staying here for a little while longer because they’re not completely healed from their surgery. And there’s no way I could decide to keep Terry – because there’s no way on earth I could take Sookie to the adoption center alone. I’d feel horrible for her!)

Click on any of the pictures to see a much larger version.

Bill, before and now. I completely forgot he was such a little fuzzball! If you recall, Bill’s the one who sat around all the time with his eyes squinted mostly shut. Terry’s eyes were worse, but Bill seemed to be in more discomfort, thus the squinting. Now, Bill has his eyes open most of the time (except when I try to use the flash around him!), and we can see that he’s cross-eyed. Just adds to his charm, if you ask me! You can see how before, he had a jagged eyeline, which is why at first I thought his lids had been ripped at some point. He’s such a handsome boy.

Hoyt, before and now. Before, Hoyt’s right eye was bothering him the most – now, it’s not bothering him at all. It’s still (if you look closely) a bit smaller than the other eye, and occasionally he squints the right eye a little, but ointment or eye drops fixes that pretty quickly.

Sam, before and now. You can see pretty clearly the missing parts of Sam’s upper eyelids, before – especially his right eye. Now, he’s got a lovely, smooth eyeline. The other cats have big round eyes now, but Sam’s got more of an exotic slant to his. Such a gorgeous boy!

Lafayette, before and now. I’m sorry the “before” picture isn’t the greatest – I lightened it the best I can. If you look at it in the larger size, you can see how it looked like there were chunks of eyelid missing from both sides. Now, he’s got that same lovely, smooth eyeline. He opens his eyes more now, too – and he’s actually not as cross-eyed as he was when he was wee. Still a bit cross-eyed, but like Bill, it just adds to his charm. I love his serious little face!

On the table: Hoyt. On the chair: Lafayette, Terry and Sookie.

I swear, that blanket had been laying on the table for PERHAPS ten minutes before Hoyt sensed its presence, and jumped up there to fall asleep on it.

Smilin’ Hoyt.

From my comments:

I thought hissing and spitting were the same? Can you enlighten me? Thanks!

Boy, you’ve kind of got me stumped! The only way I can think of to describe the difference is that hissing is a longer sound, like a long exhalation, whereas spitting is a short sound and sounds like the kitten or cat is actually spitting something at you.

Anyone got a better way to describe it? I know the difference, it’s just hard to explain it!

Robyn…will this be the hardest group to leave at the adoption centre of all the groups you’ve had? What with all their issues and surgeries they are just the cuddliest, funniest bunch!

Maybe. All the groups are always very hard to leave, because I always fall completely head over heels in love with them and can’t imagine having to give them up. There’s always a point where I say “I cannot do this. I can’t take them there and leave them. I’M KEEPING THEM ALL!”

(I’m kind of going through that right now.)

What helps is that I stay in the cat room with them until they seem comfortable, and I wait until they’re distracted by toys before I tiptoe out of the room. And they’re ALWAYS distracted by toys and sniffing the cages, and checking out the food. I almost always hide at the end of the aisle and watch them to make sure they’re okay, and so far not a one of them has suddenly looked up and said “Hey. Where’d that lady go? WHY WOULD SHE ABANDON US LIKE THIS?!”

You’d think this would get easier, but so far (4 1/2 years, close to 100 fosters), it hasn’t.

And now off I go to get the boys settled in their temporary homes, because I am CERTAIN that someone’s going to come along and fall in love with every one of them TONIGHT.

(Fingers crossed!)


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“Ha ha HAAAAA! Those little kittens are going, and I shall be the king of the house once again!”


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2008: O lord, what is a wimpy hater of wasps to do?
2007: No entry.
2006: It’s like when you’re in the car and you smell something, so you turn down the radio and sniff harder.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: “That’s because it fucking HURTS!” I yelled.
2002: TV talk.
2001: Is it just Fred and I that immediately think “Chrissie-anthemums”, or did y’all see that episode of Three’s Company as well?
2000: The Spider Dance.