6/25/10 – Friday

It’s a SUPER Question-Answering Extravaganza this week because I took last Friday off due to falling down the steps (you should see the bruise on my ass – it’s pretty spectacular) and was taking the week off from blogging the week before. So off we go!   ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   Hey Robyn. I have a kitty … Continue reading “6/25/10 – Friday”

It’s a SUPER Question-Answering Extravaganza this week because I took last Friday off due to falling down the steps (you should see the bruise on my ass – it’s pretty spectacular) and was taking the week off from blogging the week before.

So off we go!




Hey Robyn. I have a kitty question to ask you, and I’m hoping you’ve got some insight.

I have 2 male cats. Basil (the spitting image of Suggie) who is 8 and Monkey who is 1.5. Both are fixed, indoor cats.

In the past month, I’ve caught Monkey kneading the crap out of a blanket I keep on the couch. I figured it was cute, and didn’t pay much attention to it, until I noticed that every few minutes he started to *twitch* his back legs. I happened to pick him up and he was fully *exposed* . So I no longer keep that blanket on the couch. Lol.

I thought that was bad enough until I walked into a room and saw Monkey mounting Basil! I picked him up and again, he was *exposed*. THAT kind of left me feeling a little queasy. Poor Basil had no idea what was going on!

Have you ever had any issues like this? I’ve tried to find info online but came up blank.

Any words of wisdom you can give?

My response:

I’m fairly sure that the part where Monkey was mounting Basil was a dominance thing, but I sure don’t know why kneading on the blanket would involve a kitty erection. Maybe he was just… happy?

(I’m sorry, I’m laughing. “Kitty erection” would be an excellent punk band name.)

How about if I throw the question out to my readers? Surely someone out there will have some input!

How about it readers? Have some words of wisdom, here?




On a side note, is it illegal to dump animals in your state or county? It is animal cruelty, after all.

Good question! I assumed it was, but Googled about to see if I’m right and can’t seem to find the answer. Of course, to prosecute someone for abandoning an animal, you’d have to catch them doing it. Maybe we need to set up a camera pointing at the field across the street to catch the animal-abandoning motherfuckers.




G*df*ckingdammit, my husband never finds kittens!!! Now I am REALLY pissed at him. Itโ€™s not bad enough we are going out to dinner for his birthday Sunday so I have to miss the season premiere of True Blood WITH NAKED ERIC NORTHMAN, but he, my husband, not naked Eric Northman, never finds kittens.

I bet Eric Northman finds kittens.


I always liked the name Lieutenant and thought if I ever had a German Shepard (Sheperd?) POLICE DOG, I would name him/her that. Also I think your Lieu there has huge feet, or is that just the camera angle? Oh, I see other commenters noticed too!

I frantically Googled around for at least half an hour in a vain attempt to find a picture of Alexander Skarsgard naked, surrounded by kittens, but had no luck.

Damn you, Google.

Also, Lieu does have some mighty big feet. I think he’s going to be a big cat, though surprisingly, he doesn’t have a very big appetite. His siblings dive face-first into their evening snack of canned Fancy Feast, but he kind of picks at it, then wanders off to play.




Oh yeah, and something tells me that a couple people we know are going to be keeping a closer eye on that field across the street!!

Can you believe it took me a LONG time to even realize that that’s where people might be dropping off animals? DUH. And yeah, I glance out across the street at that field at least a couple of times a day since I figured it out. I’d go walk through the field, but the grass is pretty high, and I don’t want to stumble across any snakes.




OUCH!! Get rid of the Crocs. They’re obviously unsafe and hideously ugly too. If you wear shoes that completely cover your feet and toes and have a tread on the bottom, you’ll be a lot healthier and happier. Trust me, you’ll get used to proper shoes after a while.

Look, you Croc haters, they’re comfortable! And I only use them when I’m running out of the house to go over to the garage or out to my car to get something. I don’t wear them in public because they’re pretty dirty and beaten-up. I HAVE other shoes that I wear in public (though in the house, at home, I go barefoot. How else am I to properly step in piles of cold cat vomit??), I swear I do.

This is really all Coltrane’s fault, if you must know. I was going out to set up a cage in the garage to keep him in overnight, so I put on those Crocs without thinking about the fact that it had rained earlier in the day.




It sure does seem like folks in your area like to drop kitties off at your house. This one is a beauty, isn’t he?

I think we’ve likely become known as the cat people around here. Fred’s told just about everyone he’s come into contact with that we have cats, we foster cats, and we lurrrrve cats. I’m wondering how many cats (and/or dogs) have been dropped off in our yard or near our house that wandered off before we knew they were there.




Val asked:

I have a question for tomorrow. I suck at grammar, and I’m back in schoool at middle age.

So where does the ” go when you quote a word at the end of a sentence – before or after the end punctation?

“quoted word.” or “quoted word”. I can never remember!

And got the following answers (thank god, because hell if I know!):

It depends on what version of English you write in, Val. In British English, they write it like “this”. In American English, we write it like “this.”


But not question marks or semi-colons.
Commas and periods are inside the quotes, question marks and semi-colons outside. American English anyway.


That depends on the kind of quoting, though:

Did she just call him a “worthless jerk”?
She said, “Isn’t he a worthless jerk?”

I have frequently seen things like this (in major US publications, not just random people’s usage or British English sources):

What then are we to think of “the And3rson Effect?”
Scientists call it “the And3rson Effect;” no one is quite sure why it happens.

I disagree with the first sentence (I think it should be Effect”?) and agree with the second, but they both seem to have mainstream support.




How is Fred liking his job now that he’s settled in?

Um. He’s in the process of leaving that job for another job, actually. ๐Ÿ™‚




The only thing I have ever used coconut oil for is suntanning. Back in the days, when I was young and stupid and thought that having the deepeset, darkest tan possible was the most important thing in my life. I lifeguarded my way through college and one of my friends and I heard that coconut oil was the best thing to use to get a really great tan. So we finally found some at a health food store and slathered our selves with it every day that summer. I don’t know if I was any tanner but I’m sure I upped my chances of getting skin cancer…

Dude. I’m the whitest of the white, and I put BABY OIL on my skin and sat out in the sun. I fried my legs so bad I couldn’t walk for two days!




If I ever catch my son in a compromising position with a lady friend, I am going to ask him, “Does she have a mole?” and when he replies, “No, it’s just a freckle,” I am going to laugh and laugh and laugh until they take me away.





Even though in a philosophical sense poop is much grosser than pee….. I would so much rather pick up a few poop nuggets off the floor than deal with the lingering cat-piss smell. (Diarhrrea on the other hand, is a totally different story. ah, the joys of a cat with IBD!)

I’ve tried a ton of different cat-piss cleaners/smell removers, and the only one I have found to really work in the long term (preventing cats from going back to pee in that same spot even months after I can’t smell anything) is the aptly named Anti-Icky-Poo.

Come to think of it…. it might have been right here on this website that I first heard about it! If so – THANKS!

I agree, cat pee is the WORST. And what’s even worse than regular cat pee is unneutered male cat SPRAY. Coltrane has been spraying the side door (maybe he’s going to have the smelly spray forever since he was a couple of years old, or maybe the hormones haven’t worked out of his system, I don’t know), so I get to spray the door down and clean it off every day. It’s just noxious.

I seem to remember hearing about Anti-Icky-Poo, but I’ve never tried it.

It’s time for y’all to chime in – what does everyone else use? (Unless, of course, you’re one of those people who never has to worry about cat pee. Can I come live with you? Please?)




“blotting wet pee with dry rage since 1999”





Robyn, do you have a Trader Joe’s near you? They have a lovely Lemon Verbena soap that doesn’t dry out my skin at all, and it smells fantastic. (My skin is pretty picky about soap, too.) If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby, send me your address and I’ll send a bar from my stash. ๐Ÿ™‚

There’s a Trader Joe’s in Nashville – I think this is an excellent reason to drag Fred up there to visit it finally!




‘Nother question: apart from the sad litter of 4 (who look almost premature in that photo) how many have you bottle fed?

Maddy was our first bottle baby, back in 2006, and then we didn’t have any bottle babies again ’til the four who died last Summer. After that, we had the Wonkas. The Wonkas were no sooner weaned than we got the Cookies. Then somewhere in there was Ike, the kitten another Challenger’s House foster mother rescued from the Emergency Animal Hospital in Huntsville. Also the little black kitten and black and white kitten that I “babysat” a few times and then had for a few days. I didn’t count them, because they went to another foster mother, I only had them for a few days. Then came the Bookworms, who weren’t bottle fed for very long – in fact, they were lapping formula out of a bowl only a few days after we got them, if I recall correctly.

So I haven’t had a huge number of bottle babies, but enough so that I have some idea of what I’m doing. I really like them when they’re little bottle babies, because they’re so sweet, but they also stress me out a LOT. I was afraid for the first few weeks that I had Maddy, that she was going to die at any moment. Luckily, she was too evil to die. ๐Ÿ™‚




And I know that Jake and Elwood mysteriously appeared not long after the loss of Mister B (not a skimmer, me) but they could sort of be fosters, couldn’t they? Or did you know from day one they would be permanent.

I knew within a couple of hours that we were going to keep them, but it took a few days for Fred to agree with me. The original thought was that we were going to foster them, but they never entered “the system”, so I don’t really consider them to have been fosters.

What blows me away is that I wrote down their weight when we first got them and I came across the piece of paper yesterday – they were the size the Rescuees are now! I can’t even remember them ever being that small!




You are going on vacation?? Just you to Maine? Or are you & Fred finally going to FL. And if so, who is taking care of Crooked Acres.

Just me, to Maine. Fred’ll be taking care of everything while I’m gone, of course. I don’t know that we’ll ever be able to go on a proper vacation again – I think we’d have to hire someone to come stay here and take care of the animals while we were gone.




How did the potato growing experiment go? I can’t remember if it was last year or the year before that where you were going to grow potatoes in kind of a raised bed upon bed thing. Did it work?

It didn’t go well – I think the compost Fred put down was still decomposing, and the potatoes didn’t care for it. They grew some, but ended up rotting. I thought about trying it again this year, but somehow despite the fact that I started longing for summer in January, the whole garden thing took me by surprise, and I didn’t get anything set up for potatoes. Maybe next year!




And … don’t you have another permanent resident cat to create a link for?

It’s on my list! ๐Ÿ™‚




What’s the average length of time each litter stays with you (approximate, you don’t have to go calculate it out precisely)? Because I’ve been reading since somewhere between Sugarbutt and Maddy, but there’s a BUTTLOAD of cats I don’t recognize – I wonder if some of them were one-night-wonders or something.

Without actually going and looking, I would guess that litters average 3 weeks to a month with us. The shortest litter (though I don’t remember which one) was with us for less than 24 hours. Actually, there may have been two litters who were only with us overnight.

Okay, I think I’m going to have to get back to you on that. Now I’m curious and I’ll have to check!




How in the world do you come up with all those names!?

Usually we try to come up with a theme and start coming up with a list of names that go with that theme, then check them against the list of names that have already been used by the shelter. We’ll often hit a snag when we have a list of names that will work and haven’t been used, and then find that one of the names has been used in the past. For instance, we started out naming Stinkerbelle’s litter after characters from Gilligan’s Island (Maryann, Gilligan), but “Ginger” had been used, which is why we named her “Tina Louise.” If we come up with a name that has been used, we’ll add a surname to distinguish it (thus “Eddie Dean” in the Ka-Tet litter).

I still can’t believe that the Steel Magnolias names hadn’t already been used and we were able to use them.

I have a folder in Gmail entitled “Kitten names”, and when someone suggests a name or a theme, I file the email in there. Then if we get a litter and are having a hard time coming up with names, I look through those.

I always think that SURELY one day we’re going to run out of names, but so far it hasn’t happened!




Iโ€™m curious as to how the cats who go out react to the chickens and to the pigs (and George and Gracie too). Have the chickens ever had to prove themselves to the kitties?

Maxi, Newt, and Coltrane don’t really go near the back forty, though if they venture too close to the fence, George and Gracie will bark at them. They don’t bark at them in a “GO AWAY I WILL KILL YOU” way, they bow to them and wag their tails and bark in a “Come play with me!” way, but since the cats don’t speak dog, they rarely cross the ditch.

George and Gracie will occasionally catch sight of one of the cats in our back yard (usually Tommy) and bark at them – there’s about 80 feet between the back of our back yard and the beginning of the back forty – but the cats in the back yard don’t really pay attention to the dogs at all.

Maxi and Newt pretty much ignore the chickens – they’re used to them – but on the rare occasion we get a chicken in the back yard, the cats go all wide-eyed and flat. I think Jake or Elwood followed one of them around the back yard a few months ago, interested but not QUITE willing to attack.




Can’t you just see in her eyes that she’s a little troublemaker? But OH so squeezable!


“Who, me? Makin’ trouble? NAH!”

Into everything, this one! She’s all “What’s in HERE?!”
(Please note the green bean on the right side of the picture. The Bookworms LOVE green beans fresh from the garden, and they steal them right out of the bucket to play with.)

Elwood’s all “Nope! No room in the basket! No room for a little kitten! Sorry! Move along!”

Lieu, on the arm of the chair, sits and watches Sheila, who has climbed onto the box of pictures on the top shelf, and is batting at the charger cord for Fred’s phone.

They adore hanging out in this box. Why do I spend so much money on beds and toys, again?

Corbett and Bolitar, flanking Crazy Jake.




Spanky’s the biggest ‘niphead in the house. If there’s a toy filled with ‘nip, he’s there licking it.




2009: โ€œWhat up, bitch?โ€ he said, his 73 eyeballs glittering at me.
2008: I know, Iโ€™m lame. But youโ€™ve gotta have priorities!
2007: Three times in the course of an hour, the same conversation, word-for-word, I swear it.
2006: No entry.
2005: Iโ€™d say this country is going to hell, but that handbasket sailed a loooooong time ago.
2004: Yes. Robyn DID recently learn how to do popup windows. Why do you ask?
2003: Do I LOOK like an outside kinda gal?
2002: Which is when I realized that I’d actually dreamed the conversation and hug and kiss.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.