7/23/10 – Friday

I asked Fred to wake me up at 5 yesterday morning so I could get my entry posted and get out in the garden before it got really hot. It was just after 6:30 when I made it out to the garden, and the sun was barely up. The garden is shaded until about 8:00, … Continue reading “7/23/10 – Friday”

I asked Fred to wake me up at 5 yesterday morning so I could get my entry posted and get out in the garden before it got really hot.

It was just after 6:30 when I made it out to the garden, and the sun was barely up. The garden is shaded until about 8:00, but holy CRAP was it already hot at 6:30. For two hours I yanked up blight-ridden tomato plants, and by the time I was done yanking up the ones that were the worst, only about 1/3 of the row of tomatoes was left. I see the spots on some of the leaves of the plants that are left, but maybe a spray of fungicide will stop that damn blight in its tracks. I’m not counting on it, but a girl can dream, right?

While I was yanking up plants, I plucked the tomatoes off the plants and put the decent ones in one bucket and the spotty, mushy ones in a different bucket to give to the chickens. It was so gross, the way I’d reach out to pick a partially ripe tomato and find that it was so mushy it felt like a hot water bottle. I ended up with one bucket of tomatoes to keep, and TWO huge buckets of tomatoes for the chickens.

The chickens were appreciative of their early morning snack.

Once that was done, I went around to the tomato plants that were left and picked ripe cherry tomatoes. I ended up with a large bowl of them, which was nice. I’m just sad about my stupid blighty tomatoes. I spent so much time pruning those stupid tomato plants that I was sure this was going to be the year we were going to get some decent tomatoes.


Ah well. Maybe next year will be a good tomato year for us. We haven’t actually HAD a good tomato year, so I think we’re due for one.




So, Tuesday was the day I spent almost all day out of the house. First I got my hair cut, which was nice because at least it’s short and looks okay. But I have to admit that I ran across a picture of me from when I was in Maine, and in retrospect I kind of liked having it longer.

I’m not growing it out, though. Every time I grow it out some, I want to chop it off. It’s staying off, at least for now!

From there I went over and wandered around Kohl’s for about an hour. I’ve discovered this fancy new way of buying clothes. First, you walk around and see some clothes you might like. Then – get this! – you TRY THEM ON. You try them on! That way, you can look at yourself in the mirror and decide whether you want to buy them or not, figure out whether they’re comfortable, whether they’re worth the price.

I just may patent this revolutionary new idea, this trying on clothes. I know, right? AMAZING! The old-fashioned way of eyeballing clothes, getting them home, putting them on, and deciding they don’t work, then leaving them in a pile for a month before lugging them back to the store is NO MORE!

So I bought three shirts that I liked, and I DID NOT buy about 30 shirts that didn’t work for me.

Pardon me for a moment while I bask in my own brilliance.

After I left Kohl’s, I went to Target, where I wandered around for another hour. While I was there, I checked out the netbooks they had, and decided pretty quickly that I wasn’t crazy about either of them. I only bought a birthday card at Target (I had no idea it was legal to leave Target without spending at least $100!), and then headed to Sam’s. At Sam’s I fondled the netbooks they had on display and decided that I liked the HP and the Dell was okay, but I’m still leaning toward the Toshiba.

From Sam’s I went to Costco and fondled the netbooks THEY had on display, and am still leaning toward the Toshiba.

From Costco I went to McDonald’s to get lunch (a grilled chicken snack wrap is just the right size for me, I’ve learned), then went to Rite Aid to buy a bottle of water. I’ve learned that when I go to the hematologist’s office, I’m going to spend, at bare minimum, an hour waiting for a 45 second face-to-face, so I wanted to make sure I had something to drink while I waited.

I made it to the doctor’s office right on time, and to my surprise they took me right back and put me in an exam room.

Then I sat there for an hour and a half. But I had my book and I had my water, so I sat and slurped and read the time away. It’s a good thing I waited so long to see the doctor, because in the 45 seconds I spent face to face with him, I learned the (not) surprising fact that my iron and everything else is fine. My magnesium is low, and I need to start taking a supplement, but otherwise? Fine.

I need to go back every 3 months for blood work and don’t need to see the doctor for a year.

I headed home and got to spend half an hour cooling my heels before it was time to grab up Sofia and take her to Petsmart to meet up with her new mommy. While we waited for her new mommy to show up, Sofia sat in the carrier and was completely calm. I’ve never seen anything like it – she just sat there and watched the people go by. Some people had their dogs with them, and she just watched them and wasn’t freaked out at all. When they looked in the carrier at her, she just blinked at them, and everyone commented on how gorgeous she was.

It was about 8 by the time I left there, and I got ten minutes down the road before I remembered that I’d forgotten to get something the shelter manager had left for me, so I had to turn around and go back to get it. By the time I got home, it was 8:45, and I had just enough time to check my email and say hi to all the cats, then it was bedtime.

I have to say, I much prefer the days – like Wednesday and Thursday – when I get a chance to breathe. Luckily, most of my days are like that!

The plan for today is to spend a few hours in the garden, a few hours making pickles and boiling and mashing yellow squash, and then this afternoon I’m taking the rest of the white kittens to Petsmart. I’ll drop them off, run a few errands (including going to Best Buy in hopes that they have the Toshiba netbook in stock so I can see it in person), and then go back to Petsmart to pick up Martin’s new sisters. I can’t wait to meet them!




No 2 son and his girlfriend are holidaying in Japan and he is amazed at the size of certain anatomical parts of un-neutered toms – if you get my drift (and there seem to be an awful lot of entire males). Which got me thinking, if Coltrane DOES have another home what his other family must have thought when he came home with certain bits missing!

Let me tell you what – I am SO accustomed to only seeing neutered male cats that when unneutered ones come along – like Coltrane, and Roscoe before him – those things are very jarring to see. And they’re HUGE.

If Coltrane DOES have another home, I would have liked to be a fly on the wall when his people spotted what had been done to him!




How about a Christmas present for your readers/internet friends. Upload some of your cat photos and captions/stories to a publish on demand site like Lulu. Your readers/internet friends will be pleased because they will be able to buy a very funny book for themselves or their cat obsessed friends & relatives. Challenger House will be pleased because they can get all the proceeds…. and you will be pleased because I will quit bugging you to do this every six months. What’s not to love?

The work of going through my site and pulling out the photos and captions to upload, is what’s not to love. 🙂




Love the gorgeous blue eye of the white kitty. Stunning. Think it will stay that brilliant?.

I bet it will – Stinkerbelle’s pretty blue eyes are still as blue as they were when she was that age.




Robyn, I was reading USA Today and there was a story about animal hoarders. It said how one lady had 15 dogs (I think) and 10 cats. I thought of you (wonder why?!). I’ve often said if I had a big house, I’d have 10+ cats, too. With the feral, the fosters and your permanant cats, how many do you have now? 😀

There’s our 12 (I’m including Coltrane even though he doesn’t come in the house), plus the Bookworms, plus Los Gatitos and Martin, so that’s 12+4+3+1=20. Tonight we’ll be losing the three white kittens and gaining two, so we’ll be down to 19.

Anyone with 15 dogs, though. THAT’s just crazy! 🙂




I see you now with your Scoop Hands trying to herd dozens and dozens of cats into the coop. It’s amusing me. At what point do you and Fred move into the coop and give the cats the entire run of the house? 🙂

We’d have to have separate coops because Fred snores and I like to stay up later than he does. Fred better get to building!




do you buy your Advantage online, and if so, where? None of the vets or pet supply stores around here carry it.

Lately, I’ve been buying Advantage and Frontline at Canadian Medicine Shop. I’ve also bought from PetsuppliesNet.com, and from USA Sales Outlet.

Also, do you worry about the cats grooming each other and consuming Advantage or Frontline? Our cats are constantly licking each other on the exact spot where it’s supposed to be applied.

I don’t worry about it, because I believe that Advantage and Frontline were tested and shown to be safe if cats inadvertently lick some up. From my experience, though, any cats who get some of it in their mouth don’t care for the taste, at all, and will stop licking at it immediately.

My Friday question: Will you still have an indoor kitten room, too?

Absolutely – in fact, inside will always be the preferred place to keep fosters. The kitten coop is meant to be more of an overflow location. If Los Gatitos were going to be around instead of going to Petsmart later, then Martin and his new sisters would be going out to the coop as soon as we got the air conditioner installed.




I love the checkered shirt you’re wearing in those photos. I want one in that color and in red.

Oh, I am absolutely ridiculous when it comes to those shirts. Not only do I now have one in green, I have one in sort of a cream color, one in a purplish-red, and on Tuesday I bought one in blue. If you find a shirt that fits and is comfortable, I say buy one in every color!




Edited to add:

I have a litter of feral kittens (six kitties and their Mom). Mom “Marley” showed up in our barn in the spring very pregnant, delivered six beautiful kittens in May and I fed her while she was pregnant, of course, so she became friendly and has now brought her kittens up to the house. I feed them all Kitten Chow which they love. The runt has some health issues that need veterinary attention, and we simply can’t afford vet costs for 7 cats (they run about 200 – 300 per cat for spaying or neutering and needling etc). Momma Marley and “the runt” are friendly. The others put up with me sitting there and no longer run off but if I move suddenly they are gone.

After that long background, here is my question. How on earth did Fred catch that feral kitten? I have feelers out to get them in foster care but will have to catch them first. I spend a LOT of time sitting near them and sometimes a few of them edge close to me, especially if I’m petting their Momma and runty. They have made great strides but it’s taken weeks so I’m hoping you can share some tactics with me to either make them approachable or to capture the 5 that are skittish? Keep your fingers crossed for these babies that the Humane Society will come through and find a foster care situation for them, please!

I have two ideas – and if any of y’all have suggestions, PLEASE feel free to jump in here! The first idea is to have a large crate, put it outside, and begin feeding them in there exclusively. Do that ’til you’re able to get all of them in there at once, then shut the door. Voila! Caught kittens!

(That sounds kind of dumb, now that I re-read it. And that would have to be one big crate!)

My other idea is to stock up on Gerber Chicken and Gravy baby food, and when you put out Kitten Chow for them, put some of the baby food on a couple of plates and put the plates right next to you. They’ll eventually be overwhelmed by their desire for the baby food, and come over next to you to eat, thus allowing you to pet them and eventually snatch them up.

I don’t know, that seems too simplistic, too, doesn’t it?

Maybe a trap?

People, jump in here with suggestions, please!

As far as how Fred caught the feral kitten, he chased it around ’til he caught it. But Martin’s pretty young and I’m not sure the chasing scenario would have worked with a kitten older, or if there’d been a large number of them.

I hate that it costs so much to have cats spayed and neutered where you are. They just opened a spay and neuter clinic in Huntsville, and it costs $35 to neuter and $45 to spay a cat at the clinic, with an additional $10 for a rabies shot.




Say goodbye to Los Gatitos! They’re headed to the adoption center this afternoon, and I’ll be surprised if they’re there past the weekend.

Hermano, hanging out.

Sofia shows her sass.

Pancho. Fred laughed when he saw this and said that it looks like a Glamour Shots portrait!

Sofia was all disapproving, “Lady, you keep saying you’re going to take this door out to the garage and strip it and repaint it. How long are you going to talk about it before you do it?” It’s SUMMER in Alabama, Sofia! It’s supposed to hit 100 today and tomorrow, and going outside is like walking into a sauna. I’ll do it this Fall when it’s cooled off some! (Yeah, right.)

How can you not fall to the charms of Evita?

Flirty Hermano.





“I hope my new sisters are nice.”

Poor Martin. He’s so lonely – I go in to spend time with him, and the moment I walk through the door he howls with his squeaky little howl. I can’t wait ’til he meets his new sisters! Last night he came face-to-face with Jake, and he was only mildly freaked out by the experience. Hopefully the same will be true tonight when he meets the new girls!




Three of the four. Corbett’s always off marching to the beat of his own drummer.

Jake, Rhyme, and (you can barely see him) Elwood.

Reacher, Jake, Rhyme, and Elwood. They love to hang out in the kitchen in the morning, when the sun shines through the windows.




Spanky’s also a fan of the morning sun in the kitchen.




2009: I have sprouted six zits in the last 24 hours, just because.
a href=”http://www.bitchypoo.com/date/2008/07/23″>2008: Grrrr.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I really REALLY want a monkeypod tree for my back yard.
2003: Bonus entry, just for you!
2002: Sit on it.
2001: Packing, packing, packing.
2000: No entry.