8/6/10 – Friday

Attention, Alabama and Tennessee residents! The North Alabama Spay Neuter Clinic is now open in Huntsville. They charge $35 for feline neuters, $45 for feline spays, $55 for canine neuters, and $65 for canine spays. The only cost above the basic charge is $10 for the rabies vaccination if you cannot provide proof that your … Continue reading “8/6/10 – Friday”

Attention, Alabama and Tennessee residents!

The North Alabama Spay Neuter Clinic is now open in Huntsville. They charge $35 for feline neuters, $45 for feline spays, $55 for canine neuters, and $65 for canine spays. The only cost above the basic charge is $10 for the rabies vaccination if you cannot provide proof that your animal has been vaccinated in the past 12 months.

PLEASE NOTE THAT ANYONE CAN USE THE SPAY AND NEUTER CLINIC. You do NOT have to qualify! There is no extra charge for weight or if the cat/ dog is in heat. Ear tipping for ferals is free.

The clinic also provides FeLV/FIV test and heartworm tests for $20 and the other vaccinations for $10, but those are completely optional. They’ll also do fecals!

The North Alabama Spay Neuter Clinic web site is here.

Please please please pass the word. I know there are so many people who are unfortunately put off from having their cats and dogs spayed and neutered by the potential high cost. The fewer unwanted kittens and puppies who are brought into this world, the better.

Maybe one day there’ll be no such thing as unwanted cats and dogs. Wouldn’t that be lovely?




Forwarded from reader Nicole yesterday was this email from Animal Haven, a shelter in New York City. They recently rescued two blind kittens, Ray and Light, from a horrible situation.

Dear Friend,

Cruelty to animals takes many forms. Sometimes it involves violence resulting in injury or death. But most times, Animal Haven gets notice of cruelty that stems from neglect – animals deprived of basic needs like food, water and shelter from the elements.

This is what happened to two very special kittens currently in our care – Ray and Light. They were pulled from a hoarding situation in Brooklyn – the likes of which we had never seen. The building was falling apart around the hundreds of cats living there. As litters of kittens were born, they were left to fall through the ceiling cracks and on to the concrete floor below. Many didn’t make it but the few that did ended up with injuries and infections. Ray and Light are suffering from an eye infection that literally ate away at their eyes.

But with the help of caring friends like you, they can have a life filled with normal activity and love. Already as we medicate them daily and give them the care they need, each kitten is showing signs of affection, play and general contentment. Animal Haven couldn’t do this without your help.

What can you do?

You can help Animal Haven stop animal cruelty and help cover the costs of caring for the victims.

If you suspect cruelty or abuse, write down the details and report it to Animal Haven as soon as possible. Even if you are uncertain as to whether the situation warrants investigation, please call us and let us check it out. We would much rather get involved before it’s too late.

Taking in and caring for neglected and abused animals and working to find them a new home is a very costly undertaking. It is a critical part of Animal Haven…it’s part of what we do and we are committed to helping those animals in need. Please help us keep this commitment by giving a gift today. Will you please give?

Donate to Animal Haven here.

Putting a stop to animal cruelty and abuse takes a community – one person at a time.


Tiffany A. Lacey
Executive Director

Animal Haven’s web site is here.




How about letting some chickens in the garden during the day? They might help with the squash bug problem!

At this point, we have about 10 chickens roaming free at any given time during the day. They do go into the garden, but they’re really not interested in the squash bugs at all. I’m guessing that they just don’t care for the taste of the squash bugs. You’d think, being chickens, they’d eat any bug that crossed their path, wouldn’t you? They don’t like ants, either.




Holy cow – keith & chemda broke up?! I haven’t listened to the show in quite a awhile but this blows my mind and my next thought was…what does Miss And3rson think about this?!


Oh, I crack myself UP with that picture.

I wrote about that at the top of this entry and it pretty much holds true. I was worried that the show would end up going away, and I was worried that it would change, and it has, but Keith is still the obnoxious asshole who always makes me laugh.

What’s more disturbing to me is that Patrice up and freakin’ MOVED, and now there are no more Patrice Thursdays, and that makes me REALLY sad. I love me some Patrice.

Also, I think it’s WEIRD that Keith is dating Ray’s ex-girlfriend, but I haven’t quite caught up yet to Friday’s show where Ray Devito was on, so maybe Ray will be all “No big deal!”




I also have another kitten question. I’ve had to keep my sisters separated because of the conjunctivitis, but it’s much better now, so I’ve re-introduced them this morning. They recognized each other immediately and there was no posturing or anything, but they’ve been fighting non-stop. Is this normal? They’re just reestablishing dominance/territory? Will they settle down at some point? I mean, I can’t spend the entire day distracting them with toys! (They’re just over 3 months old.)

Man. Gomer, my 16-year-old three-legged cross-eyed scaredy cat, was a hell of a lot easier to deal with! 😉

I think they’ll settle down – they’re still so young that they’ve got that kitten energy going on, so I’m not surprised that they’re fighting.




Speaking of unwanted animals, we had another stray dog show up. It’s mostly hound with some boxer mixed in. Vet said that likely, some redneck hunter tried to train it to hunt, and when he didn’t take to it, the hunter released him so he wouldn’t have to feed him anymore. I can’t tell you how enraged the situation makes me. If you know of any hound rescues, please let me know. I’m willing to drive if need be to make sure he finds a good home. He’s such a sweet dog.

People drive me NUTS. I don’t know personally of any hound rescues, but maybe someone out there will or is in need of a boxer/ hound? This is from Michelle at When Cats Attack (she’s in Tennessee), y’all let her know if you or someone you know can help!




Tell me you gave that caterpillar to the chickens, I just know they’d love that fresh protein!

Of course! I tossed it in the chicken yard, and one hen picked it up and ran around with it while a bunch of other hens chased her, then she dropped it and another hen grabbed it up and ran around with it. I assume it was eventually eaten, though I didn’t stick around to witness the eating myself.




is that a burpee seed “time to plant” clock behind those jars of chicken stock? i covet one but they cost about a jillion bucks on ebay!

Indeed it is!

Fred’s father gave it to us. If I remember correctly, Fred’s stepmother’s parents gave the clock to Fred’s parents, and they had it for a long time, then stuck it in the attic. Fred’s father was cleaning out the attic and asked if we wanted it. I think it goes nicely with our decor (if we could be said to have a “decor”, that is).




I posted this to FB, but I didn’t know if you’d see it there, so I *HAD* to tell you about it here 🙂 Big Cats on the ‘nip!!

Love it!!!




We were just adopted by a long haired abused, starved, tortured little girl kitty that we named Daphne. She showed up on the porch one day and of course I fed her, kissed her, loved her and took her to the vet. Someone had actually shot her twice with a BB gun- once in the chin and once in the chest. One spaying, several shots, a port in her chest for the BB infection to drain from and VOILA we have a beautiful new girl. (Let’s not talk about the vet bill)

Yes, people should need permits to have pets.

PEOPLE DRIVE ME NUTS. Perhaps I’ve mentioned? Daphne is one lucky girl!




Looking at the photos of Elwood and Bolitar prompts me to ask if any of the permanent residents ever miss the lodgers when they are sent to the adoption centre? I know your heart breaks but I have an image of thousands of kitty tears being shed (which, I realise, in the case of some like Stinkerbell and Miz Poo, maybe tears of joy)!

I think – or I’d like to think, I’ll say – since Jake and Elwood have grown up having fosters come and go, they’re used to it. Of course, we’ve never had fosters for as long as we’ve had the Bookworms, so I don’t know what their reaction will be this time around. So far, the reaction to fosters leaving has always been no reaction at all. The permanent residents start taking over the computer room again, things get quiet… and then I let another group of fosters into the house to roam at will, and it starts all over again!




The best way to get photos that show the details of cats’ eyes, especially black cats and cats with dark fur is:

1. Turn the flash off. Flash often either gives cats “pet eye/red eye” or makes their eyes look bright yellow, or washes them out.
2. Photograph the cat in a room with a lot of natural light.
3. Try to get the cat to lay near a window, and get them to look up so the light from the window illuminates their face.
4. Stand back and zoom in to fill the frame with their face.

I have a black cat and have spent the past 5 years trying to capture her with my camera! I used all those techniques in this photo of her.

That is a GREAT picture! Thanks for the tips, I’ve already started putting them into practice. Or trying to – Moxie’s being difficult about posing for me, all she wants to do is sit in my lap and be petted.




when you foster…do the kittens that don’t get adopted in a certain amount of time, come back to you??

They can, and they have in the past for a few weeks, to give them a break from the cage. If they’re adopted and then returned to the adoption center and aren’t adopted from there, they’ll usually go to the shelter after a few weeks. They don’t come back here very often, though. We’re lucky that they usually get adopted!




I sort of want to live in the kitty room. It looks so fun and cozy. You could come in and tell me I’m pretty every morning and feed me some breakfast.

I don’t know. Would I have to scoop your litter box? 🙂




So … did you wind up with 24 baby hamsters, or what?

We got 5 hamster babies the following February – here. What a difference a decade makes, ’cause can you believe that not only did I not put up any pictures of them, I didn’t mention them again ’til March, and then only to report that there was at least one still alive? Several days later I reported that the baby hamsters were super-cute – STILL NO PICTURES – I talked Fred into letting Danielle keep two of the baby hamsters – NO PICTURES – annnnd at the end of March, I reported that we’d returned the hamsters to the pet store.

And I never took a damn picture, apparently.

Who the hell WAS that woman?!




Is the gun thing a joke or can you really shoot? It’s a skill I’d like to develop but first I’d need a gun.

I can truly fire a gun, but I’m not claiming to be the best shot on earth. I’d only ever fire a gun at a person if I felt my life were in danger (or they really pissed me off)(kidding!), and at that point I’d imagine they’d be pretty close.




So you denied the frog but not the third dog? Interesting… Verrrrrry interesting!

Oh, I DENY THE THIRD DOG. Believe you me, I have no desire for another dog. My plate is full with all the cats who keep showing up.




At least Franco and Garrity are being returned because of the wannabe-owner’s allergies, and not because THEY have problems. Whoever takes them for good will adore and spoil them.

The girls who returned Franco and Garrity were VERY sad about returning them, from all reports – they cried and cried. At the moment only Franco from that litter is unadopted, and they put him in with another kitten so he wouldn’t be lonely. He’s such an awesome, sweet, snuggly boy that whoever ends up adopting him will be lucky indeed.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – I’ve never had a black cat who isn’t completely awesome.




Robyn, I just have to say every time I see Newt I tear up. He looks JUST like my kitty “Yellow” (ironic since they are “buff”) that we lost 2 years ago to an illness. I just want to grab him and snuggle into his fur. Is he really soft? He looks like he would be.

Newt’s actually not that soft – he’s got wiry fur – but he’s a total sweetheart and he loves a good snuggle!




Before you throw the wisteria into the back 40, I have heard that it attracts rats. Not having wisteria, I have no firsthand knowledge of this.

I don’t know about rats, but I can report that mice really seem to like wisteria. Which is fine with me – the back of the back 40 is far enough away from the house that if a family of mice wants to set up in the wisteria, they shouldn’t migrate to the house. At least that’s what I’m hoping!




I have a cat, Emma. Emma is 8 yrs old and I have had her since she was about 1.5 – 2 yrs old. She weighs 12.8 lbs and the epitome of a quiet little angel with wings and a halo. Emma is the most submissive of kitties and, no matter what, she is at the bottom of the totem pole. Then, there is Sidney. He is 1.5 yrs old and a complete mama’s boy. He is 8.5 lbs and all boy-kitten. The problem is that he dominates Emma. He thinks he owns the world even though she was there first. He will charge after her to run her off from the food dish, from MY lap, and oh the tortures in the kitty box. In no way is Sidney aggressive or mean in that scary kitty way as it almost looks like play. I do know that if she chased him he would love it. He just knows that she will back down and he will get whatever he wants. I scold him when he tries to dominate her and I will not allow him to push her off my lap (jealousy). But of course, I work and am not always there. Sidney is not hateful or anything (he is actually incredible precious) but I would like him to be more accepting of his big sister and not act like a little Napoleon. Any suggestions?

I don’t have any good suggestions on this issue, but I KNOW someone (or several someones!) out there has some great suggestions. So let’s hear it, y’all! Leave suggestions in the comments, please.




What is the name of the driveway alarm that you have? Is it easy to use and where can one be purchased?

We have an Optex driveway alarm and according to Fred (who set it up), it’s very easy to use. My only complaint is that occasionally a bird flying by the sensor will set it off, but that doesn’t happen very often. We bought ours online, but I honestly don’t know where we purchased it from. The price at the link above is about what we paid, though you might find a better price by Googling around.




Okay, wait. Who is… THAT?

Hint: It’s not Moxie.

That right there is Dodger, the newest addition to the MMMs. Yeah, I know that his name doesn’t start with “M”, but Dodger’s such a perfect name for him that it’s going to stay. Dodger was found by Winnie and Kathie, a pair of Challenger’s House foster moms – the same ones who found Moxie and Melodie! He ran across a busy road right in front of them, dodging three cars along the way. As it turned out, he was living under a local business and they were feeding him leftover chicken fingers.

Poor baby.

I brought him home yesterday morning, and when I opened the carrier he walked out, spotted Martin, and head-butted him so hard that he almost knocked Martin over. It was SERIOUSLY sweet.

He was a little freaked out last night, but this morning he followed me around the kitten room while I scooped, and then sat in front of me and let me pet him and pet him.

He’s actually changed the dynamic in the kitten room a little bit – Melodie has suddenly become friendlier and less skittish. And there’s been a LOT more playing in there.

He’s about 9 or 10 weeks old, is the vet’s guesstimate, and he’s smaller than Moxie and Melodie, but bigger than Martin. He’s a sweet boy and a fine addition to the MMMs!

You know I was wildly waving a cat toy around to get their attention, right?

He’s got his pink fuzzy toy. What else does he need?

Miss Melodie, in my lap again.

Another shot of Moxie’s gorgeous eyes.




I put this box by the door to take out to the garage and put with the other recycling. Then when I went to grab it to actually take it out…


“Don’t tell her I’m here!”

“I’m DYING to get out that side door!”

No luck this time around, Bolitar, you sneaky little brat.




I was coming out of the foster room the other day, and Jake went running in. I had an armload of stuff and didn’t want to put it down to chase him, so I made a mental note to go back and get him after 10 minutes.

Three hours later I was all “Huh. I wonder where Jake is?” and then remembered.

I walked into the foster room, and Jake was in the condo on the cat tree, snuggling with Melodie’s “baby”, all nonchalant and “What?”

The kittens didn’t seem to care at all that Jake was in their territory.

Someone asked earlier this week if Jake and Elwood are our version of Charlene Butterbean. I guess they kind of are, though I think they’re probably rougher with the kittens than the sweet Miss Bean. We’ve always called Tommy our ambassador because he’s good with the fosters, but whereas Tommy mostly puts up with the fosters, Jake and Elwood actually seek them out and play and snuggle with them and really like them.

It’s funny, because I had SO hoped that Miz Poo would be the kitten lover, but she wants nothing to do with any of the fosters (she’ll grumpily put up with them after a while – they have to wear her down, though!). None of our girl cats have any desire to be motherly with the fosters, not even Kara or Maxi, who WERE mothers.




2009: I like how he thinks he has any choice in the matter.
2008: Meet Michele the chicken!
2007: (Miz Poo, upon seeing me pick up a fly swatter and walk toward her, whines and runs away. Like I beat her spoiled ass on a regular basis! I don’t, but I oughta. She deserves it.)
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: The morning I wake up and find a cricket in bed with me is the day I start closing the cat door at night, believe you me.
2002: No entry.
2001: Yeah, like YOU don’t have a voice in your head that reads things to you…
2000: No entry.