10/4/10 – Monday

The Crooked Acres jam (and hot sauce) shop is now open! Go buy jam and hot sauces here. (And there’s a permanent link in the left sidebar, for future reference.) + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   (Pardon the yammering about … Continue reading “10/4/10 – Monday”

The Crooked Acres jam (and hot sauce) shop is now open!

Go buy jam and hot sauces here.

(And there’s a permanent link in the left sidebar, for future reference.)

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


(Pardon the yammering about the jams and hot sauces being available. I’ll likely do that for the rest of the week so that the SKIMMAHS will see it and not ask me in three months when I’m going to have jam available. BUT YOU KNOW THEY WILL. Oh skimmers, why can’t I quit you?)

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Fred installed Linux on my computer last week, but couldn’t get it to connect to the network. I have a wireless thingy that allows me to connect to the internet and Windows was dealing okay with it, but Linux is apparently a PRINCESS and wouldn’t play along. So Fred ordered a cable from Amazon so that we could connect my computer to the router (that might not be what it’s called. I don’t pay much attention to the particulars. There’s a magic box that Fred’s computer is connected to so he doesn’t have to rely on the smoke and mirrors of the wireless thingy like I do. Said wireless thingy is a bit princessy itself, and if I had a nickel for every time I bellowed “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T SEE A WIRELESS NETWORK IT’S FIVE FUCKING FEET FROM YOU, YOU STUPID GODDAMN PIECE OF SHIT!” at my computer, I’d be able to afford a personal assistant to Google everything for me and print out the information I require, so that I might peruse it at my convenience whilst being hand-fed grapes by the pool boy who also does all the litterbox scooping.) The cord came this week, and yesterday I decreed that it was time to hook that motherfucker up.

Only…. we weren’t going to run the cable across the room, because that’s just asking for trouble. Either Fred would trip over it every time he entered the room, or a cat would chew through it, or there are any myriad* things that could go wrong with having a cable run across the middle of the room.

What we were going to do, instead, was drill a hole through the floor by where the internet connecting thingy was located, then a hole near where my computer is, and then someone was going to have to go under the house and take the cable from one hole, crawl to the other hole, and feed the cable back up through. Fred has been under the house many times (well a couple, anyway) and really does not care for it at all, so I told him I’d do it.

I suited up in an old pair of jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, and gloves, and climbed through the door to the under-house area. After hearing about the horror of being under the house many times, I expected it to be a horrifying experience, with cave crickets jumping in all directions, mice coming to sniff at me, and perhaps a raccoon or feral dog running out to occasionally bite me in the face.

Of course, after all that dreading, it wasn’t bad. I mean, I didn’t LOVE it – there were spider webs everywhere, and I killed a great big juicy spider the size of my thumb near the door, but mostly the spider webs had been abandoned. I crawled from the door to where I expected the hole to be, and there it was. I was displeased to see a cluster of cave crickets (if you’re lucky enough to not have cave crickets – also known as camel crickets – in your area, you’re not missing much. They have the legs of a spider and the jumpy spazziness of a cricket and they are hideous looking, but they won’t hurt you.) near the hole, and made Fred feed the cable down far enough that I wouldn’t have to actually touch any cave crickets. (Cave crickets are very springy and they generally jump at your face, making you jump and scream like a big baby, and I prefer not to get too close to them.)

I got the cable, and then couldn’t for the life of me find the hole where I was supposed to poke it back up through even though Fred was shining a flashlight into the hole. I finally found it, couldn’t get the damn cable to go through the hole (the hole being only slightly bigger than the end of the cable) and ended up having to lay on my back on the ground and push the cable with both hands.

Then I crawled back to the door, and it was done. Not one-tenth as bad as I’d expected it to be, either. But then, I’m smaller than Fred and am also not in the least bit claustrophobic. It’s not something I’d want to do on a daily basis, but once or twice a year, I could handle it.

That little wooden door is the door I came through (Fred closed it after me so Maxi or Newt didn’t get it into their heads to follow me in), and that cement thing to the left is the well.

*When I was taking college classes at New Hampshire College (on the Navy base in Brunswick) back in the days when I thought I might actually get my college degree someday, I took an English course (the title of which escapes me at the moment). The professor was fond of the word “myriad” and used it at least a couple of times each class. Toward the end of the semester, it came out that one of the other students thought that she had MADE THE WORD UP and he was amazed to find it in the dictionary. This was the same professor who thought my writing skillz were so awesome that I had to have gone to Catholic school. Heh.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


So last night we were upstairs in the foster room hanging out with Starsky and Hutch. They needed to be medicated (dewormer), so Fred held each of them while I shot the medicine in their little mouths. When he put the second one down, we both noticed that one of the kittens had drooled a drop of medicine on Fred’s hand. I grabbed a piece of paper towel and as I held it out to Fred, he put his hand down and WIPED THE GODDAMN MEDICINE ON THE CARPET.

My question to you: how deep do I have to bury him so that the dogs won’t dig up the body?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


So Friday morning, I decided to leave the house bright and early to take the kittens to Petsmart. I had originally intended to take them later in the morning so as not to get in the way when the Friday morning volunteer showed up to clean cages. But the night before, Fred and I had put Moxie, Melodie, and Dodger in the foster room so that Friday morning I’d be able to get my hands on them and put them in carriers. (We left Martin out because he’s very easy to get hold of. You say “Marty, come here” and he’s pretty sure you’re going to give him a snack.)

Melodie and Dodger have a gift for knowing when I’m about to do something to them they won’t care for, and they vanish. I was afraid they’d vanish or I’d end up chasing them around and be unable to catch them. Friday morning, they were ready to be OUT of that room, and they were howling and banging on the door. Which led me to the decision to take them to Petsmart before the Friday morning volunteer showed up instead of after.

So I grabbed Martin and put him in one carrier. Then I thought I’d be SMART, because I knew there was a good chance the kittens would be able to get past me if I opened the door with carriers in my hands. I closed my bedroom door and the bathroom door, and then I put the half door across the end of the hallway so if anyone got past me, they could only go into the hallway, and it would be easy enough to catch them there.

I opened the door, and went in holding the carriers in front of me. That blocked Melodie and Dodger, who backed away from the doorway, but Moxie would not be denied, and she jumped over the carriers and ran past me. I knew I didn’t have anything to worry about, though, right? Because she could only go into the hallway?

Except that before I even had a chance to turn around and look at her, Moxie had climbed over the half door at the end of the hallway and taken off for parts unknown.

I got Melodie and Dodger in one carrier (they were NOT thrilled to go into the carrier, if you were wondering) and then I went downstairs and started looking for Moxie. I found her huddled under the couch, but when I reached for her, she scampered away and went under the other couch. I stopped and thought for a moment, and then I went into the kitchen.

I took out a stack of plates and rattled them, which is the sound that alerts all the cats in the house to snack time. When I was done rattling the plates, I turned to see a group of cats running toward me, Moxie in the lead. I scooped her up and popped her into the carrier with Martin. Then I grabbed Reacher, who was standing right there hoping to get a snack, and I put him in a third carrier. Then I looked out back and did the snack time call to Corbett, who was chilling under the tree. When he came inside, I popped him into the fourth carrier.

And then we were on our way to Petsmart. The kittens had apparently had a prior discussion about what to do if put into carriers and then into the car, because they began coordinating their howling so that someone was always howling. The entire 35 minute drive to Petsmart, someone was always howling. Sometimes more than one was howling, and several times I’m pretty sure all six were howling, but at all times at least one of them was howling.

(Reminder to self: bring ear plugs next time!)

I got to Petsmart, and instead of going in and getting a cart, then piling the carriers in the cart, I somehow got it in my head that I could carry all four carriers in. I was actually able to do so, but by the time I got to the cat room, I felt like I was hauling 100 pounds of cat. The manager let me into the cat room, and I let Bolitar and Rhyme out of their cage, cleaned it, and got it set up for Reacher and Corbett. I did all the things I needed to do to get the cats all set up, and then I sat on the floor and told them all that I loved them (Melodie, for one, didn’t believe me for one single second), and then I put Moxie, Melodie, Dodger, and Martin in one cage, and Reacher and Corbett in another.

Melodie wasted no time – she went into the litter box and meowed sadly. The others seemed more curious than scared, so I told them one last time that I loved them, and then I put Bolitar and Rhyme in carriers, and left.

None of my babies were adopted over the weekend, and the word is that MMM&D were okay, if nervous, but Corbett was hiding in the litter box, and Reacher was freaked OUT. They’re always scared the first few days, so I know they’ll be okay. I have to go into Huntsville later today, so I may stop by and spend a little time with them.

When I got Bolitar and Rhyme home, I took them directly upstairs to the foster room, shut the door, and let them out of their carriers. They started slinking around the room, growling and hissing and smacking at each other. I spent some time with them, and then left them alone to get used to their new surroundings.

It was my intention to keep them in the room for at least a day, until they relaxed a little. But Fred got home and went up to see them, and when he opened the door they ran over to him and he made the decision to let them out into the house. There was drama queen behavior on both their parts, they hissed and growled and smacked the permanent residents (I’m sure you can imagine how THAT went over), but by Sunday afternoon they were settled in like they’d never been gone.

I meant to share the last of the MMM&D and Reacher & Corbett pics I had over the weekend, but got busy and never got around to it, so here they are!

I think I threw a stick, and cats ran from all corners of the yard to check it out.

Pretty Moxie.

I came home from running errands one day to find this going on. I guess Martin wanted a little Spanky love!

Marty in the sun.

Corbett, peering out the door.

Rhyme, just after we got home.


Bolitar, keeping an eye on things.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Saturday morning, I scrubbed down the upstairs foster room, and then I moved Starsky and Hutch up there. They weren’t sure what to think at first, but they seem to like the toys and the brighter room. Especially the toys!

(These pics are from before I moved them.)

Hutch enjoys a good belly rub.

Starsky, having caught sight of Hutch, goes insta-floof.

Friday afternoon, when Bolitar and Rhyme were running around the house hissing at everyone like the drama queens they are, I opened the door to the guest bedroom to go in and see Starsky and Hutch. Now, the guest bedroom is where the Bookworms were pretty much raised – they were in there from the time we got them, and even when they were allowed out in the house, they spent their nights in that room. It stands to reason that Bolitar and Rhyme would consider that room theirs. So when I opened the door, they went running in, and there was an awful lot of hissing and growling and floofing up from all four cats. (Is there anything cuter than a floofed-up baby kitten?) I grabbed Bolitar and Rhyme and put them out of the room, and then had to spend ten minutes reassuring Starsky and Hutch. Poor babies.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


“Kittens again? FABULOUS.” Maxi always loves the kittens. NOT.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No, my number one concern is that a woman, somewhere in Alabama, might have purchased a device to ensure that she’s able to get off.
2006: The stinkin’ kitten is not so cute!
2005: Annnnnnnnd that’s just a little glimpse into the dorkiness that is my life.
2004: ARRRGH.
2003: No entry.
2002: Wow. Apparently I’ve been doing the pet store thing for three years now.
2001: Day Zero.
2000: I’m back!