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11/30/10 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, November 30th, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

Since I’ve got nothin’ going on and just can’t think of a thing to write about, y’all are stuck with nothin’ but cats for today. Maybe something exciting will happen tomorrow! (Noooot holding my breath.)

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The other night, we were hanging out with the kittens before bed, and Greg Brady was climbing up the front of Fred’s shirt.

“Have you ever noticed that Greg Brady always looks like he wants to cut a bitch?” I said. Fred laughed and laughed, and now every time he sees Greg Brady he laughs again, because it is TRUE.


“Is Greg Brady gonna have to cut a bitch?”

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I think that things with Jan and Bobby are improving. There’s still plenty to clean up in their cage when I go in every few hours, but they’re actually using the litter box now, thank god. Last night at their evening snack time, Jan bellied up and ate a lot. She showed some of her old attitude, running around with a toy, tossing it in the air, picking a fight with Greg. I gave both she and Bobby baths last night, but they only needed their feet and tails cleaned off a little, which was a HUGE improvement.

(These pictures are from last week, still.)


Jan in the Jan Cave, with Marcia approaching.


“Paws up, y’all!”


“I SAY, ‘Paws up, y’all!'”
(Bobby’s all “Come ON, I want my turn!”)


Jan and the mouse. She LOVES that mouse, can you tell?


Jan and Greg.


Jan puts Greg in his place. (Peter, in the background, tries to pretend nothing’s going on.)


Bobby at the water bowl. How many bowls do you think these guys tipped over before I realized they were basically laying across the side of the bowl to drink water? (Way too many, is the answer.) And it’s not because the water level was low or anything – they just like to be comfy when they’re drinking!


Marcia and Greg, conspiring.


“Where shall I make trouble next?”


That Cindy Brady (looking up at me) just cracks me up. She’s the sweetest, most laid-back, loving little girl. (Her head doesn’t usually look quite so round. I believe she was wearing a collar and it was pushing some of her fur upwards to give her that basketball-head look.)

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All the super-comfy cat beds in the house, and these two fight over who gets to sleep on the corrugated cardboard scratch pad. Weirdos.

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Previously
2009: Jesus, what am I, 95 years old?
2008: No entry.
2007: MOOOOOOOOOM! Make the shirt stop touching me!
2006: That’s really a bitch of a way to start the day.
2005: “Au contraire,” said the ringleader. “We found a SESAME SEED!”
2004: I give it two weeks before someone barfs on the new comforter.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: “What will I do now that I don’t have to clean dust off my ball?”
2000: I’ll just not think about that.
1999: When she came to a stop, she sat up and swayed back and forth, blinking sleepily up at me.

11/29/10 – Monday

by @ Monday, November 29th, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

Remember Hank, the young Lab in Georgia who needs a home? His owner is moving in with his nephew on Friday, and unfortunately the nephew’s not allowed to have pets at his apartment. Hank still needs a home, and soon! Pass the word!!!

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We had a quiet weekend, and it flew by pretty quickly. We ended up leaving the house several times on Saturday (I know! O the humanity!) for various errands. Otherwise, we hung around the house, I did – I’m not even exaggerating – at least 20 loads of laundry, mostly poopy cat beds and blankets, and Fred got a lot of reading in.

On Saturday, I watched Sex and the City 2, and those of you who have seen it will feel deep sympathy for me when I say that I WATCHED THE ENTIRE GODDAMN THING.

“Is it almost over?” Fred asked about an hour in, coming into the living room an hour after I started the movie.

“NO,” I said. “It’s still got a goddamn hour and a half to go!”

Fred expressed horror.

“But I can’t turn it off. I want to see what happens, even though I’m DYING OF BOREDOM.”

Y’all, I truly do not recommend this movie, and I say that knowing that those of you who are die hard SATC watchers like me will watch it anyway, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you. I’m going to go ahead and just refer to it as Sex and the City 2: Assholes in Abu Dhabi.

I don’t want to be a stickler for details, here*, but I’m pretty sure that Samantha went through menopause after she had chemotherapy in the last season of the show. Whyyyyy is she going through menopause a second time, I mean other than providing a super HIGHLAAAAAAAAAAARIOUS** plot point?

We’ve hit the point where all the women are caricatures of themselves*** – especially Samantha – and I’m not sure you could pay me enough**** to watch Sex and the City 3, wherein Samantha gets laid, Miranda frets, Charlotte judges, and Carrie couldn’t find happiness if she had a map and a six-week course in doing so. And you KNOW there’ll be a SATC 3, 4, 5, infinity, because I’m pretty sure Michael Patrick King has something really juicy on some bigwig in Hollywood and has ensured that he’ll be pounding out SATC movies until they bury him.

*That’s a lie. I love to be a stickler for details. I THRIVE in the stickler-detailed environment. My tagline should be “Detail-sticklering since 1968.”

**Not.

***Okay, shaddup, I know that happened sometime during the last season of the show.

****Lie. You know I’m going to go watch it because I’m a loser, baby.

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Also, we watched the Nightmare on Elm Street remake with Jackie Earle Haley as Freddie Krueger and Mrs. Coach as the main character’s mother. It wasn’t bad – if you like a horror movie that makes you jump a bunch of times during the movie, then this is the movie for you.

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On Sunday, Fred came upstairs to the kitten room where I was cleaning up poop (more on that in the kitten section) and said “I just let Rhyme in the side door.”

In other words, Rhyme jumped the fence and managed to end up on the side porch (thank god, because who knows how long it would have taken for us to realize he was missing?). This means that of the four Bookworms, everyone but Corbie is now collared up. I’ve convinced Fred that we should at least get a fence company out here and find out how much it would cost to have a professional fence (with cat barrier at the top) put up. None of the barrier methods (heh heh) we’ve tried will keep cats who aren’t wearing collars in the yard if they’re of a mind to escape. I’d feel a lot better if I knew they couldn’t get over the fence and run away. And if the cats simply couldn’t get over the fence, they wouldn’t have to wear those damn collars, which uglify up the pictures I take of them during the day.

We’ll see what we find out, anyway. Chances are pretty good that it’ll cost too much and we’ll have to figure out some other way to keep them in (like a cat fence), or just buy more damn collars (did I mention that they RUIN my damn cat pictures?).

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On Saturday, we took Jan and Bobby to a vet in Decatur because the diarrhea was NOT STOPPING. It’s not even just diarrhea, these poor babies are just dripping poop everywhere they go – it’s like they don’t even realize they’re doing it, and it’s getting all over their back legs and feet. I would LOVE to go back to last week when my only problem was that they were having diarrhea in the litter box, then stepping in it and tracking it all over the place. After I walked into the room Saturday morning and found poop everywhere, I decided to put them in a cage to contain it (which really I should have done sooner – it sometimes takes me a little while to realize the obvious).

They’d both lost weight since Tuesday, and I didn’t think they should wait ’til Monday to see a vet. Luckily, Fred found a vet that’s open on Saturday and was willing to fit us in. The vet did a fecal and found that in addition to the coccidia (which was apparently not knocked out by the medication we’d given them), they had tapeworms and roundworms. We brought them home and gave them dewormer, and it was a few hours later that the tapeworm poopin’ began.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Jan passed at least 12 inches worth of tapeworm. It was horrifying and yet so fascinating I couldn’t look away.

Unfortunately Jan and Bobby are still dripping, so they’re still in the cage. I’m keeping them as clean as I can, giving them full-on baths in the morning and again in the evening – I’m not sure whether it would be best to bathe them every couple of hours just to keep them as clean as possible, or if that’s bad for their back ends. Their behinds are horribly swollen and painful and nothing I’ve tried – hemorrhoid cream, Desitin – seems to help (I am absolutely open for suggestions, you guys. It’s painful for me to LOOK at their poor back ends, I can only imagine how painful it is for them).

They’re all on a bland diet, which none of them are particularly crazy about (except, surprisingly, for the wisp-thin Peter Brady, who thinks that rice and chicken is THE BOMB), and I’ve given both Jan and Bobby doses of Nutri-Cal. I hate how thin they look, and I hate how they just sit there and look miserable. I’m keeping them warm (the room has a heater set at 72, and they have a heating pad in their cage.)

I feel like if the damn diarrhea dripping would just STOP, their back ends could heal. I’m a worrier by nature anyway, and you can just imagine how much sleep I’ve lost in the last several days, worrying about these guys. If you could spare a good thought in the direction of two sweet little kittens in Alabama, it would certainly be appreciated.

(On an amusing note, of course they pooped up the carrier on the way to the vet, and the vet tech took them off to bathe them. I said to Fred “Oh, good! They’ll be nice and clean when she brings them back!” because, well, they’re professionals and they know what they’re doing, amiright? I’ve been giving them baths, but I’m no professional – all I do is get them as clean as I can, which is not so easy even though they hardly weigh over a pound, because a kitten who doesn’t want a bath could give Schwarzeneggar a run for his money. I like to use the “hot tub” method, which is where I soak them in one little bucket of warm water for a minute or so, clean their feet and tails with gentle baby wash, rinse them in the same bucket, and then rinse them a second time in a second bucket, wrap them up in clean towels, and put them on a heating pad on low (or if Fred’s giving me a hand, he’ll hold them on his lap in front of the heater). ANYway, the vet tech came back with them, and it looked like all she’d done was spray the worst of it off them, and dried ’em with a towel. HA.)

I haven’t taken any pictures of the kittens in the last few days, because I hate how pitiful they look, but luckily I took a ton of them early last week when they were feeling okay, so those are what you’ll see.


Bobby Brady, shoulder monkey. (He hasn’t climbed up on my shoulder since the middle of last week. Though, considering how much he’s dribbling, I suppose I should be grateful. Or invest in a pair of overalls made out of some sort of easy-wipe material!)


I am truly not quite sure what Greg Brady’s doing here, but it kinda looks like he’s about to take a big ol’ bite out of his own leg.


Cindy Brady. She’s such a sweet little laid-back monkey.


Marcia haz herself a complaint or twelve.


Jan. “I can walk! I CAN WALK!”


Cindy in the front, Jan in the back.


Jan, playing with a toy mouse.


Wild Jan.


Did I mention she’s wild?

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“How YOU doin’?”

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Previously
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: Why can’t I just buy bubble clothing that only touches me at the neck and knees? WHY?
2006: On my way to somewhere important, I’m sure.
2005: Perhaps I’ll make it my New Year’s Resolution to not fill my house with crap in 2006.
2004: Ever had one of those days when you just can’t remember the name of anything?
2003: No entry.
2002: I keep wanting to use the phrase “Sweet crappin’ Jesus!”, and just haven’t determined the right moment to do so. Maybe in the middle of sex?
2001: Her name is Brady James.
2000: If I knew whodunnit, I’d beat that $300 right out of his ass, the little bastard.
1999: They all tend to sound alike, you see, and hearing basically the same sound over and over ain’t the thrill at 31 that it is at 11.

11/26/10 – Friday

by @ Friday, November 26th, 2010. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life

I hope y’all had a good Thanksgiving. We thought everyone was going to show up here around 11 to eat, but as it turned out that’s the time they wanted to eat, and Fred’s sister said she’d be here at 9:30. So we expected everyone to show up around 9:30. Then we were sitting in front of our computers at 9:05 when the driveway alarm went off, and we looked out to see Fred’s mother and stepfather pulling into the driveway. Fred’s sister showed up a little later with her husband and son, and since everyone had arrived and the only things we needed to do was actually bake the sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole and warm up a few things, we put everything in the oven at 9:30, and were sitting down to eat shortly after 10:30.

I don’t know what it is about Thanksgiving dinner, but I always end up eating not very much and feeling miserably stuffed. I was so full I couldn’t even eat dessert, and that’s something amazing for me. Dessert was pecan squares, and since we (Fred) had made dessert, I didn’t have to worry about missing out, ’cause we had plenty of leftovers.

Everyone was gone by 12:30, and Fred took a nap while I did laundry. We live the high life, dontchaknow. I spent a lot of time with the kittens and did more laundry and did a little online Christmas shopping, and it was a pretty quiet and relaxing day.

Oh, and about the kittens: Fred’s sister LOVES kittens, and she asked if she could see ours. Fred told her of course she could, but held up one finger and said “BE WARNED: it reeks in that room because the kittens all have diarrhea and it is VERY LIKELY that they’ve got poop on them somewhere, as they are fond of pooping and then trekking through it.” She asked about the diarrhea, and he told her about their horrible coccidia. She waffled for a moment, and then decided to go see them. So she did, and then she came back downstairs and we were talking about them, and then she looked down at her jeans and realized she had a big ol’ poop smear on her leg, and went running off to the bathroom to wash it off. I’m glad we warned her!

(Note about the coccidia: I think we’ve had perhaps one bunch of foster kittens who did NOT have coccidia, giardia, or worms. All of the kittens we foster come to us with one or more of the three – and about half the time someone’s got the goopy eyes, too, while they’re at it – which means that I’ve probably cleaned up about 43 gallons of diarrhea thus far in my fostering career. It’s gross, it’s not fun – it’s the polar opposite of fun – but you learn to deal with it. I find that adding pumpkin and a sprinkle of powdered slippery elm bark to their canned food in the morning and evening eventually helps. If it gets to be too bad, I make a slippery elm “syrup” and dose them with it several times a day. I’m about to start doing that with these guys, I think.)

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Robyn, this is how I imagine Snackin’ Time! at your house:

Funny Pictures - Cat Gif
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

You’re not far wrong!!!

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I can see your house turning into this eventually.

If I could find my copy I would send it to you!

Oh, I LOVE the Cats’ House! (You can see an online tour here.) Fred doesn’t like the bright colors of the house, but even he can’t deny it’s WAY cool.

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This made me think of you:

Crazy Cat Lady Game.

I can’t imagine why. Heh.

Oddly enough, I just bought something from that catalog!

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I bought a Dyson DC-25 right after you did and primarily because you liked yours so much! I had an Oreck that had suddenly stopped working as well as it did. The Dyson has been amazing. I do get a little irritated having to take it apart and clean it but it is also nice not having to buy bags.

I have to tell you guys, I’m REALLY glad that those of you who bought your Dysons on my recommendation are still loving them. I would very much hate it if you spent that much money and then were disappointed!

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Percy and Jack- named after the Percy Jackson books, perhaps?

I don’t think so, actually. When I met Jennifer and asked what she was going to name them, she said that her son had determined one of them would be Percy, and he was going to allow her to name the other one (hee). She mentioned a few names, and I said that I REALLY like Jack – it’s my favorite pet name, but since Fred’s stepfather’s name is Jack, we can’t really use it for one of our own pets.
And I think it’s a good name – Starsky really looks like a “Jack” to me! And I think Hutch looks pretty Percy-like. When she said “Percy”, though, my immediate thought was Percy Weasley!

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After we killed a Dyson, and then in the following year three slightly cheaper replacements, I decided: I’m not using bagless vacuums any damn more.

Having tried to fix all the broken ones, I got a feel for how the bagless ones work, and it’s all that filtration to compensate for the ultimate filter: a bag. Unfortunately, if your house is coated in a thick layer of animal fur, it’s just too much for the filters.

I bought the only sub-$200 bagged vacuum I could find, which was a Bissell Powerglide, and 40 no-name bags for $1/ea (I buy another big batch every so often so there are ALWAYS bags in the closet), and I am HAPPY! I use an old litter bucket as a trash can, so I can take the full bag off the machine and immediately contain it in the bucket until I’m ready to carry it outside to the trash, and I find that process much more pleasant than having to carry the canister outside to dump.

I am sure it vacuums better, it clogs less, the bag holds more than your average bagless chamber. The $79 vacuum is just about to turn 2 years old, which may be a record.

Several people have mentioned to me that professionals have told them those of us with many pets shouldn’t use bagless vacuums. So far, my Kenmore canister vacuum seems to be doing an okay job, so I think I’ll stick with it for now!

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where did u get that rack/holder thing for the baking/roasting pans? that looks like something that i badly need… well maybe 2.

I’m pretty sure I got it either at Walmart or Target. It’s intended to go in your cabinet to hold plates, but my pans fit perfectly in it, and it’s a lot easier than stacking them and having to pull them out!

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Robyn, this is completely unrelated, but I came across this on facebook and it made me think of you!

Ha – LOVE IT!

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Female Cat Spraying: Here is my experience with a sprayer in my house. I have a 2 year old that I raised on a bottle, she and an older female hate each other. We have 7 house cats. Kellie started spraying around the house, which got worse on the days that I was away from home. She would plant herself right in front of me to do it as soon as I walked in (who says animals can’t communicate!) . We tried Feliway diffusers, the impregnated Good Kitty collars, playing with her, diverting her attention, all the stuff you read about doing.. I was at my wits end. We went to the vet and tried Buspar on her.. that did not work… she has now been on Prozac for a week and she has not sprayed since. She is much more loving and calm and there is not that spraying. They have to be on it for 6 weeks, at that point I don’t know if we will try to discontinue or if we will keep her on it. I was reluctant to try it on her.. but I am glad I did now.

Thanks for the tip – I wanted to make sure that those of you who don’t read the comments saw this!

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Even though this woman writes about her dogs, I thought you would enjoy this. I laughed so hard my co-workers came in wondering what was wrong with me.

Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving

There is absolutely nothing that Allie Brosh has written that doesn’t make me guffaw like a goon! This is one of my particular favorites. This one, too. If you guys aren’t reading that site, you are MISSING OUT.

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I’ll have to try your all-purpose cleaning solution. Since it’s all-purpose, do you also use it for your kitchen counters?

Yep, I use it for my kitchen counters, for cleaning around the sink in the bathrooms, and the toilet seat and lids – if it needs some sort of cleaning spray, the all-purpose cleaning solution works great!

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That reminds me of one night when Hubby and I stayed at a hotel for a ‘romantic weekend’. King bed. I could NOT sleep with all of the freaking snoring he was doing and swear I barely got a wink. After one bout of shoving him to no avail I remember saying “I am going to FUCKING KILL YOU!!” Repeat and rinse several times. Bastard. I was thisclose to sleeping in the tub. (And I tried smothering him but he woke up.) I think on our next ‘romantic weekend’ we should get separate rooms.

The first time Fred and I went to Florida – 1997, maybe – we shared a bed (I know, right? THE HORROR!) and he snored SO GODDAMN LOUD that I couldn’t sleep. In desperation I got a blanket and some pillows and went into the bathroom and tried to sleep on the floor. It didn’t work – the floor is fucking HARD, y’all – and when I went back into the room, Fred woke up. Eventually, he went out on the deck and slept in one of the chairs out there (I didn’t encourage it – but I didn’t DIScourage it either) and I slept like a baby. I found that the trick to sleeping in the same room as Fred is to go to sleep before he does. It works surprisingly well on the rare occasion we share a room.

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Miss Jan and her great giant bat ears.


“Greg Brady does not like this collar, lady.”


Left to right: Bobby, Cindy, Peter, Greg. I LOVE that patch of brown tabby on Cindy’s side. It’s almost heart-shaped!


Five of the six. Marcia was off somewhere doing something.


Jan Brady, scratching. I LOVE her spots of brown tabby.


Cindy Brady, looking smug.

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I think Buster – all my Bookworms, really – has THE prettiest eyes.


Rhyme, disturbed.


Corbie, keeping an eye out.

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Elwood’s king of the mountain! Er. King of the trash can!

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Previously
2009: Happy Thanksgiving!
2008: Here are some pictures from Crooked Acres to tide you over.
2007: Amazing how that works.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Just call me Grinchypoo.
2003: Survivor.
2002: If you think you can have too many smiley-face stickers, you are sadly mistaken.
2001: The phrase “anthrax in my pants” is FUCKING FUNNY when it’s spoken by a sixty-three year old woman.
2000: No entry.

11/24/10 – Kitteh Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, November 24th, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

There’s a sweet lab in Georgia who needs a home, and I think he’d make a fabulous Christmas present for your kids! Or your husband. Your mother?

Go check out this cutie pie!

(And spread the word!)

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Those of you who contributed to the ChipIn for Heaven, who maxed out her credit cards to pay the vet for her beloved cat Dirty Feet, Heaven would like to say thank you.

In fact, she said:

I want you to say THANK YOU in the most MASSIVE way to all your readers who contributed…every one of them is AWESOME <3 THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU MEAN IT MEAN IT MEAN IT <3 <3 <3

Then she invited you all to Thanksgiving dinner! Really! Okay, no she didn’t. But she did say to thank you all – so thank you!!! Who has the most awesome readers? That would be me. Who are the most awesome readers on the internet? That would be you! So if you contributed, take a moment and pat yourself on the back. You are awesome. 🙂

Also, if you’re Facebook friends with Heaven, go watch this short video she made when Dirty Feet was a wee baby. It KILLS me, and I think I’ve watched it 130 times.

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I think I’ve probably told y’all that in our kitchen, some of the cats like to hang out on top of the cabinets. Stinkerbelle, especially, spends a lot of time up there. Recently, we’ve had issues with Elwood or Sugarbutt getting up there and hanging out. Since Stinkerbelle’s favorite place to hang out is at the end of the cabinets as far as possible from the refrigerator, which is how the cats get up and down, she gets stuck there. She doesn’t like to go past the other cats to get to the refrigerator so she tries to intimidate them with hissing and growling and eventually screaming her hellcat scream. They’re not terribly intimidated by her, at least most of them aren’t, so it doesn’t work very well for her. One day last week she JUMPED from the top of the cabinet to the floor, which cannot possibly be good for her joints or her bones. I know for sure it’s not good for my heart, because I just about keeled over from a heart attack when I walked into the room just as she jumped.

Fred has been talking about making a second way down from there, and after I saw Stinkerbelle jump, I demanded he do it sooner rather than later.

So he put a board across the top of the doorway between the kitchen and laundry room. And he put a board across the top of the doorway between the kitchen and dining room. So Stinkerbelle – or any of the cats – could walk across either of the boards and jump onto the top of the 5-foot-high cabinet on that wall, and then onto the floor.

What happened next was something unexpected. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but Jake isn’t able to jump as high as the other cats – he’s never been able to – and he’d never been on top of the cabinets. He’s only been able to watch the other cats run around up there, and chatters excitedly at them. After Fred installed the boards, he put Jake on top of the one between the kitchen and dining room, and Jake absolutely lit up. He walked around on the cabinets, and it was like a whole new world had opened up to him.

Fred considered the situation for a few minutes, and then back out to his workshop to make it so that Jake could get on top of the cabinets whenever his little heart desired. An hour later, we showed Jake the new way to get up there, and he took to it like a duck to water.


(That shelf to the right goes to just under the top of the cabinet where Stinkerbelle spends most of her time.)


Have you ever seen a happier cat?

He spends a large amount of his day in that cat bed (which is hooked to the wall so it can’t go sliding off), and loves watching us from his new favorite perch.

(Those three unfinished shelves are going to be painted white this weekend, by the way.)


Tommy approves.

I’m pushing for the next project to be a walkway around the top of the front room. Fred’s not convinced yet, though.

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Buster and Rhyme: Brudderly Love.


“What?”


Rhyme’s all “I LURVE my brudder!”


Buster’s apparently decided that the only way to get away from Rhyme is to do the ol’ stretch-and-roll out of the bed.

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Peter and Cindy, playing.


Shoulder monkey BOBBY! BRADY! asleep. I always wondered what they made hooded sweatshirts for.


Jan and Peter, fighting.


Greg in the front, Cindy in the back, and Jan over there licking her lips. Oh, and someone mentioned in my comments that Jan looks like she has particularly big and pointed ears. She certainly does – they’re very pointy, and they actually turn out a little on the end.


“Greg Brady will cut you if you try to turn Dad’s den into a swinging bachelor pad. Greg Brady has dibs. Greg Brady is hip and groovy, man.”

I’m pretty sure I washed kitten feet at least 20 times yesterday. Why why OH WHY must they walk through their poop?

Kitten diarrhea is the bane of my existence. (But I have to confess, the face they make after you put medicine in their mouth to deal with what’s causing the diarrhea cracks me UP. I need to take the Flip video into the room next time I medicate them.)

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Maxi demonstrates her overbite. It just adds to her charm, if you ask me.

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Previously
2009: I REALLY LIKE CHECKING THE MAIL. IT’S THE HIGH POINT OF MY DAY.
2008: Google is such a goddamn know-it-all.
2007: Questions, answered.
2006: No entry.
2005: I think I need to go eat some deviled eggs to assuage the pain.
2004: And I just glared at him and thought to myself Just because you’re too stupid and scatterbrained to read and watch TV at the same time doesn’t mean I am, jackass.
2003: “Purring? You don’t like the sound of them purring?”
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Just a little more knowledge o’ Robyn y’all can add to your notes.
1999: No entry.

11/23/10 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

Randomness:

1. Yesterday, I thought I found a lump in my left breast. As it turned out, it was a tube of Terramycin (eye ointment for cats). What? You trying to tell me you don’t store things in your bra? Liar.

2. And then I thought my left breast was oozing some sort of strange liquid, but it turned out that the cap had come off the tube of Terramycin and leaked inside my bra. It was quite the day for my left breast.

3. “Is that Pink on the radio?” I asked Fred.

“No,” he said. “That’s Justin Bieber.”

“Oh.”

(Later) “Is that the new Sara Bareilles song you were telling me about?”

“No,” he said. “That’s Justin Bieber.”

Why the fuck is Justin Bieber all over my radio, and how the hell does Fred always know that it’s him? Never mind. I don’t want to know.

4. There are many things that sound exactly like wasps hitting the window. When one of the cats sits on the cardboard scratcher, it shifts and makes that crumply-paper-buzz sound, for instance. But I can hear that sound from three rooms away, and I always immediately grab a piece of paper towel and start looking for the wasp. Yesterday morning I stepped out of the house, and as I locked the door I heard what sounded like a THOUSAND wasps hitting the window, and almost had a heart attack. It turned out to be leaves falling from the tree.

5. I was sitting at my computer and heard the distinctive sound of something big and scary buzzing by my ear. I pushed back from the computer, flailing wildly at my face and ear. Spanky, who had been sound asleep on the cat bed next to me, levitated and then flew out of the room.

“What the hell?” Fred said.

“I think a wasp fly by my head!” I said, then looked down at myself and gasped. Clinging casually to the front of my shirt, looking ugly and malevolent and ready to sting was A GODDAMN WASP. “It’s ON ME!” I squealed, then brushed at it with my hand. It fell to the floor, and I stomped on it ’til I heard it crunch. Now I think I’ve got post-traumatic stress disorder, because every time I hear that goddamn sound, it makes me want to dive to the floor and cover my head.

6. After an evening of watching TV, Fred and I were walking to our computers, and Fred said “That toy I just stepped on almost felt like a bug.” Then he kept going. I turned the light on to see what toy he might be talking about, and found a wasp. Oddly enough, it wasn’t until I told him it was a wasp that he realized he’d been stung on the bottom of his foot.

7. I was sitting at my computer last night, and suddenly felt a tickling sensation on my knee AS THOUGH I HAD A WASP ON ME, and I FLEW backward, and several cats went scattering, and Fred said “I think you ran over a cat with your chair”, and as it turned out, the tickling sensation was Reacher’s whiskers. Whoops.

Annnnd that’s all I’ve got. Well, except for some kitten-related news in the next section. WOOT!

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On Friday, Starsky and Hutch (now Jack and Percy) went to their new homes in Indiana. On Saturday, Fred decided he wanted to go out to lunch. We were just sitting down to lunch when my cell phone rang. I grabbed it and saw that it was the shelter manager calling.

Three hours later, we had in our possession some sweet little 6 week-olds. Six of them, to be exact. And when Fred checked them and it became clear that we had an even number of boys and girls, well, our naming scheme was immediately clear to us.

Meet…


(“Adios, Johnny Bravo!”)
Greg.


(“Hey you guys – ooh! My nose!”)
Marcia.


(“Porkchops and appleshauce.”)
Peter.


(“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”)
Jan.


(“Mom always SAYS not to play ball in the house!”)
Bobby.


(“Baby talk, baby talk, it’s a wonder you can walk!”)
Cindy.

The Brady Bunch is my all-time favorite show, so it was only a matter of time (and having the correct number of girls and boys) before we got to have our very own bunch of Bradys.


Left to right: Marcia, Peter, Greg (in front), Cindy (at the water bowl), Jan, Bobby.

I don’t know where they originally came from. The man who turned them over to me got them from his grandmother, who had them kind of dumped off on her by a family member. They were in pretty good shape for the most part, though a couple of them have goopy eyes.

We put them in the foster room when we got them, and showed them where the litter boxes were (in the closet) and where the food was, and then left them alone to get used to their surroundings. A couple of hours later Fred opened the door to go in, and called to me to bring some paper towels because there was poop in the middle of the rug. And then he stepped further into the room, and it was like everywhere he looked, there was more poop. They’d pooped in every single cat bed, and the room just smelled horrific. I got it all cleaned up, and moved the litter box from the closet into the main part of the room, and set up another smaller, lower litter box in case the problem was that they couldn’t get into the litter box. There have been a few more accidents since then, but for the most part they seem to have gotten the hang of the litter boxes.

Yesterday, I took them to the vet and dropped them off for their COMBO testing. They all tested negative (yay!), and after I picked them up I had to go to the shelter to pick up a few things. I was driving down the road, and I smelled the smell of fresh poop and glanced back to see that all three girls were traipsing through it. Because I’ve learned to never ever take ANY cats ANYWHERE without about three times as many cleaning rags and replacement blankets for the carrier than I could possibly ever need, I was able to pull over in a parking lot and clean the carrier and the kittens with no problem.

Five minutes later down the road, THAT SMELL again. I stopped and looked. The carrier of boys had one little pile of poop in it, and all three boys were at the opposite end of the carrier staring in horror at the pile. That was a lot easier to clean up.

I’ve been experiencing a real Poopapalooza, is what I’m saying. Hopefully that’ll end soon!

They’re all very sweet and friendly kittens and start purring as soon as you pick them up. They’ve all displayed their own little personalities quite nicely, especially Bobby Brady. If Bobby Brady (I can’t help it, I HAVE to call him “Bobby Brady” rather than just “Bobby”, for some reason) were a person, he would speak in ALL CAPS! AND MANY! MANY! MANY! EXCLAMATION POINTS! The instant I enter the room and sit down, he climbs up on my shoulder and rubs his face against my cheek and purrs and talks. He’s a shoulder monkey. Cindy Brady climbs into my lap and just lays there and purrs and would probably just lay there and let me pet her forever.

Marcia is HUGE compared to the other kittens. She’s at 1 pound 10 ounces, and Cindy, Bobby, and Peter are all at one pound. Marcia’s a calitabby (I think that’s what you’d call her) and she has that very soft and silky Siamese-like fur. She’s a bit sedentary and doesn’t mind playing, but she won’t, you know, get up and go across the ROOM to play or anything. She’s probably conserving her energy for trips to the food bowl. She’s also a bit of a drama queen – the first to hiss and the first to complain if you pick her up when she was doing something. Greg’s a wild child and just plays plays PLAYS. Jan’s very playful and if you pick her up she’ll purr, but she doesn’t really ask for attention the way the three smallest do.

Peter, oh – what can I say about Peter? Just like the real Peter Brady (or rather, I guess I should say, Peter Brady the character from the show), he’s destined to break my heart (I was sure I was going to marry Peter Brady, you know). He’s a sweet, quiet little man who will sit with one paw on my knee and stare at me, clearly hoping that I’ll pet him. He purrs and purrs and purrs.

Since these guys are still so little, they’ll be around for a while – so you’ll get a chance to fall in love with them as much as I already have!

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Pretty, pretty Reacher.


Something has annoyed the Rhyme.


“I haz a box.”


Buster Brown gets around.

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When I walked into the kitchen the other night to put a glass in the sink, I was startled to see Newt laying there. I know cats like sinks – there’s a whole site devoted to it, after all – but I’ve never actually had any of the cats take up residence in that sink! He slept there all night, and hasn’t been back in the sink since.

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Previously
2009: I am entirely VERY FUCKING TIRED of cats trying to put their assholes directly on my face.
2008: No entry.
2007: The woman did 9/10 of the work to be done, and I was NOT complaining.
2006: No entry.
2005: I think he might be half skunk.
2004: I do love, love, love the gmail!
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: If you look closely at the picture, you’ll note that it’s very close to the color of bile.

11/22/10 – Monday

by @ Monday, November 22nd, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

On Saturday afternoon, as I was trying to get the damn house vacuumed because it had been three days since I had last vacuumed, the goddamn Dyson shit the bed.

Now, to be clear (because I don’t think I ever wrote about it): one year and one month ago, I bought the then-brand-spanking-new Dyson model, the Dyson Animal DC25. I’d had the DC07 for six years, and although I was cleaning the filter and canister religiously, it really wasn’t working as well as it should. And to be honest, the fact that it didn’t fit all the way under the cupboards in the kitchen really bugged me.

So I got the DC25, and loved it at first. And then a month later I vacuumed something up that caused a big hole in the hose (which is totally NOT the Dyson’s fault, I know that), and had to buy a new hose. And then the plate on the bottom chipped and had to be replaced, and then something else broke and had to be replaced, and then it worked okay for several months. On Saturday I was doing the vacuuming, and the roller bar stopped turning, and I fucked around with the goddamn thing for an hour, getting more and more pissed off, and I couldn’t figure out what the fuck was going on, and then I hit my FUCK THIS wall and just like that I fell out of love with all things Dyson.

I put the Dyson in the garage and got the old one – the DC07 – out of the closet and used that, and it was still the clunky dinosaur that made me buy a new model last year. And it didn’t do nearly as good a job as the DC25.

So for now I’m going to use the Kenmore canister vacuum cleaner that’s been living out in the garage (we bought it when we were renovating the house, when Fred was refinishing the stairs, because the Dyson just refused to suck up all the dust, and Fred’s father recommended the Kenmore for the job.) and I’ll likely take the Dyson to be repaired as a backup vacuum cleaner (you hear me, Dyson? YOU ARE MY BACKUP, NOT MY MAIN SQUEEZE ANYMORE. YOU DONE DID IT TO YOURSELF WITH YOUR ROTTEN ATTITUDE, YOU FUCKER).

Granted, I KNOW I’ve been hard on the damn thing, I know that sucking up 63 pounds of cat hair, stray litter and dust three or four times a week is bound to put a strain on a vacuum, but really. You pay that much for a fucking vacuum, you expect the goddamn thing to MAN UP AND WORK RIGHT.

One thing I learned this weekend when I demanded people recommend vacuums to me – something I really should have known – is that there’s really not one answer. Some people still adore their Dysons, some people love their cheap $35 vacuum they got 15 years ago at the flea market, it really all depends on the person and their requirements. You’ll see tons of recommendations for something like the Miele, and then plenty of people saying they don’t think it’s all that. It’s kind of a crapshoot, is what I’m saying.

(But those of you who suggested your vacuum on Facebook Saturday, thank you. I spent more time Googling information about various vacuums than I could ever have imagined – and found it strangely interesting!)

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Starsky and Hutch have gone off to (drumroll please!) Indiana! A reader of thishere site fell in love with them and adopted them. She drove down Friday to get them – we met at the shelter – and reports are that they are doing just fine. There are two older cats in the house AND a dog. They’re okay with the cats, but aren’t thrilled about the dog just yet. I knew they’d be fine, but of course you worry, especially when they’re half a day’s drive away. Once I met Jennifer, though, any concerns I had were pretty much put to rest because she’s AWESOME, and I loved hearing about how excited her 11 year-old was at having kittens in the house.

They’ve got new names (for the record, when I come up with names for our fosters, I always assume they’re going to be changed when they’re adopted.) – Hutch is now Percy, and Starsky is now Jack. (Jack’s one of my favorite names EVER, but Fred’s stepfather’s name is Jack – thus the reason we don’t have any cats named Jack!)

Jennifer said she’d send some pictures in the future, and I expect it will be very cool to watch the boys grow up.

So that’s the story of where Starsky and Hutch are now! And yes, we do miss their silly little faces a lot.

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Oh, how the Bookworms love Jake and Elwood! Reacher, especially, loves them. You can usually find Reacher about three inches from one or the other (or both) of them.


Reacher has reached overload, apparently.


Corbie and the grays.

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Coltrane hanging out in the (heated) cat shelter on the front porch Saturday morning. He’s been back inside the house a few times, but doesn’t stay for long. Tommy feels the need to sit and stare at him. Coltrane finds it a bit disconcerting, and asks to go back out.

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Previously
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: And then last night I was informed that people would start showing up between 9 and 9:30 (for a meal that will take place at noon), so I spent two hours cleaning the house whilst shooting hate rays at Fred.
2006: Barium scars a motherfucker for life.
2005: But I could manage a paper cut/ in the name of love
2004: “Oh, my heart,” I moaned.
2003: This perpetually surprised look of Michael Jackson’s makes me laugh until I wheeze.
2002: “YES, JESUS CHRIST! I DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS GOING TO BE SUCH A FRIGGIN’ BIG DEAL!” I bellowed. “I NEEDED TO BE AT MY COMPUTER, BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE THE PHONE NUMBER WAS! JESUS!”
2001: No entry.
2000: I’ve visited Wal-Mart three times in the last five days. I think they’re about to name a parking space after me.
1999: F: In Michigan, you can take this bottle to the recycling center and get ten cents for it.

11/19/10 – Friday

by @ Friday, November 19th, 2010. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life

If you’re in Maine and are looking for a cat, please let me know and I’ll pass your email along to the people looking for a home for her. She’s about 1 1/2 years old, has a very sweet temperament, and is a blue-eyed Siamese mix. (Sorry, no pics at the moment – but I’m sure there’ll be some available soon!) She’s spayed and has had her rabies shot.

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Y’all in the Huntsville area, don’t forget about the Plea Market (ie, gigantic yard sale) going on Saturday 9 am – 4 pm at the Jaycees building on Airport Road. There’s a preview sale tonight from 5 – 8 which costs you a donation of $10 to get in.

You can check out the North Alabama Spay Neuter Clinic web site, here.

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Robyn, I just re-read “Fishing Frank’s” diary entry from last year, and have been sitting here HOWLING.

“TAKE YOUR TIME!” Mr. Idiot said through clenched teeth. Mrs. Idiot picked up the pace, and the faster her feet went, the faster her mouth went. I counted 23 “fucks” before I stopped counting.”

I would like to nominate this entry for a spot on the “best of” page!

I have added Fishing Frank to the “best of” page.

(How many of you just said “There’s a “best of” page?!” ?)

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That’s it. I’m calling “Hoarders.” You’re hoarding cats. 😉

Can I request Dr. Robin “Crazy Eyes” Zasio and Matt “Cranky Matt” Paxton please?

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Okay, I admit that I’m a check writer. I resist/reject using debit cards because I believe they are used for data collecting/tracking purposes. However, upon approaching any check out counter my checkbook is in-hand and except for purchase amount, I immediately begin writing out the check so as not to delay others in line.
Did I mention that I dislike using debit cards???? Technology is not always good; introduces a “new” set of issues/problems/concerns.

The way technology is going these days, in another five years I’ll be writing about how annoying people who use DEBIT and CREDIT CARDS are, GOD, why don’t they just have the money subtracted from their bank account by RETINA SCAN the way the rest of us do?!

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I too, lament the possibility of drowning in cat pee, especially with our latest kitten addition. Sadly though, the kitten is more accepted by everyone than our previous 2 arrivals have been.

Is it a big issue with you with so many? I have a few that seem to be the worst offenders, and I’m trying everything I can to calm them down a bit, but my 12 still pale in comparison to your…is it 18 now? Does letting them out a bit seem to help with that, or do they still get that way when they all come inside at night? I was thinking about screening in our huge front porch next spring to see if the extra room would help calm things down.

Do you use Feliway, or do you have any tips that would help create more kitty harmony?

IT IS NOT 18. IT IS 16. AND 4 OF THEM ARE FOSTERS.

::headdesk::

For the most part, cat pee is not a huge problem for us unless something happens to piss (har har) someone off – we’re pretty sure that Sugarbutt is the pee-er most of the time. On a regular day to day basis we generally don’t run across cat pee, but if I go away for a few days, the pee floodgates open. When I was in Myrtle Beach, Fred’s couch was peed upon quite a bit, along with any clothing he left laying on the floor.

(Clothing on the floor almost always gets peed on, for some reason. I don’t leave clothes on the floor EVER.)

But I would say that letting them outside during the day really does help. They get that much more room to spread out and stay out of each others’ faces. At night when we make sure they’re all inside and shut the back door, there’s the occasional tiff and some chasing, but for the most part they settle down in various places through the house, and don’t pick on each other too much.

I don’t really have any tips – isn’t that helpful? I’ve tried Feliway and I’m not sure whether it helps or not. It seems that it does calm them down a little bit, but I can’t guarantee it. Some people swear by it, though – it’s probably worth trying.

Who has cat harmony tips? Feel free to share!

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I had a cat who was a growler, too. Domino hated people, pretty much all people except us, but unknown visitors were definitely on her list of those who must be shunned. She’d go hide for the first hour or so, and then she’d grow tired of hiding and come into the room and menace them… “GO HOME NOW!” She was a beautiful, tiny (and perfectly round) kitty, so she didn’t look scary, but the sounds that came out of her were pretty darn amazing! People would ask, “will she hurt me?” and I’d say, “well, not if you leave soon” Hee! She was way too much of a chicken to have actually approached anyone, but after her growling they just didn’t believe me. Worked well to keep visits short 🙂

If I could train one of the cats to fluff up, walk sideways, and growl at people on my signal, that would be AWESOME. I’d make them accompany me to the door when there was a stranger there, and scare the bejesus out of them! “I’d like to buy your insurance, Mr. Salesman, but Fluffy doesn’t seem to trust you, and I ALWAYS listen to what the cat has to say!”

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I know you don’t usually shop at Kroger but I wanted to let you know that the 40lb. boxes of cat litter, Petpride, are on sale for $7.09 or 7.89… something like that, in case you want to stock up. And for the record that litter is much better then the the 28lb. green box that Wal-Mart sells, I think it’s Special Kitty, it really does suck compared to the Kroger one in the blue box. Not that you’ve ever mentioned using it just wanted to let you know in case you ever did.

I did try the Pet Pride litter, but decided that I still prefer the Fresh Step I get at Sam’s. But I’m including this here so that those of you who do like the Pet Pride litter know to get yourselves to Kroger!!

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I wanted to thank you for the link to Crunchy Betty. I want to try her Best Homemade Bathroom Cleaner Ever. Have you tried it yet? Also, we installed new wood floors as soon as we closed on our house. What do you find is the best way to clean your wood floors? Thanks!

Oh, you guys KNOW I love sharing when I find the best sites ever! And did I mention that I love me some Crunchy Betty? I do.

I have not tried the Best Homemade Bathroom Cleaner Ever YET – what, do you think I clean more than once in a blue moon? Silly readers. I do have most of the stuff to make it, though, I just need the peppermint essential oil, and then I’ll be ready to go. Which is good timing, because we’re doing Thanksgiving dinner here next week, so you KNOW I’ll be doing some serious cleaning Tuesday and Wednesday (and Thursday morning)!

I usually use my All-Purpose Cleaning Spray to clean my floors. I have a Swiffer duster, only instead of using the disposable Swiffer cloths, I use cut up flour sack cloths, tuck the four corners of the cloths into where you’d tuck the corners of the Swiffer cloths, and after I’m done cleaning the floors, I toss the dirty cloths into the wash. I spray a section of the floor with the spray, then go over it with the Swiffer, go on to the next section, and so forth.

There are all kinds of hardwood floor cleaners out there that you can buy, but honestly I don’t think they do the job any better than my cleaning spray does.

(I’m open to other suggestions, those of you who have hardwood floors!)

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I got turned on to internet glasses early this year and found the Glassy Eyes blog, and he always has coupons on the sidebar for several different online eyeglass stores.

I have like five pair of glasses now, which is such a radical concept to me after nearly 30 years of never owning more than one pair at a time. I just broke a pair banging them on the top of the car door, and I was all “oh, shoot, now I have to walk back inside and put on a different pair of glasses instead of wasting an entire day dealing with this.”

They’re absolutely just eyeglass mills, you wouldn’t want to use them for particularly complicated requirements and they don’t do any kind of repair, but for a cheap pair of glasses they can’t be beat.

Awesome! I think I’m going to buy another pair or two so I can feel free to get rid of my old, crappy glasses.

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I have heard about people falling in love on-line, but I never thought it would happen to me! Oh. Corbie, I love you so much!

I can’t blame you. He is beyooooooootiful, isn’t he?

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Years ago we adopted a stray, Nico, who proved to have an E coli infection all the way to her kidneys. What got her diagnosed is one night she let go in a papasan and peed all the way through the cushion on to the floor. The pee smelled terrible and I thought the cushion was lost. (And she peed all over a vet tech and her fur smelled so bad when we got her home that we had to bathe her in the bathtub. Fun!)

However, I used this stuff called Simple Solution, which has enzymes and bacteria in it that eat stains/smells. Basic Nature’s Miracle has only enzymes.

(Link to Petco site: http://www.petco.com/product/2851/Simple-Solution-Stain-and-Odor-Remover-for-Pets.aspx )

I wound up drenching (half a bottle at least) the “accident spot” 2 or 3 times and putting it in the sun to dry, but it worked. I still have the cushion, it doesn’t smell, the cats sleep in it all the time, and nobody has peed on it since.

Anything you can find that has beneficial bacteria in it plus enzymes will work better. Nature’s Miracle makes an enzyme/bacteria formula but you gotta read the ingredients to figure out which of their products have it.

I’m posting this here ’cause I wanted to make sure those of you who don’t read the comments saw it.

You can get Simple Solution at PetSmart, too!

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This has nothing to do with anything today but don’t you think that Corbie looks alot like a California Spangled cat and Rhyme looks like an Egyptian Mau? Maybe their momma was a wayward showcat?

They really do resemble those breeds – and Corbie also looks a lot like a Bengal.

Their momma wasn’t a showcat, though – she was a pretty little black and white Tuxie. Maybe their father was the wayward showcat?

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Yeah, I’ve been married 21 years and I could have my own bedroom and be happy. It’d be great to be able to spread out in bed like a swastika.

The funny thing is that I don’t spread out at ALL. I sleep on the left side of the bed (as you’re facing it), and most of the cats who sleep with me – Miz Poo, Rhyme, Tommy, Elwood – sleep on the right side of the bed. Well, except that Rhyme usually stretches across the bed and puts his head on my shoulder for at least part of the night!

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Now I have a question – I have two cats that I am “keeping” temporarily for a friend who hit some hard times. They are small cats, esp in comparison to my 2 huge boys. They eat well, drink well, everything works – except they are vomit comets. I have had to change the sheets in the guest room 3 times in the last week because they like to vomit on the bed (and the carpet). I know I should have gotten wise after the first time and put some plastic over the bedding, but I am slow sometimes. But really I want to keep them from vomiting at all – any hints? They mostly eat dry (Purina indoor cat) food and occasionally some wet if the other cats let them.

I’ve read that sometimes cats will eat dry food until they’re full, and then immediately drink water, which causes the dry food to swell in their stomach and makes them vomit. Is the food they’re eating the same food they were eating before? And how long have they been with you? It could be the change in environment, or even just the stress of the move.

If it were me, I’d give it a little while (maybe move their water away from their food and up their wet food intake if possible) and see if the problem resolves itself.

Anyone else out there with suggestions? Feel free to share!

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Saw this on a friends facebook and figured you would appreciate it the most.

LOVE it! I can’t imagine a single one of my cats who would just lay there and let me do that. I love it when he rolls the toy past the cat, and the cat’s just like “Yeah? And?” and doesn’t even bother to smack at it.

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I can’t stop giggling at that picture of Hutch where it looks like he’s fallen into the lava and Coltrane’s all, “Cut the drama, babe. Tryna nap here.”

The “screamy” picture is good too – Coltrane looks like he’s thinking, “Every. Single. Damned. Flight I ever take, there’s ALWAYS a screaming kid in the next row!” – but it’s the memory of the “oh noes, teh lava, it gots me!” picture that is going to make me laugh inappropriately in several public places today.

That description of this picture made me laugh out loud. I agree, Hutch is all drama queening it up, and Coltrane could not be less impressed.

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Ok…off the subject: I read your about me section and linked over to the pigs and chickens. So, I have a few questions. How do you chose which chicken to “process”? How do you not get attached to those cute little pigs? Do you cry when they go to the “freezer camp”? Does Fred do the dirty work and you keep your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears as you sing “La-la-la-la-la” the whole time (I think I would)? I know people might roll their eyes at me on this one, but I really would like to know. Yes, we all eat and nothing “magically” gets packaged at the grocery store….but I was wondering how you can let go of “pinky” when you are eating him? Forgive me…I am NOT being a smarty-pants or anything. This is a real question.

Fred is actually the one who chooses which chickens need to be processed – and at this point they’re almost always roosters. If you have too many roosters, they fight each other, and run the hens ragged to the point where the hens get bare spots on their backs because the roosters pull at their feathers to balance during, y’know. THE ACT. I hate seeing hens with bare backs.

The very first chicken we processed (in 2007, I think), I was actually the one to wield the ax. I felt that I couldn’t, in good conscience, expect Fred to do all the work, and I needed to prove that I was willing to do my part. It was not fun, to say the least, and that’s the last chicken I slaughtered myself. If I had to do it, I would. But he does the processing, I do the cooking, it all balances out, right?

He processes several chickens at a time, and he does it over by the end of the driveway, which is a spot I can avoid looking at. I usually don’t see any of the processing going on until he brings the chickens inside, when it’s time to put them in freezer bags and label them. By the time I see the processed chickens, they look exactly like the chickens you get at the grocery store.

The pigs are very personable, but they’re also very obnoxious as they get older. We don’t process the pigs ourselves, we take them to a local butcher, and that makes it a little easier to deal with. I got pretty attached to the first set of pigs we had, and it was very hard to see them go off to the butcher. I don’t think I’ve gotten as attached to the subsequent sets of pigs, though I like to watch them run around, and they’re pretty entertaining.

It’s never easy to know that they’re about to go off to the butcher, and I always feel especially bad for them the day before they go because they’re running around, they’re eating, they’re pushing each other out of the way at the trough, and they don’t know that it’s their last day. It’s a little easier – for me – with the chickens because there are so many of them and I ask Fred not to tell me which ones he’s going to process ahead of time.

It probably helps that we simply don’t think of the chickens and the pigs in the same way that we think of the dogs and the cats. We never regard them as pets, and don’t allow ourselves to get that attached to them.

Actually, scratch that – there are a few chickens that we’ve considered pets in the past. My favorite was an Americauna hen we got with our very first batch of 12 hens. She was a character and would come running over like a puppy every time we went outside.

This is Frick (short for Fricassee) and Sugarbutt:

27DSC00155

I always thought of her as a pet, and we would never have eaten her. Sadly, when she was about 1 1/2, we found her dead under the chicken coop. In retrospect, she was probably eggbound, which we didn’t realize at the time.

(We buried her in a corner of the chicken yard.)

When we bought this house, it was our intention to move toward a more self-sufficient lifestyle. A large part of that is raising our own food in the form of the chickens and pigs and the garden. Because we have the space and the time required to raise our own food, we do.

I like knowing that the pigs and chicken live happy lives where they can roam the field, where they’re protected by George and Gracie, and where they eat bugs and grass and the occasional kitchen scraps. (Our chickens’ favorite food? Tomatoes. They would cut your throat for a bucket of tomatoes. I gave them the last tomatoes of the season this afternoon. I’m a little afraid they’re going to come after me when there are no tomatoes tomorrow!) We treat them well – did I ever mention that our pigs each get a homemade chocolate chip cookie every night? I’m not kidding. (I cook a batch of them and keep them in a bag and the pigs each get one in the evening. I don’t make them FRESH cookies every day. I’m not CRAZY.) – and I believe that they have happy lives right up until the end.

Good lord – did you know when you asked the question that I was going to go on about it forever?

If I can guess the questions my essay will lead to, I’m going to guess someone’s curious why we don’t have a cow (we’re not quite ready to make that commitment. We do eat beef, though – we bought half a (processed) cow from the butcher who processed our pigs last year. We’re hoping next year to trade a (processed) pig for a half cow from the same man.), why we don’t have goats (I don’t want goats. I’ve never eaten goat, and I have no desire to.), and how many freezers we have (a big chest freezer in the garage, a smaller chest freezer in the garage, an upright freezer in the laundry room, and the freezer that goes with our refrigerator).

So there you go. And now someone’s saying “Why’s she talking about FARMING? We’re here to see the kitties!” 🙂

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Starsky, staring at the ceiling fan.


It’s pretty amazing, that ceiling fan.


I guess he’d never seen it actually running before.


Starsky, hanging out in the foster room.


Hanging out on my desk.


Don’t Buster and Starsky look like they could be brothers?

Starsky and Hutch will be heading off to their new home this afternoon. They have a bit of a drive ahead of them, but I think when they get there, they will be two very happy, very spoiled little monkeys.

I’ll tell you all about it on Monday!

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Buster’s legs, hanging over the top of the pantry. I’m really wishing we’d had a “lip” built around the top of that thing, because seeing the bed (not to mention the CAT) hang off like that stresses me out!

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Sweet, sweet, SWEET Joe Bob. He is just the sweetest cat on earth. You talk to him, and he looks at you and squints up at you with love. He’s just a sweet boy.

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Previously
2009: If the Cookies’ heads are filled with marshmallow Fluff, then chickens’ heads are filled with lint, and turkeys’ heads are filled with nothing but pure air.
2008: Can’t connect to the internet, new entry will have to wait ’til tomorrow.
2007: “IF HE RUINED THIS CAMERA, I AM GOING TO TAKE HIM OUT TO THE BACK FORTY AND SHOOT HIM IN THE BACK OF THE GODDAMN HEAD!” I bellowed at Fred, who made an I’m-listening-really-this-is-fascinating noise and kept clicking around the internet.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Questions answered.
2003: Pictures.
2002: Just another example of my weirdness.
2001: God in heaven, has the WORLD GONE NUTS?
2000: “Oh, you’re giving us the COT free of charge? Well, let me do a friggin’ happy dance for that!”
1999: “Lookit them buildings, Fray-uhd! They’s so TALL! And look! A homeless person. Give him money, Fred! Give him money!”

11/18/10 – Crooked Acres Thursday

by @ Thursday, November 18th, 2010. Filed under Crooked Acres, Fostering, Life

If you’re in Maine and are looking for a cat, please let me know and I’ll pass your email along to the people looking for a home for her. She’s about 1 1/2 years old, has a very sweet temperament, and is a blue-eyed Siamese mix. (Sorry, no pics at the moment – but I’m sure there’ll be some available soon!) She’s spayed and has had her rabies shot.

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Attention, those of you in the North Alabama/ Tennessee area: the North Alabama Spay Neuter Clinic is having a fundraiser this weekend in the form of a Plea Market (they had one last year, you might recall.) They’re looking for donations (which are tax deductible!) – you can go here to read more about what they’re looking for, when and where you can drop off your donations, and when the Plea Market will be open to the public.

This event is sponsored by 13 animal welfare groups in the area. The money raised will be used to buy a transport vehicle to assist people in rural areas to get their animals spayed/neutered. Volunteers will be needed on Thursday & Friday (12/18-19) to help set up and also on Saturday, the day of the sale. Donations of saleable items will be accepted both days at the Jaycees Building on Airport Road.

The North Alabama Spay Neuter Clinic charges $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.

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Sights from around Crooked Acres.


The back forty.


Rooster. He’d like you to know he’s a great big stud.


Miss Gray. She’s the only chicken we’ve had that’s this particular color and pattern. I think she’s beeeeeautiful. I secretly call her Meredith. Get it? Meredith Grey? No?


Momma hen and her babies.


I went out to the back forty to open the big coop door (so the coop could air out) yesterday morning, and George and Gracie were out cold. I stood there and took pictures of them, and waited for them to sense my presence, but they didn’t. Finally, I got worried that perhaps they’d been poisoned and were laying there dead, so I said “Puppies!” and they jerked awake.


“I was restin’ my eyes, lady.”

So, in the guest bedroom (which also doubles as an extra foster room, as you probably know), we used to have a little set of stairs so that any little fosters could climb on them, and ultimately get up onto the bed in there. You can see them in the background of this picture:

2009-11-29-06

As you can see, they were covered in carpet (or carpet-like material), and after they’d been vomited on a million times, I couldn’t stand the way they looked. I said to Fred “Can’t you make me a set of stairs out of wood that I could paint or polyurethane and so when they’re vomited upon, I can just wipe them off?”

He said that he could, and that was about six months ago.

The weekend before last, I finally got pushy about getting him to make the steps for me – I have no idea why, it’s not like any of the kittens aren’t big enough to climb up on the bed without the assistance of stairs, I just WANTED them – and he did.

The kittens approved! So I took them out to the garage and painted them with a stain/ polyurethane combo. Honestly, if I had it to do all over again, I’d have just used a clear polyurethane, because the combo ended up being so drippy (and I so uncoordinated) that there are parts of the stairs that look terrible. I complained to Fred about it, and he pointed out that he was pretty sure the kittens weren’t going to care, which is true, but I’m making a mental note not to do that again.


(Please note that I am NOT giving you a close-up view!)

I think they’ll work quite nicely.

AND, since we were going to the store to buy wood for the stairs, we bought more wood. See, in a corner of the computer room I put a carrier with a pad in it, and I called it the Spanky Cave (or the Sugarbutt Cave, or Whoever-was-in-it Cave) and the cats liked it quite a bit. But it sits under a chair, and the cats were using it to climb up onto the chair, which was making the top collapse downward permanently.

So we made a box about the same size of the carrier, from wood. I stain/ polyurethaned that as well, but since it was a simple box, there was less of the dripping problem that I had when I did the stairs.


Miz Poo approves.

Which is why, when I saw this over at Modern Cat, I said “Hey! Great minds think alike!”

When I was looking for the picture above that showed the old cat steps, I ran across these, and I think I might have fainted from the sheer stunning cute.

2009-10-27-08 2009-11-02-11

That’s Hydrox from the Cookies, by the way. He was such a little character!

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The Crooked Acres House Tour, continued.


From the bottom of the stairs, looking up toward the landing.


The curtains on the window at the landing. I love these curtains (I don’t know if you can tell or not, but they have daisies on them).


Looking out the window at the driveway.


From the landing looking downward. That doorway leads to the guest bedroom.


Annnnd from the landing looking upward.


Top of the stairs, looking down at the landing. This is exciting, no?


At the top of the stairs, to the left, is Fred’s bedroom.

For the uninformed, yes – Fred and I sleep in separate bedrooms. And if you’re all spluttering condescendingly like Dr. Phil was on his recent show where someone asked him whether sleeping in separate beds was a bad idea, and he tried to pretend that if it worked for the couple, then it was fine with him, except that he made it SUPER CLEAR that in his opinion it was a bad idea, then please feel free to bite me. We don’t sleep well in the same bed. We sleep very well in separate beds. I can sleep through cats tromping all over me; Fred cannot, and once he’s awakened in the middle of the night (by, say, a cat balancing on his head) he has a hard time getting back to sleep. We lay down and talk and cuddle every night for half an hour or more, then Fred goes off to his bedroom and I stay in mine. He usually goes right to sleep; I stay up and read or watch TV and turn in at a more reasonable (ten-thirty! Am party animal!) hour.

In conclusion, let me tell you that there are three women (I am no longer in contact with, for the record) who come to mind who, in the past, had an absolute screaming cow about the fact that we sleep in separate rooms. Oh, they couldn’t BELIEEEEEEEEVE that we didn’t sleep all curled up together in sweet marital bliss. Oh, what a TRAVESTY, what a SHAME, they were SO SORRY that our marriage was in such dire shape, did we need HELP with attorneys fees for the DIVORCE, would we perhaps like some ADVICE on how to fix our SHAM of a marriage?

Would you like to take a guess about how many of those three marriages are still standing? Did you smugly guess that NOT ONE of those “I could never sleep separately from MAH MAN!” bitches is still married?

In. Your. FACE.

(Who, me? Chip on my shoulder about this topic? Why, I’d never!)


“Jake’s trying to sleep here, lady. Go ‘way.”


A note of interest: this was actually originally going to be the foster room. But Fred doesn’t sleep well when wakened in the middle of the night, and the room that is now the foster room (that was originally supposed to be Fred’s room) is on the front of the house, facing the road, and occasionally loud motorcycles or cars or people walking go by. That room is better suited to being a foster room, anyway – it gets lots of sun, and the closet’s a great size to keep litter boxes and cat supplies in. You can see the foster room door at the other end of the hallway.


My room. You can see the closet door on the left, but you can’t actually see that there’s a second closet on the right – the door is next to the recliner. I like having all that closet space, but it makes it hard to place the bed. I don’t like blocking part of one of the windows, but whatcha gonna do? I had the bed kitty-corner originally, but then there was no room on the wall for my bedside table. I sleep on the left side (if you’re facing the bed).


From the recliner, looking over toward the door. The white bookcase (which you can’t see much of) holds my books (duh). The armoire type piece of furniture straight ahead holds the clothes that are out of season – I just got out all my Fall/ Winter clothes yesterday, so all my lighter shirts and shorts are in there now. Please note Starsky on the bed.


Standing next to the bed, looking toward the opposite corner. You can see the other closet door now. Next to the bookcase is the Poo Cave.


“I yam Poo, and this are my Cave.”

I don’t know if you’re dying to see in my closets, but if I were you I’d want to know what the hell’s going on in all that closet space.


This is the closet with the white door. Mostly shipping supplies for jams/ jellies/ hot sauces – boxes, bubble wrap, foam peanuts.


Other end of the closet.

Now, true confession time: until two weeks ago, this closet was STUFFED with boxes. I must have saved every damn box I got for the past year DESPITE the fact that I didn’t need them. Finally, I got my shit together, hauled almost all of those boxes out of there, and took them to the recycling center. I didn’t want y’all to think I was a dirty rotten box hoarder. (Nevermind those boxes on the shelves. Shaddup.)


The other closet – it’s cedar lined, but ever so much more boring than the other closet, if you ask me.


There’s a second row of clothes hanging behind this row.

And that’s it for the tour this week! Next week, the upstairs bathroom and foster room. Then the week after that, the garage! Woohoo!

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Starsky and Tommy.


Hutch and Rhyme.

It’s too bad these little guys can’t seem to find anyone willing to snuggle with them, isn’t it? So sad.


Smug little monkey.


They’re getting so leggy.

Sooooo…. guess who’s going to their new home tomorrow?


“…ME?”

That’s right. But not just Starsky. Hutch, too. They’re both being adopted by the same family!!!

I won’t say anymore, though. I don’t want to jinx it! But I am very excited, to say the least!

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The garbage can (which has never been used to hold garbage, by the way) in the back yard has become THE place to be. Sugarbutt gets it when it’s sunny – and when it’s raining out, Tommy hangs out in it (Tommy LOVES to be outside when it’s raining. I think he’s part otter – although, he doesn’t particularly care for getting wet). Sometimes the Bookworms sneak in and hang out there for a little while, but it’s usually the domain of Suggie or Tom.

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Previously
2009: No entry.
2008: I was going to spend the day shopping today, but due to the onset of PMS rage, I think it’s best that I spend as little time in public as possible.
2007: Brudderly love.
2006: No entry.
2005: Apparently I’ve got the Jaws of Doom.
2004: Reader questions.
2003: Of course, my immediate response is “Are you on drugs???”
2002: I think that everyone there had a little cartoon question mark over their head, ’cause I sure as shit did.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: No entry.

11/17/10 – Kitteh Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, November 17th, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

Attention, those of you in the North Alabama/ Tennessee area: the North Alabama Spay Neuter Clinic is having a fundraiser this weekend in the form of a Plea Market (they had one last year, you might recall.) They’re looking for donations (which are tax deductible!) – you can go here to read more about what they’re looking for, when and where you can drop off your donations, and when the Plea Market will be open to the public.

This event is sponsored by 13 animal welfare groups in the area. The money raised will be used to buy a transport vehicle to assist people in rural areas to get their animals spayed/neutered. Volunteers will be needed on Thursday & Friday (11/18-19) to help set up and also on Saturday, the day of the sale. Donations of saleable items will be accepted both days at the Jaycees Building on Airport Road.

The North Alabama Spay Neuter Clinic charges $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.

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You remember Coltrane, yes?

For those of you who don’t, Coltrane showed up here at some point in the Spring/ early Summer. Once he discovered that there was food on that thar porch, he hung around pretty regularly. At first we couldn’t even dream of touching him, but after a couple of weeks, Fred was able to pet him, and shortly after he’d let me pet him, too.

It got to the point where he’d show up first thing in the mornings, and then again in the evenings, hang around long enough to eat, and then vamoose. I truly don’t know if he belongs to someone who lives in this area or not – he certainly wasn’t neutered, and as soon as we could, we took him to the vet to be tested, then neutered and vaccinated.

Lately, it’s started to get rather cold at night, and Fred’s been concerned about Coltrane’s comfort. We have a little house on the front porch that Fred built the first winter we lived here. It has a heat lamp in it, a cat bed on the floor, and Coltrane’s been pretty content to sleep in it. But Fred wanted more. Fred wanted Coltrane to come inside.

“QUIT it!” I said, when Fred would open the door and try to coax Coltrane inside. “You are going to upset the delicate balance of cat harmony going on in this house, and we’ll be awash in cat urine!”

“She doesn’t love you,” Fred would tell Coltrane sadly before he closed the door.

“Knock it off!” I said, when Fred coaxed Coltrane six inches, one foot, two feet inside the side door. “Joe Bob and Elwood will pick on him, and we will be flooded in cat urine!”

“Sorry, buddy,” Fred would say to Coltrane as he shut the door.

Two nights ago, I was laying on the couch in the front room reading, and Fred called to me.

“You better come see this,” he said.

“I am going to kill you,” I said.

But I had to laugh – because Coltrane, who was so super-skittish when we first met him, was completely laid-back about being in the house. The other cats approached him, and Coltrane would sniff at them, and then just lay there and let them sniff him. He was not concerned about them at all. I mean, THEY were concerned about HIM, but he was all “Whatever, dudes.”


(What amazes me the most is that all that smugness is able to fit in one single cat bed.)

With no hesitation whatsoever, Hutch climbed into the cat bed with Coltrane. Coltrane seemed rather pleased to have the company, and the two of them napped together.

Fred took Coltrane into the laundry room and put a bowl of food in front of him. Coltrane bellied up to the bowl, and then Corbie wandered in to see what was going on. When he spotted Coltrane, he walked over and sniffed him, then sat and watched him for a few moments. At one point, Corbie rolled onto his back and reached his front paws toward Coltrane, who kept a wary eye on him as he ate.

Reacher came in to see what was going on. When he got too close to Coltrane, Coltrane reached out and tapped Reacher on the head. Coltrane’s a laid-back boy, but he’s not a DOORMAT, for god’s sake.

Eventually, Coltrane wanted back outside and Fred let him out. Last night Fred let him in for ten minutes or so, but after a few minutes he wanted back out.

I have no idea if he’ll ever turn into a cat who’ll stay inside with us on the coldest nights, but Fred’s opened the door and now Coltrane is at least aware that there’s a shangri-la for cats with warmth and comfy beds.

I’ll be stocking up on cat urine odor remover because I am SURE we’ll be needing it. I’m sure our cats will be expressing their displeasure beginning any moment now.

And I will NOT BE THE ONE CLEANING UP THE CAT PEE, DO YOU HEAR ME, FRED?

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Previously
2009: “I wonder if that’s the Gulf of Mexico or the Gulf of China,” Fred joked as we drove by on Sunday.
2008: Fred snorted “You should just start wearing overalls!”
2007: Hey! I was decluttering last year at this time, too!
2006: Here’s Doctor Robyn’s list of diagnoses.
2005: Cat hair on the seat of your pants! It’s the Next Big Thing!
2004: Do you suppose that cats realize that when we kiss them, it’s a sign of affection?
2003: NAS-TAY.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Thanks, y’all, for your emails regarding hamster sex.
1999: So, I didn’t get the kitten.

11/16/10 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, November 16th, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life

In my comments yesterday, devil mentioned check writers as the bane of the supermarket checkout experience.

AMEN TO THAT.

Last Saturday morning Fred and I made our usual weekend run to Publix. We usually get there on Saturdays just as they open, but Fred had processed chickens that morning, and then we had to go to Lowe’s, which meant that we got to Publix about an hour after they’d opened.

It was fucking BUSY. We’re not the only ones who want to get our shit done first thing Saturday morning, I guess.

So we went our separate ways, each grabbed a few things from the list, and then met at the front of the store to check out. There was only one lane (aside from the “10 items or fewer”) lane that was open, and there was a slow couple slowly putting the stuff from their cart onto the conveyor belt, and then the cashier slowly rang everything up, and the entire time she was slowly ringing everything up, she and the woman were chatting it up. Everything was rang up and bagged, in the cart and ready to be taken out to the couple’s car.

“That’s $83.45,” the cashier said. The woman started digging around in her purse. And she dug and dug and dug some more. Then she pulled out her checkbook.

I turned to look at Fred. Now, look – when it comes to this sort of thing, I’m pretty patient (even more so when I have my iPod with me and can play Snood on it while I’m waiting), so my impatience the other morning was unusual for me. For the most part, I figure there’s no use in getting all worked up about slow people because THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. It’s usually only when I’m running late (or haven’t eaten and am dying of the starvation and JESUS CHRIST WILL YOU HURRY UP THEY’RE GOING TO STOP SERVING EGG MCMUFFINS IN TEN MINUTES) that I get impatient.

HOWEVER.

Fred is the least patient person on earth. He is pretty sure that the Earth is his and his alone and no one should ever be in his way and he should never have to wait for anything and no one should ever require him to do something he has no interest in doing. And when he gets all princessy and impatient, it stresses me out.

So when the woman finally pulled her checkbook out of her purse, I turned to look at Fred just to make sure the top of his head hadn’t popped off and his brain hadn’t gone bouncing into the ice cream section. Which is when I saw the woman standing in line behind him lean past him to put her groceries on the conveyor belt behind our stuff, and in her leaning, she got into his space, and I saw him cut his eyes to the left, all ALERT! ALERT! SOMEONE IS IN MY SPACE! SOMEONE HAS BREACHED MY SPACE! SOMEONE! IS! IN! MY! SPACE!

And I couldn’t help it, it was like he was in his own personal version of Hell, between the check writing lady and the lady all up in his space and me with my reusable grocery bags (he HATES the reusable grocery bags because they collapse when you’re trying to put groceries in them – what the fuck?), and I laughed and laughed.

But on our way out to the car after the check-writing lady had finally written her check, he said “Do people still WRITE checks?”

So devil, rest assured that you’re not alone! People do still write checks and, as I told Fred, “Did you know that not only do people still write checks, they also can’t write out who the check is to, or the date, or sign the check until they know the total?”

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Speaking of our Publix trips, all summer long, every time we made our Saturday morning trips, the same guy was always stocking the dairy section. Every single time, there he was. He’d greet us, occasionally ask if we needed help finding something, and then go back to his stocking.

And then, two weeks ago, NO ONE was stocking the dairy section.

“Dairy guy wasn’t there,” I told Fred.

“Huh,” Fred said.

AND THEN.

We were walking down the aisle of chips and sodas and I looked up and THERE WAS DAIRY STOCKING GUY.

NOT in the dairy section!

I had no idea that was even allowed. We passed him, then I nudged Fred and said “THAT WAS DAIRY STOCKING GUY!”

“I know,” Fred said.

“NOT IN THE DAIRY SECTION!”

“Yep.” The man could NOT have been less interested, damn him.

Hmph.

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Starsky likes to pick fights with the big cats. He’s lucky they’re so tolerant of his shenanigans.


Not a great picture, but do you see how long Reacher is? He’s one long cat!


This chicken feather came in on the basket of eggs one evening, and Starsky spotted it and claimed it as his. He sat there and licked it. Then he glared suspiciously at any cats who came near, and then he decided there were too many cats around, so he picked it up and carried it into the other room and licked it some more.


These kittens crack me up – Starsky always looks like he’s suspicious of whatever’s going on, and Hutch has that sweet, open face. He reminds me a lot of Orange (aka Lorna Doone) from the Cookies, not only in temperament (sweet, willing to snuggle, friendly, and did I mention sweet?) but with the open little face. They are just the sweetest little monkeys.

(Did I say “sweet” often enough up there? THEY ARE SO SWEET SWEET SWEET.)

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Loony Jake. Here’s something I don’t think I’ve mentioned about Loony Jake: he’s a growler. If he hears a sound that he doesn’t recognize, he growls. When I snapped this picture, we were upstairs in the foster room (when the fosters are given the run of the house, our cats LOVE it, because they really like hanging out in that room, playing with the toys, climbing the cat tree. All the fun stuff they can’t do when the door is closed!). The garbage truck was going by, and the entire time they drove by the house, stopped at the driveway, and picked up our garbage, Jake was growling. It’s not a hysterical growl or a particularly loud or scary growl he does, it’s almost under his breath, a warning growl. If the doorbell rings or someone knocks on the door, you can depend on Loony Jake to growl.

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Previously
2009: Because I am such an utter badass, I ran in place and screamed.
2008: No entry.
2007: “I am NOT ‘ratty looking’ and YOU, M’dme, are a pure-d grade-a gutter slutting WHORE. Good day to you.”
2006: He’s such a know-it-all motherfucker.
2005: Elizabeth Wurtzel strikes me as spectacularly self-absorbed (pot! kettle! black!)
2004: Stuff I’ve bought.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: “Hey!” I said, shaking the cage. “Stop that!”
1999: No entry.

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