8/31/11 – Loony Jake Wednesday

Yes, Jane has shut down her blog. She’s fine. Feel free to email her (jane @ her domain (plain-jane.com)), she won’t bite. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   Susan says: Minn-Kota PAAWS, a place I volunteer at when … Continue reading “8/31/11 – Loony Jake Wednesday”

Yes, Jane has shut down her blog. She’s fine.

Feel free to email her (jane @ her domain (plain-jane.com)), she won’t bite.

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Susan says:

Minn-Kota PAAWS, a place I volunteer at when I visit friends in Fargo, is up for a $25,000 grant from Markham Vineyards, which it could win if enough people vote for it (it’s a finalist). Think how many more feral cats and pets belonging to low income people could be helped. Please help spread the word and/or go register to vote and continue to do so once every day until 10/3/11 (or as many times as you can).

It’s a great place all staffed and run by volunteers wanting to minimize the number of unwanted cats.

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Loony Jake visits the Peppers.

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That tail…

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…drives them…

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Jake sits there and gently waggles his tail back and forth, and the Peppers cannot take their eyes off it.

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“No, guys, seriously! Just watch it! It keeps MOVING!”

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They’re pretty fascinated by him.

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Especially the girls.

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Everett tries to sneak up on the tail.

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Now Lucy’s got it.

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Molly goes in for the sniff.

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Everett’s got the tail now…

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..and Jake’s had about enough of the whippersnappers messing with his tail. “Sorry, Mister! I’m sorry!”

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Which causes Sally to take offense.

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Everett doesn’t easily learn his lesson.

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And Sally decides the safest place from which to watch Jake is under the dresser.

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Jake heads over to check out the food, but is distracted by a reflection on the wall.

Really, it’s a far cry from their initial reaction to him. Those pictures above were actually taken a week ago, before I moved them up to the foster room. Now when I let Jake in, they just follow him around and watch him. I think they have a collective crush on Jake – and really, who can blame them?

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Loony Jake is loony.

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Jake loves the superbox.

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2010: “But is it ROBUST?” I ask him. “And more importantly, is it ELEGANT?”
2009: Thank god for patient geeks who put up with difficult women.
2008: No entry.
2007: I don’t get the Winehouse lurve, but y’all just rock on with your bad selves, I s’pose.
2006: That part where McMurphy is trying to take off her scrubs and the back of her shirt is glued to her back with dried blood brings me to tears every single time I watch it.
2005: Is it just me, or does Eric Schaeffer play an inordinant number of characters named Sam?
2004: My day, in progress.
2003: This entry is comprised of nothing but cat pictures, because I’m clearing off the memory stick to start September fresh, with an empty memory stick.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: He said “Maybe you’re losing slower than me because you BELIEVE you’ll lose slower than me!”

8/30/11 – Tuesday

Over at Daily Dose, Chrystal is taking orders for bricks to create a memorial walkway (Winnie’s Walkway) to the cathouse. All proceeds for brick orders will go to help with her rescue work (spay and neuters, supplies for the cats). There are a last few days of August, which is Winnie’s Wish month – you … Continue reading “8/30/11 – Tuesday”

Over at Daily Dose, Chrystal is taking orders for bricks to create a memorial walkway (Winnie’s Walkway) to the cathouse. All proceeds for brick orders will go to help with her rescue work (spay and neuters, supplies for the cats).

There are a last few days of August, which is Winnie’s Wish month – you can read about Winnie starting here or read an overview of what Winnie’s Wish is all about here; there are links at the top of each page, click on the one to the right to go to the next post – and Chrystal is absolutely flooded right now with cats and kittens who need loving homes. She’s at full capacity right now, and concerned because September always brings more kittens who need help. If you might be thinking about adding another cat to your home, go check out her sidebar and fall in love, or see her Cathouse Kittens and Crowded Cathouse posts or, really, there are a bunch of cats and kittens in her August posts, you can scroll through them.

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This past weekend, I worked in the garden on Saturday morning instead of Sunday.

I KNOW, right? Total anarchy!

There’s not a lot of gardening to be done right now, aside from picking tomatoes, okra, and peppers. And watering, constant watering. I can’t remember the last time we had rain – two weeks ago? Three? – and it’s super dry around here. I’ve been watering twice a week, but decided this weekend, after the squash started getting wilty on Sunday when I’d just watered on Thursday, to bump it up to every other day.

So, Saturday morning I had finished picking tomatoes, okra, and peppers, and tossed the crappy tomatoes to the chickens. I had just watered the few baby cabbage that sprouted (I didn’t get a very good germination rate for some reason, maybe because the seedlings were sitting in full, all-day sunlight and I think they were sprouting and then promptly frying to death in the sun. I moved them so they’ll get afternoon shade; we’ll see how that goes.) and I glanced into the wood shed. Fred had pointed out that yellowjackets had started building a nest in the back of the wood shed, and that reminded me that I’d been wanting to check something.

Beside the wood shed is an enclosed hose reel, like such. There’s not actually a hose on it – the hose is kind of tossed on the ground because we’re constantly moving it to water the garden. Since anything you leave stationary for more than ten minutes around here ends up with a huge ant nest built up under it, I wanted to look in the hose reel and see if there was one there.

(Seriously – last week I left two empty buckets, one inside the other, sitting on a garden cart for six hours, and when I picked the top one up, there was a flurry of ants trying to save their, uh, whatever the fuck those white things they carry around when the nest is threatened are. They’d built a nest between the bottom of the top bucket and the bottom of the bottom bucket.)

I lifted up the lid, and found to my utter amazement that there was a goddamn YELLOWJACKET NEST, CRAWLING WITH YELLOWJACKETS attached to the lid of the hose reel cabinet. As I am not, I have mentioned 358 times in the past, very good in emergencies, what I did was drop the lid and utter a short bark of a scream.

Immediately, I got the idea in my head that those goddamn YELLOWJACKETS were going to SWARM out of that nest and come straight for the idiot who’d disturbed them.

Now, this is what I wear when I work in the garden: a t-shirt, a pair of shorts, a long-sleeved shirt over the t-shirt (there are prickly things on the okra plants that make me itchy if they touch any of the skin on my arms), and a pair of mid-shin-high boots that are slightly too big for my summer-sock-wearing feet (they fit perfectly in the winter when I wear thick socks).

So, to recap: I lifted the lid, saw the nest, dropped the lid whilst screaming. Then I began running like a great big dork in my big ol’ clomping boots. Fred was a few feet away, filling a bucket with water, and as I ran past him I yelled “OH MY GOD, RUN!”

To his credit, Fred didn’t start up with the “What? Why? What’s going on?” He just started running. And in fact, he ran past me. We ran in silence (except for the clomping of my boots) for about thirty feet. Then Fred stopped and turned around and looked at me.

“Why are we running?” he asked.

I stopped, turned around to look at the hose reel, saw a couple of things flying in our general direction, and yelled “RUN! I DON’T WANT TO DIE LIKE MACAULEY CULKIN IN MY GIRL!”

He joined me in running again, and we ran until we were at the front of the house, whereupon he stopped again.

“WHY are we running?” he demanded. I finally told him, and we stood at the corner of the house and watched for an angry cloud of yellowjackets to fly toward us. They never did – maybe, it being early morning, they were still sleepy. Or maybe yellowjackets don’t swarm.

We went into the house and Fred got the wasp spray and went out and sprayed both nests. That stuff works so quickly that he didn’t get stung by a single yellowjacket.

I sure never felt like there was always something trying to kill me when we lived in the ‘burbs, but here it seems to be an every day occurrence!

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Playful Peppers.

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You can probably tell that I was waving a feather teaser around over their heads to get their attention. Lucy in the back was complaining that I wasn’t letting her grab it.

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Everett’s all “I’ve got it, bro!”

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Molly monkey walked right into a belly flop.

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“Hey! The lady’s here! Go tell her to give us snacks!”

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Such a gorgeous girl.

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Harlan and the spotted belly.

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Sweet Lucy in the sun.

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Smilin’ Joe (Bob). I know I always say it, but it bears repeating: sweetest boy EVER.

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2010: Don’t make me say it, we don’t need to be talking in detail about that stuff so early in the morning, so early in the week, right?
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Jessica Simpson, if I want to see you doing the Tush Push for an entire song, I will go out and buy Nick & Jessica porn that your father will SURELY be flogging any day now.
2003: Sometimes.
2002: Basically, I’m just a freak.
2001: Now I’ll never know if Lance was going to put the moves on me!
2000: Insects are invading our house at an alarming rate.

8/29/11 – Monday

Fred did, in fact, get himself a smartphone. A Motorola Triumph, to be exact. He ordered it last week, and it arrived on Saturday and OH is Fred is lurve. He spent all weekend downloading games and showing me how his phone could play videos like perhaps I’d never seen the like before. I congratulated … Continue reading “8/29/11 – Monday”

Fred did, in fact, get himself a smartphone. A Motorola Triumph, to be exact. He ordered it last week, and it arrived on Saturday and OH is Fred is lurve. He spent all weekend downloading games and showing me how his phone could play videos like perhaps I’d never seen the like before.

I congratulated him for joining this century.

Someone searched my site for “LG Optimus” recently, and remember back when I desperately wanted an LG Optimus, but Virgin Mobile was constantly out and so was Target, and finding the damn phone was like trying to find a damn Cabbage Patch doll back in the 80s? And THEN for a brief shining moment in time Virgin had them available again, and I quicklikeabunny ordered one and it arrived and… meh.

It wasn’t my thing. I ended up planning to sell it on eBay, but a reader emailed and asked if I’d sell it to her, and I did, and I got myself a Samsung Restore, which I’ve been using for about three months. The number one thing I use my cell phone for (almost the only thing I use it for, really) is texting, and I’ve got to have a QWERTY keyboard with actual buttons, the on-screen keyboard doesn’t work for me.

The problem with the Samsung Restore is that the keyboard is a little wider than I’d like it to be, so it’s kind of annoying to text with. I messed with the Blackberry Curve at Target last week, and I think it might work a little better for me. I’m considering switching to that, but I’m not in any hurry to do anything.

Fred called Virgin Mobile to switch phones, and asked if he could get the $25 a month 300 talk minutes and unlimited web, messaging, data and email deal that I have. That’s a monthly plan that’s no longer available (I was grandfathered in because I already had it when they eliminated it), but Fred pointed out that he’d been a “long-time loyal customer” and asked if he could get it as well. The customer service rep didn’t know if he could get it for good, but was able to give it to him for the first month anyway. The same plan is now $35 a month, which is still way cheaper than the plans at T-Mobile or Verizon, etc. Also, no contract with Virgin Mobile.

Fred spent Saturday afternoon scrolling through, and playing, ring tones to find the perfect one. He ended up with this one. As of Sunday evening, I think he’d watched that video clip about 300 times, laughing his ass off every time (it’s the dance that gets him. Me too, for that matter.)

Every day at work, Fred attends an informal meeting of all the guys on his team at 8:30. I do believe I’ll be calling Fred right around 8:35 to see what he wants to have for dinner tonight.

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Lately, one thing I’ve taken upon myself to do is scrub down the pigs’ water trough and the dogs’ water dishes, because if they’re not scrubbed down at least every second or third day, they develop a nasty thick film of algae and don’t the pups and the pigs deserve clean, fresh water?

I think they do.

Last Thursday I was out there with my tools – elbow-length pink rubber gloves, a green scrubby, and a scrubbing brush – scrubbing away. After they finish their afternoon snacks, George and Gracie like to watch me work, and then drink some of that fresh, clean water. George was standing there watching me, and I had finished scrubbing the pig trough and was refilling it, when Gracie came trotting over.

“Hey, Gracie Mae,” I said, and held out my hand to her. She started toward me, and then suddenly turned around and ran off as fast as she could.

“What the -?” I said. She stopped about ten feet away, glared at the ground near my feet, and started barking.

“Gracie, what are you doing? Come here!” I said. She barked a couple more times, and then backed off another ten feet and barked furiously some more.

I looked around on the ground, trying to figure out what had her freaked. George stood there next to me, all “What’s HER problem?”, and Gracie stood twenty feet away, barking continuously.

I finally realized that she was barking at the hose, which apparently looked like a snake to her. When I wound the hose back up on the hose reel, she gave a couple more nervous barks, and then came over to drink some water.

“You know, Lassie would have thrown herself between me and the perceived threat,” I told her. “She would have picked up that snake and bitten the life out of it TO PROTECT HER HUMAN. Then she would have thrown it down a well and NOT EXPECTED A WORD OF PRAISE, you useless brat.”

And Gracie was all “Yeah, whatebs.”

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Ciara has finally gone off to Petsmart. She was a bit peeved to be stuffed into that carrier, and she might have called me every name in the book on the way there, but once we were there, she was a little concerned and a bit hissy, but she adjusted pretty quickly. I did take the camera with me, but didn’t take any pictures of the Spice Girls, because the morning cleaner was still cleaning, and I didn’t want to get in her way. Clove, Cilantro, and Coriander were their usual laid-back selves, and I was able to pick up and snuggle (and repeatedly kiss) each of them before I left. When I left, Ciara was sitting there looking annoyed.

As of yesterday, none of them had been adopted. Adoptions have been slow lately, likely due to school starting again. Once Labor Day is past, I’m hoping that adoptions pick up.

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Ciara and the Ears of Annoyance.

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She is such a gorgeous girl, isn’t she?

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Harlan keeps an eye on things.

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Jake enjoys the sun, while Everett takes a quick sniff of his tail.

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Molly, keeping an eye on me.

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Everett and Harlan confer.

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attack! (Kong bird is appalled.)

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Lucy’s all “What’s going on over here, Mister Bird?”
Kong bird’s all “Nothing you need to see, missy. It’s appalling.”
Everett’s all “I BITE YOU BUTT.”

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A brief break from the fighting while Harlan confronts Mister Bird.
“Why you not come save me, Mister Bird?”
“Mister Bird doesn’t get involved, sonny. Mister Bird is Switzerland.”

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Everett decides to get into it with Lucy, while Molly LEAPS out of the fray.

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You know how cats stretch as they walk? We call that their monkey walk. Kara always monkey walks over to Newt, then head butts him. Then she might smack him, depending on her mood.

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Newt likes hanging out on the patio in the back yard.

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Note that Kara’s thinking about monkey walking over to him. You can see by her ears that she thinks he needs a smack.

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2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: To say the air in the kitchen is spicy is understating it – I can’t take a deep breath in there without feeling like I’m setting my lungs on fire.
2007: It was someone with a vendetta.
2006: Time to give up the raw vegetables, at least for the time being.
2005: John Cusack, however, has become suddenly completely unappealing to me.
2004: No entry.
2003: I see a little silhouetto of a Poo,
2002: Damn him.
2001: Jayzus, I can’t wait ’til I’m Supreme Ruler of the World, and I can run around ordering the death of people who annoy me.
2000: Here we see Miz Poo at the tail end of a Fancypants swish-by. She looks none too pleased.

8/26/11 – Friday

Just so you know, those of you who asked, I haven’t forgotten that I need to post pictures of myself post-surgery, since it’s been almost 7 months. For the record, I can tell y’all that I’m going back in to have a neck lift revision in mid-October. I went to see my plastic surgeon earlier … Continue reading “8/26/11 – Friday”

Just so you know, those of you who asked, I haven’t forgotten that I need to post pictures of myself post-surgery, since it’s been almost 7 months.

For the record, I can tell y’all that I’m going back in to have a neck lift revision in mid-October. I went to see my plastic surgeon earlier this week to talk to him about my arms. They don’t look like I thought they would – for one, they’re bigger than I expected. He looked at my arms and told me that while there’s some “fullness” in my left arm, my right arm looks the best that he could make it. He told me that there was some work he could do on the left arm, but it would entail taking the incision down past my elbow, and after he explained that, I decided you know what? I can live with it the way it is. I just really don’t want to have to deal with another recovery, and honestly I don’t think that there’d be such a huge improvement in the way it looks.

So hopefully, once the neck lift revision is over in October, there will be NO MORE SURGERIES in my future.

(I can feel my appendix getting ready to make a liar of me.)

I’ll try to get pictures posted next week!

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Random question…is that wainscoat on the ceiling? I was thinking about doing that in my bathroom and wasn’t sure how it would look. Do you like the look?

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I had to ask Fred, but no – according to him, that’s not wainscot on the ceiling, it’s beadboard. I like it well enough, but I think I’d really prefer to have the wood ceilings exposed throughout the house – the ceiling in the dining room, guest bedroom, and front room are all wood, which is original to the house.

I have no opinion on wainscot. 🙂

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Do you get crickets in the house and do the cats hunt and kill them for you? We’ve had one in here for a few days and none of my pets are trying to catch it. I am quite annoyed.

We get cave crickets in the house – they seem to congregate in the laundry room, though I don’t know why. Maybe they’re doing their laundry before they go exploring in the litter boxes and fall in the cats’ water dishes and drown. We don’t get a LOT (that I know of; it’s always possible and probably likely that the cats kill and eat cave crickets I don’t know about), one or two a week. I’d rather find them dead than alive, because they’re icky and creepier than regular crickets. I’d REALLY prefer the damn cats to eat them, and I’m guessing they at least partially eat them, because I’m not a fan of finding cave cricket legs in the middle of the laundry room floor (but it’s better than finding them in my bed, I suppose).

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OooOOooo! You know what’s awesome about ducks? Duck eggs! Our local Egg Man has ducks and we get duck eggs off of him from time to time. They are excellent to cook with (and are tasty too). Can’t say as I like duck for eating though…maybe you can find some immortal ducks or something like that so you can have them around forever and don’t have to send any to freezer camp. Duck is really greasy and there isn’t much on a bird.

Fred did mention the possibility of eating duck, but I find that I’m not really interested in it. He’s more interested in having them cluster around him and do that under-their-breath quack-quack-quack that they do when they know you have food for them and they want you to give it up. So they’d probably end up being pets, is what I’m saying.

I am interested in trying duck eggs, though – I know that occasionally Lisa mentions cooking with duck eggs and she makes them sound very tasty!

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If you could make a breed of fainting kitten-sized cats, you’d make a mint. I’d buy two.

My god, could you imagine? I’d have nothing BUT fainting kitten-cats in this house, and when they were all clustering around me and annoying me, I’d just yell and clap my hands, and they’d fall over and stop annoying me.

Crooked Acres Fainting Cats! (Not ever) coming to a farm near you!

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It just occurred to me that a cute idea for cat names would be ingredients that make up recipes. It just hit me as I read Cilantro’s name during this entry. Cilantro (the herb, not the cat) always makes me think of salsa, and then I thought “How cute to name a litter of kittens after all the ingredients that make up salsa: Cilantro, Tomato (Tommy), Onion, etc. I’m sure other recipes would yield cute names too, and then you could say “This is the Chocolate Cake gang!” or something.

That would be ADORABLE, and I’m adding it to my list of name ideas!

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When you said that there was a lot of gas in Ciara’s intestines, it instantly made me think of this and the follow up (no worries, both are fine for all but the most easily offended viewing audiences).


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Hey Robyn! Just to remind your readers of a little Humane Society information. There is the Humane Society of the United States and then there are lots of local Humane Societies and they are all UNRELATED to each other – they don’t share leadership, funding, policies, or information. So the behaviour of one HS like your other commenter described is unique to that HS and most of them are not like that. I volunteered for my local HS for several years and I can tell you that they were doing all they could to get animals into no-kill shelter and forever homes as well as a good spay/neuter program. I hope your readers don’t stop supporting their local HS based on this one story!

Very true, thanks for the reminder. 🙂

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Also, if you don’t mind me asking, how do you powder your tomatoes? Do you dehydrate and crush? Thanks!

Yeah, I dehydrate them and then give ’em a whirl in the blender ’til they’re completely powdered.

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I have never had a cat (but am enjoying vicarious ownership through your brood), so what I know about feline behavior will fit on the back of a postage stamp with room to spare. That said, I am positive I heard at some point that a cat only flicks its tail when irritated. However, I’ve met Labradors that wag their tails less often than Maru of The Many Boxes! What’s the real story with cat tail action?

Elayne had a good response to this (I should start paying you, Elayne. Do you take kittens? 🙂 )

I’ve always heard that the tail twitch or flick indicates a predator mindset. When the cat is stalking prey, or thinking about stalking prey, they tend to keep their entire body still, but the tail sometimes twitches or sweeps. When I see one of mine staring out the window at birds or leaves, watching their tail flick around while the rest of them is perfectly frozen, it always makes me think that if they were *completely* still they’d explode, that the tail twitching is sort of a pressure release valve.
And the predator mindset can be activated by irritation, of course: “Go ahead, puny human, poke my nose and make that ridiculous ‘boop’ noise ONE MORE TIME, just SEE what happens next.”

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What happens to the pigs? I may have missed it when I’ve been catching up, but are they going to be bacon, or have a permanent spot as trash compactors on Crooked Acres? Bill wants to get pigs to raise so we can have bacon. I think I would have an issue keeping them and then eating them. I’d invariably name one and think it was cute. 🙁

The pigs will go off to freezer camp in October or November. One of the pigs will end up in our freezer, one of the other ones will go to someone else’s freezer, and the third will be a world traveler, because she’ll be split between two freezers.

This is, I think, the 7th or 8th set of pigs we’ve had, and it’s not easy to send them off to freezer camp, but we do know that they’re spoiled every day they’re here with us, with treats and homemade cookies, and scratches behind the ears. The first set was the most difficult to send off; at this point I don’t get too attached to them because I know how much it sucks to send them off when you do get attached.

On the other hand, by the time it’s time for them to leave, they’ve gone from little and cute to big and absolutely incredibly fucking obnoxious and demanding. It’s kind of a relief not to have them out there squealing angrily at us every time they catch a glimpse of us and want to know where their goddamn food is.

In the past, we’ve raised two sets of pigs a year because they are so very handy to have out there to give the kitchen scraps to. But it’s a lot of work, and we decided this year that we’re only raising one set a year – which is why we’ve got three pigs this time around (we’ve always done two pigs at a time in the past). So many people are interested in buying a pig from us that Fred joked that in another couple of years, there’ll probably be TEN pigs running around out there.

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A little while ago you listed three anti-odor products (and one mix-at-home dealy) (yes, that was me searching for odor remover just now). I know you said they all work really well and that you listed the one out ahead of the others only because it has no scent of its own – my question is, do you know how well they work on KEEPING odors away? Not just covering up temporary odors but getting rid of lingering problem smells?

(The whole comment can be seen here.)

The information on the anti-odor products I recommended can be seen here, for those of you who missed it, by the way.

Earlier this year, we had a chair – a recliner – peed upon by one of the cats. We soaked it with Nose Offense and let it dry, and at this point, the smell hasn’t come back. Now, I don’t know if it might one day resurface, but it’s been about six months, and so far, so good. At about the same point in time, we soaked a couch cushion with the hydrogen peroxide/ baking soda mixture and let it dry, and the smell from that hasn’t come back, either. I haven’t tried the other two sprays on stuff that soaks up the urine smell, so I can’t speak to whether the smell comes back from those or not.

I’m throwing this open to the rest of y’all – anyone got advice on this topic? Is there something you’ve tried that worked for you, that you can recommend?

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What brand of electronic fence/collar do you use? We had a crappy one that had two settings – nothing at all or full-blast-scare-the-poop-out-of-the-dog. Could never get it to work right!

It’s a PetSafe underground fence, this one to be exact. It does a great job, but I’ll tell y’all that I hate those damn collars, I think they ruin the pictures I take of the cats who are wearing them. But the fence does work, and the cats who wear the collars – Tommy, Elwood, Kara, Sugarbutt – stay away from the fence, so I guess the collars are worth the ruining of the pictures!

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I always wondered why you planted purslane, it grows like crazy in our backyard and if I don’t get a chance to weed every week it takes over my entire patio! We named one of our cats Purslane after the character in “A Love Song For Bobby Long”.. Pursey for short.

I got all interested in purslane last year when Fred pointed out some weeds growing in the ditch in front of the back forty. He said he thought it was purslane, so I started reading about it, and wanted to give it a try. (I particularly liked that it’s high in Omega-3 fatty acids.) But the stuff in the ditch wasn’t purslane, so I kept it in mind to grow this year. Which I did – and apparently it IS aggressive as hell, because it’s growing all around the raised beds as well as in the one where I planted it. Maybe next year I can just harvest it from the yard instead of needing to plant it!

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GHOST PEPPERS! YIKES! My hubby loves some spicy peppers but while we were on vacation we went to a store called The Pepper Palace and he tried salsa made with ghost peppers and almost DIED! I had to get him some milk an his mouth and throat burned for hours afterwards! You are a brave woman working with ghost peppers!

Is that The Pepper Palace in Gatlinburg?? We’ve been there many times, and I’ve been having a hankering to go back (to Gatlinburg, that is, not necessarily The Pepper Palace.)

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Would you describe Ciara’s purr as “burbling”?

My Old Man Of The House, Packer, has a purr that sounds like a – I hate to use the word again, but – burbling brook, with a tiny hint of squeakiness thrown in. And it’s LOUD. When people hear it for the first time, they tend not to believe it’s all him; they usually think there’s some other noise going on in the background in addition to his purring, and insist on looking around for it even after I tell them, no, it’s him.

It actually makes me wonder sometimes if he might have asthma or something, though his unusual purr is the only odd sound he makes. Everything else (breathing, meowing, not-snoring) is all normal. I hear a hint of the same squeakiness in Ciara’s purr, though not quite the full burble*. But I know that when the camera’s on, they sometimes change things up…

*BRB, off to form a band.

That is a REALLY good word to describe it – I’d definitely call it a burble!

Elwood has a high-pitched squeak in the middle of his purr when he’s very very happy. And when Spanky’s purring particularly hard, he sounds like a cricket singing. (Note to self: carry the damn camera around more often!)

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For two people that don’t drink you sure have a lot of booze layin’ around!

I know! I was just telling Suzanne last week that two years ago I thought “Huh. Strawberry Dacquiris would be good!” and I bought the mix and the alcohol and… we just never got around to it. Both bottles are unopened still! We also buy vodka and… something else I don’t remember at the moment. Rum, maybe? … so I can make my own vanilla extract. I want to try using bourbon next time I make vanilla (which won’t be for a while, since I made a ton last year).

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As a Summer pastime at our house when we are sitting the backyard watching the squirrels grazing around the lawn we get long thin pieces of bamboo(13ft+) and gently poke the squirrels in to patooty. They jump straight up in the air about 5 ft. Yes it’s kind of evil but so funny.

I am pretty sure that if I were to see this in action, I would probably fall over and laugh so hard I’d die from asphyxiation.

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Maw Peppers is ultra-cute — and oh, that feathery tail! I’m not even going to go into how beautiful her children are, not when Ciara and her stash have stolen the kitty show. And don’t get started on joyous Jake; is he as kooky as he looks?

Jake is more kooky-looking than kooky-acting. Underneath the looniness, he’s just a sweet, social boy who loves kitten food (and will put up with kittens to get to their food) and loves all the other cats in the house. When Fred gets up in the morning, he puts the collars on the cats who need to wear them before he opens the door to the back yard. While he’s got Tommy (or Elwood or Kara or Sugarbutt) held in place so he can put their collar on, Jake KNOWS that the cat being collared can’t get away, so he comes right over and rubs up against them and purrs and purrs. That’s the best description of Jake I can think of.

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*snicker* I see cat-butt magnets on that fridge 😉

Are you implying that not everyone has cat butt magnets? 🙂 I also have a Crazy Cat Lady Action Figurine!

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Do people ever keep the names that you give the kittens? They always seem “just right.”

I for one can’t imagine Clove as anything but Clove. Her coloring, her button nose is just like a clove!

I heard that cats that are colored like Miz Poo are the most difficult to get adopted – true in your experience?

Sometimes people do, and I’m always a little surprised when they do – when I name the kittens, I always assume they’ll be renamed when they’re adopted. Reacher, Dorothy, and Bill all kept their original names, though!

I’ve heard that black cats – at least here in the US – are the last to be adopted, and right behind that are the torties. Which seems absolutely nuts to me, because I’ve had plenty of black fosters, and of course Maxi and Tommy are black, too. Every single black cat I’ve had has been absolutely awesome. And torties, well, Miz Poo is a tortie and she is AWESOME. I think everyone needs at least one black cat and one tortie!

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For whatever it’s worth, in regard to the thing about nervous cats: I discovered a few years ago that I am what is known in psychological circles as a Highly Sensitive Person (or HSP for short) which basically means that my nervous system is “hard-wired” to respond more strongly to stimulation than most. That is, my sight, hearing, etc. aren’t necessarily any better than anyone else’s, but my brain processes all the sensory information which does come in much more thoroughly than that of a non-HSP, so I’m more AWARE of things like bright lights and noises, and it’s therefore much easier for me to get OVER-stimulated (and tired, stressed-out, and grumpy) from simply being in an environment with a lot going on. Shopping malls and airports, for example, just wear me the heck out!

I want to stress, though, that being HSP isn’t a pathological thing. It’s not a “disease” or a “syndrome” or anything like that; it’s simply a trait, like hair color or eye color, and is probably genetic in origin. In fact, from the reading I’ve done, the tendency toward High Sensitivity seems to be present in approximately the same proportion (around 20% of total population) in everything from fruit flies to horses to humans, so it must have some kind of survival advantage or it wouldn’t be that prevalent. The lady who’s done the most research on High Sensitivity (Elaine Aron, you can Google her if you want to know more about her work) believes that those with the HSP trait are designed to be a kind of “early warning system” for others of their species–we’re the ones who NOTICE things, and so tend to spot the predator lurking in the bushes before anyone else does.

Anyway–given all that, it’s certainly possible that at least some of these “perpetually nervous even though there’s no reason to be” cats are actually feline HSPs, and thus the spooky behavior is genetic rather than learned, which also explains why it can persist throughout life even with an owner who’s never harmed the kitty in question. So I will second what Oldcat said about giving nervous cats a spot of their own where they can retreat when they’re scared, particularly if they live in a busy household with kids and/or other animals. Believe me, being overstimulated isn’t very much fun, even when you understand what’s happening and why, and High Sensitivity isn’t something that can be trained or conditioned away. As Brandy so elegantly put it, the best you can do is accept that this is just how Nature programmed some of us to be, and try to work around the limits it imposes. (And while I definitely don’t advocate trying to “cure” High Sensitivity with drugs, I will say that a little Rescue Remedy can be VERY helpful at difficult moments. I’m not a pet owner myself so I have no personal experience with using it on an animal, but I can tell you for certain that it’s a real lifesaver for a human HSP, and I literally won’t leave the house without it these days. I’m given to understand that some people/animals respond to it better than others, but it has no side effects and if you have a fur-kid that you think might be Highly Sensitive, I would say it’s certainly worth a try.)

So, informational message delivered–back to lurking.

I found this very very interesting. Thanks for delurking to share!

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Did you plant all the plants in at the same time? I love how staggered the harvest is, and can’t help but wonder if they ripen on their own calendar or by the time you plant them.

We planted the summer squash, tomatoes, peppers, and green beans at the same time. Oh, and the corn. The beans and corn have been harvested and the plants pulled up to make room in the garden, and we had to pull up the squash plants because they were starting to die due to vine borers. The tomatoes are still (kind of) producing (they’d probably be doing better if it wasn’t for THE BLIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT) and the peppers are still producing like mad. The acorn and butternut squash were planted about a month ago, and they’re doing REALLY well, as you can see.

Wait. When did we plant the watermelon and cantaloupe? I’m thinking at the same time as the tomatoes and peppers, etc. And we’re still getting watermelon, but the cantaloupes are mostly played out.

Basically, they ripen by their own calendar. Some plants just take longer – it seems like forever between the time you see a squash flower and are able to harvest your first squash from that plant, but the peppers and okra will just appear overnight.

So no, for the most part we planted everything at the same time (except the acorn and butternut squashes, and I think we waited a while to plant the okra), they just kind of staggered themselves. 🙂

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Do you eat the purslane? I’ve heard it’s good in salads.

We do eat the purslane! It’s good in salads and also good sauteed in some olive oil. It’s crunchy and has a very faint lemony taste. I’ve been known to occasionally pull up a stalk and eat it while I’m working on the raised beds.

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Miz Poo was laying in this bed, and Ciara was all “Hey, let’s snuggle!” Miz Poo growled and hissed and smacked, but Ciara just made herself at home. Miz Poo showed her displeasure by taking a bath.

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“What’s YOUR problem?”

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“I hate you.”

Ciara’s off to the place. You know. The place. etSmart-Pay. In a bit. I’ll try to remember to take the camera!

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“What’s she doing?”
“I don’t know. She’s weird.”

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Sally Peppers has clearly gotten over her skittishness.

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“I SAY, pet me, lady.”

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“What’s going on over HERE?”

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Hello, Lucy Peppers.

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Lucy keeps an eye on me.

Yesterday, I finally moved the Peppers Gang upstairs to the foster room. They were a bit freaked out – the first couple of times I went up to check on them, they were hiding in the closet. By the time a couple of hours had passed, they were hanging out on the cat tree and yelling at me to get over there and pet them. I’m glad it didn’t take them two weeks to adjust to their new circumstances this time!

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Corbie and the Ears of Annoyance. Jake and the Look o’ Looniness.

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Keeping an eye on the guy next door.

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2010: How I have not squeezed the stuffing out of that boy, I do not know.
2009: Damn whippersnappers.
2008: I don’t know why he can’t just call it Demer0l or whatever the fuck other people call it.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I sure do hate the hell out of housework.
2003: When I think of Judge Roy Moore, the phrase “Getting too big for his britches” comes to mind.
2002: If he didn’t do that creepy, over-intense stare all the time, he wouldn’t be so (you guessed it) creepy, but he does, so he is.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

8/25/11 – Crooked Acres Thursday

Sights from around Crooked Acres. Autumn Clematis and Rose of Sharon. That’s one pretty big bunch of overgrown greenery in the back yard – no wonder the cats like hanging out out there. Tommy and Newt, hanging out by the fence. More Autumn Clematis, taking over the fence. Loony Jake, hanging out on the log … Continue reading “8/25/11 – Crooked Acres Thursday”

Sights from around Crooked Acres.

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Autumn Clematis and Rose of Sharon. That’s one pretty big bunch of overgrown greenery in the back yard – no wonder the cats like hanging out out there.

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Tommy and Newt, hanging out by the fence.

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More Autumn Clematis, taking over the fence.

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Loony Jake, hanging out on the log Fred put there just so the cats could hang out on it. I like it when stuff works out like that.

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Volunteer Purslane, growing in one of the empty raised beds. I can see why this stuff is considered a weed – it won’t die, it just keeps coming back!

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Elwood, Tommy, and Kara. I’m in the little raised-bed garden, they’re in the back yard. They can’t come into the raised-bed garden because they’d have to go through the gate, which will set off their collars. They’re not happy with me at the moment.

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The Ghost Peppers are really starting to come in.

By the way, whoever it was that mentioned I’d want to wear a face mask while I deal with cooking/ powdering/ dealing with the ghost peppers, THANK YOU. I dehydrated four of them last week, and then put on gloves, a face mask, AND took the blender out onto the front porch to grind the peppers into powder. I can’t imagine how much my lungs would have hurt if I hadn’t been wearing a mask!

Also, Fred made Ghost Chili hot sauce over the weekend (outside on the hot plate). I haven’t tried it – and won’t – but he reports that the flavor is similar to that of Habaneros.

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One ripe Tabasco pepper.

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Blight, I think. It’s pretty much taken over all the tomatoes.

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Wee baby cabbage plants. Germination wasn’t great this time around; I think I’m going to just plant these in the raised beds and see how they do.

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Maxi keeps me company in the garden.

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Squash bug eggs, right before I squashed ’em.

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Wee baby acorn squash! They’re about two inches long.

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Wee baby Butternut Squash! It’s about three inches long.

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Lots of little Butternut Squash.

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Happy squash plants.

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Busy bee on a squash blossom.

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Begonia growing in a pot on the front porch.

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Happy Hydrangea (in the front flower bed; the Oak Leaf Hydrangea is growing on the side of the house near the stoop.)

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“George go to pout. We stay here and wait for his snack.”

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“I startin’ to think there’s no snack today.”

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“I hope there’s not a snack I’m missing out on. I don’t HEAR a snack.” Someone needs a haircut.

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Wandering chickens.

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Checking the tomato plant in case some tomatoes grew in the past ten minutes (hey, you never know).

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Roo keeping an eye on me…

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…with both eyes.

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Hello, gorgeous.

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Broody hen, sitting on eggs. Because what we need is more chickens.

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Volunteer squash plant, in the maternity yard. If I recall correctly, half of a spaghetti squash was tossed in there.

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Considering what to do next.

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Doing it. (Anyone who has chickens recognizes that stance and knows what that hen is doing. She’s laying something, but it’s not an egg.)

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This stress can’t be good for her heart.

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“You go ‘way. We talkin’ ’bout you.”

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Poor Lucy Peppers. Minding her own business, making shadow monsters, and Everett’s gotta mess with her.

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“Not sure you wanna do that, boy.”

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“I keel her, instead.”

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“Wait. Where YOU come from?!” Sisters stick together, y’know.

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Spanky takes a sun bath.

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2010: Kitten movies for you.
2009: The only excitement is watching the show to see if Kim gets so excited that her face almost moves.
2008: “I’m trying to recall the many houses we’ve driven by and seen Mennonite children scrubbing down the pigs and cows. Thinking… thinking…”
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I haaaaaaaaaate having to deal with strangers.
2003: I guess when your boss (the Supreme Court) tells you to do something and you tell him to go fuck himself, shit tends to fly.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: The thrills and chills around here just never stop, folks.

8/24/11 – Kitteh Video Wednesday

Today, three videos for y’all! In the first, Ciara says “hi.” Watch all the way to the end to hear her loud, happy purr. In the second, Molly reacts to Jake’s intrusion into her territory. And in the third, the Peppers – already STRANGER DANGER! tense from the invasion of Jake – are startled by … Continue reading “8/24/11 – Kitteh Video Wednesday”

Today, three videos for y’all!

In the first, Ciara says “hi.” Watch all the way to the end to hear her loud, happy purr.

In the second, Molly reacts to Jake’s intrusion into her territory.

And in the third, the Peppers – already STRANGER DANGER! tense from the invasion of Jake – are startled by a certain evil man who thinks there’s nothing funnier than making a cat jump. (Note that after I told him a couple of times that he was evil, I asked if he’d gotten it on video. Heh.)

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Sheriff Mama likes to spend her days on the washer, which is by the back door. The metal keeps her tummy cool, and if anything happens in the back yard, she can zip out the back door to put the smack down on whatever needs smackin’.

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2010: Martin thinks he’s big and bad ’til he comes face to face with Godzilla, I’m telling you.
2009: He was a regular fucking Pop Goes the Weasel.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: SqueeSqueeSQUEESQUEE! the bird squealed.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: My computer is getting so freakin’ slow that it’s driving me absolutely batshit, and I’m spending way too much time swearing at it.
2000: No entry.

8/23/11 – Tuesday

Y’all notice my fancy new banner up there? I made it myself. Jean made me a banner for September, which reminded me that I hadn’t switched banners at the beginning of August, so I whipped that one up to put up there for the next week and a half. You know you wish you had … Continue reading “8/23/11 – Tuesday”


Y’all notice my fancy new banner up there? I made it myself. Jean made me a banner for September, which reminded me that I hadn’t switched banners at the beginning of August, so I whipped that one up to put up there for the next week and a half. You know you wish you had my talent with the Photoshopz.

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Yesterday, someone left this comment on Flickr, under my picture of Ciara (not) stressing.

Robyn, I swear, if you don’t stop giving those cats unlimited access to whisky and ganja, I’ma have to report you!

Little did she know that, probably at the VERY MOMENT she was leaving that comment, pictures were being taken.

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I love how she’s pretty much spooning with the bottle.

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“Wush up, guysh?”

Note to self: keep liquor cabinet locked! (Further note to self: get liquor cabinet.)

I’m so sad that we didn’t have a pack of cigarettes around. Though I’m sure we could have come up with plenty of pill bottles to scatter around her, now that I think about it!

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This is Scarlett:

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I guess you could call her Maw Peppers. Isn’t she a beauty? She’s the mother of The Peppers Gang – you remember (maybe) that the man who found her on his doorstep decided to keep her. She’s been spayed and tested, and she’s all set to live the life of a pampered princess kitty. From all reports, she loves her daddy quite a bit.

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Harlan looks a LOT like her.

Know who else Harlan looks like? It’s the funniest thing, these two pictures were side by side in my “to share” folder.

Here’s Harlan:

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Da Corbs.

I sure do love the brown tabbies.

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“Git over here and pet us, lady! Geez!”

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One Lucy leapin’.

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Everett’s all “What just happened here?”

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“Wait, I better get in on this!”

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Later, Everett got into it with Harlan.

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Until Everett decided that Sally’s butt needed a big bite taken out of it.

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Loony Jake…

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is loony.

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2010: I guess that toy knows who the boss is now!
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: Bye, bye gallbladder.
2005: No entry.
2004: Fucking toes.
2003: No entry.
2002: Evil.
2001: Cat pics.
2000: I know you women out there are jealous since I got me one o’ them SENSITIVE guys who can cry.

8/22/11 – Monday

I had a really good weekend, one wherein I got a lot of little things accomplished around the house. You know, just little stuff I’ve been putting off all week, like filling the bird feeders and cleaning the bird bath and giving the hummingbirds fresh food, and stuff like that. I stayed busy most of … Continue reading “8/22/11 – Monday”

I had a really good weekend, one wherein I got a lot of little things accomplished around the house. You know, just little stuff I’ve been putting off all week, like filling the bird feeders and cleaning the bird bath and giving the hummingbirds fresh food, and stuff like that. I stayed busy most of the day Saturday (though I did make time for a Saturday afternoon nap), slept like a log, and got up to get more stuff done on Sunday.

The garden didn’t require much tending this weekend (Sunday morning has become the day I do most of my weekend gardening), so I spent an hour picking tomatoes, okra and green peppers, and transplanted the Meyer lemon tree into a bigger pot, and called it good enough. It had cooled down a bit last week (and by “cooled down” what I mean is “become less swelteringly hot”), but the temps are back in the mid to high 90s again. I don’t guess Fall is here just yet.

I really like the kind of okra we’re growing this year – it seems less slimy to me than the kind we grew last year. I don’t know what kind of okra it is, unfortunately, since we bought it at one of those country feed and seed stores, and it was just labeled “okra.” Hopefully it’s not a hybrid, and we can just let it go to seed at the end of the summer, and plant those seeds next summer.

How often is Wisteria supposed to bloom, anyway? I think it’s blooming for the third time this year, and I didn’t think that stuff blooms in the summer. But I’m looking out the window right now, and I see a bunch of it blooming right now.

I have been eating a lot of watermelon lately. We managed to grow some really tasty watermelons this year. Fred has been talking about planting watermelons behind the back yard next summer (in the space between the back yard and the front of the back forty), but I suspect that that’s really the sort of thing we’ll talk about doing right up until it’s time to do it – then we’ll just plant them in the garden again.

Fred’s been trying to get hold of a guy he’d talked to about digging a pond in the back forty for about a year now. He’d call the guy’s number, get a message that his voicemail box was full, and give up for a few weeks or a month, then try it again. And so forth. Finally, on Friday, the guy called him back. Fred talked to him for a little while, the guy said he’d come over and talk to Fred over the weekend and… nada.

“I think you need to just accept that he doesn’t want to do the job,” I said. Fred, having finally hit his “That guy can go fuck himself” limit, is inclined to agree.

Of course, not having a pond doesn’t mean that Fred Anderson doesn’t want ducks. He does. Suddenly, it is ALL he can fucking talk about. Do I care if he gets ducks? I don’t give a fuck. Get a duck. You schmuck.


Also, he’s talking about possibly-maybe-perhaps getting a smartphone. If he does actually go out and buy himself a smartphone, you better hang onto your ass, because I’m pretty sure that’s a clear sign of the apocalypse. He’s mostly interested in getting a smartphone because he thinks it would be cool to write apps for it. Also, his company pays all their employees a set quarterly sum to cover their cell phone bill, and his cell from 1983 doesn’t stay charged for long.

“Come here Watson, I want you.”

(But mostly, he wants to write apps for it because that’s fun or something.)

If he gets a smartphone and texts me, I’m going to fall over dead.

We finally watched Winter’s Bone Saturday night. It was a damn good movie, and I’m excited about seeing Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in The Hunger Games. (Also, I feel like I’m seeing Dale Dickey (aka Patty from My Name is Earl) in just about everything lately.)

I love Netflix streaming. I know they’re charging for it now, but we bumped our plan down to 2 discs (instead of 3) and unlimited streaming, and since we watch a lot less TV during the summer, it works out well for us.

Okay. Enough babbling – let’s get to the kitties, shall we?

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In case you missed it, I posted an entry on Saturday talking about the Spice Girls going to Petsmart, and Ciara staying (temporarily) here.

There were no adoptions over the weekend, unfortunately. I think that people are so busy with back-to-school activities and getting back into the routine of things, that they’re not adopting cats at the moment. Hopefully adoptions will pick up again soon.

(Pics from last week)

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Stressing hard or hardly stressing.

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Laundry inspectors on the job.

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Friday evening, I went into the guest bedroom to find that Fred had let Jake in to visit with the little ones, and there was this going on:

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For the record, Jake didn’t pay ANY attention to those kittens at all. But they were FREAKED.

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Note that Jake is all “Oh look, a toy! ::sniff::” and the kittens are all “STRANGER DANGER!!!!!”

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I don’t think it’s possible for Lucy to get any more floofed.

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While Everett and Sally trade “MY GOD DO YOU SEE WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!” looks, Lucy and Harlan tail the interloper.

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Practicing for Halloween.

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Jake was just trying to partake of some kitten food, and the little ones were SO freaked out and SO “YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE, STRANGER”, that Jake finally gave up and asked to leave the room.

Sunday morning, I was coming downstairs when I heard Fred in the guest bedroom, guffawing. He called to me, and as soon as I opened the door, Jake came running out. It turned out that Fred had let Jake in again, and the kittens all did their insta-floof thing. Then Sally, who was as floofed as possible, was standing there glaring at Jake. Jake sniffed her, and she stood and glared at him. Then Jake tried to rub his head on her and she went stiff and fell over like a fainting goat.

Every time I think of her falling over, even though I didn’t see it myself, it makes me laugh out loud.

Clearly I need to get in there with the little camera and take some videos next time Jake goes visiting!

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Regal Tommy.

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2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: I find that the older I get, the more I resent it when I have to spend more than 90 minutes watching a movie.
2007: No entry.
2006: How can you not die from the cute?
2005: So, that’s why I won’t be updating this week.
2004: No entry.
2003: And for the rest of the drive I would occasionally call him “Fo’-Thray”.
2002: Surely they can hear the thunder of Tubby approaching from miles away – you’d think they’d hide somewhere he can’t go, like under the shed or on the other side of the fence.
2001: That’s me, an expert at reading between the lines!
2000: It gives her a rakish air.

8/20/11 – Saturday

So, the Spice Girls went off to Petsmart yesterday, and as of this minute (12:30 pm) none of them have been adopted. They were a bit nervous on the way to the store and at the store, but they weren’t terrified, they mostly had little cartoon question marks over their heads, all “What is going … Continue reading “8/20/11 – Saturday”

So, the Spice Girls went off to Petsmart yesterday, and as of this minute (12:30 pm) none of them have been adopted. They were a bit nervous on the way to the store and at the store, but they weren’t terrified, they mostly had little cartoon question marks over their heads, all “What is going ON?”

“Robyn,” you are saying. “You mean the Spice Girls AND Ciara went to Petsmart, right?”

SIGH. (Note: don’t worry, there’s no bad or sad news in this entry. There’s also NOT “We’re keeping her!” news in this entry, either.)

Wednesday afternoon, when Fred got home from work I told him that Ciara had been sleeping a lot during the day. She purred when we petted her, she ate and drank and seemed okay, so we just figured she was having a sleepy, quiet day. Then Thursday, I got so caught up in burning baby pictures to CDs and packing little bags of toys to take to Petsmart with me on Friday that I didn’t think to really check her over until bedtime Thursday night. When I petted her, she gave me the “that hurts” meow, and she felt warm to me.

Friday morning I petted her some more and got the same reaction, so I decided to take the Spice Girls to Petsmart and get Ciara in at the vet. I called the vet as soon as they opened and they told me I could drop her off and they’d work her in during the day, because they were full up with appointments. I packed Ciara in one carrier and the Spice Girls in another, and headed out. I drove up to the vet’s office in Tennessee and dropped Ciara off. Then I drove to Petsmart and got the girls set up in their cage.

I ran some errands and went home, and mid-afternoon I called to check on Ciara. The vet told me that Ciara had a 104 temperature and was definitely feeling tenderness on her left side. They’d given her an anti-inflammatory and antibiotics and thought that the next step would be x-rays, which sounded good to me. Possibilities for what could be wrong with her ranged from her having swallowed a foreign object to pancreatitis to having an issue with her internal stitches (from her spay) dissolving and causing some issues.

They did the x-rays and didn’t see anything, though she had a lot of gas in her intestines. She had perked up a little bit, so the vet told me she thought it would be okay for me to bring Ciara home with antibiotics and see how she did over the weekend.

By this time, Fred was home from work, so I made him go up to Tennessee with me. Ciara was very glad to see us, and meowed a good part of the way home. Once we got home, she shot right out of her carrier, immediately sharpened her claws on the scratcher, went in and had some food and water, and played a little.

Last night, she was all over me, all night long. Clearly she was feeling better – today, so far, she’s been acting like she feels completely fine. I’ve vigorously petted her side and tummy, and gotten no reaction at all aside from loud purring.

We’ll keep her on the antibiotics, of course, but assuming that she doesn’t start acting sick again (the little faker), chances are good that she’ll be, y’know. Going. TOYTOYTOYtotheplaceTOYTOYTOY FOODFOODFOODwherethespicegirlswentFOODFOODFOOD. On iday-Fray.

(Obviously I need to speak in code from here on out, lest the little faker get wind of what’s coming.)

Naturally I got a ton of pictures of the girls Thursday and Friday to share with y’all!

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Ciara, clearly stressed.

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I will tell you guys that if anyone from this bunch of kittens (and I’m considering Ciara to be a Spice Girl at this point) was going to become a Permanent Resident, it would have been Clove. She is just the coolest girl.

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Cori makes herself at home on top of the bookcase in the front room.

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Cilantro and Clove on the cat tree in the front room.

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This is a particularly sweet litter, but Cilantro’s the sweetest. I can absolutely see her becoming a kitten-loving Charlene Butterbean type.

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It’s tiring work, is what it is.

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Clove and the Ears of Annoyance.

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“Hallo, shweetheart.”

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SO stressed.

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I don’t know what caught their eye(s), but that window behind them is a disgrace. Someone oughtta clean that window. Any volunteers?

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I can only look at this picture out of the corner of my eye because it makes me want to go to Petsmart and snatch up Clove and bring her home. We refer to this as the “catfish carry”, because that’s totally how you’d hold a big ol’ catfish you’d caught and wanted to show off. Clove is so very laid back that she’ll let you do anything to her, and she just purred and purred while Fred was holding her like that.

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The face, the arched back, the casual way she’s got her front and back legs kicked out just KILLS ME DEAD.

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It was super difficult to get them into the carriers yesterday. I had to (sigh) GET the carriers. And then I had to (groan) CARRY the carriers into the computer room. And THEN I had to (whine) OPEN the carriers. And then I had to waaaaait around like I’ve got NOTHIN’ better to do than WAIT, and after a lonnnnng 30 seconds, Ciara flopped down in this carrier and Clove followed her about five seconds later. Will my work EVER be done?

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This morning, Ciara was feeling well enough to give me the Ears of Annoyance.

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“When they leaving, Mom? Because it can’t be too soon.”

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2010: Oh, the histrionics there would be.
2009: There might be something wrong with me.
2008: So Fred said “Well, they can’t ALL be your favorite, and besides we agreed we wouldn’t be keeping any of them.”
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: While your average man might have grown frightened, apparently it wasn’t the first time that morning Mike’d heard Satan’s voice howling his name.
2003: It’s kind of like a samba.
2002: I saved someone’s life this morning!
2001: Thus the reason we never get telemarketing calls.
2000: No entry.

8/19/11 – Friday

Dexter was adopted by a staff member at the clinic he was treated in. Sadly after 8 weeks he was put to sleep. He had been getting better, we all watched as he moved in with Tiffany and got to live a great life. Was a shock when we all found out his fits had … Continue reading “8/19/11 – Friday”

Dexter was adopted by a staff member at the clinic he was treated in. Sadly after 8 weeks he was put to sleep. He had been getting better, we all watched as he moved in with Tiffany and got to live a great life. Was a shock when we all found out his fits had returned. Sadly the fits couldn’t be stopped and Dexter was allowed to toddle over to cat heaven where I’m sure his bro was waiting. There is a petition still going so do please sign. Don’t let Dexter’s death be without any real justice

Sign the petition!

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Just discovered this story: Pennie And Steve Lefkowitz Charged With Animal Cruelty After Nearly 700 Cats Seized.

The video at the bottom is just heartbreaking. I had to walk away for a few minutes around one and a half minutes in, when they showed the cat with the out of control rodent ulcer on his top lip. Miz Poo has had an issue with rodent ulcers in the past, and if she hadn’t received care, it’s pretty likely that’s what her upper lip would look like. So sad.

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With the clock right in the path of the kitty’s shelves, do they ever knock it down? I know my cats are fascinated with the second hand movement of our clock. It’s positioned right below a banister and every now and then I catch one up there, leaning over and batting at it.

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The clock that was there before got knocked to the floor a couple of times before it was broken and we had to toss it. I don’t think they’re batting at it – though Clove was VERY interested in that second hand! – I think they were just brushing by it and it was knocked down. This clock has a square of putty holding the bottom of the clock to the wall, so hopefully that’ll help extend its life.

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I’m not sure where information about a shortage of animals in the northeast came from but I can assure you that is not true in any sense of the word. Our shelters up here are bursting at the seams as well. There are so many stray/feral cats it breaks my heart. Shelters are constantly begging for money!

Lisa, I picked it up from this article, these quotes are what caught my eye:

When the van pulls out of Animal Services parking lot Thursday morning, it will be loaded with 38 dogs and puppies and 27 cats and kittens being taken to their no-kill shelter on Long Island, where people are waiting in line to adopt animals, especially puppies.

“By the time the puppies hit the floor, they are gone,” said Gleason while checking out some kittens he was considering taking with him.

Sheppard said there is a shortage of dogs in the northeastern United States because of strict spay and neuter laws enacted 30 years ago.

I should have known it was too good to be true. :/

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Nicole: Inquiring minds want to know…. did you name Lucy Peppers after Lucy Liu, another cross-eyed, exotic beauty? Or is it merely coincidence?

Elayne: Lucy Liu is cross-eyed? When did that happen? (45 minutes of staring at imdb photos and google images later)
One of her eyes is a bit differently shaped than the other, a bit narrower, but I don’t think she’s cross-eyed…

Nicole: Maybe Lucy Peppers isn’t cross-eyed, either. But they are both very pretty.

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Lucy Peppers is definitely cross-eyed, but she wasn’t named after Lucy Liu (I do call her Lucy Lu, though, of course, because everyone’s gotta have a nickname.), she was named after Lucy from Peanuts. Actually, Lucy and Sally’s names were stolen from another blog, where there’s also a Patty.

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I just had to share this video with you. Visa and Spike are just too cute together. Guess this must be Share a Video day!

That is one fearless little kitten! I love the sideways hops down the hall.

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OMG. Have you met Maru yet?

I’m pretty sure that these days, they’ll take away your blog if you’ve never heard of Maru. Love him!

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I never ever comment even though I have been reading you since 2004 or 05 (!!!!) – but I just have to delurk before Clove gets adopted away… If I could possibly adopt just one cat (I live in Ontario, and am going away to Europe for the year next week, so it’s impossible), I would jump on a plane today and scoop up Clove in a heartbeat! She is just the most beautiful cat ever seen on this Earth, IMHO – please tell her I said so before she goes off to her forever home! I look forward to new photos of her every day – and I do hope that whoever is lucky to adopt her stays in touch with you and sends on photos from time to time… She is the foster I will miss most of all you’ve had, and you can tell her that too! Big hugs from up North!

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“Will this box hold my toys, too, or should they buy me new toys when I get to Canada?”

(Clove thinks you have excellent taste.)

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Does Cilantro talk a lot? My Yenta has an oral fixation too, licks EVERYTHING and man, does she chatter, hence the name Yenta. Just wonderin.

She doesn’t talk a lot, no. She does, however, get “lost” when you’re more than ten feet away from her, and if she doesn’t know where you are, instead of looking for you, she meows until you call to her. (Right now, she is under the desk licking my feet, by the way.)

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Oh no – Jake is so skinny. What’s wrong with him? Did he have food poisoning? Is he allergic to his food? Poor guy. I hope he gets better sooon!


Look at Jake and Elwood! Elwood is, um, quite the portly man, isn’t he?


Elwood’s…bulking up. Lifting weights, is he? 😉

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There’s nothing wrong with Jake, he weighs what he and Elwood should BOTH weigh. Elwood weighs almost 5 pounds more than Jake, and it’s obvious in that picture!

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For the record I love and buy hot pepper jam or jelly from our local farmer who does up jams. Its delicious with cheese and crackers. I never get enough peppers from my garden to make jams, Canadian summers just aren’t long enough if you don’t have a greenhouse.

As for the Ghost peppers, there is a great spice shop in Charleston, SC that makes ghost pepper salt to sell. It has quite a kick (but I love hot) and I use it as a substitute for regular salt when I want to heat something up. I’ve never made a flavored salt, but I guess it’s the same as making a flavored sugar??

Well, I make Jalapeno jelly and Habanero jams, but the thought of working with the Ghost peppers has me a little nervous. Fred decided last night that he wants to use the first of the Ghost peppers to make a hot sauce, then he’s going to have me make a batch of strawberry-Ghost pepper jam, then who knows?

(For the record, I can eat Jalapeno jelly, but cannot eat Habanero jam because it’s too hot for me and I don’t like feeling PAIN when I eat!)

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Maybe I missed it, but did all the McMaos and Maggie find forever homes?

They did! The last two to go were Maggie and Fergus Simon, who both were adopted two weeks and one day after the whole bunch went to Petsmart (but weren’t adopted together). The only McMao left unadopted is Ciara, who goes to Petsmart in a little while with the Spice Girls.

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I’m glad that Ciara and the sisters will be heading off tomorrow — though only because they’re growing so quickly. Hope they can be paired off in cages and then permanently. Godspeed, lovely girls, and here’s wishing that Robyn will let you keep her up during your final night at Crooked Acres.

I did let them have the run of the house last night, and they were a bit calmer about the whole thing. Ciara settled down in the cat bed at the foot of the bed, and the Spice Girls took turns laying across me, laying against my legs, and curling up next to my head and purring loudly.

There’s a large cage available at Petsmart, so all four of them will be going into that cage together. I would love it if they were adopted together in one configuration or another. Fingers crossed!

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All three petitions signed. Dexter is breaking my heart. I know pretty much all of us wish we could beat this woman senseless with a baseball bat. I have special words for her. I am a prolific curser as well (I remember you saying this awhile back about yourself) and, to paraphrase from A Christmas Story, I have woven a tapestry of profanities to describe her to my other cat-loving friends.

I am too familiar with this closing of helpful cat shelters. The Humane Society here raided one about 50 miles southwest of St. Louis. This woman had owned the shelter for more than 20 years. (In fact I adopted Luanne from them in 2007, from a Petsmart.) She was given a certain amount of time to reduce her numbers by x amount. She’d gotten about half of those out and had scheduled the other half to be shipped to a few other no-kill shelters. The Dept. of Agriculture wasn’t satisfied even though she was doing what she could (despite low funds and the fact that she was sleeping on a cot at the shelter). They told her she had to euthanize 60 animals and she said she spent 2 sleepless nights making up the list (how AWFUL). She and her lawyers got the euthanization date pushed out for a few weeks and she was continuing to schedule some of the animals to be transferred. When she was out of town, the Humane Society here and the Dept of Ag raided her place, took film, said it was deplorable and the animals were all sick. (Please tell me what shelter has animals that are all healthy and glowing??? That’s why they’re in shelters.) So this woman was completely shut down. They took 165 animals, including the lab (her pet) she’d had for 10 years. They eventually gave it back. But all of these other animals who would’ve been spared (and who WERE spayed and neutered; this is where all her funds went) were taken in by the Humane Society. Petsmart canceled their contract with her before finding out all of the facts. I’m sure tons of the animals were eventually euthanized. The HS is now the Wal-Mart of the animal world. Instead of another no-kill shelter getting funds for doing good work, the HS can get more funds to kill animals. WHATEVER. I will never support them again. I have given money monthly to North Shore Animal League for more than 3 years now.

Sorry for my soapbox. I just hate these types of situations; they are so unfair.

Definitely unfair!

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“Today’s headlines: Civilization is breaking down, unemployment is at 110%, and a litre of petrol now costs more than your children’s college education. And now here’s Tom with the kitten report.”

It would make the news so much more bearable, am I right?

I think they ought to just televise kittens playing, and have the human anchors do the news in voiceover! (Also, you can scroll down in this entry to see the cats doing a news report.)

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I love the photos (and loved yesterday’s btw), but do wonder why the bed of Princess Smug of Smugonia is so plain. Shouldn’t it at least have rhinestones on it… oops! I meant the finest diamonds, of course.

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It is very plain, isn’t it? I just put that thing together earlier this week, and I’m trying to decide what exactly I want to do with it. I’m considering painting it white, and perhaps making some sort of floofy mattress-type bed for it. Then again, maybe I’ll paint it pink or blue. Orrrr maybe I’ll just leave it the color it is and talk about making a cute cat bed for it, then never actually doing anything at all. That last sounds most likely to happen.

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By the way, just in case you wanted a reminder, now you have a bunch of baby kittens, you could take a closeup picture of their faces once a day or once a week, and we could see how their face changes as they grow up?

I’m going to do my level best to make that happen!

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My Frankie is 1 year 3 months old now, and is still really scared of everything around him. If he’s sleeping next to me, he jumps up off the couch every time I get up, and he jumps and runs away at the smallest of sounds. Even still,he loves to be scratched and getting a body rub, but he is literally a scaredy cat. I don’t really know what to do to make him more relaxed. Any ideas?

If anyone out there has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. I think that some cats just have a more nervous nature than others, and despite the fact that they live with you and you would never hurt them in any way, they still get nervous when you move around.

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I can now exactly see why one needs to wear jeans to the foster room, I can just imagine how needle-sharp those little claws are!

SO true – I went into the guest bedroom yesterday morning to give the Peppers Gang their morning snack, and I was stupidly wearing shorts. Molly didn’t care one little bit that I didn’t have jeans protecting my legs, she climbed right up my bare legs to my shorts, then finally stopped climbing when she reached my stomach. Suffice it to say that I have learned my lesson!

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My cat Luna was frosted like that when we got her. Her tail even looked like a raccoon tail! That’s how we named her, those little white hairs along her back made me think of moonlight on a lake. Anyway, she doesn’t look like that anymore, her tail is just fluffy solid black, along with the rest of her. Well, brownish black. Also, I have a white cat that had two teeny black spots on her head when she was born, then just one, now none at all. Her mom had a few black hairs on her head when we had her (we fostered her out & kept 2 babies) and I’m assuming she also had a larger spot that was slowly going away. What’s up with that? How is it that they can change colors like that? Anyone know?

Oldcat? I think this might be a question for you!

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“Shares of Boston-based Carbonite Inc. jumped more then 23 percent yesterday in the company’s first day of trading after its initial public offering. The online computer backup service priced its shares late Wednesday at $10 per share. The stock closed yesterday at $12.35.”

I am actually gonna put a (small) chunk of change on the stock for its entertainment value. Will give it a year and then donate any earnings to Challenger House! Anyone else want to see what comes of one of Robyn’s Favorite Things? 🙂

Very neat idea!

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Lori sent me the link to this video, and it cracked me UP!

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All five Peppers, hangin’ on the cat tree.

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Lucy and Sally, chillin’.

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Harlan haz a complaint. “This platform is too smaaaaaall, and everyone keeps trying to cram themselves on the platform wiiiiiiith me, and I don’t liiiiiike it!”

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Smilin’ Molly.

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The Peppers girls – and Harlan’s foot.

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Molly haz a complaint. “Sally keeps biting my taaaaaaail, and it huuuuuuurts and I don’t liiiiiiike it!”

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Something hath disturbed the Ciara.

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Cilantro’s looking for her next licking victim.

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This really doesn’t look like the most comfortable position, does it?

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Ciara and Clove, all stressed out.

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Ciara checks out the dryer.

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I’ll be heading out of here to take Ciara and the Spice Girls to Petsmart in an hour or so. Adoption hours take place this evening, and I like to let them have the better part of the day to become accustomed to their new surroundings (though I am certainly hoping they won’t be their surroundings for long!) I will, of course, let y’all know as soon as I know they’ve been adopted.

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“Hello, I am beautiful.”

(Your weekly reminder.)

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2010: “Because I feel like I can’t get a good, deep breath, so I’m pretty sure I’m going into multi-system organ failure.”
2009: I adore stories that talk about what a pain in the ass Gwyneth Paltrow is, and I always cackle when Dlisted refers to her as “Fishsticks Paltrow.”
2008: Or… is that how learning curves work?
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: she’s got the skank lines rolling off her, doesn’t she?
2004: Fred is just amazed that one portly cat can have so many health issues.
2003: ::Sproing!:: he went, leaping at least a foot in the air, and I watched, impressed that he’d contained that much energy in his dry and dead-looking little body.
2002: “TUBBY GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!” I ordered, and grudgingly he did.
2001: No entry.
2000: Being completely, one-hundred percent useless in the slightest emergency, I slapped my hands to my cheeks and let out a horrified scream.