Archive for November, 2011

11/30/11 – Kitteh Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, November 30th, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life

Time to let me know if you want a holiday postcard! (And yes, of course I’m happy to send cards to other countries!) Send your name and mailing address to hollydays@gmail.com .

I’ll take names and addresses until December 20th.

If you’d like to send me a card as well (never ever required, but always appreciated – I don’t keep track of who does and doesn’t send a card, I promise!), send it to: Robyn Anderson, PO Box 461, Athens, AL 35612 USA.

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Brudderly Love.

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Jake and Elwood.

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Jake (front) and Elwood (back). (And Alice in the background.)

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I love that Sugarbutt and Tommy are now 6 1/2 years old, and they still occasionally snuggle like this.

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Tommy is the only cat Sugarbutt will willingly snuggle with. If foster kittens climb into a cat bed with him, he’ll hiss and smack and eventually give up, but he actually seeks out Tommy for snuggle time.

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Elwood and Tommy.

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Tommy grooming Elwood. Every cat in existence just LOVES Tommy, and he’s so patient with them all. Is it so much to ask that he live forever?

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Sibling-ly Love.

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Just a quick video of Charlie playing with his favorite toy (that noise in the background is the dryer; the laundry room is off the kitchen).

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2010: “Have you ever noticed that Greg Brady always looks like he wants to cut a bitch?” I said.
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.

11/29/11 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, November 29th, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life

Time to let me know if you want a holiday postcard! (And yes, of course I’m happy to send cards to other countries!) Send your name and mailing address to hollydays@gmail.com .

I’ll take names and addresses until December 20th.

If you’d like to send me a card as well (never ever required, but always appreciated – I don’t keep track of who does and doesn’t send a card, I promise!), send it to: Robyn Anderson, PO Box 461, Athens, AL 35612 USA.

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©Forgotten Felines

“I need a name!”

Forgotten Felines is having a raffle to name this sweet boy – $5 buys you one chance, and you can buy as many chances as you’d like. Go here to read about him, and enter the raffle to name him!

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So, recently I went back on the hormone replacement therapy estrogen patch. I was intending to go back on it at the beginning of the year, after my gynecologist strongly recommended that I do so. But I was having surgery in February (cue 103 of you searching frantically on “surgery” and “surgery February” and “what surgery?”), so my primary care doctor told me I ought to wait until afterward, because blah blah something about blood clotting or not clotting or bleeding or I don’t know. Something about blood. Come on, it was PRACTICALLY a year ago, I’m supposed to remember the specifics?

I waited until after surgery, and then I was about to go back on the estrogen (with a progesterone cream chaser) for real, but then I knew I’d be having surgery in October (cue the “October surgery” and “surgery” and “what surgery?” searches), so I waited some more.

FINALLY, when I got back from Pennsylvania a week and a half (ish) ago, I restarted the patch and the cream and it’s been fine.

Except, of course, for the hormonal swings as my body tries to figure out what the fucking fuck is going the fuck on. I swear to god, I feel like I’m 13 years old again, with the mood swings. One minute I’m all “HIIIIIIIIIII I AM HAPPY!” and the next it’s like “OH MY GOD THIS COMPUTER IS SO SLOW WHY DO I BOTHER TO LIIIIIIIIIVE?” Last night, I woke up a little after midnight with what I’m pretty sure was a HOT FLASH. Okay, maybe a mini hot flash. But why am I having goddamn hot flashes, mini or no, when I never had them BEFORE I restarted the damn estrogen/ progesterone?

The other night I was watching this video (of rescued Beagle puppies who’d always lived in a lab and were being rescued), and I was fighting back the tears so hard that if Fred had come in and asked me anything at all, I would have dissolved into an instant puddle on the floor.

I know it’ll take a few weeks (months) for my body to figure this shit out, but in the meantime AIN’T WE GOT FUN.

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When I was in Pennsylvania, someone asked in Nance’s comments (to this post) which Real Housewife we’re each most similar to. First we were horrified at the idea that we might be like ANY of those crazy bitches. Nance finally decided that she’s probably most like either LuAnn (NY) or Kim Zolciak (ATL).

I still don’t know that I am anything like any of those women, but I’ll admit that I’m worried that I’m probably most like Cynthia from Atlanta because she’s wishy-washy and spineless and boring (but beautiful!) and her blowhard husband irritates the shit out of me and I don’t WANNA be like HER, even though she’s super nice and everything. I’d like to think I’m most like Adrien (BH) sans all the Botox and lip injections, because she seems the most level-headed and seems to pretty much stay out of the drama, but she bickers with her husband way more than I bicker with Fred.

I like Bethenny, but I’m not anything like her because while I find her hilarious, she’s way too high-strung. She’s probably my favorite of the Housewives. I like Kim Richards from BH because she’s just so ODD, but she’s neurotic and I find her taste in men HIGHLY questionable.

Anyway. Um. So there ya go. Maybe I’m like Adrien, but I’m afraid I’m like Cynthia (please, god, noooooooooo).

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Sunday night dinner: chicken, sauteed chinese cabbage and onions, and Paula Deen’s Cheddar-Yeast rolls.

The chicken was a Crooked Acres chicken, of course, one that’s been sitting in the freezer for almost a year. I rubbed some spices on it, cooked it all day in the crockpot with a little stock, and it was so very good. We have a Ronco rotisserie which we occasionally use to roast chickens, but they’re such a pain to clean, given that the fat from the skin splatters everywhere, that I prefer the crockpot.

We ate our first head of chinese cabbage – I’ve had one head bolt, and a second was starting to, so I pulled it up. I’ve read that when they bolt they get bitter, and I’ve never actually (to my knowledge) had chinese cabbage before, so I didn’t know what to expect. It didn’t taste like cabbage to me; it tasted more like collard greens. It was definitely good, and I think next Spring I’ll actually plant a row of it in the big garden.

About the rolls, the only smoked cheddar I could find at the store cost almost $8 for a small block, and I knew I had sharp cheddar in the freezer at home, so I used that instead. The rolls were good, but I’m not sure I’ll make them again – not because they were hard to make (they weren’t), but they lacked… something. Fred said maybe just more salt, but I don’t know. I did like the clover look (I love it when rolls pull apart easily like that), but I wasn’t super crazy about the flavor.

Do you have a favorite roll recipe? Do share!

Side note: I cut the roll recipe in half (there are two of us and we don’t each that much bread; 18 rolls would sit on the counter ’til they got all moldy), and still ended up with a dozen (which means we’ll probably end up with moldy rolls on the counter. Unless I freeze them. But I think I didn’t like them enough to save them for another time).

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The many faces of Chuckles (AKA Charlie Peppers).

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Do you remember back when we had a turned-on-its-side trash can in the back yard under the trees? Sure you do, Sugarbutt loved to hang out in it all the time.


Well, the trash can developed a hole in the end from being tossed around when it was windy, and so we tossed it and for a while there was nothing under the trees for the cats to hang out in. Then we got a small dog house and put it on the patio, and this past weekend I had Fred move it so that it was under the trees where the trash can used to sit.

It was, to say the least, a hit.

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Sugarbutt on top, with Corbie sitting on the stump behind him, trying to figure out what’s going on.

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Corbie in the house!

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Alice on top, while Jake and Elwood supervise (I shot this out the window while sitting at my desk, thus the cloudiness. Someone oughta clean that window.)

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Jake’s wondering how Alice got up there.

These last few days it’s been raining almost constantly, and last night at snack time I went out to call the cats in, and the little house was like a clown car, cats pouring out of it. Sugarbutt, Tommy, Elwood AND Jake had all stuffed themselves in the house somehow. I need to put a towel or bed in there so that they don’t have to shiver on the bare wooden floor, the poor dears.

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2010: *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.”
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.

11/28/11 – Monday

by @ Monday, November 28th, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life


Here’s a teaser for those of you who have read (and liked) Fred’s writing. He put his latest novel on hold to write this longer-than-a-short-story-shorter-than-a-novella piece of fiction about the holes (longtime readers will remember the holes.). He’s classified it as a horror story, and from what I’ve read, I agree.

He’s going to release it later this week, hopefully, and it will be available for the Kindle, the Nook, and just about every other reader out there at a cost of 99 cents.

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Time to let me know if you want a holiday postcard! (And yes, of course I’m happy to send cards to other countries!) Send your name and mailing address to hollydays@gmail.com .

I’ll take names and addresses until December 20th.

If you’d like to send me a card as well (never ever required, but always appreciated – I don’t keep track of who does and doesn’t send a card, I promise!), send it to: Robyn Anderson, PO Box 461, Athens, AL 35612 USA.

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I know we’re running full-tilt into the holiday season and a lot of people are tight for cash, but there are a couple of sweet kitties who could sure use your help if you have a little to donate.

The first kitty is one who was found half-dead in a gutter and rescued by a good samaritan. When the vet examined this sweet guy, he found that the cat was microchipped. When the owners were called, they reported that the cat was “acting sick,” so they put him outside. What is WRONG with people?! He’s currently being cared for by City Kitties in West Philadelphia. You can see pictures of him here.

The second kitty is Lily. She was found Thanksgiving weekend, dumped off in the country. There was an injury to one of her legs, and a trip to the vet showed that the injury was caused by Lily being SHOT. Again, I say to y’all: What is WRONG with people?! Her leg is full of shrapnel and very well might need to be amputated. She’s not being cared for by a rescue, but by some people who have fallen in love with her and are planning to keep her. Her care will cost in the area of $2,000, so if you can help out (I always say it, you know it’s true – every little bit helps!), you can read more about Lily here, and about how to donate, here.

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In case you missed it, I posted a couple of short videos on Saturday, declaring it “Kitteh Video Saturday”, though probably I could have shortened it to “Video Caturday” and gotten the meaning across. I don’t know yet if it’s going to be a regular thing or not. I do have some video that I thought was gone forever in the Computer Crash of (Fall) 2011, but as it turns out, I had backed it up to Carbonite. So now I have to stitch the videos together and edit them (they’re of Snackin’ Time when all the Peppers were still here, and I was attempting to show how it was a complete madhouse, but also how well-trained the Peppers were, so it’s kind of long), so maybe I’ll post that next Saturday. Or maybe not. We shall see!

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I spent a good part of the weekend decluttering and organizing around here. It started Saturday, when I thought I’d clean out and straighten up the pantry. I figured that would take about 10 minutes, then I’d go take a nap on the couch. Two hours later, I was finally done, and I have to say that I did a kick-ass job. I also found out where the pantry flies were congregating (a couple of packages of tortillas) and got a bunch of stuff set aside for the chickens. I decided that it’s time to stop buying rice in bulk, because (1) we hardly ever eat rice and (2) there are TWO of us, and thus we don’t need that much pantry space devoted to rice.

I swear, it feels like I clean out the pantry at least every three months, and yet somehow I still find packages of food that are at least two years old and need to be tossed out.

Also on Saturday, Fred and I moved the dresser (which he doesn’t use) from his room to mine so that we could set up his desk in the cubby in his room (I’ll try to remember to take pictures at some point). This works out well because he doesn’t actually use that dresser; his clothes are in the closet and the dresser in the guest bedroom (he prefers the downstairs bathroom to shower in, and so it makes sense to keep his clothes down there), and so I get a second dresser to store some of my clothes – and my summer clothes – in. I had to move the little bookcase that was in my room into the hallway, though that kind of makes the hallway look crowded, so I may find another place for it.

The main reason we moved his desk into his room was so that in the evenings when he’s writing, I can watch TV if I want to. We only have one TV in the house (I KNOW, what kind of craziness is this?!), and his laptop was set up in the front room, which meant that if he was writing, I couldn’t watch TV. This way, he’s got privacy and won’t be disturbed (though the cats like to go up and visit with him while he’s writing) and I can watch TV to my heart’s content.

It started raining Saturday night and rained almost all day Sunday. The pond is starting to hold water (tune in Thursday for pictures from last week when we herded the ducks out to the pond so they could splash around, and being herded kind of terrified them), and I have hopes that by the end of the Winter, we’ll have a pond full of water. A girl can hope, right?

I decluttered the secretaire Fred’s mother passed on to us several years ago. I love it, but I tend to stick things in the drawers when I can’t think of where else to put it, so it gets cluttered and impossible to deal with. I expected it to take about ten minutes – and it did! I also cleared off the dresser in my room, and dusted the rest of the furniture upstairs. If I were really motivated, I would have dusted the entire house, but let us NOT get crazy, y’all.

Okay. That was my exciting weekend. I actually did NOT take naps on Saturday or Sunday, but I may have to make up for that later today. I sense some dozing in front of the TV in my future.

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Have I mentioned that Charlie Peppers enjoys a good snuggle with a big cat?

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Sugarbutt put up a leg to block the snuggle…

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But Charlie snuggled in there anyway. (Love the resigned look on Sugarbutt’s face.)

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Getting some grooming from Ellie-bellz (Elwood).

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And some snugglin’.

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Tommy loves to throw his leg over whoever tries to snuggle with him. If they truly want to snuggle, they’ll put up with it.

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“Halp. Cannot. Breathe.”

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After I made mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, Charlie tried to lick the bowl clean, while Alice fumed.

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And yes, sourpuss, you were correct in your comment. Teeny tiny Alice, who the vet told us would probably never get bigger than 7 pounds somehow morphed into a full-figured gal. We were scammed in this deal, y’all. TOTALLY. She does, however, still love Fred with a passion, and when we watch TV she climbs up on him and lays there like a big ol’ self-satisfied tick.

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Patty Peppers is more of a loner than her brother. She’ll play with the big cats – loves to chase their tails – but when it comes to sleeping, she prefers to go it alone.

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As a reminder, this is what sweet Miss Patty looked like two and a half months ago:

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She’s come a long way, baby.

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Sugarbutt, watching squirrels run around in the side yard.

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I love it when he sits up like this to get a better look (picture would be better without all the background clutter, but eh. Whatcha gonna do?)

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2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: That campaign’s not going to run itself, Jane!
2007: So I’ve signed up for Holidailies, and I’ll be updating every day in December.
2006: Go! Shop! Buy!
2005: “Well, GODDAMN,” I said. “NOT NOW, I won’t! I was GOING to, but now that I know you’d be sitting there all horrified about me reclining my seat in front of your parents, all worried that they’d be thinking ‘Good christ, look at her over there, so fucking LAZY she can’t expend the ENERGY to sit upright!’, I won’t! I wouldn’t DREAM of reclining on my OWN couch in my OWN home, I would HATE to embarrass you!”
2004: No entry.
2003: Fred’s sister nodded. “That’s what I figured.”
2002: I forgot that teenagers are, on the whole (though yours may be different, or at least pulling the wool over your eyes) bone idle.
2001: McAfee rocks.
2000: Recent purchases.
1999: I informed him that there was no way he was getting out of taking me to the emergency room for this.

11/26/11 – Kitteh Video Saturday!

by @ Saturday, November 26th, 2011. Filed under Fostering

Happy Kitteh Video Saturday!

(What? It is SO a thing!)

So, I found these videos on my hard drive and had to rush to upload them to YouTube because they’re so brilliant and entertaining. Or, y’know, kinda cute.

First, Molly Peppers before she went off to PetSmart and then to her forever home. I told y’all she was a lovebug; here’s proof. Have you ever seen a happier face?

And then Patty Peppers, playing with Tommy’s tail. These two certainly LOVE batting at the big cats’ tails.

Y’all have a good weekend!

11/25/11 – Friday

by @ Friday, November 25th, 2011. Filed under Life

Time to let me know if you want a holiday postcard! (And yes, of course I’m happy to send cards to other countries!) Send your name and mailing address to hollydays@gmail.com .

I’ll take names and addresses until December 20th.

If you’d like to send me a card as well (never ever required, but always appreciated – I don’t keep track of who does and doesn’t send a card, I promise!), send it to: Robyn Anderson, PO Box 461, Athens, AL 35612 USA.

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I share this picture of yours smugly (please ignore the desperately-needing-to-be-colored hair) so that Nance can be horrified at the size of my earrings, which I bought solely to horrify her (well also, I like them). I think for Christmas, I’ll just bedazzle a couple of kittens and hang them from my ears and call it done.

Okay, just a quick one. A few pictures from Thanksgiving Day, and then some pictures (with captions) from a reader who cracked me UP, and then I bid you adieu ’til Monday. Sound good?

We went to Fred’s sister’s house for Thanksgiving. Their Dad and stepmother were there, too, as well as Fred’s nephew, who’s in his 20s. We got there around 10:30, and were home by a little after 2. We would have stayed later, but we were seriously ready to fall asleep after dinner.

Fred’s sister has two little long-hair dachshunds who are super cute, but all kinds of wiggly and it was hard to get a decent picture of them. The bigger of the two was pretty amorous and apparently really liked my leg. Like, seriously. I think my leg is engaged.

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“Hallo, leg. You sure are lookin’ nice today.”

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“I’m the good one.”

It would have been more annoying if the amorous dog was a Great Pyr or some other large breed (no, George doesn’t do that. He’s a gentleman!), but in this case I was able to just kind of push Amorous Andy off me with very little effort.

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I didn’t get a picture of the table before we ate, but I did get a shot of the coconut cake! It was quite tasty indeed.

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“Leg humpin’ is exhausting work.”

Then we came home and did this for a couple of hours (which is what Thanksgiving afternoon is FOR, after all) :


and that was our Thanksgiving, in a nutshell.

It is my plan to not step one single toe into a store until sometime next week. You loons who are hitting the Black Friday sales today, good luck to you.

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I got an email from reader Robin the other day that cracked me up.

Read your blog every day . . . you make me howl!

But since I’ve been reading you blog we’ve added 3 cats ! Which takes us up to a grand total of 6! I know, I know . . . only half of what you have but dang!

So . . . . with that being said . . . last month we travelled to NC to watch our daughter ride. (she is in college and competes on the western team). I called her one last time to see if has remembered anything else she forgot and wants us to bring. After a couple minutes of chit chat, I ask the question and her response . . .two words . . . cat carrier. My thoughts . . . . FUCKME. I say nothing to her dad . . the less said the better. Cat carrier makes it to the truck and he says ” what’s that for?”, i say “what’s what for?”, he says “the cat carrier”, i say “what???” He’s not dumb, we’ve been doing this dance for 25 years and he knows. In one last feeble attempt he says “we’re not keeping it . . . . right?”, I say “right”. AHAHAHAHAHAHA

My plan was to have it vetted and hand it off to our friends a few farms down for their barn. It’s been six weeks and we are the proud owners of Dr. Perry Cox, TM (trouble maker) Light of my life, pain in my ass, cock bird to our hen house! He’s not going anywhere, I’ve nursed him back to health and I think the boys like the extra testosterone (even though they won’t admit it) that is currently coursing through the sea of estrogen that is our house . . .

Below are a couple pictures of Dr. Cox . . . thought you might enjoy.

Dr. Cox reading the latest medical journal.

Dr. Cox ” ass detective ”

“this patient needs more milk”

Dr. Cox after a long night in the ER

no words necessary


Dr. Perry Cox, if the name doesn’t ring a bell, was the Scrubs character played by John C. McGinley. I loved that show – at least until the last couple of years, when the entire cast left.

Thanks for sharing, Robin!

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Lest you forget the beauty of young mister Corbie:

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(Ahem, Andrea, you’ll note that Corbie fits nicely in a medium flat-rate box. Which leads one to believe that Charlie would fit nicely and there would even be room for a tiny litter box and maybe some food! Just saying.)

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Corbie senses a disturbance in the box-force.

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I don’t know what was going on over there, but it caught both their attention.

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Silly Corbs.

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2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Unhappy because I hadn’t found any curtains, I actually texted “Curtains, Huntsville, Alabama” to Google, who texted me back, in essence, “Wtf?”
2007: I am vowing to be more organized in 2008.
2006: No entry.
2005: All I can guess is that with the holiday season coming on, our defenses are low, and we go a little crazy with the kitten love.
2004: No entry.
2003: I think our kitchen is cursed.
2002: Me, behind the wheel of a minivan? Watch out, Nashville!
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: So, I got a kitten.

11/24/11 – Thanksgiving!

by @ Thursday, November 24th, 2011. Filed under Life

“Happy. Freakin’. Thanksgiving.”

(Yeah, yeah, it’s a chicken hat, not a turkey hat. It was the only poultry hat we had on hand. Ya do what ya can with what you’ve got.)

See you on Monday, wherein we begin the regular, normal posting schedule again. Have a good weekend!

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PS: Time to let me know if you want a holiday postcard! (And yes, of course I’m happy to send cards to other countries!) Send your name and mailing address to hollydays@gmail.com .

I’ll take names and addresses until December 20th.

If you’d like to send me a card as well (never ever required, but always appreciated – I don’t keep track of who does and doesn’t send a card, I promise!), send it to: Robyn Anderson, PO Box 461, Athens, AL 35612 USA.

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2010: Have you ever seen a happier cat?
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.

11/23/11 – Kitteh Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life


©Forgotten Felines

“I need a name!”

Forgotten Felines is having a raffle to name this sweet boy – $5 buys you one chance, and you can buy as many chances as you’d like. Go here to read about him, and enter the raffle to name him!

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I dropped Everett off bright and early yesterday morning. He was NOT a happy boy on the way to Petsmart, and he let me know repeatedly and at top volume just how not happy he was. When we got there, I let him out, and I let Lucy out to run around, so they could get reacquainted while I gave Harlan and Sally some snuggles. When I put Lucy and Everett back in the cage together, Everett was a bit hissy, but Lucy was pretty unfazed. I left a note on the cage asking the cleaners to give Everett some extra love, and left. When I came back a few hours later (I ran errands to Sam’s Club and Target since I was in the area), Everett was curled up in the bed, and Lucy was asleep nearby. I think he’ll be fine.

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Charlie Peppers….

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..is one stressed out boy.

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And he’s not the only one around here. It’s a total stressapalooza around here these days. (That’s Corbie’s delightfully spotted caramel belleh, in case you didn’t know.)

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I love how everyone else is finishing up their snack and checking to see if anyone else left some food behind, and Corbie’s all “I’ll be in my box.”

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“Sitting in boxes is the ONE THING I do for ME. All day long I do and do and DO for everyone else. I need some CORBIE time!”

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Same box, different day. Note that Jake has his loony butt crammed into a tiny, flat box. Somehow, he makes it work.

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Then Miz Poo and Patty Peppers had to come in and investigate, and Joe Bob stomped off in a huff.

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Tommy and Chuckles get along quite well, thank you. Have you ever seen a happier little face?

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2010: 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.
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.

11/22/11 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life

Forgotten Felines is having a “Name that Cat!” raffle – go on over, read about the sweet (not) feral they rescued, and for $5 you can enter to name that cat!

I know how much y’all love to name cats, so here’s your chance to name that sweet boy!

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Sherry reminded me in yesterday’s comments that I haven’t followed up on the Cat’s Pride Fresh and Light litter that I was trying out. It’s been, what, two or three weeks now? Something like that, and I have to say that I’m pretty impressed – not only is the litter low-dust, it also clumps well, and at this point, the litter box full of Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light still doesn’t stink.

I like all of those attributes of the litter, of course, and I also like the bonus feature, which is that it’s a lighter litter. While 20 pounds of litter is, of course, going to weigh 20 pounds*, a container of Cat’s Pride F&L that is the same size as a container of Fresh Step weighs less, but seems to last the same amount of time as far as I can tell. And my back likes having less weight to lift when it comes to the 40 bazillion containers of litter we use every month. (I know your next question is “How much litter DO you go through in a month, crazy lady?” and I have no idea. I’m not sure if I WANT to know, but I’ll see if I can’t manage to keep track through the month of December and get back to you on that.)

I don’t know what the secret ingredient is that makes the F&L do such a good job of holding down the stank (“Holdin’ Down the Stank” would be an excellent title for a country song), but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s probably activated carbon. The litter’s a bit darker than some other litters I’ve tried, and activated carbon holds down the stank fairly well, or so I’ve heard. It might be something else entirely, but that’s my guess.

So in conclusion, I’m planning to stick with the Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light. It’s a decent price, I can get it at Walmart (it’s not available at Publix just yet, but they carry other kinds of Cat’s Pride, so I expect the F&L will get there soon enough), and it works really well. I’ll supplement it with Cat Attract litter, and hopefully the cats won’t have an issue with it (the litter box with F&L in it certainly gets plenty of use!)

Edited to add: The Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light I tried and am recommending is the Fragrance-Free version. They also make a scented multi-cat version, but the problem with that is that (a) it’s scented and (b) I’ve read online that it doesn’t clump as well.

*I once belonged to a weight-loss mailing list, and there was this woman who was INSISTENT that 5 pounds of muscle weighs less than 5 pounds of fat. Which it DOES NOT – five pounds is five pounds, whether it’s five pounds of lead or five pounds of feathers or five pounds of marshmallows. FIVE POUNDS IS FIVE POUNDS. When I told her that I was pretty sure she meant that five pounds of muscle takes up less space than five pounds of fat, she called me an idiot and told me I didn’t know what I was talking about. It’s probably been seven years – if not more – since that happened, and I still kind of want to track her down and pop her in the face for being such a dumbass. Lucky for her I’M A LAYDEE.

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I got an email from Cheryl, who asked:

I hope to solicit your cat wisdom. My husband and I have recently taken in an abandoned cat who had been living outside for about a month. She is a very timid little thing, but we are gradually making headway and she is learning to expect lots of love and belly rubs from us. However, as she was outside before we took her in (she had belonged to our next-door-neighbours and was outside a lot), she is starting to get very restless and begging to go back outside. We would rather that she remain an inside cat. We are pretty sure she would bolt if she got outside, and the yard is patrolled by her sworn enemies: the cats who live in the suite upstairs from us. We are concerned that the territory dispute would prevent her from recognizing our door as hers, and just bring discord to the established household.

This brings me to my question; do you have any ideas for making an outside cat more content to be an inside cat? She is about 3 years old, and probably needs a lot more to do than our 600 square foot home can easily give her. I have a Feliway plug in the house, but she still really wants to get out and go adventuring.

Does she have any place to climb? Cats really like vertical space, and the higher they can get, the happier they are. I’d recommend a tall cat tree, or a set of shelves with a platform that she can climb up to. Even a bookcase that has a chair next to it, so that she could jump up on top of the bookcase from the chair might work.

Also, if you don’t have a set play time with her every day, I’d suggest giving it a try for 15 minutes or half an hour (depending on her energy level). Use a laser light or a feather teaser or something similar to get her running and jumping and working off some of that energy.

One suggestion that I’m going to throw out there (though I’m sure that you’ve thought of it – and also, may not have room for it!) is adopting another cat so that she’ll have someone to play with, chase around, and cuddle with. Cats tend to be social creatures and that could stave off the boredom for her.

Mostly, I think what it’s going to take is time. Cats who have been outdoors have a tough time transitioning to being indoor-only cats, but it can be done, just hang in there with it.

If you guys have suggestions other than the ones I came up with, please feel free to share them!

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Do you remember Bill? Of course you do! He was one of the True Blood 6 (the litter that brought a LOT of new people to Love & Hisses). He looked like this:

2009-08-11 Bill



He was such a sweet boy (of course, all the True Bloods were, but Bill with his sweet, quiet ways just completely made us fall in love with him), and I was pleased to hear that he’d been adopted. I was even MORE pleased to hear that he’d been adopted by someone who was willing to update me regularly on how he and his sister Izzy are doing! I got an update email from Ann last week, and she said:

I am sitting down this afternoon to send you photos and update you on our WONDERFUL TWO YEARS with Bill… The official date is tomorrow but I’m starting early for his celebration!

He is definitely a happy cat! Although he still hasn’t yet won big sister Izzy over with his cuteness, most days they hang out in peace with a few hisses coming from Izzy. Just not snuggled up together. Occasionally they will both occupy the same piece of furniture – the bed or couch. But mostly, Izzy just puts up with him. He keeps trying to win her over though. He’s an eternal optimist!

He loves to bird watch. Chase the little fishie toys (I’ve bought about 30 but can only find 7 right now!). Climb the cat tree. Run thru the house at 90mph. Snuggle with momma. Snooze in the sunbeams. Beg for bacon, cupcakes, waffles, ham, and turkey. Loves to come get in ‘cave’ – when I’m on the couch with a blanket he will want under it to snuggle up and sleep! And he makes us smile with his antics.

Now for some photos:

Thank you again for raising such a good kitty!

Ann & BillCat

Thank YOU for the update, Ann! I can’t believe it’s been two years – it seems like it was just yesterday the True Bloods were running around freaking me out and making me worry that they were going to hurt their eyes after surgery. I’m so glad that that litter all found happy, loving homes!

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Everett is off to PetSmart in a little while (when I take the kittens to PetSmart, I try to get there very early so that the kittens have time to get adjusted before adoption hours start. Everett will probably need a little time to get reacquainted with Lucy, too, with whom he’ll be sharing a cage.). We are going to miss having him around, because he’s the sweetest, most laid-back kitten. He’s just an awesome cat, and he supports my theory that all black cats are completely amazing!

I’m sure that Patty and Charlie will miss him, too, they love following him around and harassing him and playing with him. I’ve ordered Lisa (who’ll be doing adoptions tonight and Friday) to get those Peppers adopted STAT.

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Poor Tommy. These little cats just can’t get enough of grabbing at his tail.

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Then Everett’s all “LET ME SNIFF YOUR PAW.”

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Chuckles. PLEASE. Am I going to have to get you a valium? Calm DOWN.

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Corbie’s all “That’s MY spot for chillin’.”

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Patty’s on the other couch, hanging out with Everett.

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“Lady, why you all up in my face?”

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Because you’re so CUTE, Miss Patty!

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“That’s right, I AM! And don’t you forget it!”

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Check out the big ol’ rabbit foot Charlie’s sporting.

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All kidding aside, our boy Charlie? A very, very hard sleeper. I don’t think a nuclear bomb going off would budge this boy when he’s snoozing.

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Snackin’ Time! There are 13 cats in this picture, click on the picture to go over to Flickr and see them all if you can’t see ’em here. The Peppers get to take part in Snackin’! Time! with the big cats. It’s a lot less hissy and smacky than you’d think.

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Stinkerbelle used to take her snack on top of the refrigerator. She’s gotten bolder, though, and now she takes it down on the counter. I have no illusions that we’ll ever give her her snack on the floor, but this is an improvement. She seems to get bolder when the days get shorter, for some reason.

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Newt fits pretty well in that basket, no?

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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.
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.

11/21/11 – Monday

by @ Monday, November 21st, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life

I finally got my new computer Friday (I don’t know why I thought it would be here Thursday – Amazon is amazing, but even they aren’t going to get my new computer to me in a day and a half, Prime membership or no), and I spent the weekend installing stuff I needed to install and beginning the long and arduous process of restoring stuff from my Carbonite backup.

It’s a pain to do all that, but my new computer runs a lot faster than the previous one, so it’s worth it.

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You clean up real nice!

I know, right? Hee! Y’all are very good for my ego, you know that? Thank you!

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Let us know how you like the Kindle Fire! I was thinking of getting one. Does it do everything a netbook does? I am assuming you get on line the same way in free wifi areas or your house wifi?

I’ve messed with the Kindle Fire a little bit, and while I like it a lot, I wouldn’t say that it’s a replacement for a netbook. For one, trying to type out an entry on that on-screen keyboard would drive me mad. For another, I find the games in the app store sadly lacking – no Snood, no Bookworm. I haven’t spent all that much time messing with it (the weekend was spent trying to get everything I needed installed on my desktop and getting all my documents and pictures restored), but so far I like it. I expect that I’ll use it mostly to watch TV shows (I’ve had a Prime Membership since about 10 seconds after they became available), catch up on my blog reading, and read books. I’ll try to remember to report back in a couple of weeks.

I will have to say that I really, really like the size. When I had the iPad, I felt like it was too big. I told Fred that what I really wanted was something bigger than my iPod Touch, but smaller than the iPad. The Kindle is the perfect size for me.

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Was the kitten mentioned in “This date in 1999” Ms. Poo?

Yes, it was this time in 1999 when I first set eyes on Miz Poo, harassed Fred into agreeing to let me get her, decided I didn’t need to bring another kitten into the house (ha ha HA), then a couple of weeks later – the day before Thanksgiving – I took the spud out to lunch, and we decided to go visit the cats. To my utter shock, when I walked through the door Miz Poo (I think her name was “Tea”) was not only still there, she saw me and started howling at the top of her lungs. And that was all she wrote – she was ours. Well, mine.

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Why didn’t you tell me that Plain-Jane started blogging again!

Because I like to keep all the good things to myself? I don’t know why I didn’t mention it – I think I just assume that y’all read blogs via Google Reader like I do, so when she started blogging again, it popped up in my (your) reader and you already knew about it.

In case you don’t, in fact, use Google Reader (or one of the 3,000 other readers out there) – Jane is blogging again! Yay!

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By any chance at all is that sweater from Kohls? It looks EXACTLY like one I bought recently.

I do about 75% of my clothes shopping at Kohl’s (the other 25% is split between airport gift shops, Walmart, and shopping whilst on vacation), so yes – that sweater totally came from Kohl’s. (I am really very peeved at myself right now, though, because I HAD a large number of really nice sweaters, and I cannot find them anywhere. I’m guessing that I bagged them up to store them in the garage and accidentally thought they were to be donated at some point in the last year, and so donated them somewhere. I’m planning to check out the sweaters at the horribly-named Dress Barn later this week to find something to wear to Thanksgiving dinner.)

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(I’ll admit I did not know who TERESA GIUDICE was. When you said she was your BFF I was like: “Why haven’t I heard of this woman before! I’ve read Bitchypoo since 2005 and even went back to the beginning and read every day since 1999. I thought I knew Bitchypoo!” Huff. But then I realized that your relationship with TERESA GIUDICE is like a delicate flower, that should be sheltered from the wind. Thank you for sharing it with us.)

Thank you for understanding. 😉


So, you have to tell me, is her hair real??? Her part looks to be an inch away from her scalp. We won’t bring up the lack of forehead.

I will tell you that to ME her hair looked real. I’m not a good judge of that sort of thing – it has to be really super over-the-top fake for me to even suspect that your hair isn’t real, and even then I might think that your hair is just weird rather than not being real. In person it looked real to me, and I didn’t actually notice the part, and as for the low hairline – it’s not as noticeable in person. Or maybe I was just too “OMG, (IN)FAMOUS PERSON, LOL!” to notice.

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I feel like a dork – but it’s kind of weird seeing you out with other people. Like out and about IN PUBLIC. Your pics are usually just you. You like so much younger in these pictures than in any others. You should go out in public more often. 🙂

Are you trying to say that it’s almost like I’m a real person and not an imaginary figment of the internet and PhotoShop? 🙂

(I should totally go out in public more often!)

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It’s AWESOME that you attended this event. Was it about cancer in general or breast cancer?

It was cancer in general.

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My Kindle Fire shipped today!! Woooooo! But I have to wait ’til Christmas to get it *harumph* (I’m making my mom wait ’til Christmas to have her new Kindle, so I guess it’s only fair *pout*). And honestly? The ability to watch TV shows on it through Amazon Prime and Netflix is one of the #1 reasons I’m getting it. I *want* to be able to be lazy in bed and watch episode after episode of 30 Rock.

I have a piece of advice for you – the returns policy on Kindle Fire (as far as I can determine) is 30 days. When I realized that, I told the spud I was going to send hers out to her today, because what if she gets it, hates it, and then can’t return it? That would suck! So, sure, she won’t have it to open on Christmas day, but I’ve got a few other things to send her, so she’ll still have something (aside from what she gets from everyone else, of course).

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Serious “climbing on my soapbox” moment here…

Re: heating pads. Having seen a number of cats over the years at the vet office who had burns, please be aware that older kitties and human heating pads DO NOT MIX. Never ever use a human heating pad with aging cats, or kittens so small they cannot move. Get a pad made especially for senior kitties, it MUST have a temperature LIMIT. Older kitties’ nerve endings aren’t as sensitive, and won’t notice that the heating pad is too hot. They will get burns. Last one treated was 50% burnt (all fur gone, massive bloody burns) from head to toe – one whole side of her body, so so so very painful and horrific. Please don’t let that happen to kitties! (Not you specifically, Oh Miss Provider of Corbie Photos, “you” as in “anyone reading this” heh) And I feel so strongly about this because of having had to deal, multiple times, with kitties who were seriously damaged by human heating pads.

Always use temperature-limited cat-specific heating pads.

And if any wires get cracked, or the plug starts falling apart, or it’s damaged in any major way, please remove it from use. I’ve seen damage from “oh it’s just one crack in the heating wire, big deal”, too. SIGH.

Thank you, Foo – I had never considered the dangers of heating pads on older (ie, MIZ POO) cats. I have enough small cat-specific warming pads that I haven’t used heating pads in a couple of years, luckily.

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So, would you recommend the cook books and if you only could get one, which would it be?

I’ve only leafed through them a few times, haven’t taken the time to seriously sit down and read them, but that said, if I could only get one, it would probably be Skinny Italian just because the recipes looked more appealing to me. That could change on a dime, though, so take that opinion with a grain of salt!

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OMG, have you seen these? I love the Sand Box one!!!

LOVE it!!!

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I used “fluff” instead of “fart” when TJ was little, mostly because he had an unstoppable need to yell at the top of his lungs, “MOMMY, I [whatever bodily function had just occurred] JUST NOW” in public, and he was a gassy little thing. A friend of mine said that her family had used “fluff” for as long as she could remember for exactly that purpose. Anyway, when he was about 3 we (me, him, and my parents) went out to breakfast one day and had a waitress who was trying to engage with TJ. He wanted pancakes, and she kept assuring him that he would really enjoy his delicious, fluffy pancakes. He wound up in tears, convinced that they were going to fart all over his food.

HEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Elayne, have I perhaps mentioned that you make me laugh out loud at least once a week?

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Being the crazy cat ladies that we are, we are interested in getting shelving like yours for the kitties. We currently have the tall cat condo (as opposed to the middle or short sized ones of course) next to the ledge we discovered the girls like to climb upon. As you can see in this picture, it’s an awkward setup, for us. Plus, this condo is on it’s way out (limbs won’t tighten). So, barring the cats crashing each time they want up, what shelving would you recommend and/or where did you get yours? We want to put it on that wall all the way to the left there.

Jenn, when I originally read this (and responded to your comment via email), I thought you meant you were looking for shelving like ours – the “steps” up to the platforms in the kitchen and front room (and the platforms themselves) were made by Fred. But now I’m thinking that maybe you just meant that you were wondering where we got our cat trees? So I’ll tell you where we got our cat trees, and then I’ll tell you what I think you should do, and then I’ll let everyone else give you advice, too. Sound like a plan?

We’ve ordered almost all of our cat trees off of eBay. They’re inexpensive and they work out for a while, generally a couple of years, but as you’ve probably noticed, they eventually get kind of loose and shaky and can’t be tightened. I think we could make our own cat tree fairly easily (I’ve looked at other homemade cat trees online), but I can’t seem to get Fred interested in my schemes. The cat trees you buy in the pet stores (well, I can really only say PetSmart for sure, but I suspect it’s the same at Petco and Pet Depot, etc) are sturdier and last longer – but are oh-so-expensive. It’s a trade-off, really, you pay less for a decent cat tree, but it doesn’t last as long – so then you buy another cheap one, etc etc.

I have to say that the ledge between the dining room and kitchen? I LOVE it. I think it would be neat if there were a set of “steps” up that wall on the left that the cats could go up, and then across the ledge, then a smaller set of steps down the other side. Of course, I’m not sure if you actually want to attach anything to your wall or not, but that’s one thought. There are a lot of cat shelf options out there. I really like the look of the Cat Clouds shelves, though they are raaather expensive. You can poke around on Moderncat, too, they always have neat stuff to look at (again, kind of expensive, though).

Okay, this is where I throw it out to the rest of you – give Jenn advice on what YOU think she should do, and where she can get decent-looking shelving and/ or cat trees/ condos that look good but won’t break the bank!

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What do you do yourself or recommend another person doing in regards to keeping your cats teeth clean? Do you honestly brush every single cats teeth in your household daily (including fosters?) Because that is what my vet has recommended in the past that we do for our cat and I’m just thinking “shyah right lady, I’d like to keep my face intact thank-you very much!” Or do you just rely on having a yearly professional teeth cleaning done for each cat? (I know they offer a free one with some pet insurance plans) I’m just curious what tips you have if any about this because I know that a cats dental health has a huge effect on how long they live and their quality of life. I have two cats and I just lost my 14yo cat this past Tuesday from an illness that blossomed from poor dental health that we were unfortunately unable to remedy before it was too late (we adopted her as an adult cat and by then the damage had apparently already been done) I’m worried for my other cat Thanks for any suggestions you or your readers may have for me 🙂

We rely on the yearly cleaning by the vet, because honestly if we were to brush our cats’ teeth every night (assuming they’d let us do that, and I can guarantee that old man Spanky would lose his MIND if we tried to brush his teeth), we’d be doing nothing but brushing cats’ teeth from dinner time to bed time. I’ve never brushed a cat’s teeth, and I don’t plan to start.

However, I’m throwing this out there – anyone got advice for how to keep your cat’s teeth clean? Leave it in the comments, and thank you!

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In case you missed it over at the Love & Hisses Facebook page, Molly got adopted this weekend! Yay!

She’s going to a home with two older Challenger’s House cats (neither of whom were my fosters), and a five year old boy who was apparently quite taken with sweet miss Molly Peppers. I am so glad to hear that she’s going to have her very own servant to love her and snuggle with her and obey her every demand!

This means that (I think – I haven’t heard back from the shelter manager yet to be sure) Everett will most likely be going to Petsmart tomorrow to take Molly’s place and be reacquainted with Harlan, Sally, and Lucy.

Adoptions have been slow lately, which I suspect is due to the upcoming holiday. Maybe once Thanksgiving is over adoptions will pick up.

Maybe this “Black Friday” will be a lucky Friday for the remaining Peppers!

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Chuckles loves him some Tommy.

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…the feeling…

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… is mutual!

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Charlie spent all day Friday snoozing on this grocery bag. He loves Publix as much as I do, clearly.

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Everett (and in the background, Spanky), after snack time.

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I note that that little stub of a white whisker on the left isn’t growing back in any too quickly.

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Tandem slurping.

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Alice was MINDING HER OWN BUSINESS in the cat bed (one of many) on the table, and Fred put Charlie in there with her. She fumed for a moment, then turned and gave him A LOOK.

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“What’s HER problem?”

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I’m pretty sure this picture is slated to be the October picture for next year’s Love & Hisses calendar.

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I actually bought this bed/ basket to put in the foster room. Laurie‘s always posting pictures of her fosters in this type of basket, and I love seeing them. Also, I had one similar to this several years ago, but eventually the kittens ripped a hole in the bottom and I lacked the skills to sew it back together, so out it went.

However, before I could get it upstairs to the foster room, it had to sit on the table for a couple of days (everything does ’til I get around to putting it away.) and in that time our two biggest cats, Elwood and Tommy, took turns sleeping in it. (That’s Elwood above.)

I’m thinking maybe I need to just buy another basket.

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2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: So I am peeved at you, Australians, and the only way I can see forgiving you this breach of friendship is if you send me a year’s supply of Tim Tams, immediately.
2007: Go, Super Shopper, go!
2006: Right. Because six is perfectly normal, but SEVEN would be lunacy.
2005: Every time I contemplate reading those books, I get a “Good god, I DON’T WANNA!” sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, which to me is a sign that, y’know, I DON’T WANNA and YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: Fuck him, too.
2001: It don’t get any better than that, nosir.
2000: I see enough nasty stuff in my life.
1999: No entry.

11/17/11 – Thursday

by @ Thursday, November 17th, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life, vacation

My new computer will be here later today. Thank god, because while I’ve never had any problems using my netbook to post entries while I’m on vacation, using it here at my desk is working my last nerve. The screen is just so TINY!

So I’m going to put up a post here (obviously), but I’m taking tomorrow off so that I can get my new computer up and running over the weekend and hopefully get back to normal posting on Monday.

PS: My Kindle Fire was waiting for me when I got home last night! I haven’t had the time (or rather, I should say I haven’t taken the time) to do anything other than plug it in to charge. That’s another thing I want to do over the weekend!

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My Life on the A* List.
*Or possibly the Z List. Or no List at all. Shush.

A month or so ago, Nance sent me an email with a link to this Knock Out Cancer event where Teresa Giudice (she is a Real Housewife of NJ, for those of you who don’t watch the more intellectual reality shows) was going to be appearing. Shirley’s 71st birthday was coming up, and Nance wanted to give her tickets to it, and she also wanted me to come up and go with them.

Since I haven’t been to Pennsylvania in over a year, I jumped on that immediately, and I probably had my tickets bought about 30 seconds after I got the email (okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one). I told Nance I couldn’t come up for long – just a couple of days – but that I’d definitely be there. I figured we’d stroll around the mall, people-watch, and perhaps catch a glimpse of Teresa.


Unbeknownst to me, Nance hadn’t got the plain old tickets – she got the VIP tickets for Shirley and I both, which meant we were going to MEET Teresa, up close and in person.

(Nance herself, though, had NO desire to meet Teresa. She was happy to admire her from a distance and see the pictures!)

Nance told me she had a surprise for me the night I arrived, and after they picked me up from the airport, she told me we were going to have an Italian meal consisting exclusively of recipes from Teresa’s cookbooks, Skinny Italian and Fabulicious. We had Cavatelli, some terribly delicious sauce I can never remember the name of, Bruschetta, and the most fabulous olive oil dipping sauce. The Fabellini isn’t out yet, so we had a Raspberry Sparkletini substitute. It was my first alcohol in like six years, and one glass (5% alcohol!!!) was enough to make me slightly buzzed and make my lips numb. (When it wore off, I had a second glass! And in fact, had some in orange juice the next morning. I have to admit, I’ve never ever liked wine, but that stuff was pretty good. Not that I’ll go rushing out to buy it, but if there was some around, I’d probably have some every now and then.)

My favorite part of the meal (here’s a shocker) was dessert, which was (were?) Holy Cannoli cupcakes – and they were SO good. I’m really not much of a fan of cannoli, but these cupcakes were really really good, and I plan to make them myself soon so that Fred can give them a try.

We also tried BLK Water, and I have to say: that stuff was NASTY. At first it tasted like stale water, and then there was a metallic aftertaste. DO NOT recommend.

Felina and the netbook sharing space on my lap. I’m biting my nails and listening to Nance. I spend way too much time touching my face, I’ve decided.

We were up super late (I honestly don’t think that I went to bed before 1:30 the entire time I was there – and considering that I’m usually conked out by 10, that was seriously late for me!) and then the next morning after we all finally got up, we had a fabulous brunch (waffles, eggs, bacon, fried taters, and ORANGE WEDGES (Shirley!))

Then it was time to get ready, and Nance tried to show me how to pose like a Real Housewife, but I perhaps don’t have that particular skill down just yet.

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Ya don’t really see them staring at the ceiling all that much, do you? Perhaps that should be my signature pose.

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Check out that big wad of gum. Klassy, I am.

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Far too amused by myself.

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Seriously cracking myself up.

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Nance in the mirror.

Nance does animal hair patrol on Shirley.

When we were ready, we headed out. Due to some miscommunication, we arrived really early, and settled down in Starbucks to watch the registration desk whilst sipping Starbucks drinks.

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The instant we saw someone check in at the registration desk, we were over there like a shot to check in ourselves. We handed over our tickets, Shirley and I got our VIP passes, and then we walked down the mall and were told to wait in front of Larrimor’s. We were the first VIPs to show up, and we kept looking into the store, figuring they had her hidden in the back somewhere.

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Eventually more VIPs showed up, and we waited and waited. And waited.

(Teresa Guidice is known for being late, so to have expected her to be there exactly at 6 was maybe dumb on our part.)

They finally let us into the store and pointed us toward some food and said she was on her way. We chit-chatted with the other VIPs (who were all very nice, and a couple of them were REALLY funny). After I don’t know how long, maybe half an hour, during which we were getting updates from the store manager (she was driving rather than flying, she had to be back in New York the next day, Juicy Joe was with her (which turned out not to be true)), all of a sudden the atmosphere in the store changed.

Teresa walked in, greeted us all, and started talking to and posing for pictures with whoever approached her. Though Shirley and I had been at the very front of the line, we were at the back of the store when she walked in (we weren’t sure whether she’d be coming in the front or through the back), so we were nowhere near the first to talk to her.

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When we finally got to the front of the line, I said “Hi! I came from Alabama to meet you!”, which in retrospect makes me sound like a superfan or something, when the truth is that I would probably have flown up to meet just about anyone; flying up to attend this thing was just an excuse to hang out with Nance, really.

Anyway, I said that to Teresa and she GAVE ME A HUG, which I wasn’t expecting. Then Shirley said “Oh, I see, she gets a hug because she came from Alabama!” and Teresa hugged her, too!

We got to stand there and talk to her for longer than I would have expected, and Shirley and I had her sign our cookbooks.

Side note: we were apparently the only VIPs who’d thought to bring our own cookbooks (I didn’t actually own them until about a week before I flew to Pennsylvania; I got them through Amazon specifically to bring with me), and the other VIPs were all “Ugh! Why didn’t WE think of that!”

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Truly, I need to practice my posing-for-pictures smile in the mirror a little more.

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If you watch RHoNJ, you’ll recognize this expression. I don’t remember what she was talking about, but she was excited about it!

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I can tell you that she was really nice, and very warm. She openly answered the nosy questions that people asked (her father just got out of the hospital; he gets pneumonia a lot. She hasn’t seen Melissa since the reunion. She doesn’t talk to Kathy. She laughed when someone said they were “Team Teresa” and again when someone called Caroline “A pain in the ass.” She summed up the whole Joey/ Melissa/ Kathy thing by saying “Family is hard.”), which surprised me – but then, I’m sure she gets asked those questions a LOT. I’m sure she does a lot of personal appearances, and it’s not like I was going to tell you that someone made her mad and she flipped a table or anything, after all, you know?

It was definitely a fun experience, and I’d do it again.

After we posed for pictures and had our books signed, Shirley and I headed out to look for Nance and Rick, who were walking around the mall seeing the sights. We looked around a little, checked out a few stores, and then decided we were hungry and it was time to go.

We didn’t realize until the next day that Teresa had actually had a question and answer session later in another part of the mall. If we’d known, we would have attended. My only gripe about the whole thing is that it wasn’t quite as organized as it should have been.

But really, I have no complaints. I got to rub shoulders with a reality star (YOU KNOW YOU’RE JEALOUS), I got to hang out with friends, and I didn’t have to scoop a single litter box while I was visiting.

In my book, that adds up to an A+ vacation!

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Anarchy is reigning here at Crooked Acres. Since Fred sleeps with his bedroom door closed, when I go on vacation and there are only a few fosters present, he usually lets them have the run of the house during the night as well as during the day. He did that while I was in Pennsylvania, and when I got back I decided to let Charlie, Patty, and Everett stay out overnight and see how it went.

It went pretty well, actually. The three of them go a little crazy at bedtime, but they settle down pretty quickly, and though Everett came to visit a couple of times during the night, I slept okay. So out they’ll stay ’til they toddle off to Petsmart (whenever that is – STILL no Peppers adoptions, grrr.)

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Everett and Charlie snoozing. You can see Everett’s faint stripes.

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Chuckles, annoyed.

Everett and the white whisker.

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Charlie’s wondering why Everett gets his own bed, while Charlie and Spanky have to share.

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I like how they’re using the bed liner as a divider so they don’t (horrors!) touch.

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2010: “She doesn’t love you,” Fred would tell Coltrane sadly before he closed the door.
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.

[Bitchypoo is peeing-her-pants excited to be powered by WordPress.]