Archive for January, 2012

1/31/12 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, January 31st, 2012. Filed under Fostering, Life

Yesterday I had an appointment with my primary care physician. I have to see her every six months, I have blood drawn the week before I see her and we discuss the results and if I have any other issues, I bring them up at that point.

This time around, my blood work was fine, though my B12 is low (it’s in the normal range, but lower than it should be considering that I take a supplement regularly). I got a prescription for intranasal B12, and she’ll recheck my levels again in six months. My cholesterol is excellent, yay!

The main reason I was looking forward to seeing her this time around, though, was because my left shoulder’s been hurting. I honestly don’t know when it started, but I believe it was some time after I had surgery in October. It doesn’t constantly hurt, and it doesn’t affect my day to day life, but I can’t reach very far over my head without pain and if I reach out to the side at a certain angle, it hurts like a motherfucker.

So she sent me for an X-ray (remember the days when getting your shoulder X-rayed meant a trip to a special place? Now they do it RIGHT in the office, and that is just way too freakin’ cool. Hell, my doctor’s office actually has their own lab, too.) and there were no signs of bone spurs (which was my fear) and no signs of arthritis. She poked around at my arm and determined that it was a soft tissue/ tendon issue. Then she had me move my arms around like a goober (well, she wasn’t all “Be a goober!” because that’s my default state, of course) and she said that the limitations on that arm were significant enough that she’d recommend a trip to the physical therapist.

They made an appointment for me with a physical therapy center for Wednesday, and off I went with my prescriptions and stuff. I stopped and dropped my prescriptions off at the pharmacy, and by the time I got home – 15 minutes after I left the doctor’s office – I had a message waiting for me from the physical therapy place asking me to call. As it turned out, they needed to change my appointment to this afternoon instead of tomorrow, which works just fine for me. I’d like to get this painful shoulder nonsense done and over with, please.

Speaking of the pharmacy, they put a pharmacy in right down the road from our house. In fact, I could step out on the front porch and see it from there. It’s right next to the dollar store, and while I never would have expected a pharmacy to open up in our tiny town, I’m glad that it did. The pharmacy I’ve been using, which I will not mention the name of but it’s located in my favorite grocery store, employs this BOY that I don’t like. He’s jokey and weird and I always want to smack him right upside the head because he thinks he’s HI-larious and he MUMBLES (oh, shut your face, I know I’m old and probably going deaf, but excuse me – YOU WORK WITH THE PUBLIC(X) AND I CANNOT BE THE ONLY OLD AND DEAF PERSON WHO VISITS YOUR PHARMACY, YOU FUCKING WHIPPERSNAPPER) and I just DO NOT LIKE HIM and so I am thrilled to have a pharmacy so close that is staffed by adults and that I can support a local business.

Now, if they’d just put in a pet store right across the street, I might never have to leave Smallville again.

PS: I adore my doctor. My only concern is that she and my gastroenterologist are both the same age as I am. Which is going to be interesting when we’re all 85 years old.

PPS: According to the informational flyer I got from my doctor about the intranasal B12, one of the signs of low B12 is “beefy red tongue.” I don’t know why, but that made me giggle. Then I said to Fred “Is my tongue beefy?” and he said “No, it’s just big-boned.” HA.

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Playing with the feather teaser in the hallway – and Miz Poo gets involved!

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And here comes Sugarbutt.

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Got it!

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Check out the fearsome claws.

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Sugarbutt gets involved. The look that Everett is giving Suggie cracks me up. It’s very “Hello…. NEWMAN.”

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I can’t stand how gorgeous Everett is.

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Sally gets involved.

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I wish Lucy had made it into this picture!

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Spanky would like to know just what it is you want.

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“I don’t know who keeps ripping up that scratcher, but it ain’t me.” Uh huh, sure it isn’t.

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2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: “Wouldn’t it just suck if I popped my contact out of my crazy zombie eye and my cornea popped off with it?!”
2007: Spring, where art thou?
2006: No entry.
2005: Hey, can you eat raw kale?
2004: No entry.
2003: My whole life is a vicious circle, really.
2002: No entry.
2001: I mean, what the fuck did I do?
2000: Yeah, I know, woe is me.

1/30/12 – Monday

by @ Monday, January 30th, 2012. Filed under Fostering, Life

New recipes up over at Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza – we made Honey Sauced Chicken this week!

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It was a quiet and relaxing weekend, and since I took a million pictures at Petsmart on Friday, I’m going to post those pictures and call this an entry. You’re welcome!

First things first: Jax was adopted on Saturday! Since Tig and Opie were adopted on Tuesday (though Tig didn’t go home ’til Friday evening), this means that Clay’s the last Son at Petsmart. So he wouldn’t be alone, they put him in a cage with another kitten (whose brother was adopted Friday night), and reports are that they’re getting along smashingly. That doesn’t surprise me at all – Clay is a sweetheart who loves everyone.

When I clean at Petsmart, I have to figure out which cats are safe to let out to run around together. Last week when I cleaned, I found that Pepsi wasn’t much a fan of the other cats. So this week, I let her out of her cage first and let her run around and play and be petted.

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Isn’t she gorgeous? Like I said, she’s not a fan of other cats. She’s a sweet girl, but very intense.

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I love this picture so much.

Pepsi’s been at Petsmart for a while, and she’s a little scary, but guess what? On Saturday, Pepsi got herself adopted! Some people wanted a cat with personality, and Miss Pepsi’s got personality to spare – even though they were told that Pepsi is intense and even after Pepsi had drawn blood, they STILL wanted to adopt her. Now that is an ending that makes me happy.

Once Pepsi had run around and played and gotten petted, she went back into her cage, and I let the rest of the cats out to visit with each other and run around and play.

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There are two black cats there, Bear Cub 1 and Bear Cub 2. I believe this is Bear Cub 2, the female. They came from a litter which included two brown tabbies and a tuxie. The others were adopted, but these guys have been waiting and waiting.

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This is Kanga. She was a bit shy and didn’t want to come out of her cage, so I petted her a lot. She stood in her bed and marched a bit, and purred, then looked out at the other cats and said “No, thank you. I’ll stay here!”

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Looky there, it’s our gorgeous little boy, Jax!

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This is Tanner. He was adopted Friday night!

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This is Caleaha, Tanner’s sister. She’s now sharing a cage with Clay.

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Jax has such a serious little face. Did I kiss him 35 times? I did indeed.

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Caleaha is a little live wire. She and Clay are going to enjoy hanging out, I think – good thing he’s so laid-back!

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Clay, watching the other kittens run around.

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Bear Cub 1. He hung out like this almost the whole time I was there. So stressed, that one.

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“Dude. My stress level is like THIS BIG!”

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Tig and Jax, and in the front, Tanner.

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Kitties, kitties everywhere.

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Jax and Tanner bond over the feather teaser.

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Caleaha, keeping an eye on something.

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Please notice the position of Jax’s tail.

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Sweet boy Tig.

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Jax and the serious face.

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What I love about this picture: Caleaha reaching for the feather teaser, and Tig getting a good sniff of Tanner’s ear.

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I think this is Bear Cub 2, the female, because she’s got a splash of white on her chest. Doesn’t she have gorgeous eyes?

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Tanner, checking out the scratching post.

The Sons were more interested in running around playing than visiting with me, but I made sure to give them each lots of kisses and snuggles before I put them back in their cage. This was an amazing week for my fosters – Opie, Tig, Jax, Charlie AND Patty, all adopted in the space of less than a week. I’m very certain that Clay won’t be around much longer – if he’s not adopted Tuesday, I bet he’ll go next weekend. Fred’s a tiny bit offended that Clay hasn’t been adopted, since Clay was his favorite from that litter, but I’m certain it won’t be long.

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Rough life, Suggie.

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2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: We are in the process of getting our new roof.
2008: Visiting dogs = okay. Permanent dogs = not gonna happen.
2007: How old are these guys, that you’ve got to tell them to flush the toilet, I’m wondering.
2006: Off to the hospital!
2005: No entry.
2004: Poor Bean.
2003: About the cats.
2002: When did Dick Gephardt die?
2001: The illness continues.
2000: I am officially the laziest chick in the world.

1/27/12 – Friday

by @ Friday, January 27th, 2012. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life

New recipes up over at Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza – Nance made some Monkey Bread, and I made a Crock Pot Lasagna! (I would not recommend eating the Monkey Bread and Lasagna together, but hey – whatever floats your boat.)

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Hey, can we get before and after pics of your garage? Guess it’s too late to ask, but I need some decluttering mojo.

I totally didn’t even think to get any “before” pictures. And to be honest, it’s still not ready for “after” pictures yet. I worked out there for a couple of hours the other day and got it looking better (a trip to the recycling center helped, too), but it still needs another couple of hours, I think.

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I spent the morning complimenting myself on the fact that I created a wonderful cat toy by rolling up a long piece of duct tape into a tube for my cat to chase. Then I come here and find that you have a cat toy that acts like a real bird. It’s a good thing my cat can’t read this because I’m sure he’d start feeling really deprived if he knew there were cats with honest to god bird toys, and all he has is a piece of duct tape.

I think it’s a good thing my cats can’t read too, because they’d be like “That duct tape toy sounds SO AWESOME, how come WE never get awesome toys like that?!”

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I know you hate when people come to your door but I am suprised to see you actually have a desk in front of it. That is your front door, right?

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Yeah, we moved my sewing table (which sadly doesn’t get much use, which is why there’s other stuff piled on top of it, too) out of the way so that the cats would have more room to jump.

But in any case, anyone we’d WANT to see would know to come to the side door, not the front.

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When I first saw the picture with Fred I was all, “Why would Robyn put up a naked picture of Fred?”. Then I realized that he was probably just wearing short sleeves and shorts. My smarticles are not fully firing this morning…

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Yeah, Fred likes to wander around the house in the middle of winter in shorts and a t-shirt and complain about being cold. Then I say “Wow, that sucks. I wonder if THERE’S ANYTHING YOU COULD DO TO REMEDY THAT” and he goes and puts on slippers. You know he’s seriously freezing when he puts on sweatpants.

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I know you love to hear when we dream of you, so allow me to make your day. =)

I dreamed last night that I was visiting your house and that you had an honest to bob BLUE cat. Not Jake and Elwood blue, Grover and Cookie Monster blue. He was long haired as well, and quite pretty.

I remember totally taking it in stride in my dream that OF COURSE if a blue cat existed, you would have one. I then went on a hunt through the cat population convinced that there was a neon orange cat lurking somewhere as well.

Oh, I LOVE it. I need a blue cat like that. Maybe I could dye Spanky! He wouldn’t mind, right? (Ha!)

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Have you ever considered putting a cute picture of the kitties in action (at play or snuggling etc) on the cage at petsmart? Seeing them in a different light would go a long way in my decision to adopt! Shows more of their personality.

There actually are pictures of the kittens on their cages, and also more pictures of cats and kittens that the shelter has available for adoption in an album that anyone can look through.

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I keep thinking about this…Petsmart and associated shelters/non-profits need to team up with some of the technology companies to get these places more “connected”. My local Petsmart has photo albums, but this day and age we need something more interactive for people because the kitties are so far removed, behind glass in the cages. Someone smarter than me (I’m a confessed technophobe!) needs to come up with something and look for funding, like from Bill Gates’ Foundation.

Not to be a smartass, but I’m thinking that the best hands-on way for people to get to know the cats and kittens who are up for adoption at Petsmart would be to show up during adoption hours and nicely ask the adoption counselors if they could pet the kitties? 🙂

(“Interactive” makes me think that there should be some sort of web-based app where you can click on something and… pet a kitten? Give a kitten a treat? Wave a toy mouse around for a kitten!)

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How old is Spanky? He looks so spry.

Spanky is a few months over 15 years old, and he is definitely in great shape. “Spry” is the perfect word for him! I really suspect he’s going to be one of those cats who lives to be 20 years old. He is one happy boy.

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I’m pretty sure Jake is my favorite of your permanent residents – he seems like he’s just so even-keeled/doesn’t mind a thing and I love his looniness.

He’s kind of taken over as ambassador to the foster kittens (which used to be Tommy’s job until he hit his “Oh god, NOT another kitten!” threshhold). When he first goes in to visit with new fosters, he hisses and growls and lets them know that he’s in charge. By the third or fourth time he goes in to visit, he walks in and rubs heads with them and plays alongside them. He’s really a sweet boy.

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Also …how is it possible that the beauty that is the tabby Jax has not been snapped up?

You know, you really can never predict which kittens are going to be adopted first. I would have expected Jax to be the first one to go because he’s so beautiful (which is not to take away from the beauty of the tuxie Sons, you understand), but I won’t be too surprised if he’s the last to go. I think that very often people see a cat who reminds them of a cat from their past, and that’s half the reason they fall in love with that cat. I once took an adult cat to Petsmart, and she was a great cat, but I was afraid that she’d be there for a while because I didn’t think there was anything particularly striking about her. I was putting her in her cage, and a man and his wife walked by and fell in love with her, and adopted her during the very next adoption hours. You truly just never know!

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No! No! No! Alice Mo.
Looney Jake is not your foe!

No! No! No! Alice Mo.
Everett still needs to grow!

Go! Go! Go! Alice Mo.
Until you can tell friend from foe!

Doodle Bean, you crack me up!

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OMG, I literally just burst out laughing at Alice’s “hateface”. The person in the next cubicle (I’m at work) is all “????”. Then I kept giggling as the hateface transferred within a split second. That was too funny. Did you see it as it was happening or did you only notice it when you were reviewing the images on the camera? This totally made my day. Also the fact that Alice looks like she has no neck, it’s just her little head on that blob..err..body.

I didn’t notice the hateface series until I was looking through my pictures later on, and then they made me laugh. Alice Mo is such a character. Also, she is not BLOBBY, she is merely, uh. PORTLY.

I recently ran across a post from a year ago, when Alice Mo weighed 4 1/2 pounds and the vet said that she wasn’t going to get much bigger. You see how THAT worked out.

A year ago: SO TINY! (Also, stressed.)

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“What? Am still tiny! Camera adds ten pounds!”

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We had a nice covered cat litter box with a clear plastic flap and my gorgeous big ginger rag doll cross breed couldn’t understand cat flaps, we literally shoved him through it to demonstrate and he just sat inside looking out at us! We had to rescue him and take the door flap off.

I’m sorry, but this made me laugh and laugh because I could totally imagine a cat sitting in the litter box looking through the flap like “Do I have to LIVE in the litter box from now on? Whyyyyyy?” HEE.

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Hoping it’s okay to pass along information here about the Pets for Patriots program that gives military members and veterans a low cost way to adopt shelter animals. Military families that adopt an adult or special needs animal from network shelters get a significant discount on adoption fees, 10% discount at participating vet clinics, and a $150 Petco/Petsmart gift card (and another gift card annually for as long as they have the pet!) Because my husband is active duty, our new shelter kitty will cost ten whole dollars and come home with everything he or she needs 🙂 For information, you can check out Petsforpatriots.org

Absolutely, thanks for the info and the link!

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Love the shots of Peppers 1.0. They look happy and healthy and grateful for the respite from Petsmart. I’m glad to be able to see them again but I still can’t believe they haven’t been adopted yet. Then I remembered the black cat at the humane society outpost in our local Petsmart where I sometimes help out with cat socialization. He has 3 strikes against him… he’s old (11 years), he’s black (still can’t understand the issue), and he needed extensive dental work (for which an absolute angel donated hundreds of dollars to have done last week). He’s the sweetest, friendliest cat there but no interest in over 2 months. I harangued my husband all weekend. Old man kitty is moving in with us this afternoon. Now to break it to the other two…

Awww, Kelly, YOU ARE SO AWESOME!!!! I hope things are going well with new old kitty, let us know!

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Is Charlie rolling his eyes in pic #3? And the line of his mouth- such a resigned look! Looks like he is sighing and thinking “Sisters…humph!”

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Charlie was totally rolling his eyes at Patty. He was always such a good big brother to her, putting up with her jumping on him, letting her win their play-fights. I am still SO happy that they were adopted together!

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I’ve heard sometimes it takes longer for all black kitties to find furever homes… do you know if that’s true?

Oldcat did respond to this in the comments, but yes – black cats do adopt slower in the US. In the Peppers Gang litter, there were the three black cats and Molly (silver tabby) and Harlan (brown tabby). Molly and Harlan were adopted, but Everett, Lucy and Sally sat there for way too long. They weren’t the only black kittens at Petsmart, there are two others – actually, there were four others, two siblings, a long-haired black (dark brown) cat, and a little black kitten. The long-haired cat and the little black kitten got adopted last weekend and Tuesday night, which leaves just the two siblings as the only black cats there now. I’m hoping to see them adopted, because they’re awfully sweet and they’ve been there for a while. They were also part of a litter where the non-black kittens have already been adopted.

What I think we need to do, y’all, is completely fabricate a breed name for black cats and pretend that they’re the rarest of the rare and that they bring luck to everyone.

“Why yes, Everett Peppers IS a Fluffinheinzer. We were so surprised that anyone would want to give him up. They’re considered really lucky, you know, I heard about this woman who adopted a Fluffinheinzer and stopped to buy a lottery ticket on the way home and WON TEN MILLION DOLLARS! The more the luckier, you know.”

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A friend of mine traumatized one of his cats when the red bit [of Da Bird] whacked him in the face, he hid every time the wand came out after that. In checking to make sure it was the same toy I came across a growing number of complaints about the change in design over 10 years of being marketed. The usual “the string is thin”, “the feather bits come apart” wasn’t something I considered a problem. The two piece pole is made of fiberglass and it splinters with play with splinters going in peoples hands. A reminder to keep track of toys that may come apart. When it first came on the market I thought the toy was rather expensive so I made a similar toy using a child’s first fishing rod (Micky Mouse style was on sale). Heavy fishing line thick enough not to injure gums when trying to escape with the pole. Just tell the salesperson your going after 20plus pounders that put up a real fight and you don’t need any hooks or bait you have your own. Fishing line is the pricy part but you end up with enough for replacement and use in other projects. And home made attachments (feather and glitter balls). Yes, trolling for cats is fun, just mind the lamps when casting.

I love this idea!

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Do any of the black cats you have now/have had in the past dribble? I know it sounds like an insane question, and I don’t mean dribble in a worrying, upper respiratory way, I mean in a I’m-so-happy-you’re-petting-me-and-I’ve-turned-to-a-ball-of-mush way?! One of our cats is all black, and she’s the only one who drools like a loony when she’s getting fussed on our laps. My other half had two black cats as a child who both did it as well, so we’re wondering if it’s an inherent habit in black puddies.

Maxi is definitely a drooler – as soon as you start petting her, it’s like you’ve turned on a faucet. Tommy doesn’t, though, and for that matter none of the black Peppers do either. Alice Mo is a drooler, and so is Miz Poo. I’m thinking it’s an individual cat trait rather than a black cat trait. 🙂

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By the way.. In that last picture I have to wonder.. If Elwood were not so… uh, robust, would he have the same kind of loony expression found on Jake? He’s got some great, smilie whisker humps there!

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Oh, I think that if Elwood lost some (a lot of) weight, I’d have a much harder time telling them apart. That picture up there is from when we’d only had them a few days, and I can’t swear to it, but I think that Elwood’s the one laying down. When we first got them, the vet tech called them “the twins”, and it wasn’t until they were six months old that I could definitely tell them apart.

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hee hee hee! It’s probably my computer’s resolution, but the picture of Patty & Charlie appears to be labelled “Patty and Charlie POOPERS”

My cats love Da Bird. Used to be able to get them at PetSmart, but now I buy replacement feathers direct from go-cat.com.

I totally called them “Poopers” when they were here. Also, I occasionally call the black Peppers “Poopers” when all three of them are together!

Also, thanks for the go-cat.com tip!

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What is that toy hanging over the door?? I need one!

I tried really hard to find you a link to that exact toy, but had zero luck. I suspect that I probably picked it up at Petsmart or Target or possibly Walmart at some point (there are no markings on the part that fits over the door with the company name or anything – which now that I think about it is kind of a failing on the company’s part). Here are a couple of pictures to show the entire toy (I think you could only see the string and the toy in the video).

The part that fits over the door:


And the whole thing:


The toy that was originally at the end was held on with a short chain. The cats got that pulled off pretty quickly, so Fred tied a toy mouse on the end and they haven’t been able to pull (or chew!) that off yet.

This seems somewhat similar to what we’ve got, but it’s not quite the same.

Sorry not to be of much help on this one!

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Because I am such a dork, I cannot read Tom Cullen without saying to myself, “M-O-O-N, that spells Tom Cullen.” And then I giggle quietly like a lunatic. LOL.

Tommy once sent someone a thank you note from he and Sugarbutt, and he signed it “M-O-O-N.”

Oh, look, I found it! (Took me 10 minutes of searching, but I really wanted to find it.)

10-21-2005 02;33;41PM

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I think I might actually be starting to lose track of the cats! I would have sworn that you mentioned finding a new home for Joe Bob, as he hadn’t been settling in with the main population too well. Was that a different cat?

Maybe Buster? When he was returned to the shelter last Fall, I had planned to keep him here (because I love him so), but he was picking on old man Spanky, so I had to give him up. Luckily, he was adopted the day before Christmas and went to live in a house with his very own teenage girl (who, I’m sure, will spoil him) and a dog that I hope he’s getting along with.

Joe Bob doesn’t care for the other cats and the other cats for some reason don’t like him either, but most of the time there’s an uneasy truce amongst them, and he’s been here with us for… three years? I think? He’s not going anywhere – no one else can do the Love Eyes the way sweet Mr. Jobey Joe does.

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Do you always leave the suet feeders open? I was talking to my husband about that yesterday (while he was brushing his teeth), and I think he asked how you hang them. (Sometimes it’s hard to translate while he’s got toofpaste in his mouf, but I usually guess right!)

I do leave that seed block cage (I put seed blocks in it rather than suet – though I’m not honestly sure what the difference is between seed blocks and suet, except that suet has fat in it. Is that the only difference? Is it still suet if there’s no fat holding it together? Anyone?) open at the top all the time. It’s been a few years so I’m hazy on this, but I think that the clip holding the top closed came off or disappeared and it seemed to work okay with the top open. Here’s a picture of it from yesterday (obviously needing another seed block put in it).


I could probably move the clip over to the other side and put it around the top and hold it to the side of the cage (if that makes any sense), but I kind of like seeing the little birds go down into the cage. (Every time I see them do it, though, I think “I bet I could make an excellent bird trap out of that thing…” Not that I ever would, of course. But I COULD.)

There’s another seed cage like that over on what I call “The squirrels’s tree”. It’s hard to tell by looking at the picture, but that cage holds big seed blocks that weigh 2 pounds (I usually make my own unless I see a good sale on them; the ones in the store are $5 – $7).

Also, we do have a smaller cage for regular suet, which I rarely take pictures of because there are branches in the way.

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The fence collars — are the sensors on it that always that big? It almost looks like Tommy has a camera attached to his collar the way its situated right now.

Most of the fence collars do have sensors that are that big (the sensor on Kara’s collar is a bit smaller, and of course those kind of collars are more expensive), and I HATE THEM. My next project, if it ever stops raining, is going to be going around the back yard fence and making it so that the cats cannot climb over it so that it’ll be safe to let them out without collars on. Those collars RUIN some really good pictures, and did I mention that I hate them? SO much.

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Are you going to landscape dirt mountain? It seems to be more useful and used than the pond so far!

Fred jokes about moving the dirt around to look like Devils Tower. I’m not sure exactly what the current plans are for Dirt Mountain – I know that I’m going to use some of the dirt to raise the flower beds a few inches in the front of the house, and I need to add some dirt to my raised bed behind the back yard. Also, I think Fred wants to level out the vegetable garden at some point. None of that is going to make much of a dent in what we’ve got there, though, so I’m not sure what exactly the plans are. Fred changes his mind from week to week, so we’ll see. I do like looking out there and seeing George and Gracie sitting up there surveying their domain!

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Everett shows off his pretty orange eyes and his silly white whiskers.

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Sweet Miss Sally.

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And Lucy, atop the cat tree in the front room.

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After much debate and a secret vote…

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Everett, Sally, and Lucy made Tommy an honorary black Pepper.

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Did you know…

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that Corbie…

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is one gorgeous boy? Well, this is your reminder, just in case you had forgotten!

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2010: Cheesecake pose.
2009: “I sense oncoming snacks!”
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: Fuck you, Lesley Stahl.
2005: Yes, I look like a dork.
2004: Better paranoid than hitchhiking across the country to meet some perv though, eh?
2003: No online presence in the day and age where every Joe Dork has a page? Inconceivable!
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Ooooh, lucky me, I got to go to the gynecologists’ today!

1/26/12 – Crooked Acres Thursday

by @ Thursday, January 26th, 2012. Filed under Fostering, Life

Sights from around Crooked Acres.

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Bluebird on the tree in the back yard. I see him almost every morning, lately. Does this mean Spring is here?

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That’s a Hairy Woodpecker (I knew it was some kind of Woodpecker, but had to look around to find exactly what kind. We’ve also got one or two Downy Woodpeckers who visit from time to time).

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My pretty Bluebird (pardon the blur, it was shot through a dirty window and at an angle).

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The camera focused on the raindrops rather than on the Cardinal. I think it looks kind of neat.

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(And then I focused on the Cardinal.)

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Chickadees. So hard to get decent pictures of these guys because they won’t sit still!

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Nuthatch. Such pretty little birds.

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We had a ton of rain Sunday night/ Monday morning, and the bridge that goes over the ditch washed away. Luckily it didn’t go far – I snapped this picture from the spot where the bridge is supposed to be, and if you look closely, you can see the bridge near the tree on the right. It’s too heavy for me to lift, so Fred had to put it back in place when he got home.

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Our Winter Honeysuckle is in bloom. This stuff smells so amazing – lemony and fresh, and though the two bushes in front of the house, you can smell the blossoms in the back yard.

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George and Gracie playing King of Dirt Mountain.

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Having spotted a threat to the flock, they’re off!

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I didn’t get her in the picture, but Maxi was sauntering by. George and Gracie stood there and wagged their tails at her, but she ignored them, and eventually they returned to Witch Dirt Mountain.

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I love it when the chickens get this appalled look.

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Purty rooster.

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Synchronized waddling.

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Meredith Grey doesn’t care for all this water and mud, thank you.

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I have no idea how they stay so clean and white when it’s so muddy out there.

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Well, I know how this one stays clean – she stays in the coop where it’s dry.

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Steam rising off the pond. Fred claims that that means it’s warm enough to go swimming. He can just shut it, ’cause I am NEVER going swimming in that pond.

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Early morning pond.

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Pretty boy ducks.

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I don’t know what they’re saying about that hen’s back end, but I bet it’s not complimentary.

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Checking for food in a puddle.

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“Come on, hurry up! You’re so slow!”

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Ducks of a feather really DO flock together.

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Everett, on the platform in the front room.

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Coming down off the platform.

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Everett has such gorgeous orange eyes.

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Sally’s are a lighter gold.

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You can’t really tell from this picture, but Lucy’s eyes are darker gold than Sally’s, but not as dark as Everett’s. The girls’ eyes have a really pretty ring of green around their pupils. I’m trying to get good closeup pictures to illustrate that, but haven’t had much luck yet.

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I usually share pictures of Joe Bob on Thursdays, but I don’t have any at the moment, and rather than hunt him down and snap pictures of him now, instead I’ll promise to get some pictures of him before next Thursday and offer you… more black cats!

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Maxi outside. “No, seriously guys! Let me in!” and then I go over and open the door because I’m a SUCKER, and she looks in, sniffs disdainfully and stomps off. Grrrr.

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“Your home is not to my liking, lady.”

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Tom Cullen on the scratcher.

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Someone at the vet asked Fred if we named Tommy (whose “legal” name is Tom Cullen) after the Twilight books. Fred was pretty horrified (he is, of course, named after Tom Cullen from The Stand).

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2011: The Box.
2010: Do I know how to show my guests a rollicking good time, or what?
2009: You are correct, sir.
2008: The dog continues to improve. (Read here to see how the dog came to be in our possession.)
2007: Are ya feelin’ bubbly, punk? Well? Are ya?
2006: I think it would be hilarious if someone started manufacturing imitation Maui Jim sunglasses and called them “Oahu James” sunglasses.
2005: I figure they’re professionals and know what they’re doing, so I have no desire to clutter up the small amount of space left in my brain with that kind of information.
2004: I sense that there is a battle of epic proportions in my future, a show-down between Miz Poo and I as to just WHO the blanket belongs to.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: But don’t tell Miz Poo I’m admiring another cat, please…
2000: It’s a conspiracy!

1/25/12 – Kitteh Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, January 25th, 2012. Filed under Fostering, Life

Alice Mo Fumes.

It all started because of this:

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Loony Jake, excited about chasing Da Bird, landed on Alice Mo. To say she didn’t care for that is an understatement.

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“You come any closer, I will unleash the Paw o’ Doom!”

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“Look how he pretends I’m not here. I hate his stupid loony face.”

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Focusing all the hate in her portly little body on one target… But watch this.

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In one fell swoop…

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..the hatred is transferred…

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…to that whippersnapper Everett Peppers, who surely deserves it.

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And Loony Jake is free to live his life unencumbered by The Hatred of Alice Mo.

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Hey, remember when someone asked if the cardboard scratchers made a mess and I was all “No, not too bad. There are some cardboard pieces around it from time to time, but I just vacuum them up…”?


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I don’t know who did this to the scratcher…

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That’s Everett Peppers checking out the damage, but it wasn’t the Peppers, it happened overnight while they were safely locked away in the foster room.

I guess it’s lucky that I have another five stashed away in the closet, isn’t it?

I guess it’s also lucky that I’m seeing the cardboard on the floor instead of in the litter box!

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It’s impossible to tell from this side which two Peppers those are, but I’m thinking it’s Sally and Lucy. Everett is visibly bigger than both his sisters, and these two are about the same size.

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That’s Maxi out on the side stoop they’re staring at. She likes to sit there and act like she desperately wants to come in, and then when you open the door for her, she looks in the door, then turns up her nose and walks away. I guess she finds our accommodations lacking.

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They also like to stand there and watch the birds.

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Everett found the platform in the front room within a day of being let out of the foster room, and has claimed it for himself.

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Adopted last night: Opie and Tig! Not together, but I think they’ll be okay. Opie went to his new home last night (he’s going to have a small dog to play with), and Tig goes home Friday. I’m cleaning at Petsmart Friday, so I’ll get to see Tig (as well as Clay and Jax) one more time. Yay Opie, yay Tig!!!

I meant to share this video last week before the Sons went off to Petsmart, but forgot to. So here it is now! It was a few days after I started letting them have the run of the house, and they’d gone into the guest bedroom and discovered the toy hanging over the closet door. They had a blast with it, as you’ll see. You won’t see Clay, though – he was too busy sitting in my lap and purring.


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Loony Jake is loony.

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2011: I had a “THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE! THE! HOUSE!” moment, and then I realized that I’d dialed my cell phone number rather than Fred’s.
2010: No pig shit fish for me, THANK YOU.
2009: No entry.
2008: Yes, he’s cute. No, we’re not keeping him.
2007: That damn sponge will never glare malevolently at me again, I’m sure of it.
2006: “Thy-y-y-yme is my crack! Yes it is!”
2005: He emailed me back immediately. You’re already too old to die tragically young.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: And Mildred and Myrtle were hanging out merrily in their very sheer bright yellow bra, waving at all and sundry.
2001: Just thinking about it makes me grumpy.
2000: Y’all stay warm, now!

1/24/12 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, January 24th, 2012. Filed under Fostering, Life

Haaaaaaaaave you checked out Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza?

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Speaking of DCEP, in Nance’s recipe for Mochies, when she said unsweetened baking chocolate. Who the fuck keeps that crap in their house?, I laughed. Because, hello. What the hell else am I supposed to keep between my giant bag of walnuts and my bottle of homemade vanilla extract?

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(The walnuts are for the Chickadees. When I remember to put them out, anyway.)

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We got a crapton (sorry to be so technical) of rain Sunday night/ Monday morning, and when Fred went to work at 4:30 yesterday morning, he got part of the way there and then had to turn around and go a different way to work because there was water across the road.

Before he left work yesterday afternoon, he stopped by a coworker’s cubicle to chat for a minute. Fred told him about the water across the road and how he’d had to turn around.

His coworker gasped.

“How will you get home?” he asked worriedly.

Good lord.

(He did not, as I would have, said “The same way I got to work, ya think?”, just said “I’m sure it’ll be dried up by now.”)

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Yesterday ended up being a mostly sunny day, and instead of snuggling up on the couch under a blanket of cats, I got a lot of stuff done around the house that desperately needed doing. Stuff like vacuuming the house, and then taking my Dyson apart and cleaning it using these here instructions.

Two things of note regarding the cleaning of the Dyson: (1) Yes, I’m back to Dyson. Dyson, why can’t I quit you? I tried like three different vacuum cleaners, and nothing works on our combination of rugs and hardwood floors as well as the Dyson does. I just need to accept that I’m a Dyson girl through and through. I bought this one during a Woot-off, and I would say I’ve probably had it about six months. It’s been doing really well until, oh, about the last month. I take the filter out regularly and rinse it, and I checked all the traps and nothing was blocking anything, and thus the reason I decided to give it a good clean. Which leads me to number (2) Guess what? My Dyson has TWO filters. And the filter I didn’t know about, the MAIN filter, the one that catches all the crap? It was NAS-TAY. It took me at least ten minutes of running water through the damn thing to get it clean. You’re supposed to give it 24 hours for the filters to dry, but I’m going to give mine ’til Thursday just to be safe. What? I am NOT using it as an excuse to not vacuum again ’til Thursday. I’m NOT!

I also went out and checked on the dogs and chickens and ducks. The pond is now full – it’s not full to the brim, but it’s certainly a full pond (which you’ll see for yourself come Thursday). I took a cup of chicken scratch out to the pond and the chickens accompanied me out. The ducks eventually came out, too, and wandered around for a while but didn’t go for a swim.

You know, it really doesn’t sound like I did all that much yesterday, does it? I also went out and cleaned the inside of my windshield, and organized the zillions of reusable grocery bags in the back seat, because I’ve been intending to do that forever. Then, knowing that I’d put in a full day’s work (hey, I did laundry and cleaned the kitchen, too!), I laid down on the couch with Miz Poo and half-watched The Real Housewives of Atlanta while I played Words with Friends.

Today’s the day I’m going to clean and straighten the garage. Maybe I’ll vacuum out the car, too. I’ve got to get that stuff done – today’s going to be sunny, but then the crappy weather’s going to move in again, and I need to be able to hibernate with no guilty “I need to do this!” thoughts harassing me.

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Someone asked in the comments yesterday if Lucy is still “cockeyed”, and the answer is that yes, she is still slightly cross-eyed. Sometimes she’s more cross-eyed than other times, and honestly sometimes I can’t quite tell the two girls apart. When I brought them home, Lucy was wearing a collar, but I took it off, and now I wish I’d left it on because it would make identifying who’s who in pictures much easier. Everett’s easy to ID because of his white whiskers, but the girls are a little more difficult to tell apart.

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But I do know that this is Lucy!

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And Everett and Sally. I’m also pretty sure that’s Alice right there. Nothing gets by me, y’know.

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He’s gone from one white whisker to two on each side!

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Everett in mid-air, having jumped up after the feather teaser. It kind of looks like someone threw him, doesn’t it?

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All three Peppers. That’s Sally in the front, Lucy in the middle, Everett to the right with his crazy white whiskers.

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Jake gets involved. I’m calling it a feather teaser, but it’s actually Da Bird, which I’ve read about on other cat blogs for months, and finally decided to get one for our cats. It moves like a bird, and I’m pretty sure Jake thinks it’s a real bird. He flies through the air, grabs it, and then will run through the house with it in his mouth if we let go of the pole.

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Even Miz Poo is interested!

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And Alice.

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Everett had to take a rest. Note Corbie back there, all “I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m staying out of the way!”

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The Peppers and Alice Mo. (Please do not get the wrong impression, here. Alice Mo has no use for those Peppers. But they’re on the area of the couch where the heating bed is located, and so she’ll put up with being near them for some of the heat.)

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Left to right: Jake, Tommy, and Elwood, all snuggled up for nap time.

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2011: It was a slipper. No wonder it wouldn’t purr.
2010: Update on Gus & Mike (now Topher & Dorian)
2009: No entry.
2008: The Annoying of the Poo, a step-by-step instructional guide.
2007: I’d sell all the kitties into kitty slavery for an iPhone.
2006: “Y’all shut UP. I don’t hear you complaining when you run around FARTING on everyone.”
2005: Letters.
2004: No entry.
2003: I swear, I have no control over my body sometimes.
2002: The shithole on Goddard Street.
2001: Lucky for her I’ve calmed down to a growling grumpiness, or it wouldn’t be a very good time to be the spud.
2000: We’re a pathetic lot, aren’t we?

1/23/12 – Monday

by @ Monday, January 23rd, 2012. Filed under Fostering, Life

First things first: Nance and I have launched a new cooking site! Actually Nance (and Rick and Alex) did most of the creative website-creating stuff – I just did a couple of posts.

Nance and I are planning to do a tandem (?) recipe each week where we both make the same recipe and post about it. We’ll also each do our own posts. Go check it out!

Also, please note: if you have questions about the recipes on that site, please ask them over there, would you? I promise one or the other (or both) of us will get back to you!

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I spent my weekend in my pajamas (or rather, sleep pants and a hoodie and no bra). It was gray and rainy and dismal outside both days, and if that’s not the kind of weather when you can slob around in your jammies, I don’t know what is.

I didn’t do any of the stuff I wanted to get done on the weekend, but that’s okay. Weekends are for being slobby slackers. Aren’t they?

I feel like the sun hasn’t shone in like 45 years, and that it’s not going to shine for another 45, and excuse me Mother Nature I HAVE THREE VERY BLACK CATS THAT I NEED TO GET EXCELLENT PICTURES OF AND IT’S HARD TO DO WHEN THERE’S NO SUNSHINE.

Mother Nature is a whore. That’s right, I SAID IT.

Maybe today I’ll get the garage cleaned out and the recycling taken to the recycling center. Maybe I’ll carry my cedar trunk out to the garage and sand it down so that I can polyurethane it. Maybe I’ll vacuum and dust and clean the bathrooms.

Or maybe I’ll just snuggle up on the couch under a blanket of cats and watch TV. That seems more likely to happen, don’t you think?

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Friday afternoon, I was covering for the regular Friday evening cleaner at Petsmart. She’d posted and asked if someone could cover for her, and because I hadn’t had a chance to have a proper visit with Patty and Charlie Peppers when I dropped off the Sons and brought the black Peppers home, I offered to cover for her. This way, I was able to check on my boys and also give Charlie and Patty some snuggles in the course of cleaning and scooping and refilling food and water bowls.

When I walked by the cages, the Sons were all flopped out, sound asleep in their cage. Charlie and Patty were doing the same in their cage. I spent a good hour and a half there, cleaning and snuggling with cats (my fosters as well as the others), and while Patty was a bit nervous, she let me pick her up and cuddle her. Charlie was more interested in chasing the kittens around and playing with them, but he let me pick him up and pet him several times.

Saturday afternoon, I was laying on my bed reading when Fred came upstairs with my cell phone. He’d heard it ring and answered it, and knew I’d want to talk to the person calling.

It was the shelter manager who was calling to me that Charlie and Patty? Adopted.




I think y’all know how very very glad I am that these two will be together. I mean, remember this? Remember how protective Charlie was when they first came here?

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And how Patty would follow him around and kick his butt (and he’d let her)?

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And how generally most of the time they were at least in the same room, if not right next to each other?

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Oh, I am so so so happy that they get to be together. SO HAPPY!


And so glad that I got to see them one last time before they were adopted!

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Bye, my sweet Charlie and Patty Peppers. Have a good life, and Patty – don’t kick his butt TOO often. It’s not good for his self esteem. Let him win every now and then, okay?

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“I make no promises, lady. So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

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The Sons, as I mentioned, were sound asleep when I showed up at Petsmart on Friday. They lined up at the door to their cage and peeped at me ’til I let them out, and then they ran around like little demons.

I had intended to take the camera with me, but forgot OF COURSE. I’m covering again this Friday evening, so perhaps this time I’ll remember.

None of the Sons were adopted over the weekend, but they’re so unbearably adorable that I have faith it’ll be soon enough. After all, Charlie and Patty were there for just over two weeks. That’s not as fast as I’d like (I’d like ALL cats to be adopted immediately, but of course that’s not realistic), but I can live with it.

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It’s funny how worried I was about Everett, Sally, and Lucy. I brought them home Thursday night, and they were acting freaky. Friday morning when I opened the door to go in and scoop their litter box and say good morning to them, they met me at the door and twined around their feet. All three of them – but especially Everett – do this thing where they walk around with their tails sideways, like they’re rubbing their back ends up against something, even when they aren’t. I’ll try to get a picture (or video) of it.

They are such gorgeous cats, all three of them, sleek and silky and friendly. We let them out of the foster room Friday evening, and it went so well that we let them have all day out on Saturday. For the time being I’m still planning on putting them in the room at bedtime – which they don’t seem to have a problem with, as soon as I go into the room and call them, they come right in and gather around for some petting.

Saturday, we got out the feather teaser and were reminded why it is Fred gave Everett the nickname “Crazy Eddie.”

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I love how Miz Poo and Corbie are all “WHAT is that crazy cat doing?!”

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Sally disapproves of this behavior.

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Lucy isn’t quite sure what to make of the feather teaser.

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Alice Mo, over in the doorway, had to come see what all the brouhaha was about.

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Seven kitties in one picture – and that’s not even half of the kitty population (including fosters) these days!

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It’s so rare that I see Stinkerbelle sitting calmly on the kitchen floor that I had to grab the camera and document it!

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She actually got a little flirty with Spanky, who was walking by minding his own business. Any kitty who tries to get flirty with Spanky is wasting their time, though – Spanky just looked at her like “I do not understand the language you are speaking” and kept on going.

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2011: No entry.
2010: If you have a few super-skittish or semi-feral kittens, try separating them – like I said, we’ve never had it not work for us.
2009: I forgot how much hotter Sawyer was with short hair!
2008: Since it’s getting late and I need to scoot out of here, how ’bout some links to check out, some pictures to admire, and a promise to see you tomorrow?
2007: Questions answered.
2006: You can’t ride two horses with one ass.
2005: No entry.
2004: Damn Home Depot.
2002: Sam’s rocks. Just so you know.
2001: I don’t know how on earth I missed it the first time around. But I’m sure it was Fred’s fault.
2000: “Fred, is F-A-G a bad word?”

1/20/12 – Friday

by @ Friday, January 20th, 2012. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life

Like you, and most of your readers, I always pick my babies from the shelter. Other than reading the notes on their cages, is there any somewhat reliable way to determine personality? I’m not a kitten person but would be looking to adopt a couple of youngsters – two – that get along together and can entertain each other. I want cats with personalities that like to talk and snuggle and lap sit but can be left for a time with daily visits from my loving neighbors. Trying to get a feel for a cat at the shelter is a crapshoot as they’re completely freaked out by all the strangers and acting in ways that may be completely unrelated to their normal personality. Any insights or advice?

I think that your best resource for figuring out which kittens are the best fit for you is to talk to the people who work at the shelter. They deal with the cats regularly, not only in the cleaning of the cages, but I’m sure they play and snuggle them when time permits.

How about the rest of you jump in here – it’s hard for me to think of suggestions on how to determine which cat would be the best for Lori, because except for Spanky and Miz Poo (well, and Maxi and Newt, but they weren’t really so much a choice on our part as a “Hi, we belong to you!” on their part) all our cats started out as fosters.

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Years ago, my mom got on the Ginkgo Biloba bandwagon and had been taking them for a couple months. She was probably about 63 years old at the time. I was over for dinner one night and said “Hey Mom, how are those pills workin out for ya?” She stopped in her tracks and said “ahh shit! I forgot all about the damn things…it’s probably been a week or more since I took one!” I just cracked up and said “money well spent.” She passed on back in ’98; but still to this day, every time I hear Ginkgo Biloba, I think of that conversation and smile! 🙂

I love this story. 🙂

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Well, I’m sorry to learn you are in the great hereafter. You know, that’s when you go into a room and ask yourself: “What am I here after?”

Couldn’t resist that; it’s a favorite joke I was told when I started entering the hereafter. 🙂

Okay, I’ll admit it, I giggled when I read this!

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Add me to the geese hate list. My only encounter was years ago when we stopped in a park in Oregon. There was a flock of geese there and for some reason the male took an immediate dislike to me and came after me. I ran and jumped back in the car and the [can’t think of a bad enough epithet]kept pecking at the door of the car while making horrible noises! Meanwhile, my gallant husband stood there laughing and clicking away with the camera.

I can totally imagine Fred doing that!

In fact, several years ago – actually, many years ago – when Fred first got his kayak, we went to the river so he could use the kayak. I stayed in the car and read. When he was done kayaking, he was putting the kayak on top of the car and tying it down. The driver’s side door was open. I glanced up and saw a pack of three or four dogs running toward us, looking (to me) like they were planning on some human for lunch. I gasped and pointed them out to Fred, and he got into the BACK SEAT and shut the door, leaving the driver’s side door wide open. As it turned out, the dogs were labs, which basically means that they were about as threatening as a roving pack of kittens (except that kittens are meaner), but what if they were bent on attacking and killing? They would have come straight into the driver’s side door and directly at ME while Fred sat all cozy and safe in the back seat. WAY TO PROTECT YOUR WIFE, YOU FUCKER (is what I said to him, and he laughed and laughed.)

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I cannot tell you why, but I just had a Silence of the Lambs moment:

It puts the Corbie in the basket. It does this when it’s told, or else it gets the hose.

Clearly I am a sick, sick woman.


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I don’t know if that was George or Gracie with the rueful look, but it reminds me of Colombo.

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Ha! Yeah, I see the resemblance. And that’s Gracie. I think. I can’t always tell myself, so those of you who can’t tell George and Gracie apart, don’t feel bad!

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My landlord has covered the fireplace in my bedroom by cutting an inch thick piece of chipboard to the shape and wedging it in. It works well at keeping out the draughts, though I should really paint it to make it prettier. It can be crowbarred out when necessary. Make sure the chimney is capped though, and if it’s sooty, clean it before blocking it off. I had the nice surprise of a bird falling down the chimney, sweeping it as it went, so when I crowbarred out the wood I found a nice pile of soot and skeletons as well as an angry jackdaw which pooped on my wardrobe.

I’m posting this comment, which Curtis left like months and months ago, firstly because it’s funny as hell to think of a jackdaw flying around pooping in an angry manner, but also because I’ve been meaning to mention that we bought some kind of rigid styrofoam stuff (sorry to be so specific) at Lowe’s, which Fred cut to the measurements of the chimney opening in the front room fireplace, and it’s doing a great job of keeping the cold mostly at bay.

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Are the ducks going into the pond more on their own now that it is more full?

We haven’t actually seen them going into the pond on their own yet. Fred saw them headed out that way earlier this week, but they veered off and went behind Dirt Mountain at the last moment, then circled back to the coop area. They seem more comfortable in that area of the back forty than they’ve been in the past, and it’s a lot easier getting them out to the pond, so I think it’s just a matter of time. Once the pond is full and once we get some bushes planted out there and perhaps some greenery in the pond itself, maybe they’ll prefer to be out there than around the coop. Especially if we stop filling up their pool! (Oh, but then they’ll just sit in the water bowls. Silly ducks.)

Your current book Graveminder looks very interesting. How are you liking it?

So far, it’s really good! Reader Beth actually recommended it to me in the comments, so I added it to my Amazon wish list, and before I got around to buying it, she sent me her copy. I started reading it immediately and am definitely enjoying it.

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I love your comforter!!! I want to steal it Miz Robyn!

Thank you! Get thee to TJ Maxx, maybe they still have some kicking around (I always get my comforters at TJ Maxx, for I am a fancy bitch).

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Out of all your animals, I think I love the pups the most. Please don’t tell my cats. I don’t think they’d like me anymore. Well, not that they really like me much these days anyways because I don’t see them much because of work and exhaustion. If they knew I loved your pups the most it would be the end of me. I think I like Loony Jake and Elwood the second most. Maybe. I don’t know. The ducks are funny. I like funny animals. Oh my, too many animals to rank like that. Just know that I think I love the pups the most. I would like to sneergle up with them and kiss their pretty faces. Yes, I would.

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“You tell dat lady she gots excellent taste. Also, Georgie like a good sneergle.”

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Look what’s mentioned on Apartment Therapy! I had no idea your beautiful white Silkies were hiding something!

Yeah, Silkies have black flesh – they’re considered a delicacy in (I think) China. We have only eaten one Silkie thus far – actually, he was half Silkie, but still had black flesh – and they don’t taste any different than regular chicken, but I had to use the meat in a casserole to disguise the grayish color, because it just looked WRONG.

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Has feathery leg rooster ever had chicks with rockstar chicken or Madame featherhead or even angry muppet? Because I bet they would look freaky but cool!

Not that particular rooster, he’s too young to have fathered (roostered?) any chicks yet, he was born in the late Summer or early Fall. We’ve had lots of chicks with feathered legs, though – a big part of the flock is half Light Brahma, which is a feathered-leg breed. I would definitely like to see a half Rockstar/ half Light Brahma chick, though, that would either be the most gorgeous chicken ever, or the ugliest!

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I’ve been thinking about asking this for a while: How on earth did Sugarbutt, Miz Poo, Stinkerbelle, Mr Boogers, and Spanky get their names? Are those the names you gave them in the first place? I know Sugarbutt and Mr Boogers had different names to begin with, but what about Miz Poo? Were they just nicknames that stuck?

Baby Spanky, late 1996 or early 1997. Back before digital cameras!!!

I’ll start with the oldest cat first. When we got Spanky, we wanted to come up with a name that started with “S” so that it would go well with “Spot.” At the time, we only had Spot and Danielle’s cat-of-many-names (I think she was calling her Katie at that point), and Danielle’s cat wanted nothing to do with Spanky, so Spanky kind of glommed on to Spot and followed him around and wanted to be his best friend. We tossed around a lot of names before settling on Spanky, and he’s been Spanky ever since. We occasionally call him “Skittyboo”, because he tends to be skittish (though less skittish in his old age than he used to be), but he’s most often Spanky.

Baby Miz Poo, late 1999.

I truly, honestly do not remember how Miz Poo got her name. When we first got her, we were still on the “S” naming kick. So after much discussion (I wanted to name her Molly), we named her Scrappy. So she was Scrappy or the kitten for a long time, and then… I don’t know. It’s been 12 years! I think I was calling her “Pootie-Pie” for a while, and then “Poo” and then “Miz Poo”, and that one stuck. Actually, Fred used to have a cat (before I moved here) named Miss Poot, so maybe he was calling her Poot and I picked it up from him. (Aside: my friend Liz tends to call her “Mrs. Poo”, and it gets me all irate, and I always say “SHE HAS NEVER BEEN MARRIED!” and Liz laughs at me.) She’s still listed as Scrappy in the vet’s records.

Mister Boogers, late 2003.

Mister Boogers was originally named Stanley – which, I’m sorry, isn’t that ridiculous? Not that there’s anything wrong with the name Stanley, but he was SO not a Stanley. But we were still on the “S” naming thing, and Fred wouldn’t agree to name him Stumpy, so we named him Stanley. Then I tried to mutate his name over to Stanley-Bean (He’s a Stanley-Beanie-Bean!), but it wasn’t happening. After some time, we started to notice that in the Spring and Fall, he had a bit of an allergy issue, and his eyes would water and he’d walk around with eye boogers. So he became Boogers and then Mister Boogers, and that was just the most perfect name for him, so it stuck!

Sugarbutt, 6 1/2 years ago.

Sugarbutt came to me as a foster with the name Sad Eyes. He also had what we thought was a prolapsed rectum, and I was beside myself with no idea what to do for this poor kitten with the swollen back end that was protruding at least an inch. I asked the shelter manager for suggestions, and she said that she’d heard that holding a damp cloth with sugar on it might help with the swelling. I gave it a try, and it actually did help a little, but as it turned out, he had impacted anal glands rather than a prolapsed rectum. The vet expressed them, and he’s never had a problem again. But that made it pretty easy to name him, and he’s been Sugarbutt (or Suggie) ever since.

Young Stinkerbelle, 4 1/2 years ago.

Stinkerbelle was originally named Maryanne – she and her litter were given Gilligan’s Island-themed names. Well, actually, there was Maryanne and Gilligan, but Ginger had been used so we used Tina Louise (which was the name of the actress who played Ginger, as I’m sure you know because EVERYONE loves Gilligan’s Island). I don’t know why on earth we didn’t use Thurston or Professor for the last member of the litter, but he looked like our Spanky, so we named him Spanky. ANYWAY. Stinkerbelle was originally Maryanne, and Fred fell in love with her because she’s so beautiful and he’s a sucker for blue eyes. She went to Petsmart for one night, and I made the mistake of telling him, after I’d cleaned and scooped at Petsmart the next morning, that it looked like she’d spent the night trying to dig her way out of the cage. Well, that was it, it was all over, he was getting his half-feral crazy blue-eyed girl OUT of there, and there was no talking him out of it. He stopped on the way home and got her. That night, we were trying to think of a suitable name for her, and tossed around ideas, then he said, out of the blue, “Stinkerbelle!” and that was it, she’s been Stinkerbelle (or very occasionally “Miss Stinky”) ever since. I know that some people don’t approve of giving a beautiful girl a name like that, but well – ya can’t please everyone, right?

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Has Spanky lost weight? He’s looking rather svelte!

He’s lost a little weight in the past year or so; they seem to always thin out a little when they reach the elderly stage. We’ve added an extra snack to his daily rotation, which he appreciates and eats every morsel of. We have to put him in the bathroom to eat it so that Jake doesn’t elbow him out of the way, and he rather enjoys being able to eat his snack at his own pace without having to worry about the whippersnappers!

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For an inexpensive alternative to an uncovered litter box, but with high sides… the box my kitty boys prefer is actually a Rubbermaid container without the lid. My husband cut a hole in the narrow side to make the door. We stumbled upon this idea when one kitty’s marvelous aim kept going through the seam between the box and the cover (and ending up on the floor outside). They have high walls to keep everything inside (and maintain their privacy) and no cover over their heads. This “litter box” cost us $5, is their absolute favorite, and is by far the easiest one that I’ve ever had to clean. And the containers come in a variety of colors, which makes it look a bit more fun too.

All of our litter boxes are made from what I think are called “Party buckets” from Lowe’s. They look like this:


and they work really well for us. We had to have something with high sides (they’re about 18 inches tall) because we were having the same issue with the cats peeing on the seam of the covered litter boxes we had (or over the side of the uncovered ones). Two thumbs up for the DIY litter boxes!

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I’m posting this for a friend. She rescued a Boston Terrier Puppy, who went blind due to a kid opening his eyes when he was 2 weeks old. He needs surgery, and they can’t afford it. Here’s the full post, including more information, a picture and a place to donate.

Meet Opie.

What a sweet boy – y’all go read about Opie, check out his pictures, and help if you can!

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I am worried, Robyn. In that one picture, I just don’t think that the kittens have enough toys. I only count seventy-eleventy there. LOL…. you have the luckiest kittens in the world, there, I do believe!

Honest to god, it’s an illness. I do not possess the ability to pass up a display of on-sale cat toys. Half the reason I send a bag of toys with each foster is because if I don’t, I’ll end up on Hoarders: The Cat Toy Edition, buried under cat toys and saying “But no, it’s perfectly good! The cats love this toy!” while Matt Paxton (who Fred and I refer to as Cranky Matt because he invariably gets seriously annoyed during the show, which I LOVE) tells the camera about how I’ve been pooping in a bucket because the toilet is filled with cat toys.

Perhaps one day, while I’m walking around the house with the camera, I’ll take a picture of all the cat toys I have – the UNUSED ones as well as the used ones – so y’all can gasp in horror.

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I join his brothers in asking: Is it just me, or does Jax have a super-long tail for a (beautiful) boy his age?

I think it’s average size, actually, it’s just that it’s always so UP THERE that it seems longer than it really is.

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Around here we call it “chunky”, as in “my, *insert chunky cat’s name*, you sure do love your crunchies…the vet’s gonna be all over your chunky ass because of it”.

We used to call Tubby “Chubby-Tubbs,” and lately we’ve been calling Elwood “Tubby,” just because, well. (whisper) He’s a tiny bit chubby, you probably haven’t noticed.(/whisper)

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Simba sympathizes. My 7th grader has an English exam today that includes grammar and appositives. The example he is using to remember that an appositive is a noun that renames the noun right next to it? “My fat cat Simba”. 😉

This reminds me of when Danielle was in, I don’t know, 6th grade or so, and she brought home a paper she’d completed at school, that said, in part:

If I were an animal, I would be a cat because they are nice and fat.

If I were a cat, I would be fancy because I like to be fancy.

We used to refer to Mr. Fancypants as “being fancy” when he pranced across the room with his long hairs blowing in the breeze. He was also “fancy” when he rolled onto his back and curled his front paws under his chin, asking for a belly rub.

I’m sure the teacher read that paper and was like “What planet is this child from?”

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Yesterday afternoon, I made a last-minute decision to take the Sons to Petsmart and drop them off and bring Everett, Sally, and Lucy home instead of waiting until Friday morning. So I packed up the Sons and their bags of toys, and headed for Petsmart. They are quiet little travelers, those Sons, and I only heard a couple of peeps from them.

Long story short, Everett, Sally and Lucy were freaked out by, I don’t know, the carriers or the kittens or me, and I swear that they acted like they were feral. I had to actually use a blanket to grab Sally and herd her into a carrier, and all three of them were seriously freaked out by the carriers. I got the Sons settled and got to say a quick hello to Charlie and Patty (who just looked at me like they’d never seen me before), and the Peppers howled all the way home. I left them alone in the foster room for a little while, and then went in to see them. They were nervous and skittish and not up for being petted, but as the evening went on they calmed down a bit.

They seem mostly to be fascinated by the idea that they can leave each others sight – when one of them walks into the closet (where the litter boxes are), the other two get all interested and watch her walk away, then have to go see what she’s doing. Hopefully they’ll adjust in a few more days, and we can see about letting them have a little more room to roam!

PS: I’ve always taken kittens to Petsmart before the store opens; after yesterday, when the constant stream of people by the windows were NOT helping to calm the Peppers down as I was trying to get hold of them and put them in the carriers, I’m definitely going to go back to the way I was doing it before.

First, pictures of the Sons.

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Jax and Tig in the sun.

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“What?” (Clay, Jax, Opie, Tig)

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This picture cracks me up so much – they look like they’re doing a dance lift.

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Jax has gotta DANCE.

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Clay’s eyes are just gorgeous, aren’t they?

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And now, a couple of Peppers pics.

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I had forgotten what gorgeous eyes Everett has.

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Pretty boy.

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Lucy, about to jump after Everett, who’s on the blue cat tree.

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Everett, checking out the cat tree.

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Annnnd Everett, being petted by Fred.

I guess I didn’t get any good pictures of Sally, who tends to run into the closet at this point. Hopefully I’ll get more pictures of Sally and Lucy before Monday.

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Hey, look! It’s Corbie!

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I don’t know what nasty thing he found out there, but he was rubbing his face on it…

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Then he rolled around on it…

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Then he looked guilty.

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Look at that boy. Is he not beautiful?

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I lurve my Corbie.

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2011: Ladies and gentlemen, may I offer to you: FUCK THAT SHIT.
2008: I tend to assume if someone wants to know something specific, they’ll ask.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: I think I took my first steps toward being an adult yesterday.
2005: Who the fuck knew?
2004: A Kitchenaid mixer!
2003: “My ass. Please let him go for my ass, and not my throat or my eyes, I’ve got plenty of ass to spare.”
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Double ear infection, thankyouverymuch.

1/19/12 – Crooked Acres Thursday

by @ Thursday, January 19th, 2012. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life

Sights from around Crooked Acres.

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Cardinal on the fence.

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Bluebird on the fence post (sorry it’s not a better picture – I had the long lens on the camera, but was shooting through the window and, well, SOMEONE needs to clean that window so I can get better pictures, obviously).

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Bird of prey, checking out the chickens.

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Ditch between the front of the property and the back forty.

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Time for another trip to the pond, duckies.

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A panoramic view (yes, the ducks are stitched together oddly; blame the camera) to show you that the deep end of the pond is finally getting close to full! It’s not anywhere close to overflowing, but it’s nice to see this much water in the pond when we were starting to wonder if it was EVER going to fill up.

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Rock Star is rockin’.

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“You know you want fancy feather leggings like mine.”

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Madame Featherhead tries to decide whether to come out of the coop.

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Chickenbutt. This cracks me up:

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“Oi, Madge, do I gots somefin’ in the end uv my beak?”
“Naw, Harriet, yer all clear.”

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“Wot? Can’t a young rooster enjoy some sun without you stompin’ all around with that camera?”

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I think this rooster is so pretty. I always tell Fred that he reminds me, color-wise, of a toasted marshmallow.

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“That is some tasty water.”

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Reminder: the Sons are going to Petsmart tomorrow, and Everett, Lucy, and Sally Peppers will be coming back home with me for a break!

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Jax and Clay, hanging out on my bed.

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Tig doesn’t like to be kissed (he doesn’t like it when you get all up in his business), but he’ll lay on you ’til the cows come home, and if you want to pet him while he’s there? So much the better.

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Opie, on the other hand, will let you kiss him a million times, hold him on his back like a baby, whatever you want to do to him, he’s A-OK with it.

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(Jax is also a snuggler.)

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“Got it!”

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Clay’s the snuggliest of the bunch. He’ll come and lean up against you and purr like a madman (if madmen purred, that is).

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Opie McSmuggypants.

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Miz Poo came up to see what was going on, and laid down for a snuggle. Note that Opie’s laying on my hip, Clay’s up against me, Jax is flirting with Miz Poo. Where’s Tig?

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Laying behind my knees licking his toes, of course.

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Jax and Miz Poo’s tail.

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“I wasn’t thinking of smacking her tail.”

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“That would be wrong.”

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“Someone needs to vacuum.”

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“Alls I know is it won’t be ME.”

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2011: Good lord, if Jan developed the muscle control to flap those things, she could circle the Earth in no time flat.
2010: Behold, I liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!!!!!
2009: Fred is, as I have mentioned before, an overexplainer.
2008: No entry.
2007: “Oh!” he said, with a big smile. “You’re pregnant!”
2005: Every movie and every show we watch, he’s in there deconstructing it.
2004: Memes.
2003: A day in the life of Spot J. And3rson.
2002: No entry.
2001: Blech.
2000: I now officially have too damn many books to read.

1/18/12 – Kitteh Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, January 18th, 2012. Filed under Fostering, Life

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

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Beautiful Cutie.

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Bat-like Cutie.

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Loony Cutie.

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Cutie Son ASSessing the situation. (Ha!)

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Fleein’ the box.

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Elwood requires roomier accommodations.

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“Who you callin’ fat? I prefer ‘flabulous.'”

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Corbie and the Sugs.

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Corbie doesn’t ever initiate contact with the other cats, so I’m not sure if he realized that Suggie was in that bag (the cats love to climb in those cloth Publix bags).

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In fact, judging by this appalled look on his face when Suggie’s head popped out of the bag, I’m thinking Corbie probably believed there were groceries in that bag.

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Corbie’s reaction after Sugarbutt turned around and smacked him. Suggie is no fan of the other cats, except for the occasional snuggle with Tommy.

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Tig keeps his eye on the feather teaser. Corbie’s coming up the stairs behind him to see what’s going on, and Opie’s over there on the bedside table acting like he’s supposed to be there.

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“Oh, I’m sorry. Is this the one piece of furniture you don’t allow cats on? Sh’yeah.”

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Tig’s goatee.

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Jax on the stairs, considering a descent to the ground floor.

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Miz Poo wandered by, and Jax got flirty.

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A casual monkey walk to show off his muscles… But Miz Poo was not impressed, and kept on going.

2012-01-18 (20)

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Weren’t you just saying you needed another video of Spanky “talking”? Well, HERE YA GO. (He cracks me up, our old man.)

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2012-01-18 (21)
I see at least three cat beds that are unoccupied on that table.

2012-01-18 (22)
And yet he sleeps on that hard chair. Silly Newt.

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2011: I’m going to finish up the entry with some cat talk and pictures, and call it good enough, howzaboutthat?
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: (Now that I’ve said that, you can expect an entry next week about how we adopted another cat, I’m sure.)
2007: Just call me Nicole Richie!
2006: I’d be a lobster, ’cause they are yummy, and I would be bringing joy to someone after I die a horrible boiling death.
2005: Saturday I spent at least two hours – conservative estimate – finding and downloading a ringtone that sounds exactly like the “internal call” ring on 24.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: I’m quite the stylin’ bitchypoo, I really am.
2000: It’s the period that never ennnnnnds! Yes, it goes on and on my friends!

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