1/20/12 – Friday

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 … Continue reading “1/20/12 – Friday”

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! πŸ™‚

I love this story. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ™‚

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”. πŸ˜‰

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: β€œMy 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.