2/29/12 – Kitteh Wednesday

NAME ONE OF EMMY’S (future, as yet unborn) BABIES! Go here to find out how! And here to see the spreadsheet ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   So, I just so happened to be in the general area … Continue reading “2/29/12 – Kitteh Wednesday”

NAME ONE OF EMMY’S (future, as yet unborn) BABIES!

Go here to find out how!

And here to see the spreadsheet

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So, I just so happened to be in the general area of Petsmart yesterday (okay, maybe I wasn’t so much IN the area, but I wasn’t so far FROM the area, so I made it so I was IN the area), and I stopped by. The pictures and “Best reasons to adopt a black cat” list I had printed out and taken with me on Monday when I dropped Everett off was printed out on photo paper and as soon as I taped it to the outside of the cage it got smudged. When I got home, I printed it out on regular paper (I don’t know why, but the colors are better when I print it up on regular paper rather than photo paper. That’s weird, right?) and then I laminated it (yes, I have my own DIY laminating sheets here at home. Honestly, with all the odd crafty things I have sitting around this house, you’d think I’d be SUPER crafty, but not so much.) and cut it down to size. When I got to the cages, Lucy was laying on her back in the middle of the cage she’s sharing with Everett, rolling around on her back. Everett was sitting at the cage door, looking through the door at the Tuesday morning cleaner. I pulled down the old list/ pictures and hung up the new one, and then I was standing up to go take a look at Sally (who’s in a cage on top, at the other end of the cages from Everett and Lucy) and the cleaner came out to say hi.

I was all “Blah blah blah Sally blah blah blah scaredy-cat blah blah WORRIED about her!”, and Henry said that he had just been standing there for several minutes loving on her, and she was totally into it! The little hussy, making me worry like that, giving me the scared “I am but a wee scared kitten!” eyes when I tried to get her to come to me on Monday! Then when I walked down to her cage to look at her, she was sitting at the door to her cage, all “Hey, where’d that guy go? Come back and pet me some more!”

So. I am perhaps not quite so worried about Sally as I was. I mean, yes she’s a scaredy cat, but if she’ll let Henry pet her, maybe she’ll let OTHER people pet her, and maybe she’s not quite as scared as she’d have me believe.

We shall see.

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The Permanent Residents Take a Turn at Da Bird.
(With an appearance or two from Everett wherein he is just observing and not jumping like a jumpy little jumping bean. Taken before he went to Petsmart, obviously.)

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Corbie loves to grab at da bird, but since he can’t really jump, Fred makes sure that da bird swings low enough for Corbs to get it.

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Such a serious little face.

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Jake brings some loony to the par-tay.

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Miz Poo joins in.

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And Sugarbutt shows up.

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Miz Poo is all “Come ‘ere, boy, I wanna smack you!” to Corbie. Corbie ignores.

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When Sugarbutt stands on his hind legs, his potbellied appearance makes me laugh.

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Emmy would like me to know one thing.

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“I have not had those babies yet, and I may NEVER give them up. Stop buggin’ me.”

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“STOP saying “Give me those babies!” every time you come into the room. It was funny once, maybe twice. Now it just makes me want to chew your face off.”

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“Now go away. I need a nap.”

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A scratcher bowl full o’ Tom Cullen. Who is full of attitude.

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2011: No 29th.
2010: No 29th.
2009: No 29th.
2008: Everyone needs a nightly Snackin’ Time!
2007: No 29th.
2006: No 29th.
2005: No 29th.
2004: No entry.
2003: No 29th.
2002: No 29th.
2001: No 29th.
2000: Honest to god, am I the most spoiled wifey you’ve ever seen, or what?

2/28/12 – Tuesday

NAME ONE OF EMMY’S (future, as yet unborn) BABIES! Go here to find out how! And here to see the spreadsheet ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   Aside from my main email address, I also have a second … Continue reading “2/28/12 – Tuesday”

NAME ONE OF EMMY’S (future, as yet unborn) BABIES!

Go here to find out how!

And here to see the spreadsheet

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Aside from my main email address, I also have a second email address that consists of my first name and my second name at gmail, and there are Robyn Andersons all OVER the world who are under the impression that my email address is their email address, and they hand out that email address to, it seems, everyone they say hello to, because every so often I get an email address intended for someone who is not me but has my name. For one, someone in Australia let me know that they wouldn’t be attending Joe’s party. Which is probably a good thing, because I didn’t want to plan Joe’s party anyway, GOD.

Last Summer, I had this email exchange (I may have covered this here already, I don’t remember) :

They said: Hi, Robyn. Hey, we did SOME work on the burn pile yesterday (Sunday), but the heat was really beating us down. That, and I believe there’s more work there than meets the eye. We’ve moved some of it to the street, but we really didn’t make much of a dent. Perhaps we can discuss, again, the merits of moving the pile as opposed to burning it down and cleaning it up in the Fall.

What time would it be OK to cash the check today?


I said: Dave, since the burn pile in my back field is still where it’s been since a tornado came through here at the end of April, I’m going to assume you’ve got the wrong email address. 🙂

He said: Wow. Sorry about that. How long have you had this e-mail address, because I could swear I used to be able to connect with MY Robyn Anderson at this address. And not everybody has a burn pile. It’s funny that you do, AND you spell your name the same way. 🙂

I said: Well, I’ve had it since 2004. Possibly there’s supposed to be a middle initial in there or something for your Robyn Anderson? I get a lot of emails meant for a lot of different Robyn Andersons, from Australia to Canada to points all over the US. There are more of us than you’d expect, I guess! 🙂

Some lady in Australia emailed to let me know that: Please find attached your service/inspection report. Should you have any queries regarding the attached please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Then yesterday, I got an email from someone with a link to online divorce in Illinois (though the email sender was emailing from Texas) and an email that consisted of There are quite a few of these. I also printed off all the information and forms you will need to proceed with the filing. C ya.

The emails have, at least, dropped off so that I maybe get a couple of them a month, so they’re not SUCH a big pain in the butt (though I did get an email to confirm a dental appointment for a Robyn Anderson elsewhere and I cancelled it OH YES I DID because I was in a bad mood at the moment and GODDAMN, really, you people don’t know your own damn email addresses?), and most of the time if it’s of a personal nature I’ll email the sender back to let them know they have the wrong email address because I’m nice like that.

I have a forwarder on that email address to forward emails to the main address that I use, or I’d only see the emails when it occurred to me to log in and check (which I never do), because at some point I thought it would be a super awesome idea to use that email address (instead of my main email address) to give to stores when I sign up for oh, whatever the fuck they call their special savings cards. You know, the ones you put on your keychain and they scan at checkout and you save like 5 cents per can of cat food or whatever (I have about 15 of those cards on my keychain, and the ONLY one I ever use is the one at Petsmart and it’s a pain in the ass to look through them all to find the Petsmart one, GRRR MY LIFE IS SO HARRRRRRRRRD), only then I forgot I was doing this (I have all these FABULOUS fucking ideas but I am too much an airhead to remember them from one minute to the next) and started giving stores my main email address, and oh. What a fucking mess.

I don’t know why I bothered with setting up the forwarder, though, all I get from that email address are emails I don’t particularly want (why does Jo-Ann Fabrics send me like 300 emails a month when I visit there almost never?), if I turned off the forwarder, I’d never have to see them.



Shut up, me.

Long story short (too late!), Illinois Robyn Anderson is getting divorced, I guess. Though I’m not sure why her friend in Texas is being so helpful. I should have asked.

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I have to go for a mammogram this morning. I don’t want to, I seriously considered canceling it, but I have other errands that need to be done out in that general direction of Huntsville, and I need to just get it the hell done and over with. This will be my first mammogram where I’ll be sporting boobs that are firm and perky rather than like lemons in tube socks, so I expect that it’ll be pretty uncomfortable.

SO looking forward to it. Fun times!

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Some quick TV talk:

Gossip Girl: I wish the writers would stop trying to force this stupid, loathsome COMPLETELY unbelievable story line wherein Blair has a thing for Dan. If Dan Humphries is not the most boring character on all of TV I don’t know who is. He cannot possibly pull off this scruffy artiste look he’s got going on, can’t we write him going over a mountain and dying a painful, permanent death, please?

Revenge: I’m starting to catch up, finally (watching it on my iPod), and I have two things to say: (1) Emily VanCamp (Emily Thorne) is supposed to be badass and threatening and hell-bent on vengeance, but dear, dear girl, you sweet little muffin, you are about as scary as a marauding pack of cotton balls. You make me giggle at the beginning of every show when you lisp about your father dying “an innothent man.” (2) Is there any actress in all of Hollywood more wooden than Madeleine Stowe? I think not. Oh, and bonus (3) Connor Paolo (Declan Whozits)’s fakey Massachusetts accent gets all OVER my nerves. That said, I’m enjoying the show quite a bit.

Speaking of actresses, I read somewhere (in a gossip magazine, so take it with a grain of salt) that Angelina Jolie refuses to even acknowledge the existence of George Clooney’s current girlfriend (Stacey something?), and that it doesn’t matter to George Clooney because he finds Angelina Jolie a pain in the ass and doesn’t care what she thinks. The idea that Angelina Jolie might be a pain in the ass does not surprise me one teeny tiny little bit.

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Everett has gone off to Petsmart, hopefully to be adopted so fast it makes our heads spin. He howled and howled and howllllllled all the way there, and then when I put him in the cage with Lucy, he hissed at her, hissed at me, and hissed at the employee walking by on the other side of the glass.

Drama queen.

Lucy was okay; when I walked in, she meowed and ran over to the door of her cage and slithered through when I opened it to put Everett inside. She purred when I picked her up and nuzzled her behind the ear, and she was okay with going back into the cage.

Sally, on the other hand, was sitting in front of her litter box (basically, as far from the door of her cage as she could get), and wouldn’t come to me no matter how much I sweet-talked her. I finally had to take the litter box out to reach her, and then I petted her and scratched her under the chin and she purred for me, but wouldn’t come over to me, so I didn’t push it.

I worry about her – I really thought that being in a cage by herself would bring her out of her shell, but it doesn’t appear to be doing that. I hope that she calms down and relaxes a little – I hate the thought of her being there, unadopted. You can’t really blame people for not wanting to adopt a cat who won’t show the slightest bit of affection. I did put a note on her description saying that she’s scared in new situations and once she warms up she’s a total sweetheart. Hopefully someone will come along who’s willing to give her a chance.

I’d love to make her a permanent resident – I’d love to make all three of them permanent residents, really – but I’m not kidding when I say that we’re over capacity on the permanent residents. It’s tough to see them go, and I hate to see them sitting there, but I have to have faith that the right people will come along and fall in love with them.

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Everett, flirting with da bird.

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And getting a bit too close to Miz Poo, who was aghast.

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She reached out to smack him, but he was too fast for her, and was keeping his eye on da bird.

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Then he went and sat in the box.

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A lot.

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All day Sunday, he carried this green sparkle ball around, keening as though he’d killed something and deserved praise.

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Such a cutie pie.

I have to say, I think he went off to Petsmart just in time. Yesterday morning when I came downstairs, I found him sitting in the back yard at the bottom of the steps, looking around. At eight months old, he’d finally figured out the cat door.

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No babies for Emmy yet. Every time I leave the house for longer than a few minutes, I rush up to the foster room to see if she’s birthed those babies yet. She yawns at me and says “What babies?”

She is absolutely packed full of kittens, that one. You can’t tell so clearly when she’s laying in her basket or hanging out in her kennel, but yesterday she flopped down on the floor, and I could see the writhing mass of kittens moving and kicking in her belly. I spotted what was, without a doubt, a kitten foot moving across her side. It is so cool and so weird to watch (and to feel).

I can’t wait to meet those babies. ANY DAY NOW, EMMY.

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“Just hanging out on my shelf. No babies here!”

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(We were doing the slow-blink love-eyes at each other.)

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“I am not pregnant. I am just full-figured.”

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Stinkerbelle, atop her pantry. Going by the look on her face, I suspect she was looking at Tommy.

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2011: Behold, I continue to live!
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Damn those cats and their Snackin’ Time.
2007: Who knew that Hellcats enjoy ripping eyeballs from your face and then batting them around the room?
2006: Yeah, one of those days.
2005: So sue me.
2004: Always.
2003: What keeps me sane.
2002: No entry.
2001: Plants.
2000: Translation: I’m going to get a gown that will cover your fat ass.

2/27/12 – Monday

NAME ONE OF EMMY’S (future, as yet unborn) BABIES! Go here to find out how! And here to see the spreadsheet ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   Over at Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza, Nance and I made Pork … Continue reading “2/27/12 – Monday”

NAME ONE OF EMMY’S (future, as yet unborn) BABIES!

Go here to find out how!

And here to see the spreadsheet

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Over at Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza, Nance and I made Pork and Corn Stuffing Bake this week!

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Fred had Friday off, and while I’d like to report that we did lots of fun and exciting stuff on Friday, what we mostly did was run a few errands and then sat on the couch and watched movies, nothing too exciting, just stuff on the Netflix queue. Actually, Fred watched the movies while I lay on the couch and read magazines and played Words with Friends.

Saturday morning started off SUPER fun. We’ve been having an issue with the XBox wherein we’ll be watching a movie and it’ll cut off because the wireless connection has dropped. Which is super annoying if you’re trying to watch a movie you want to see, obviously. So we ordered a cable from Amazon and it arrived Friday, which meant that Saturday morning I had to crawl under the house and take one end from a hole in the floor of the computer room, and wiggle-squirm my way to the other end of the house and pass the cable up the hole in the front room, behind the TV.

It is completely, totally, I am not shitting you, NO FUN being under the house. It’s weird and creepy and cramped. Fred has a strong dislike (I didn’t say “fear”!) for small spaces, and I’m smaller than he is, AND I was willing to do it, so that’s why I was running the cable and he was not. I was able to crawl on my hands and knees for a few short distances, but most of the way I had to wriggle on my stomach to get under the ductwork. The distance from the computer room to the front room isn’t far at all if you’re walking it, but if you’re crawling it, and it’s dark, and you’re wriggling on your stomach, it seems like three miles. I talked encouragingly to myself the entire way, causing Fred to yell “Who are you talking to?!” “MYSELF!” I bellowed. But I wish I’d told him there was a nice man down there with me, I bet that would have creeped him out.

The ground is covered in heavy black plastic, and the only living things under there aside from me were spiders (spiders don’t scare me), and Fred has reported that a lot of Cave Crickets (AKA Camel Crickets, AKA Spider Crickets) live under there and hang out on the “ceiling” (ie, the underside of the floor), but I didn’t see any. Probably because I didn’t look up; I prefer to live in ignorance, thank you. There’s no way for anything bigger than a mouse to get under the house (there are grates on all four sides, and the only way for anything bigger to get in is to go through the door that I went through), but that didn’t stop me from being dead certain that I was going to come face to face with an angry, hissing, possibly rabid possum.

The worst part of the whole thing was getting to the hole at the front of the house, passing up the cable, and then knowing that I had to turn around and go all the damn way back. I was breathing really hard (wriggling like that is HARD WORK. I bet worms have awesome abs.) and I stopped for a moment to rest and put my head down and I thought “I could just stay here forever, I don’t want to wriggle all the way back there” and then I thought “Is this what a panic attack feels like?” and then I thought “Okay, you big fat whiny INFANT, MOVE YOUR ASS” (which is what I often say to myself when I want to get off the elliptical after three minutes), and I wriggled my way back.

I was filthy and my shoulders and knees hurt like a motherfucker, but I got over it and I lived. My shoulders and abs are sore, but I lived.

The best part? I get to do it again next weekend, because when Fred was making the hole that the wires were going through bigger to accommodate the new wire, he cut through the wire that connects my computer to the, uh, whatever the hell it’s called. The magical thing that connects my computer to the internet. I’m currently connecting wirelessly, but I can definitely tell the difference – it’s faster when I’m hard-wired. The new cable will be here this week, and next weekend I’ll be back under the house.

This time I’m taking the camera with me. And I MIGHT even look up. If I see a million cave crickets staring down at me, I’ll probably have a heart attack.

Sunday, we went to the recycling center, and then we went on a scenic drive where we ended up at our favorite feed store and got to look at the animals, which is always fun.

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Cute but nope, still don’t want sheep.

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Ducks and geese and goats.

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I don’t know what kind of ducks these are, but they sure are pretty.

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I love llamas. They have such attitude.

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This little goat was crying and crying for his mama.

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“Maaaamaaaaaa!” Nope, still don’t want goats.

Then we came home and I did laundry and we both hung out with Emmy and then there might have been napping on the couch.

Also, it was sunny all weekend, and we have been NEEDING some sunshine, and I understand it’s supposed to get up into the 70s this week.

I have no complaints about the weather at this juncture.

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No babies yet! We’ve made more progress with her – she ate in front of us, and Fred actually got her interested in playing briefly at one point over the weekend. She still isn’t coming over to us for petting, but I’m sure that’ll happen in time. Right now all she wants to do is eat and sleep. She’s eating pretty much everything we put in front of her, apparently she’s not a picky girl.

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“I approve of this stuff, lady.”

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When the bowl was empty, she sat and licked her lips for a long time.

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Then she took a bath.

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Then she looked at me.

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Then she headed toward her basket and stopped for a rest on the shelf.

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She gave Fred a look…

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And then settled down in her basket for a long nap in the sun.

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The good news is that Sissy Bear Cub, the cat that Lucy was sharing a cage with at Petsmart, has been adopted. That’s good news because Sissy Bear Cub is a black cat who’s been at Petsmart for a long, long time. The bad news is that now there’s room at Petsmart – which means that later this morning, I’ll be taking Everett to Petsmart to share a cage with Lucy.

There’s a “Top Reasons to Adopt a Black Cat” printout on the outside of Lucy (and now Everett’s) cage that I’m going to reprint with a few of Everett’s jumping pictures included, so maybe that’ll catch someone’s eye and make them take a second look at Everett and Lucy (and Sally in her own cage).

Fingers crossed that all three of the black Peppers are adopted quickly. I have a good feeling about this!

I sure am going to miss Everett and his crazy jumping ways, though.

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He’s just so CASUAL about being way up there in the air. It seems to take him very little effort at all.

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“Ho hum, hanging out here in the air again.”

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That right there is an interesting position.

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Interpretive dance.

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Considering his next move.

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The property next door belongs to a church. When the tornado came through (and passed by about half a mile from us) last April, several trees on the church property fell down, taking some of our trees with them. There was some cleanup on both sides, but there are several dead trees just kind of hanging out on the edge of our property. Last week I glanced out the window and saw Newt exploring.

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It’s hard to tell, but he was about fifteen feet up, just kind of checking things out. I see a lot of squirrels run around on those trees, so maybe he was hoping to find a squirrel snack.

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He looked around for a few minutes, then turned around and came back down, safe and sound.

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2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: I call it “SHUT THE DOOR! I’M LAYING AN EGG! GOD!!!”
2008: All that said, I can tell you that, somehow, Paula Deen annoys the fucking shit out of me.
2007: Just call me Betty Homemaker.
2006: I swear to god, I have NO CONTROL over what comes out of my mouth sometimes.
2005: No entry.
2004: Dude, what the fuck? I don’t talk for 20 to 30 minutes on the phone to people I know and LIKE, let alone some strange man from the CDC!
2003: A Day in the Life of Mr. Fancypants.
2002: No entry.
2001: But I kinda like the irritability.
2000: My heart stopped, my jaw dropped, and I whispered “Oh, shiiiiiiiiiiit!”

2/24/12 – Friday

NAME ONE OF EMMY’S (future, as yet unborn) BABIES! Go here to find out how! And here to see the spreadsheet ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   I love it when you write cranky & long. Reminds me … Continue reading “2/24/12 – Friday”

NAME ONE OF EMMY’S (future, as yet unborn) BABIES!

Go here to find out how!

And here to see the spreadsheet

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I love it when you write cranky & long. Reminds me of the Robyn of yore.

That would be the result of me looking at the blank page and saying “I do not have ANYTHING to write about. What the hell am I going to write about?!” then thinking and thinking and finally being all “Oh, exercise!”, and off I went. I know it doesn’t happen all that often these days. Perhaps I’m getting mellow in my old age!

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Robyn, you have science on your side when it comes to exercise approach.


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When I exercise I feel like the zombies in The Walking Dead afterward. 😀 Good for you for sticking to it this long. I always seem to give up after a couple of days.

I remember on one episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon adopted eight or so cats. I remember he named them “Dr.” this and “Dr.”
that (something to do with Physics, I think). And one he named “Zazzles….” 😀

I read this comment and then Thursday morning when I was on the elliptical I started saying “Brainnnnns…. BRAAAAAINS” and it amused me way too much!

I am absolutely adding “Dr. Zazzles” to my list of potential future foster names. Which makes me think of Dr. Zasio on Hoarders, and BOOM! There’s a whole bunch of names to use in the future! Dr. Zasio, Cranky Matt, Dorothy Breninger, the possibilities are just about endless.

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I agree with you that you need to find exercise that you like. I can’t do running, yoga, gym membership, or any floor exercises since I have 2 bad knees. What works for me are the Leslie Sansone walk aerobic tapes. She has so many of them out, and I never get bored with them. You might want to check out the website collage video.com. It’s a great site. You can also see clips of the tapes and get reviews from the people who have bought them. I love the indoor walking since I don’t have to worry about weather, and I like exercising in the privacy of my home.

It’s interesting that you bring up Leslie Sansone. Back in 2000 (good LORD!) I wrote this about her:

While doing my exercise tape from Hell yesterday, I called the leader of the exercise, Leslie Sansone, a very naughty word beginning with “c”. I mean really – when I’m gasping and sweating, does she have to be so freakin’ perky? I just don’t appreciate that kind of babbling happiness. Also of note is that Florine Marks, the President/ CEO of Weight Watchers was exercising along with Leslie, and at one point Florine says “I can have a Hershey Symphony Bar! I’ve earned it”, and if you look closely, you can see the moment after she’s said that, it hits her that she’s supposed to be representing Weight Watchers, and she rapidly backpedals, lamely saying “But, you know, I’d really rather have a nice bowl of cherries or a banana – something that’s good for me!” Which just makes me want to send a truckload of Hershey Symphony Bars to her home, with a note that says “Yeah, right, big bowl of cherries my ASS.”

I did Leslie Sansone tapes for several months, if not a year or more, and then one day I was like “If I have to spend one more minute with Leslie Sansone, I will kill myself”, and I’ve never gone back. I still have the tapes and DVDs, though. You never know, maybe one day I’ll give it another try.

The weight lifting and elliptical works so well for me because I only have to walk over to the garage. It sure does get cold in that garage. I wear three layers of clothing to start off with, and take them off as I warm up.

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Whenever my husband, oh, stumbles over a crack in the sidewalk or something like that, I say, “Toe pick!” The fact that he gets it is one of the reasons we’re still married.


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I saw this web site and thought of your February header.

I see no resemblance at all. (I kid! What a cutie pie.)

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Appropos of nothing in this post, I have to tell you that my 5 year old daughter is now obsessed with Looney Jake. I was reading one of the posts from last week when she came to sit next to me on the couch and she saw a picture of Looney and it was love at first sight. She has been Looney Jake, the Cutest Cat for almost 48 hours straight. I’m trying to get a picture of her with The Looney Face, but she seldom sits still long enough.

So, tell Jake that he has a long-lost looney sister in Texas who’s ready for him to visit anytime.

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“That girl have excellent taste. Jakey IS cutest cat ever!”

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By the way, do you edit out hateful/obnoxious/rude comments, or do you simply never get any? (Well, I remember that one lady, but that was years ago.) I hope it’s the latter, but I just realized what an anomaly that would be on the internet.

I actually haven’t gotten any really rude/ hateful, etc comments in a long time. The most recent one I remember (though it’s possible there have been others I’m not remembering) is the person who had a shit fit a few years ago about the fact that I was tired of dealing with cucumbers in the garden and directed Fred to pull them up, because I could have donated them to a local food bank. (In the comments to this post.) I didn’t delete her comments, but I did helpfully go back and edit out the link to her blog; I figured since she found me so loathsome I wouldn’t want to trouble her by sending any traffic her way. (Childish? Yes. But it made me feel OH SO MUCH BETTER.)

I don’t edit or delete comments (I’ll occasionally go through and add a boldfaced “Spoiler within” to comments that have a show or movie spoiler), I think I’ve just been really lucky. It’s not a mistake that the cute kitten pics are in the bottom part of the entries, y’know, ’cause if I annoy/ piss off people in the first part, they’re fuming, they’re scrolling, they’re “I can’t WAIT to get to the bottom of this post and give her a piece of my – awww, MAN! He’s leaping like a crazy leaping monkey!”, and then they forget that they hate me. Brilliant, no?

I got plenty of hater comments at OneFatBitchypoo at various points (NO I haven’t updated that damn site yet, it’s far, far overdue, and I swear I will get to it this weekend! Or maybe next. Promise!), but – how do I say this? It’s funny how when a barely literate person leaves a hateful comment on your blog, it is more amusing than hurtful.

Oh, and I just remembered – in a New Year’s post – probably 2006 – I said something like “Never say never” in regards to the year ahead, and someone SOMEHOW correctly guessed that I was going to have weight loss surgery (HOW did they know?!) and I freaked out and deleted the comment because I’m a dork. Wish I hadn’t done that, and I don’t remember who left the comment, but I hope she didn’t take it personally!

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Besides, Martha Stewart says that scratched/less-than-perfect furniture is a price that all pet owners pay and that sharing your life with pets is totally worth it. I agree with that even though I don’t necessarily consider Martha the authority-on-all-the-things.

Martha Stewart is SO right on with that! I told Fred yesterday that we should just furnish the entire house in cheap furniture from Ikea rather than trying to have NICE stuff. I can’t get him on board with the Ikea love, though. I wish they’d put an Ikea closer to us than Atlanta – Nashville would be perfect, I’d totally go to Nashville for Ikea! (Though I’m 99% sure I said I’d totally go to Nashville for Trader Joe’s and it’s been years since that Trader Joe’s opened, and how many times have I been there? Um, NEVER.)

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My nine year old son is a huge fan of this site. However, since Bitchypoo has a syllable that he’s not allowed to utter, he calls it ‘The Scottish Website’.

LOL – that is AWESOME. Who knew that Bitchypoo has so many young readers?

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Last night I dreamed that Tommy was living with us. I know I mentioned before that we lost our little black kitty to heart disease a few months ago, and while we are not ready to get another cat, I think constantly about adopting another black cat one day.

So. In my dream, I walk into the living room, and there’s a big black cat just laying on our chair like he owns the place. Somehow, I knew it was Tom Cullen, and I had to explain to my husband who it was, “M-O-O-N spells Tom Cullen”. It occurred to me that you and Fred might miss him, but then I dream shrugged because of course he wouldn’t be living in our house if it wasn’t OK.

Well, he IS The Ambassador. Clearly he was on his tour of the country, spreading love and receiving belly rubs wherever he might go!

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Two things. First, THANK YOU for the poop disclaimer. Every time I sit down with my coffee or food, there is crap talk and not just on your blog! Secondly, everyone is all commenting on the cat-scratched couch, but all *I* could notice was the lump under the blanket on the other couch. Was Fred watching tv or are you hoarding things out of sight?

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Ha – neither! It’s just the way the quilt was laying. There was nothing under that quilt but couch. The quilt just needed to be straightened, it has a tendency to bunch up.

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Is the plural of titmouse titmouses or titmice? Is it wrong that the word titmouse makes me giggle every time?

Titmice! (And no, I always feel very naughty every time I type it. HEE.)

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Robyn, What do you set your camera on to get those awesome action shots? And, what kind of camera do you have?

It’s a Sony Alpha SLT-A55. I usually set it on “Cont. Priority AE” and just hold the button down. I’m not kidding when I say that I take a LOT of pictures and delete a lot of them as well! I’ve also been messing with the Shutter settings (S) and Aperture (A), but I’ll be honest that I don’t really know what I’m doing.

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“Yes, and I’m not supposed to have 13 cats in one house because that’s totally crazypants. I’M A REBEL.”

From The Best American Mystery Stories: Clean Slate by Lawrence Block:

“A woman has one cat, or even two or three cats, she’s an animal lover. Four or more cats and she’s a demented cat lady.”

Hee, just sayin’….

Demented! Ha!

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Geeze, when did Miss Alice start getting so hissy-pissy?? She wasn’t like that when y’all first got her, was she? Or maybe I’m just “disremembering”…;-)

Except for the occasional headbutt with Jake (and if we’re to be honest, that only happens when it’s snack time; the possibility of food makes even the cranky cats friendly), Alice Mo has no use for the other kitties at ALL. She’s a people lover (okay, a FRED lover), not a cat lover.

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Are you keeping track of just how many “cats with da bird” pictures you have taken? 🙂

Oh, THOUSANDS, I’m sure. Back when we first got da bird, we did a photo session where I took – I’m not exaggerating at ALL – over 500 pictures. I ultimately reduced that to less than 100, but it was harrrrrrd.

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I forget if you have 13 or 14 cats in the house, but what GALLS me is however many you have, there is no fur flitzing around on your hardwood floors! I have TWO rotten cats, and every time the sun hits the hardwood floors, I want to grab both of the cats and shave them bald. You’ve got skatey eight cats jumping around after da bird and nary a loose hair. Dammit!

Oh, the loose hair exists – it’s just really good at being camouflaged by the rugs, or hiding under furniture. When I vacuum, the breeze from the vacuum blows the hair out from under the furniture, and then I suck it up. Also, I try to vacuum every other day (though I should really vacuum every day, but can’t seem to force myself to do so), and also also I don’t have one of those pesky JOBS, so I have the time to do all that ridiculous vacuuming!

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You could go imaginary, even! How about the award that Frasier wins a few times? The SeaBea! 🙂 And then Gil Chesterton’s wife’s concilliatory award for when he doesn’t even get nominated for the SeaBea – the Chestertons!

Roz: Oh, here’s one: “Best Restaurant Critic: Gil Chesterton”.
Gil: Oh, thank God I’m nominated! Now I won’t have to attend
“The Chestertons”.
Roz: “The Chestertons”?
Gil: It’s an elaborate award show my wife and the dogs put on when
I’m overlooked by the SeaBeas.

I did add the Chestertons and SeaBeas to the list, I just wanted to make sure everyone else saw this because it made me laugh out loud!

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Slightly off topic – yet the bird feeders are shown – found this recipe for “Birdy Corn Bread” on a USGS site about bird bill deformities.

Thought you’d find the contents interesting… just where does one find frozen cubes of mosquito larvae? LOL

I had to see if I could find a place to buy frozen cubes of mosquito larvae (not because I want to buy some but because I wanted to see if I could if I were of a mind to), and found that you can buy them here. And, hey – that’s not a bad price, am I right?

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It must be great to see two of your fosters in such a great home and so beautifully healthy, too! And that business cat meme is really catching on!

Is there anything more awesome than a cat in a tiny tie? I think NOT.

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I know that this might not be ideal….but…my friend took in a feral cat with 3 kittens and she wouldn’t eat. What enticed her was vanilla icecream. She loved it so. That got her to start eating (when no one was in the room and watching her.) My friend kept her kittens, got her spayed and tipped. She was then released back from whence she came. Sad because she was STUNNING! Solid white with screaming blue eyes. Soooo pretty but completely and forever feral. My friend, to this day, takes her individual servings of vanilla icecream. 🙂

Emmy did start eating, so I didn’t have to resort to feeding her ice cream… but is it odd that I’m tempted to get some for her anyway??

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So here’s a question, how do cats change their overall mass?! When my Phoebe doesn’t want to be moved off of my lap, she goes limp and suddenly weighs about 50 pounds and if I’m slouching and have no leverage, sometimes it’s actually truly difficult to get her OFF ME. LMAO

That is an EXCELLENT question! When I’m laying on the couch with Miz Poo and the phone or doorbell rings, it is pretty close to impossible to get her OFF me so I can get up. I swear that one day they’re going to find me dead under a single cat who refused to move.

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What you call calico in the UK is a tortoiseshell.

There’s actually a difference between Calico and Tortoiseshell cats. This is the best explanation I was able to find online (maybe Oldcat could weigh in on this?) :

A calico-colored cat is a white-based cat that has large splotches of black and large splotches of orange that don’t intermingle. Black, orange, and white are all (for the most part) separate.

A tortoiseshell-colored cat has black and orange mixed in together, in a brindle-type pattern. The majority have a ‘split’ nose….black on one side and orange on the other. They can also have white on them….but that makes them torti and white, not calico.


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My floor is littered with litter! Until the third cat moved in, I’ve always been able to keep the litter scatter relatively under control. But I swear that Norman rolls in it, hides it in his fur, or packs it between his toes to be dropped off in a trail around the house. Every time I think the floor has been cleaned, I turn around to find more. I looked at litter mats at Petsmart but the cost seemed outrageous, especially when I’d have to buy several to supply every box in the house. Any suggestions for something more cost-friendly (or a brand that works and is worth spending the money on)?

Alyslinn said: Kelly, I buy the cheap black doormats at IKEA. Here in Canada they’re $1.50 apiece, and those seem to work fairly well.

Ruth O said: Maybe you’ve tried this, no biggy, but I keep a couple of really cheap throw rugs in the utility, one in front of the cat pans and one in the path to the door, they’re easily shook and washed (and a target for one cat to barf on!), and do catch a lot of the litter. I think trails of litter are just something that goes with cats, and the more, the merrier!! We had one cat who would get litter stuck between his toes (don’t want to think HOW) and then would move to the living room preferably the couch and carefully pick the litter out from between toes and spit it right there…ew!

Oh, loose litter, the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE. What I’m doing currently (and what seems to help, though it’s not perfect – the only perfect thing would be to win the lottery and hire someone to sweep around the litter boxes 30 times a day) is using these floor tiles under the litter boxes. The loose litter usually falls through to the floor below, instead of being scattered all over the place. They’re hard floor tiles that snap together. The cats aren’t bothered by them at all, and I move the litter boxes, pick up the floor tiles in one piece, and vacuum under them once a week. I’m using those floor tiles in the guest bedroom and in the foster room closet, and the Sportrax in the upstairs bathroom (they’re smaller than the other tiles, and thus fit in the space better). I read about those at, I think, Moderncat. They’ve turned out to be a really good solution for me.

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Ok…so now I have a question I’m hoping that you and your readers can help me with. I’m feeding 5 semi-feral cats. Semi-feral cuz they will let me pet them but move too fast and they’re GONE. Anyway…my question is…these kitties have worms. I’ve seen tapeworms around the butt of Mocha (a beautiful Persian who is terribly matted), Skittles and Bipper have thrown up what I believe to be round worms, ewwwwwy. I bought food grade Diatomaceous earth but they won’t eat the $%@#ing food when I use it. Maybe I should start with smaller amounts? Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I feel so bad for them but I need a treatment I can afford and something that can be given to them now and then as you know they’ll just pick them up again with being outside kitties.

Mary, what are you feeding them with the DE? Is it just regular canned food? I find that I have to mix the DE with canned food *and* some chicken baby food to get them interested in eating it. I think the consistency of the DE makes the food taste weird to them. The chicken baby food (I use Gerber) usually convinces the kittens to give it a try, and as they get accustomed to the taste/feel of the DE, I reduce the baby food.

I know there are deworming pills you could try, but they are pills. Do you suppose any of your semi-ferals would take a pill if you used a pill pocket or wrapped it in cheese or something?

Readers, suggestions?

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Don’t the roosters fight each other?

They do, and the problem with too many roosters is that they spend all their time fighting each other, or chasing each other away from the hens. Also, too many roosters means too many roosters trying to have relations with the hens constantly, and the poor hens end up with all the feathers pulled out of their back. I hate seeing hens with naked backs – which is the reason that several young roosters will be headed off to freezer camp in the near future. We really only need two or three roosters out there, and we currently have nine or ten.

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Oh my gosh, I was watching the Maggie is a talker video on the “poop and bob’s yer uncle (which made me spit water everywhere), and at 28 to 29 seconds, you can see a kitten kick!!

I am still laughing at Bob and his uncle and the poop. Oh My Gosh.

I cannot BELIEVE I never noticed that before, that is so cool!!

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I saw this and thought you should see it (if you haven’t already)…Cats! Improving paintings!

That is awesome!

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I’ve noticed in several pics that Lucy appears to be a little cross-eyed. Is that just me seeing her from a weird angle?

Nope, that’s not just you – Lucy’s eyes are just a bit askew.

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Adds to her charm, doesn’t it?

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Emmy is hanging in there. The nighttime howling has stopped, her appetite has picked up, and she’s marginally more friendly (or, as Fred says, less scared) every day. The last few nights, after Fred has gone to bed, I’ve gone into the room with her and laid down on the floor with my iPod and played games or read while pretty much not bothering her. Last night I looked over, and she was sitting up in her kennel, watching me, and clearly trying to decide whether to come out and eat while I was in there. She ultimately decided to stay in the kennel, but when I looked back at her a few minutes later, she was stretched out in a more relaxed pose than I’ve ever seen her in. She wasn’t rolling around on her back, but she sure looked like she was thinking about it.

I think it would be funny if she had her kittens on Sunday, since it’s Oscar Sunday. Also cool would be if she had her kittens on the 29th, since this is Leap Year and they wouldn’t have their first birthday ’til they were fully grown adults.

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Emmy in her wall basket.

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From a distance (I don’t think I posted about this when Fred put the steps and the basket up a few weeks ago).

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Chin scritching.

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Almost looks like she’s enjoying it, doesn’t she?

If she should go into labor over the weekend, I’ll post both here and over at the Love & Hisses Facebook page.

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He is one flexible boy.

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Sugarbutt peeks in for a swat.

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Hovering in mid air.

Lest you think that Everett spends all his time chasing da bird, it is not so. He does lots of other things!

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He inspects the to-be-filed paperwork.

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He keeps Stinkerbelle (you can see the tip of her ear over there on the left) company (Stinkerbelle does not appreciate this).

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He stares into the sun.

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He bathes.

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He flirts.

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He snuggles with Corbie.

Altogether a well-rounded individual, our dear Everett Peppers.

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Swatting at da bird.

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Pretty Corbie in the sun.

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With Alice Mo, on the back of the couch.

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And watching da bird from a safe distance.

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2011: No entry.
2010: “Your uterus will be GONE. Did I mention? That you? Will have no uterus?”
2009: That’s helpful.
2008: Every now and then the finch would flap his wings and squawk indignantly.
2007: No entry.
2006: I hate spoiled rotten princesses.
2005: “4.2 billion,” he said suddenly. “Not 4.7. Because a regular signed 32-bit integer only goes up just over 2.1 billion – that’s 2 to the 31st power – and an unsigned would be one more power of two onto that, so–”
2004: Is it easier to write bad poetry, or am I just naturally a bad poet (and didn’t know it)?
2003: Let’s see whether or not I can give Lisa what she wants!
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Have you noticed that I feel like an idiot a lot?

2/23/12 – Crooked Acres Thursday

Edited to add: NAME ONE OF EMMY’S (future, not born yet) BABIES! Go here to find out how! And here to see the spreadsheet (nothing there at the moment, but I’ll update it regularly!) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ … Continue reading “2/23/12 – Crooked Acres Thursday”

Edited to add:

NAME ONE OF EMMY’S (future, not born yet) BABIES!

Go here to find out how!

And here to see the spreadsheet (nothing there at the moment, but I’ll update it regularly!)

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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

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“There’s no seed block in this basket because that awful, awful woman let us run out! I wonder if there’s any seed in the feeder?”

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“Hey! I said no paparazzi!”

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House Finches, nomming.

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Male on the left, female on the right.

(No Cardinal pics this week!)

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Someone’s been rolling around in the leaves, clearly.

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Smug George is smug.

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I whip my hair back and forth/ I whip my hair back and forth/ Just whip it.

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Drum the pretty rooster, keeping an eye on his wimmins.

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I love it when the chickens run, they’re so funny.

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Especially the roosters.

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Hens hanging out in the muddy muddy mud.

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Angry Muppet will peck your eyes out.

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“What’s going on over THERE?”

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Rooster with the fancy feathered leggings.

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Better than a running chicken is a chicken who’s running whilst flapping.

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Pretty sure these hens are gossiping about me. The three Buff Orpingtons (yellow) and two Barred Rocks (black and white) are from our original flock, which we got almost five years ago.

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I love the way it always looks like ducks are smiling.

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I also love the purpley-blue feathers that peek out. So pretty!

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Ducks at the pond (but they weren’t up for a swim this time around. When things dry up out there, we’ll work on making it more inviting for them – I’m pretty sure I’ve talked Fred into duckweed, DB!)

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I’m oddly amused by the string of drooly-spit the one boy duck is dropping on the head of the other boy duck.

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Happy ducks.

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I was out running errands yesterday and stopped by Petsmart to peek in on Sally and Lucy. What’s funny is that I only intended to watch them through the glass, but one of the managers saw and recognized me, and opened the door to the cat room without my having to ask. Well then, of COURSE I was going to go in and give my girls some love. So I went in, and talked to Sally, and she was hesitant about coming to me, but the more I spoke to her, the more she meowed at me, and she finally gave in and let me pick her up and love on her. Lucy, who’s in the cage with the black cat (Bear Cub 1 or 2, but I think most of the volunteers/ adoption counselors are calling her Sissy Bear) came right over to be loved on. I petted and hugged and kissed them both for a long time (they were completely uninterested in each other, so I guess their hearts aren’t breaking over being separated), and when I put them back in their cages, they settled right down.

So in other words, they’re doing fine. Not adopted yet, but it’s still early!

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Before she went off to Petsmart, Sally developed a little crush on Tommy. All the girlcats eventually do.

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“Maybe if I just sit here and pretend to ignore him, he’ll notice me!”

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“He’s cuuuuuute.”

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“Juuuuust minding my own business, sniffing this box…”

Then she got tired of waiting and went off to take a bath so she’d be ready when Tommy came calling.

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Eventually, she gave up on waiting for Tommy and curled up with Everett, who’s always good for a snuggle.

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Lucy on the scratcher.

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Lucy and the Ears of Slightly Annoyed.

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Emmy is doing okay. She’s lonely in there – I’m sure she’s always had other cats as company – and the sooner those kittens come along and give her something to do, the better, I think. I was in with her yesterday afternoon and Everett had followed me to the door of the room. He started howling at the door, and every time he meowed, Emmy meowed back at him (through the closed door, I should add).

I realized in the early hours of Wednesday that part of the nighttime howling might have been due to the fact that there were two mirrors on the wall at face level (face level to a cat, that is), and I’m thinking that she was seeing her reflection in the mirror and thought it was another cat. I took the mirrors out of there and left the light on, and there was a lot less howling.

I’m ready for kittens any time now, please and thank you.

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“Why you keep waking me up and pointing that thing at me?”

2012-02-23 (14)
“Am tryin’ to sleep, lady.”

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(This picture does no justice to the size of the belleh.)

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I really need to make an effort to get pictures of Joe Bob in places other than on the scratcher.

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“Am not moving from the scratcher. Is my favorite place to be!”

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2011: No entry.
2010: I made a bet with Fred, and y’all let me down.
2009: They are weird-looking and obnoxious.
2008: No entry.
2007: Seriously, I might be a bit lackadaisical in my housekeeping, but I wouldn’t let CAT POO sit around on the floor, let alone let it show up in a picture!
2006: Second of all, we both hate our voices and to release them forth into the world would be a cruelty beyond measure.
2005: Impromptu day off.
2004: I’m going to save a fortune on tampons, that’s for sure.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: Damn that Sam’s.
2000: Heartless bastard.

2/22/12 – Alice Wednesday

Tandem jumping, starring Alice Mo and Lucy Peppers. Alice Mo is 1/16th Cherokee. True story. Eye on the prize. Got too close to Lucy Peppers, got all hissy. Lucy looks terrified, no? Okay, drama queen, dial it back. “NO REALLY I AM NOT KIDDING YOU, LUCY PEPPERS ::HISS::HISS::HISS:: ” Lucy’s like “No, seriously. WHAT is … Continue reading “2/22/12 – Alice Wednesday”

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Tandem jumping, starring Alice Mo and Lucy Peppers.

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Alice Mo is 1/16th Cherokee. True story.

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Eye on the prize.

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Got too close to Lucy Peppers, got all hissy. Lucy looks terrified, no?

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Okay, drama queen, dial it back.

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Lucy’s like “No, seriously. WHAT is her problem?”

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Leapin’ Lucy.

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Apparently that jump was just an excuse to get closer to Alice and unleash the Peppers Paw o’ Doom. She’s a smart girl, that Lucy Peppers.

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The bullies always crumble when you stand up to them, don’t they? A LIFE LESSON FOR YOU.

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Note that she hisses at Corbie as she brushes by him, but he’s concentrating so hard on the teaser that he doesn’t even notice her.

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Thank you all for the name and group name suggestions! I am definitely naming little mama “Emmy”, and the litter name will be (drumroll please) “The Nominees.”

A couple of people suggested that group name, but Andrea/ Luanne suggested it first, which means that she wins bragging rights! Try not to let it go to your head, Andrea, though I’m sure that you’ll make room on your resume for that. 🙂

The list of names that are in the running for the kittens (whenever they may come) are: Golden, Clio, Obie, Tony, Razzie (Fred insists that it’s “ie” not “y”. WHATEVS.), Espy, Darwin, Hugo, Sama, Olivier, Genie, Brit, Dundee, Peabody, and Pulitzer. These names are not in the running because they’ve been used for shelter cats in the past: Oscar, Juno, and Felix.

I can pretty much guarantee you that we’re going to have a Darwin and a Razzie out of this litter, because I REALLY like those names. Well, I like all of those names, actually, but I like Darwin and Razzie especially.

Mama Emmy is doing well. She seems to prefer to spend her days in the kennel and her nights in the basket on the wall. She’s no longer holding her ears out to the side in a manner that suggests “I hate you and want to kill you”, but rather holds them in a more relaxed, perked manner. I decided to stop being scared of her because I think that bringing that kind of energy into the room with me was not a good idea (have I been watching My Cat From Hell, do you think?) and look – if she lashes out and scratches me, it won’t be the first or last time that happens to me. I make frequent short trips into the room to visit her, and rub her ears each and every time, which she enjoys. She also talks to me a little – she talks to Fred more than she does to me, but I think we’ve established that the mama cats have a deep and abiding love for him.

She also howls at night. I thought, the first night it happened, that it might mean she was ready to have her kittens, but it’s been three nights running now, and there aren’t any kittens yet. I’m sure that she’s lonely – there were a lot of cats in that house where she was living, so being alone is probably not something she’s accustomed to. I had thought at first that maybe we should see about bringing another cat from that house here to keep her company, but mama cats are protective of their kittens and I’d hate to bring a cat into the room to keep her company, only to have her stressed about protecting her kittens from the other cat. I think that she’s still scared and lonely and just not sure what to make of this whole situation. But we are making progress, little by little, so I think we’re going to be okay.

She drew first blood on Fred yesterday, though it was HIS OWN FAULT. He tried to pick her up – have I mentioned that he always pushes the new cats further than I think he should? – and in her strong desire to get away from him, she scratched up his arms with her back claws.

I mean, let us not forget that when he tried to pick Rufus up, WAY before Rufus was ready to be picked up, we ended up with poop on the wall.

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Isn’t she a purty girl?

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Okay, a little bit glare-y. But I did wake her up. Maybe she’s grumpy when she first wakes up.

I was able to finally get a good look at her belly, though I didn’t touch it. I can report that I absolutely, definitely saw baby movement. I bet it won’t be TOO long now! (Though of course I thought that exact same thing with Maggie when we brought her home last year, and she hung in there for over two weeks before she had her babies!)

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Spanky, mid-yawn.

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He’s such a sweet boy.

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2011: She lubs her daddy.
2010: Until then, may all your tunes be loony.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: I’d hate for him to be able to CLIMB things.
2006: HOT MONKEY SEX, that’s what.
2005: I can tell you this – I’m not terribly fond of my mailman right now.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: Not bad, since it’s been ten years or so since I read the play, eh?
2001: Resolutions for 2001.
2000: Well, apparently “coke” sounded like “coffee” to the Einstein taking my order.

2/21/12 – Tuesday

This Friday will mark six weeks since I re-started exercising on a regular basis. Before that, it had been yeeeeeears since I lifted a weight or did any kind of cardio. I’ve been “going to” restart the exercising for all those years, but damn. Exercise is borrrrrrrring. Don’t even try to convince me otherwise, okay? … Continue reading “2/21/12 – Tuesday”

This Friday will mark six weeks since I re-started exercising on a regular basis. Before that, it had been yeeeeeears since I lifted a weight or did any kind of cardio. I’ve been “going to” restart the exercising for all those years, but damn. Exercise is borrrrrrrring.

Don’t even try to convince me otherwise, okay? I don’t want to run (my knees won’t let me), I’m not interested in yoga (and don’t try to convince me otherwise), I hate walking (the roads aren’t particularly safe around here and I don’t want to drive 10 minutes up the road to use the walking path near the high school because WALKING IS BORING.)

To fully understand my opinion on this topic, imagine that I’ve thrown myself on the floor and am flopping around like a fish and whining the whinest whine possible when I say, GODDAMN IS EXERCISING BORING.

So at the beginning of the year I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself, and I was all “Look, you. Either you’re going to be a doddering old lady, or you’re going to be a doddering old lady who can’t open the two liter bottle of Diet Coke without help. WHICH IS IT GOING TO BE?”

I like me some Diet Coke, so after more whining and flopping around on the floor, I got bored with complaining and sucked it up. (“But Robyn, I thought you weren’t supposed to drink diet soda after weight loss surgery?!” Yes, and I’m not supposed to have 13 cats in one house because that’s totally crazypants. I’M A REBEL.)

For the past five (six as of this coming Friday) weeks, I’ve worked out four days a week, and I’m sorry? Did you just sneer at me? Because let me ask you this: which is better, exercising four days a week when YOU think I should be exercising five or six, or exercising NO days a week because I’m in prison for running you down with my car because you got all judgey on my ass?

(Rhetorical question, because the judge would totally be on my side.)


Four days a week, I exercise. I take Wednesdays off, and I exercise thusly: Monday and Thursday I lift upper body weights (chest, shoulders, back, biceps, triceps) and then do 20 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training on the elliptical, and then on Tuesday and Fridays, I do lower body weights (quads, hamstrings, calves, abs) and 20 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training on the elliptical. My weight lifting is three sets of ten, one exercise per body part, plus an additional set of ten of a completely different exercise for the same body part. I lift heavyish, but not to failure.

I don’t love it. In fact GODDAMN IS IT BORING. But as I told Nance and Crazy Jane the Runner a few weeks ago, my mantra when it comes to exercising is “I don’t have to love it, I just have to do it.”

“But Robyn! Dr. Blah-de-blah says that blah blah blah cardio for AT LEAST SIXTY MINUTES SIX DAYS A WEEK!” Well, girlfriend, if you want to slog your way through sixty minutes of cardio six days a week, do please knock yourself out. The way I have my fancy exercise schedule set up, I am never more than two days away from a day off. Some days, that’s the only knowledge that gets my ass out of bed.

What’s the best kind of exercise you can do? Class? Anyone? Bueller? That’s RIGHT: the BEST exercise is the exercise you’ll actually DO. I’ve managed to force myself through 50 – 60 minutes of exercise four days a week for the past five weeks, and so that’s what works for me. Might I wake up one day, say “Fuck this” and then never exercise again? I very well might. But then again, yesterday morning I woke up, said “Fuck this”, turned over to go back to sleep, petted Everett Peppers for five minutes, then got my ass out of bed and exercised – and went the furthest distance I’ve ever gone in 20 minutes on the elliptical.

If you find an exercise you actually enjoy, then I’m happy for you. With the rare exception, I just don’t enjoy exercising (I have a weird love for triceps exercises, especially pushdowns, OH MY GOD I LOVE THOSE THINGS and I also loathe the actual act of quadriceps extensions, but ADORE the way my legs feel afterward)

Okay, here’s my dirty little secret: my favorite part of the day is when the exercising is done and I stumble back to the house on legs that are shaky and trembly. I love noodle legs. So I guess what I’m saying is that I hate the exercising, but love the way I feel afterward. It’s like brushing my teeth. The act of brushing them is OH MY GOD SO BORRRRRRRING ::flopping around on the floor whining whinily:: but I do love the feel of clean teeth.

(Hey, remember the Pearl Drops commercial where she ran her tongue across her teeth and was all orgasmic about her clean and shiny teeth? God, I hated that. Put your tongue back in your mouth, freak. No one needs to see that shit.)

We have a TV and DVD player AND a VCR out in the garage (note to the whippersnappers: before movies came in digital or DVD form, they came on these big ol’ blocky things called “tapes” and it took like 43 days to rewind the fucking things, and you HAD to rewind them before you returned them to the movie store, or they’d charge you $1 for not rewinding. Rewinding is when you hit a button so that the tape would… You know what? You’re on the computer right now, you go Google that shit. I’m sure someone somewhere has a page on the oddities of how the old folks used to watch movies). When I first started working out, I was watching movies. I watched The Cutting Edge (I say that When Harry Met Sally is my favorite movie, but I think that The Cutting Edge might really be my real favorite. My god, I love that movie.) and Music and Lyrics, Boys on the Side, Clueless – a bunch of movies that I happened to pick up at a movie sale a few years ago. What I need when I’m working out is something I can watch, that will entertain me, BUT that I don’t have to keep my eyes and attention on the entire time. Those movies worked for me because I’d seen them all before.

Then I ran out of movies.

I had NO idea what the hell I was going to watch. I mean, I’ve got a ton of stuff on my Netflix queue, but it was all stuff that I wanted to see, and that I needed to pay attention to. For instance, I plan to start watching Downton Abbey (YES, for the love of all that is holy, you fuckers have made me curious enough to give it a try!), but I suspect that I’d be missing out if I needed to turn away and do bent-over rows and couldn’t watch the TV the whole time (I mean, I could still keep my eyes on the TV, but the show wouldn’t have my 100% attention because I’d be counting to 10 WHICH REQUIRES MORE CONCENTRATION THAN YOU’D THINK, it’s easy to lose count).

And then I had a stroke of brilliance.

Last week I started watching the first season of Friends while I work out. I love that show so very much, AND THERE ARE TEN SEASONS OF IT! It is absolutely perfect, exactly what I need. When I’ve watched every episode, I’ll probably start watching Seinfeld. And then? I’ll start Friends all over again!

So there you go. More than you ever wanted to know about what I’m doing, four mornings a week. Sweating, swearing, and watching the best show ever.

(Also, on the days I get up to exercise, I actually set the alarm on my iPod Touch to wake me up at 5:30. I don’t jump right out of bed, but it gets me going (my alarm is the sound of ducks quacking, heh), and I’m usually done exercising right around 7:00.)

PS: I meant to say up there that what I like about High Intensity Interval Training is that I watch the seconds, and the minutes take care of themselves. I’m more concentrating on when the next minute comes around so I can up (or lower) the intensity than I am worrying about how much time I’ve got left. I discovered HIIT cardio years ago when Fred and I were following the Body for Life program. This time around I’m doing the HIIT for cardio, but not for weight lifting. Whatever works for me, right?

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Mama kitty update (but no picture today, sorry). Yesterday the shelter manager, Susan, and another Challenger’s House volunteer/ foster mum, Winnie, stopped by. I took them up to peek in on mama kitty. Winnie petted her through the side of the kennel (which has mesh sides), and though mama kitty didn’t roll out the welcome mat or anything, she put up with it and didn’t move to the back of the kennel. Considering how freaked out she was Friday night, that’s definitely progress!

The biggest progress of the day happened when I was gone. Fred went up to the foster room with turkey – and she ate it OUT OF HIS HAND. This is the first time she’s eaten in front of either of us (until then, she was only eating when we weren’t around), and she took several pieces directly from him.

He has a way with the lady cats, that husband o’ mine.

Name update: I’m almost positive I’m going with Emmy as her name. Several of you suggestion Tabitha, but that’s been used by the shelter in the past. Someone also suggested Hope, which I really liked, but that’s been used as well. So I’m likely going to go with Emmy, and the naming theme? Awards. Possible names for kittens: Oscar, Golden, Clio, Obie, Tony, Razzy (that last one was a suggestion from Fred). Got an award name you want to throw into the hat? Let me know!

Also, I need suggestions for a name to call them as a group. Fred suggested “Pawards”, but that’s kind of awkward and doesn’t really roll off the tongue. Any suggestions?

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At some point during his morning routine, Fred takes a few minutes to sit down on the kitchen floor. The cats gather around and he pets them and gives them love.

I know, right? SWEET.

Yesterday morning when he sat down, only Corbie and Kara were interested in being petted, which was unusual – usually most, if not all, of the cats come around for petting. After he’d given Corbie and Kara enough petting to get their day started right, he got up to go take his shower. Which is when he found all the rest of the cats, standing around the doorway to his bathroom. One of the cats – I highly suspect Everett – had noticed that when Fred puts da bird away, he puts it on the third shelf of the bookcase in the front room. Everett (just a guess) had climbed up there, grabbed it, and then pulled it into the bathroom. Fred said they were all standing around, their attention on the feathers, apparently waiting for it to start flying through the air.

Upon hearing that, I had to go around and squeeze the stuffing out of all the cats. SO CUTE.

So, Sally and Lucy are now at Petsmart. They howled all the way there, but once I got them settled in their cages (Sally’s in a cage by herself, and Lucy’s in a cage with another black cat who’s been there for quite a while), they seemed okay. I’ll report any adoptions as they happen, of course!

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I love how you can see the shadow of da bird on the doorway.

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Loony Jake joins in.

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Whiskers in sunlight! Y’all know how I love that.

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This is how an Everett jump goes. First, he’s suspended in mid-air for like 45 minutes.

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Then he kicks his back legs out to prepare for landing.

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Then he’s like “Okay, I’ve been up here long enough. Time to reach for the floor.”

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BUT THEN, he realizes he’s made a terrible mistake! There’s looniness in the way! Abort, abort, abort! But the landing gear is already down! Oh NO!

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Slooooooowwwwww mooooooootion craaaaaaaash.

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(The open mouth kills me dead.)

But somehow, the mighty Everett survives to jump again.

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One foot up, one foot down. Grabbing claws engaged.

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Annnnnd ::FLOOP!:: Up he goes!

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Reach for the floor…

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And a textbook landing. Nice job, Aviator Everett! Now go get some catnip and take it easy.

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Newt, on one of his favorite places to hang out, the top of the truck. Bath time, too, apparently.

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2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: I don’t think y’all need any more ammunition to prove that I’m a blithering idiot.
2007: “She keeps abandoning us for that damn Smallville house and those damn Smallville cats. Let’s pee in her bed, Suggie!”
2006: Holy hot dog! That’s a good freakin’ show!
2005: Questions answered.
2004: No entry.
2003: “Why, god? Whyyyyy?”
2002: He was in the room with me for less than 90 seconds. Was I happy? Oh, yes. Thrilled.
2001: I don’t know about that man…
2000: New vehicle.

2/20/12 – Monday

There’s a group of more than 20 abandoned cats in Limestone County here in Alabama. Forgotten Felines, a local cat rescue, is spearheading an attempt to save this group. They need donations, please help out if you can! The ChipIn page is here, with lots of pictures. Forgotten Felines’ Facebook page is here. Please spread … Continue reading “2/20/12 – Monday”

There’s a group of more than 20 abandoned cats in Limestone County here in Alabama. Forgotten Felines, a local cat rescue, is spearheading an attempt to save this group. They need donations, please help out if you can!

The ChipIn page is here, with lots of pictures. Forgotten Felines’ Facebook page is here. Please spread the word!

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I have been horribly lax in pointing y’all to Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza. Nance and I made Hot Honeyed Spare Ribs this week. Last week, Nance made Black Bean Brownies, I made Oat Bran Muffins, and we both made Country Club Chicken. (Spoiler: not all of those recipes were hits with us!)

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In case you missed it over the weekend, I posted on Saturday to announce our new foster, who is still not named. More about her later in the post.

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Last week, I was thrilled to get an email from someone who adopted kittens who were our fosters five years ago. They were with us in January 2007, a mother and her three kittens. We named them Fantine (the mother, a calico), Javert, Eponine, and Cosette.

Yes, they were entirely too old to be nursing, but you know how kittens are. They’d nurse their entire lives if their mothers let them!

Eileen emailed to let me know that she had adopted Javert and Eponine.



2007 - January 31, Robyn #22
Mama Fantine (I love this picture).

Javert is now Gus, and Eponine is now Belle and Eileen had this to say:

I came across your blog, Love and Hisses, today. It’s funny because I’ve come across your blog before in the past, likely because you mention Challenger’s House (I don’t remember what I was searching for at the time, but your blog popped up in the results). But today I was looking at another person’s site that showed pictures of cats that they helped adopt out through Challenger’s House and I started thinking, wouldn’t it be great if I could find some pictures of my babies (cats) that I adopted? So I typed in their former names, added in Challenger’s house, and presto! Your blog popped up. I was extremely excited to see pictures of my 2 cats, Gus and Belle, formerly known as Javert and Eponine, who were fostered by you. And I was especially excited to see those fantastic pictures on your Flickr stream!! I don’t know that I ever got to see their mom, but wow was I amazed to see she is a beautiful Calico! I remember seeing Cosette at Petsmart, the day I adopted them (Jan 2007) and I felt awful that I wasn’t able to take her too. I just wanted to say thanks for taking those pictures 5 years ago, they are absolutely precious and a joy to look at. I felt like I got a little glimpse into their past.

Gus and Belle are doing fantastic. Gus is still very much a talker but I love that about him (most of the time haha). In fact I said ok then, let’s teach you to use your words if you insist on talking so much, so I kind of taught him how to say “ma-ma” haha. It’s basically his talking sound but he has learned how to say the two “words” together quickly so it sounds like mama. He is so clever because he knows that if he really wants to get my attention (usually right before I walk out the door) he just has to let that out and I’m butter in his hands. Belle is still shy but I can get her inner tigress to come out with the right cat toy. She is quite a good cat toy hunter, as is Gus. Both of them are super sweet kitties, and tolerate me when I smother them with kisses. They both indulge me when I want to rub their bellies and both love to be combed, especially Belle. It’s the one way I can always lure her from wherever she’s at.

Anyhow, I also wanted to say thanks to you for being kind enough to offer your home, time, and energy to Gus, Belle, Cosette, and their mom, Fantine, and for all the litters before them and after them. I am so glad that they had a wonderful place to stay and wonderful person to take care of them. I always thought that Gus and Belle had a great foster family since they were so well behaved. I think it’s a tremendously generous thing that you do, fostering these cats. I and Gus and Belle sincerely appreciate it!

Sorry for the long email, I was just ecstatic to come across their photos, and wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed seeing photos of my little darlings, Gus and Belle.

Here are the pictures Eileen sent – I think it’s safe to say that Gus and Belle got even more gorgeous as they grew up!










I cannot help it, that tiny tie is just absolutely killing me DEAD.

Eileen, thank you so much for the update! I love to hear how our former fosters are doing, and seeing your great pictures of them was awesome.

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We are making teeny tiny inroads with little mama, progress that is pretty much invisible to the naked eye, but we know they’re there. She’s still scared, but Fred is taking the lead on this (he tends to take the lead with the scaredy cats, because he has a pretty good feel for these things – whereas I would prefer to stand back and let the progress happen on its own, he rushes in, and somehow it works.) So far, he’s been able to pet her (first with a leather glove on, and then once she stopped objecting to being petted he petted her with his bare hand), and she’ll “talk” to him occasionally. She doesn’t seem to much enjoy the petting, but she tolerates it, and that’s something she wasn’t putting up with when we first brought her home.

She spends most of her time either in the basket on the wall or in the kennel (which is covered with a towel). Occasionally she’ll push her way behind the kennel, but comes out when we pull the kennel away from the wall.

Saturday night, after making us worry, she ate the bowl of chicken baby food and deli turkey that we left for her, as well as some of the kitten kibble. She also used the litter box more than once, which I was glad to see. There were other signs that she’d been exploring the rest of the room – not that there’s much to explore, but she knocked over the pillow by the door, and possibly batted a toy across the room (though it’s also possible that Fred or I kicked the toy across the room without realizing it).

She’s still unnamed, but I’m leaning toward naming her Emmy. I like good, solid, simple names for our mama cats – Kara and Maggie were names that came to me pretty quickly and I consider Emmy to be in that same line. Nothing’s written in stone yet, though, I’ll keep y’all informed!

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This is the kennel – it might look familiar to you if you were following along when we had Maggie last year.

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“I not love you, lady.”

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“This guy who gives the ear scritches, though, he’s kind of okay.”

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“You go ‘way and leave me alone with the ear scritcher, mm’kay?”

Why do I suspect that after Kara and Maggie were kind enough to give birth to their kittens during daytime hours (well, Kara had hers in the evening) so we could witness the blessed event, this mama is planning to birth hers in the middle of the night?

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This evening, I’ll be taking Sally and Lucy to Petsmart. Ordinarily I’d wait and take them tomorrow morning (adoption hours are held Tuesday evening), but I’m honestly not confident that I’ll be able to get both girls into carriers without help from Fred. They are wily and slinky and good at hiding, so I’ll need him to grab one while I grab the other, and we’ll stick them into carriers at the same time so we don’t end up putting one in a carrier and then have to hunt the other one down.

Y’all keep your fingers crossed that they’re adopted quickly, won’t you? For the past week or so, both girls have taken to jumping up onto the bed the instant they hear me turn over in the morning. They lay on me and purr, roll around, knead, and peep at me. They are just the sweetest girls! I’m going to miss them – and yet, I hope I get to miss them and that they don’t end up having to come back here for another break.

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Every Pepper loves that catnip banana.

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Miz Poo critiques Everett’s form: “Not high enough.”

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Corbie jumps in and grabs da bird.

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Everett supervises.

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Crazy Corbs.

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Got it!

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Not ever going to let it go.

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No, seriously. She’s not letting go.

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Miss Maxi keeps an eye on her property.

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I don’t know what I was doing here, but it was clearly causing the Ears of Annoyance.

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One of the compost heaps. Or, as Maxi sees it, a warm place to hang out (that’s bedding that came from the chicken coop last Fall. I’m sure it’s nice and warm as it composts.)

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2011: No entry.
2010: Do you remember Hoyt?
2009: EVERYONE knows that Fred likes cheese, just not on a salad.
2008: About ten minutes after Lupe started her circuit of the kitchen, I heard her sing a happy little song and went into the kitchen to find that she’d docked herself and was happily recharging.
2007: “Hey,” I said despondently. “He’s dead.”
2006: But I’m afraid that now it’s tasted human blood, it’s going to require a periodic human sacrifice.
2005: No entry.
2004: The Bean appeared before me, eyes wide and dark, a sad little I’m a poor kitty who has lost his way look on his face.
2003: They freaked out.
2002: Um. In yesterday’s entry, I MEANT to link to Fred with the words “nice butt”, not MYSELF.
2001: We got proof today that we, in fact, do not have two gay hamsters.
2000: No entry.

2/18/12 – Saturday

Just a quick one today! There’s a group of more than 20 abandoned cats in Limestone County here in Alabama. Forgotten Felines, a local cat rescue, is spearheading an attempt to save this group. They need donations, please help out if you can! The ChipIn page is here, with lots of pictures. Forgotten Felines’ Facebook … Continue reading “2/18/12 – Saturday”

Just a quick one today!

There’s a group of more than 20 abandoned cats in Limestone County here in Alabama. Forgotten Felines, a local cat rescue, is spearheading an attempt to save this group. They need donations, please help out if you can!

The ChipIn page is here, with lots of pictures. Forgotten Felines’ Facebook page is here. Please spread the word!

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So, that group of 20+ abandoned cats I mentioned up there? Well, it just so happens that since the Peppers are going to start to go to Petsmart, and since they’ve been out in the house 24/7 lately, the foster room was available. Last night, we got this sweet girl from Michelle at Forgotten Felines:

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Oh, and? She’s in a family way. Which means KITTENS up in this house! Possibly soon!

She’s scared to death, and we haven’t been able to get our hands on her – she hisses and growls at the idea of being petted, she’s not eating despite the many different foods we’ve offered her. Mostly, she hides. We had to take the cat tree out of there, because she was hiding on the bottom of it, and I’ll be honest – I didn’t want her to give birth on that cat tree ’cause it’s less than a month old! I had put the kennel in the room, and she hid behind it, so I moved it against the wall so she can’t get behind it. She sat in the wall basket for a while, and then finally made her way into the kennel.

Fred got her to “talk” back to him a couple of times, but for the past few hours she’s been in the kennel, curled up in one corner, ignoring any attempts we make to engage with her.

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I haven’t honestly been able to get a good look at her midsection. I only know that she’s pregnant because I’ve been told – Michelle was able to handle her briefly and said that she’s lumpy. Fred said that she’s “huge” (which, let me remind y’all, is what he said about Maggie last year, and then it was weeks before Maggie had her babies). If I were given a choice in the matter – and I know it’s certainly not up to me – I’d like it if we had at least a week to try to get this new girl to warm up to us. It’s been less than a day, and honestly we don’t know what she’s been through in her life – she was living in an abandoned house with a bunch of other cats, then she was snatched up into a carrier, taken to a vet to be tested, driven to a place she’s never been, and put in a room by herself.

I’d be scared too!

Fingers crossed that she comes around and that she starts eating. We’ve tried tempting her with canned kitten food, baby food, the stinkiest canned cat food we have, Bonito flakes – she’s just too scared at this point, I think. If I have to, I’ll run over to the store and buy some canned mackerel and see if that won’t get her interested. I know that their appetites drop down to just about nothing in the day or so before they give birth, so we’ll see. We’ve certainly had kittens in the past who were this scared or even scareder, so I’m not giving up hope.

She doesn’t have a name – we haven’t even really discussed a naming theme yet. Fred wants to wait ’til the kittens are born, maybe we’ll do that. We’ll see!

How funny is it that this is the third pregnant cat we’ve had, and they’ve all been brown tabbies?

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Everett likes to pick fights with his sisters, who are VERY annoyed by him. The other day he and Sally were hanging out on the walkway around the kitchen, and he decided to get obnoxious.

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Sally’s minding her own business, and Everett comes over and gets all up in her space and is like ::SNIFFFFFF::

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Sally’s appalled and is all “RESPECT THE BUBBLE!”

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“Oh, THIS bubble right here?” ::poke::

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“Stop TOUCHING me with your nasty, stinky boy paw.”

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“Ugh! God! Stupid boy! Get away from me!”

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“STOP sniffing me!”

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“Ugh, you are SUCH a jerk!”

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“I can’t wait to go to Petsmart and get a cage by myself away from YOU!”

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Then of course Everett is like “Wait – where ya goin’?!”

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Pardon me, Sir, your tunes appear to be loony.

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2011: Higggggggggggggggggggh.
2010: Gone for a week and a day and THAT GODDAMN UTERUS is still makin’ my life difficult!
2009: I held up four fingers. “I. Have. A. TOTAL. Of. Four. Buckets. Of. Litter.” I said slowly.
2008: This is my “What the fuck am I supposed to do here with this board that isn’t as tall as the others?” face.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Amazon is the Jonathan Baker of boyfriends.
2004: I could have crowned myself “The Queen of Fuck.”
2003: Because M&Ms rock, and so does my husband.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Have I mentioned that three-day weekends rock? They surely do.

2/17/12 – Friday

Edited to add: There’s a group of more than 20 abandoned cats in Limestone County here in Alabama. Forgotten Felines, a local cat rescue, is spearheading an attempt to save this group. They need donations, please help out if you can! The ChipIn page is here, with lots of pictures. Forgotten Felines’ Facebook page is … Continue reading “2/17/12 – Friday”

Edited to add:

There’s a group of more than 20 abandoned cats in Limestone County here in Alabama. Forgotten Felines, a local cat rescue, is spearheading an attempt to save this group. They need donations, please help out if you can!

The ChipIn page is here, with lots of pictures. Forgotten Felines’ Facebook page is here. Please spread the word!

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I’m happy to see we aren’t the only ones with a clawed couch. Elphaba is our first cat not to be declawed originally because of low funds but then because I felt guilty after reading you and other sources as well. They have fancy laser declaw surgery now that is probably better but it costs a fortune. Elphaba is wicked with those damn claws of hers and I call her Captain Hooks sometimes. I bought her a scratching thing that hangs on the front door. She refuses to use it. I probably need a bigger scratching post and some catnip. She’s never had the nip yet, have to see if she likes it. Atleast she understands not to claw US.

Which Blues Brother is lurking behind the couch? Is that Loony Jake? He is such a cool guy.

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Isn’t that couch horrifying? I have to admit to y’all that if I’m cropping down the picture and I think of it, I photoshop that hideous corner of the couch so it doesn’t look quite so bad. Not only have the cats clawed it to shreds, I put double-sided tape to dissuade them from clawing it – and they clawed THAT. It’s our own fault for not being diligent about putting a scratcher there and redirecting them when we caught them, and possibly even going back to putting caps on their claws. Those couches look horrible, but they are so, so comfy that I ignore how horrible they look.

And yeah, that’s Jake. Both Jake and Elwood like to snoopervise when da bird comes out to play.

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I think there should be a “Da Bird – Free with Adoption of Everett!” promotion. He loves his feathers so.

I think I’m going to have to do that – I certainly wouldn’t want him to go on to a birdless house!

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Blue birds love raisins, but you have to cut them up smaller so they can eat them with no problem. I even bought mealy worms from our bait shop and man oh man did they gobble those little things up. To expensive to continue at the rate they ate them, so I went to feeding them raisins. Even the robins like this treat.

Love your site and have been reading you since the 90’s. I don’t reply to often but never a day goes by that I don’t read you. Hubby knows now, who you and Fred are. At first he thought we had new neighbors till I told him you’re a blogger on the internet and now he knows when I mention about a cat I’m talking about your cat sanctuary or cat farm..ha.ha

Thanks for the bird-feeding tip! I didn’t know that Bluebirds were particularly fond of raisins, but now that I know, I’m going to have to pick up a big box of them at Sam’s.

I also talk about other bloggers on the internet like I know them, trust me – you are not alone. 🙂

Lisa added: I’ve been reading here for just as long. My daughter was a baby when I started and now she’s 12 for gods sake! Occasionally I show her cat pics from here or videos or I mention something that was posted. I always refer to Robyn as “bitchypoo” though. It never occurred to me until just now that I don’t call her Robyn. How stupid! I seriously call her bitchypoo and that’s how my daughter “knows” who I’m talking about when I mention something from here. Sorry Robyn (like you care I’m sure lol) LOVE the bird pics btw. I just wanna squeeze the feathers right off ’em! 🙂

Oh, I answer to “Bitchypoo” as well as “Robyn.” 😀

And from Betsy: You know, every once in a while, you mention Miz Poo’s age. And then I gasp because I have been reading you since she was a kitten. I remember distinctly when you adopted her and was sad that you didn’t name her Molly. So this means I have been reading you for 13 years. No wonder I have dreams with you and Fred in them!

I love not only that y’all have been reading for so long, but also that y’all have dreams about us. Have I mentioned that dreams about us invariably crack me up? It’s true!

Okay, Crooked Acres Dream Alert! Last night you posted on your blog (and I was watching the events unfold as you were posting… because you can do that in your sleep) that a jackdaw (NO idea where that came from) had caught a vole in your backyard (I have to assume it was the result of the recent post about Mighty Hunter Joe Bob, but it was definitely a vole in my dream and not a mole). While you were initially happy about this, you quickly realized it was an exceptionally large vole, probably the leader of an entire vole colony, and your house was going to be overrun with a vole infestation. This apparently had happened once before, and you included a link to the post about the previous incident. Unfortunately my son chose that moment to wake me up, so I don’t know how you were going to deal with this alarming problem. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that your post was written in a screwy dream version of Shakespearian English.

No, I’m not on medication, why do you ask? 😉

I’m fairly sure that we were going to deal with the vole infestation with… more cats, of course! Thanks for sharing your dream, that cracked me UP. Also, Shakespearian English! HEE!

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Have you seen this? Get your bread and your camera!

I’m afraid to try that with Elwood – he’d have that bread eaten before I could get any pictures of it! Actually, though, I bet he’s the cat most likely to put up with it. I just may have to give it a try!

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(About the Adele song) She explains the meaning of that song on her concert DVD. It’s more about running into someone you really loved 20 years down the road and having the emotions rush back (hopeless romanticism?) Not so much the “HAI, HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN TWO YEARS, I’M KNOCKING ON YOUR FRONT DOOOOOR!”

And I found this funny, she said she wrote Set Fire to the Rain after a friend prompted her to write something highly campy to appeal to his drag crowd, lol! Hence, the overly dramatic lyrics. She said it’s about getting really angry after the initial tears, and putting some emotional “fire” behind them.

I have actually seen an interview with her where she gives that explanation, but the lines I had hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded That for me, it isn’t over still sounds SO STALKERY TO ME. Also, every time I hear the song, I end up singing it for the rest of the day and oh how that drives me nuts. NUTS!

I have to go listen to Set Fire to the Rain now, I’m not sure I know that one.

PS: Have you seen this version of Someone Like You? I love it.

PPS: And the Glee mashup? I love Santana so much.

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What’s the difference between a calico and a calitabby?

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I think (though I’ll be honest, I’m not positive) that tabby markings in the black fur make a Calico a Calitabby. Or actually, maybe it’s when they have a lot of tabby markings? You’ll notice that if it weren’t for the dashes of orange on Alice’s right side, she’d look like a brown tabby and white on her right side.

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Actually the ‘technical’ term for a odd white patch on the chest is a ‘locket’. On the belly it is called a ‘button’.

I actually didn’t know that a smattering of white furs would still be considered a locket, though I guess it certainly makes sense – and I had NO idea that white on the belly is a button, how adorable is that!

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Connie had a better suggestion for a caption to this picture that make me LOL: no no, not brains.. invisible shopping cart.. There is a credit card in her pocket somewhere and nip to be purchased…

And then Andrea said: I think she could be one of those obsessive extreme couponers! “Where’s the nip? Clear the shelf! I’ve got 52 coupons and I get a free Da Bird refill!”

She does have that tense “I have coupons and it’s doubling day, OUTTA MY WAY!” look on her face, doesn’t she?

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Warning: Poop talk ahead. Skip to the next section if you’re eating or have a weak stomach!

Earlier this week we got to talking about – well, originally we were talking about Brigitte’s kitty who occasionally needs his behind washed, and then SC Amy added this interesting comment:

Some folks may worry about milk issues, but my vet has always recommended cottage cheese to firm things up. My cats don’t care for pumpkin, but will dive right into the cottage cheese! Jinx had a bit of the runs the other week, and a big tablespoon of cottage cheese had him pooping proper the next day!

So this is my question to y’all: what’s your favorite kitty-diarrhea remedy? Disclaimer here, of course, if your cat has developed diarrhea, your first step is to take him or her to the vet. But sometimes cats have diarrhea because they got into something or because they like to make your life difficult (you know it’s true!), or they have diarrhea that isn’t clearing up with treatment – or I should say, the diarrhea isn’t clearing up quickly enough. So I’m going to list my favorite remedies (I’ll say up front that if I never had to treat another cat for diarrhea, I’d be happy!) and if y’all have any to share, feel free to jump in, I know I’m not the only one who’d be interested in hearing what everyone else tries. I am not a vet, try these at your own risk, etc.

I’ve linked to Amazon on all of these (except the pumpkin) just so you can see what I’m talking about, but if you Google around, you’ll likely find it cheaper elsewhere.

1. Pumpkin – everyone knows this one, probably, and cats often like the taste of pumpkin. Make sure it’s pure pumpkin with nothing else added.

2. Slippery Elm Bark Powder. I get mine online, I’ve also gotten it at a health food store in the past. You can sprinkle it on their food, but what I prefer to try is the Slippery Elm Bark Powder Syrup at the bottom of this page.

3. Forti-Flora, which is a packet of probiotics. I mix the packets with wet food, but have also sprinkled the powder directly on a plate, and the cats like the taste enough that they’ll eat it straight. Along the same vein (and certainly less expensive!), a couple of teaspoons of plain yogurt might work as well.

4. Pectin. Yes, the stuff that’s used in making jams, find it in your grocery store canning aisle. Add 1/8 tsp to some wet food or baby food, then I always let it sit for five minutes before before giving it to my cat. It absorbs moisture, and if it’s fed dry to your cat, it’ll get into his stomach, absorb moisture there, turn into a rock, and then be thrown up. You’re already dealing with diarrhea, you want to have to clean up vomit too?

5. I have seen – though don’t use – Kaolin-Pectin antidiarrheal remedies. I don’t use it because it usually requires that you give your cat a teaspoon of it every 4 hours (I think), and while to us humans a teaspoon isn’t a lot, when you’re trying to shoot that much medicine into a kitten’s mouth, you’re both going to end up with pink stuff all over you, guaranteed.

6. Diatomaceous Earth – FOOD GRADE. Do NOT use anything other than FOOD GRADE DE, the stuff you buy to use in your pool cannot be consumed, it’s poisonous. FOOD GRADE, did I mention? FOOD GRADE ONLY. This actually should be up toward the top of the list, it’s one of my preferred methods. In a perfect world, I’d start giving Diatomaceous Earth to kittens once a day as soon as they come into the house, but… I do not. I have no excuses other than laziness and simply forgetting. I almost forgot to put it on this list! (I swear, getting old is NO FUN.) Diatomaceous Earth is safe to give to cats every day, and though the recommended dosage is 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp once a day, it’s not the sort of thing they can overdose on. I mix 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of the powder into wet food, mix it well, and feed it to the cats. (You can read more about Diatomaceous Earth here – or do a web search, there are lots of sites out there with information about it.) I use Diatomaceous Earth in the summer to help with the flies out by the chicken coop. It doesn’t eradicate them completely, but it certainly helps! I buy my Diatomaceous Earth online (that’s my theme, apparently, “I buy it online!”), but you can find it at your local Co-Op, and I’m sure there are other places to find it.

7. Lastly, Kocci-Free is my treatment of last resort. It’s a pain in the butt because you have to give it to them four times a day, every six hours. On the up side, the doses are very small, and you can usually squirt the medicine in their mouth before they realize it’s happening. I’ve had kittens with diarrhea who had fecal test after fecal test done that came back negative for any parasites at all, who didn’t respond to anything I’ve listed above, and in those cases, the Kocci Free worked. It’s expensive, yes, but the bottle lasts a good long time. One note: use a 1 cc oral syringe to figure out how the dosages measure out (I think 3 drops translates to .05 cc? I’m not positive on that, though, I have to figure it out anew every time I use it), and dose them that way. Trying to use droppers with the kitten flailing around is ridiculous when you can use a syringe, sneak up on them, and shoot it in their mouths.

Okay, those are my solutions – what are yours?

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Fred should put out Everett, Lucy, and Sally collector editions of the No Limit cover (eyes on the top). Then their adoption bios can include “model.”

I told Fred about this comment, and he said “But their eyes don’t look evil enough!” To which I responded with this picture:

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I think Lucy’s eyes look plenty evil there!

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Is it true that Everett never lands, he hovers round the house instead?

It might be true. He’s an experimental kitty. His feet have not touched the floor in 36 hours; that beats his previous record by three hours. He’s planning on trying out for Americat’s Got Talent.

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I don’t know why, must be the eyes or something because they’re not the same kind of cat, but every time I see that picture of Pepsi, all I can think of is that kitty that sings your cat’s theme songs, Out Side Momma and Alice Mo the Calico! Is it just me?? (probably..) Oh, and if those have had a million hits, half of them are me! I love them and think you should make a theme song for each of the permanents! Anyone second that??

Talking Tom! Yeah, I see the resemblance there.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who watches those over and over again. They crack me UP (which is probably in poor taste, to get such a kick out of myself, but I’m so amused by me I just don’t even CARE).

I cannot come up with permanent resident theme songs on demand, they have to happen organically. I am an ARTISTE, you know! (hee) I’m working on something for Corbie – originally it was going to be to the tune of Cherry Pie (only of course it would be Corbie Pie), but I couldn’t quite make it work, so I’m going in another direction. We’ll see, maybe in the next few weeks I’ll have something. 🙂

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OK, seriously? You have a tub for hats for cats and WE NEVER SEE HATS ON CATS!! why are you holding out on us??? are we not your friends? don’t you like us any more..

I’m going through a jumping-kitties phase at the moment. If you want to see really awesome hats-on-cats pictures, you should go visit The Miao Chronicles. I can’t link to just one post, because every one of them is so fantastic!

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My little kitty also somehow manages to put all her weight on one tiny foot, my husband and I like to call this “pin feet”.

That is the PERFECT descriptive term for it! And they never place the pin feet in a spot where it wouldn’t cause much pain like, say… Hm. Actually, I can’t think of any body part where pin feet wouldn’t hurt because somehow their body weight seems to triple when balanced upon pin feet, doesn’t it?

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I can’t tell if that is Lucy or Sally on the blue chair behind jumping Everett, but she makes me giggle!

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That’s Sally on the couch, and Lucy behind the couch. When Everett really gets to jumping, the girls tend to stay out of the way so they don’t get caught in the crossfire hurricane that is Everett Peppers.

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And why, pray tell, is it called the Poltergeist tree?

Because it’s haunted! I kid, it’s not really (that I know of, anyway). Fred came up with the name for it, because it looks – especially in the Winter – like the tree in the movie Poltergeist, all outstretched limbs like it wants to pull you down into the ground. I’ll have to see if I can’t get a decent picture of the whole tree to show what it looks like. It’s a pecan tree, by the way – since we’ve lived here, we’ve only gotten a decent crop of pecans one year, and they all came off the Poltergeist tree.

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I think “Pretty Rooster with no name” could be called “Drum”. He’s got some massive drumsticks, but drumsticks sounds so…not nice…like you might eat him any second. Also – I heart Steel Magnolias. 🙂

Well, to be fair – we are getting rather a lot of roosters out in the back forty, and some of them will be going off to freezer camp in the next month or so. I don’t know that he’ll be one of them (I leave those decisions up to Fred), so he may be around for a while. I also love Steel Magnolias, so Drum it is!

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Then she gives her the Alice Mo Glare of Death, like “I am NOT kidding you!” and Sally isn’t. even. looking!

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No kidding, Sally’s like “What’s an Alice Mo?” Alice Mo totally thinks she runs this household, and the kittens are completely unbothered by her bossy ways. It cracks me UP!

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Do the chickens drink out of the pond?

I’ve never actually seen them doing it, but I’m sure they do. I’m sure that, like the dogs, the chickens probably see the pond as a big water bowl.

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Has any of your cats ever had allergic reactions? Our Snickers gets lumps on his chin that fester and then he rubs the area raw with his paws. Every few months our vet gives him a couple of shots, it heals up, but always comes back. This time it was also in his mouth. The vet changed his food, (of course he won’t eat it) If you or other readers have had this problem can you give us any advice.

Miz Poo is allergic to something, we’re not exactly sure what, but her lip swells up with a rodent ulcer and then she has to have a steroid shot. The vet thought it was a flea allergy (we had an allergy test done, and the results were that she was slightly allergic to fleas), and we’re careful to use flea preventative on all the cats, but Advantage and Frontline don’t immediately kill fleas, so she may still get bitten before the flea on her dies – this is all supposition on our part, really, we don’t know that it’s a flea allergy, but the test indicated no allergies to anything else.

Anyway, my point here is that we have never found anything that works for her. In the last few years her allergy issue seems to have slowed down, and I think she only needed a steroid shot once in the last year, thankfully.

Readers? Any experience or suggestions to share? Please leave a comment and share with the class. 🙂

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So, today marks four weeks since the black Peppers came home with me for a break from the cage at Petsmart. I checked with the shelter manager and early next week (probably Monday evening), Sally and Lucy will be going back to Petsmart. Lucy is going to go into the cage with the one black cat who’s left there (remember I told you about the two black cats, Bear Cub 1 and Bear Cub 2? Well, the male was adopted, and the female is there by herself now), and Sally will go into a cage by herself. Sally’s a bit more prone to acting wild (not in a good way) if she has her siblings to rely on, and I think that if she’s in a cage by herself, she’ll be more willing to interact with people than she was when the three Peppers were in one cage. Once one or the other of the girls is adopted, then Everett will go down to take their place. If they sit there for two weeks without being adopted, I’ll take Everett to Petsmart and bring the girls home for a break. Then if he sits there for two weeks without being adopted, I’ll do the reverse. Hopefully no one will need to come back here – fingers crossed!

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It’s amazing how high that boy can fly, isn’t it?

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Poor Alice. Everyone just ignores her when she gets all glare-y at them.

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Eyes on the prize.

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“How does he stay up there?!”

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Alice is all “Nice form, doofus.”

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“Better you land on your sister than on me.”

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Alice lifts the Paw o’ Doom. Everett’s not impressed.

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Everyone else is watching the birdie – Corbie’s looking at me like “Where do all these kittens COME from?!”

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Hello, Gorgeous.

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Beautiful boy.

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Maniacal laughter, because that boy KNOWS he’s gorgeous.

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2011: No entry.
2009: It was like nails on a chalkboard every time someone said it.
2008: We’re very protective of our property, if you couldn’t tell.
2007: No entry.
2006: Don’t call me paranoid – it happens to me ALL THE TIME.
2005: I feel like every time I run an errand in the Jeep I’m tempting Fate.
2004: I am blogrolling’s bitch.
2003: We figured if nothing else, we’d just start killing and eating cats.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: ***Warning! Adult language and situations ahead! Skip the first three paragraphs if you’re easily offended***