3/30/12 – Friday

ATTENTION, those of you in the Germantown, MD area – or within a day’s drive! Red and Scuse, two very close brothers, need a home! They’re a little over two years old and very active. You may remember then from back in December when I linked about them – they were abandoned by their owners … Continue reading “3/30/12 – Friday”

ATTENTION, those of you in the Germantown, MD area – or within a day’s drive!

Red and Scuse, two very close brothers, need a home!

They’re a little over two years old and very active. You may remember then from back in December when I linked about them – they were abandoned by their owners and then attacked by dogs; Red had irreparable damage to one of his eyes, which had to be removed. Abigail reports that they are very very friendly and easy to love, sweet, lovable, affectionate lapcats. Look at those faces – don’t you just want to kiss them?

Read more about them here, and if you aren’t in the market for two lovebugs, please pass the word along!

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Robyn, I can’t imagine you and Fred with only five cats. How many would you have if you lived in, say, the Spelling Mansion? 😀

If I could afford the Spelling Mansion, I’d make “zones”, and each zone would have whatever number of cats could fit in that zone without peeing. And then I’d hire someone to scoop the litter boxes and spend all my time sitting and staring at kittens! (Well, more time than I currently spend sitting and staring, that is!)

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Lena used to act like she was spraying — she’d back her fluffy butt up against something and do the whole tail shake thing, but luckily there was never any actual spray. (Territorial butt pheromones?)

Stinkerbelle does that too! She’ll stand on the fridge and twitch her tail and it looks SO much like she’s spraying, but there’s never anything there!

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I have to say, I was indeed wondering about whether or not there would be “replacements” after members of your herd complete the Circle of Life. NOT that any of them can be truly replaced (REPLACE Miz Poo??? Hardly…), but you know what I mean. That said, what are Fred’s thoughts on the matter?

I actually asked him this last night, and he said “It depends on which five are left.” HA. My thought is that he’ll never have to go without awesome cats. We’ll always have fosters running around, it’s not like we’ll be catless, and we’ll always have our own permanent residents. I can think of at least three kittens we fostered in the last year that he wanted to keep – he was very strongly pushing to keep Everett Peppers, for one – but he adjusts pretty quickly to having them leave.

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I was wondering why you prefer the Nose Offense over just using the hydrogen peroxide baking soda mixture all of the time? It seems it would be more economical just to use that.

For two reasons, really. No, wait, three: 1. The Nose Offense is mixed up and ready to go, so I can just grab the bottle and go. The hydrogen peroxide stuff has to be mixed up and also, I’m not sure if the efficacy of that stuff stays the same if you keep it stored in a spray bottle or not (I’ve read that you should mix it up fresh each time), but it “leaks” out the top of the bottle if you try to store it, and makes a big mess. 2. The smell: Nose Offense is scentless (well, it does have a slight scent to it, there’s no such thing as completely without smell), whereas the hydrogen peroxide mix smells like Dawn. I like the smell of Dawn, but one thing I’ve come to realize is that if I use something that has a scent to it, after a while my brain links that smell to cat pee, and I honestly can’t tell if what I’m smelling is cat pee or the spray I’m using to clean it up. 3. The hydrogen peroxide mix has to sit, preferably until it’s dry. Since the cats spray on things like the bottom shelves of the bookcases (grrrr) and the front of the kitchen cabinets at the floor level (grrrr again), I can’t spray those down and leave a puddle there. The cats would be fine with it, I’m sure, but I can just about guarantee that I’d slip in the puddle and fall. With the Nose Offense, you can spray, let it sit for a minute, and then wipe it up.

I swear to god, I am NOT getting a kickback from Nose Offense. I just love the stuff.

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We do the same thing – once or twice a day (because they like to sneak into the garage or into a partially opened closet door which might then get closed from the outside), and every time an outside door has been open for any length of time, I’ll holler, “Cat count!” It’s gotten easier since I started giving them treats when they show up – now I can holler “Cat count!” and they all come running.

I can understand that sometimes they have to run a heavy-gauge cord or some other device to an outside hookup, but there’s a gap in my wrought iron door that’s big enough for just about anything to fit under and still have the door close over top of it, yet they leave the door open anyway. The worst, though, was in a rental house when a guy came to replace the water heater, and while he was out in his truck getting tools, one of my cats crawled in to the exposed hole to explore. He had to take the whole thing out again when we realized the cat was trapped under there. (And Neil Gaiman once got a cat trapped by a bathtub the same way!)

Love that Neil Gaiman story!

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This is a story I related to a class of 10th graders yesterday who were learning about genetics: with the litter of kittens I had, mom & dad were both tiger striped, & we got 1 tiger striped girl & 3 black boys. You cannot tell 10th graders that you once had 3 black boys. They will go wild.

Hahaha – love it!!!

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When I saw the Corbie/Joe Bob “sniff” fest, I thought of this.. and thought I’d share

HEE. That seems like a conversation any two of my cats could be having at just about any time of day or night!

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If I did it right Google says those “weeds” are Spring Beauty ( Claytonia virginica ) pretty white flowers with pink stripes or veins – easy to identify and very common right now.

Also, you can eat the tubers (chestnut type taste).

Several people told me the correct name of them, but only Pam told me I can dig ’em up and eat ’em! I mean, not that I’m necessarily going to (If I dig them up and eat them, then there’ll be none next year. No really, it’s not ’cause I’m lazy!), but it’s a neat point of conversation that I can bring up randomly and impress people with!

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So, does Tommy return Ms. Stinker’s affections?

Awww, lookit Tommy and Stinkerbelle back in 2007!

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And 2008!

If Stinkerbelle comes down from atop the kitchen cabinets and hunts Tommy down and leans up against him, he is such a good boy that he’ll groom her and cuddle with her. We call him our ambassador because he’s always so willing to groom the fosters that come through the house. He rarely goes looking for snuggling from other cats, though. He’s fine on his own, but he’s also fine with his space being invaded. He’s just a good boy!

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…Notice how a certain little kitten is nursing in just about all of those kitten pictures; regardless of how the other kittens trade off? I think we know how Logie got to be the biggest kitten! 😉

I swear, Logie is ALWAYS nursing. She nurses more often and for longer than all three of the other kittens combined! I think she’s going to be a big one, for sure.

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Have to agree with Fred, Stinkerbelle is beyond beautiful…love her to pieces. Does she not warm up to ye ole cat whisperer (Fred) even a little or does he get the Paw O’ Doom too?

Oh, she warms up to him and she loves to be petted by him. But she unleashes the Paw O’ Doom on him too. It’s like, when she’s done she’s done and it doesn’t occur to her that you might not know that she’s done, so she has to smack you with the Paw to let you know. Can’t you read her MIND?!

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Logie seems to be developing points like a Siamese, doesn’t she?

She kind of does!

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I swear I am not a skimmer!! My brain cannot remember if Stinkerbelle is one of the cats that go outside. Please refresh my memory.

She doesn’t go outside – not because she’s not allowed to, but because she has never figured out the cat door (and I think the idea of it scares her a little). When she was younger, she used to sit on the dryer (which is next to the door) and wait for him to come back inside. I said she was like a sailor’s wife, waiting for her man to come back.

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Are Logie’s eyes ice blue. They look different than the others. She sure is different.

As far as I can tell, their eyes are all about the same color. I think hers look different sometimes because I have to lighten the picture a little to get her to show up better rather than being a big dark shape.

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Do either of the doggies get upset when they see two of their flock outside the fence?

It doesn’t seem to bother George and Gracie at all that two of their flock spend so much time outside the fence. Maybe they don’t realize that they should be worried!

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The loony one doesnt care for Corbie? How can anyone not care for Corbie? I love the loonster! He even looks looney when he looks peeved!

Oh, Loony Jake was just having a moment. He loves everyone, and everyone thinks he’s okay, too. Have I told the story of how every morning when Fred’s putting collars on Kara, Elwood, Tommy, and Sugarbutt, Jake knows that they’ll be temporarily unable to get away from him, and so as Fred’s holding each of them and putting their collar on, Jake rubs up against them? He cracks me up, that loony boy.

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If I lived in your house, they’d be featuring me in an episode of Intervention. I’d be sitting around huffing kitten belleh all day long!

HAAAA! Now, THAT is an episode of Intervention I’d love to see!

“I don’t really think ::huff::huff::huff:: I have a problem. I mean, sure, I could live without it ::huff::, but why would I want to?”

At the intervention there’d be your parents, your friends, a mother cat and her kittens. Jeff would be like “All these people love you like crazy” and the mama kitty would be pottying one of the babies. She’d read her letter “Your huffing addiction has affected me in the following ways – oh, RIGHT. You get to pick them up and kiss them and huff their bellies, but when they’re hungry? When they need to be pottied? You’re NOWHERE to be found, ARE you?! If you don’t get help, I’m taking my babies and their bellehs and we’re hitting the road and you will NEVER see them again!”

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When Philo, now 5, was a baby, and I’d had a stressful day, I’d go home and tell him I needed to huff a kitten. I’d pick him up and sniff his fur. Nowadays, he’s large and pear-shaped, and no longer tolerates being picked up to huff, so now I pick up his little sister, year-and-a-half Maggie, who’s apparently going to be a very small cat.

Interesting that both Philo and Maggie have been with us since a very young age (Philo since the age of 2 weeks, Maggie since the age of 3 weeks) and neither one knew a mommy for very long, and yet both of them keep their fur immaculate. Philo in particular has very pleasant-smelling fur.

I’m a crazy cat lady, aren’t I?

You ARE a crazy cat lady and that is OKAY. You are among your people here!

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They are so cute! I loooove tabbies. Check out my current fosters at Diary of a Foster Cat!

No seriously, y’all. I know that like me, you can’t get enough of adorable babies – go check ’em out! A couple of other places to see wee baby kitties are Millie’s kittens, over at Flickr, and of course Connie’s fosters!

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When do kittens start using the litter box?

I think they’ll be ready to use the litter box fairly soon – I think 4 to 5 weeks is about when they start, though I’ve had kittens start sooner. When I noticed Newbery climbing into the pan that Emmy’s litter box sits in and “tasting” some of the litter she’d kicked out of the box, I immediately switched from clumping to plain clay litter and put out three smaller litter boxes that they’ll be able to climb into and out of. As they grow, I’ll switch to bigger litter boxes. So far I’ve seen them climb in and out of the litter boxes (just to check things out), so I know that won’t be a problem. I will, of course, report back when they’ve started using them!

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Not about your kitties, but I had to run here and say this (because my Facebook friends already think I’m a bit overboard about my cats and I know you can appreciate it). My 8-year-old Simba has never been a “friend-maker”. When he lived with my old lady Einstein, they never got along. I always blamed it on her being old, crotchety, and a loner. When our foster Tommy moved it, they proved that they aren’t aggressive with each other but will never be friends. When we adopted old man Norman in January, I simply hoped they could co-exist peacefully (which they pretty much always have). I just walked into my living room to find them CUDDLING IN A KITTY PILE!!!! My two kitty brothers are a peaceful, snoozing, purring pile o’kitty love right now. Joy!

I’ve always said that the reason I’m not the neighborhood cat lady is that I can’t stand when they bicker. Hmmm… 3 cats going on 13?

Awwww, congratulations, Kelly! (Y’all remember Kelly, of course, who adopted old man Norman (NORM!) because black cats are AWESOME, and Norman just keeps proving it over and over again. (Also, Kelly is awesome for adopting an older black cat, but you already knew that!)

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Please tell me which one is the kitty in the picture that says “Hallo Lady” (the first one that says on this post). Anyway, I think that kitty is the most cutest and inquisitive little thing. 🙂

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I am almost positive that that’s Newbery. And yes, he is SUPER inquisitive – he was the first to climb into my lap, and now when I’m in the room, he spends a lot of time climbing into my lap and then sitting there upside down for a few moments before he rights himself.

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Does any one besides me think that Logie looks like a WOLF PUP??

Oh, I definitely see the resemblance! I also think she looks like a little bear cub, too.

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Do I spy kitten teeth? Itty, bitty teeth buds….

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I don’t know exactly when they pushed through, but I was made aware earlier this week that they have them, when they decided that my foot was what they needed to be biting. They are so SHARP, those tiny little teeth!

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Joe Bob, sweetheart… You know I love you, dear, but… I think Corbs, in his young immature way, is telling you that, well, frankly, your cologne stinks sweetie. It’s bad. It’s like hog rendering facility bad. It’s like sewage treatment plant bad. Try switching to something more…. pleasant. Something like.. lavender because it soothes others, or.. sandlewood because it smells manly. I’d suggest catnip scent, but that would just make them sniff you more!
Joe Bob, Joe Bob, Joe Bob Joe Boooob
Please change your cologne because you can!

I bet Joe Bob is wearing the kitty equivalent of Axe! Corbie was like “Dude. Seriously. That stuff is rank!” and Joe Bob was like “::HISS!:: THE WIMMINS LIKE IT, YOU JUST SHUT UP!”

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Wouldn’t frogs help keep the mosquito population down, though? Will the catfish eat all the frogs, or just some? I love me some frogs.


Ducks love tadpoles! When I was a kid we had ducks and my Dad would scoop tadpoles out of the pond with a net and feed them to the ducks. They loved the tadpoles so much that they would follow my Dad around the yard hoping to get more tadpoles. It was pretty funny seeing him walk around the yard with 7 ducks following him!

The catfish won’t eat all the tadpoles, though they’ll certainly eat a lot of them. The ones that survive will be the strongest, hardiest ones, I imagine.

And the big news ’round here is that Wednesday, the ducks discovered the tadpoles. They followed me out to the pond and stayed out there after I left (usually they follow us back to the front part of the back forty). In fact, 45 minutes after I came back inside, I looked out and could see the ducks on the pond. When Fred and I went out to walk around the pond just before dark, the ducks were STILL out there. I haven’t seen them get more than a few feet from shore yet, but that they’ll go out there of their own volition now makes me very happy!

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My friends back home have been occasionally letting in a stray cat, who we now know is preggers. Mr. Friend is allergic to cats, but the real reason “Sunny” doesn’t stay inside is 1) she doesn’t seem to like it for more than a few hours at a time, and 2) she is not litter box trained. In reading your blog I wonder if it may just be worms or another thing that comes with being an outdoor cat, but I’m definitely a little confused. I sort of assumed that all cats just got the hang of using the litter box, it seems like your bottle babies do okay without a mommy to show them how; but I’m wondering if you, or any of your other readers, have had to litter train a cat? Sunny looks to me to be around 2-3 years old (I haven’t gotten to check her teeth, just cell phone pics) and ideally they’d like for her to stay inside and have the babies in a safe environment (and not get knocked up again before we can have her spayed) – but since both of my friends work and have a rented, carpeted apartment, keeping her in without using the litter box just isn’t an option. Anyone have any advice? They live in an area where there are NO no-kill shelters, no real network of fosters, no TNR, not even any good low fee spay options (but I’m putting my foot down on that, regardless of cost, we will have no more alley babies from Sunny.

In the comments to yesterday’s post, Connie and Melody had some good suggestions. If anyone else has thoughts or suggestions on the topic, feel free to join in!

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Do you ever feed your cats outside? We have 2 outside cats that REFUSE to come in. So, we feed them outside & try to pick up the food quick, quick. But we still managed to ‘collect’ 2 feral Toms. We’ll TNR the toms & we’re happy to feed them, in their own corner with their own plates. But we can’t figure out how to get them to stop bugging our cats. 1 feral will even ignore the food & chase our neutered female cats across the back yard instead. So, I’ll neuter everyone but still wondering if it will stop the aggression.

We do have food outside for the outside cats, and we actually don’t take it up (as we should). Really, you’d think we’d have more strays showing up than we do. Maxi is so fierce that any stray who wanders across the property KNOWS who’s in charge. Hopefully neutering will help with the aggressive males, but I can’t think of any suggestions on how to get your feral Toms to stop bugging your cats.

Y’all have suggestions on this? Please feel free to leave a comment!

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Of course I love the sweet and sassy kitties, but I also love George and Gracie! Their smiles make me happy. I think I mentioned this before, but I have a Great Pyrenees/blue heeler mix. He’s ‘normous. He has the size of a Pyr but the markings of a blue heeler. Rescue puppy from the SPCA. ♥

So, I know that Pyrs are great herding dogs, but I’ve never seen any livestock on Crooked Acres, so do George and Gracie herd the ducks and chickens? 🙂

If they see a threat, they will actually herd the chickens back toward safety! They like to herd the humans, too, all two of us. Mostly, though, they seem to spend a lot of time herding their eyelids toward sleepytime.

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So Fred gets all the credit for adopting Stinkerbelle? Sounds familiar. I usually got the credit for most of our kitties. I would come home from work & find a new kitten in my wife’s lap. She would say ‘It’s up to you if we keep her’, and I would say ‘sure’ (always room for one more). Then later she would tell everyone that I INSISTED that we adopt this new kitten. It was all in good fun though… I guess.

I will say that Stinkerbelle is the one cat we adopted that he insisted on adopting. He actually stopped at Petsmart to get her on his way home from work that day, and that’s unusual for him. That proved that he REALLY wanted her. If I had put my foot down about Alice (or Kara – do we sense a theme here where he always likes the girl kitties??), he would have let me make the final call, but about Stinkerbelle, yeah. He was pretty insistent!

The dynamic has actually changed over the years. It used to be that I’d want to adopt this kitten or that and Fred would say no, and now it’s more that Fred wants to adopt this kitten or that and I have to be the one to say no. I mean, I would LOVE to keep every single one of our fosters, but that’s just crazy talk and I am completely serious about not adopting any more.

Don’t give me that look. I’m SERIOUS.

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Also, does Alice know about Fred’s love for SBelle?

Alice does know that Fred has a love for Stinkerbelle and her blue, blue eyes, but Alice is not concerned. Alice knows that she’s the light of her daddy’s life, and Alice knows that no one can hold a candle to her. Alice is a very confident girl!

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Maybe the big, black tom is Papa Peppers! Trying to track down his fambly.

And just like that, Blockhead now has a new (much better!) name.

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This is absolutely cracking me up. Look what Kittykye put together!

I’ve watched this several times, and it makes me giggle every time!

Thanks, Kittykye!

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Ignoring that baby in the background, Emmy gives me the slow-blink Eyes o’ Love.

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Boy, SOMEone woke up with a case of the grumpies!

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Newbery’s face (that’s who’s there on the left with the funny expression) is cracking me up.

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The babies like to grab at the walls of the box and make a scratching noise so Emmy will look to see what’s going on.

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The wanderer returns.

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“Mama, STOP! I is clean.”

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“Are you mad at me, Mama?”

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(whispers) “Don’t be mad at me, Mama, just don’t clean me in front of the other kids, okay? They make fun of me and call me a big baby.”

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Corbs, beautiful Corbs!

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I love this boy. You probably didn’t know that, did you?

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Oh, how annoyed he is by me. He’s ready to come over and smack that camera right out of my hand. I can’t help it. I lubs him.

(PS: It’s been one year since we officially adopted him!)

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2011: Say goodbye to foster Corbie…
2010: The chickens of Crooked Acres.
2008: No entry.
2007: Love you! Mean it!
2006: I am absolutely the last person on Earth you want in the vicinity if there’s an emergency.
2005: Questions answered.
2004: I am absolutely stunned that… I frankly couldn’t give less of a shit.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: I have to wonder, what the hell do all you skinny people do?
2000: Yes, this is a lame, short entry, but since y’all love me, you’ll be back. Right?