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?

3/23/12 – Friday

Yesterday on Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza, I posted a recipe for Ultimate Chicken Fingers, and Spicy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. SO GOOD. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   I think I remember you bitching about stamps.com on here … Continue reading “3/23/12 – Friday”

Yesterday on Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza, I posted a recipe for Ultimate Chicken Fingers, and Spicy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. SO GOOD.

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I think I remember you bitching about stamps.com on here so maybe you don’t like it. But the podcast I like (WTF) is sponsored by them a lot and it sounds good. No more going to the post office. And using his WTF code you get a fee scale and $55 worth of free postage. I’m in Canada so we can’t use it, but it always sounds good to me!

Isn’t the WTF Podcast awesome? Nance finally talked me into giving it a try, and I like it a lot. I’ve listened to four or five of them and they’re consistently interesting and entertaining.

I had a Stamps.com account for about 10 years, but I finally had to call and cancel (and it still pisses me off that I could sign up online, but had to call and talk to a person to cancel; it only strengthened my resolve to cancel) when I decided I don’t mail out enough stuff to make the monthly fee worth it.

Now keep in mind that I had looked at their web site to see if there was a cheaper monthly fee that would work for me, and there wasn’t. But lo and behold, when I told them I wanted to cancel, there WAS a cheaper plan. I hate that shit – if you’re going to have a cheaper plan, have it available to everyone and NOT just the people who already have the account and are threatening to quit. I know that companies do that because it works, but I think it’s slimy and it pisses me off and will never ever convince me to stay with the company.

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The entries for 2007 down to 2001 sound like they could be the start of an odd story. Here it is, with a few minor edits:

“What’d you do, come up with some new exercise plan?” he asked. “Why do I feel like an ass all of a sudden?”

Damn (she thought,) he saw through my wily scheme!

Out loud, however, she said, “Cat pee, by the way, is the vilest-smelling stuff on the planet.”

She stood and let it sink in, then turned and flounced off. Don’t you hate it when someone tries to be reasonable in the midst of your tightly choreographed hissy fit?

HA – now I want to know what happens next! 😀

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That polka dotted bowl is the shit! Where did you get it? I like happy polka dots best of all patterns.

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The bowl came from PetSmart – it’s made by Whisker City. Isn’t it adorable? I love a cute cat dish!

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Have you thought of using some velcro to keep the pads in the kitty box? They make some with adhesive on the backs and you could (here I am bossing again) stick one in each corner of the box and sew the other part to the pads? They might still push it out if they work very hard but it would take a while.

That’s a good idea, I think I’m going to give that a try next time we have a pregnant mama. The Noms and Emmy, being weirdos, seem to prefer the bare wood for some reason, so I guess I’ll let them do what they want. When those little ones start wandering around the room and find the cushy, comfy soft beds that are in various spots of the room, maybe they’ll change their minds!

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Is Emmy’s bottom lip swollen? In the video it kind of looks like it is.

It’s a little swollen. It seems to get a little worse when she’s spent a lot of time grooming the babies, and then better when she gets some alone time. She won’t let me look at it or get too close to it, but I’ll keep an eye on it (from a distance) and if it gets worse, I’ll take her to the vet (which will be a special, special experience, I suspect).

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At the risk of having the scary “finger of skimmer” aimed at me, where did you get the cute cat dishes the duck/chicken egg comparisons are in? I probably need some because we certainly need more cra, er stuff for our furball.

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I got those at Target, I believe. I’d give you the name of the company who makes them, but there’s no stamp on the bottom at all! I’ve had them for a few years. If they didn’t come from Target, then they came from Petsmart – but I am fairly sure that they came from Target. (Unless they came from Petsmart. 🙂 )

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Do duck eggs taste different from chicken eggs??

We scrambled and ate one duck egg, and it is similar to a chicken egg, but has a stronger flavor (it tastes particularly “eggy”, if you will). If I hadn’t known that it was a duck egg rather than a chicken egg, I would have thought it tasted a little “off”, but would have accepted that it was a chicken egg.

I’ve heard that duck eggs are really good to bake with, so that’s likely what I’ll use them for.

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I’m not sure how to phrase this question without it sounding weirdly accusatory in one way or another, which is not my intent at all, but: Are you going to let the ducks reproduce? If so, or even if not, how will you know (without cracking them open) which eggs were fertilized and which ones weren’t? Part of the reason I ask is that if you wind up with ducklings, I might have to remove you from my bookmarks lest my head explode from the cute and I lose my mind and drive to Alabama to live in one of your sheds. (c;


Do you and Fred have a little machine or something that tells whether or not there are BABIES in the chicken and duck eggs before you eat/cook them?

With all those roosters and the 2 male ducks running around, I would think there could be some “eeewww” moments otherwise???

We don’t, at this point, intend to let the ducks have babies. We have the four ducks, and their sole purpose is to be entertaining and to paddle around in the pond (SOMEDAY). I have no desire to eat duck and so it would be silly to let them have babies. Even though they’d be SO CUTE, and wouldn’t a kitten-and-duckling picture be ADORABLE?

But no. No baby ducks!

Here’s the thing with fertile eggs: you can’t know if they’re fertile without cracking the egg open. We gather eggs every day (sometimes twice a day), and so there’s never a chance for them to start developing. Fertile eggs need to be under a hen or in an incubator to start developing. If we find an egg that’s in a spot we didn’t know they were laying in (most of the hens lay their eggs in the coop, but occasionally one of them gets sneaky and starts laying in a spot previously unused), we test them by putting them in a cup of water. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it’s fresh enough to eat; if it floats, it gets tossed. If there’s any question, we toss it.

There’s no taste difference at all between fertilized and unfertilized eggs, they taste exactly the same and don’t let anyone tell you any different.

Also, hens will lay eggs whether roosters are present or not, but of course if a rooster isn’t present they won’t be fertile eggs.

When we’ve got a broody hen sitting on a clutch of eggs, Fred will check the eggs after 10 days to see which ones are growing and which ones aren’t. He’s built a box with a lightbulb in it, and he holds the egg up to the light and can see if there’s growth. I myself am never able to tell the difference, but he’s always able to tell right away. The eggs that are not developing, he tosses and the eggs that are, he puts back under the hen.

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Dear Noms, the fancy yellow sheet with its kitty print is just so festive and comfy looking! How can you push it away? But Tabitha keeps dragging her babies off the multitude of soft surfaces I have provided and putting them on the hardwood floor. Maybe it is the warm weather…80’s in March…good gosh we zoomed right past the 70’s without even a how-dee-do!!

I think that the Noms are snobs, is what I think. That kitty-print pad is one that I made myself, and since I cannot sew a straight line to save my life, it’s a bit crooked and the Noms are all “Eww. We require a much more PROFESSIONAL looking place to sleep than THAT.”

Joke’s on them, though: I stained and polyurethaned that box they love so much, and I can see all the places I made mistakes, so HA.

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Who the heck is that landmass in front of Emmy’s face hiding her nose? Boy, they’ve suddenly doubled in size and look like fat knockwurst.

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That is the delightfully chunky Logie. And yeah, they’re all plump little sausages these days, and often willing to roll over for a belly rub. I am in heaven!

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Crooked Acres Thursday is the best, especially in beautiful Spring! That lightning photo is quite frightening! Did it scare you when you took it? Did you run right back inside?

Oh, I took that lightning photo through the window. I have no desire to go outside when lightning is striking! In fact, when the rainbow was out, Fred said “You should go out into the yard to get a better picture!” and I refused to because a cool picture is nice, but being struck by lightning isn’t my thing.

I might start hearing dead people, and that would be creepy.

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Wait, you can get ad revenue from YouTube?

You can! Well, actually, I guess it’s through Google Adsense. I think you’d have to get a whole lot more traffic on your videos than I do to make it worth it, though – I’ve been signed up with them for a year, and I think my grand total earned is less than $10. I’m not sure it’s worth the annoyance of having ads show up during your videos, honestly. Of course, if that Emmy video were to truly go viral and rack up millions of hits (which I’m not expecting, but never say never!), I might be singing a different tune.

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So, on the topic of starving. I’ve always wondered how you manage to get 14 sets of snacks out during Snackin’! Time!? I usually feel like a zebra being stalked by a hungry herd of lions when I’m putting dinner out for my 4 guys. I’m pretty sure, no, make that quite sure, I’ll be footage on Nat Geo one of these days…

Kelly added: I have to feed my three in separate corners of the kitchen so everyone “keeps their eyes on their own bowls”. Norman, especially, is too curious about what everyone else is eating. The other two just want to eat in peace. I can’t imagine having to find 14 defined spaces for kitty feeding. The drama produced between the feeding of the first and the feeding of the third is ridiculous (and only takes a few seconds!).

Um, EXCUSE ME, I only have THIRTEEN cats, thank you very much!

(Yeah. Somehow that doesn’t sound the slightest bit less crazy than 14, does it?)

I shot this video at the end of last year, and it illustrates how we did snack time with two sets of fosters (the Peppers Gang and Charlie and Patty Peppers) and the permanents. Right now we’re going through a non-snack time (which I do every so often when I hit my annoyance threshold – don’t worry, they’re not starving!) and the only Permanent in the house who currently gets snacks is Spanky. He’s lost some weight in the last year (he’s healthy, but in his old age he’s just not eating as much) and so he gets a morning and evening snack in addition to their regular food. He gets his snack in the bathroom (otherwise, Jake would elbow him out of the way – as it is, Jake waits outside the bathroom in case Spanky doesn’t eat his entire snack), and any time I walk in that general direction with ANYTHING in my hand, Spanky gets all excited and runs into the bathroom.

(By the way, Emmy gets four HUGE “snacks” a day in addition to her bowl of always-available kibble.)

Kelly is SO right about the drama between the feeding of the first and the feeding of the next few being ridiculous. Cats are such drama queens!

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Miz Poo is gorgeous. How did she get her name?

I honestly can’t remember how Miz Poo got her name. She was originally named “Scrappy” (at the time we were going with an “S” theme when it came to cats’ names; we gave that up when we adopted Tom Cullen), and then I’m sure that in the course of baby-talking to her and calling to her, she became “Pooh” and then graduated to “Miz Poo.” (When I call for her, it’s usually “Miiiiiiiz PootiePootiePootie!”) For a while I was getting reminders from the vet and had to stop and think “Who on earth is SCRAPPY?!” before I remember that that’s her “real” name. The vet now has her listed as “Scrappy/ Miz Poo.” Heh.

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So which momma cat has been the best momma so far, Emmy or Miss Maggie?

I would say that they have different parenting philosophies! Maggie was a little less super-worried about the babies – I mean, not that she would let them starve, or even howl or anything, but she did wait and make sure there was an issue before she went back in to be with them. I had to put a camera in the room when Maggie had her babies, because otherwise the babies would be in the middle of feeding and I’d walk into the room, and Maggie would get up and run over to me for petting and her babies would be rolling around trying to figure out what just happened. Maggie would go back and take care of the babies once she got her petting, but I hated that my walking into the room interrupted the nursing.

Emmy, on the other hand, is a helicopter parent. All those babies have to do is make the slightest peep, and she’s over there all “What’s the matter, baby, what do you need, are you hungry? Do you need to go potty? Is that mean lady trying to pet you? Should I beat her up for you?”

I’m really looking forward to seeing how Emmy’s babies turn out, and then I can extrapolate which parenting method is the preferred! I expect that Emmy’s babies will turn out just as awesome as Maggie’s (and they were AWESOME, weren’t they!), and the resulting theory will be “Stay out of the way and let them parent how they want.”

Want to see a few pictures of Maggie and her babies from last year? You know you do!







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I honestly think that if Maggie and her babies were still here (and her babies will turn 1 on April 2nd), they’d still be nursing and she’d still be letting them! They had no desire to stop, and she wasn’t going to make them.

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Robyn! Aah! I know you’re a fan of the pawpads, so check this out!


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Kara’s frowny face always cracks me up. Does she ever “smile” or does she always look so anxious and concerned?

She pretty much always looks anxious and concerned – it’s tough to be the sheriff, and she takes her job seriously! I think it’s just her natural expression, she looks concerned even when she’s laying on her bed being petted and purring up a storm.

Can you believe it’s been almost four years since we first got Kara as a pregnant (foster) cat?


Although, actually, she’s kind of smiling here, isn’t she:


And here she is with her babies:


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Who is the “go way” and “spoken my piece” baby? Sooooo cute.

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That is Newbery, I believe. I have to confess that when I see the kittens in person (purrson!), I can tell them apart but it’s harder when I’m looking at pictures.

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Newbery’s ears seemed to have “popped”–does that coincide with the ability to hear?


So tell me, when their ears popped up, did they make a sproingy noise? 🙂

I do believe that the “popping” of the ears probably coincides with their ability to hear (kittens are born blind and deaf). They can definitely hear me now judging by how their ears move around at any sound, and they – especially Newbery – will “talk” to me if I talk to them long enough.

When their eyes opened, it sounded like a cork coming off a champagne bottle. When their ears popped, it was like “Sproing-oing-oing-oing!” 🙂

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Will Fred again attempt to grab that “on the lam” rooster for freezer camp? Its days seem numbered!

I think for the time being, we’re going to let wandering rooster and his lady stay around. If they start becoming a nuisance and wander off our property, then that might change. But luckily the neighbor has a dog, and the Wanderers seem to know that they should keep their distance from the dog and tend to stick right around the house, so I think they’ll be okay.

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“What’s out HERE?”

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Logie’s not sure she likes that loud yellow fabric.

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Or maybe she’s trying to understand it.

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Newbery gets a back rub and thinks maybe he likes it.

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Checking to see what’s out there…

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Logie thinks outside the box.

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Thinking about it…

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Venturing forth.

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“Okay, this fabric is even worse. Can we get something in a muted paisley?”

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Having retreated to the box, Logie keeps an eye on me. Probably hoping I’ll replace that fabric with something quieter.

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“Mama, that lady keeps taking our PICTURE!”
“I’m keeping an eye on her. She won’t mess with you. She’s scared of me.”

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That’s what YOU think, Emmy!

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Logie and Darwin are behind Emmy. Sometimes they feel the need to be crammed in the tiny space between Emmy and the back of the box.

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Kitten movies! The first is one of the kittens (either Darwin or Newbery, I’m not sure which), nursing. SO sweet!

Note: when the picture goes wider, that buzzing noise you hear is the camera focusing. Also, you can hear a loud truck going by. It gets loud in that room occasionally.

The second is the Noms (especially Newbery) stumbling around the box like they’re drunk:

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Yesterday morning, I was sitting at my desk, and I glanced over to see Elwood and Jake under the bird feeder. In other words, outside the fence. When I went out to call them inside, Elwood came right up onto the side stoop and into the house. Jake ran back and forth by the fence, trying to figure out how to get back into the back yard. Then I realized how they’d escaped the back yard: the day before, when the guy came to see why our upstairs air unit wasn’t working, he’d left the gate unlatched, giving all the cats a way to escape the back yard if they so wished. I hadn’t thought to check the gate and make sure it was latched, because it never occurred to me that the guy would have just left the freakin’ thing unlatched. Grrr.

To my horror, when I did a head count, I couldn’t find Corbie. I looked all over the house and in his usual spots in the back yard, and nada. I walked the property for about half an hour calling and calling and calling, and no Corbie. I came inside the house and called Fred at work to tell him that Corbie was missing, and as soon as Fred picked up the phone, I looked out the window and Corbie was walking across the side yard looking puzzled. As soon as I opened the door and called him, he ran up the steps and into the house. PHEW!

New rule: check the gates after we’ve had a workman in the back yard!

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Hello, Beautiful.

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Corbie and the Loon.

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Loony Jake finds Corbie annoyingly beautiful.

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2011: “VERY rude, lady. I oughta smack you. But I need to go back and eat some more.”
2010: Oblivious is my default state, apparently.
2008: No entry.
2007: No offers yet though, damnit.
2006: “Hookers and blow!” he crowed jubilantly.
2005: Also, there’s that whole pesky “dealing with people” thing, and I don’t like that sort of thing at ALL.
2004: The spud passed the test for her learner’s permit, THANKYAJEEZUS.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: Fred and I chose the names of our future child/ren way before we ever met – Seth Forrest and Samantha Jayne.
2000: On the other hand, I was shopping in Wal-Mart, wasn’t I? What’d I expect, diamonds and furs?

3/16/12 – Friday

I’ve had a lot of searches where people appear to be looking for the Emmy’s-alien-belly video that I shot the day before she gave birth. Here ’tis: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   Guess who was on Cute … Continue reading “3/16/12 – Friday”

I’ve had a lot of searches where people appear to be looking for the Emmy’s-alien-belly video that I shot the day before she gave birth. Here ’tis:

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Guess who was on Cute Overload Thursday evening?

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Awwww. I’ll be honest, it never occurred to me to send the picture to Cute Overload until Lisa told me to send it to them. I am nothing if not obedient, so I did! (Thanks, Lisa.)

Oooh, maybe Emmy will make it into the 2013 Cute Overload daily calendar, wouldn’t that be awesome? This picture of The Seven did:

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I’ve got that page from the calendar hanging on my fridge, still. I need to frame it and hang it in the foster room or something.

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Elayne cracked me up twice this week:

Robyn, usually I have all kinds of trouble waking up in the morning. This morning, however, I bolted straight out of bed the instant the alarm rang for the very first time, and got up and directly got dressed and moving and energetic and stuff. The reason is that, in the split second before my alarm went off, I was dreaming that you and I were hanging out, wandering around one of the flea markets down here, and you spied an item (which I am not going to describe in any further detail) that was for sale in an, ahem, adult toy/marital aid stall. You said, “You know, that’s exactly like the one your mom told me she and your dad have. It’s pretty neat – now, the way it works is that THIS end here goes-” and then the alarm went off and I have never been so fucking happy to wake up at 5 A.M. in my entire LIFE. Don’t DO that to me, woman!


I was getting ready to politely laugh at your math, because I was born in 1968 and am 43. I was trying to think of how to do it without coming off as a COMPLETE asshole/bitch (a little bit is okay), when I realized that you’ve already had a birthday this year, whereas I won’t turn 44 until December 29th. I am envious of my friends who were born on January 1. (I have two friends and one ex-husband with that birthday.) I’m like you mentioned in an earlier post, remembering when I was a kid how I not only knew how old I was in years, but also in months and frequently DAYS, whereas now I have to stop and go, “Okay, 3 goes into 11, carry the 9, divide by pi, solve for x” every time someone asks my age.


I once dialed my friend Brian’s number (I may have told this story before; if so, sorry) and someone else answered the phone. I assumed it was his sister’s boyfriend, so I asked politely, “May I speak to Brian?” There was a pause and the boy said, “Um… okay, hold on.” Brian picked up the phone and said, “Hello?” I said, “Hey, what’s up?” He said, “Who is this?” I said, “It’s Elayne, dummy!” He said, “Elayne who?”

At this point I realized, “That’s actually not Brian’s voice; close, but not quite,” but I was so embarrassed that I didn’t know how to just say, “Sorry, wrong number,” so instead I tried to convince this stranger that we had met in the mall and he had given me this phone number to call him, and I just can’t BELIEVE he doesn’t remember, it hasn’t been THAT long, I was wearing a red shirt and he was wearing a blue polo, REMEMBER?

That poor guy. He was too polite to tell me I was out of my fucking gourd, so we wound up having like a half-hour conversation, ending with me giving him my number (16 year olds: SO DUMB, right?) and telling him if he ever “got his memory back” to call me.

About two months later, he called me because the mystery kept bugging at him. I finally fessed up that it had been a wrong number and I’d been too embarrassed/confused to admit it at the time. He said that what had puzzled him the most was that it was his friend’s phone number I’d called. He couldn’t figure out why he’d have given some strange girl a number that wasn’t his own. ALSO his name was Ryan, not Brian. So I dialed a wrong number where someone with a very similar name and voice just happened to be visiting and wound up making a world-class asshole out of myself. When I told the real Brian what had happened, he laughed until he cried.

I swear, I look at some of the things I do sometimes and wonder if I have Jello in my head instead of brains.

I am sure that somewhere out there, to this day, there’s a guy who tells that story from the other side!

Thanks for the laughs, Elayne. 🙂

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Robyn, I don’t know if you’ve seen this or not, but it appears that there is a cat out there with a large amount of Het.

Ha, I had seen that – that is one gorgeous, creepy, full-of-Het kitty!

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I don’t know if anyone will read this on an old entry, but does anyone find that the neutrogena body oil makes plastic disposable razors disintegrate in a week or two? I love the scent and the close shave but I’m spending more on razors now.

For those of you who don’t remember, I mentioned several months ago the idea of using Neutrogena body oil instead of shaving gel or cream when shaving your legs because it gives such a nice, smooth shave. I don’t use the disposable plastic razors (I use the Venus razor) – anyone out there who does, have you noticed this happening?

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Your hair looks so long! Can you show a bigger Robyn holding a kitty picture so we can see it? It looks wavy or curly too-is it? Mine is wavy.

Here’s a picture, though there’s no kitten involved:

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I’ve been growing it out for over a year now, and that is definitely long for me. It’s kind of wavy and kind of frizzy and obviously I keep it tucked behind my ears most of the time. I don’t think I’m going to let it get much longer, I think this is as long as I want it to get. Of course, if it annoys me this Summer I may just go short again!

(In the interest of honesty, I must confess that I Photoshopped a zit off my right cheek.)

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Saw this Simon’s Cat cartoon and thought of your house… elder cats, younger ones, no manners – lessons delivered – splat…

HA – that is absolutely what it’s like when we’ve got little ones on the loose!

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Maybe Razzie can help her mama with the bathing!

Yesterday, Emmy was giving Razzie a bath… and Razzie was licking Emmy’s face! It was beyond sweet, I almost tipped over and died from the cute.

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So, I’ve wondered this for a while: What is up with kitten claws? Are they just really long/oversized for the paws? Are kittens not able to retract their claws? Do they just like to threaten you, Robyn? Those claws just seem so… out there. I’ve never dealt with kittens that are only a few days or weeks old, so if the question is ridiculous, please forgive me!

This is not a ridiculous question at all! Connie answered this one, complete with a link:

Kittens are born unable to retract their claws. By 27 days of age, the claws can be retracted at will

I always forget between newborn litters that kittens are born unable to retract their claws. It takes me by surprise every time, and then in the far distant reaches of my brain, the memory stumbles forth and I’m like “Oh, right. They aren’t retracting them because they can’t! Duh.”

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Have you seen this video? Has this ever happened to any of your cats?

As far as I know, the chickens have never gone after the cats, not even when the chickens were in the back yard. The cats also don’t go after the chickens (chickens are pretty big, and kind of scary when they cluck and flap their wings) – they lived a pretty peaceful coexistence, but that was also back before we had Kara. I’m not sure that Kara would take kindly to sharing the back yard with chickens – she’s quite the little hunter.

Also, because I love these pictures so very much, here are my favorite cat/ chicken pictures. That’s Sugarbutt and Frick, our favorite chicken ever. (Frick died unexpectedly a few years ago from being eggbound.) (I know what y’all are thinking, and no. We don’t eat our pets. Frick was assuredly a pet.)



I love these pictures because they look so oddly posed, like they came from a JC Penney catalog.

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Aren’t they the cutest thing ever? How do you differentiate Darwin from Newbery? I can’t tell them apart. So inconsiderate of them, not even having a white patch somewhere to act as a name tag! 😉

Newbery Darwin Comp

This is how: Newbery’s got more light brown around his nose than Darwin; her whole nose area is darker than his. Newbery’s forehead is lighter than Darwin’s is. Also, Newbery’s got kind of a darker “stripe” going down from the middle of his “M”, whereas she’s got a “splotch” in the middle of her forehead. It looks like Darwin’s got a black lower lip and Newbery doesn’t, but he actually does – his mouth was shut in that picture, though.

If all else fails, we turn them around and look at their back ends! 🙂

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Hate to be a nuffer, but you named a kitten for the Darwin Awards? I’m little concerned here. Does this doom them to a life of daredevil antics and “curiosity killed the cat” jokes?

Awww, I think it’s an adorable name. And I highly suspect that when wee Darwin is adopted, her new parents will change her name. 🙂

(For the record, Fred doesn’t like the naming theme or any of the kittens’ names, and I don’t think he cares for Emmy’s name, either, HMPH.)

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OMG, Logie is cracking me up! I take it she is the Princess Ciara of this family?

I think she is totally going to be the Princess Ciara! The other three are starting to be curious about me, they look up at me and they sniff my hand and they let me pet them (Newbery, especially, enjoys being petted), but Logie is totally “Meh. HUMAN.” and crawls to safety (ie, Emmy) as fast as she can. That’s how Ciara was, and she ended up being an awfully sweet and snuggly girl, so I’m hoping that’s how Logie turns out, too!

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Robyn, every cat link I see I have to show you. Linked from freekibblekat.com: Eco-beds for pampered pets.

And I appreciate that! 🙂

I told Kerry the other day that I like the bed made out of an old sweater, and that I may try making one of those out of an old hoodie (since I have no old sweaters laying around). Kerry pointed out that the sweatshirt material would likely be easier to keep clean than a sweater, anyway. Very true!

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Maxi’s put years of training into you guys, and finally, she is getting what she wants. Is she still ok with the permanents? no fighting or anything? and who did you think she was the possible mummy of?

Maxi may be Newt’s mother – when I took them in to be spayed and neutered (along with the litter of kittens Maxi had a few months before we bought this house), the vet suggested that it was a possibility that he could be her kitten from a previous litter. He is the ONLY cat she puts up with, and he absolutely loves her to death. In fact, I looked over at the side stoop the other day, and he was cleaning her face. Awww.

Maxi does not care for the other permanent residents, but as long as they leave her alone she’s fine. On the rare occasion we can get her to come inside the house these days, Loony Jake follows her around because he is weirdly fascinated by her, I don’t know why. When she settles in the cat bed on Fred’s desk, Jake will sit on the floor and look up at her. Eventually he’ll jump up to sniff at her, and she has a conniption and then demands to go back outside. She’s not a fighter, though – I’ve never seen her actually make contact with another cat, she most hisses and growls and makes a big fuss so they’re too scared to get any closer.

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That’s calmer??? Poor little drama queen Logie. Why are you so mean to her, Robyn? I expected reactions out of my cats when I played the video (once or twice… okay, five times). Not one of them even twitched an ear. Guess my big strong man cats aren’t exactly maternal. The dog? Charlie lost what’s left of his marbles looking for the poor baby kitten. That may or may not have been the reason I played the video the last couple of times 😉

Not a single one of my cats reacted in any way when I was playing that video on my computer. I wonder what George and Gracie would do if I took the camera out there and played it for them?

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And Poor little Logie… At least you know her lungs are healthy! For some reason, that video reminds me of this one:

Now wouldn’t that be a weird sound to hear coming from your foster room?!

Maybe it’s the ‘tear stain’ markings on Emmy’s, Razzie’s, Newberry’s and Darwin’s sweet faces that made me think of the wild kitten. Who knows?

Finally, if Ellie Bellie was pregnant, how many months along do you figure he’d be?

That wee baby Cheetah is SO freakin’ cute!!!

I imagine if Ellie Bellz was pregnant, he’d be having a huuuuuge litter (at least 10!), and is probably just about ready to pop! 🙂

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I am excited to tell y’all that I got a big show of trust from Emmy yesterday. So far, she’s only left the box where the kittens are a couple of times when I’m in the room. But I have to be NOT near the box, and I have to be laying down before she’s felt comfortable enough to do so. The couple of times she left the box while I was laying on the floor, she flopped down on the floor behind the box and the instant I sat up, she ran over and went right into the box.

Well, yesterday I was hanging out in the room and since the kittens were just sleeping, I stretched out on the floor (there’s a pillow in there) and started playing Words with Friends on my iPod Touch. I heard a noise, and looked over at the box, and Emmy walked out of the box and stretched out on the floor behind the box. She’s done that before, though, so I just went back to playing.

When I was caught up on all my games, I slowly sat up. Emmy opened her eyes and looked at me, so I just looked down at my iPod like I was still playing games, and she closed her eyes again. Over the next ten minutes, I scooted a bit closer to the box, then looked at my iPod for a few minutes, scooted a little closer, etc. She looked over at me a few times, but for the most part was pretty unconcerned about what I was doing. I finally got close enough to pet the kittens, who were still sleeping.

I got up to leave, and she got up and walked over to the front of the box. She looked in at the kittens, then watched me leave – but didn’t feel the need to go back in the box.

I know it doesn’t sound all that exciting, but I feel like it’s a definite big step forward for Emmy. I’m hoping that the next step will be the one where she doesn’t feel the need to run into the box when I walk into the room!

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Also, she came out of the box to eat, which she’s done before.

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Smug little face.

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Man, she will just lay down right on top of those kittens any ol’ time.

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They don’t seem any the worse for wear.

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“I wub my mama.”

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“Hi Mama! Hi!”

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Smiley baby.

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“Mama! That lady keeps taking my picture!”

Tomorrow, updated pictures of each of their little faces, and their current weights!

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This box, located in the middle of the kitchen, is Corbie’s safe place. When he gets a toy that he doesn’t want to share, off to the safe box he goes. If something scares him? Safe box. If it’s snack time, he would prefer that you put his snacks in the box, please. There’s a layer of brown paper on the bottom of the box, and he likes to have to “hunt” through it for his snacks.

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I’m getting the ‘tude from Corbs because he thinks I might be coming in to move him. That’s my spot, you see, and where I lay and watch TV. I try to convince Corbie to snuggle with me while I watch TV, but he’s not a snuggler.

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“The Corbs does not snuggle with humans.”

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2011: “Today’s not your day, and tomorrow’s not looking so hot, either.”
2010: “Wait and see” is my favorite move when it comes to feeling poorly.
2009: In an alternate reality I was bellowing “Well NO ONE INVITED YOU TO DINNER, PRINCESS!” and smacking her upside the head.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: It’s like I’ve never met myself before or something. “Yeah, I’ll let the spud take the car to school, and I’ll be stuck at home, thus NATURALLY I will feel compelled to do housework!”
2005: Old pictures.
2004: (Bwahaha! That’d be the shortest study in the history of mankind, eh?)
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: Takes all kinds, I guess.
2000: A life of excitement, thrills and chills, lemme tell ya!

3/9/12 – Friday

I made Quesadilla Casserole and posted about it over on Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza. The picture of the stuff makes it look gross, but it was tasty. Food photography is clearly not my forte. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ … Continue reading “3/9/12 – Friday”

I made Quesadilla Casserole and posted about it over on Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza. The picture of the stuff makes it look gross, but it was tasty. Food photography is clearly not my forte.

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Katy was kind enough to fix part of my entry from Monday, because while I think SOME things go without saying, Katy thinks you have to be a bit clearer about things:

“The door that leads under the house {where we hide the bodies}. That cement wall to the right is where the well is located. The well does not currently work {but serves a purpose nonetheless as another hiding spot for the bodies}. We’ve been meaning to have someone come out and make it so that it’ll work {but clearly we have to relocate a few bodies first}. The door, open. That black plastic covers most of the ground {bodies} under there. There’s a large pile of bricks under there to the right {which are good for knocking people in the head when they try to escape}…” 😉

Heheh, thanks Katy!

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Yikes!! Dont you guys have Black Widows and Brown Recluse spiders down there?

Indeed we do! Though the difference appears to be that Brown Recluses are, well, reclusive and will avoid you at all costs and only bite when they’re cornered. Black Widows, on the other hand, are vicious bitches who’ll rush out to bite you with the slightest provocation. I didn’t see either kind of spider under there, which doesn’t necessarily mean they weren’t there, just that I didn’t see them. And in my mind, if I can’t see something, it’s not there, and I’m happy to live in that fantasy land.

(Upon rereading the question, I’m wondering whether the “down there” was in reference to Alabama or under the house! We do have Black Widows and Brown Recluses in Alabama, but I don’t know if they’re under the house. I’d have to guess that they probably are, but maybe they were hibernating at this time of year!)

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Do most houses in the southern states not have basements? urg would hate to crawl under all of that!!

It depends on the part of the South you’re in, I’m guessing, but I’ve seen very few basements around here. Which is too bad, I’d certainly feel safer in a basement when the tornadoes are threatening!

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“All Hail The Mighty Robyn Defender of Kitties Large And Small, Conqueror Of The Crawl Space!” Hear, hear!

My brother used to do the same thing, clean towels and pillow-cases – but underneath the “cape,” he’d hook our mom’s bra straps over his arms so that the cups were facing backwards “to give me big muscles.” I hadn’t thought of that in years – thanks for the memory jog!

The bra to give him big muscles is pretty inspired! 🙂

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Emmy’s eyes look blue. Trick of the light or real? I know they are only slits, poor tired girl.

Must have been a trick of the light, she’s got pretty green eyes.

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So, Dave and I were commenting on Newt’s apparent fixation with the food bowl. We clicked on Mar 4 2010 due to the Mr. “THE FUCK YOU SAY” teaser and saw the picture of Newt. Seems to be an increase in the Newt over the last two years. Life is good.

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That’s 2010 Newt on the left, 2012 Newt on the right.

It’s angle, I tell ya! The angle!

In his defense, Newt really isn’t a fat cat. I swear to you he’s not – Elwood is a porky boy, Alice is a bit portly, but Newt is just a big strong muscle-y motherfucker (wtf? Auto correct is having conniptions over “muscley”, is it seriously spelled “muscly?” Because that does NOT look right.)

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So, do the ducks go to the pond without having to be herded there now?

and p.s., where are my George and Gracie today?

The ducks will go out near the pond, but I haven’t actually seen them go into the pond without being herded in. Hopefully that’ll change once we get duckweed planted out there, and some bushes around the pond, and basically make it more inviting than the hole-of-water looks it’s currently sporting.

George and Gracie were too busy and important to pose for pictures. They’ll be back next week!

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My 7-year old is enthralled by your entire cat setup. In fact, she informed her father and I this evening that she is, “moving in with Bitchypoo.” She also enquired as to whether you “own a mansion.” Apparently that will seal the deal for her.

We live a good 5 states away, so I don’t anticipate her showing up on your doorstep, but she would if she could. 🙂

My evil plan to sucker in the children who will be responsible for doing all the hard work around here is working! Mwahahah!

Now, will she be bringing her own scoop, or should I take that out of her first tiny paycheck? 😉

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I saw this and thought of you..

funny cat pictures - Shh, I'm nursing my potato's !
see more


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I have a question about enticing more timid cats to play, though. Our “foster” Tommy was a fearless outside hunter-type of cat before we took him in. We are in a big metro area, neighborhood with no fences, and too many dogs and cars. I won’t let him outside, but we’re trying to keep him exercised indoors. This cat literally seems afraid of every toy we try. He shows initial interest, but after a moment of checking it out he backs away and acts if we are attacking him with it. Any suggestions for getting him moving? We can get limited moments with the laser toy and he checked out “da bird” without too much fear. He will also tear apart a sock filled with catnip like nobody’s business. But I’m running out of ideas for activities for him. (I should add that he’s not afraid of us, just the toys)

Would he maybe like “low” toys, like maybe those tracks that the balls go around in, or something battery powered, like a little mouse that you could turn on and he could chase? Ooh, or maybe the Undercover Mouse? I bought one of those and the cats really liked it, I need to drag it back out again.

I’m throwing this open to everyone else – y’all jump in here with suggestions, please!

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Do you know how the ducks are getting out?

I’m pretty sure they pushed under a piece of fence that was pulled up away from the ground a little bit. Fred fixed that, and the ducks haven’t gotten out again since the one time. The chickens that get out and wander the property have either found another piece of fence like that, or (more likely) they’re jumping over the top of the fence where it was hit by the tree that fell last April and needs to be replaced.

Did y’all know that chickens can fly a little bit? Not for long distances and not very high, but if they’re determined, they can flap hard enough to get over a fence. If it were a big issue (if, say, the chickens were wandering onto the property next door), we could clip one wing on each chicken, which would throw them off balance and stop them from being able to fly high enough to get over the fence.

I say that chickens can’t fly for long distances, but the really light ones can fly further than you’d expect. The Featherhead (did someone refer to her as Phyllis Diller recently? Because that’s what she’s starting to become named in my head.) was about halfway up Dirt Mountain a few weeks ago, and I was going out to feed the chickens. When the chickens see either of us walking toward the back forty in the afternoon, they know they’re about to get chicken scratch, and they get excited and come running. Well, the Featherhead saw me, got excited, started running and flapping her wings, and that little hen flew about 30 feet across the back forty before she touched down.

This is the Featherhead:

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Interestingly, the littlest chickens are the ones that you pretty much never see outside the back forty. Either they just can’t figure out how to get over the fence, or they know that they’re safer inside the fence than out.

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Does Logie look like a tortie to you?

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I don’t think so, because all I’m seeing is white and dark gray, but who knows? I can’t wait to see how her colors turn out as she grows up!

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I still think she/he will look like Smoky Joe over at 50 Kittens!

What a stunner!

I would not be surprised, I think Smoky Joe is one gorgeous boy!

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Robyn, do you get feedback numbers about page visits or views? That huge increase in numbers right around the time the kittens were born? All me. Whenever I get stressed, I visit for a minute to look at sweet mama and her babies. Better than any other medication I can think of 🙂

Ha – I do have a stats meter on my page, but I tend to forget to look at it. I went back and looked and my hits had about doubled the couple of days after the babies were born. I don’t think you’re alone in coming back to gaze upon their adorable little faces! 🙂

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Can Emmy really be regarded as feral and not just shy and reactive? She did go from hissing and running to letting you pet her within a week or so. My understanding of feral cats is that they never let you pet them for years!

I would really call her semi-feral rather than just shy. I’ve heard enough stories about feral mothers who allowed people to pet them and handle their kittens and then as their kittens grow older, they revert to more feral behavior. I’m not definitely labeling Emmy as feral, and all we can do is work with her and try to get her to trust us (she’s willing to let us handle her kittens, but she’s less willing to let us do more than pet her a few times), and we’ll see where we are with her once her babies are ready to go off. The good thing is that we’ve got a few months to work with her, so hopefully we’ll be able to break through that wall of fear and distrust. That poor girl has been through an awful lot in a short period of time!

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I don’t know if it’s Sugarbutt’s solid marmy-ness and lack of white, or what, but he always looks so densely furry and pet-able!

He definitely has a nice thick coat of fur. I always compliment him on his plush fur. 🙂

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Robyn, have you seen this? The video made me think of it.


HA – no, I hadn’t seen that!

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Razzie’s eyes are almost all the way open (though I haven’t gotten a good picture of them yet), and Newbery’s eyes are starting to open. Logie and Darwin are apparently in no big hurry to see the world – especially Logie; my lord is that one porky little kitten. I’m hoping to get updated pictures of them all this weekend.

Emmy’s doing okay, though she’s been a bit annoyed lately. Especially toward Fred – which bears out my belief that she’s getting overwhelmed because first she’s got all these babies on her all the time and then this guy keeps coming in and petting her and petting her. When I go in, I’ll scratch her a little around the neck and head then turn my attention to the babies, but Fred believes in the full-body massage (at least where mama cats are concerned), and I feel like she’s giving him the “Oh my GOD would you get OFF ME!” message. I backed off with the visiting yesterday a little, and it seems to have helped. Though I did go into the room in the early afternoon, and she was sitting behind the box. As soon as she saw me coming, she ran to the front of the box and then hissed at me. I put the plate of food on the floor and left, and when I went in later, she was fine and snoozed while I petted the babies.

I’m going to be interested to see her reaction when the babies start climbing out of the box.

Logie is the biggest crybaby of the litter. I pick her up, and as soon as she realizes she’s not in the box, she starts crying at the top of her lungs. I always put her right back in the box and she snuffle-snorts over to Emmy and tells her all about it. Razzie is the most relaxed about being held, and even when she complains it’s kind of half-hearted. Darwin and Newbery, well, it depends on their moods. Sometimes they’re screamy, sometimes a little more laid-back.

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Logie and Emmy (the other three are in front of Emmy, between her and the back of the box).

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Babies at the milk bar.

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Whooooooooooooooo’s a beautiful boy?!

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“She’s taking my picture again, isn’t she?”

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Corbie ignores.

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“There are BIRDS out there. Big ones. How do I get to them?”

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2011: I just wanna touch him with the fangers.
2010: Hoyt goes home.
2009: (Nance is laughing at me right now, I guarantee it.)
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: So when I reached down to pet his head, IT WASN’T HIS HEAD I GOT. ::shudder::
2005: Killing the messenger.
2004: Howling and hissing and growling and yowling ensued.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: Gather ’round, younguns, and hear the heartbreaking tale of farts and betrayal…
2000: You still love me, though, right? Um, right?

3/2/12 – Friday

Edited to add, 5 PM: We’re fine! All the really bad weather avoided Crooked Acres. We’re just fine, a little wind and rain, everything went North of us, for the most part! (Just wanted to let y’all know!) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ … Continue reading “3/2/12 – Friday”

Edited to add, 5 PM: We’re fine! All the really bad weather avoided Crooked Acres. We’re just fine, a little wind and rain, everything went North of us, for the most part! (Just wanted to let y’all know!)

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Reading about your adventure under the house reminds me of one of the greatest movies of all time… “Andy crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of shit smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to. Five hundred yards. That’s the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile…”

That is SUCH a good movie! Which reminds me, it’s been a while since we watched it. I think it’s time to watch it again!

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Can you tie the new cable to the old cable and pull it through the floor instead of crawling underneath again?

Unfortunately, when Fred cut through the cable, it dropped through the floor to under the house. It’s like he did it on PURPOSE because he wants me to have to go under the house again, isn’t it? That bastard!

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Robyn, I’m a long-time reader (I guess since 2000 or 2001?), and I remember all your hetred for Leslie Sansone and Florine Marks! Haha.

Also where has the time gone? I was 19 or 20 when I found your blog. I’m 31 now!

Isn’t it amazing that this site has been up and running (and that I’ve posted MOST weekdays!) for over 11 years now? When I first started, I was sure I wouldn’t have anything to write about past the first week, but here I am, still chugging along! Thank god for cats. (And thanks for reading!)

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It’s almost like you and Fred knew to build those steps and basket for Emmy. She seems to love that spot so much. I watched my first My Cat From Hell on Demand this morning and I thought how lucky all your cats are because your house is so well set up for them. I would venture a guess that you have no Bush Dwellers there-I think that is what he called the hiding cats.

Jake is actually a combination Bush and Tree Dweller. Miz Poo is also a Bush Dweller, now that I think about it. There’s a kitty condo in front of my couch in the front room, and Miz Poo and Jake share custody of it. Spanky is actually neither a Bush nor a Tree Dweller – he’s a Desk Dweller. He spends 99% of his time asleep in a cat bed on my desk. The rest of the cats prefer to be up high, though. Actually now that I think about it, Corbie’s a Bush Dweller. I wonder if he’d be a Tree Dweller if he could jump and climb better than he does? He spends most of HIS time sleeping on my couch or wandering around the back yard. I guess maybe he’s a Bush Dweller.

Everyone else, though, prefers to be up high, so they’re Tree Dwellers most of the time.

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I LOVE Revenge. I am usual not one for the trashy soap-types, but it’s SO bad that it’s good, I guess. Emily is totally not scary, and Madeleine Stowe (“I’ll find you. No matter what OCCURS!”) is such a beeyotch. My favorite is Nolan, though. I love him. Do you know he’s almost 40? Hmmph. True story. I read it on People, so it must be true.

IMDB says he’s almost 40, too. Two sources mean it must be true! I LOVE Nolan – he’s so deliciously shifty-eyed. I hated him at first, but it didn’t take long for me to like him. I think I like him the most of any character on that show.

I forgot my other favorite thing about this show: when Emily shows up in flashbacks in that horrible black wig. Oh, it makes me laugh so hard, because it’s SO bad!

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There is an app to store all your store reward card numbers into. For Droid phones, the link is here.

Apple has one, too.

If I can ever reliably connect to the Virgin Mobile Market on my phone, I’m going to download that!

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Y’all should go read the comments for this entry. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who has issues with other people who don’t know their own email address! (And Elayne always makes me laugh!)

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Watching the babies move was awesome. Then I heard a meow and thought “IT’S COMING FROM INSIDE THE WOMB!” before I remembered there are other cats in the house that could’ve made that noise. heh.

That meowing in the Emmy’s-belly video was Miz Poo. She picks up a toy somewhere in the house and then she travels the entire house, howling, until she finds one of her humans, whereupon she drops the toy at our feet and then expects to be praised. Here’s a video I made of it when we lived in our previous house:

She is SO proud of herself!

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Why can’t da Corbs jump? Did I miss something due to my sporadic blog-reading ways?

The muscles in Corbie’s back end are not as developed as they should be. If you see him, he looks normal from the “waist” forward, but his back end is very thin. One vet had no idea why it would be (blood work showed that there’d been some damage to the muscles; skeletally, he’s perfect), and the other vet suggested that it could be due to his being born to a mother who had FIV. We tried different supplements to build up the muscles. None of them seemed to do anything but make him nervous if we tried to pet him (he’d think we were trying to give him a pill), so we took him off of everything. He’s not getting worse, and he might be a little bit better – we encourage him to climb and to stand up (putting treats in a location that he has to stand on his back legs to get to them). It doesn’t interfere with his ability to get around at all, thankfully!

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What’s on the list of “best reasons to adopt a black cat?” I’ve got a beautiful black cat & I’m curious. I can reincorporate it into a list of “why my black cat is awesome.”

The top ten reasons to adopt a black cat:

1. We are always sleek, stylish and elegant.
2. You’ll never lose us in a snowstorm.
3. You’ll save money on our Halloween costumes.
4. Statistically speaking, we are friendlier than other cats.
5. We are happier because we look thinner!
6. In many cultures, black cats are good luck.
7. We can be slimming when draped over your lap.
8. We can easily accessorize our collars because everything goes well with black.
9. We are always appropriately dressed at cocktail parties.
10. We take the longest to get adopted and need your help the most!

I did a Google search on “best reasons to adopt a black cat” and came upon that list, which I cut and pasted into a document, added some pictures, and voila! The perfect list.

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Are you familiar with the adorable Murkin and his various foster kitten friends on his very own YouTube channel? It’s here.

“Murkin goes to WAR with the kittens” is my current favorite.

I had never seen those – that is FANTASTIC! You’ve got to love a dog who’s that good with little kittens.

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Here’s a good story!

That is such an awesome story, and that is one beautiful cat!

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It appears Everett is a gravity cat.

Indeed he is!!

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Don’t you just want to kiss on Emmy’s belly??? However, I am sure she would smack the snot outta ya! LOL.

If I even thought about kissing her belly, I suspect she’d hook one of her claws in my eyeball. Fred kissed her on top of the head the other day, and she hissed at him. Twice!

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Have you seen this?

I had not! Very neat.

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I must be incredibly slow on the uptake because the fact that Emmy’s name is an award too just dawned on me. Is that what started this whole thing and it just went over my head? I’m not a skimmah I swear but menopause/medication brain is not what it used to be. Not on the finer points anyway!

Actually, I decided that I liked the name Emmy because it was a good, simple, strong name and then someone pointed out that it was the name of an award, and with the Oscars coming up, maybe that should be the naming theme, awards. So really, the name came first and then the theme came second. I think. It’s been what, a week? It’s kind of fuzzy now, honestly. 🙂

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I suspect you will love this video.

You are correct! That is just too adorable.

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Mama Emmy and her babies are doing just fine. It got really warm in their room, so I ended up turning the air on for a few hours last night to make it more comfortable for them. Emmy is bound and determined that they’re staying in the wooden box, and so in the wooden box they’ll stay for at least another day before we try to move them.

Every time I go into the room, those babies are eating. Emmy eats everything I bring her, which is good – she’s got to provide food for the little monsters, after all.

I’m intending to get a picture of each of the kittens’ faces, but don’t want to stress Emmy out, so haven’t done that yet, maybe later today. They all seem to be healthy and vigorous and in good shape, which is good! Right now, for identification purposes, I’m calling them “the dark one”, “stumpy (the one with the half tail)” and the two stripey ones. Once I get a closer look at each of them, I may have different nicknames for them!

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Little stumpy the half-tailed kitten. Look at that little half-tail! Cutest thing ever, right?

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Look at the little flailing legs!

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The Noms, nomming. THE NOMMING-NEES! (Oh, I slay me.)

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Little stumpy half-tail, little stripey legs, little adorable claws. Yep, I’d say this one is my favorite.

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The dark one. LOOK at the little claws! Yep, this one is definitely my favorite.

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Awfully dark, this one. Almost black, I’m thinking, but Fred disagrees. It’s so hard to tell at hours old what they’re going to look like, I know. My prediction: this one’s going to grow up to be beautiful. I know, it’s a stretch that I’d make such a wild prediction, but mark my words. Beeyootiful.

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The dark one from another angle. Love the stripes. Maybe it’ll be a dark gray tabby?

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Little kitty mosh pit.

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Bellied up to the milk bar. I love how that one on the right has Emmy’s tail flung around her like a mink stole. (Psst! That’s my favorite kitten!)

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Left to right: the dark one, little stumpy, and the two stripey-pantses.

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Such a good, patient mama. Hey Emmy, you think you might like to settle down somewhere more comfy?
“NO. Emmy is perfectly comfy right here. Where’s my food? You go away. But scritch under my chin first.”

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Toes and tails and stripes, oh I am dead from the cute.

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That’s little stumpy.

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Snoozin’ babies.

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Amazing, aren’t they?

(I expect I’ll be posting at least short posts this weekend with pictures because I’m sure there will be roughly one million pictures snapped this weekend. LOVE digital cameras!)

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Corbie, alert. He looks around… he listens… he thinks.

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“But… they’re not more beautiful than ME… Right, Mom?”

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That’s right, Corbie. You’re still the fairest of them all.

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2011: Maybe tomorrow I’ll be less cranky.
2010: Mother Nature is a whore.
2009: March came in like a lion yesterday.
2008: No entry.
2007: “Yes, they’re AWFUL. They taste like my grandmother’s attic*!”
2006: I call him Bob.
2005: Bouncing like that just can’t be a good thing.
2004: “DAMN it’s cold in here, give me some ass!”
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: Let’s just hope she wasn’t preparing him for the slaughter.
2000: No entry.

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?

2/17/12 – 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***

2/3/12 – Friday

Please note: This post was written on the mirror site, and I’m just cutting and pasting it over here since they finally got the server up and running. Obviously, this horseshit is unacceptable to me, so this weekend we’ll be moving Bitchypoo to a new host. Things will likely look odd here for the next … Continue reading “2/3/12 – Friday”

Please note: This post was written on the mirror site, and I’m just cutting and pasting it over here since they finally got the server up and running.

Obviously, this horseshit is unacceptable to me, so this weekend we’ll be moving Bitchypoo to a new host. Things will likely look odd here for the next couple of days. I’m hoping to get things back to normal by Monday. If it’s past 6 am Monday morning February 6th (Central time) and you’re still seeing this, then click on over to the mirror site, okay? Be patient, things will all work out eventually, I promise!

I know how frustrating it is to keep trying to get to a site only to have it not come up. I can promise you guys that if I were to decide to yank Bitchypoo down (and rest assured that I have no plans to do so), I will at the very least post something letting you know, okay? Okay!

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So, the host that hosts Bitchypoo is currently on my shit list. If you managed to get here to the mirror site, I’m glad. (I am thinking that once things are back to normal, I need to start up a mailing list for times such as these so people who keep trying to get to my site aren’t left swinging in the breeze.) At the time of this writing (Thursday evening – you knew that I write my posts the night before and then set them to publish at 6:00 my time the next morning, yes?) it’s still not up, though they’re slowly, slowly, ever so slowly working on restoring it.

Also, they sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. Oh, OKAY. As long as you sincerely apologize! Fuckers. I mean, I know there’s not really anything they can do except what they’re doing, but if they perhaps showed up in my yard and set themselves on fire as a form of apology, I might be a little more inclined to be lenient. As it is, I have no love for the company “hosting” Bitchypoo.com and Robynanderson.com and oh yeah OneFatBitchypoo.com (and holy crap I have too goddamn many domains) and I’ll be moving everything to a new host as fast as I can nag Fred into doing so.

So there’s that.

Also, I would ordinarily do a post wherein I answered questions that were asked on Bitchypoo as well as questions that were asked on Love and Hisses, but I cannot get to the Bitchypoo comments due to the site being down. So if you asked something important last week on Bitchypoo, please feel free to ask again.

This is so annoying, y’all. SO ANNOYING. But I have to say that I’m impressed with how coolly I’m handling it. Whereas normally I’d be stomping around weaving a web of profanity that would send the cats into hiding (okay, not ALL the cats – Spanky’s the only one who takes my top-volume swearing personally and huffs off to find a quieter spot to hang out), I’ve only been occasionally sighing and saying “Can you fucking believe this?” to myself. I mean, there’s not anything I can do but wait, so wait I shall.

Those fuckers. I cannot wait to cancel my account with them and then write a scathing entry about how much I hate them.

Anyway. On to the question-answering!

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The awesome Kelly, who adopted the 10 year-old (is that right, Kelly, he’s 10?) black cat has this update for us:

New little old man kitty is making a phenomenal transition. He is the sweetest, gentlest, most smooshable kitty ever… loves to be held, purrs all of the time, and is far more playful than I expected an 11 year old cat to be (He can chase his tail at light speed when high on catnip). Today was his first adventure out of the master suite and into general population. He spent the first hour in the sink of the half-bath off the kitchen so he could watch undetected, but so far not a single hiss, growl, or complaint from him or either of the other two cats. I’m thinking we can call this a successful house panther adoption. The biggest issue is that I can’t find him in the dark.

I’m amazed at how calm this house is. The other two cats aren’t thrilled, but their only “lashing out” comes in the form of eating all of his food.

We’ve named our house panther “Norman”. He generally prefers the full formal name, but to tell you the truth he’d be somewhat disappointed if you didn’t call out “NORM!” as he enters the room.

Okay, I might have laughed out loud upon reading that the other two cats “lash out” by eating all of Norman’s food. They’re like “::chomp::chomp::chomp:: THAT’S RIGHT, NORMAN! TAKE THAT! ::chomp::chomp::chomp::”

I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one who greets their cats. As I move through the house, if a cat is laying somewhere (there’s always a cat laying SOMEwhere, of course) and looks up at me, I greet them by name.

Also, Kelly – among others – mentioned that it’s not easy to get good pictures of black cats. That is SO true, and the only advice I have on the topic is to get pictures of them near a sunny window whenever possible. Natural light is always best (though I read someone’s opinion recently wherein she stated that pictures taken in direct sunlight are “harsh”. I don’t agree with that, some of (a lot of) my best pictures are taken in sunlight or on bright and sunny days. But then, I am NOT a professional photographer, nor am I someone who’s handy with Photoshop, so what do I know?) Also, if you can snap a million pictures, surely SOME of them have to come out – that’s my favorite way of doing it. Just keep snappin’ ’til something comes out!

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How do you make your seed blocks?

Like this!

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re: interactive kittens.. have you seen this?

That is so neat! They really do think of everything, don’t they?

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So, the picture of the Peppers and Tommy makes me think of how my husband and I have become convinced that all black cats belong to a secret black cat society, networked across the country, kind of like the Masons. Or clones. We started this because we used to have a wonderful black cat (he lived to be 18!) and when we were out and about we would keep running into black cats who looked just. like. him. Like, exactly the same – so we decided they all had to be connected, like a hivemind of black cats. They identify each other by number, and have annual meetings at which they gather and agree with everything everyone says (“Excellent point, number 237!” “Indubitably, number 17!” “I concur, number 802!”).

Okay, so maybe we get a little too into our cats’ fantasy lives…

I love this idea so very, very, VERY much!

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Pepsi is so gorgeous! Could you explain what you mean when you say that she’s “intense”? I’d describe my Rebus as intense too, but I’m not sure if our definitions match… By the way, he also does that sniffing-every-millimetre-of-my-hands thing when I’ve been petting another cat — it’s hilarious!

What I mostly mean by “intense” is that it seemed like Pepsi was going to snap at any moment and take me down. A little too free with the claws, that girl. The first time I stupidly let her out into the cat room at Petsmart with the kittens, she was a bit of a whirling dervish, hissing and smacking at any kitten within reach, and I ultimately had to kind of herd her back into her cage with the dustpan.

(Don’t give me that horrified look, I wasn’t beating her with it, I was just kind of guiding her with it so she wouldn’t flay me open with her sharp, sharp claws.)

When I let her out of her cage the next time I cleaned, I let her out to run around and play first, and she was much better, though still kind of looked like she wanted to snap. I’m sure that part of her attitude was due to her being at Petsmart for a long time before she was adopted. Hopefully in her new home, she’ll calm down after a bit – though as I said, the fact that she smacked at the people who were interested in adopting her didn’t stop them from adopting her. They wanted a cat with sass – they got her!

PS: I adore this picture of her so very much, perhaps I’ve mentioned?

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You are lucky you have that little bumper along the bottoms of the cages! In our PetSmart cat room, there is a space under there that the cats love to go hide in, and which is really hard to get them out of. It even has a teeny gap all along the other side where passers-by can put their fingers or their doggy noses into. I wish we could block up that area!


Oh, clever, looks like you have a storage drawer taking up the space beneath the cages. One of the centers we rotate through has that cage type with the space underneath, and it can be a bit of trouble to get shy cats out from under the cages if they decide to take refuge there. A drawer would both give more storage space (which is lacking) and remove the problems of kitties hiding out of reach under the cage.

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Back when I very first started volunteering for Challenger’s House, there was nothing blocking under those cages. We weren’t able to let the cats run around and play because they could slip under the cages and out into the store. Eventually, an awesome Challenger’s House volunteer (I think) made those bumpers that fit under the cages. They’re not actually drawers, they just look like it. Each one is basically three pieces of wood nailed (maybe screwed or glued – I haven’t looked that closely at them, actually) together, and they slide into place to block the under cage area, making it possible for us to let the cats out to run around and not have to worry about them escaping. It’s really, really nice to be able to let them do that!

By the way, I was out running errands yesterday morning, and I stopped by Petsmart to peek in on Clay. He was flopped out across the bed in his cage, sound asleep. Such a little cutie pie.

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This one just makes me laugh and laugh. I think of it any time little ones go off for the snip snip. Have you see it?

Ha – no, I had not seen it, that is awesome!

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I might need an estimate for shipping a black cat or three up to Michigan. Since we already have a black cat, my husband will never notice an extra few. They just have to promise to take turns being in the same room with him. “What’s that dear? Norman’s whiskers turned white? How fabulous!” or maybe “Now honey, there’s no way that Norman has become a girl. Is it time for your yearly eye exam?” (Kidding, kidding… he’d never be that perceptive.)

Five bucks says you could make him think he’s nuts. “I’m sorry, you’re saying you see… two black cats? Over there? I… there’s only Norman. Are you feeling okay?” Ha!

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Robyn, I’m so frustrated with my lazy (YOUNG!) Barney-cat – this dude will NOT jump for Da Bird no matter HOW we try to get him to do so! What are your tricks for motivating lazy cats (or don’t you have any lazy cats)??

Andrea answered this one pretty much the same way I would have:

Wendy, some kitties are birders and some are mousers, try dragging da bird, maybe your kitty’s more a ground attack agent. Star always was until Leo came along. I think his leaping inspired her. She still prefers things that run (fast!) along the floor to anything in the air, but she tries!

I do have cats who prefer to chase things on the ground instead of jumping for things. Jake and Elwood and Sugarbutt are our jumpers, but most of the others prefer to just watch the other cats jump, and then run after toys that are dragged along the floor.

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Please please please tell me you and Fred double team to get those great da bird shots! I just cannot swing da bird AND get pictures that you can actually tell what’s going on in by myself. I gotta either get someone else to take the pictures or do da bird or I get nothing! And you get some AMAZING shots! So if you tell me you did that all by yourself, I’m gonna have to hang up my camera and leave the field!

Oh, definitely – Fred runs da bird, I run da camera. 🙂 I can’t imagine trying to get those shots with one hand while waving da bird with the other. It would never work!

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How do you stay so serene when the kitties are hissing and smacking each other? When my little monster bella is picking fights with the big kitties I just about come out of my skin. I know cat tiffs are 90% noise, but I can’t stop myself from breaking it up.

I handle it better some times than others, actually. Most of the time I’m used to the occasional hissing, and like in the pictures of Sugarbutt and Sally, there was never any contact, just smacking in the general direction of each other, and then Sugarbutt stomping around posturing and hissing. As long as there’s not contact between cats, I let them work it out. If there’s light contact between them (one cat smacking another once or twice), I’ll keep an eye on them, and usually that’s about the worst that it gets, a couple of smacks and someone stomping off. Anything more serious than that, and I break it up and make one of them go off to another room.

Honestly, sometimes even the light hissing and smacking gets on my nerves, depending on my mood, and I’ll break it up and make one of them go to the other end of the house, even if it’s not all that serious.

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What “style” of puppy are George and Gracie? I would love one!! They look so floofy and soft, and any animal that likes kisses is my type of animal.

They are Great Pyrenees, a breed which is meant to be livestock guardians. Their job is to protect the chickens, which they do wonderfully.

This is what they looked like when we brought them home three years ago. They were about five months old, and at the time I thought “These guys are HUGE!” Ha. Now I look at the pictures of them and think “They were so tiny!”




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Everett sure does like to use his claws when he’s jumping for da bird. (Sally, jumping at the same time, shows her claws as well.)

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Corbie, giving it a try.

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Moving to the other side of the front room, more kitties decide to get involved.

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Smilin’ Corbie, smacking at da bird.

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And here goes Elwood…

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He can jump high for a fat cat, no?

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Oh my god! Corbie! WATCH OUT! HE’LL CRUSH YOU! Corrrrrrrrrrbieeeeeeeeeeeee!

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Oh. Or maybe he’ll just land next to you. Okay, then.

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“I saw my life flash before my eyes, and MY GOODNESS am I gorgeous.”

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I call this one “invisible urinal.”

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Sometimes a kitty’s just gotta dance.

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It looks like Elwood’s got a bit of the loony going on himself! (Corbie’s face in the background, all “What the – ?” cracks me up too!)

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“I am Lucy Peppers, and I disapprove of this nonsense.”

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Corbie and Elwood resting while keeping watch on da bird.

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Annnnnnd smack!

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I know, you saw pictures of Corbie up there, but. Um. What’s your point? Are you saying you don’t want to see more Corbie? You know you do!

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It’s a Corbie in a basket!

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Da Corbs.

1/27/12 – Friday

New recipes up over at Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza – Nance made some Monkey Bread, and I made a Crock Pot Lasagna! (I would not recommend eating the Monkey Bread and Lasagna together, but hey – whatever floats your boat.) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ … Continue reading “1/27/12 – Friday”

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

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

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

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

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

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

2012-01-25 (6)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How old is Spanky? He looks so spry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doodle Bean, you crack me up!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Absolutely, thanks for the info and the link!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love this idea!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The part that fits over the door:


And the whole thing:


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

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

Sorry not to be of much help on this one!

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

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

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

10-21-2005 02;33;41PM

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sweet Miss Sally.

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

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After much debate and a secret vote…

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

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Did you know…

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that Corbie…

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

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

1/20/12 – Friday

Like you, and most of your readers, I always pick my babies from the shelter. Other than reading the notes on their cages, is there any somewhat reliable way to determine personality? I’m not a kitten person but would be looking to adopt a couple of youngsters – two – that get along together and … Continue reading “1/20/12 – Friday”

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

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

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

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

I love this story. 🙂

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

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

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

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

I can totally imagine Fred doing that!

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

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

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

Clearly I am a sick, sick woman.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baby Miz Poo, late 1999.

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

Mister Boogers, late 2003.

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

Sugarbutt, 6 1/2 years ago.

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

Young Stinkerbelle, 4 1/2 years ago.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Meet Opie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First, pictures of the Sons.

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Jax and Tig in the sun.

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“What?” (Clay, Jax, Opie, Tig)

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

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Jax has gotta DANCE.

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

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And now, a couple of Peppers pics.

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I had forgotten what gorgeous eyes Everett has.

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Pretty boy.

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

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Everett, checking out the cat tree.

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Annnnd Everett, being petted by Fred.

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

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Hey, look! It’s Corbie!

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

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Then he rolled around on it…

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Then he looked guilty.

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Look at that boy. Is he not beautiful?

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I lurve my Corbie.

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