Archive for the 'Fostering' Category

3/31/12 – Saturday

by @ Saturday, March 31st, 2012. Filed under Fostering, Life

Guess who’s the smarty pants who used the litter box this morning?

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She announced it the entire time. “I’M GOING INTO THE LITTER BOX!” and then “I’M IN THE LITTER BOX!” and then “I AM USING THE LITTER BOX!” and lastly “I WENT PEEPEE IN THE LITTER BOX!”

I told her what a smart girl she is, but she just looked at me like “DUH, I KNOW that!”

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“We’re not impressed. We could use the litter box if we wanted to. We don’t wanna. So THERE.”

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The family doesn’t fit quite as easily in that box as they used to, do they Emmy?

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“You make kitteh scared.”

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“I haz claws, and I knows how to use ’em.”

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I love how her whiskers are black at the root and white at the end. Your roots are showing, Emmy!

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“::sigh:: I thought I might get ONE minute to myself… They always manage to track me down.”

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“So, I’m still not quite getting this. I’ve got the one paw up here by my mouth that I’ve been biting on, and then there’s THAT one over there. You’re saying there are two of them, like, seriously?”

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“Darwin, you gonna come out and play?”
“No, I think I’m just going to stay in the box and chill.”

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HEY. Did you hear that there are two awesome kitties in Maryland who need a home? I might have mentioned it, maybe. I’m mentioning it again!

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

Also, more pics and some video of them here.

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Noms video! Please note that there is no sound to this video because I was babbling in baby talk and thought I’d spare y’all. It was so annoying (the baby talk) that I’ve decided to build a time machine so I can go back and smack myself in the head. Gah. SHUT UP AND STOP BABY TALKING THE BABIES, ME.

In the last snippet, you’ll see Newbery doing his favorite trick. He likes to climb face-first into my lap, then wriggle around so he’s upright again. He does it every time I go into the room. So CUTE.

(You can also see it directly at YouTube.)

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Alice Mo in her favorite backyard spot.

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2011: “Wha? Why are my PAWS wet? What’s going ON?!”
2010: The Problem with Warm & Sunny Days.
2009: (reCOOPerating, HA HA!)
2008: Shea Butters would be an excellent stripper name.
2007: No entry.
2006: It was so friggin’ cute I made Fred listen to it, too.
2005: I have my finger on the pulse of pop culture, apparently.
2004: A day in the life.
2003: What makes me crazy.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Okay, enough of the wallowing.

3/30/12 – Friday

by @ Friday, March 30th, 2012. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life

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?

3/29/12 – Crooked Acres Thursday

by @ Thursday, March 29th, 2012. Filed under Crooked Acres, Fostering, Life

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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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

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These pups REALLY like their daily snack. (That’s Gracie on the left, George on the right.)

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Okay, yeah. There’s fresh water in your water bowls, but you’d rather drink from the pond. Tasty, is it? Rumor has it it’s going to get tastier…

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I’m so glad that pond finally filled up. We were worried there for a while!

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(A few people have asked and yes, the pond will attract mosquitoes. The dogs are on a heart worm preventative, of course.)

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She believes she can fly.

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She believes she can touch the sky-y.

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She thinks about it every night and day.

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Spreads her wings and flies away.

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Then she hits the ground and is like “Wait. I’m a CHICKEN. I can’t FLY. Hmph.”

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“Stupid R. Kelly.”

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Whenever we go out to the pond, the chickens follow behind in hopes that we’ve got something good for them.

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So, a few weeks ago, Fred noticed that we’ve got tadpoles in the pond.

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A LOT of them. I’m not kidding when I tell you that there are thousands of them. You walk along the shore, and they flit away in droves. Fred was like “We are going to have a plague of frogs out there.”

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I was like “Well, what are we going to DO?” Fred said, “We need to get some cats. A LOT of cats. Like, 200 of them!”

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So we did. (Those are catfish, in case you’ve never seen them.)

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We got 100 4-6″ catfish, and 100 6-8″ catfish.

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The fish truck came to our local Co-op, so Fred took half a day off work to go pick up our order. They were in tanks, and the guys dipped them up and put them in big bags and then tied them shut. We brought them straight home and took them out to the pond.

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Hopefully they’ll eat some of those tadpoles. We’re also feeding them catfish food, but it’s only been a few days, they haven’t quite gotten the hang of the idea that people bring food. In a year or two, Fred will be a fishing fool and we’ll start eating them.

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This is what Gracie thought about those catfish.

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Mr. Bluebird sure does make me happy.

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And Mr. Cardinal certainly has himself some Kramer hair, doesn’t he?

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The Azaleas are in bloom.

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As is the Spirea (I love love love it when the Spirea is in bloom.)

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Why on earth does Fred keep snuffling and sneezing and rubbing his eyes? It’s a mystery.

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A big black Tom has recently started showing up and eating out of the food bowls on the side and front porch. We need to get him trapped so we can have him neutered, but he is absolutely terrified of people and takes off the instant he sees us. We’re trying to lure him into a daily schedule but aren’t having much luck. We’ll keep trying, of course.

I recently left the game cam on the front porch and caught some interesting stuff. I’m saving that for next week!

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You guys, these kittens are killing me. They’re climbing up in my lap, they’re letting me pet them (they’re not sure about this kissing stuff yet), they’re play-fighting with my feet. I’m doing my best not to squoosh them, but it’s taking superhuman strength!

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“Wahhhhhhh! I’m da BAYbee!”

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“Hallo, Mama. It time to eat?”

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Logie is totally like “Where AM I?”

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Someone apparently heard SOMEthing disturbing. “What you MEAN we all have different fathers?!”

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Oh, the spotted belleh.

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“Gee, your foot smells terrific!”

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They’re such rude little brats, and she totally puts up with them.

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I hear Lenny and Squiggy saying “Hallo!” in my head when I look at this picture.

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“This foot is tasty!”

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Emmy’s all “Oh, thank god. YES, go sniff her foot. Sniff it all night long, just let me sleep a little bit…Zzzzz…”

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In the Joe Bob coop, no one sniffs annoyingly at him. (That smile on his face just kills me. He is SUCH a happy boy.)

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2011: Maggie would like you to appreciate her girlish figure.
2010: Signs of spring – and pics from around Crooked Acres and beyond.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: (“Why, Robyn, you only sounded like a PARTIAL idiot! I was amazed!”)
2006: “What IS that? Some kind of GODDAMN NICKNAME? You fucking heartless freak? You want me to kick your ass to Seattle, or you want to confess right now, jackass?”
2005: A day in the life.
2004: Naturally, the mental note got lost in the mental clutter, so I forgot she was in there, and only remembered when it had been a few hours and I hadn’t seen her.
2003: No entry.
2002: Don’t look at me like that.
2001: Of COURSE he falls in love with her inner beauty, because EVERYONE knows that fat women don’t have any of that OUTER beauty, for crying out loud.
2000: I can only hope he’ll flash me some butt cleavage.

3/28/12 – Kitteh Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, March 28th, 2012. Filed under Fostering, Life

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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This is the sort of thing that makes the other cats think Joe Bob isn’t friendly (even though he IS, really he is!)

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Joe Bob, minding his own business on his scratcher. Corbie comes along, and he’s all “Sniff.”

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Then Corbie’s like “Sniff. Sniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiff.”

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After some thought, Corbie is then like “Sniff. Sniff. SNIFF! SNIFF!!!!!!!!”

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Then Joe Bob is like “STOP SNIFFING ME ::HISSSSSSS!!!!::”

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Then Corbie’s all “WELL.”

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“That kind of hurts my feelings.”

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Wassuuuuuuuuuuup! Wednesday.

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(For reference.)

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Stinkerbelle has caught sight of her beloved Tommy, and has come down to stare at him.

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Pretending he’s not there.

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Gussying up in case he might want to kiss her later.

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“Is he EVER going to notice me?”

(For the newer readers, Stinkerbelle is our partially feral cat who pretty much lives on top of the kitchen cabinets. She comes down to eat and drink and use the litter box. She’ll let us pet her a few times, but when she’s done being petted, she swipes at us with her razor-sharp Paw o’ Doom and flounces off. She has a passionate love for Tommy and has loved him since she was a few months old and came to us in a litter of semi-feral kittens. Fred thinks she’s the most beautiful cat ever because of her blue eyes and silky fur and it’s his fault we adopted her.)

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2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Your comments, my answers!
2007: Turns out Maxi had found herself a desiccated frog and was chewing on it.
2006: Whereupon Nick Stokes, Ace Detective and CSI Genius jumps in and says, a dark scowl upon his face, “What is that, some kind of nickname?”
2005: Because there’s nothing worse than having your eyes scooped out with a spork when you’re not quite dead yet, believe you me.
2004: No entry.
2003: Your “shit” discussion is now over. You may move on.
2002: “Momma!” he cried “Momma, I’ll be good! Let me in Momma, let me in!”
2001: “Owowowowowow,” I whined, hand over my eye, and then stomped my foot in frustration.
2000: When I saw it in the theater, the ending so disturbed me that I sobbed all the way home from the movie theater.

3/27/12 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, March 27th, 2012. Filed under Fostering, Life

The guys from Lowe’s came to deliver our dryer yesterday before 9, and when they went to hook it up, discovered that the exhaust hose extension THINGY wasn’t long enough. They couldn’t hook up the hose because it wouldn’t reach to the other side of the vent hole in the wall, which meant that lint would blow up into the wall causing a fire hazard. So they plugged it in and left it for Fred to deal with.

Luckily, it was perfect clothes-drying weather, so I was able to do the rest of Fred’s laundry and hang it out to dry. I even got it folded and put away before he got home.

I got a lot of little things done around the house yesterday, which was nice. I’ve been wanting to scrub the bottom of the screen door – the door leading out to the back yard, which has a cat door built into it. I think we’ve had that thing for a couple of years now, and I’ve never cleaned it. It was nas-tay, but only took about ten minutes of work with the Magic Eraser sponge and some cleaning rags, and now it’s all set for another couple of years!

Regarding the peeing on my bed that I mentioned yesterday? I was maybe not clear when I said that it rarely happens. What I meant to say is that it rarely happens that someone pees ON MY BED. There’s plenty of cat pee in OTHER places, but it’s been a while since anyone peed on my damn bed.

These days, one of my morning chores, along with scooping the litter box and giving Emmy and Spanky their morning snacks, is to go around the house with a flashlight, a bottle of Nose Offense, and a few cleaning rags, checking all the usual spots and cleaning up any cat pee that I find. It’s a rare day when I don’t find some. I look at pictures I posted from back when we lived in Madison – and had far fewer cats than we have now – and I think “Seriously, I dared to put books on the bottom shelf of the bookcases?!” I don’t dare to now, because they’ll get sprayed. I don’t dare to leave laundry on the floor, because it’ll get peed on. Fred’s couch is covered in an old comforter to protect it from being peed on, and my couch has those waterproof-bottomed bed pads on it for the same reason.

(I’m using “spray” and “pee” interchangeably here because sometimes I find a small spray, and sometimes I find a full pee. The cats have been to the fucking vet, every last one of them, and they’re all in tip top health. They’re just assholes.)

I honestly don’t know when the cat pee problem really started – I know that we had a few issues with Mister Boogers (I believe he sent Nance home with a peed-upon sweatshirt because as much as I loved that cat, he was a fucking douchebag sometimes), but I think it really ramped up after we brought Joe Bob home. Joe Bob, sweet and wonderful as he is, will spray right in front of me. I’ve seen Tommy do it, Elwood’s done it, even my dear sweet Spanky has been seen doing it. At this point, Miz Poo is the only cat I can somewhat confidently say only pees in the litter box. I don’t think Alice, Kara, Stinkerbelle, or Corbie do it, but if Fred told me they did, I wouldn’t be all that surprised.

Did you know that female cats can spray? Indeed they can. I’ve seen Maxi do it right in front of me. ON THE SIDE OF MY DESK.

Goddamn, I hate cats sometimes.

So all of this is to set y’all straight. We see plenty of cat pee around here. PLENTY. We’re awash in cat pee. Thank god for Nose Offense and on the rare occasion that doesn’t take care of the problem, I mix up a spray bottle of 16 oz. hydrogen peroxide, 1 T baking soda, and 1 tsp dishwashing liquid, and go to town with that.

This cat pee issue, by the way, is why I am NOT KIDDING when I say that we’re not adopting any more cats. I would honestly like to go back down to 5 cats. I’m not talking about wanting to get rid of any of our cats of course. But as they go peeing off this mortal coil, we won’t adopt more to replace them. Miz Poo and Spanky are the oldest, and Tommy, Sugarbutt, and Joe Bob are the next oldest at almost 7 years old. As long as no one develops some horrible disease (oh please, let no one develop some horrible disease please, please), I think we’re going to be a house of way more than 5 cats for a good long time.

Y’all should buy stock in Nose Offense.

(Speaking of Nose Offense, I actually got an email from the people who run the company saying they hadn’t heard from me in a while and hoped everything was okay. I know they probably send out the email to people who regularly buy large quantities of the stuff, but I thought it was funny. And wouldn’t you know, I did have to place an order!)

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Ugh, they are SO CUTE. I swear, I’m afraid I’m going to squeeze them ’til the marshmallow fluff comes out their ears.

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“Oh, goody. You found me. I was hoping you would. No, really, I was.”
(My favorite part of this picture: Darwin in the back of the box with the tilted head.)

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“Yep, ya did.”

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I simultaneously want Logie to stay this size forever, and grow up NOW because I want to see what she’s going to look like!

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Emmy’s face cracks me up.

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Oh, how I love little blue-eyed kittens.

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I don’t know what it is about this kind of blanket that makes kittens want to lick it, but every time I go into the room, there are more and more spots on the blanket (which is laying on a cat bed near the box) that have been licked and then dried.

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“What? It’s yummy!”

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This look on Emmy’s face kills me dead.

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You know, I don’t know. It wasn’t a particularly hot day. Maybe this was Elwood’s way of flirting with Tommy?

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Or maybe, like Sugarbutt, he just likes to keep things aired out.

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2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: “Hey, Suggie,” I said, super-casual. “How’s it going?”
2008: I suppose that’s what I get for not having a job, ain’t it?
2007: I think you can imagine how very fucking thrilled I was.
2006: It’s a little-known fact that the butt is the tenderest and most flavorful part of the cashew.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: I’d have to have a mind before I lost it, wouldn’t I?
2002: Luckily, I’ve perfected the mental art of putting my hands over my ears and humming very loudly should my mind ever try to wander in that direction.
2001: While we were on the way to the movie store this afternoon, she turned to me and said “For my birthday” which is in October, by the way, “Can I get another kind of pet?”
2000: Since then, Fred and I, predictably, have referred to smoking pot – when seen in movies – as “Smoking the wheat.”

3/26/12 – Monday

by @ Monday, March 26th, 2012. Filed under Fostering, Life

Yesterday on Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza, Nance posted a recipe for Red Onion Marmalade (sounds weird, I know, but I had some on a wrap when I visited last Fall, and it was SO good!), and later today the post for Daddy’s Coconut Cake (which we both made) will be up!

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I had my hair cut last week. I kept the overall length, but had some shorter layers cut in and also went back to bangs. I am just not comfortable without bangs, I just don’t look right to myself without them. When I got home, I looked in the mirror and then decidd that I now have a Laura Petrie flip. I took a few pictures to document it.

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(Laura Petrie was the role Mary Tyler Moore played in The Dick van Dyke show, btw, here’s a link to a blurry picture of her then. Hey, did you hear he just got married at like 105? Good for him!)

It probably goes without saying, but y’all should know that when I style my hair myself, it looks nothing like that because I get borrrrrrrrrred blow-drying my hair, and I like blow-dry it so that my hair parts in the right place, and then I wander off and let my hair air-dry.

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Saturday was a good day, a day in which I got plenty accomplished (FINALLY cleaned the bathrooms, started more tomato plants, um… took a nap), and then at bedtime, it all went to shit.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that Fred and I lay in bed and talk for half an hour or so before he toddles off to his own room and I either read or play games on my iPod or watch TV or whatever until I’m tired. So we talked for half an hour and then he got up to leave, and I grabbed the top pillow he’d been using and flipped it so that when I was ready for sleep, I could roll over and flop my arm across the pillow.

Which is when I fucking discovered that the fucking pillow had fucking been peed upon.

Oh, good fucking CHRIST do I hate the fucking hell out of my cats sometimes. We’d been laying there with cat urine not so far from our faces, and neither of us noticed it at all. What kind of nasty-ass LIFE do we lead, may I ask?

I don’t even remember the last time a cat peed on my bed, because they fucking KNOW better. I was ready to just toss all their fucking asses into the back yard and let them live out there, I hated them so much. Instead, I stomped around and sprayed everything within sight with Nose Offense and then wiped it up, and I was remaking my bed when I found that there was also cat spray on the footboard of the bed, and I got to clean THAT up, too.


Once the bed was made, I brought all the bedding downstairs and left it near the washer, and I said accusingly to Sheriff Kara, “How is it YOU LET THIS HAPPEN?” (poor Sheriff Kara), and I put the pillows in the trash (nope, not even going to try washing the fucking things, because I ADORE WASTING MONEY), and I stomped back upstairs.

AND THEN I SHUT MY BEDROOM DOOR SO THAT NO CATS COULD COME IN, and I sternly resolved that NO CAT would EVER cross the threshhold of my bedroom again EVER. (Of course, when I woke up I decided that they’d get ONE MORE CHANCE because that’s the kind of wishy washy hardass I am.)

I slept like shit, and when I woke up, I found that I’d slept funny and my back hurt like a motherfucker.



The goddamn motherfucking piece of shit dryer broke. It’s been limping along like the piece of shit it is, and yesterday, when I had 300 pounds of cat-pee laundry to do, the fucking thing shit the bed. Luckily it was a somewhat decent day out, so I could wash a small load of laundry and hang it out to dry (so that Fred wouldn’t have to go to work naked this morning), but then we got to go up to Lowe’s and blow money on a dryer that is probably also a piece of shit. Isn’t it wonderful that these days it’s often cheaper to buy a new dryer than have the old one fixed? (And the old one was going to cost a motherfucking fortune to fix, someone came out and looked at it.)

On the good side, Fred got the old dryer moved out to the back yard (the new one’s coming later this morning; thank god for free delivery) and so I was able to clean the spot where the dryer goes, and then Fred moved the washer out of the way so I could clean there, too. It’s desperately been needing to be cleaned, but it’s such a pain in the ass to move everything out that I haven’t bothered with it. Now it’s clean for another year!

We had pizza (made on flatbread that I bought at the grocery store last week) for lunch, and it made me all bloaty and feeling gross all afternoon.

It was just, you know, one of THOSE days. I hated everything and everyone and everycat and I went to bed all grumpy like.

Today better not SUCK like yesterday did, or so help me I’m running away.

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On Friday, we weighed the kittens and took pictures of each!

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Darwin is the smallest at 13 1/2 ounces.

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Logie continues to be the largest at 1 pound and 7/8 ounces.

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Newbery weighed in at 14 3/4 ounces.

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And Razzie’s at 13 5/8 ounces.

For future reference (although I’m sure I’ll never remember this), it’s apparently at the 3 1/2 week mark when the kittens lose their fear and start seriously venturing forth from their safe place. Now when I go into the room, I speak to Emmy (I always speak to her as I’m coming through the door so she’ll know I’m coming; the other day I walked through the door without speaking, and she hissed at me!) and the kittens talk back to me.

I was hanging out with Emmy and the kittens yesterday, and all four of the babies came out of the box while Emmy snoozed in the box. Newbery came hauling butt out of the box, stumbled drunkenly toward the corner of the room where the litter box is, then changed direction and came over to me, sniffed my foot wildly, and then climbed up in my lap.

Newbery and Logie appear to be pretty fearless, though Razzie and Darwin aren’t far behind!

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Belly up to the milk bar, kiddies.

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They are such BRATS these days. They’re always smacking at Emmy, biting her on the face, and she totally puts up with it.

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Time to eat again!

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“Please, lord, don’t let those brats wake up. Mama needs a break.”

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I wish I could sleep on a bed of kittens. I bet that would be super comfy! Well. Except for the claws.

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Oh, the little bitty FACES kill me dead. Also, the spotted belly.

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“Maaaaamaaaaaaaaa! We is hungry!”

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Smug little brat.

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Remember last week when I said that Kara always looks concerned and a bit stressed? Well, I was wrong.

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Apparently there are actually times when she’s relaxed and happy looking, and those times are when she’s being held like a baby. Is she not the most gorgeous girl?

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2011: No entry.
2010: I just literally laughed about the poop spoon until I cried.
2009: I am the High Priestess of Litter Box Scooping, Pig Treat Making, and Kitten Butt Wiping.
2008: It took me a few weeks, but I finally finished The Washingtonienne and today I am announcing that bitchypoo.com, in conjunction with vituperation.com, is awarding The Washingtonienne the title of The Most Vapid Book of This Century.
2007: I was filled with a black hatred for the goddamn lights and my goddamn husband and every goddamn thing that ever was.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Another reason I love the man: he makes me laugh every day.
2003: I’ll tell you what, he’s lucky I didn’t go get the cleaver and chop that fucking finger right the fuck off.
2002: My mind is blank…
2001: It’s just the little things that get to me, y’know?
2000: Married people! Having sex in the middle of the day! What IS this world coming to?

3/23/12 – Friday

by @ Friday, March 23rd, 2012. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life

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?

3/22/12 – Crooked Acres Thursday

by @ Thursday, March 22nd, 2012. Filed under Crooked Acres, Fostering, Life

Sights from around Crooked Acres.

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We had thunderstorms last week, and I did my level best to get a good picture of the lightning. If you look in the middle of the picture, behind the tree, you can just barely see it.

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After the storm, the light was kind of odd.

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And then we got a rainbow!

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Daffodils are my favorite flower.

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Also blooming is the Wisteria, which smells fantastic.

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These little flowers, which I don’t know the name of (though Fred insists that “weeds” works well enough) are all over the place.

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Blueberry bushes are coming back (maybe this year we’ll get more than a few blueberries!)

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I cut the catnip way back in December, expecting it to die off, and it never got cold enough. No complaints from me!

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The cabbage, which I planted last Fall, are still meandering along. Maybe by NEXT Fall they’ll be big enough to eat?

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This rooster was slated to go off to freezer camp last weekend, but he escaped Fred’s clutches, and so he lives on. He and that little hen escape the back forty every day and wander the property, clean up the bird seed under the feeders, and just go wherever they want. I have to admit, I like seeing them wander around.

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Happy little grapevine.

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We’re getting well over two dozen eggs a day right now.

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Duck egg on the left, chicken egg on the right.

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Duck egg on the left, chicken egg on the right!

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The girl ducks, having pushed their way into the maternity yard to lay their eggs, now have no idea how to get out. We have to let them out every single day because the fence they’re pushing their way under is pretty impossible for us to reach.

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The wanderers, wandering along on the wrong side of the fence.

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“Pssst! George!”

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“Close your mouth! You look like an idiot!”

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“Good lord, I hope I don’t look half as dorky as you when I’m waiting to get my treat.”

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“Go ‘way, lady.”

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“You put goopy stuff in my eye and I don’t like you.”

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“Well, THIS is fancy. Where’d the pink thing go??”

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Oy, the stripes.

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“OMG, you guys, help! HELP! This claw is attacking me! HALP!”

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“OMG, one claw is going up my nostril and it hurts O LAWD SAVE ME, Y’ALL!”

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“What are you bellowing about over here?”
“Did you see that claw? It was GETTING me!”
“What claw?”
“I don’t know, I guess it ran away!”

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“Maybe it’s over there by Logie.”
“I think there was no claw. I think you made it up so you could be loud and obnoxious and bellowy.”

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“I don’t see it. But I bet it’s over there!”

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“You look in that corner, I’ll look in this corner.”

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“There it is! I’m going to bite it and make it go away!”

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“I don’t even want to know what’s going on over there.”

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That’s the smooth-fabric pad I put in the box for them to lay on. They’re not impressed with it and keep pushing it out. I think I may have to accept that they prefer to lay on hard wood because they’re little bitty weirdos.

Wee kitty movie. The other three were busy nursing or snoozing, but Newbery was loaded for bear and wanted to PLAY. He finally gave up, but not before annoying his mother as much as possible. (I don’t know why it’s doing that weird pixelating in some places, but it doesn’t really ruin the movie, so I’m leaving it up.)

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Is Joe Bob not the happiest boy you’ve ever seen? SO happy.

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Last month, Andrea posted a comment saying Ever hear the song Jolene by Dolly Parton?? When I see Jo Bob, I hear “Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Boooob,” But I dont know what the next line should be.. MOL love me some Jo Bob!

And before I knew it, GD had written an entire theme song for Joe Bob, which I’ve been meaning to post, but am just now getting around to it, a month later. I think you’ll agree it’s hilarious!

Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Boooob
Im begging of you please don’t take my tin (of catnip)
Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Boooob
Please don’t take it just because you can
Your fuzzy face is beyond compare
With smokey locks of super soft hair
With two toned fur and eyes of emerald green
Your purr is like a breath of spring
Your meow is soft like summer rain
And I cannot compete with you, Jo Bob.

I dream of catnip in my sleep
There’s nothing I can do to keep
From crying when I think it may be gone, Jo Bob

And I can easily understand
How you could easily take my tin
But you don’t know what it means to me, Jo Bob

Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Boooob
Im begging of you please don’t take my tin (of catnip)
Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Boooob
Please don’t take it just because you can

You could have your choice of treats
But I could never subsitute it with meat
It’s the only thing for me, Jo Bob

I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do, Jo Bob

Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Boooob
Im begging of you please don’t take my tin (of catnip)
Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Bob, Jo Boooob
Please don’t take it even though you can
Jo Bob, Jo Bob

(Thanks, GD, I laughed again when I read through it!)

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2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: “What’d you do, come up with some new exercise plan?” he asked.
2006: Why do I feel like an ass all of a sudden?
2005: Damn. He saw through my wily scheme!
2004: She stood and let it sink in, then turned and flounced off.
2003: No entry.
2002: Cat pee, by the way, is the vilest-smelling stuff on this planet.
2001: Don’t you hate it when someone tries to be reasonable in the midst of your tightly choreographed hissy fit?
2000: “Of course they do, they like soft toilet paper. It’s the mafia, babe!”

3/21/12 – Wednesday

by @ Wednesday, March 21st, 2012. Filed under Fostering, Life

Someone noticed yesterday that Logie had a bit of green goop in one of her eyes. That picture was from a few days ago, and after a few applications of ointment, her eye is much better. Darwin, on the other hand, poked herself in the eye (I actually saw it happen), and so she’s got one squinty eye now. It’s always something, I tell ya.

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“I am so smart, I can wash my own paw. What HUMAN 2 1/2 week old can do such a thing?”

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“Wait… there are TWO of them?!”

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“I lub my mama.”

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“Whatcha got there, lady?”

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Mama Emmy and her monkeys.

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Newbery works on his ear rotation.

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Emmy checks to see just what Razzie thinks she’s doing.

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“I think I’ve done enough exploring for now. I need a NAP.”

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Short video of the Noms, shot yesterday. Emmy was doing her best to clean those babies but they just would NOT sit still!

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Sugarbutt likes to keep things aired out.

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2011: I’m pretty sure the lesson here is that you don’t go messing with Alice or she’ll get you back when you least expect it.
2010: I love me some Bookworms, if that wasn’t already obvious!
2009: No entry.
2008: “I think you mean ‘oaf’,” I said.
2007: That is a monster shredder.
2006: Someone kill me now. NOW.
2005: And THEN in the car on the way to Mom and Dad’s, I was thinking “Well, THAT was rude, to tell her she was being too loud!
2004: No entry.
2003: Miz Poo has an infection.
2002: And if you unsubscribe from the notify list? A reason for the unsubscription is neither necessary, required, nor desired. Thanks so much.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

3/20/12 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, March 20th, 2012. Filed under Fostering, Life

This week on Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza, Nance and I made pizza dough.

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Okay, for those of you who didn’t see the dog in the cloud picture from yesterday, does this help?

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Also, someone said they saw a squirrel sitting on a dog’s head, and so when I looked to see if I saw it too, I saw the squirrel, but actually thought the head looked more like a pig than a dog. When I originally saw the cloud, I thought it looked like a pig’s head, but in the half a minute between the time I spotted the pig’s-head-cloud and the camera got ready to take pictures (instant-on is NOT one of my cameras charms), it turned into more of a dog to me (thus the picture above).

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(Those pictures made with PicMonkey, which looks as thought it’s going to be a good replacement for Picnik. In case you hadn’t heard, Picnik is closing down in April. Yes, they’re moving Picnik over to Google+, but if I wanted to be editing pictures in Google+, I’d already have been doing that. PS: If Flickr shuts down, I am beyond screwed.)

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One day last week, Fred went out to feed the chickens. He had to open the gate to the maternity yard to let the girl ducks out (the maternity yard is a small yard attached to the back of the coop where we put broody hens and their eggs. The hens and their chicks live there for about a week after the eggs have hatched so that we don’t have to worry about them being run over by the big chickens in the big coop). The girl ducks have been pushed their way through the fence (which is under the coop) to get into the maternity yard, and then can’t figure out how to get back out.

(Ducks are approximately as smart as chickens. In other words: not very.)

So Fred opened the gate and got one female duck out, but didn’t see the other one. He looked out into the chicken yard and didn’t see her out there, either, so he looked in the maternity coop (which started its life as a dog house, which the dogs refused to go into, and then the hens started going in there and laying eggs. Those goddamn hens will lay eggs in any out of the way place they can find.) and standing in the middle of the coop was the missing girl duck. Behind her, a nest. In the nest? Several duck eggs!

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Did I manage to think to take a comparison picture with a duck egg and a chicken egg? I did not. I’ll try to do that before Thursday!

We ended up with five duck eggs (as seen in the picture above), and after I snapped the picture, Fred asked me to scramble one so we could try it. I’ve heard that duck eggs are richer than chicken eggs, and also that they’re good to bake with.

So I scrambled one of the eggs and Fred ate a few bites and I ate a few bites, and I can tell you that it had a stronger flavor than a chicken egg – it was very eggy – and I didn’t eat more than a few bites. I’ll be sticking to chicken eggs for breakfast from here on out, but I’m looking forward to baking with the duck eggs.

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Yesterday morning I was in the foster room, sitting in front of the box, petting kittens. Emmy stood up and walked out of the box, brushing by me, and went to lay down behind the box. She was in such a position that she couldn’t see into the box, though she clearly knew that I could reach the kittens, and instead of sitting and watching me, she flopped over and went to sleep.

I took the opportunity to straighten up the pink pad – which they’d pretty much pushed out of the box – and petted the kittens, and they responded by letting me pet them, and then scooting off to the back of the box where they piled up and went to sleep. She left the box again last night, completely unconcerned that I was right there all prepared to touch her babies (which I did).

Yesterday afternoon, Emmy was in the box and a couple of the babies were nursing. Razzie came over and looked at me, then came out of the box and went off the pink pad onto the floor. Emmy gave me a look as if to say “WHAT THE -?” and then walked out of the box, sniffed at Razzie, and then walked away and sat a few feet away, watching her. Razzie pretty much immediately turned around and went back into the box, but hey – it’s a step forward, right? Before we know it, those babies will be scattered all over the room, exploring!

By the time I went back into the room at bedtime last night, they’d pushed the pink pad out of the box again. Fred suggested that maybe it was too warm for them (that room gets pretty warm, especially with daytime temps in the low 80s), so I replaced it with a smooth fabric pad. They seemed okay with it, so we’ll see if they accept it or if it gets pushed out of the box as well.

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Sweet baby.

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“What babies? I have no babies. I’m free and single and have no worries in the world. (Shhh, let me have my fantasy…)”

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“This is my mama and I love her, you go ‘way.”

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“I have spoken my piece and counted to three.”

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Kitten pillows make for the best sleep.

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Rough life, Emmy. I wish I could hang out in a box covered by kittens all day!

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Bath time!

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Gettin’ his loon on.

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2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: “I absolutely LOATHE nerds that act SUPERIOR about their NERDY ICONS.”
2008: I am a peeing machine.
2007: That just screams “Monday”, doesn’t it?
2006: “I prefer ‘va-jay-jay’,” he said almost prissily.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: And why is it that I ALWAYS have my period when it’s time to leave on vacation? Why? Whyyyyyyyyy?
2002: I don’t want to have to think about Ozzy having a boner, thankyouverymuch.
2001: Fortunately, I have many more lazing-around-the-house-reading hours in the day than he does.
2000: I didn’t think cats did such things once they were fixed.

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