This section regards last week’s episode (and season finale) of Real Housewives of NYC. Skip to the next section if you haven’t seen it/ aren’t interested! I’m just basically cutting and pasting an email regarding this show so I don’t have to type it up again! Bethenny was cracking me up at the beginning, with … Continue reading “4-21-08”

This section regards last week’s episode (and season finale) of Real Housewives of NYC. Skip to the next section if you haven’t seen it/ aren’t interested!

I’m just basically cutting and pasting an email regarding this show so I don’t have to type it up again!

Bethenny was cracking me up at the beginning, with her reaction to Alex saying that she wanted men and women to be equal which, you know, of course they should be IN THE WORK PLACE, but it’s a crime to want to spend time without the opposite sex around? And then her saying (regarding vibrators) “Why is she plugging it in, what generation is she?!” made me laugh, too. She doesn’t hesitate to say anything about anyone, and I wonder if she’ll end up getting shit for that from the other women.

When she flipped out on Jill though, if I were there, I would have been horribly uncomfortable. I mean, what the hell? Couldn’t she have been a wee bit nicer about it? I was impressed that Jill didn’t flip out in return, since she usually adores her some drama.

The whole thing about Bethenny’s father interested me enough that I went looking to see who he is. He’s apparently some big deal horse trainer. YAWN. That was weird at the race track with her father’s friend giving her lingerie. AWKWARD.

OH, and look what else I found:


Her boyfriend lost his job due to his involvement with the show! Damn Bravo, wrecking careers!

Francois cracked me up when he was intentionally doing the puzzle wrong, because he was so obviously doing it on purpose, then the “What year is it?” and “What country do we live in?” was making me laugh, because please. What four year-old knows the answers to those questions??

Ramona was an ass at the end, at dinner, when she was pushing Alex about what she did when Simon was gone. Well, you know, Alex apparently works during the day and takes care of the kids at night (and suddenly, given the shape of their house, I’m wondering if the au pair is live-in. They usually are, aren’t they? What the hell must her room look like? Is it the closet under the stairs, or what??), so maybe she didn’t have time to go out flitting around and meeting up with her girl friends, RAMONA. Jesus. And she had some nerve, showing up so late, I thought Jill would flip out on her but was nicely surprised again.

I just cannot believe that with Francois running around screaming like that, Alex and Simon did NOTHING. And when he was stabbing Jason’s $30 burger that MUST BE MADE OF GOLD ($30 for a BURGER. Seriously?), I am amazed that Simon was just all “Oh, you have boys, you know how it is!” HA.

I cannot. Cannot. CANNOT WAIT until the reunion next week. I had to go make sure it was set to tape, because I am SO not going to miss that! That is going to be the trainwreck to beat all trainwrecks, I can’t wait to see Ramona stomp off!

I just read that Bravo gave the go-ahead to start filming Real Housewives of New Jersey. That’s just too damn close to NYC for me – I’d rather see another area of the country. Atlanta? Chicago? Seattle?



This section regards last week’s episode of Survivor. Skip the next section to begin the Comment-Answering Extravaganza.

I liked Ozzy, a lot, I love the fact that he’s an unassuming little powerhouse, but when the FUCK are these people going to understand that the instant you think you’re in the power seat, the instant you feel okay to start getting cocky, is when you’re GONE? And how stupid is Ozzy to mention the idea of using the Immunity Idol and then NOT DOING SO? I liked Ozzy a lot, but I LOVED seeing him get his ass blindsided. A good blindside is worth its weight in gold. Or somethin’.

I loved seeing Eliza’s reaction to Ozzy getting voted off.

I think if Parvati makes it to the final three, she’ll be able to use the fact that she talked everyone into voting Ozzy off in her favor. It’s just going to be a weeeeee bit uncomfortable around camp between now and then!

Also, I think it’s shitty that people at that challenge would promise not to vote whatshisname off and then go right ahead and vote for him. Crossing your FINGERS? What are you, two years old? Assholes. On the other hand, he was an idiot to believe anything they’d say.



soooo, I’m thinking pork and Kahlua? That’s a strange combo – then I looked at the recipe. I just might have to try it!

When I told Fred the name of the recipe, he made a face and said “It has KAHLUA in it?!” I cannot think of a single entree that would be improved by the addition of Kahlua. Luckily, there’s no Kahlua in Kahlua Pork – and we managed to get three meals out of what we made, with a little left over. I love only having to cook once, and ending up with three meals from what I’ve made!



I always think the fosters are so cute and that you have to be crazy to let them integrate with the other cats because they almost always seem to fit in so seamlessly – but for the first time in a long time I want you to keep this one. An impossibility perhaps but damn he’s so cute!

I have to say, HG is a little sweetheart. I had my doubts at first – I’m always worried when we get the ones who won’t let us touch them at first – but he’s integrated really well with the other cats, and that doesn’t always happen. There’s usually some hissiness involved, if not flat-out fighting, but HG is submissive enough that if another cat hisses at him or smacks him, he just goes on his way, no hard feelings involved. I’ve been calling him the little Ambassador-in-training, because the other cats seem to like him quite a bit. Even Miz Poo doesn’t have a fit when he rubs up against her, and that’s unheard of. Unfortunately, though, we’re just going to love him while we’ve got him, and when there’s room at the pet store I’ll take him so that someone else can fall in love with him and bring him home with them.



www.thecountryhouse.com is an awesome catalog for curtains also. I was lucky to be in the area where they actually have their store and I think you would go nuts in there. I spent over 5 hours in there and still didn’t get to see everything! I have bought curtains from them below online and they are really good quality.

I really like the curtains I’ve looked at so far – but I don’t know who I’m kidding. I’m starting to think that curtains just aren’t in the cards for this house, because I’ve been looking for over a year and I’ve liked a lot of the curtains I’ve seen, even bookmarked a bunch of them, but have I ordered any? No, I haven’t. I don’t know what my issue is with just ordering the damn things and getting it over with!



Have you heard of the Kong Cat Zoom Groom Robyn? It really works. I bought one at Pet Smart but I see you can get them at Amazon. It really pulls the loose fur out. The fur can indeed go flying in fluffs into the air so be careful what area of the house you use it in. My cats love it. I imagine it must feel like a real good massage to them. It works so well you might want to be careful not to brush them pert near furless!

I actually thought we had one of these, but after looking in all the usual places, I’m not seeing it. I’m starting to think that either we had one and it ran away with the Feliway, or I just thought about buying one but didn’t. I’ll have to think about giving it a try – none of our cats particularly like being brushed, so if I can trick them into thinking they’re getting a massage when I’m actually getting rid of the loose fur, I think it’d be a good thing all around.



I read one of the syndicated advice columns recently (can’t remember which one) in which a person complained because his/her partner allowed the cats (dogs? maybe?) to eat from “the dishes that we eat from and cook with.” Is this really an issue? My animals all have their own bowls in which the vast majority of their food goes, but I *ALSO* have a dishwasher and, before I had a dishwasher, had these really amazing things called “soap” and “water” and “dishcloths,” and if I want to put the goddamned plate down on the floor for the dogs and/or cats to eat the scraps off of it, as long as I was it, or put it in the dishwasher – where it gets bombarded for eleven hours with all sorts of caustic chemicals and water that’s like 8 million degrees – afterwards, what is the big fat hairy deal? “OMFG your CAT licked your PLATE! Remind me never to eat at your house again! OMG THAT’S SO GROSS!” I mean, what the hell? How do people function if an item exposed to momentary unsanitary-ness is forevermore tainted and UNCLEEEEEEEAN? I cook with the same hands that have cleaned up baby poop (and grown-u… well, never mind), but hey, guess what, I’ve WASHED them since then! What a radical concept!

Heh – I’ve heard of people having ISSUES with animals eating from people plates, but I’ve never understood it, myself. We do have special plates for the cats at Snackin’! Time!, but that’s just because we use so many of them that if we used people plates for cat snacks, there’d be no plates left for us when we wanted to eat. And I actually do run the cat snack plates through the dishwasher, though to be honest I’m sure I could just use the plates over and over without ever washing them, and the cats wouldn’t give a shit.

But anyway, yeah. I don’t get why it bothers people that animals would eat from a people plate, as long as the people plate is washed before people eat from it! Maybe it’s just a mental thing, like they look at the plate and think of the cat licking it clean, and it triggers a gag reflex?



Also, the FurBuster seems to be the same basic concept as the Furminator. It works very well, and is (from what I can see) about half the cost of the Furminator.

Thanks for the link. It does appear to be about the same thing!



If you don’t already have these, you need them.

I agree!



Speaking of disapproving animals, you have seen this, right?

But of course. Nothing disapproves quite in the way bunnies do.



I watched the mascots video and started watching others. Got a question and would love for someone to answer it. http://www.maniacworld.com/cat-confused-by-scratching.html My cats do that too. Why???

That’s an excellent question – just rest assured that your cat is not alone. Various of our cats will do that whole stare-off-into-space licking-the-air thing if you scratch hard at or near the base of their tail. I have no idea why they do that, just always assumed it was hitting some kind of nerve. When I was Googling around looking for an answer, I saw somewhere that it might be a built in reflex – when they’re babies, the mother cat licks them in that area to stimulate them to nurse. I haven’t seen any evidence of that with our current mother and babies, but if I see anything like that, I’ll be sure to let you know!



The plant reminds me of Pachysandra, a ground cover. Does it all grow from a single spot or are they like a bunch of separate plants growing together to look like a single plant. Also, if it is Pachysandra it will spread each year.

I think I agree that it’s Pachysandra. It appears to be several different plants growing together (though I haven’t actually poked around much to see for sure, because I don’t want to run into anything that might be living under there!). It’s pretty and the leaves are green and very glossy, so I’m going to let it keep growing. There’s nothing else growing in that area, so why not?



I’m pet sitting for my sister’s two cats, one is a six month old tiger and the other is a grown up ragdoll. He doesn’t seem too big under the fur and the other one is still mini but MAN ALIVE these cats are producing some monster dumps! I’m scooping every day and it seems like the piles are unending. And some of them are disturbingly substantial. (They haven’t really mastered the art of burying either so it’s kind of a constant litter box monitoring gig.)They only have been eating dry food but these babies are still potent.

Is this normal? I was going to get a second cat for myself after graduation but if the litterbox is going to be so…scary then I’m not sure I’m up for it. Also, I’m not sure I’m getting paid enough for this. Robyn I know you’ve said before how many boxes you have set up and how often you change them. She’s got a small place (and I likely will too) and shouldn’t one for only two cats be enough?

My only other explanation for this abundance of poo is that they’re nervous with their mommy gone and are taking it out on me via enhanced digestion but they seem perfectly comfortable with me.

I really think that one litter box for two cats – as long as you scoop regularly – is plenty. I think a possible issue here might be what the cats are eating. If they’re eating food that has lots of filler or fiber, that could be causing larger litter box piles. My cats don’t fill them up too terribly much (though I do have to scoop twice a day, or it can get bad; that’s probably because I have three litterboxes for nine cats – though Maxi and Newt don’t use the litterboxes, since the entire WORLD is their litterbox) and I feed them pretty decent food that doesn’t include a lot of fillers.

So anyway, my point is that what they’re eating could be the cause of their litterbox shenanigans. OR it could just be that they happen to be two cats who, um, go a lot. Or you’re right, it could be a stress sort of thing – they can be perfectly comfortable with you, but still stressed about their mommy being gone. Cats like to have things follow a certain routine, and when things are changed up, they freak a little, each in their own way. If I were you, I’d ask your sister what the usual litter box situation is like, find out what she’s feeding her cats, and make a determination from there.

Readers, as always, your experiences are appreciated!



Okay, woman: What was the pet store where you found the Stink Free? Petsmart, Petco??? I swear I’ll buy it by the case if it really works that well …

I get 99.9% of my pet supplies at PETsMART – when I refer to “the pet store”, that’s the place I’m talking about. Occasionally I pick stuff up in other places, but usually it’s PETsMART, and that’s where I bought the Stink Free. I’m not crazy about our local PetC0, it just kind of gives me the willies.



A dumb question just occurred to me when I saw the pig pictures. Do pigs wash themselves at all? You know, like dogs and cats do. Inquiring minds want to know. :))

Nope, they sure don’t. They’re fairly clean pigs (except when they roll around in the mud like they did this weekend) and aren’t terribly stinky, but I have to admit I’d like to see them plop down on their butts and stick their rear legs in the air like the cats do. That would be a seriously funny sight.



I have read several reports of people who used various odor-removing products and it took a while for the odor to go away. One guy treated his hardwood floors three or four times – cat piss soaked by the previous owners – but the smell was still so bad that he finally just closed off that room. A few months later he was doing something to the house that wound up with him sanding the floors in that room (I don’t remember the details of what he was doing) and he says that he realized as he was sanding that there was absolutely no odor – even when he sanded down deep into the wood, where you’d expect some odor to remain. So sometimes the smell might remain initially but if you give it a little time it’ll work. As I understand it, the enzymatic stuff contains… little things that eat the bacteria that cause the odors. So if there’s a lot of bacteria to eat, they maybe will take a little longer to finish it all off. (Does that make sense? I’m tired.)

It makes sense, and that’s actually what I heard, too, that it takes time to work, but the back of the Nature’s Miracle said that if it dried and you could still smell the odor of urine, to reapply. And after reapplying three times and still smelling cat pee, well, I got impatient, man! My life is not such that I can sit around and patiently wait for the stinky smell of cat pee to fade slowly from my couch, y’know? So far, the cat pee smell has NOT come back – and I’ve checked regularly. Two thumbs up (so far!) for the Stink Free!



What about trying a Dog Whisperer technique on Splash? Sit in the room with her, but don’t look at her, don’t talk to her, and don’t touch her. I’m not sure how long it would take, but if you take a book in to read, maybe you could do it for an hour or so a day. What happens if you take the kitty ambassador in with you and she sees you interact with a kitty that likes you?

I do sit in there and just read for at least part of every day. Moving her from the foster kitten room to the guest bedroom has apparently traumatized her, because she’s refusing to come out in “public” while we’re in the room at all. I know she’s coming out, because she’s eating and using the litter box, and I know she’s in there, because I check to make sure she’s still alive, but nothing I’m trying is working. She reacts to an attempt at petting by hissing and clawing, if I just sit and look at her, she actually shakes. I feel bad for her, but I’m not seeing that anything I’m doing is making any difference.

I did think that if she could see another cat reacting toward me in a friendly manner it might help, which is why I put HG back in the foster kitten room with her for several days. I’d go in there, hang out, pet HG, he’d climb all over me and purr, and she’d see it happening, but it hasn’t made any difference at all.



hmmm. Am I the only one who thinks the Vidalia Chop Wizard makes MORE work? I mean, I have to cut the fruit or veggies into pieces of a length that are “handle-able” in the Chop Wizard. So I usually end up just keeping hand chopping till its all done. And then, I have to clean not only the cutting board, but the chop wizard and those awful grates that don’t easily come clean??? Maybe I am doing it wrong.

I actually just toss all the pieces of the Chop Wizard in the dish washer, and it comes clean. I use it mostly so that I get uniform size pieces, because if it’s left to me to do the chopping, I end up with wildly different sizes, because I’m unskilled when it comes to chopping. I also like to chop several onions at once, then freeze the leftovers for future use. I figure if I’m going to get it dirty, I might as well do extra onion-chopping so I won’t have to in the future!



Robyn, do you ever order from Penzey’s? penzeys.com, one of my favourite places on the Internet. Doesn’t matter how arcane the spice, herb, or seasoning mixture, they’ll have it, and it’s always very, very fresh and the flavour just zings. I love it. And if you ask for their paper catalog, it has GREAT RECIPES, the never-fail, not-complicated, delicious kind of recipes. I clip them and save them.

I have actually never ordered from Penzey’s and had never heard of them, then Nance and Rick sent me a collection for my birthday (actually, now that I think about it, they might have sent it for Fred, but I claimed it for myself!). I’ve been using those spices ever since – usually on steak, a couple of times on chicken – and really like them a lot. When I visited Nance and Rick, we actually stopped at the Penzey’s store, and it smelled fabulous and looked intriguing, but I was a little overwhelmed and ended up not buying anything. I have to say, I’m definitely a Penzey’s fan, and I’ll be checking out their online site!



I dreamed last night that your bottle of Feliway was sitting in amongst all the shit I have stacked on my dryer. For the record: I did not steal your Feliway.




I am industriously grading papers while I sub a class this morning. Then I have my own class to teach tonight. In between I am going to take a nap. I am in the early days of baby making and am sooooooo tired.

Please be advised that I am very good at taking care of those in the end stages of baby making – just ask Momma Kitty! I give many belly rubs, I tell the baby maker how pretty and smart and good she is, and I offer several tasty snacks a day. Just keep that in mind when your time comes. Also, I will make for you



Hey do you like high thread count sheets? Overstock.com has an awesome looking set on sale right now, 1200TC all sizes $69.99. Read the reviews – these are apparently some stout sheets, some like em, some hate em. But if you like heavy, high TC sheets, this looks like an awesome deal.

I actually cannot stand sheets with a high thread count – sheets that are really soft drive me crazy. I much prefer the 250 thread count percale sheets. Clearly I am not made for the finer things in life! However, if any of you out there are into high thread count, there you go. That’s a damn good price!



Long time reader here, bad bad lurker. BUT! I had to pipe in about the Sideswipe. I have had one since Christmas and I LOVE IT! One of my biggest pet peeves with my baby (oh, I’m sorry, I mean my KitchenAid) was that I could never scrape down the bowl without making a complete mess of my hand or the spatula. Well, the Sideswipe completely takes care of that. It’s a lot lighter (its a plastic material) than the attachments that come with the mixer and depending on what you are mixing it is a bit harder to scrape off the batter, etc. from the blade itself, but like I said it is totally worth it.

Lauren, on your say-so I actually went ahead and ordered the Sideswipe. I’ve only used it once, but already I have to say – you ain’t kidding! That blade is awesome. I think it’s totally worth the price, and from the one experience I’ve had with it, I highly recommend it!



Hey, I have a question: if, God forbid, poor Splash never learns to trust and be friendly, what will happen to her? Will she live forever as a foster hiding in your kitty condo? Or what? I mean, I get that it’s a no-kill organization but what the hell do you do with a cat like that?

Splash is actually going to be going back to the woman who had her, later today. She was hoping – we both were, really – that since I had more time to devote to taming wild kittehs, I could work with Splash and at least tame her a little. She knows someone who wants to take Splash and her sister (who the woman was never able to catch), to keep them as barn cats, so that might be where she’s going.

The shelter does have a few cats who are so feral that they can’t really be adopted out as house pets, so they’re adopted out as barn cats, but the shelter makes sure that they’ll be in safe, protected environments.

I’ve tried to convince Fred that he should put up a building in the back forty, one big enough to shelter twenty or so cats, and we could keep cats that are just really unadoptable – hell, he could run a fence around the building and give them safe outdoor access, even! He won’t go for it, though. It’s like he has a day job and can’t always do my bidding or something. Hmph.



Do you find it hard to cook for two, or do you just make big meals all of the time and eat on the leftovers for a couple of days? I love to cook but always feel so wasteful because it’s just my boyfriend and me so we have way too many leftovers. Do you have any favorite two-people recipes?

I actually don’t find it very hard to cook for two. We end up with plenty of leftovers, but we either save them and have them another night for dinner or Fred claims them for himself for lunches to take to work. So, I’m no help here – but I bet MY READERS are! Readers? Got a favorite cooking-for-two recipe? Share with us!



Robyn, I was wondering…. My roommate has 2 cats and I’m new to this whole cat thing. I ordered the FURminator after you mentioned it a while back (on eBay) and it just came today so we haven’t used it yet. It never occurred to me until just now that maybe the SoftPaws would be a good idea too. I was wondering how you determine whether you need small, medium or large though. Her cats are almost a year old or just about. She got them in July…. and I have no idea which size we need to order. So if you end up posting the comments answering extravaganza and can happen to answer my question, I’d be appreciative cuz I’m lost. Addendum, I just wanted to buy them for the cats as a surprise for the roommie, and I have no idea how much they weigh. And I just realized that’s how you determine the size. I guess I’ll have to ask her how much they weigh. So…. nevermind. I guess I should think before I post.

I know you’ve probably already asked your roommate how much her cats weigh, but in case you haven’t, you can probably do a decent job of guessing what size her cats will need by looking at the size chart. If they’re adults but on the small side, I’d go with size small – if they seem pretty average size for adults, the medium. A note, though – if you’re uncertain, it’s better to go with the smaller size, because you can use a smaller size on their claws, but if the caps are too big, they won’t stay on the claw. Does that make sense?



I am unable to access the rest of my comment email (I save the comments I plan to answer in email format. I can’t access it for reasons I’ll get into in tomorrow’s entry.), so if you asked a question or expected an answer to a comment and didn’t see it, feel free to ask again, and I’ll get to it in Friday’s entry!



I know y’all are only here for the bebbe pictures. Momma Kitty and her babies are doing just fine, I finally got a picture of each one of their little faces individually, and I intend to do that every three days or so, so we can marvel at the changes.

I really wish Fred had bought that webcam for the eggs in the incubator, because how much fun would it be to have a kitten cam? SO MUCH FUN. The internet would have exploded from the cute.

So, the kittens are as yet unnamed, just so you know. I think we’ve got at least three girls (it’s too early to figure out their sex – though to be honest, we also haven’t really tried) because three of them are tri-colored which almost always indicates females. The fourth, the little gray tabby, I just realized this morning has a little bit of orange on the face – though it could just be a trick of the light, I’m not sure – so might also be a girl. Time will tell!

I’ll stop yapping and just show you the pictures, shall I?

Momma Kitty and her babies are doing just fine, I finally got a picture of each one of their little faces individually, and I intend to do that every three days or so, so we can marvel at the changes.

I really wish Fred had bought that webcam for the eggs in the incubator, because how much fun would it be to have a kitten cam? SO MUCH FUN. The internet would have exploded from the cute.

So, the kittens are as yet unnamed, just so you know. I think we’ve got at least three girls (it’s too early to figure out their sex – though to be honest, we also haven’t really tried) because three of them are tri-colored which almost always indicates females. The fourth, the little gray tabby, I just realized this morning has a little bit of orange on the face – though it could just be a trick of the light, I’m not sure – so might also be a girl. Time will tell!

I’ll stop yapping and just show you the pictures, shall I?

Momma and babies.

Note that Momma Kitty is kneading the air, and in the background, the little gray tabby’s got her paws in the air like she just don’t care.

The bitty pink paws are going to be the absolute death of me.

The kittens, in birth order (though I may have switched #2 and #4, I’m not sure):

#1, the little gray tabby. I definitely see some peach coloring across her cheeks, so I’m going to guess we’ve got 4 girls here.

#2, with the bitty freckle on her nose. Don’t those bitty claws just KILL YOU?

#3, who looks JUST like a little raccoon. Both “Rocky” and “Bandit” have been used as names in the past, though. Hmph.

#4. She looks very much like #2, only without the bitty freckle on her nose. Also, she’s got orange on her forehead, and #2 doesn’t.

Pile o’ bebbes.

Momma and babies. She likes to be petted while they’re nursing. Well. She likes to be petted whether they’re nursing or not, but she particularly likes it when they’re nursing.


Bed full o’ kitties.



2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I want to hear “Fine, thanks. Here’s your Supah-sized Diet Coke. Have a nice day!” Understood? I swear, I’m just going to STOP asking, that’s all.
2003: Some day I’ll create a housecleaning schedule and actually keep to it. Ha!
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: So, my last official day at work. Ho-hum.


Real Housewives of NYC (spoilers within): Look, I understand that there are things that make people uncomfortable, things that kind of trigger their instinct to cut and run. However, the fact that Ramona FLIPPED OUT because Alex brought Simon to the “girls-only” party and then she lectured the table on what class is, and THEN … Continue reading “4-11-08”

Real Housewives of NYC (spoilers within): Look, I understand that there are things that make people uncomfortable, things that kind of trigger their instinct to cut and run. However, the fact that Ramona FLIPPED OUT because Alex brought Simon to the “girls-only” party and then she lectured the table on what class is, and THEN she was all “Gotta go, buh-bye!”? What an asshole. Did she need to keep screeching “WHY IS HE HERE?”? Did she need to do her best to make everyone else feel uncomfortable?

I don’t care for Simon, I think he’s smarmy and creepy, but Ramona managed to make me feel bad for him. And let’s get this straight: that man did not belong at that dinner party, when Alex asked if she could bring Simon, Bethenny should have said “No, it’s girls only!”, but I understand why she didn’t, because I’d have had a hard time saying it, too.

I think it’s interesting that we haven’t seen the shape Alex and Simon’s house is in until this show, and I think it’s funny that they’re all social-climbing wannabes but their house needs a desperate overhaul. Hey, here’s an idea – instead of wearing $10,000 worth of jewelry and couture to the OPERA, why not use that money to whip your house into shape, huh? Just an idea. (And now I’m looking around at my perpetually-a-work-in-progress home and thinking I should shut the hell up. But hey – at least I didn’t spend thousands of dollars on a dress I could only wear once!)

Um, that’s it. I’m sure more happened, but I was so blown away by Ramona’s assholery that I can’t remember what else happened.



Survivor (skip the next section if you didn’t see last night’s show – spoilers within!)

How much do I LOVE the fact that Eliza tried to play the faux Immunity Idol? Oh, I love it SO VERY MUCH, but at least she suspected beforehand that it wasn’t really the Immunity Idol, so she wasn’t completely blindsided, because then I would have felt really bad for her.

I also love the fact that Eric MADE UP a new name for the tribe and convinced everyone that it meant “Good” (or whatever he said it meant). I thought for sure that Jeff Probst was going to bust him at Tribal Council, but I’m glad he didn’t!

Ozzy really ought to win this game, but I suspect that in the end, it’s going to be a woman who wins, unless Ozzy can muscle his way into the final three by winning immunity challenges.



Do any of your cats not eat people food? The reason why I ask is that our cat will not eat anything but his cat food (both wet and dry). We’d give him raw or cooked hamburger or chicken and he smells it and walks away. What a weird cat. (At least this means he’s not begging for food, I guess.)

Miz Poo has never been interested in people food at all. Mister Boogers has taken to sitting next to Fred and bitching at dinnertime until Fred offers him some of whatever’s for dinner, and Mister Boogers invariably sniffs it and walks away. I’m pretty sure that all the other cats will eat the occasional piece of people food, though now that I think about it, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Miss Stank eat anything not meant for cats.



Also re the Bathroom lady: who in the hell brings food to someone in the bathroom?! (You don’t have to answer this one, it’s kind of rhetorical.) I mean really! We only have one bathroom, so this probably won’t be an issue, but the time my husband asks me to bring him food when he is on the throne is the time I say “get it your damned self.” I am pretty sure he’d say the same. It should be a rule or something. A code. Man!

Yeah, I imagine the first time I was all “Hey Fred, bring me my dinner in here, would you? Don’t forget the napkin!”, there’d be firemen breaking down the door. Though obviously there are mental issues at play here – according to an article, the woman came from a very abusive family and she felt safe in the bathroom and I suspect there were some kind of weird control issues on the boyfriend’s side – if he hadn’t provided food for her, she would have come out of the bathroom pretty quickly.

And I want to know what the bathroom-lady’s housemate did when he needed to go to the toilet…

I heard or read somewhere that there was a second bathroom that he used. I hope that’s true!

“Whipple was the second law enforcement officer to go to the mobile home where McFarren and Babcock were living. Whipple, who described Babcock as a “thin, petite woman,” used a pry bar to take the seat off the toilet so the woman could be taken to hospital where the seat was removed.”

No pictures, E, but maybe that’ll convince your mother?



Also, on a side note, I was looking through all the books on your list, Robyn, you’ve read a few Wally Lamb’s but not “I Know This Much is True” – if you really haven’t read it, you sooooo should! Its possible you’ll like it even more than his others.

I actually did read I Know This Much is True when it first came out – and I will always and forever remember Oprah with Wally Lamb on her show, and the way she constantly called it “I Know This Much to be True” and he never once corrected her – but it’s on my bookcase so I can read it again. I remember liking it a lot; hopefully I’ll like it as much the second time around!



They are going to start calling you the Cat Whisperer. Or do they already?

They don’t, to my knowledge. I’m afraid Splash is going to be a hard nut to crack. I hope she’ll come around!



Question about shedding: I was just noticing last night that my Nash and Pushkin are shedding like crazy right now. Should I try brushing or combing them? Does that help? Or one of those grooming glove things?

It always helps to brush them – that way the fur is in your brush and not on the floor – but what to use really depends on the cat. None of my cats like being brushed (poor dear departed Spot LOVED it), but I’ll occasionally go after them with the Furminator, which is the most awesome grooming tool around. Most of them will put up with a few swipes with the Furminator and the amount of hair that comes out with just a couple of swipes is AMAZING.

Anything that grabs the fur and keeps it in the brush (until you pull it out) is a good brush, in my opinion, but you might have to try a few different brushes to find one they’ll put up with. I don’t recommend the grooming gloves, though – they’re kind of weird and awkward to use, and I don’t think they do that great a job.



What do the boys’ middle initials “J” stand for?

Your guess is as good as mine. They won’t tell me!

All the cats have “J” as their middle initial, including the girls (Pootie J. Pooterson, Stanker J. Belle, and Miss Maxi J. Momma).



So, it was Joseph J. Bobbington, was it??

That would be Joseph J. Roberts, of course.

Is JoeBob getting a little plump or is it just the pose in the picture? If it’s the pose, you might want to suggest to JoeBob that pose isn’t his best side!

Joe Bob’s a big cat, but he’s not fat at all. I mean, give him time – he eats like the end of the world is coming – but for the time being, he’s just a big cat with no weight issues. He cares not how he looks in pictures, though – he’s a badass who commits crimes and then fools Crooked Acres’ premier (also, only) detectives!



Seriously, Robyn…that logo is just cracking me up because i can’t believe you actually have that many cats. I mean it doesn’t seem like you’re overrun or anything like that at all, so that’s why it’s so shocking and hysterically funny to me to just see them all lined up like that. All lined up it kind of screams “crazy cat lady!”. but anyway one time on Oprah I saw this thing about this woman that had like fifty cats and every week she would cook them two turkeys, and she’d just leave the pans on the floor and the counter and let them eat it themselves. So until you start roasting turkeys just for the cats, you won’t be a crazy cat lady in my eyes, if that makes you feel any better!

Except for Snackin’! Time!, I don’t think it seems like there are that many cats around, either. They’re rarely all in one place, so with them spread out, you can hardly tell this is Crazy Catsville.

I could never do the two turkeys thing, not because it’s such a loony thing to do (which it is), but because I wouldn’t be able to stand the mess. Also, Fred would have a cow. THE MAN IS ALWAYS HOLDING ME BACK.



Have you considered doing a print on demand book through Lulu? Your stories/photos always crack me up and I would definitely buy some.

I actually hadn’t considered that, but maybe! I’ll have to think about it and dither and put it off and procrastinate before I actually do anything, though.



Your bathroom purple color looks great! Have you ever considered purple AND pear green towels? I’ve seen them before and it’s a great color combination. Just make sure the green is muted and medium to light in tone and it’s gorgeous.

I know exactly the look you’re talking about, and I like that color combination. I’d already ordered my purple towels, so I’m sticking with them for now. I might look for a few small green accessories, though!



One thing I love about reading your website is that you stay a home and enjoy life! I wish I could have done that when I didn’t have to work. I had all the time in the world for myself but wasn’t able to utilize it and be content. What’s your secret?

Good question. I don’t know! The funny thing is that you’d think since I don’t work and am home all day most days, I’d get bored. I very, very rarely get bored – in fact, most days I don’t get everything accomplished that I wanted to. I don’t know how on earth you people who have real jobs ever get anything done!



Did Mr. Boogers have a vet visit? Looks like he has shaved forearms. Hope he is okay.

I actually had to call Fred and ask him, because I knew Mister Boogers had been to the vet and I knew they had to shave his forearms to get blood, but I could not for the life of me remember why he’d gone. Fred reminded me that a few months ago, Mister Boogers peed in the kitchen sink right in front of me, and we were worried that it meant that he had a urinary tract infection, so Fred took him to the vet for a workup. Turned out, Mister Boogers is just an ass. Go figure.



Did I read that right, your medicine cabinet is in your dining room? I am confused. Although it might come in handy if you accidentally stab Fred with your fork.

No, if I stabbed Fred with my fork, I’d have to go from the computer room to get bandages, ’cause we almost always eat in front of our computers (bad habit, we know).

We put the medicine cabinet in the dining room because it’s a central location (considering we spend a large amount of time in the computer room), and you’re not supposed to keep medicine in your bathroom ’cause the humidity’s not good for it. But mostly, it’s just the convenience factor, and that that’s where we happened to have space.



Who on earth would you have to please besides yourself and Fred? If you want different kinds of shades on doors than you have on windows, just go for it. Choose a fabric that appeals to you, and have fun. That overly matched look is silly, anyway.

Heh – you sound like Fred! I know, as long as we like it, who cares what anyone else thinks?

Have you ever checked the Country Curtains catalogue? It’s one of my dream-books. You can find every really pretty kind of curtain, drape or shade in there, things I don’t see in stores. You do pay a bit more, but they last a whole lot longer. My ex-husband, who stayed in our house, just told me yesterday that he is finally going to replace the kitchen curtains, which were from Country Curtains, and which I bought when we redid the kitchen in 1991. They just didn’t need replacing until now, which seems to me to be a good long life for curtains.

I ADORE the Country Curtains site and catalog. I’ve never ordered anything from them, but I have about a thousand different curtains bookmarked. I tend to get overwhelmed and can’t make a decision, though, which is why I haven’t ordered anything!

I want to get cafe curtains for the upstairs bathroom, though, and I’m considering these.



Out of lurking with a suggestion as to the blind strings. If the doors are wood put a couple of cup hooks, spaced about 10″ apart, to wind the strings in a figure 8 so they aren’t hanging. Besides, you’ll have strings with roman blinds also.

That’s a good idea! I might have to do that, at least temporarily.

Fred did point out that there are blinds that don’t have strings to pull them up, there’s a button on the front that you press, and then you pull the blind up and the bottom stays where you leave it (I’m not explaining this very well, and can’t provide a link, because I can’t find the damn things on the Lowe’s website!), so we’re probably going to go with those on the computer room doors and the foster kitten room.



We let HG out of the foster kitteh room yesterday afternoon and let him stay out until bedtime. He seems to like having the run of the house, if the fact that he ran around like a bat out of hell the entire time is anything to judge by. We put him back in the foster room with Splash at bedtime, and I’ll probably let him out again this afternoon. He seems to be adjusting well.

Splash, on the other hand, spends her time split between the bed under the dresser and the top of the cat tree. She hisses if you get too close, and I haven’t dared trying to pet her (though I might put on some gloves and give it a try). She’s going to be a tough one, apparently.

Please don’t talk about love tonight
Please don’t talk about sweet love
Please don’t talk about being true
And all the trouble we’ve been through

Ah, please don’t talk about all of the plans
We had for fixin’ this broken romance
I want to go where the people dance
I want some action

I want to live
Action, I got so much to give
I want to give it
I want to get some too

Ooooh I, I love the nightlife
I got to boogie

On the disco ’round, oh yea

Oh, I love the night life
I got to boogie on the disco ’round, oh yea



The evil criminal mastermind, Joseph J. Roberts, smiles smugly with the knowledge that he has, once again, evaded the long arm of the law.



2007: The man loves nothing so much as getting his fret on.
2006: Smart man, that one.
2005: Back from Gatlinburg.
2004: No entry.
2003: I love Von, and questions answered.
2002: No entry.
2001: Miz Poo gives me a scare.
2000: My husband, the diplomat.