7-13-12

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 I saw this and thought of you, even though it is about dogs and not cats; still reminds me of your “voice” somehow. (safe for work and all)

I love that so very, very much!

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Stompers sulking is GORGEOUS! that pout surely earned him kisses? How old is he now, anyway?

Stompers just has to look at me to get me to kiss him; I cannot pass up a chance to kiss that sweet boy and he knows it! He is now almost 10 weeks old. He weighed in at 1 pound, 11 ounces yesterday!

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Was wondering if Stompers tries to nurse on Brandywine too and if so, does she let him?

I originally responded to this comment by saying that he doesn’t nurse on her because the ‘Maters are in the upstairs foster room (and Brandywine is over in Fred’s room during the day), and the Taters are downstairs in the guest bedroom, though they have the run of the house during the day. However, since then we’ve started letting Brandywine out into the house for a few hours each evening. Fred did his very best to convince Stompers to nurse on Brandywine, but he looked up at Fred and said “I don’t need to nurse on that mama cat! I’m no BABY!” and stomped off… to suck on his blanket. Never say never, but at this point I don’t think there’ll be any of that.

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Oh…you have to tell the story behind the clear packing tape on the door!

One set of fosters – I don’t remember which – clawed at the door and started the paint peeling. There was that big spot, and I was afraid they’d keep peeling it in big pieces and then eat it, so I slapped the tape on the door. Classy, huh? I keep saying that when the weather cools down and we’re between fosters, I’m going to strip and repaint that door. Of course, I said it last year too, and it hasn’t happened yet!

I can tell y’all this: foster kittens can be really really hard on a house. I use a cheap $20 rug in the foster room (and now in the guest bedroom) because the more expensive rugs get torn to shreds as easily as the cheaper rugs do. And at least with the cheaper rugs, I can drag them outside and spray them down and let them dry in the sun to keep them sanitized between litters. And they’re not too expensive to replace!

Actually, it’s not just foster kittens – adult permanent resident cats are pretty hard on a house, too. I’ve told Fred that there’s no way we’re ever spending as much on furniture in the future as we have in the past. Cats will RUIN a house (I should say, a large number of cats will ruin a house. When we had 5 cats, we didn’t have much of an issue.) If we had an Ikea in the area, or at least closer than Atlanta, this house would be furnished in Ikea.

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Classy are the bits of cardboard I have taped to the floor under the doors of the bathrooms where I confine cats, visible in some of the pictures here. About a year ago the mama of the litter I had really wanted out and she started shredding the bedroom carpet while confined in the bathroom. Recently I’ve had to do the same thing to the other bathroom upstairs. One day I want to get rid of all the wall-to-wall carpet in this house…

We had wall-to-wall carpet in our last house, and I do not miss it AT ALL. My only gripe with our current floors (we have hardwood floors throughout) is that the wood is kind of soft (poplar, I think?), and thus is more easily scratched. But I’ll take more-easily-scratched hardwoods over carpet ANY day! (Of course, if we didn’t have cats, I’d love wall-to-wall carpet. Except that I’m a klutz and would stain it with an impossible to remove stain about 10 seconds after the carpet was installed.)

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We “stole” your feeding tray idea and have a picture up today of the foster monsters using it for the first time…thanks again for the idea!!!

LOVE the picture – chip and dip plates are honestly the BEST snack-time plates for multiple kitties!

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How does Rupert keep his coat so clean?

I’m thinking that maybe his fur is made of Teflon, like George and Gracie’s fur.

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Are the pigs permanent residents or do you have… uh… other plans for them?

The pigs are not permanent residents. This Fall they will go away and then, completely unrelated, about a week later Fred will come home with a car load of meat. We refer to it as the pigs going away to Freezer Camp.

Honestly, it’s not fun sending them off, but if we’re planning to remain meat-eaters (which we are), then at least we have the wherewithal to make sure that the meat we eat is spoiled rotten for every moment of its life, able to run around and flop down in a field of grass and be fed cookies and other treats rather than being packed into feedlots.

(The only reason we don’t raise our own beef is because we’re not sure we’re up for it. The pigs and chickens keep us pretty busy!)

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Have you and Fred seen this YouTube parody called “I’m Farming and I Grow It”? I know y’all don’t have a farm per se, but with all those animals and crops you must surely feel like it.

I hadn’t seen that – I love it! 🙂

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How do you end up with other creatures in your pond? They just seem to show up one day!

Apparently if you dig it, they will come! It’s a source of water, and the animals seem to sense that it’s there, especially in dry conditions like we’ve had this summer. I keep intending to put the game cam out by the pond so we can see just what animals come and go. Fred went out early one morning to feed the catfish, and there was a possum hurrying away from the pond. We’ve seen snakes and lots of frogs, herons, and now the turtle. It’s a regular Wild Kingdom out there!

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Could you tell me what you downloaded to watermark your pictures?

It’s called Alamoon Watermark. I like it because it lets me use the font I want (Gabriola), and it’s simple to use. I bought the Pro version, and if this past week is anything to judge by (and I think it is!), then it was worth the purchase.

As of 1/23/13, I’m using (and like a lot) UMark 3.

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Why do the pigs get cookies? And do you bake them special ones?

The pigs get cookies because we spoil rotten any creature who crosses the property line, but also because it’s a fairly quick and easy way train them to come to us should the need arise. The need actually doesn’t arise, but they’re so used to approaching the fenceline and waiting for their cookies that they do it every time they see us now.

I do make cookies especially for them – I make Piggerdoodles! We’ve actually bought cookies for them at the dollar store occasionally in the past, but I find it just as easy to make a huge batch of them and keep them in a bag by the door.

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Agata and Fianna
Agata and Fianna, face to face with one of the big cats, and not sure what to think about it!

thlurp
Stompers in the cat tree condo, where he climbed all by his own self.


Coming out for a stretch.


“Hey, somebody get me down from here!”


Fianna considers lending a helping paw…


Then decides “He got himself UP the tree, now let him get himself DOWN! ::maniacal laughter::”


Stompers and Jake size each other up.


Stompers plays a rousing game of Got My Tail.


Stompers, Fianna and Kennebec hang out in the morning sun (best thing about that room, the morning sun).


And then it’s Bed Time for Stompzo.

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Kennebec makes another visit to the 'Maters

Kennebec’s third visit to the ‘Maters kittens. Caspian decides to give him what-for.

What-for!
“HEY, MISTER!”
“Yeah?”

What you want?
“What you want, little man?”
“Um.”

Your paw is kinda stinky
“Your paw is kinda stinky. You too little to give yourself a bath?”
“Um.”

You got some food on your chin. Here, let me lick it off
“You got some food on your chin. Here, let me lick it off.”
“Um.”

Wow, you can hang there a long time. Good for you!
“Wow, you can hang there a long time, huh? Good for you!”
“Um.”

I'm just gonna go...uh...
“I’m just gonna… go… uh…”
“Good talk! See ya, kiddo!”

Sniffing the same spot
Later Caspian came back and he and Kennebec had some sniffing time.

Kennebec thinks deep thoughts
Kennebec thought some deep thinks.

Maybe I should take a nap...
“Mister, you look an awful lot like me. Are you my father?”

...

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Hallo, I am beautiful
That Corbie-Corbs, always beautiful.

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Previously
2011: Ciara pretty much always looks appalled by whatever we’re doing.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: “I just don’t see what all the fuss is about, lady.”
2006: No entry.
2005: So, it is done.

Comments

Comments

7-13-12 — 35 Comments

  1. Gosh I have a soft spot for orange kitties… And black kitties… And tabbies… And… Well you get the idea.

  2. “freezer camp” love it!
    when I was 19, I had charge of 2 cows my parents wanted to raise for the same camp. these cows would break free and go roaming the neighbourhood. we lived just outside of town limits at the time, and one day we got a call by someone saying they showed up at his door. We had id collars on them. My dad laughed on his way out the door to go get them. they had run away to a butcher shop.
    sigh. I never could bring myself to eat the meat. they were too adorable.

  3. its terribly sad to know now but 50-60 years ago it was what people did, I know someone whos Mother told him the kittens ‘ went to auntie Jeans to join the navy’ and thats why he never saw them again….bit like freezer camp…

  4. I applaud you & Fred – “at least we have the wherewithal to make sure that the meat we eat is spoiled rotten for every moment of its life, able to run around and flop down in a field of grass and be fed cookies and other treats rather than being packed into feedlots.”

    I hate it when I hear people exclaim, “Ewww thats so gross!” at seeing a butchered pig in the window of a shop, and then happily enjoying their bacon they did nothing to work for the next morning. Full disclosure- I live on the fifth floor of an apt building in a very suburban town and do not currently practice what I preach, but my husband and I’s dream is to one day be able to raise our own food as you two are doing now.

    • I have a friend who joined a food group that lets them pay towards portions of meat animals, because she lives in the city and can’t raise her own, but wants to know her meals were happy. As she put it, they ought to have very good lives with the only bad day being the last one, and that as humane as possible, same as she’d want for herself.

      • I like that idea. I’d rather go vegetarian (and have at various points for several years) rather than support that crueler type of meat farming. My family revolts at the idea of giving up meat, so this is the compromise we make. It costs a bit more, but it is so worth it. Tastes better too.

    • I was vegetarian for close to a decade, and I would say that a lot of people separate themselves from the process of how animals become meat. As a vegetarian, I had honest respect for hunters who ate what they killed, and farmers who raised their own animals for meat.

      Love the Kennebec/Caspian exchange.

  5. I didn’t think it was possible to be much smaller than my teeny tiny, fluff of nothing Eloise. She’s got a couple ounces on Stompers. They’re about the same age too. She will also ascend a cat tree and then wonder how to get down. Or maybe she’s just playing me and looking for a ride. 🙂

    Thank goodness Caspian put the STRANGER DANGER suit away.

  6. That last picture of Kennebec is cracking me up! It seems it should be captioned “What did he just say? Fahther?” “Um, I don’t think that is possible. I am just a kid myself.”

  7. I would love a permanent web cam that I could tune into anytime I needed a Crooked Acres Critters fix! You could aim it towards an active area of the pond, or towards the piggies, or the doggies, or the chickens, or you could set up so we can aim it anywhere we like. (But not towards your house, so we don’t feel like Internet peeping Toms!)

  8. I have always hated the idea of ‘discounting cats’, because I think they are still all too often classified as a throw away pet and getting them for free or on sale seems to enforce that idea.. but there is something to be said about getting them out of the shelter and into a home so that you no longer have to pay for the day to day care. Give it away and lose out on the $100 adoption fee, but that’s money you don’t have to spend on food and litter and meds if they get sick while waiting for a home. Just cause I hate it, doesn’t mean I don’t understand and accept the need to do it. I so hope I live long enough to see the extinction of the ‘free cat’

    Thank you for my daily stomp.

    • I joke about my 22 dollar Persian, but since the first vet visit put the cost back up in the normal adoption cost range the initial charge doesn’t really signify much.

      Plenty of purebreds end up at the pound or neglected too, so having a high up front cost doesn’t make bad owners into good ones.

      • We had two GORGEOUS purebred Huskies abandoned at the shelter and clipped to the fence. All my pets are rescues! Emma came from Chick Fil A, Sidney from Craig’s list (people never post free animals here…people do hideous things to them) and Lola from the shelter (she was $25). They all live the life of Riley! It isn’t the cost of the animal, it is the heart of the owner that makes the difference.

  9. Robyn, you’ll have to let us know if you want to make an IKEA pilgrimage to Atlanta, it’s quite the place.

  10. If I’d grown up on a farm I’m sure I’d be a vegetarian.

    My sister has two mid-size dogs who hate nail trimming. She highly recommends laminate wood floors.

    I think Corbs looks like a sultry movie star in that picture.

  11. Robyn, do the kittens sleep with you? Gracie is 14 weeks old now, and likes to sleep with me. She wakes up and sees something move, and it is ATTACK!!!! Most of the time it is my arm, or leg. Any advice? I love that she sleeps with me, but her claws are SHARP!! Wish I could trim them.

    • When my cats tried to do that kind of thing years ago, wake me early or bite I would bundle them up and hold them closer than they liked until they learned to stay out of range.

      When I got my newest cat the others taught her the house rules pretty quickly!

      • We call that “corporal cuddling” in our house (thanks to the “Engineer’s Guide to Cats” YouTube video).

    • You can trim them – get a cat-claw trimmer (I think I paid about $5 for mine)* and start her NOW, while she’s young enough to become adapted to it. Get her accustomed, for a few days, to you holding her snuggled close and playing with her toes, then introduce the clipper. You may only be able to do one or two claws at a session, depending on the cat’s temperament and how much conditioning you put into it before you start, but if you keep up with it regularly soon it’ll be no big deal. Giving a treat or a spoonful of gushy food after you’re done is also a good way to build a positive-reinforcement response.

      One of my cats comes running when he hears me go into the drawer where I keep the clippers, or if he sees me carrying them around; I sometimes think he wishes he had more toes so I could just clip his nails all day. Sometimes I’ll even clip his hind claws just because he seems to enjoy it so. Three of the others will tolerate it, but I usually have to do one paw a day; the fifth, my still-semi-feral, requires that I sneak up on her and catch her while she’s sleeping or sun-dazed, and do two or three claws as quickly as I can before she wakes up fully.

      *Or you can use a simple squeezey nail-clipper, like this: http://mamarant.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/toe_nail_clippers_1.jpg . The “specially designed for cats” trimmers (http://s.petco.com/assets/product_images/0/045663114558C.jpg) do give a cleaner cut, but they’re a bit slower to use IMO. I haven’t had any problems using the “regular” nail clippers, but some people might find that unhygienic or something – you just have to be careful not to cut into the quick (cut only where you can see that the claw is translucent; when it starts showing a dark “core,” that’s nerves and blood and stuff, so clip well before that margin).

  12. Do I foresee a Tommy-Sugarbutt-esque brotherly bond in the works between Caspian and Kennebec? Caspian seems intrigued and maybe a little star-struck by Kennebec, even if they did start off on the wrong foot. (Or maybe I should keep in mind that the captions are for humorous effect, and are not what the cats actually said…)

  13. Stompybutt is 10 weeks? So does that mean he’s going to keep those gorgeous baby blues he’s sporting? <3

  14. I was just doing a fast scroll to the bottom of the page to read the comments when I noticed that if you fast scroll through the Caspian and Kennebec pictures they are similar enough that it looks like a movie! pretty cool!

  15. I’d like to say “the check is in the mail” to Challenger’s House, but in truth the check is written and waiting to be mailed. Close enough! Every little bit helps, I know. And seeing all your kitten pictures is worth a few bucks!

  16. Paypalled some dollars to Challengers – hope the fee isn’t too big, but I love seeing all of the kitty pictures in the UK and wanted to do my bit to help. After all, all three of my babies are adoptees, and all of them came from foster homes (working for the Cat’s Protection) as loving and wonderful as Robyn’s 🙂 it takes special people to look after animals looking for forever homes. If it were me, I’d end up with 400 pets – I’d never be able to give away any of ’em!!! 🙂

  17. In a few of those photos Stompers seems to be starting to look like a real (albeit small) cat. Is he getting to that long, lanky stage?

    • I just looked again, and it’s clear he’s NOT long and lanky! But there is something in his little face that is starting to look more grown-up.

  18. When I saw Pepsi’s picture I thought she was back! LOL Phew! Glad it was just an illustration to go with Susan’s e-mail.

  19. Just donated to Challenger’s House for all the amazing work they do — any chance you might stage a donation campaign like what the Itty Bitty Committee does, or is that just way beyond the scope of what you already do ? (which is sooo much more than anyone else I know, so I would totally get it)

  20. Oh, Stompers IS NOT 10 weeks old! as if! he’s like, 4 weeks old if anything. and he still has blue eyes. naaaaww!!he’ll be the peter pan of kitty cats and the legend they whisper amongst themselves…the kitty that never grew up…
    who’s the kitty begging us to help Challenger’s House? I’m pretty sure i should know those puffy little whisker cheeks but the name escapes me.