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

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

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

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

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

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How old is Spanky? He looks so spry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doodle Bean, you crack me up!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Absolutely, thanks for the info and the link!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love this idea!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The part that fits over the door:


And the whole thing:


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

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

Sorry not to be of much help on this one!

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

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

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

10-21-2005 02;33;41PM

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sweet Miss Sally.

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

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After much debate and a secret vote…

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

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Did you know…

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that Corbie…

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


2011: β€œPay no attention to the Rhyme behind me.”
2010: Cheesecake pose.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



1-27-12 — 39 Comments

  1. How do you make your seed blocks?

    The first cats I owned, that were *mine* were black. We were only allowed 1 pet in our apartment, so we figured if all of them were the same color, no one would know we had 3. πŸ™‚ Leo, Sibyl, and Pixel agreed to take turns in the window. We were only there about 9 months until we had our own house, so no biggie.

    • Oh, LOVE the same color kitty idea!!! Quite brilliant!!! Three…three…three cats in one! πŸ™‚

    • GD’s right, three cats in one color is brilliant!

      Also, I’ll post the seed block recipe early next week. πŸ™‚

  2. Corbie is gorgeous and would have been MINE if I didn’t live in Fl.
    LOVE the pic of all the black Peppers and Tommy! Black cats are gorgeous!!!
    I troll for kitties (I guess anyone who fishes, will use this term). However, I use a real light-weight rod (not for a child) and I will actually cast the toy out and “reel it in”. When the cats pounce the toy, we yell, “FISH ON!” πŸ™‚
    My Lola will end up being “portly”. She isn’t even a year old and is on Weight Watchers…..sigh…

    • GD Corbie would have been mine too if I was anywhere near Robyn… UK here….

      He reminds me of one of my previous cats you see – that cat was a brown tabby just like Corbie!

  3. That’s it. I want a black cat. Now. I hate that just because of superstition or the misconception that black kitties are boring or whatever that they sit waiting so long to be adopted. Too bad I live in Ohio or I’d come down there and scoop Everett up.

    I had a friend in high school who had a black kitten named Bear. I loved him and I think Bear totally works for a black cat. Hey, maybe we could start marketing black cats as House Bears.

  4. My black cat is the sweetest, most loving of all of my guys. And he drools. Oh, and snores. He’s also quite a big shit-disturber with his siblings, and when I *try* and give him hell for it, he just looks at me as though I was the one who bit the unsuspecting cat butt… Black cats have personalities all their own.

  5. What is wrong with people? Black kitties are so pretty!

    My Helga was a the shelter for 3 months just because she’s mostly black (white spots on her chest and belly), 5 and a little shy. And bringing her home is the best thing I’ve done in YEARS.

  6. My Buster is a long-haired, polydactyl, black cat and he and his black sister were in the shelter significantly longer than their other, non-black siblings. So sad, because he’s been the best, sweetest cat. I do sometimes wonder what happened with his sister, but we couldn’t take more than 1 cat at that time. I think the black cat superstition is dumb and would adopt another black cat in a heartbeat (if we were in the market for more cats, which we aren’t).

    Oh, and he drools too. And the only other cat I’ve ever known to drool was a mostly black tuxie. Weird.

  7. I love black kitties, and miss my sweet Baal and Bast sooo much! I like the house panther idea! Black cats are easier to find and way cheaper than the Bengals or other purebreds they try to make look like the big cats. I was at Petsmart yesterday, and the most active kitty there was a black kitty about the size the Peppers were when they went off. He was definately the most fun and appealing cat there, IMO!

    And I totally agree about going and spending time with the kitties during adoption hours. One on one time can’t be replaced when getting to know a potential pet! I want the techie part to draw folks in and get them to notice the kitties in the first place!

    • There already is a breed that pretty much just a black cat – Bombay.

      Since suet is the name of the beef fat, a fat free suet block is kind of a contradiction. I suppose that doesn’t mean that people don’t still call such blocks suet by analogy.

    • And don’t sit on the chair in the interaction room, sit on the FLOOR!!! How else do you interact? (I volunteer at our local ACPS as a kitty cuddler. I’ve got it down pat!)

    • I hadn’t seen that – that is AWESOME (and also, I’m not surprised someone else already came up with the idea!)

  8. I’m a regular volunteer at a no-kill shelter. We have a Facebook page that does a good job getting the word out about our animals available for adoption. It is also an easy way to let our volunteers know when one of the animals is adopted. I don’t have any statistics, but they say it has increased adoptions. We always have more animals coming in, though!

    • We do too! Also, all your friends see what gets posted on your wall or what you comment on…and their friends too! Great advertisement!

  9. Awwww fingers crossed for adorable Sally, Lucy and Everett and all the other black kitties in need of good homes! Poor things! Maybe if they were called mini-panthers! LOL!

    Corbie – you are gorgeous!!

    Tommy – you make a great honorary black Pepper!

    Yayayayayayayy for Charlie and Patty!

    Take care

  10. Regarding the fences, I saw an episode of My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet where the cat was getting over a very high fence into the next patio. This guy told them to put a fence in where the top couple feet were angled 45 degrees inward. Apparently that did the trick and the cat could no longer get over it. It might be worth checking out if that’s a viable solution.

    • That’s exactly what I’m planning to do – and exactly the episode I saw that made me think of doing it! πŸ™‚

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

    • So glad to read your update and hope things are even greater now!!! What name does the old fellow (who’s clearly in his prime, not his senescence) go by?

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

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

  12. On the drooler/dribbler thing, I have had three drooly cats, none of them were black, and my black cat never drooled. He did, however, dip his paws in my glass of water, lick it, then shake it, then dip, lick, shake, until he made a bigger mess than any drooler! But that’s a different story! And at least I could tell when he’d been in my water!

    On the DaBird trauma cat, I think he might be a timid cat in the first place, all of my cats have been beaned by the red thingie and no one was traumatized. Star prefers it when the feathers are gone and she can bite on the red thing!

    Yay for Tommy Peppers being voted into the club!
    Oh, and a note on black cats. I, too, think it’s silly when it’s superstition that keeps people from adopting. But it’s also because they are harder to see in the cages I understand. I remember reading about a woman who worked/volunteered in a shelter. She put the name Jellybean on a black cats cage and he was adopted in hours. She thought it was a fluke, but did it again, and bam, another black black cat got adopted. Since then she tried to name all black cats Jellybean and when they’d get to the checkout or whereever they fill out forms, the staff would say there’s another one of (whatever her name was)’s black Jellybeans! Hey, if it works!

    Oh! Corbie is pretty, did you know that?

    • Forgot to add, that it was the name Jellybean that caught people’s eye, so they’d stop and really look and see the black kitty in the back of the cage. Otherwise they can look like shadows and people move to the next cage.

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

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

    • You know, this cracked me up. It reminded me of the theory in Gary Zukav’s book ‘Seat of the Soul’ that there is no such thing as an individual cat soul but only a group soul. so every cat you encounter is connected to every other cat. And every experience one cat has all of cat soul learns from. Um…not explaining it very well but hive mind is a good image to start with.

  14. I’m glad you liked my Alice Mo song, Robyn! My two hated it. Everytime I sang “No! No! No!” or “Go! Go! Go!” they would look at me as if to say, “What? I’m not doing anything!” Did I stop singing it.


    Sorry, but it was o.k. as soon as both of my cats left the room. At least it showed me that they can’t tell when one of my silly little songs are about them or another cat. I’d promise to be more careful in the future, but I doubt it will.

    You know how it is with these silly little songs — they pop into your head and lodge there for a while!!

    Anyway, I just wanted to add that you now have photographic proof that Everett has no spine in that Black Kitteh Club photo! What a position!!

  15. Everett is so adorable and sweet. If I lived near you I’d have snapped him up in a minute.

  16. Corbie looks gorgeous in his winter coat – most handsome. and Tommy is a Pepper – yay!