1-29-16 Friday

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What camera did you use for this series of pictures?

It’s a Sony SLT-A55V, and I was using a zoom lens with it. I’ve had it for about five years, and I consider it money well spent.


Does Archie defy the invisible fence or does he not wear a collar for it? Somehow I always wonder how those work when all they have to do is put up with the zap until they’re on the other side of the line, it can’t hurt that much, can it?


I don’t remember…is the area the cats wander in outside fenced? And how do you keep them from jumping it?

The back yard is fenced in, and there’s a space of about 20 feet or so before the fence to the back forty begins. The entire back forty (which is about 2 1/2 acres) is fenced in, but the fence only really holds in the chickens and George – there’s no way that fence will hold in (or out) the cats.

Archie, Stefan, Maxi and Newt are all free-roaming cats (though Maxi really only roams from the house to the garage, and Newt roams from the front room to the computer room these days). They usually come in and out through the side door (which isn’t inside the fence to the back yard), though if they want in and I’m not around, they can climb over the fence into the back yard.

Kara, Dennis, and Joe Bob wear collars that work with the underground fence that goes around the back yard. If they get within 10 (I think) feet of the fence, they get a warning beep. If they keep going, they get a short zap from the collar. Kara is the battery tester – if the battery in her collar needs to be replaced, she knows it immediately, and so I check her collar every day to make sure the battery doesn’t need replacing. Joe Bob is the Houdini: he can get his collar off somehow, and I have no idea how. Once or twice a week, I’ll look into the back yard to see him sitting there, collarless, staring at the house. When he sees me watching him, he very pointedly walks over to the fence, climbs it, and then walks slowly to the side stoop to be let in. He drives me CRAZY, but I’m grateful that he apparently only feels the need to send me a message every so often, and has no real desire to roam.

Alice and Jake used to wear collars, but they don’t anymore, because they were so well-trained by wearing the collars when they were small that they don’t even think about climbing the fence.

Stinkerbelle has never gone outside – she used to occasionally sit on the dryer and wait for Tommy to come back inside – and I’m glad, because I don’t know how on earth we’d ever catch her again.

I know that having cats who are free roamers is not the ideal situation – but it’s the only way we can have a semi-peaceful existence around here. If Archie and Stefan, especially, didn’t have a lot of room to put between them, I imagine we’d be awash in a flood of cat spray. As it is, we still see too much of the stuff.

(Just FYI, the fosters are never allowed to go outside. Usually they leave us before they’re old enough to figure out the cat door, but on the rare occasion we have an older cat who figures it out, or a smartypants, they go back upstairs, the screen door is permanently closed, and they don’t get to run around the downstairs unless I’m keeping a close eye on them, or the back door is closed.)


I was going to ask, besides the cats and George, what do you farm at Crooked Acres?

We have chickens (see yesterday’s post), we’ve had pigs in the past, and most summers we have a pretty big vegetable garden. Oh – we also have a pond full of catfish!


As a result of the 2007 flashback entry, I ran across the following:

“I’ll be leaving Smallville around 4 this afternoon to drive to Madison, pick up Joe Bob, and take him to the pet store. Yes, after he’s been with us for something like two months, it’s time for him to go and possibly be adopted. He’s adapted really well to life here and he’s such a sweet boy, but I really think that seven cats is just too many for us to have on a permanent basis.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! And HOW many Permanent Residents are in that top picture INCLUDING Mr. Going To The Pet Store??? 😉

Mock if you must, but he actually did go to Petsmart and get adopted and then returned – we didn’t adopt him until a year later, after Spot was gone. (This is why I try to resist making flat-out “We’re not keeping him” statements about fosters anymore!)

PS: Please note in the post from 9 years ago today I said: Fred feels sorry for Myrtle and Joe Bob because they’re going to get all comfortable here, and then we’re going to take them back to the pet store (eventually) and they’ll be all locked up in a little cage together. However, he also informed me that if we adopted them, it’d be the last time a foster cat ever came through our door, so there you go.

MY how the worm has turned.


I live in Kokomo (Indiana) so I love these names for the new kitties!

We lived in Indiana when I was very young (my father was in the Air Force), and we had a dog named Kokomo. I keep meaning to ask my parents to send me a picture of him to post, but keep forgetting. He was a little white dog.


Wasn’t Creed adopted? I noticed the sidebar today and saw there was not an adopted tag. Darn-I hope it was an error.

No, he hasn’t been adopted. He’s currently at the shelter, ruling the cat room. Susan said that he greets everyone who comes through the door and gets lots of love from them. I wish someone would adopt him, but he’s not doing too badly at the shelter.


I’m too lazy to check, but isn’t that a new kitchen counter top? Very nice.

Yes, we got a new counter top, sink, and faucet a year ago, and I’ve been meaning to share before and after pictures. We still need to do something about the backsplash (the back of the new counters are not as high as the previous ones, and there’s an obvious space that needs to be painted or… something. A year later, we’re still pondering (ignoring) what we want to do.)

Here are before and after pictures. Be kind and ignore all the crap on the counter in the “after.”

Youuuuu doooo nooooot seeeee alll thaaaaaat juuuuuuuunk.


I put Koko on the top shelf of the wall tree in hopes of getting a good full-body picture of her, and her attention was caught by the reflection in the window.

She immediately went down a level, staring at the window (it was at night and the overhead light was on, so it was like a mirror).

“What the – ?” Then she went over to the window.

“Are you pregnant TOO? Get in here, let’s form a mother’s club!”

But, alas. Once I turned the overhead light off, that other mama went away.


I’d intended to make a little “Kathie’s Finishing School” category for the Coaches on the sidebar, but obviously never got around to it. Now the Coaches are headed off to Petsmart tomorrow. Fingers crossed that all of them get adopted very quickly.

They’ve been doing great at Kathie’s – Nubbs had the stitches taken out of his tail-nub on Tuesday, and Kathie reports that it looks great. She also reported that she has been able to bend over and pick him up from the floor, which is something I was never able to do here, he’d run away if I tried. So he’s becoming a more confident boy, yay!


Behold Archie, the “free-roaming” cat.


2015: “Don’t be stingy, lady. Gimme more.”
2014: I love how tossing a toy into a basket makes even skittish kittens come running over to see what’s going on.
2013: Mercury’s Glamour Shots pose.
2012: No entry.
2011: Updates on adopted kittens.
2010: Kara, keeping an eye on YOU.
2009: No entry.
2008: Spot.
2007: Obviously he just doesn’t love Joe Bob enough.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



1-29-16 Friday — 34 Comments

  1. Wow, what a big difference the new countertops, sink and faucet made! Looks lovely! Great choices!!! The darker color looks dressy! 🙂

    Koko is such a pretty girl!

    Don’t forget, once upon a time, you had a rafter of highly intelligent turkeys!

  2. I saw on my Facebook feed the other day that there is going to be a documentary about cats in Istanbul and I thought I would share it with other cat-lovers: http://www.kedifilm.com/about/#aboutkedi Definitely watch the trailer! (Kedi means cat in Turkish.)

    It might seem like a documentary about cats that just happens to be set in Istanbul, but the thing to understand is how much cats are a part of culture and history in Istanbul. Here’s a snippet from the description:

    “Cats – tabbies, calicos, angoras, norwegian forest cats; ginger cats, grey cats, black cats, white cats, black and white cats – all kinds of cats, roam the city, free, without a human master. Some fend for themselves, scavenging from dumpsters, living in abandoned buildings, others are cared for by communities of people, pampered with the best cat food and given shelter for the cold months. Cats have been a part of the city for thousands of years, and so, everyone who grows up in Istanbul or lives in Istanbul has a story about a cat. Stories that are memorable; sometimes scary, sometimes spiritual, but always very personal. Street cats are such a big part of the culture that when US president Barack Obama visited Istanbul, part of his tour included a stop at the Hagia Sophia to visit its famous cat. Cats are as integral to the identity of Istanbul as its monuments, the Bosporus, tea, raki and fish restaurants.”

    I lived in Istanbul and it’s true – I have cat stories 🙂 My favorite memory involves the cats that made their home outside my apartment building one year. There were several that always hung around, but there were two who would always hang out by the door and greet people as they went in and out of the building. There was a tomcat who was very friendly and sweet and a girl who was a bit more wild. One day, I came home and the girl cat came running up to me. She started figure-eighting around my feet and then suddenly, she planted her front paws on my ankle, looked up at me for about 2 seconds, and then gave me a very deliberate love bite on the back of my ankle – it was just long enough with enough pressure to make sure I felt it, but it clearly wasn’t an angry bite. Then she looked up at me again and ran away. I’ll never forget it. After that, it seemed like news had spread that I was “initiated” and everywhere I went, a cat would come out to say hello.

    So yeah, I’m excited about the movie 🙂

  3. love Newt’s definition of free-roaming MOL

    good luck to the Coaches

    laughed at Koko and the window. While no one here has ever seemed to see their reflection in a mirror, a few have seen something in the window glass that catches their attention

  4. Where did you get those thingys that attach to the cabinet doors under your sink to hang towels on? Love ’em and need some! I think tom-cats who have been roaming a long time still need a bit of “free-range” after they are neutered and indoors. Otherwise they get hissy and restless. Although I’ve had a few that settled in after a few years, never wanted to go out again.

    • It’s been so long that I’m not sure where I actually got them – possibly Target, or possibly Amazon (though I went and looked through my Amazon orders, and it apparently wasn’t Amazon. Must have been Target.) I bet Bed, Bath and Beyond would have them, too.

      • Have they rubbed or damaged the finish on your doors? I have seen them, like them, but was concerned about that.

    • I just went googling because my friend also needs that kind of towel rack and found a nice one on Amazon called InterDesign Forma Over Cabinet 9″ Towel Bar, Brushed Stainless Steel so I think the term “over cabinet towel bar” will help you find one that you’ll like.

      Love Leonore’s story of her time in Istanbul and the cats there. Will keep a look out for the movie.

    • I bought some on Amazon, I bought some at Kohls, I bought some at TJ Maxx, and I just saw them at walmart.com

      Yes, I have a problem.

    • I love how we get to talk about so many topics on this site besides kittehs! 😀

      So your sink looks like mine – white enamel over cast iron? How are you keeping it clean? I feel like I scrub the dang thing trying to keep it from staining ALL THE TIME, but I’m also afraid of scratching the surface/finish. And don’t get me started about when a metal pot or pan leaves the black marks…errr!

      • Yeah, I feel like I’m always scrubbing it, too. I usually use a Magic Eraser once a day or so to get the marks off of it, but I’m not sure I’d choose a white sink again. We seriously considered a black sink, but thought that would be too dark and would look funny. I like the size of the sink, even if I have to spend all my time cleaning it!

        • The size of my sink fits the cats perfectly. It seems like every time I walk in the kitchen someone (hello Trixie) is sitting in the sink, peaking out over the edge!

          Oh goody – I just got a Magic Eraser to use, too! But I think I may be back to stainless for the next sink, though that won’t be until the entire kitchen is remodeled, which is a long way off.

        • I, too, have a white sink and tried everything. However, spending my youth in the restaurant business, I have a couple of items (porcelain cat bowls) that I wash by hand and (shun me) not with MY dishes. I started adding just a bit of bleach to the hot sudsy water and I may not wash them instantly, but let them soak until I get around to them (without the water getting cold) and I found as a happy accident, my white sink was sparkling white when I rinsed the suds down the drain! I was using a bit of bleach for my kitties ‘purification’ and came to a WHITE sink in the process! Oh, and I’ve found Clorox brand doesn’t leave behind a yellowish tint. It only takes a splash of bleach each time.

      • If it’s enamel/porcelain (and not acrylic), you should be able to use moderatly abrasive cleansers with no problem. I use softscrub on mine when it gets a bit grungy, and it cleans just fine. No scratches from the cleanser, and I’ve had it about 10 years now. Of course, the “simplest” way to keep it clean is to not use it, but that kind of defeats the purpose of having it. 🙂

  5. I wondered if you had spraying issues with such a large group. thanks for confirming ;). Which cleaner works best for that?

    • I’ve been using Thornell Cat Odor Off. Susan (the shelter manager) highly recommends it, and it works well for me, too. I do wish it didn’t have a scent, but it smells kind of piney to me, and it’s better than smelling cat spray! 🙂

  6. Completely off topic. What are the details on the screen material you used on the door going upstairs. I seem to remember it was extra strong to keep sharp kitty claws from destroying it. I’m looking into making a window catio. Thanks.

    • We bought the Screen Tight PetGuard Screen Door from Home Depot. The bottom half is screened with really heavy duty mesh, and the top half is just regular screen. The bottom half is holding up really well – you can’t tell that kittens regularly hang off the screen. The top half has some pulls in the screen, and will probably eventually (maybe in a few years) need to be replaced. When that happens, we’ll use some cat screen (you can buy rolls of it on Amazon, and probably at Lowe’s or Home Depot) to replace the screen.

      Susan said that they used cat screen in the windows at the shelter (there’s a porch where the cats can hang out and watch the birds and get some fresh air) and it’s held up really well.