1-3-13 – Crooked Acres Thursday

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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

George and Gracie, dead asleep atop Dirt Mountain, as seen through the window over my desk.

Gracie, asleep in a bed of leaves. One of my favorite things to do when she’s sleeping in those leaves is to sneak up to the fence line and then softly call her name.


“I was just thinkin’! About… the chickens!”

“And how best to protect them! See? I’m up!”

“Just keepin’ an eye on the chickens and not sleepin’! That’s me!”

Toasty keeps an eye on me.

Cruella has no use for that stale bagel. “I prefer the fresh ones!”

The Rock Star. So pretty!

Fred finally built the ducks a shelter out by the pond – and they use it! I mean, not that we ever see any of them in it, but I can tell by the indentations in the straw that they’ve been sleeping in there.

The first of our Meyer lemons have ripened. There are another five on the tree (which is in the garage in front of a sunny window), which will be ripe before too long.

My parents sent us an LL Bean Christmas wreath. It’s pretty and smells fabulous and I don’t plan to take it down any time soon. It’s pretty much the only decoration we had up this year.


Back in September, I put the game cam in the front room. Someone was spraying the back of the couch, and I wanted to find out who. Naturally, once the camera was in place, it never happened again. I happened to look through the videos the camera shot (it was set on motion detect, capturing 10-second videos at a time), and found some cute footage of the Weeds and Pickles, acting like wild things.

This one is all the footage of them climbing the scratching post behind the couch. I’ll post other videos next week, because it caught some pretty cute stuff.

Please note that since this came from a game cam, the quality falls short of awesome, but I think it’s worth checking out!

YouTube link


Bitsy wants to know what I’m doin’.

“No, seriously. What you DOIN’, lady?”

Just about every time I walk into the room, Barney and Bitsy are sound asleep in the wall basket, probably because there’s a heated bed in there. Bitsy always immediately jumps down and runs over to me, but Barney takes a few minutes to fully wake up.

Baby Beans really enjoys the stick end of the feather teaser. I mean, he’ll play with the feather end if you wave it at him, but it makes him kind of nervous.

Baby Beans doesn’t know what’s going on over there but IT BETTER STOP RIGHT NOW.

“What’s that I smell, lady? You got crunchy treats for me?”

Just such a beautiful boy, that Baby Beans.

“You stop looking at that one, lady. You supposed to be petting and kissing ME.”

Still not awake yet, Barney?
“Just another five minutes, lady. I’m not a morning cat.”


Today’s Permanent Resident (still clearing out the folder!): Kara, aka Sheriff Mama.

I actually shot this picture through the fence. Sheriff Mama was SOME kind of displeased that I was outside the back yard. She was FUMING.

Emo Mama.

“You get your behind in this back yard RIGHT NOW, or you’ll be answering to ME!”


“I said GET IN HERE!”

Mama in motion.


2012: Chuckles and Patty, stressing out as usual.
2011: Someone looks super guilty here, am I right?
2010: “If you call her my ‘little girlfriend’ one more time, I’m going to cut you.”
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: (I myself suffer from Shut-Up-And-Go-Away-itis)
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



1-3-13 – Crooked Acres Thursday — 41 Comments

  1. You are so mean to Gracie! I betcha you didn’t even give her 1000 treats after that or anything!!

    The gamecam shots made me laugh. What active little monkeys you had… and have!

    As always, the shots of Cruell and Rock Star made me laugh. Are the fancy hens good layers also, or are they just for pretty?

    Finally, the Beans are cute as anything. I hope the Baby calms down and gets more brave. Do you know his background? With that face and knuckly paws, I wonder if he has Bengal in him and that’s what makes him skittish. Or maybe I’m projecting my own skitty Bengal kitty onto him…

    Anyway, thanks for the laughs. It’s been tough to wake up today because it’s so dark and bitter cold up in New England right now.

  2. I noticed in some of the pictures that Kara is not wearing her collar. Hmmmm??????

    Those baby beans are so adorable! Yay for the duck house. So, Fred must have stopped Facebooking long enough to do that, huh? LOL

    Love me some Gracie!

  3. Love the gamecam — kittens are SOOOO wild! Also, love Emo Mama and Kara in motion. Sweet!

  4. Kara reminds me a little of my big guy Youk. We like to say that while the kitten likes me (and uses me) Youk considers me his very own personal possession. He gives me that narrow eyed look all the time, like he’s saying, “Woman! Sitting over there displeases me. Now do as I say or it gets the hose.”

  5. Wonderful pictures today. The first picture of Gracie and George on dirt mountain look like snow caps. If you squint you can pretend you are living in the Rockies. I love the shelter for the ducks. Has Fred though of putting a floating one on the pond so they have someplace to escape to if predators come around. I suppose you don’t have to worry too much about that with the Gs on the job.
    I love all kitties but there is a special place in my heart for the tiger face of a tabby. The Beans are beautiful. S.M. Kara is just the best. I wanted her to come live with us when she first showed up but I don’t think the neighborhood would be able to keep up with her high standards of behavior. She cracks me up.
    Finally, the game cam. Isn’t it amazing what goes on in our homes that we know nothing about. There is a whole bunch going on while we sleep that we never know about unless something is in a different place in the morning. I am thinking about getting one of those cameras to put outside to see our wildlife visitors but I might use it inside to see what is going on at night. So much fun.

  6. After years of having senior animals who slept and allowed me to sleep through the night, we have adopted a kitten. The other night I kept waking up to hear a strange rattling. Every time I heard it, it came from another room. My sleepy brain finally processed the noise as some sort of malfunctioning electrical system component, leapt out of bed in a panic, and ran to find the source of the noise…. Ruby with her favorite toy.

    I would not take the chance and disobey Sheriff Mama. She looks like she means it.

    • I know how that one goes! I have to kick the cats out of my bathroom and close the door at night because Sheba will walk in there and start deliberately knocking things off the sink when she wants my attention. It does not matter that Mommy is sound asleep. When she wants love, CRASHTINKLE.

  7. The game cam video ia hilarious. Who is that at 0:42-0:50? I love the staring and waiting, and then the pouncing prep — and the pouncing. So cute.

  8. Lovely “turtle-necks” those kitties got for Christmas. So darling with all those stripes 🙂

    Quick question-Is there a reason kitties start clawing on the wall? We are pretty sure there is not a dead body behind it. So why is the wall getting clawed up and what can I do about it?

    • I don’t know the reason why they’re clawing on the wall – aside from some kitties just love to do that – but if you’ve got a vertical scratcher, I’d move it near where they’re scratching. If you don’t have a vertical scratcher, I’d get one… and put it near where they’re scratching. 🙂

        • Haha, that reminds me… the other day I was peeling an orange and the cats came over to see what I was doing. They were HORRIFIED by the smell. Figaro actually arched his back in response! I’ve never seen a cat react that strongly to a citrus smell.

          • Thanks for the replies. The wall is in the stairwell so I don’t know about attaching a scratcher to it. She has a whole tree which mostly she just uses to climb high enough to jump to someplace else. She doesn’t really use the scratchers on it. She’s a very curious kitten still (only about 6 months old). I think mostly she just saw a mark on the wall and scratched at it to see what it was and now that it’s MORE of a mark she is interested in it. I will try the citrus which we humans don’t really like either at this house, but it is worth a try. BTW, she won where the tree was concerned. We took it down yesterday. We usually leave it up half the month of Jan (yes-artificial). I think it’s the shortest season the tree has ever had.

  9. I finally have a favorite permanent resident – I LOVE Sheriff Mama. She’s got such an expressive little face – I want to kiss her! 🙂
    Thank you for the pictures! I LOVE THEM (And the Baby Stompers calendar my in-laws gave me for Christmas. I had to explain who baby Stompers is!)

  10. we think George and Gracie missed the “guard dog” memo….sleeping on the job. 🙂

    Love that video – why is it all kittens running around like that look like they are in fast forward??? LOL

    • I actually tried to slow the video down, but it made the picture all blurry, so I left it as is. As you know, kittens have two speeds: 1000 miles per hour, and dead asleep, and not much in between! 🙂

    • She’s really only angry if her humans are outside the back yard. Otherwise, she’s very sweet and likes a good snuggle. She’s kind of intense and always looks like she’s going to snap and remove your head, but she’s never snapped on her humans (and only on kitties who are misbehaving), so I think it’s just the way her face is arranged.

      Kind of like Mister Boogers, who always looked intensely filled with hate, but was actually a complete and utter lovebug. 🙂

  11. I have a question for the Fount of Kitteh Wisdom. We have a dog who’s been staying with us more or less permanently. Her owners sent over a couple of really nice dog beds, and one or more of our cats has been peeing on these beds. We’re pretty sure it’s either Murphy (12-year-old black male who intermittently pees on the tile floor by the back door) or Gabby (18-year-old calico who spite pees on occasion). I don’t know what to do, and my husband is at the end of his good nature over this, and keeps threatening to put these cats outside (neither has ever been an outdoor cat). He tried wrapping the core cushions of the dog beds in garbage bags, to make a moisture-proof barrier (the covers are washable), but someone’s still peeing on them every night, and the dogs won’t use the beds.

    It seems like a territorial thing: something that doesn’t belong to this house has been brought into this house, and someone’s not happy about it. What can I do to make the dog beds part of the cats’ accepted universe (the dogs themselves don’t bother the cats)?

    • It definitely sounds, since they’re targeting the dog beds, that they’re not happy with the dog’s addition to the household. It is entirely possible, though, that there’s something about the dog beds themselves that is setting the cat or cats off. Could it be the location? Have you tried them in different spots? You may want to try spraying the dog beds with Feliway – it might work.

      Honestly, if it were me, I’d put the nice dog beds away, buy a couple of cheap (easily washable) ones, and wash them as need be. Alternately, I’d buy some of those washable waterproof pads and put them on the dog beds to protect the beds from the angry pee-ers.

      (I’m going to post this in tomorrow’s entry because I know others will have great suggestions, too!)

      • The dog herself is very non-alpha and doesn’t bother the cats at all. She’s been staying with us for a couple of months, and they didn’t act like this. I will get some Feliway and see if that works. Thanks!

        • Are they peeing anywhere other than the beds? I’m wondering if there’s something about the material the beds are covered in (or something inside the beds) that’s setting them off. Sometimes that can happen – anything stuffed with catnip will occasionally set Sugarbutt off, and he’ll pee on them (maybe he’s so high from the ‘nip that he can’t find the bathroom!), so we can’t have catnip mats in this house. I mean, not that the dog beds are stuffed with catnip, but with cats, who knows?

    • It could be that there’s scent on those beds that they can smell and us humans can’t.

      Not a bed peeing story, but… the first cat I had peed in a corner of our living room when I was a kid, and my parents happened to run into the previous house owner and found out that his dog had peed there too. I guess he’d tried to clean it up, but maybe didn’t get it all? So the cat was peeing there to mark his territory.

      So it could be more of a scent thing than an unhappy ‘you’re in my space’ kind of peeing?

  12. Weeds and Pickels – crazy little things! That video makes me laugh, every time I watch it! Awwww, George and Gracie – so pretty. And the Beans – too cute! I would definitely obey Sheriff Mama too – she’s skeery with her disapproval! Looks like the same face I get from my real Mama, sometimes…..