10-11-12 – Crooked Acres Thursday

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Yesterday was the vet board meeting in Montgomery. The rule – which would have shut down the spay/ neuter clinics across the state – failed unanimously. Susan, the Challenger’s House shelter manager said that there was a stack of papers two feet high from supporters of the spay/neuter clinics.

THANK YOU to everyone who signed petitions, sent letters, and supported the spay neuter clinics during all of this. Now hopefully the board will cut the nonsense and stop trying to shut down the clinics.

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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

Mr. Bluebird is still hanging around. He and his wife (Mrs. Bluebird, obv) spend far more time than I’d like landing in the back yard and then flying away from the cats. I’m hoping their luck doesn’t run out.

I call these things wasps, but I don’t know what their fancy, official name is. This one was on the outside of the kitchen window. Just before I grabbed the camera, it was cleaning its antennae. For something that would sting me in the eye if given half a chance, it’s got an awful lot of nerve pulling a cute maneuver like that.

They’d like their scratch, please.

Toasty the rooster keeping an eye on the wimminfolk.

“You haz biskit for Gracie?”

“I’ll take TWO biskits, please.”

That little building there is the pig shed. The pigs were inside it. No matter how I called and told them I had cookies for them, they were NOT budging (also, I was lying. I totally didn’t have any cookies for them. I’m sure they sensed that I was just trying to lure them out to take their picture). Not a single pig was heard from. As I stood and pondered whether to go into the pig yard (I did not; each pig outweighs me by a good 50 pounds at least), these little roosters came out, looking guilty.

Then came some more. Look, I don’t KNOW what’s going on in there, but I’m suspecting those pigs are running drugs or prostitution out of that shed.

“WHAT?! He told ME he was playing a quick game of golf with the boys!”

Toasty disapproves of the shenanigans going on in the pig shed.

Last month, a couple of volunteer squash plants popped up near the okra. Fred left them, to see if we’d get anything. It looks like we very well might end up with a few more pattypans before the cold weather hits!

The tomato plants are hanging in there, still producing. Not a lot, but enough for snacks and salads.

Tomato blossoms.

Volunteer tomato plants among the garlic chives.

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Magoo, giving me the Love Eyes.

She cracks me up when something catches her attention, and she glares at it.

When they were fixed last week, the boys all came home with small shaved patches on their tummies – they give them small tattoos to indicate that they’ve been fixed. This is Petey – I love that even in the shaved area, his spots and stripes are still present.

“I gots a shaved spot too, y’know.” I know, Percy.

Tiring work being that cute, ain’t it?

Polly on the scratcher, keeping an eye on me.

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Jobey Joe the tuxie-do says “How YOU doin’, yo?”


2011: BUGS Tuesday.
2010: (And yes, we DO call them “Busta Rhyme”!)
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: The little black Momma kitty we first saw a month or so ago was back, this time with a friend.
2005: When does this get easier, again?



10-11-12 – Crooked Acres Thursday — 67 Comments

  1. YAY! Victory! I’m happy I could contribute to the campaign against stupidity, even though I live in the opposite part of the globe:)

  2. Yay! I am so glad, now I hope they leave the clinics alone. As long as they are not hurting the animals, what is the harm of helping them? On shoestring budgets mind you!

    • The harm is to all to the short-sighted for-profit vets who somehow think the non-profits are “competition” and now have egg on their faces. I certainly hope they give up, but the way politics go in this country now, they’ll likely keep coming back and coming back and coming back and…

      The other thing to look for is some closed door deals or exact enforcement of some minor aspect of existing law, which keep the public from finding out or doing anything about it.

      Sadly, when getting money and power are involved – or believing getting money and power are involved – there are no limits to how persistent some people are.

      • I read somewhere that the FTC is keeping an eye on the goings-on with the clinic and the board, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that also helped convince them that the rule shouldn’t pass, along with the outcry from the public.

        • I’m glad to hear that the FTC weighed in, although the FTC is only sensible when Federal Administration is sensible. As a former constituent of Mitt Romney’s*, I can assure you his administration would NOT be sensible, so the new rules of being insanely persistent in trying to obtain money and power would apply once again.

          Sorry, I know that this isn’t a political blog, but I hope people nationwide can learn from Massachusetts’ mistake. Please realize the reason Mitt didn’t run for re-election as Governor is that his administration screwed things up so badly that he simply had NO hope of re-election. Six years later, we are still struggling to fix his mistakes, get out from under the debt he put us into and get rid of the incompetent cronies he appointed to positions of responsibility.

          *Fun fact: Mitt’s real first name is Willard! His cohorts tried editing that fact out of his Wikipedia entry so many times, Wikipedia had to lock his entry!

  3. Yesterday was the vet board meeting in Montgomery. The rule – which would have shut down the spay/ neuter clinics across the state – failed unanimously. Susan, the Challenger’s House shelter manager said that there was a stack of papers two feet high from supporters of the spay/neuter clinics.

    Hallelujah! Death to stupid rules driven by greedy people, not kittycats. Does not mean the stupid will stop, just that it has been temporarily stymied. Now it needs to be exposed far and wide as sheer greed if you want to stop it long-term.

    I’m guessing the pigs head off to freezer camp before too much longer.

  4. I’m sure you’ve been asked this before, but how do you tell George and Gracie apart?

  5. I believe that is a yellow jacket wasp. This is the time of year you see them most, hanging around trash cans at outdoor festivals and such. I don’t know if it’s true but I’ve heard that if you kill one they give off some sort of pheromone that draws others in to attack in defense.

      • Oh…tibits:

        All females are capable of stinging. Despite having drawn the loathing of humans, yellow jackets are in fact important predators of pest insects.

        Yellow jackets build nests in trees, shrubs, or in protected places such as inside man-made structures (attics, hollow walls or flooring, in sheds, under porches, under home siding and eaves of houses), or in soil cavities, mouse burrows, etc. They build them from wood fiber they chew into a paper-like pulp.

        Wikipedia doesn’t say anything about pheromones.

        • I haven’t heard anything about crushing them bringing in others. I’ve personally killed a couple over the decades with no retaliation. Might you be thinking about Africanized honey bees?

    • For the most part, I leave them alone as long as they leave me alone. If they get into the house, though, they’re toast!

      • In the house, they wouldn’t stand a chance with all those cats! Nothing creeps or crawls in mine without being instantly noticed…and taken out, baby!!! Good kitties!!!

    • I heard just this past weekend from someone who knows a large amount of stuff about everything (and he’s right more often than not amazingly) that there is something that happens scent wise when you smush a yellow jacket that will make any others in the vicinity chase you down.

      and in searching: ► Never, ever squash or swat a yellow jacket on purpose. This will cause the dead insect to release certain odor that will attract other yellow jackets to attack. (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/yellow-jacket-sting.html)

      • Hmmm. Maybe this is why we have an issue in the house in the Fall. One shows up and buzzes around, I kill it (so it won’t sting a cat), and then another one’s all “I know you done killed my friend. Prepare to die!” Maybe I should just capture them and train them to do housework instead. 🙂

  6. we read an article about the decision yesterday and were THRILLED. it seems that the whole thing was about vets using equipment in a non-vet setting. what – leaving a “clinic” makes a vet stupid??? ugh…..

    we don’t know what those pigs were doin’ but sounds like they were up to no good with those roosters!

  7. I was more than happy to sign! Wasp can be cute except when they are stinging you.
    I have a horror story to tell. Yesterday, I was finally cleaning the panels to a Rubbermaid shed to load up and take to Goodwill.
    They were stacked on end, side-by-side against the fence. To my HORROR, when I moved each panel, they were covered in HUGE palmeto bugs and BIG ants! God bless wasp and hornet killer which kills every creepy crawly thing!!! Then just for good measure and to give me the final heart attack, a HUGE black snake (rat snake – about 6 ft) cruised by. I am not afraid of snakes, but I hate palmetto bugs and was already grossed out so when the snake flew by it scared the tar out of me! Seriously not funny.

    Thank you for all the sweet pictures…they calmed my nerves.

    • Oh man. Ewwww. I have an ant problem in my house – anyone got recommendations for an ant killer that is kitty-safe?

      • A.B.-there are many alternative ant ridders out there (I just read an article yesterday in fact) but I will have to say that most of them don’t work too well. It also depends on which kind of ants you have. You can google them at your leisure but some I have heard of are the following:
        mint leaves; bay leaves; whole cloves=all because they don’t like the smell
        cornstarch; cornmeal; oatmeal=they expand inside the ants and well…
        A mixture of dish soap and water sprayed on counters and NOT wiped away (seemed to read as the best alternative); also vinegar wiped on areas=gets rid of their smell on the trails
        Good luck!

      • Be careful about bay leaves. I have always heard they were toxic to cats. Same with garlic, which I have also read as an deterrent. I’m a big believer in vinegar. Haven’t used it for ants yet, but I always have a huge jug in my pantry for disinfecting and carpet smells. If it counteracts the smell of animal pee, it should destroy whatever trail the ants are following into your house. I keep a bottle of soapy water under the counter that I use to spray any bug that I see nearby and we don’t generally have issues… of course, that could be the cats keeping things in order too 😉 Good luck!

        • I keep tons of vinegar around – I use it to clean litterboxes. (I periodically dump all the litter and wash with soap and water and a hose, then rinse with a cup of undiluted vinegar and let dry. Works great.) I don’t know if it will work on ant trails but I can try that.

          (Chemistry nerd moment: vinegar works on pee of all kinds, because pee is mostly uric acid and water. Uric acid is a chemical similar in structure to ammonia, which is why you never clean a litterbox with ammonia and why a dirty litterbox might have a strong ammonia smell. Vinegar denatures ammonia on contact through an acid/base reaction, and does the same to uric acid.)

      • I’ll post this question in tomorrow’s entry to see if there are more suggestions (though the ones left seem like good ones!) I know that when Sugarbutt and Tommy were kittens, we had a big ant issue in the upstairs (where their food was kept). I used to put their food bowls on a bigger plate, and put cinnamon around the bowls (on the plate). It kept the ants out of the food – until one of the kittens would drop a piece of food outside the ring o’ cinnamon, and the ants would swarm all over it!

          • Ants…every spring and summer!
            They do love the dry cat food, so I usually wind up rubbing a layer of vegetable oil (canola, or olive) in a wider-than-an-ant band around the outside of the bowl/dish, ants don’t like walking in the oil. One of the cats usually lovingly licks the oil off so it has to be reapplied after a few days! that probably does something for hairballs, and it isn’t enough oil to cause ‘issues’ unless the cat is already digestively sensitive.(works for hummingbird feeders too, by the way, somewhere on the path the ants are using to get to the good stuff). Ground cinnamon around the edges of a counter area also works for a barrier. I have used this near (between the wall/crevices and the bowl itself, not in a circle around the food bowl!) the cats’ dishes as well and it also works, doesn’t seem to bother the cats at all…having said that I never read anywhere that it was toxic either. It smells heavenly, too!
            Soooo glad that the rule failed, and people can go on getting their pets neutered/spayed for less!

  8. Wow, you have a lot more chickens than I thought! How many do you have and what do you do with all the eggs? Oh and yay for stomping out some stupidity!! Lets all hope it goes away and does not rear its ugly little head again!

      • I was just thinking the same thing about the chickens. I which led me to suppose that Fred has some Freezer Camp counseling to do.

          • Ah ha! There’s your answer to the meeting in the pig shed! Excess roosters and piggies about to head to freezer camp… they’re either trying to decide on how to smuggle contraband in their backpacks or figuring out some way to sneak into a girl pig/chicken camp or where to hide so they don’t have to go because none of them want to learn how to make a lanyard or read a compass!

  9. You know I’m a mother who spent time teaching preschool when the nefarious activity in the pig shed reminded me of the story “Click Clack Moo… Cows That Type”. The pigs haven’t gotten hold of a typewriter lately by any chance? If so, you will be receiving their demands shortly through a rooster intermediary.

    • Kelly-I love that and all the other “Click Clack” stories. Maybe the pigs are organizing their campaign to run against the ducks. It is that season you know!

      • All I know is that Robyn needs to take custody of that typewriter during the negotiations. Next thing you know the ducks will be demanding a diving board 😉

        • I love those books!!! (Also, if I didn’t think the pigs would eat the typewriter, I’d totally toss one in their yard for picture-taking opportunities!)

          • LOL Robyn, I would love to see that picture. I guess it’s a good thing you don’t have cows because all those electric blankets would end up costing you.

          • HA! Don’t forget that the chickens demand electric blankets too. Fred and Robyn are flush with them. Toasty needs to stay toasty, don’t you know. And Angry Muppet probably wants a hair dryer.

          • Love that video – I guess we didn’t know how good we had it when we were just trying to herd FOUR ducks out to the pond. That was difficult enough!

  10. GREAT news about the clinics! I did indeed sign the petition, and I’m SO glad it worked out.

    Now, go give Gorgeous Gracie that cookie she so richly deserves, the purty purty girl. 😉

  11. Great news re spay/neuter clinics! I’d like to think all of us made it happen.

    Our cats have always been tabbies, torties and/or calicos and I never knew their skin was marked same as their fur patterns until our current calico cutie had to be totally shaved a couple of years ago. They shaved every inch of her except her face and the tip of her tail (looking for a wound or bite or whatever because after a million dollars worth of tests they couldn’t figure out why she was trying to die). She was a really sad looking creature for a while.

    • I can’t get a decent picture of it. It’s just a green line, about 1/4 inch long. Kind of looks like they got poked by a felt tip marker. 🙂

  12. So THAT’S why sometimes boy cats come into PetSmart with shaved bellies! We always wondered – do they just move so fast through their surgeries that they shave a belly before noticing the equipment??

  13. I’m so glad to hear about the clinic. People just get the connection between affordable petcare/spay-neutering and dog/cat overpopulation.

    I really wonder sometimes how you manage to let go of those fosters Robyn. I know you say it’s easier knowing that they’re going to good homes and they’ll be happy. Plus, you can help more babies, blah blah blah.

    But come on, the way you go on and on about the miniute characteristics/expressions of each kitten? They’ve got titanium claws in your heart.

  14. So happy all the signature/opposition worked !! Some folks always seem to want to make life harder than it has to be.
    I always read “Tasty” the rooster and have to go back and see it is really “Toasty” the rooster !!??
    (Don’t tell Toasty that I said that- okay ?)

  15. How have you resisted naming a litter after candy bars? Purslane colored kitties totally need to be named after some sort of peanut butter filled chocolate concoction (like Reese or Buckeye).