Jump to comments

And a ? If Dandelion is white and has blue eyes, is she deaf? I thought that combination produced hearing issues in cats. Or have you addressed this before?

I have addressed it before, but I don’t mind addressing it again. Some white cats with blue eyes are deaf, but Dandelion can hear just fine – we’ve tested her repeatedly, and she always hears us when there’s food involved (she knows the “Come on, guys!” call that indicates snack time), and the rest of the time it seems to depend on whether she’s interested in what we have to say.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My long-since-passed cat Sushi got into the dryer one day. Not having noticed anything, I turned it on, then paused to wonder what the thumpa-thumpa-thumpa noise was. Were there tennis shoes in there? A wallet? I opened the door, and when it slowed spinning enough for me to look in and see, there was Sushi, sitting there looking a wee bit dazed, but in a good way. I tried to get her out; she wouldn’t come out. I reached in and pulled her out; she jumped right back in. Three or four times. By the second time of me tugging her roomy buttocks out of there, she was scratching at the door, trying to close it behind her. I think she thought it was a carnival ride. We were eventually able to train her to stay away by liberal use of a squirtgun, but it took months.

She’s the same cat who used to flop out in the middle of my mom’s kitchen floor until someone – usually my brother – would come along, hook a finger into her collar, and spin her in circles in the middle of the floor. When she wanted to be spun, she’d go plop in the middle of the floor, and if no one came along after a few minutes, she’d start calling for us. It was not unusual to hear my mother yelling, “For the love of GOD will SOMEONE please go SPIN THAT CAT?” I always wondered what the neighbors thought of that. (She loved spinning on office-type chairs, too. But she hated harmonicas. My mother would get out her harmonica and before she’d even get it up to her mouth, here’d come Sushi from whatever far-off room in the house she’d been in, biting my mom’s feet and, if that didn’t work, hands to make her put it away. I don’t know if she could hear the snap of the case, smell it, or what, but she was SERIOUSLY anti-harmonica.)

That cat… man. She was probably brain damaged but boy, what a personality she had.

I love this story so much!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

how are they getting in the dryer? do you leave the door open?

As soon as I open the dryer door to get laundry out, there are kittens trying to jump into the dryer. They’re nosy little brats, and they wanna know what’s going ON.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Noelegy said: Have you ever seen a Sphynx mancat who still had his parts? It’s…disturbing.

And Elayne said: I wish you had not reminded me of that image – don’t know if you’ve seen it, but there was a picture making the rounds of a male, intact Sphynx who was sitting on top of a computer monitor, facing backwards. The… we can’t call them harbles because there’s no “har” on a Sphynx; the “nekbles” for nekkid maybe? Anyway, his tackle was hanging down over the edge of the monitor. That was a hideous photo.

Imma go look for it.

(Robyn, I leave it up to you whether to delete this line/link)

I’m leaving it, but be warned, y’all: you do NOT want a coworker or child walking by when you’re looking at that picture! (I laughed out loud when I looked at it, myself.)

(Hey, wait. Is this kitty porn?)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And a while back, I took Robyn’s advice and bought a can of compressed air for my foster room. Works like a charm. Although I DID have one stubborn little foster, just one, who would just stand there and take it, all, “Ahhhh! A refreshing breeze!”

When I first started using the compressed air with the Pickles, most of them were like “Oooh, what’s that?”, and weren’t scared at ALL. They’ve started to respect it recently, but for a while there, I had to break out the spray bottle of water. (Which I hate because, y’know, it gets everything wet!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oh, that Thistle. Her eyes are olive green? They’re lovely. And Magoo’s eyes are copper?

I wonder if with Halloween approaching, black cats will be more, or less desirable?

Magoo’s eyes are sometimes copper and sometimes green. I think they’re turning more toward green, but I don’t think he’s reached his final eye color yet, either. Thistle’s eyes are definitely green, though!

I’ve always heard that there’s an issue with black cats being adopted around Halloween because people might torture or otherwise harm them. Some areas stop adopting black cats around Halloween for that reason. I’m not worried, though – the Challenger’s House adoption counselors are good at what they do, and I think that if someone had nefarious plans for a black cat they wanted to adopt, the counselors would sense that something was amiss.

I think that black cats should always be in high demand, personally, because they’re always so awesome!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Robyn…I immediately thought of you when I saw this.

I will NOT buy another Croc shoe bed. I.. will NOT. Only… wow, that’s such a good price, right? I should totally buy an extra just in case, RIGHT? No, I won’t won’t won’t buy another one. (But maybe I will!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

I have no suggestions (we’re lucky in this house that we don’t really have an ant issue as long as I don’t leave anything sugary where the ants can stumble across it), but I know there are probably lots of suggestions out there. If you’ve got a great suggestion, please share in the comments!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wow, you have a lot more chickens than I thought! How many do you have and what do you do with all the eggs?

As far as I can tell, we have somewhere around 60 – 75 chickens (I tried to count, but they’re rude and refuse to stand still). Well, that’s the number we have at the moment – there’s about to be a large young rooster exodus as they all head off to freezer camp.

Any eggs that we don’t eat, we sell. We used to put a sign out at the end of the driveway, but now we have enough regular buyers that we don’t really have to do that any more. We’re usually sold ahead, in fact.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

I have no problem telling them apart in person because Gracie’s quite a bit smaller than George (she’s about 2/3 his size). He’s got a big square block head, and she’s got a smaller, narrower face. The only way I know who’s who in pictures, though, is because I usually remember taking the picture and which dog it was. Fred’s better at recognizing them in pictures than I am.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Magoo has lost the gremlin look. Is the angle of the photos distorting the width of his nose? The 2 photos of Thistle and then Magoo; Thistle’s nose looks wider/bigger. Or is Magoo still growing into his head?

I thought this was an excellent reason to get a side-by-side picture of Magoo and Thistle so we could do a nose comparison! You can see how that idea turned out…

Thistle, could you look this way, please?

Thistle? Please?

You GUYS, could you just sit side by side for one moment? Please?

Stop staring at the ceiling fan and look at ME!

Thistle, seriously. Just for a second? Please? (Magoo looks SO MUCH like Loony Jake in this picture!)

Thank you!

So, I would say that their noses are about the same size. He’s probably still got a little more growing into his face to do, but I think we’re seeing a hint of what he’ll look like as an adult (a black Loony Jake!)

Also, their eyes don’t have quite as much copper to them as it appears in that last picture. It was just the lighting.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I love that Magoo, just love him to death. Lucky for me, he enjoys being kissed.

“Be vewwy vewwy quiet. I’m hunting feather teasers!”

Gazing lovingly at the feather teaser.

Magoo tries to decide whether to go after Polly’s tail or not. (I suggest you don’t, Magoo.)

Percy Pickle, you are SO freakin’ cute.


I can’t wait ’til Dandelion’s done with her ear meds, so I can give her a bath and wash all that residue from around her ears.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Don’t hate the Corbs because he’s beautiful. He cannot help being the most! beautiful! cat! ever!


2011: Spanky (and Elwood!) Wednesday.
2010: Blog vacation.
2009: β€œI would have expected a much higher-pitched scream,” I said to Fred, and then I laughed until I cried.
2008: Marion, the torbie of hissiness.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No, we aren’t adopting him ( <—–LIE)



10-12-12 — 43 Comments

  1. Black cats are indeed the best. In fact, our black kitten is THE BEST black kitten in the entire world, because she was born on a Friday the 13th. And can you believe that she LANGUISHED in the shelter after all her litter mates were taken because of this fact?

    We like to joke that, this year, Peep will be dressing as a black cat for Halloween. Our three year old doesn’t get this and keeps asking where her costume is!

    • I have a collection of black cat figurines that I always bring to work for Halloween and decorate my cubicle with them. Invariably, I am asked by coworkers, “Aren’t you superstitious?” :eyeroll:

        • Awww, thank you! Some people appreciate the display, but I have to say I have worked with a number of people, over the years at different jobs, who profess to being AFRAID of cats, especially black ones. I try to dispel that prejudice wherever I find it.

    • Black cats are the best! πŸ™‚

      I’m starting to see a lot of black cat decorations (wire-framed arched back hissing cat ornaments, etc.) for Halloween, and a shop assistant asked me if I was going to buy one- I said no, I had a real one at home already.

      Black cats as superstition is a funny American/Canadian quirk– in the UK they’re good luck. (I’m Canadian and I find the superstition incredibly silly.)

  2. Re: Getting rid of ants — Diatomaceous Earth is what I have been using for years.

    I take care of a large colony of feral cats, so ants around the food bowls are a constant problem. I make a circle of diatomaceous earth around the feeding area and it pretty much beats the ant invasions back.


    • I have found that cinnamon will repel ants. Put some around the doors/windows they are coming in from the outside through.

    • If the ants are getting onto counters, cupboards, etc., and you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, You can use Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap. Just get a spray bottle, fill it with 1 part soap, and 3 parts water, and spray surfaces and areas where the ants get into. If sprayed directly on the ants, it will kill them after a few seconds. (My guess is they suffocate.) But even better, it will repel more ants from coming after them for up to a couple weeks! Just wipe down the surfaces after spraying, and bingo, ant free AND super squeaky clean too! It’s the only ant killer i trust around my kitties.

      Oh, and P.S., if you have a health food store nearby, or someplace you can buy a bag of Bay Leaves, try placing those around the areas the ants are invading. Ants hate the smell and will avoid coming near them. Certified kitteh safe! πŸ™‚

    • Sorry, i should have included a link to the purchase the soap online, just in case you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you. Here it is http://www.drbronner.com/DBMS/PEP.htm

      And turns out you can dilute it even more and still have the same benefits. Plus, it’s great for, like, a million other things in your house (and on your body) too. Good Luck!

  3. LOL….β€œFor the love of GOD will SOMEONE please go SPIN THAT CAT?”

    That is such a great story. We made the *mistake* of buying in to all of the positive reviews of Da Bird and and picked on up. It was a huge hit with our cats but we are now harassed relentlessly to play. Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow….ALL.THE.TIME.

    But happy cats, make happy people.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Maggie “chatters” when she sees Da Bird (which we have to keep safely up on a high shelf).

      • I love chattering! It is adorable…especially the vibrating whiskers!!!! My husband and I use to play darts, and each time we would throw one, our kitty chattered! So fun!

        • It absolutely slew me the first time I ever observed it. The cat was sitting in the second-story window, watching the birds alight on my neighbor’s roof, and they did the chattering, complete with vibrating whiskers as you describe. I was all like, “Wait! What did you just do?”

          Since then, I’ve talked to other cat-friendly people and tried to determine just exactly what it is that inspires that behavior–it seems kind of counter-productive to trying to hunt anything–and the consensus seems to be that it’s a universal excitement reaction to seeing something fluttering or flying. πŸ™‚

    • My cats hate Da Bird, but the dog LOVES it. He whines at the closet where we keep it until we take it out!

    • I finally bought Da Bird, too, and the first feather thingy didn’t last a day before it was pulled apart! Now I make sure I don’t let anyone pull too long (Ms. Sabrina, I’m talking to you…) before I let go. Everyone gets a good workout with it though!

  4. Whether or not you believe in a classless society, it’s good to know your place: To amuse and pamper the cats!

    And I should NOT have clicked on that link to the sphynx cat, now I’m reaching for the mental bleach.

  5. OMG – I almost choked trying not to laugh out loud at the Sushi story….not that being spun in the dryer is good for cats, but the spinning on the floor thing cracked me up. And there is NO way I am clicking on the sphynx pic…. πŸ™‚

      • The harmonica story reminded me of my Mom’s cat, who used to lunge at her throat if she started to sing. Since Mom had a song for every occasion, we saw that pretty frequently.

        • I had a cat who HATED whistling, if you started he would glare at you and if that didn’t stop you he would come up and stand on your chest to tell you in no uncertain terms to KNOCK IT OFF! I miss my fuzzy buddy.

  6. Part of me was appalled by Sushi’s story for a split second because it involves two incredibly dangerous things, but then I remembered that quite often my cats really enjoy things that would appall other people so I saw it for what it was, an owner who love and adored her kitty and did what was best to make her happy and I smiled.. (the “For the love of GOD will SOMEONE please go SPIN THAT CAT?” helped.. lol)

    The sphynx cat.. it is a good thing I knew what it was going in. I bet if I shared that with my co-workers with out an explanation they would be horribly confused. One of them calls testicles “danglers”

    it also wasn’t until that last comparison shot that I could see the difference in size between Magoo and Thistle. and in that stand up shot of Magoo and Polly, it almost looks like Polly is wearing a sunshine tie (with the adjusting thing on her collar as the knot so it is slightly askew)

  7. I’ve also found that either cinnamon or cayenne pepper along the windows on the outside is very effective against a lot of types of bugs. I used to live on the ground floor of a split-level ranch and our windows were only about a food off the ground, so lots of bugs had access. The cinnamon kept them all out.

    These products are also really good and non-toxic: http://www.terro.com/

    Those stories about Sushi up there are cracking me up! I’m picturing a cross-eyed kitty face, dazed from the spin in the dryer, thinking, “Duuuuuuuude! What a rush!”

  8. β€œFor the love of GOD will SOMEONE please go SPIN THAT CAT?” was exactly the laugh I needed today. And then I clicked the Sphinx link (and laughed some more).

    Sweet little Dandelion looks as if she’s plotting revenge on whomever it was that turned her ears yellow and sticky. ((Run Robyn Run!!!))

  9. I just can’t stand how handsome and BIG and cat-like Tony Magoo has gotten! What a handsome boy! And I love his white locket. When he was wee, I never imagined there would come a day where you could put him next to another kitten and HE’D be the big one.

  10. Ants: Take a walk around the outside of your home. Look for ant dens (tiny mounds of teeny soil balls). Use an outdoor ant bait to kill them outdoors. If I treated for ants in the kitchen I’d find them in the bathroom a few days later. I started using Terro Outdoor Ant Bait near the dens. I haven’t had ant problems since. These baits are fully covered and have a stake to secure them in the ground. Be cautious with outdoor dogs as they might consider the baits a toy. I doubt cats would bother them.

  11. OK I use a spray bottle of water on my dogs… and now on my cats cuz the dogs were there first. The trick is don’t put it on the stream setting put it on mist. They HATE that just as much and it’s not as bad for making a mess.
    the hairless man cat parts are NOT safe for work.. but I couldn’t resist. OMG if that isn’t an argument for neutering I don’t know what is.

  12. My mother is not a cat person, and finds it hilarious that you can debate whether or not a cat is deaf. Dogs, after all, listen and come when you call and react to things around them. Cats might be deaf or might just not find you interesting. I, being a cat person, find this a plus.

    I have a new foster, a four year old gorgeous medium haired ticked torbie. She’s a sweetheart, but working through some (mild) food anxiety issues that have doubtlessly resulted from her having been dumped and abandoned. So we’re working on her bad habit of getting a bit pushy with her paws when I have food (no swiping at the human allowed, no hooking my ankles if I walk away from the food bowl without filling it, no biting ever). The tools are referred to as the loving water pistol of respectful correction and the compressed air of enlightenment. She’s catching on fast, and is a wonderfully sweet girl otherwise. Mostly she just needs to learn that food will come again, and to be polite about it.

    • I bought a squirter to keep my (then) young cat Gus from bugging my elderly cat Cassie. It worked – Gus loved the spray and would come towards me and open his mouth for a drink! I would have to squirt a few times into his mouth before he would leave.

    • Oooh, the compressed air of enlightenment. Norman is going to have to make its acquaintance soon. He is quickly becoming an obnoxious little bugger. The fun part is that it’s always easy to distract him. Call “Norman!” in a sing song voice and start moving like you’re going to feed him in the bathroom… and then lock him in there while you finish eating.

  13. I shall forego the Sphinx mancat…I’m finally learning at 53 y.o. to not take photo baits. My eyes!My Brain!

    I just love the lighting in your house. I steal a lot of photos from you for reference photos for future art projects. When the kittens are backlit and you can see all of the ear floofs…awesome!

    My other obsessive photo swiping is of “the evil claws” pics! Roar! Beware my mighty claws! I am simply unable to resist swiping those pics with a young kitten waving his claws around.Especially when the claws are fully extended.

    Of course,I have been swiping all of your chicken photos.I love the ones where the fat hen is surrounded by her chicks-Nirvana!
    My computer’s desktop is the pic where the henhouse is way in the background and stretching from the henhouse to you,the photographer,is the whole flock,running towards you.

    Thanks,Miz Robyn!

  14. Glad so many of you enjoyed my memories of Sushi. She was a helluva cat, I’ll tell you. I got her when I lived in Okinawa; after I got divorced I moved back home, and brought her with me. On the first day at my mom’s house, I took her out of the carrier, showed her where the litter box, food, and water were, and then sat at the kitchen table. Sushi sat calmly on my lap for about a half hour, checking out the new environment, then casually stood, stretched, walked directly over to my mother’s purse and peed in it, making eye contact with my mom the whole time. THEN she went to the litter box to finish her business. I think she suspected about the harmonica thing from the beginning.

    The dryer adventure scared me to death, and no matter how much she (clearly) wanted to repeat it I would never let her get back in – and from that day I always learned to doublecheck the dryer before turning it on. The spinning was something that really only my brother did – none of the rest of us could master the angle/technique needed to get her spinning without getting her collar twisted up. (And believe me, if her collar got even so much as “snug” she’d chomp your hand in a heartbeat – even though it was a flimsy break-away collar that she’d manage to scratch off several times in a day.) My brother had a real knack for it, though, and he could get her going to where she’d continue to spin for several rotations after he’d let go, without ever tightening her collar. The rest of us, if called for Emergency Spin-The-Cat Duty, would usually hook a foot under one of her armpits and spin her that way, but she didn’t enjoy it as much.

    If anyone wants a face to go along with the mental images, one of my favorite pictures of her is here. It’s one of my favorites because she’d been halfway across the room when I picked up the camera; by the time I got it pointed in her direction, she was two inches away from my nose all “HEY HI I SEE YOU HAVE SOMETHING THERE WHAT IS IT CAN I HAVE IT THANKS.”

    • That is total alpha behavior. Good for Sushi for establishing her place in the pecking order! What a character.

  15. The spinning the cat story reminded me of my mom’s (now deceased) cat, Felix. Felix was allergic to something in the rabies vaccines he got and got really sick the last time he got one. He was listless, wouldn’t eat, barely touched water — we really thought he wouldn’t make it. He was an old guy by then, at least 12 or so. My brother stumbled upon the one thing that made him feel better…. he had this toy that was basically a stuffed tube, with maybe some catnip in with the stuffing. It was very soft and squishy. My brother went over to my mom’s house one day while she was at work, to check up on Felix, and was trying to get him to perk up a little by tossing toys for him. He somehow discovered that Felix LOVED having someone smack him all up and down his back with the stuffed tube toy! My brother called my mom and said “I flogged the cat, and now he’s feeling better!” After that, Felix would sit by his toy and howl until Mom would yell “Would someone please go beat the cat??”

    • LOL! “Flogging the cat” sounds like a euphemism for something naughty! I’m glad it made him feel better. (c:

      I currently have one cat who likes to be “kicked.” Not REAL kicking, of course, but if I am sitting in a chair or on the edge of my bed and sort of bounce my leg around, Cambria’ll come and position herself right under it so that it’s bonking her – preferably in the head – on every rebound. (The dog, Honda, that my son took with him to Alabama likes this also, but Honda likes you to get a little oomph into it – enough to where she makes a little “unh” noise every time. If you get too much force behind it with Cambria she’ll sit a few inches out of range and wait for you to calm down.) By contrast, two of my other cats will flee the premises if you touch them with anything more than a butterfly stroke, or use anything other than your hand. Funny how different they can be!

  16. I have something for your next question and answer post. I’ve seen you post about cleaning litter boxes and vacuuming the floors, but how do you deal with the cat hair everywhere else? I have 5 indoor cats and sometimes the cat hair on the furniture, clothing, and everything else gets a bit overwhelming. Do you have any tricks or gadgets to recommend?