From Karen –

I volunteer with a small rescue group near Raleigh, NC named Alley Cats and Angels. We were recently contacted by another group looking for help with a very bad neglect situation. We took in three kittens and three adults, all in very poor shape. They’ve all been to the vet now, and though at first one vet thought at least one of the adults might be too far gone (she feared the foot wound infection had gone into the bones), we are now hopeful that all will be able to make it with proper care. But we could really use some help with the medical expenses for these cats, so have started a chipin campaign.

Our blog will be updated with ongoing status for these guys as they progress. The initial post about them is here.

Once again, the ChipIn for these poor kittens and cats is here. If you can help out, please do. Always remember that every little bit helps!

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I am very sad to report to you that this morning, I am taking Buster to Petsmart. I am hoping and praying that the right people come along and fall in love with and adopt him, the sooner the better. He is a super awesome cat, but this is not the home for him.

From the beginning, when we let him out into general population, he’s been very aggressive toward the other cats, especially Spanky. (Except Jake. Everyone just LOVES Jake, pretty much without exception.) If it were just a slap fight, I wouldn’t be so concerned – but Buster’s been going after Spanky for real, and Spanky is an old guy who really can’t kick butt the way he used to. Buster tried going after Alice, but Alice turned around and said “Really? You want to mess with ME?” and she showed him she’s not scared to stand up for herself. After that, Buster left her alone.

I know that some of you are thinking of any number of things we could try, but honestly we’ve tried everything. I feel terrible taking him to Petsmart, but this is truly not the home for my sweet Buster. He’s a people lover, and I think that if there were only a couple of cats in this house – cats who could stand up for themselves – he’d be okay. But the number of cats in this house stresses him out, and nothing we’ve tried changes that. He needs to be in a home where he isn’t constantly being stressed out and where he can’t ride roughshod over the other cats.

Like I said, Spanky’s an old guy. I think he deserves to live out his last years in peace. I’ve been truly concerned that Buster was going to hurt him, and I can’t let that happen. I’ve been sequestering Buster in the bathroom when I’m not here to be sure he isn’t going after Spanky, and that’s been stressing Buster out, too. It’s time to let him find his true forever home.

I understand if you’re disappointed in us (hey, wasn’t I super-judgy about the woman who gave Buster up? This is what I get! I wonder if this, and not her doctor telling her she shouldn’t be cleaning out litter boxes is the true reason she brought him back to the shelter.), but it’s a final decision on our part. I love Buster an awful lot, but I think that sometimes loving them means knowing when they’re not in a situation where they can be happy. I hope you understand.

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“Am I not beautiful?” You are, Buster. You definitely, definitely are.

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(And then he turned around and went after Corbie. Sigh.)

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Watching the birds out the porthole window.

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Hanging out on the dryer.

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See the light spot in the middle of all the dark? I call that his angel’s kiss.

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(It’s just the angle. His face isn’t quite that big!)

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Bye, sweet Buster. I’m going to miss your goofy face, your drama queen complaints, how excited you get at snack time, your insatiable curiosity (“Hey, what’s up HERE?”) and your loud, loud purr.

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The pond guys showed up bright and early yesterday, and except for a half hour lunch, they worked hard all day long!

The first thing they did with the dirt they dug up was to dump some of it in the pig yard. The pigs have rooted up that yard but good, and when Fred mows out there, the mower gets stuck in the ruts. Once the pigs go off to freezer camp (at the end of the month, by the way), Fred will spread the dirt out and even out the yard.

The pigs reacted to those piles of dirt like they were piles of the MOST AWESOME STUFF EVER. They rooted around in the dirt, they ran up on the hills of dirt, and then they rolled around on their backs like dogs.

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George and Gracie snoopervised all day long and thought it was the MOST awesome thing EVER.

I took this picture around noon:

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Fred took this one around 4:30 (I was off taking Tommy to the vet) :

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Fred stood in the trench that is the beginning of the long side (I think. Unless it’s the short side? Hell if I know.)

At the end of day 1, the pond guy guesstimated that the pond is less than 1/3 dug, and that we are going to end up with far, far more dirt than we need. Luckily, he knows a guy who’s building a house and may be interested in taking the extra dirt off our hands.

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Update on Tommy’s eye: Last night I took Tommy to see our other vet for a second opinion (the one I really like the most, but I hate to put the cats through the half hour drive up there). She took a long look at Tommy’s eye, and then said that she thinks it’s iris melanosis – in other words, a “freckle” on his iris. The patch of discoloration is flat rather than being like a growth and isn’t affecting his vision. Also, I brought the pictures of his eye from 2009 and 2010 to show her, and as the spot hasn’t grown much in two years, she doesn’t think that we have to worry about it being melanoma.

Of course we’ll keep an eye on it, and if there are any changes in the spot, she’ll refer us to a specialist. So – for now, at least – Tommy will keep both his pretty eyes.

(But there’s not any reason he couldn’t still go as a pirate for Halloween!)

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Molly totally looks like she’s in a Logitech ad, no? “When MY sister annoys me by sniffing at my back end, I take a deep breath and remember I have a Logitech mouse, and it’s all good.”

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Molly and the Ears of Annoyance.

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“WHAT. What you want, lady?”

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Molly loves loves LOVES to be held on her back like a baby. She was purring up a storm when Fred snapped this picture.

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Patty Peppers, keeping an eye on the goings-on.

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“What’s going on over THERE?”

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She’s the quiet observer, our Patty.

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“Wait. We’re ALLOWED to do that?!”

Um, no. No you’re not, Miz Poo. And neither is he. Not that it stops him any!


2010: I came home to a needy Miz Poo and the faint smell of cat pee at my desk.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: “Whyyyyyyyyyyy does life have to be so haaaaaaaaaaard?!”
2006: “Um. Whatcha do with that squirrel, Momma?” I asked.
2005: If he was a dog, he’d be a bulldog.



10-18-11 — 29 Comments

  1. Awwww sweet Buster. Awww I’m so sorry you are returning him to petsmart. You know what’s best for this lovely lively guy! I hope he finds his forever home.

    Hugs to all your kitties! Take care

  2. No, I don’t think anyone will judge you about Buster. A household has to have harmony. Sometimes we are not to be the keeper/owner of the furbaby, but merely the vehicle to get them where God wants them to truly be. I believe he came back to you because the big man above knew you cared enough to insure his safety and happiness. Sending Buster wishes for a speedy adoption and the perfect family!

    Alice – that’s my girl! Ain’t no one gonna mess with her! LOL

    Can’t wait to see the pond all finished. 🙂

    Freezer camp…sigh…[sad eyes and a pouty lip]

  3. Oh I’m sad for you about Buster Baggins, looks like he needs to be the cat that walks by himself.
    But on the other hand at least the pond digging is obviously going to provide hours of amusement

  4. Aw, bye-bye Buster! I am very sure you will find an awesome home!

    Well, I’m glad that Tommy Boy (fat guy in a little coat…) will keep his eye! My black cat has the same kind of freckle as well. At first I thought it was a blood vessel that has burst when he’d had a seizure (poor baby is epileptic), but it’s just a freckle.

    I love me some Patty. She’s such a doll.

  5. It is really sad news about Buster,but I completely understand your situation.We had 2 cats in December last year,and got a 3rd one that my boyfriend just couldn’t resist.Then in March,his sister moved away,and asked if we would take her 2 cats.Now I love cats,but I was afraid that the 2 newcomers would ruin our perfect balance,and also take up even more of the limited space the other 3 had.

    The one cat was a breeze,and fit in immediately,probably because she was the sister of the little one we got in December,and therefor was the same age as him.She was also very friendly and didn’t look for trouble with the other 2 older cats.

    Alice (our Alice,not yours 😉 could not adapt,however.She is much more a people’s cat,and doesn’t enjoy the company of other cats,AT ALL.She ran away after slipping out of our house after a week,and luckily we found her at her old home (we live in a very small town).Luckily,my boyfriend’s parents agreed to take her in,and she is now living the high life as the only cat of the house,and has even called a truce with their dog.

    I hope and pray that some special person will come by and fall in love with Mr.Buster.And right quick too.

  6. Oh, I hope someone discovers that Buster is meant to be their cat quickly, and he can be a happy only cat if that is what’s best for him! But I know this is so hard for you…hugs to all!

    But I’m so happy to hear the second opinion about Tommy! Fingers and claws crossed that it’s just a freckle!

  7. My 2 year old cat Lily was returned to PetSmart here in Ohio for the same reason. I adopted her and found out that she is indeed a total alpha cat (even as a tiny kitten she was alpha-central), but my other 2 cats are totally laid back Maine Coons who can handle that. Best wishes for Buster finding the perfect home soon.

  8. And if I didn’t have Lily, miss alpha female, I would be driving to Alabama to adopt sweet Patty. I just love her!

  9. May Buster find his human-only home soonest and Spanky have short-term Buster-related amnesia. With Your number of charges and visitors, peace is key. Hope the Peppers can head off to Petsmart soon (for their long-term sake). Good news re Tommy, and fingers crossed that it so remains! Hope no kitty decides to go trench-exploring!

  10. No judgement here! You clearly don’t want this situation, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. We lie in a 2 bed flat with garden and have long since agreed that 2 cats is the limit, because of space, density of cat population locally and money. The more cats you have, the more likely it is that somecat will not be happy. Gie him a big kiss from me and tell him Attila is sorry her cat quota is full. (Can’t imagine him getting on with our boy, anyway; far too alike, I think!)
    Hope the situation with Tommy’s eye works out well.

  11. Re the Buster situation – I have been there too and it is no fun. But you are absolutely doing the right thing. The rescue group I volunteer with has a no-questions-asked return policy – well, actually, we do ask questions so we understand what’s going on but we always take the cat back. Our philosophy is that we learn more about the cat in every home situation, so even if we have to take them back and try again, we know more now about what might suit them the next time.

    Anyone who judges you or is unkind about this is hereby banned! (yeah, I have those powers. lol)

  12. Great news about Tommy’s eye. I hoped it wasn’t anything serious. My parents had a cat with a spot on her iris. The spot never caused any health problems.

    One must have peace among the critters. I have two cats and they tolerate each other. They aren’t best buds but silence reigns. Buster has such a cute face. I’m sure someone else will find him irresistible, too.

    I could never raise animals for food…just couldn’t handle it. I admire you for giving the pigs a good life, though. Beats the heck out of corporate farming.

    • My cat Julius has one too – I recently checked back in pictures and it showed up a few years back and hasn’t grown since either.

  13. glad to hear things are positive with Tommy.

    Sorry to hear things aren’t working out for Buster. I think I’d be unhappy with you if you decided to keep him despite the fact that you know this home isn’t ideal. Doing what is in the best interest of the cat is what is most important, and knowing that sometimes that is NOT you is a lesson we all learn the hard way.

  14. Before I read further I have to stop in and say – Thank you for loving Buster enough to give him a chance and to know he’s not in the right home. I respect you an awful lot, but I respect you even MORE for knowing it just isn’t right. He’s a GORGEOUS boy, and he’ll find his Furever home soon. It’s hard to know when it’s time to let go and stop trying to force something that’s not meant to be so big props to you for knowing that and saying that no matter what you KNOW you did all you can and it’s time to let him go.
    I’ll go finish reading the post now. 😀

    • Back to say that I love the word “snoopervise” you should submit that to Websters. 🙂
      Also – LOVE the last two pictures. You always caption pictures perfectly.
      SO glad to hear about Tommy. 🙂

  15. I’m feeling very sniffly about Buster, but poor Spanky shouldn’t live in terror at this stage. Sorry you had to make that call; I know it must have been hard.

  16. Robyn, you’ve got to do what YOU’ve got to do, as gut-wrenching as that can be. I know you’ve thought long and hard about it, and so it is the right thing for your situation. We’ll just hope for the perfect situation for him, pretty and friendly as he is, shouldn’t be TOO hard, right?!
    That’s great news for Tommy’s eye, too!
    I loved the 2 pics at the end, they are priceless.
    Thanks for sharing what’s going on at Crooked Acres.

  17. Aw, I’ll miss seeing Buster, but obviously he needs a home where he’ll be happy and not beat up on other poor kitties.

    Also, donated to Alley Cats and Angels. I actually live in the same city as them and heard of their group. Those poor cats!

  18. I’m really sorry to hear about Buster, but I have my fingers crossed for him that he finds a home soon. He’s so gorgeous — who could resist? And I adore the photos of him from below as he hangs over the edge of the top of your shelving (or whatever it is). We live in a loft with a second floor that overhangs the first, and one of our two cats, Buddy (who is a big guy with Muppet eyes that are just a little too close together), does the same thing over the edge of the second floor. My husband calls the face that results from this “dumb face,” and dumb face never fails to crack us up completely.

    I desperately want to snuggle the older Peppers, especially since my fosters went to their forever home this weekend. If I were living near you, I would have to adopt Molly. Or Everett, who looks just like my dear, now adopted, Oscar.

    And congrats on the news about Tommy. What a relief.

  19. Robyn, Spanky deserves having peace in his twilight years. I have lived with a cat that was vicious towards my other cats. None of them deserved to live in those circumstances. You are doing what is best for all of you family, Buster included. I know how much you love him.

  20. Aww, Buster, you just stopped by for a visit, huh? May you find your forever home asap! And Robyn, I think we all know how much you love that boy and would do all you could to keep him. It takes a big heart to let them go because you can’t be what they need. That’s what I tell my Bello when I catch him remembering his first mum. “She loved you enough to let you go mate, what does that tell you?” and then he meows at me and demands a treat. Hey, I could do with some dirt, send some my way, please. That Patty Peppers is a charmer, send her, too! oh, and Charlie, can’t be splitting them up now. Wait that’ll mean I end up with 5 cats,hm…
    Oh, that reminds me, have you guys been reading about Sketches the little bengal kitten that was thrown out with the trash? Her lower half is paralyzed but I wouldn’t be surprised if her spine healed and she got all whole and bouncy. Anyway, you can read about it here: http://helpsketches.tumblr.com/ she is one gorgeous kitten! And if anyone works out how to leave comments could you please tell me? I want to tell them to look up a Cranio Sacral Therapist for little Sketches but don’t know how to comment. thanks, 🙂

  21. FWIW, I have a similar spot in my own eye. Mine is on the retina in the back of the eye, not visible on my iris. My optometrist has monitored it for years, and according to him it is for all extents and purposes a freckle. If it ever changes in size or shape that is apparently a bad thing, but it hasn’t, so it’s all good.

  22. I understand your feelings about having to find him a new home due to his alpha-ness. I’m having the same problem at my house, with one girl kitty who just refuses to get along with the others.
    Good news about Tommy’s eye!

  23. Sorry to hear about Buster not fitting in, but could you please tell Fred to not go standing in any unreinforced trenches, please? Nobody needs crush injuries!!

    Anyway, sorry about Buster, but you are doing the right thing. You have, as you said, tried to make it work out and it didn’t. Spanky is an old guy and this is the right thing for him and the cats.

    I hope Buster finds a home quickly and settles in well.

  24. 🙁 poor buster — i know how excited you were about having him back — sometimes it just does not work out — you are doing the best thing for all the other kitties in the house and i know buster will find a GREAT home — 1. because he is SO handsome who could resist 2. because you and challengers house wouldn’t let him go to just anyone

    George and Gracie look like they are having so much fun on those dirt mounds! So excited to see it completed and get those cute duckies in there!

    Hurray for Tommy’s eye being OK — and yes still pirate for halloween cause that would be ADORABLE!

    oh miss molly, you are so adorable!

  25. Sorry to hear about Buster but I know that the perfect situation will turn up and he will live a long and happy life in his furever home. Please don’t beat yourself up over this. You gave him shelter twice and now you are helping him find the home he was meant for. I know you love the little snot but he was just not in the right house at the right time. It is amazing to me that you have not run into this problem before. I am always so impressed with the way the new fosters seem to blend into the gang right away. You have some serious kitty karma going on.Sir Spanky has earned the right to have his golden years spent in peace.
    Glad to hear about Tommy’s eye. My Charlotte has a spot but I think it is a freckle also. The vet has never been worried about it and it has not changed over the years but now I am going to be super careful and check it more often.
    I second the comment about Fred being in the unreinforced ditch. Too dangerous.
    I am writing this on the 20th so you have had your surgery now. I hope you are feeling okay. I would say keep your chin up, but maybe not this time. Hee!