10-9-15 Friday

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The BeeBees have gone to live with their new foster mom, Kathie.

I am headed out of town today; my parents have a timeshare in Myrtle Beach, and I join them there almost every year. Initially, Kathie was going to just babysit them while I was gone, but I’m having shoulder surgery at the beginning of November, so I asked if she’d mind keeping them. They’ll be with her until they’re ready for Petsmart, and I know they’ll get lots of love and attention.

Yes, this means that once the Swimmers go off to Petsmart, we’ll be foster-free until I recover from surgery, at least until mid-Novemberish. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing about posting during that time; I welcome suggestions and requests, but keep in mind that the surgery I’ll be having will make it difficult (if not impossible) to type while I’m recovering, so everything will have to be pre-written and scheduled.

The last of my BeeBees pictures are in this post.

Edited to add: I did pre-write and schedule posts for next week, so y’all won’t have to go without kitteny goodness!


Lori asks: The mama cat and her two kittens I adopted and brought into the house two years ago have always been shy around strangers. Henry, in particular, is often skittish around even me. Is there any way to socialize cats? I live alone and don’t often have company but is there something I can do when I do have someone over?

I have tried the Feliway without success. Pilling any of the cats is a no go. That alone would create more stress than any anti-anxiety / anti-depressant would help. The three of them just retreat to the space between the bed slats and box spring in my room and there is no coaxing them out. You just have to wait until they emerge on their own.

Yesterday I had to – literally – chase Henry around the house for 5 minutes before he was so freaked out he froze and I was able to grab him up for his vet visit. It was the fourth appointment I had made as I cancelled three previous when I was unable to catch him. I’m too old and the cat doesn’t need this kind of stress either.

All advice and opinions would be gratefully received.

I wonder if some of the Spirit Essences would help – I’m hoping Connie will chime in here, I know she’s used some of them in the past and they’ve worked well for her.

Aside from that, we’ve found that with skittish kittens, forcible cuddling works pretty well after a while, especially if there are treats involved after the cuddling is done. (And by “we”, I mean Fred, because he’s usually the one spearheading the taming of skittish kittens.)


Oooh can’t wait until the BeeBees are on wet food and I can see pictures of their messy faces!!!

I was actually a lot more relaxed about introducing the BeeBees to canned food, kept them on the bottle longer than they needed to be, and so by the time I offered them canned food, they were able to eat it without wearing it (they are off the bottle as of Wednesday, by the way).

In lieu of a food-covered BeeBee, enjoy this picture of a food-covered Spitz from two months ago:


I like how when the kittens are allowed downstairs, Stefan always manages to chomp on one (or more). Do you always have to intervene? would he actually get a bit too aggressive and hurt one? (he sort of reminds me of Lenny with the rabbits in Of Mice & Men)… or is it more a case of him having enough of their nonsense and telling them to settle down & once they do he releases them?

He is EXACTLY like Lenny! We occasionally have to intervene, though I will say that he’s gotten better about interacting with the babies than he used to be. Now he might pin one down and try to bite them on the neck, but if they yell (or I say his name), he stops right away. Another couple dozen foster kittens, maybe he’ll make a good uncle.


So, inquiring minds want to know if you separated the kittens by gender when you took them into the vet? did you put the girls in the pink box with the pink bedding?


I think that’s Pattypan or Ambercup* in the blue carrier on the left, so I guess that means Robyn didn’t assign the kittens to the color-appropriate carrier by sex. Which would be very PC of her.

*I have no idea why, but whenever I read Ambercup’s name, in my head, I always hear it as “Ambercamp.” That happen to anyone else? If so, any idea why????

That is Pattypan in the carrier on the left; and no – I did not separate them by gender or make sure the two girls got the pink bedding. I did what I usually do on spay/neuter day – got the carriers ready, opened the foster room door, and grabbed up whichever Squash Bug came out, stuffed him or her in the carrier, and grabbed for the next one.

As far as Ambercup’s name, I don’t hear “Ambercamp”, but I’ve mistyped it as Ambercap several times!


Skinny Pete, sharpening her claws on my sock and looking pleased with herself.

“This a good sock, lady. I approves.” (Badger)

Badger in the sun with a yellow teddy.

“Not coming out there, lady.” Combo prefers to stay in the playpen, apparently.

“You can’t see me. I am totally hidden by this cord.”

Combo, checking out my bed.

I love his hidden stripes.

Skinny Pete, checking out my bed.

Badger is 100% over my shenanigans.


Badger and the squooshable belly.

Before I took the BeeBees to Kathie, I tried to recreate this picture of them from mid-September.

The recreation attempt didn’t go so well.

First they looked at the floor.

Then Skinny Pete looked at me.


They got so wiggly that Fred was afraid he’d drop them, so he let them go. Ah, well – it was worth a try!


“Can’t believe you’re going away on vacation, lady. I would LIKE to see the big litter box beach!”

Louganis has Deep Thoughts.

Pretty, pretty Torres. I could just squeeze that girl all day long.


Video! The last BeeBees video, from about a week ago. They learned pretty quickly that when I walked into the bathroom with bottles, it was time to EAT. (Pardon the messy tub; it was first thing in the morning, and they’d been wreaking havoc all night long).

YouTube link.


“Sure, lady, you go on vacation. I’ll just stay here and keep an eye on things because SHERIFFS NEVER GET NO VACATION.”


2014: Ralph’s got places to GO, y’all.
2013: :::maniacal laughter::
2012: “It’s infested with a Joe Pickle. This sink does NOT pass inspection. Joe Pickles are impossible to get rid of.”
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: I’m thinking, one more kitten tries to squeeze in that bed, it’ll explode.
2008: Kara goes to Petsmart.
2007: Keith, doing standup while Chemda gauges audience reaction.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



10-9-15 Friday — 31 Comments

  1. Have a great vacation, Robyn! Lord knows you deserve it. 🙂 (Although, seriously, who amongst us would not like to be in your shoes for a day?!)

    Bee-bees, you behave for the new foster lady! You are adorable little muffins.

    Will you keep us posted on adoptions?

  2. My suggestion is you take an almost blog vacation – your life is interesting enough to blog about but your shoulder may be an issue; so what you could do is try for a Friday Round up each week of life at your small holding and maybe see if Fred the professional writer can fill in once in awhile too.

    If your up to it, you can take lots of pictures and let him do the first weekly update.

    I’ll bet you also have tons of old kitten pics that can be re-used as “your kitten fix” until you have fosters again.

    Also, the permanent resident cats make great stories too..but everyone needs a break once in awhile.

    • I agree with the almost blog vacation idea. I thought a once a week posting about the PR’s and chickens and George (and any random spiders ) would be lovely. All the work you do, you need that shoulder to heal properly so no over exertions on the web-thingy (okay, blog; I’m just tired).

      And Fred filling in, or maybe some of your long-time contributors/readers. Or Challenger’s House could put up a writer for a blog or two about their good works – history, stats, processes, etc.

      Or you know, we could all just follow your links to other kitty sites for a few weeks. Especially ones that are Crooked Acres Feline Spa Alumni. Or they might be coerced into a few starring blog roles?

      Anyway, enjoy Myrtle Beach and good wishes/speedy healing on your shoulder.

      • You know….we DO buy Fred’s books. It would sorta be like a “thank you” from him if he blogged for Robyn. Let’s all get on the “Your indebted to us” band wagon and make him feel obligated!!! LOL Besides, his viewpoint of Crooked Acres could certainly be a riot! 🙂

  3. Here’s a thought for shoulder-recovery time: what about Guest Posters? Or Reader Shares (pics of our kitties & their shenanigans)?

    • I thought of that too! There are so many ideas from guest posts, to Fred, to Challenger’s House, to spotlights of the PR’s, to blasts from the past, to sights around the yard, to beach vacation pics even!

  4. Have a good time on your vacation and good luck with your shoulder surgery. Hope the cats enjoy the kitten-free break. At least those cats that prefer no kittens.

  5. I’d love to hear from Fred about your garden and the chickens. Maybe if there was an animal y’all would like to try to raise for food like you did with the pigs. You didn’t blog anout your garden much this year so I’d like to hear about that – if it didn’t do well that would be neat to read about because I’m not a gardener so I’m curious about the bad years.
    Or you could just take a break – I’d bet all of your readers will still be here when you come back. 🙂
    Take care and enjoy uour vacation. Good luck with your surgery!

  6. “You can’t see me. I am totally hidden by this cord.” – except for your CLAWS!!!

    Kathi HAS TO give you BeeBee pictures. We HAVE to see them get older!!! I HAVE to see BADGER!!!

    Have fun with your mom…and best of luck with the shoulder surgery!!!

    You can always make Fred post for you! 😉

  7. Simple as it may sound, the permanent residents. I actually always wish to see more pictures and hear more stories about them.

  8. Feel free to take a vacation! Or if you feel compelled to post, just throw up some of the cutest pictures from the past with the commentary “!!!!!!!!!!” which often sums up my reaction anyway.

  9. You do so much that I think it only fair you take a proper vacation & the necessary time to recover from your surgery. Other bloggers have done it and their readers have survived. It will be hard on us, sure… some may go through withdrawal & come here every day lamenting the lack of new posts (*coughcoughMEcough*), but we’ll get over it and be thrilled for your return.

    I agree it would be great if Fred did a Crooked Acres post or two in your absence but would totally understand if that’s not something he’s interested in. You guys deserve a break from all your adoring fans once in a while!

    Sheriff Mama cracked me UP today. Love that girl!

  10. Enjoy your vacation! 🙂 (shoulder surgery, probably not so much)

    For Lori:
    The first thing I would do is block off access to anywhere the cats can hide, especially to under your bed. They need to be with human access, and under the bed they definitely are not. Spirit Essences might help, it’s worth checking into. What I did for my skittish cat (he’s still kinda skittish around people he doesn’t know) is sit in the same room with him and just talk to him, and then wait to come over. I also brought treats. And I played with him using a feather wand or ribbons. But definitely blocking off hidey-hole access was a big one. 🙂 If you have time, check out some of Jackson Galaxy’s “My Cat From Hell” episodes, because there were more than a few cats who were quite skittish around people.

    And, if you still have trouble with getting them into the carrier, perhaps look into a vet that does house calls?

  11. I’m sorry about your surgery, but I think it’d be awesome if Fred was guest blogger, if he’s willing. Wouldn’t necessarily have to type long posts about the cats (unless he wanted to), but I always enjoy his commentary on farm life and pictures of the cats.

  12. Enjoy your vacation Robyn, you definitely deserve one. Been a crazy year. We will miss all the pictures and videos, but the BeeBees couldn’t be in better hands. (That doesn’t mean yours are anything less) Kathie is a great person who we know REALLY loves cats. Relax and enjoy your vacation, then take care of yourself during your recovery, there will be plenty more fosters who need your very special talents afterwards.

  13. I will so miss all of your posts, it’s how I start my morning, I grab coffee, hop back into bed and read all about the babies on crooked acres 🙂
    I do hope you have a wonderful vacation, and get some much needed rest for the next big chapter/adventure!!

  14. I admit it, I am bummed. I am bummed for you that you have to have shoulder surgery. And selfishly, I am bummed for me that the Bee Bees are gone and that you probably won’t be able to blog for a while. But I do TRY really hard not to a be a selfish person, so… I am really glad that you get to visit your parents and that apparently the flooding in South Carolina isn’t affecting them. I am glad that the Bee Bees have another loving foster home to go to. I am glad that your shoulder is fixable, whatever the problem is.

    And I think it would be amazing if Fred would do the occasional guest blog while you are on medical leave.

  15. Robyn, Hope you enjoy your vacation, and that surgery goes well. I’d ask if you could just set up daily posts in advance, with just the links to the prior year posts for that day. That would certainly provide my daily fix, without MY having to do anything. You do live to serve us, right? :)Although I STRONGLY agree with GD – shame Fred into guest posting!

  16. Happy vacation and a quick recovery to you, Robyn.

    Will we get to see any pics of the BBs from Kathy? I would love to see how they grow develop, even if just occasionally.

  17. I hope everything will be ok for you at the beach. I know they are calling for more flooding down the road in Georgetown so stay safe!!

    Rest up and take care of yourself!! We will miss you but we won’t go anywhere! Oh and check your PO Box… 😉

  18. I’m with others that a weekly post would be nice just to keep us informed that all is going well even if it’s just a few lines and pics by Fred.

    Have a great time at Myrtle Beach and a fast and easy recovery from the shoulder surgery. “See” you in mid-November.

  19. I always like seeing Crooked Acres posts. Maybe Fred can put his creative mind towards a post or two as well?

    Have a great vacation and good luck with surgery.

  20. I agree that it would be fun for us to have Fred post a few posts – his takes on the permanent residents would make for fun reading while you are out of commission!

  21. I agree with everyone else – take a blog vacation! We’ll miss you, but we totally understand!

    (Altho’ I *do* think Fred filling in would be hilarious.)

  22. Hope you have a great vacation (take lots of pictures!) before your surgery and all goes well !!!!!

    Weekly posts about the permanent residents and Crooked Acres in general would be great !!! Even just posts with picture and no captions !!!

  23. Myrtle Beach – sigh.. lucky..

    I hope Kathie sends a few update photos, I’d love to see them grown.

    Scared kittens: http://www.kittyblog.net/2012/11/what-i-know-taming-of-kittens.html
    a) never let them escape your grasp. When they want to get down put them down and not let them go until you have all four of their paws on the ground. If they start to scramble, secure them safely against you and try again. Tell them you will let them go when they calm down.
    b) never ever chase them. Herd them, go slow, stop moving when they get spooked, start up again when they relax, corner them and then reach in to pick them up. If they run let them, and start again after a few minutes.
    c) give them places to hide, but no place where you can’t reach them very easily. No behind the couch, no under the bed. If they get to a point where you can’t get them, they think they have won and escaped the threat, and you are still seen as a threat.
    d) Jackpot food. find something that they are willing to come towards you to eat. for my current fosters it was hot dog. Usually meat babyfood will work. give them as much as they want as long as they are making progress toward you. If you need to, hide most of yourself under a blanket, for some reason it makes you less threatening
    e) fishing pole toys. this allows them to play with you with out being right next to you. Now you can get them engrossed in play and then ‘trick’ them into running over you so they can see you aren’t a threat.

    Accept that you ARE a threat to them. You are much bigger and you could easily eat them if you so choose, so they are smart to fear you. It is your job to convince them you don’t like to eat cat… eating where they can see you is a good thing. Eating something they want to eat, even better.

    • Spirit essences – I have used safe spaces and love it. I have tried feral rehab and not seen it make a bit of difference. I like rescue remedy, you can put it in their water or in their food or even drop it on their fur.

  24. I, too, read Fred’s books… so, I would LOVE to see some of your (Robyn’s) pictures with captions straight from Fred’s books… he has the wit and wry sense of humor (so do you, Robyn!) to associate the best of the fluffiest Crooked Acres residents with his eloquent prose.. and some darker stuff, please!… it is, after all, my most favoritest month of the year.. OCTOBER – when the macabre is ALWAYS just around the corner!!!!!!! It would be fun to see Fred’s words taken out of context and ‘spun differently’ as a caption to one of your photos!