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My first cat Steve used to spray/pee back when he used the litterbox. Even covered litterboxes would get disgusting and it would seep out the back. So I bought the same Rubbermaid style containers you have, cut the same hole in them (a little higher up, litterbox entry level high) and used them as litterboxes. Solved (most) of my litter problems with him.

Rubbermaid containers are just so versatile, aren’t they? Those covered litter boxes didn’t work for us either – Spanky pees higher than any cat I’ve ever seen, even at his advanced age!

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As much as it would be cool for you to keep Magoo (I adore him), I think I would be mad at you! Why, you ask? Because that would mean you DID have room for one more and could have kept Stompers! So I think it’s only fair that both ‘Superstars of 2012’ (that’s what I’ve been calling them in my head, as if they were a crimefighting duo or something) find home outside Crooked Acres!

I am so thankful that Kristyn and her family fell in love with Stompers, because I don’t know how I could have ever taken him to Petsmart. Having him go right from here to his new home was awesome – I wish it could be that way for every foster!

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Our insurance adjuster called for the tree on the garage. He had a thick Southern accent and I said,” I hope you don’t mind if I ask where you are from?” Alabama was the reply. He travels the country for the Insurance Company. I wondered to myself,”Is that how Fred sounds?” Were you and Fred amused by each other’s accents when you first spoke on the phone and when you met each other? You’ve lived many places and I’m sure you don’t have a super strong accent but Fred is purely Southern, isn’t he?

I think I’ve picked up a Southern accent in the 16 years I’ve lived here, but it’s not a strong one (oh, hush, it is NOT). Before that, I was most often told that I sounded like I might have come from the Midwest, and whether that’s because my mother’s from Maine and my father’s from Alabama and if you combine the two you get the Midwest OR because we moved around when I was a kid (my father was in the Air Force and retired when I was going into 6th grade), I don’t know.

Fred does have a Southern accent, but it’s a pretty slight one. He used to have a really thick accent when he was a kid, but he heard a recording of himself talking at one point, and he was horrified that he sounded like “a hick” (his words), so he trained himself to talk all proper and such.

When we were moving down here, my daughter and I stopped in the hills of Tennessee to spend the night. The hotel clerk had such a thick accent that I literally could not understand one word that came out of her mouth. I think she had to repeat herself three or four times, and I just stood there and stared at her. That was the first time I thought “Oh, dear God, I’VE MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE. I’m going to move to Alabama and I am not going to be able to understand ONE WORD THAT ANYONE SAYS.” The reality is that Huntsville’s a fairly urban area and there’s a large Army base here. So there are lots of people from all over the place who live here now, and though there are times when I nod and smile while thinking “Um, I do not know what you just said to me”, for the most part I don’t have a problem.

I liked Fred’s slight Southern accent immediately (though he’ll deny he has one). I’m not sure what he thought of mine; you’ll have to ask him. πŸ™‚

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Inspector Stompers not judging you on a shot glass is awesome.

Inspector Stompers not judging your alcohol intake. πŸ™‚

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I say this every year but please make sure you buy cat heating pads, not human heating pads. And especially for senior kitties, make sure you use heating pads with a temperature limit! Older kitties lose some sensitivity to heat and won’t realize they are getting too hot. I’ve had to deal with far too many burned kitties in the clinic!!! The best electric pads for kitties are the ones that don’t heat up a lot until the cat is actually on the pad, and that have a temperature limit of 102. (100 is even better but 102 is safe)

And thank you for the reminder, time to get the heated pad out for my senior kitty! πŸ™‚

Thanks for the reminder!

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My 2 kitties don’t need heating pads. I have old fashioned rads in my apt. I made shelves to fit over them and one has a small fleece blanket covering the shelf. The cats each take their fav – sometimes they share.

I wish I had old-fashioned radiators! Actually, I would have thought that our cats would spend time hanging out on top of the air vents – which are on the floor – but they don’t pay much attention to them.

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How do you keep the metal wrap on the tree? Great idea for the neighborhood cats and Jack and Percy who are always waiting for the perfect opportunity to get themselves a fine looking birdie!

I had to ask Fred, and he said that he nailed it right into the tree.

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What was the appraiser’s reaction to all those kitties?

He thought they were pretty cute. The funniest thing is that he asked Fred how many cats we had, “Because it looks like there are about 20 of them!”, and Fred told him that we have 10 of our own, and 8 fosters. Why did he tell the appraiser that we have 10 cats instead of 13? That is an excellent question and one Fred doesn’t have an answer for. I guess 10 is a less completely nuts number than 13?

The appraiser was AMAZED that we have so many cats in this house because, he said, “Usually you can smell it as soon as you walk in the door, but I never would have guessed!” Given that Magoo had JUST used the litter box and I was frantically spraying Nose Offense in the laundry room ten seconds before he walked in the house, that was good to hear.

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I know you’ve answered this question before (at least I *think* you have) but what kind of camera do you use?

It’s a Sony SLT-A55. I use it with a 18-200mm lens most of the time, but I have a longer lens if I need it (I just hate having to switch out the lenses). I also have a smaller, simpler Sony Cybershot DSC-WX9 (obviously we’re a Sony family – I’ve never tried any other brand of digital camera, but I eyeball the Nikons from time to time). All of the pictures I took in Myrtle Beach were with the Cybershot (I was very concerned that I might drop the bigger, much more expensive camera in the sand, so I didn’t take it to MB with me), and I also use the smaller camera a lot when I first get little fosters who are prone to climb into my lap, because the bigger camera is hard to deal with when I’m trying to focus on them.

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You know, looking at your shelves, and the amount and size of the kitties who use them, I’m thinking Greg is overthinking the ones we’re planning… How wide are those? Anyone ever too heavy and break them or fall down?

The “steps” in the kitchen are 12 inches wide by 7 1/2 inches deep, and the ones in the living room are 11 inches wide by 7 1/2 inches deep. We’ve never had any issues with the heavier cats (Tommy and Elwood) breaking them, they’re good, sturdy shelves. Occasionally we’ll have a kitten slip and almost fall over the side (they usually catch themselves and then hang there until we save them), but the bigger cats never have, probably because they don’t race around like their tails are on fire at the speed that the little ones do.

The corner shelf in the kitchen is 17×15 inches, and the ones in the two corners of the front room are 20×20. My only gripe about the corner shelves in the front room is that sometimes the kittens get up there and then sit RIGHT on the edge and look down like they’re going to jump (they never do) and it wrecks my nerves. I think those shelves probably could have used sides, but at some point Fred’s planning to make a walkway all the way around the front room, so I guess sides on the shelves wouldn’t really work. Maybe they need nets underneath them! (Except that if a kitten fell and landed in a net, they would probably like it.)

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Robyn, have you seen this series of photos of a grandma and her odd-eyed cat in Japan? Wonderful shots!

Oh, I love those pictures so much! I had seen them, but I had to go look at them again. πŸ™‚

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A Steel Magnolias themed litter would be fun! The next time you get all girlies…

I had that theme – M’Lynn, Drum, Truvy, Clairee, and Ouiser were The Magnolias. Drum and Clairee were adopted together and then returned about a year later. They came here for a couple of days and then went to Petsmart, where they were adopted a few days later – together. (There are more pictures of them here. They grew up to be so gorgeous – and Clairee’s eyes are absolutely stunning!)

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Today’s video is entitled “Corbie and the raccoon”, but rest assured that Corbie was inside the house on a Ham-mick near the door, and the raccoon was outside on the side porch eating out of the food dish. That raccoon seemed to have no idea we were there, or he just didn’t care because the cat food was so good.

YouTube link.

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Sweet snoozin’ Purslane.

Magoo thinks that bed is THE BOMB.

Pretty Polly Pickle.

Dandelion in hiding.

Polly, doing her thing.

All the girl fosters in one bed.

I do not know WHAT Polly was licking or trying to lick, but this cracks me up.

“Ears! Need! Cleaning!”

“Hey, Weeds! Move over! Make room!”


I’m about to head out of here with Percy, Petey, Joe, and Magoo, to drop them off at Petsmart. I’ve got more pictures of all of them, which I’ll share next week, along with pictures of the ‘Maters. Wouldn’t it be awesome if AT LEAST two Pickles were adopted this weekend? Oh, I hope so much that that happens – though of course if ALL of them were adopted this weekend, I wouldn’t complain. (The sidebar is nowhere near updated, but I hope to get to that this weekend.)

I will, of course, let y’all know if/when adoptions happen.

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Corbie, sitting by the fence and looking in a judgmental manner at another cat. Probably Kara, who was likely glaring judgmentally back at him.

His favorite place to sit in the back yard. I’m trying to convince Fred to make something less ugly for His Majesty Da Corbs, but Fred doesn’t seem too inclined to rush right out and do it.


2011: Don’t you want to slap me?
2010: He’s one long cat!
2009: Someone commented yesterday that Gus looks like he might be made solely of lint.
2008: No entry.
2007: The concerned β€œWhat is SHE doing?!” look on Deuce’s face is cracking me up.
2006: No entry.
2005: A rare shot of all six of them.



11-16-12 — 43 Comments

  1. Oh, c’mon! You know if Fred replaces La Leanto de Corbs, His Majesty would probably hang out elsewhere!


    • That is sooooo true! One of my cats had a favorite toy…which became mangled over time. I replaced it with a new one (the exact toy). Brat would not touch it. He only wanted the old one.

  2. As to accents…we just moved to New Hampshire from Texas about 2 months ago and I was afraid my kids would take a lot of crap for their accents and their ‘yes, Ma’ams” and so on. Thus far though, everyone just thinks we sound charming and have been just the nicest people ever.

    • It’s hard to mock a Southern accent – they’re very charming, and the first time after I moved down here and heard a kid respond to an adult with “Ma’am?” instead of “Huh?”, I thought it was awesome. πŸ™‚

      • In a former job, I frequently had to speak on the phone with people from the Pacific Northwest. Once, I responded with “yes ma’am,” and the woman on the other end asked if I were Southern. I asked, “Why, do I have an accent?” and she said not really, but people in the North just don’t say “ma’am.” I told her that was how I was raised, and she said it was a pleasant surprise. πŸ™‚

    • Confession… I have to fight the urge to speak in a Southern accent, even though I have never lived anywhere near the South. I just love the accent so much!

      • Well, thank you! Although there actually are many different Southern accents. Someone from Texas doesn’t sound like someone from Alabama, and neither one sounds like someone from South Carolina or West Virginia. It’s much nicer to hear something like what you just said about our accents, than hearing from the people who seem to be in the majority, who think that a Southern accent is the sign of a deficient intellect.

  3. My sister-in-law (who was born and raised in Michigan) moved to North Carolina a decade ago and now speaks with an awesome southern accent. I’m always shocked and a little bit amused when I hear her voice though, because in my mind she still speaks without an accent… just like I do πŸ˜‰

    I love Fred’s math when counting cats for the appraiser. Whenever the cashier at Kroger inevitably asks how many cats we have while scanning all of the cat food, I always say “Two” (which is the truth if we’re counting only permanents) and pretend like I’m stocking up for a while. But when I have one of my miserable truth-telling kids with me, they always have to pipe up “And 6 in the front room and 3 upstairs”. You can imagine the looks we got when the answer was “And 5 in the front room, 3 upstairs, and 6 in the bathroom… so that makes 16, right Mom?”

    • KIDS. They’ve always gotta pipe up at the most inopportune times. πŸ™‚ I always say that if someone asks, I’m going to claim we have “Too” cats (as in “too many”), and it wouldn’t be MY fault if they misunderstood it as “two”, right? But I’m always caught off-guard and stammer some random number that’s still firmly within crazy cat lady territory.

      I swear the only reason I know we have 13 cats is because we have one more cat than there are months in the year, and that made doing the calendar tricky this year. πŸ™‚

  4. *snrrrrrt* on not judging the alcohol intake. XD Now I have to get my one. Sadly, it shall wait for the next paycheck.

  5. squeee!!!!!
    you put my comment in a post! how dorky am I that I’m excited by that? and my Sweetums and Luna got a link! lol
    and in the accent category, I was nanny to a family on Prince Edward Island who moved to Tuscaloosa when the children were 4,6, and 9. They all sound like Southerners now 20 yrs later. holy crap cannot believe it’s been 20 yrs.

  6. Oh, I hope the kittens get adopted quickly. You of course did a great job with them. I was in Myrtle Beach early October, just for 3days. We also were at Broadway on the Beach…eating lunch at a Mexican restaurant and watching the crazy carp..They are so huge..I felt the same way. Wouldn’t want to fall into that water. We went back one night to walk around after dinner and I brought them the rest of our hushpuppies and the carp were jumping out of the water. The ocean was beautiful and warm..loved it.

  7. I think you should ask Fred which permanents he wasn’t claiming since he shaved 3 off the number, I bet some of the crew would be upset if they knew. πŸ˜‰

      • Oh, I know the answer – he tends to claim that Maxi and Newt aren’t REALLY “our” cats because they’re outside cats. Which brings the number down to 11, and 10 is much less crazy than 11, or something ridiculous like that.

        The only problem is that Newt spends WAY more time inside than outside these days! πŸ™‚

  8. I often wonder if Rubbermaid has any idea of the things animal (thought it seems more cat) people do with their containers. πŸ™‚

    Love the video…..guess the idea of renting out the Corbs as guard cat is over. And the blinking raccoon is great “really lady – what is with the light??”

  9. The comment in your extravaganza about naming a litter after Steel Magnolias gave me an idea for one. Name them after elements on the periodic table. You could have Neon, Hydrogen, Copernicium, etc.

  10. I totally understand how happy you were when the appraiser said he couldn’t smell cat. I’m always worried that we can’t smell it but everyone else can. We have just the one cat now, but we (actually I) still have to scoop 2 or 3 times a day. If we don’t she nags us until we do. She’s been telling us when she poops since the day we brought her home. Such a prissy little thing!

    • I have 2 cat boxes side-by-side. Emma will poo in one, get out, get into the other, and pee. She has lots of fur, so I guess I can’t blame her.

    • That’s exactly how I am, all worried that the house REEKS of dirty litter box and I just don’t smell it! And I worry that people who come to visit say “No, it doesn’t smell like cat at all!”, but they’re making gagging gestures behind my back or something. πŸ™‚

    • A couple of weeks ago I had my carpets cleaned and the man who cleaned them complimented me on how clean my carpets were (before he cleaned them, haha). Was a proud moment for me. Take that, people who think having pets makes your house dirty!

  11. Thanks for the reply, Robyn. I think I may have heard Fred’s voice in the past and he did not have the super thick accent my caller did. Accents vary a lot in a state. I know in Philadelphia where I grew up there were huge variations let alone in Pennsylvania which is a huge state. NJ is small but there are lots of different accents here too. I think Southern accents can be very charming when they are understandable. I probably would have been freaked like you were at the clerk’s accent. I think Fred training himself to speak “properly” is interesting. I don’t like my own voice. I think most people don’t. Yours is very sweet and pleasant and I can’t imagine Fred not being charmed by it. I find accents fascinating. When I worked retail I LOVED it when we had Brits or Irish People or Scots-I am a serious Anglophile. A co-worker from Pakistan but raised and educated in the UK loved them too and we used to drool over the male customers with those accents together. None of our other co-workers got it. Her accent would come out too on certain words like banana or giraffe. Our goofy co-workers would laugh and give her a hard time.

    Hope Tony Pickle/Magoo and Co. get adopted quickly. It seems adoptions have picked up a bit here. I think it is one way people are trying to help with the super storm aftermath. There are more pets available because of it and maybe people are stepping up to help.

  12. When I first moved down here and would talk to someone on the phone at work from another part of the country I heard so many times “You’re not from Huntsville are you?” They had a hard time figuring out where I came from. I guess living some in the south and a lot in the north my voice didn’t seem to me like it had any accent. I still don’t think it does even after being down here for over 14 years.

    I think I’ve seen Fred talk more on Facebook since he got on there then I’ve ever heard him speak the times I’ve been at your house or seen him out like at Cat Tales.

    • I was playing the video, but Holly looked at me from her cat tree as if to say, “Please tell me you didn’t bring ANOTHER cat in here”, so I stopped it. I only have two cats, but Holly is still not thrilled about her brother. πŸ™‚

  13. I’m thinking Corbie and the raccoon have already met, and are therefore not excited by each other. And I used to have raccoons that came to my sliding glass door in San Antonio – they were not a bit afraid of me or my kitties. They would just look in, then climb up the patio posts and run across the roof, where I’m pretty sure they ripped up shingles…..

  14. Magoooooooooooo! I already miss you! I’m partial because of my blind cat, named Magoo! Good luck getting adopted, sweet Goo.

  15. It’s funny that when you’ve got the question about your accents, you have both of you speaking in a video! Neither of you have much of an accent, just a little lilt, very pretty!

    Thank you for answering my question about the shelves! I am SO making Greg read that, lol!

  16. I’m a girl,who likes guys. But Robyn,your voice on the raccoon video was so sexy! You seem so relaxed and happy-did Fred get lucky that might?

  17. Purslane has that Looney Look about her. Any chance Jake and she shares genes? I guess it could be from hanging out with him…