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Announcement: The Love & Hisses comment policy is now as such: Any comments pertaining to politics will be deleted as soon as I see them. This holds true no matter how much I like the person commenting. This blog is devoted to cats and of course other life issues are shared from time to time, but politics is just too volatile an issue. Please always keep in mind: no matter your stance and how passionate you are about it, there are other commenters who believe otherwise and are just as passionate about it, and everyone is welcome here.

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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

Buff Orpingtons are just about the friendliest chickens. They’re calm and good layers, and good mothers. We’ve had this one since our very first batch, which means she’s 5 1/2 years old.

Most of the hens are molting right now, and they look pretty ratty.

Especially this one. You can see that her feathers are coming back in. (Molting, FYI, is a process the hens go through once a year where they shed their old feathers and grow new ones. They generally stop laying while molting, and between that and the shorter days, we’re lucky to get an egg a day right now.)

Fred put pieces of fencing over the chickens’ water dish to keep the ducks from climbing in. It doesn’t always stop them.

The pond is staying pretty full.

George and Gracie on Dirt Mountain.


More racing.

They certainly are happy pups (who desperately need brushing.)

How could we ever possibly get rid of Dirt Mountain? George and Gracie love it so much!

Volunteer squash in the garden. We actually picked this one and ate it. It was kind of tough – I don’t think Summer squash really likes the coolness of Fall. After I got that picture, it turned cold at night and the squash plants died.

Tiny okra pod.

The last of the cherry tomatoes. All the tomato plants are dead now, too.

The garden with weeds popping up. That fencing is where the green beans grew this year.

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Yep. Keep telling us how you hate those kittens, Miz Poo. (I love how Joe is hugging Petey like he’s a body pillow.)

Polly, Magoo, and Petey on the Ham-mick in the kitchen.

Are you seeing the looniness in Magoo? He had that look on his face because he was kneading on Sugarbutt’s back. I canNOT believe Sugarbutt put up with that!

And I REALLY can’t believe he put up with this. Usually kittens get the hiss and smack from Sugarbutt if they so much as think about trying to snuggle with him. Maybe he thought Tommy suddenly lost a lot of weight. (Stinkerbelle will occasionally think that a black kitten is Tommy, and she’ll rush down to get some Tommy love, only to be disappointed (and angry) when she realizes she was suckered in by an impostor foster.)

I got that window shelf using my Fresh Step Paw Points. Polly checked it out and decided it was okay.

Dandelion and Thistle, snuggling up for nap time.

Thistle in the sun.

That’s Joe on the bottom and Thistle laying completely on top of him.

I guess he makes a comfy bed.

All three Weeds girls and a couple of Pickles.

Pretty Polly Pickle.

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Joe Bob gets a sniff from Jake, while Percy tries to decide whether he’s interested in the pureed pumpkin I left for him.


2011: “Dude. Your toenails are UP MY NOSE!”
2010: Then one evening, the cats got together and had a newspaper-shredding party.
2009: At one point, I had six or seven cats gathered around me, watching in fascination as the plastic dragonfly flapped and flapped.
2008: No entry.
2007: Talk about your come-hither look!
2006: Y’all just shut UP. We do NOT have eight cats.
2005: “What can I do to convince you to adopt Sugarbutt?”



11-8-12 — 64 Comments

    • That’s why I really like to get pictures of the black kittens in sunlight whenever possible, you get to see their hidden stripes and spots. 🙂

  1. So how do the ducks get into the water dishes with the fencing in place? I’m imagining them sitting on top and dangling their little webbed toes through the wire.

    I don’t think that’s the normal look of biscuit bliss on Magoo’s face. I think it’s his shocked and amazed face because HE cannot believe that Sugarbutt is allowing it either. The hug was just to make sure Sugarbutt was okay. But if Sugarbutt doesn’t want a Magoo massage, I’ll take one.

    • Sometimes they push it out of the way, and sometimes they just kind of perch on the wire and stare sadly down at the water. Of course, they never do it when I have the camera with me!

  2. Is that hen in the first picture the same hen Nance was holding in a recent picture on her blog? If so, it’s the fattest, biggest hen I’ve seen in a long time; do you know what she weighs?

    Have you noticed that the fall produce, such as tomatoes/lettuce, etc. has a bitter taste? I got some tomatoes from my sister’s garden and some Swiss Chard; there’s a distinct bitter taste. Probably it’s the colder weather. I remember my grandmother saying collards were only good after the weather turned cold — she liked the bitter taste.

    • If it’s not the same hen, it’s the sister to that hen – we got 4 Buff Orpingtons in that order, and I believe we still have 2. They’re definitely nice, big hens, but I don’t know how much she weighs, I’ll have to ask Fred.

      I did notice that the Fall produce isn’t nearly as sweet as the Summer stuff. I’m not crazy about bitter, so it wasn’t appealing to me, but Fred took cherry tomatoes to work to have with his lunches right up ’til the plants died off.

  3. THANK YOU for the no-political-comments policy! I so don’t want to read that here. Have I mentioned lately that you are awesome? 🙂

  4. The chickens are molting now? That seems counterintuitive to me unless they get ‘winter coats.’ Otherwise, I would think they’d molt in the spring when it gets warmer.

    • I’ve never thought about it, but you’re right, it seems like a misstep on Mother Nature’s part to have them molt in the late Fall/ early Winter! Maybe it’s because in the Spring they need to be ready to hatch and raise their chicks, and they can’t be wasting time waiting for the molting process to be over?

      • My chickens are molting now… they seem to wait until it gets cold every year and then then feathers come off. I thought of getting them sweaters! They seem to do fine with freezing temps and snow but it sure makes me feel bad for them.

    • when I had rabbits they would molt both in the spring and fall. The fall one wasn’t as bad because they were wearing their summer coats, and they blew that to get their winter coats. The spring one was always bad because their winter coat leaving was much more obvious.

  5. Kittens! Pups! Chickens! Lovely pastoral scenes! AND NO POLITICS!!! Honestly, could this website BE any better? No, it could not. 😀

  6. Loved today’s entry. Um, that is not a flattering angle for Sugarbutt in the first picture. I set out water bowls this summerfor the ducks and geese that visit our back yard. The idiots kept walking through the bowls and making them muddy from the dirt and schmutz (sp?) on their feet. It was a losing battle. I ended up putting the bowls on bricks. It lifted them up just enough that they had to really want to walk in the bowl. Problem kinda solved. I still have goose poo to deal with. I agree that Dirt Mountain must never go away. Those doggies are having a blast. I am amazed at how clean they stay. By the way, saw a new to me show last night on Bravo. It is a reality show about the people who work in the offices of I Can Haz Cheesburger. It is on Wed. nights at 11pm. We recorded and I have only seen about 5 minutes so far but I will give it a shot.

    • Is it called “LolWork”? Someone recommended that to me on Facebook, and I immediately went over to set up to tape it. It sounds like my kinda show. 🙂

        • Robyn-please don’t be ashamed if you still happen to live back in 1994. I do and I am happy there with my VHS tapes and my AM/FM cassette radio. But I did just recently buy a few CD’s LOL!

      • thank you for making that easy for me by mentioning the name.. I wanted to record it too but forgot all about it, and I’m sitting here reading the comment thinking oh shoot I so meant to.. what was that called again so I can find it on my tivo.. and poof there was the name..

        Great thing about Bravo, they are running it 10 more times before the next episode airs

  7. yeah – running dogs on dirt mountain. had to laugh about the mistaken identity issue – I often wonder if mine see a kitten and think “I know that guy” only to get close and realize it was not who they thought…. MOL

  8. Silly pups racing on Dirt Mountain made me laugh!! Can we get a video of them running around up there sometime?

    Poor Stinkerbelle…but I bet from her perch on high, it’s easy to misjudge the size of the black kitties wandering around below.

    The second picture of Thistle in the sun should be captioned “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!” 🙂

    • I’ll definitely try to get video of them racing around. Gracie always starts the races, I swear she thinks she’s still a puppy. 🙂

  9. Methinks the “Kara” tag is a bit small compared to the others. Do you have a picture of her NOT patroling? Like rolling on her side for pettings?

    Also, you have a lonely “Jake” tag up there. Was it a rare non-loony moment?

  10. Love Gracie and George running upon the mountain. They almost look like wolves in the one picture.
    Polly’s face is now firmly planted on my screensaver-thanks! Thanks also for posting the political disclaimer. That’s how it should be.

  11. Oops – didn’t mean to be #13 … also, do you ship cats? If so, please ship me Magoo to Ohio. I’d give him a good home …

    • ROAD TRIP!!

      (one of these days that is going to work, and I’m going to get someone to come down and get the kitties they have been dreaming of)

  12. Double ditto to Angie (#13!) This is my favorite, gotta-read-it-first-thing blog. Ever. THANKS!

    Anyone have experience with Feliway reducing stress especially in chronic cystitis? Elder-cat Mabel has kidney/bladder trouble, vet’s working on it, has mentioned Feliway. I can’t imagine a less-stressed cat, but can’t rule out the other alpha-cat contender psyching her out somewhat. Thought I’d ask before springing for either the spray or the dispenser.

    • I’ll post this in tomorrow’s post so others can weigh in on it, but I can tell you that I use Feliway plug-ins when we have a lot of kittens and I feel like the permanent residents are getting a bit stressed. It seems to help chill them out a little. But it does NOT seem to stop the spraying when we’re having an issue with that. Grrrr.

  13. And, meant to mention that the closeup of Pretty Polly was almost too much…CUTE! is there anything cuter than kitten faces?? maybe Sugarbutt’s butt… 🙂

  14. With the pond out back the ducks still want to get in water bowls? They must think they deserve clean swimming pools!

    I think Miz Poo must be all bluff 🙂

  15. that first chicken is so colorful! she’s like… spring, orange and pink!! I love it when we get to see the chickens.

  16. Haha, that picture of Looney Magoo with Sugarbutt is hilarious! Magoo’s all: “I will love him, and knead on him, and call him George.”

  17. The Announcement is great! Heck, I even like your GP policy on cussing & I AM a curser. Oh dear, someone has a new rooster in our neighborhood. Wow, he makes a racket all-the-time. All day & all night, talking about himself. Really, is that normal? Any chance that hens make eggs w/o roosters around?

  18. Message received loud and clear everyone: No Political Talk! I will keep my thoughts to myself 🙂

  19. After reading the caption “Thistle in the Sun”, I now have the song “Blister in the Sun” going through my head as “Thistle in the Sun”…lol

  20. Love the pictures of Crooked Acres-don’t you have a unused chicken coop I can move into?? The dirt mountain almost looks like rocks in the picture, so George and Gracie look very “Call of the Wild” in those.

  21. Is that kitten tongue? I think that’s kitten tongue! Polly is adorable, close-up or not.

    Love the second picture of Magoo and Sugarbutt. Magoo is clearly so excited to be with his big marmalade friend, and Sugs just appears to be pretending whatever is happening is NOT HAPPENING.

  22. *giggle* Orpington… Sounds like posh seals! Orp!

    I gotta say, I love loony kitty faces. Cats spend so much of their time trying to act so serious, and, then, a little bit of loon takes hold…

  23. Doo-fuss here-
    When I first read the chickens are MOLTING-
    I read “the chickens are MOLDING” and the thought of Dear God- the chickens have some freaky skin condition entered my mind ??!!??

    It’s fun to be me sometimes…

  24. In re: politics comments

    I thoroughly enjoy the Crooked Acres election news that happens from time to time…although I think Kara has become “Sheriff Mama For Life”! I am ever so happy to have an oasis of kittyluv in the midst of the post-election fallout.

    I am thinking that perhaps Miz Poo is contemplating that kittens might be acceptable minions. Either that or she has adopted a “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” policy.