12-22-17 Friday

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Edited to add (12:15 pm) : I’m sorry to tell you all that we said goodbye to our sweet boy Joe Bob this morning. He was 12 1/2 years old.

He hadn’t looked right to me lately, but multiple tests at the vet showed nothing wrong. This morning he crashed and nothing could be done for him, so we made the decision to let him go.

I’ll write a proper tribute to him and post it on the blog next week, but wanted to let you all know.


You GUYS! I went and checked the PO Box yesterday, and there were a TON of cards waiting just for me! I haven’t had a chance to scan them yet, but I will start doing that later today. I’m putting the link here at the top of the post so you can come back at your leisure and check them out. You can scroll through them below, or see the album over at Flickr, here.

2017 Holiday Cards Received


By the way, the reason I’ll be scanning cards today instead of making cookies AS I’D PLANNED is because our fabulous kitchen with the two ovens? Yeah, neither of those ovens work right. We had hoped to have them fixed yesterday, but the parts were slow to arrive, so we won’t have a properly working oven until the middle of next week. (Don’t feel too bad for us – I’m using the stove and the crock pot to make meals without any problems.)

If you are in the process of buying a house, I HIGHLY recommend having a home warranty – ours was paid for by the seller. We have a year warranty on the ovens, refrigerator, and washer and dryer, and when Fred called to have someone come out to look at the ovens, they were fast, friendly, and out here the very next day. It did cost us a $100 deductible, but that’s better than paying full price for the visit and the fix.

(Don’t feel the need to name off the cookies I could make without using an oven. I KNOW. But none of those are the cookies I WANT to make. Well, wait. Maybe you SHOULD name them off, maybe there’s something fabulous I don’t know about! Other than fudge, that is. I already know I’ll be making fudge. So if you have suggestions, feel free to share.)


Really curious how Khal’s affected the clowder, if Frankie’s still the new center or if Khal’s becoming domesticated quickly. He has the cutest pink kitten tongue.

Khal, being the least aggressive cat I’ve ever seen in my entire life, seems to have just kind of slipped into the clowder without a ripple. None of other cats even notice him much, he moves around without reaction from them at all, like a ghost. He tolerates Jake’s aggressive head-butting without taking offense. Honestly, if it weren’t for the nighttime howling (which has finally lessened), I’d say he’s the perfect cat.


Looks like Fred has a five cat bed, but I see enough space on that fuzzy looking thing Jake is on for another. Could it be a six cat bed or is that pushing the togetherness too much?

I’ll never say never, but I can’t imagine more than five on the bed at the same time. We might need a bigger bed! Five is the most I’ve seen there at one time, and usually it’s just three or four.


I need help trying to get Simon to lose weight. He gets 1/2 a 3oz can of food am & pm. Then he gets 1/2 cup of dry at bedtime. I’d end the dry but he would cry and pester me all night. He doesn’t play much, maybe 5 minutes a day and now he’s having problems jumping. I’m going to switch food from Pro Plan to Blue Buffalo and I’d like to eliminate the dry food altogether.
Any suggestions?

Alyslinn said: What canned food do you have him on? Try to get something higher in protein, and grain-free if possible. With dry food, do a slow reduction, and as you do, increase the amount of canned food you give him. How old is he? And how much does he weigh? Most kitties should not have issues jumping, so sometimes age (arthritis) or weight (obesity) can do it. I had one cat who was 19.5lbs when I got her, and she is now 15lbs. I got her off the dry food she had been on, and got her moving around a bit more, and slowly went from crappy canned food to good, and then to a raw diet. If you want to talk more about foods and stuff, drop me an email alys69 (at) gmail.com

Thank you for the answer, Alyslinn!


Something I have been wanting to ask. How many litter boxes do you have, and where do you keep them?

We have six litter boxes, currently, and they are located in three different locations. There are three in the back living room.

Two behind the brown recliners.

And one on the opposite side of the room. (For the record, I’m not crazy about that litter box location, but the cats like it and use it, and I’d rather have a litter box out in the open than cats peeing where they shouldn’t. Eventually I’d like to move it to another location in that room (maybe once the cats can go out into the back yard), but we’ll see.

One in Fred’s office, in one of the cubbies.

And two in the guest bedroom. (On the occasion that we have guests, those litter boxes will be moved into Fred’s office.)

Fred suggested putting a litter box in the upstairs hall bathroom and in the downstairs bathroom, but right now the number and location of the boxes seems to be working out well and I don’t care for litter boxes in bathrooms. For the record, the rule of thumb as far as litter boxes is one per cat, plus one, but we don’t really have room for 12 litter boxes. The boxes we do have are big ones, and I scoop them at least three times a day, so hopefully that will keep the cats happy.


I have a new appreciation for Kara, seeing how sweet she’s being all indoors and everything. Has she gotten her badge for ticketing offenders in her new territory yet?

That girl spends 23 1/2 hours a day running around the house and pacing back and forth. If there was anyone misbehaving, she’d know about it! The only kerfuffle I’ve really heard is from a couple of nights ago when Stefan thought he’d chase her across the room and she bellowed “HALT! I SAID HALT!” at him, only he didn’t halt, so she screamed at him, and finally he stopped his nonsense. There was no official ticketing, but I’m pretty sure she has him in her sights.


It always made me feel as though all was right in the world when my cats would all sleep/hang out in close proximity to one and other. Seeing various Permies hanging out together on Fred’s bed is awesome – I have to imagine that it’s not the norm? I would have thought Kara would not have been interested in mingling with civilians, and that Alice took over the Stinkerbelle mantle of not mixing with the peasants. And Khal Drogo looks so chill with his bros! I’m so happy that all has gone so smoothly for you both!!!

It has not been the norm at ALL, but I love seeing it, too! Alice and Kara don’t usually want much to do with their brothers (or with each other), but something about that bed really draws them in!


Did any of these cats make the move to Crooked Acres with you? Or were they all adopted at Crooked Acres?

All of the current permanent residents were adopted/showed up at Crooked Acres. We had 6 (Spot, Spanky, Miz Poo, Sugarbutt, Tommy, and Mister Boogers) when we moved to Crooked Acres, but they’ve all passed on in the last 11 years. (Maxi and Newt were left behind by the people who sold us Crooked Acres.)


A group of cats is called a clowder, but did you know it can also be called a glaring? I prefer to use that term, as I think it’s hilarious.

I love this SO MUCH (and it’s so appropriate for our cats!)


Jake. (Pictures taken while we still lived at Crooked Acres.)

Jake on my desk, lookin’ loony.

He looks SO much like Elwood here!

“Lady, I think you know what I’m thinkin’, but I’ll tell you anyway: you go ‘way.”


You know, he spent a LOT of time hanging out on my desk at Crooked Acres, but he doesn’t do that at all here at Shady Cove. I’m wondering if that’s because there are no windows behind my desk to look out of.

“Did I mention that you should go away, lady?”

Hanging out, waiting for Frankie to get out of that bed on Fred’s desk.

It’s been five years since we lost Jake’s brother Elwood to FIP (the post about him is here.) It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, it doesn’t feel like it at all.


Hanging out in a heated bed in Fred’s office, keeping an eye on me.


2016: TBT: Flat Holly.
2015: (That’s Archie over by the door with the impatient Ears of Someone Open This Door Already.)
2014: Ever wondered what the underside of Molly looks like? Here you go!
2013: No entry.
2012: No entry.
2011: We got ‘em out to the pond, and they went in the water like they were doing us a favor.
2010: If today’s pictures have a common theme, I think it would be “I haz a snuggle.”
2009: Mike & Gus: Brudderly…. love?
2008: What I love about this picture is how appalled Delmar looks that Miz Poo is in the bed.
2007: No entry.
2006: “I’ve got the litter-on-my-nose, needin-a-snack, my-brother’s-pickin-on-me, I-need-a-snuggle, please-stop-messing-with-my-fur…”
2005: No entry.



12-22-17 Friday — 41 Comments

  1. It seems that everytime I see a Jake picture, his face and expression look different. He’s got the whole model thing down pat, posing and always showing you a different Jake, depending on the campaign he’s working on (high end boy kitty toys, clothes and cologne, of course).

    Khal Drogo is such a doll, I’m not surprised to hear he’s so chill and easygoing around his family.

  2. I always make crockpot candy which is really just incredibly easy chocolate covered peanut clusters and it makes a lot. Let me know if you’re interested in the recipe, I’ll be glad to pass it along.

  3. If you feel the need to make cookies, you are welcome to come over and use my mixer and oven. Or, let me know what kind you need and I will make them for you. On the agenda today is chocolate chip cookies and making 2 cakes to decorate for Christmas. Anyone in the Madison, AL area need a Christmas cake, just let me know. I do a Santa, Rudolph, Candy Cane (big or small), and a Snowman.

  4. We (and recipients) enjoy Pecan Bourbon Rum Balls – crush pecans fine in Cuisinart. Do the same with vanilla wafer cookies from store. Add sugar, a little light Karo syrup, some bourbon and some rum. Use a small scoop to portion out dough, roll between palms to tidy up,roll in confectioner’s sugar and drop into mini-muffin paper liner cup.

    Also make Chocolate Apricot Brandy Balls – snip dried apricots very small. Melt chocolate. Crush the ever useful store-bought vanilla wafer cookies. Combine,add brandy,mix well. Portion as above, roll in dark cocoa powder, etc.

    I make these even with a working oven.

    • I agree on these, but I make them with rum. These are snapped up at all the cookie exchanges they go to. My recipe adds cocoa and vanilla to the mix.

      Another favorite are cathedral cookies. Melt 1 bag chocolate chips & 1 stick butter. Let cool until it won’t melt a marshmallow. Stir in a bag of colored mini marshmallows. Pour 1/2 on parchment or wax paper, form into log shape and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Do the same with other half. Wrap tightly and refrigerate. Slice and enjoy.

    • Oh my! We have been making these cookies for years but never put coconut in them!!!! Where have I been….sounds delish!

  5. Passed on in the last 11 years……5 years since Elwood passed…. unreal. It doesn’t even seem (to me) that you were at Crooked Acres for 11 years. I’m always amazed at how quickly time goes by.

    No cookie recipes to share. I’m dropping by a favorite local bakery this afternoon to get ours; I’m too lazy, I mean “busy”, this year!

    That Khal is one beautiful cat! Happy holidays!

  6. Oh, I’m so sorry about Joe Bob! My condolences.

    As sad as old age is, at least you have awhile to get to the inevitable and can console yourself that kitty had a long happy life. When they go suddenly, it’s such a shock. My Hamlet, at age 10, went from perfectly fine to crashing for still unexplained reasons in just a few days. (I’ll never know WHY, as I could not stand the idea of necropsy.) It was horrible. 🙁

  7. Oh Robyn and Fred…. {{{hugs}}} soooo sorry to hear about Joe Bob…. will keep you guys in my thoughts and prayers….

  8. Oh no. First Dennis, and now Joe Bob. So sorry to hear he ran for the Bridge. At least he was able to go in peace at home where he was loved so very much. His last gift to you & Fred was not having to make ‘the decision’. Coincidently I picked my sweet old girl Gypsy’s ashes today. She was with me for 15 years, so I know what you’re feeling now.

    RIP Joe Bob.

  9. I do so love picture of Jake.

    Joe Bob was a sweetheart and I am so very sorry that he has left. All of my cats are seniors, ten years or older, and I try so much not to worry about when… and attempt to focus on appreciating having their company. I try to spoil them, I definitely love them, and I try to take (and offer) solace in knowing that whether it’s one of mine or the lucky Crooked Acres (new name forthcoming?) glaring, they were SO well cared for and loved. Best wishes to you, Fred, and all the furballs.

  10. I’m so sorry about Joe Bob. He was such a sweetie. Sending lots of love to you, Fred and the furry crew.

  11. 5 years????? Wow. Makes me think how long have i been reading? I’m sorry to read about joe bob.

  12. I’m so sorry about Joe Bob. He was a beautiful kitty. Hugs and head scritches to you, Fred and the clowder. He was loved by all love and hissers.

  13. Oh Robyn… I am so sorry to read about JoeBob. He always struck me as the quiet kid in the class, never wanting to be in the spotlight. But he was so beautiful to me. My dear Lola left me when she was about 12 years old too. It is just so hard to say goodbye when they seem so young. I’ve got my 13yo house panther, Guy Noir, in my lap right now, and I am thankful everyday he is with me still… He gets extra kisses on his head while I tell him what an awesome kitty JoeBob was. (((hugs to you and Fred)))

  14. Sweet Joe Bob…he was a constant loving presence though I know the other cats had their issues with him. That endeared him even more to me. Rest easy handsome Joeby Joe the Tuxedo!

  15. Robyn and Fred, I’m sorry to hear about Joe Bob. I know you both gave him a wonderful life and lots of love.

  16. Oh Joe Bob…you were such a beautiful soul. Run free and happy with your brothers and sisters, sweetheart.

    Virtual hugs, Robyn.

    Brigitte and Malcolm in Ottawa

  17. Not Joe Bob too 🙁 We’ve got a visiting cat (not a stray, just a chancer) that we call Joe Bob because he’s exactly alike. I don’t know what his real name is, but he’ll always be a little tribute now to a sweet cat.

  18. Arohamai ki a korua! I’m so sorry about Joe Bob, he seemed like such a sweet, chilled wee puss. Arohanui..

  19. I’m so sorry to hear about JoeBob… Such a sweet, gentle soul. Sending hugs and wishes of peace and comfort. Godspeed and RIP, Joseph Robert (I loved it when you called him that – I hope you don’t mind…).

  20. So sorry to hear about JoeBob!!! We will be thinking of you, Fred and the rest of the kitties….

  21. Oh Robyn, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of another beloved And3rson kitty! Big hugs to you and Fred. Rest in Peace, Jobey-Joe the Tuxie-do. I will miss seeing you here, beautiful boy.

  22. I am so sorry to hear about Joe Bob!
    Sending hugs across the miles to you and Fred! Your family is in our prayers

  23. Robyn, I’m so, so sorry to hear about Joe-Bob. He was always one of my many favorites. I’m so glad he had so much quality time with you and Fred.

  24. For the litter box location that you don’t love in the living room, would an Ikea hack (where you take an inexpensive cabinet and turn it into a litter box concealer with a cat door in it) be a good alternative?