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Hope you came through the storms ok down there. Certainly not a nice Christmas holiday for some folks.

We were fine – just got a lot of rain and even a tiny bit of snow, thankfully!

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OK, so how do you tell Tommy and Maxi apart?

Maxi is a much smaller cat, frame-wise – not as long, and not as tall. Sheโ€™s also got a white โ€œlocketโ€ on her chest (you’ll see that in at least one of her pictures down at the bottom of the entry today), and she doesnโ€™t come inside very often. But when she does, she hisses and swipes at any cat who looks at her sideways, which is NOT Tommy behavior!

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My mom always used to tell us that Christmas Eve night was when all the animals could talk to one another and to their humans, but as kids we were never able to stay up late enough to hear them (of course).

I imagine your house was quite noisy last night, but you may have slept through it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

You know, I’m not sure I want to know what they’d have to say to me! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Kodi and Shorty are at it again.

(Direct YouTube link.)

SO cute. I didn’t put up decorations or a tree this year (Elwood being ill put me in a distinctly un-Christmassy mood), but if I had, I know I’d have been rescuing decorations from all corners of the house!

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The lighting isn’t the greatest in this picture (and of course when I got closer, all the cats jumped down), but I think you can see Jake in the top of the cat tree and Sungold and Stripey in the next level down. Those boys like to snuggle.


Look at Alice up there in the chair, her back turned to the ‘Maters boys, all “Ugh. BOY cats!”

Sungold, getting high off the catnip banana.

“Who, me? No way! I wasn’t touching and sniffing and licking that catnip banana!”

Sungold taking over Miz Poo’s bed.

And taking over Alice’s bed! Sungold has clearly made himself at home.

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So… you know Bitsy Beans.

And Barney Beans.

Barney, left, and Bitsy. (I love how she’s staring at him like “There’s something not right with you, boy.”)

Now meet the reason they were named with “Beans” as their surname!

This is Baby Beans.

He’s roughly the same size as Barney and Bitsy, but almost two months older.

He’s a little nervous and unsure of himself.

Last week when I went to retrieve Bitsy and Barney (though of course they weren’t named yet), Susan asked if I wanted to take a third brown tabby, who’d been raised by another Challenger’s House foster mom. I said yes – obviously – and found out that the third tabby was already named Baby Beans. So I went with the Beans naming theme. Baby Beans wasn’t ready to go home with me yet, because he needed to be neutered and get his ID chip. Yesterday, I brought him home.

He’s sweet, but nervous. He and the other two aren’t sure about each other yet – there’s been a little hissing and some half-hearted swiping, and he and Barney have even touched noses. There’s been no all-out fighting and they’re respecting each others’ space, so I have high hopes that they’ll turn out to be friends.

So now that Baby Beans is here, maybe I’ll finally get around to making a page for the Beans (or, as several of you have referred to them, The Beanie Babies!) and updating the sidebar.

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From the Permanent Residents folder: Maxi.

You can see her locket in this picture. She looks so ruffled because Fred had just petted her and messed up her fur. That’s okay, she doesn’t mind rumpled fur. She’s not fussy.

She loves to follow us around the property and keep an eye on what we’re doing – and talk to us.

“What goin’ on over here? You’re doin’ it wrong!”


2011: โ€ฆnothing keeps you warm like an Elwood blanket.
2010: No entry.
2009: Santa make kitty scared.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry



12-28-12 — 35 Comments

  1. Welcome Baby Beans! It’s o.k. You’ll discover soon that you’ve landed in kitty heaven!

    I received my holiday card yesterday, so I put it on the kitchen counter so it wouldn’t have to travel far to start cleaning. I didn’t want to attach it to the fridge with magnets in case that would keep it from doing its thing.

    I left it there overnight and, you guessed it, the kitchen was just as messy this morning as when I went to bed!! It didn’t even feed the cats!!!! So, I guess the USPS did break it.

    Damn USPS! At least I can enjoy the incredibly silly photo! Best wishes for a great New Year to you, too!

  2. Baby Beans’ ruff and ear tufts are rocking my world — Robyn, you must be in brown-tabby heaven! So this is Sungold and Stripey’s last weekend at Crooked Acres. Please plant a kiss or two on each from me. Lovely to see Maxi in fine fettle. Thanks, as always, for the report from Paradise.

    • They’re actually going to be with us for one more weekend! Their new mom is having a party next weekend that she’s afraid will scare them, so she opted to wait ’til after to bring them home. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • That’s really awesome of her for thinking of that. Some people would bring them home, subject them to that before they’re used to the new environment and then bring them back to the shelter saying “they’re not friendly enough” or something similiar. And that means you get to keep them a week longer! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Beans is gorgeous! Those eyes are amazing.

    Ironic that the link for last year was the Elwood blanket. Sweet boy.

  4. HALP!! Coldest day of the winter so far up in Michigan. Our house has two rooms that are always distinctly cooler than the others… my front foster room being one of them. I’m letting the boys out to explore the warmer house for today, but could use a link to those self-heating cat beds again for the next residents. We don’t want teeny tiny icicles growing off their teeny tiny nosies! Thank you!!

    Oh sweet little Baby Beans… You’ll soon learn that you hit the kitty lottery. Relax and make friends and you’ll be just fine!

  5. It’s raining tabby kittehs at your house! Kinda like at mine: I have one resident tabby, and two outside tabbies I feed. But I’m a sucker for tabbies; I guess if I had to choose among all the wonderful, diverse cat colored world, I’d pick a tabby. Of course, it just so happens the first cat I ever had (when I was 6) was a tabby…

    • The first tiny kitten I ever had was Charlie, who was an orange tabby. And I’ve loved orange tabbies all my life. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I’m so sorry for the loss of your sweet, adorable Elwood. I know he was very lucky to be loved and taken care of by you and Fred. I’d really like to think that Elwood and Mr. Boogers are mischievously plotting and frolicking out “there” somewhere…

    Oh, and thank you for the Christmas postcard, it really made me smile!

  7. Thanks for the Christmas card. It has a place of honor.
    Also, I named one of the feral cats that hang around Elwood. In honor of your precious Elwood.
    Happy New Year. I enjoy your blog every weekday, thanks for all the swell pics of my favorite creatures.

  8. Yes, legend says the animals talk at midnight on Christmas Eve. I’ve stayed up several times to see what the cats will say:

    (late, beloved) Gwyndolyn: “Feed the cat.” (several years in a row)

    Melvin: “Feed the cat!!!!” (last year)

    Eleanor: “Feed the cat.” (this year)

  9. Awww, welcome, Baby Beans! What a cutie!

    About Miz Poo’s bed – it’s the blankey that’s supposed to be self-warming, right? Because I’ve been thinking about getting one for my senior girl. She’s always cold and I’m afraid of getting anything I have to keep plugged in.

  10. You know? The Beans remind me of the Trimbles at IBKC last Christmas. Three tabbies, one a shy guy with a great ruff.

  11. Love the Beans – Beans was the name of one of my dogs. He was wonderful.

    Now a question – within 2 months of each other. both of my male cats have developed a bladder obstruction. One is an inside/outside cat, one strictly indoor. They are now both on prescription food (Royal Canin S/O – expensive) and we are going to bottled water, not just filtered fountain water. Any other suggestions for keeping their bladders healthy (as well as my bank account)?? I have never had this happen to any of my cats before and I have had 7 others. Of course, now I am realizing these are the first males.

    • Hi Suzy,

      Are your boys related? My Fuzz had all sorts of bladder crystals in his first 3 years, mostly due to a restricted urethra. That restricted urethra can be genetic. However, he never had an actual blockage. Just plenty of infections due to the irritation of his bladder from struvite crystals.

      He had surgery to enlarge his urethra at about 3 years of age and has been great since. Before the surgery, what made it worse was hairball prevention food (the magnesium in that food can lead to struvite crystal formation) and feeding him dry food. What made it better was feeding him Friskies Urinary Tract Health wet food with a bit of extra water in it and keeping the litterbox incredibly clean. I’m talking scooping several times a day and changing all the litter and disinfecting the box every week.

      He’s had several UTI’s since the surgery, but nothing out of the ordinary for a neutered male. Also, none have gotten as bad as the ones he got before the surgery.

      You know, I’m just realizing how much I’ve learned from that cat! I guess when you have a cat for 17 years the lessons add up – especially one who was neglected and abused for the first 6 months of his life!!