12-7-17 Wherein Fred and Robyn sell Crooked Acres, the conclusion

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Got the news yesterday afternoon…

This is wonderful news, it’s been a good week for Mercury and her babies – but this leaves poor wee Hubble unadopted. Someone needs to come adopt that boy, and fast!


See part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here.


*The day we looked at all those houses and ended up at the house on Chapman Mountain, there was another house we liked a lot. It was a great size, a good price, and located on a cul-de-sac. Fred had found it on Zillow and hoped that it would be as beautiful in person as it was in pictures. It was – it is – and we liked it a lot. It was move-in ready – not a single thing would need to be done to it, which was appealing since every other house we’d considered (even the one we’d made an offer on) would need extensive painting and removal of carpet – and we loved the colors on the walls. It was big, it was bright, it had a ton of built-ins, and it had a GREAT kitchen. The back yard was fenced in, BUT it was short fence (about 3 feet tall) and would need to either be replaced or would need cat fencing that would stick up over the top. A big plus was that there was no HOA, and the realtor selling it (who lived in the neighborhood) talked to the neighbors about whether they’d object to us replacing the fence. Their feeling was that they liked the fence as it was, but they’d understand if it needed to be replaced.

*Despite the fact that we liked it so much, we were leaning hard toward making an offer on Deep Cove, and I’ll take responsibility for that. In the 21 years I’ve lived here, we’ve lived pretty much in the same general area. We were in an apartment for a couple of years, and when we moved to our first house in 1998, it was a move of 8.4 miles. Our move from the first house to the second in the summer of 2001 was 1.5 miles. Our move from that house to Crooked Acres was a WHOPPING 13.6 miles. I wanted to get back to the Madison area because it’s convenient and I know it, and I cling to the things I know. New things skeer me! Fred really wanted to move to the Southeast Huntsville area because that’s where he grew up, but he was willing to bend. So basically, we were both willing to settle for Deep Cove. And we would have been okay there, I think. But that KITCHEN (she said, like a great big snob).

The house in southeast Huntsville:

Front of the house.


The view from the street in front of the house. Fred’ll be climbing that mountain at some point.

*So we made the offer on the house in Southeast Huntsville, they countered, and we accepted. It happened fast, we both feel really good about it. And Fred will be able to get back to hiking. Before we moved to Crooked Acres, he hiked several times a week, and he’s missed it, but hasn’t wanted to drive 45 minutes to get to the mountain. He also used to walk every morning when we lived in Madison, and he’s missed doing that as well, since the road Crooked Acres is located on is very busy, and the roads off of that road are dark, narrow, and have no sidewalks.

*As of right now (I’m writing this ahead of time, before we closed on the house), we’re good to go. The home inspections went fine, the buyers are committed to buying Crooked Acres, the sellers are committed to selling their house to us. I don’t foresee any glitches; and I feel like this is how things were meant to end up.

*Well, there was one little glitch, but it’s not really a glitch. We were initially slated to close on both houses on December 15th. Once the buyers closed on their house in Virginia, they asked if we’d be willing to close sooner. (We knew that this was something they might be interested in doing, so it didn’t come out of the blue.) So instead of closing on December 15th, we closed on November 30th. Did it all go smoothly? I suspect it did, but I’ll have to let y’all know.

Update: It all went smoothly!


Questions I am anticipating you have about this whole thing.

*Will you still be fostering? Yes. I was fostering before we moved to Crooked Acres, I’m planning to continue. HOWEVER, I am anticipating that it’ll be at least a few months before we start fostering again. Right now our #1 concern is making sure the permanent residents are acclimated and happy, before we close off that room and install new fosters in it.

*How many foster rooms? One.

*Did you take all the permanent residents with you? Even Khal? Yes. This question confuses me – do we strike you as people who’d move away and leave cats behind to fend for themselves? I mean, there are days I’d sell any of them to the highest bidder, but that never lasts (and no one seems to be bidding anyway. DO I HEAR ONE DOLLAR? ONEDOLLARONEDOLLARONEDOLLAR HOW ABOUT FIFTY CENTS?)

*WHAT did you do with the cats while you were moving? We boarded them at our vet’s office for two days. (Again, I’m writing this ahead of time, so I’m hoping all went well.) I set out the carriers all over the house 10 days ahead of time so we could pack them up with as little trauma as possible. (More about this in tomorrow’s post, if I remember – if I don’t, someone remind me.)

*Why didn’t you tell us this was happening while it was going on? Because I wanted to know the ending before I started telling it. And I say this with love: I wasn’t looking for advice. Also, I don’t think the location of Crooked Acres would be too hard to figure out for anyone who wanted to really look, and I was afraid that announcing the house was up for sale would bring out the lookie loos even more.

*What happened to the chickens and ducks? The chickens (there were 33, I think) went to a farm in Hazel Green (about 45 minutes from Crooked Acres), and the ducks went to a farm in Athens (about 15 minutes from Crooked Acres.) None of them went to freezer camp, you’ll be happy to hear.

Chickens, headed home.

Ducks, headed home.

*Why did you sell Crooked Acres? Because we wanted to be closer to things. Also, we wanted less land and less work – in the summer, Fred spends upward of 5 hours a week mowing the lawn around the house and the back forty, in addition to his regular chores. We loved our time at Crooked Acres, but we’ve been ready to leave it behind for a couple of years now.

*Why why oh WHY are you so intent on letting the cats outside? Cats can be perfectly happy as inside cats, you know! I am fully aware of that, but we have 11 cats and they are accustomed to going outside. I think that with the RIGHT 11 cats, they’d be okay as inside cats, but if Archie, Stefan, and Khal, were not able to go outside, we would have a situation here that I believe the kids call “a shitshow.” Especially Archie, who has a short fuse when it comes to other cats. We are moving into a house where coyotes are regularly spotted, and so we are doing our level best to make sure the cats are confined to the back yard during the day (with cat fencing), and inside the house (or possibly the garage) at night.

*What about the cats that show up at Crooked Acres? Who will take care of them? Honestly? I don’t know. There are animal lovers in this neighborhood, so I’m hoping that one (or several) of them will step up. This may sound cold, but we weren’t ready to stay at Crooked Acres because there’s a possibility that more cats will show up. We have 11 cats. We never WANTED to have 11 cats – which is not to say that we don’t LOVE every one of those goobers, but we have zero desire to increase that number.

Tomorrow: I’ll try to answer any additional questions you may have had, and an update on how the cats are dealing. Also, a tour of the new house (pictures I took when we did the final walk-through the day before we closed.)


“Who’s gonna guard the well house, lady?!” (Frankie, doing just that.)


2016: *”What kind of a name is JUSTIN for a cat?” Fred scoffed yesterday.
2015: She likes to fall bonelessly onto the floor into a floompy pile of floof and roll around ’til you rub her belly.
2014: No entry.
2013: She had important burning questions that she needed to find the answer to, you can see.
2012: “Whar’d it gooooooo?!”
2011: If there’s one thing Chuckles does and does well, it’s make himself at home.
2010: Did I perhaps mention that the Brady Bunch like themselves some sunshine?
2009: I tried to convince Fred that we should go next weekend and take a chicken to have its picture taken with Santa, but he doesn’t seem to be going for that.
2008: No entry.
2007: Tommy & Stinkerbelle.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



12-7-17 Wherein Fred and Robyn sell Crooked Acres, the conclusion — 40 Comments

  1. Thanks for writing these updates, I’ve loved reading each instalment – although I’m guessing at times it was much less fun to live through. Wishing you health and happiness in your new house, it looks gorgeous.

    • It’s a fence built specifically to keep cats in a yard. The versions I’ve seen have angled guards at the top, making it impossible for cats to climb/leap over. They look like a nicer version of prison yard fences (sans barbed wire) and keep kitties within safe boundaries.

      • We have cat fence in installed on top of our privacy fence and on top of the chain link we also have. It works great, I have seen pictures where people have even installed it around the trunk of trees to keep their cats from climbing up. At first I thought it would look like a prison fence, being tilted inward, but the mesh is so fine, it is hardly visible. One thing, unless you install it on both sides of your fence, it will not keep stay cats from climbing in. And no matter what, it does not keep raccoons out. Those pesky little buggers are just too clever.

  2. I hear ya. We never intended on having 18 cats at one time, but we lived on a farm and well…cats happen. Nearly all were brought in as kittens but we have one who was a full grown tom (now neutered). Yes, he was forced to become an inside cat and sometimes the others pay the price when he gets pissy. But we have no fencing at the new house so inside he stays.
    Sadly, we are now down to 12 and although I drool over kittens, and love my babies fiercely, it’s been a long and expensive and sad haul over the past 16 years. So I temper my desire to have just one more with the cold thought of the $1,000 we just paid at the vet for two sick cats.

  3. Robyn, I love you. You tell a great story and you have a knack for puttin’ folks in their place with such charm it’s enviable!

    I am so happy for you and Fred that (after all the nonsense) you found such a great home and it all worked out in the end. I hope the Permies will settle in and be content.

    I look forward to new and exciting adventures in your new environment, touring the new foster room when it’s ready, and anything else you’re willing to share with us. It really is a privilege to get a peek into your lives and feel a part of it all.

    Thank you for your generosity <3

    • The Permies, lol. They sound like a 60’s girl band!

      Yes, I second that – thank you for your generosity in sharing and allowing us this peek into your life and those of the Permies! I just moved myself, my stuff and one cat (with my friend’s 4 month old puppy in the truck who just wanted to be friends with Malcolm. Yeah.) from Toronto to Ottawa (*normally* a 4 hour drive) the same day you moved, and I thought I would lose my turds, so I can’t imagine how you did it with 12…

  4. So who wants to start a betting pool for when the first stray cat shows up at the new house? 😀

  5. Thank you for sharing your adventures — it opened my eyes to the reality of house-selling, which is something I have yet to ever do but probably will eventually. (I love my current pad and its location and am in no hurry to leave, but I might eventually.)

    I feel you on the unsolicited advice. It’s a hard thing to deal with and you handled it with more grace and tact than I am likely to. It’s why I probably won’t ever Livestream in the event that I do foster. I take unsolicited advice and opinions and criticism more personally than I probably should, and I’m afraid that I’d end up questioning myself and everything I’m doing if I was faced with all the pearl-clutchers that people like FDJ handle. I’m simply unwilling to put myself through that nonsense. I might do a still-pictures blog, though. 🙂

  6. You obviously have the patience of Job to be able to respond to questions and comments that are intrusive and in some cases, leaning towards ignorant. You and Fred are living actual lives, you aren’t characters in some reality show that everyone is watching on the internet and your choices and actions don’t have to be justified to anyone.

    That being said, congrats on your new home. I hope y’all, and all of the furry family, will have many happy years there.

    And how in the world has Hubble’s family not found him yet? He is so adorable, if my crazy cat lady card wasn’t full, I’d be headed south to get him.

  7. My sister and her husband lived in southeast Hunstville for 18 years; they loved it. In fact, now that they moved to Hampton Cove, my sister wishes they were back in southeast area, because it was conveniently located to everything. I think you both will love it there.

    My late hubby and I lived in the country two years before his death; we moved there with 4 cats, and I returned to town with 9. So yeah, cats happen in the country!

    Love your house and the surroundings!

  8. Aw, I never for a moment doubted all the guys would be coming along! I can see them in the back of the Kia, driving to their new home, with the theme song from “The Jeffersons” playing in the background…

    OK, so how can I ask this… what about the uh, remains, buried at Crooked Acres? Did you take any of the grave markers with you (like the stones for George and Gracie)? I know, weird question.

    • It is not a weird question! I made the mistake of burying my first cat that passed. I was unprepared and had never thought it through. I now cremate, only. If I move, well hubby gets to exhume her body, and she will come with me. Since I don’t have acreage, I fear that someone would plant something where her grave is and throw away her bones. That would break my heart. Where I go, she goes.

  9. Thanks for filling in the details for us! That kitchen is beautiful! I can imagine cats snacking all over it!

  10. I have a couple of favorite quotes from this entry:

    “A big plus was that there was no HOA” – More and more, they seem to be forgetting the “owners” part of the equation. My neighbor is dealing with some ridiculousness from ours right now (it even made the nightly newscast in a major news market-GRRR).
    “And I say this with love: I wasn’t looking for advice.” – I understand completely.

    Beautiful home with a gorgeous view, it looks like. Hope you all will be very happy there. And that kitchen would have convinced me too!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your and Fred’s moving travails with us, Robyn. May you have many, many years of happiness in your new place. And may the troops adjust quickly. It looks lovely — and oh, what a beautiful view! Can’t wait to see more.

  12. My only question/comment is, I hope your mailing address to the P.O. box in Athens is still viable because a Christmas card is on the way. Your card has been received here in Ohio … and thank you!

  13. What a story! Looks like a beautiful home and based on FB/Insta posts, the Permanent Residents are settling in well. Glad to hear that Fred and you will be happy too (with your mountain and kitchen, respectively).

    Your Q&A section reminded me of how grateful I am that you regularly put your life and your cats out into the WWW (Wild Wild West) of the internet.

    I’d like to think that the Love & Hisses family here is relatively sane compared to the internet at large, but I’m sure you get unwanted advice, crazy questions and the occasional nutjob. I so appreciate that you are willing to put up with that and keep showing up here. I look forward to my visit every single day!

  14. Someone seriously asked if you were taking all the cats???

    Reading all this confirms something for me – the only way I am ever moving is if I win the lottery and can have someone else do it for me. 🙂

  15. I second everyone’s thanks and appreciation comments!! Couldn’t say any of it better.

    So I’m just gonna say – Thank you!!

  16. We ain’t no HOA!!!!! But we are all fans and even friends of Love & Hisses, Fred & Robyn, and all that you share with us.

    Keep it up Robyn, even the cliffhangers were fun to read, thinking ‘What the heck happens next?’

    Don’t even remember how I found you years ago, maybe through a post on the now defunct Cute Overload. I’m very glad I did and wouldn’t miss a day of Love and Hisses for the world.

  17. oh wow you answered all my nosey questions already in your anticipated questions!! Are there still separate bedrooms for you and Fred? Why didn’t the people who BOUGHT crooked acres keep the ducks and the chickens? I mean – I’m just assuming that people who buy a property like that WANT things like ducks and chickens around. Do people really just dump cats at crooked acres and are the buyers aware that might happen to them? see I still have lots of nosey questions. the new house looks SO very pretty. Does Fred have a day job or is his job his writing? this is all very exciting. the new house… REALLY looks SO SO SO PRETTY!! congrats!! and what a mess, ugh. glad it all worked out in the end!!

    • I think I know the answer to this! Fred does have a day job! He does some super secret software/computer/designing stuff for a company. He used to have a business that had a contract with the government. I imagine him saving us from terrorists and stupid presidents who press the red button like the nerds on all the NCIS shows. 😉

  18. There is fencing items that help keep coyotes out, please check on those. Hopefully they would be doable, along with a fence tall enough to keep the cats in.

    I am glad the move worked out, finally.

  19. With two cats who demand a lot of attention, petting, holding and snuggling, I can’t imagine what it would be like with eleven! Well, okay, there are two of you, but even dividing it up, you’re running like 300% ahead of me. Once upon a time, I did have three cats, a big dog, and eleven (or was it fourteen?!?) birds, so okay, I’ve done my time. Which is why I don’t want to do it again! Kudos and strength to you!

  20. I don’t blame you for keeping quiet. Also, it isn’t anyone’s business about the sale price etc. I got your back, sis’ta.

    I do have a question about radon, though. Is it really as big of deal as they try to make it out to be (safe levels vs those a bit above)? It seemed to me that it isn’t. I mean, you all are still alive, right? Will it always kill a sale or will the buyers always force a fix? I know someone who bought a home that did not force a fix and lives there. Please educate me!!

    By the way, congrats on the new home (pretty!), and all the adoptions! The view from your new home is lovely. I totally would go for that and I, too, am a big hiker! I couldn’t be happier for you! Your stories were very entertaining and depicted people perfectly. 🙂

  21. What a gorgeous house! And that view from the front of the house??? Heaven! I’m so glad you found something you loved, and that everyone is settling in nicely. Best wishes in your new home!

  22. I am dying to know how the car ride went with all the kitties at once! I saw the pictures, but that cant possibly convey the actual ride. As in how long and how loud and who flipped their shit and who, if any, lost their shit and made the ride odorific as well? I’ve had a few cats in a car at once, I cannot imagine a car full of them! From the way it was packed, I’m assuming only one of you could go with them? Who was that luck person?

    Love the house, love the view, love the built ins! And I bid 50 cents on Jake! 😉

  23. I’m so happy you and Fred have found a place where you and all the kitties can be happy. I was reading parts of this post to my husband and he said, “They’re very weird aren’t they?” and I said, “Yes, I think we could actually be friends with them.”

    You and Fred are definitely our sort of people. And you’re an inspiration to cat lovers. I’m seriously thinking of turning my son’s room into a foster room.

  24. sorry but I am a little confused. Is Chapman mountain and Huntsville house one in the same?
    Is the Cove house you passed up closer to town and stores than where you ultimately ended up buying?
    Congrats! Hope you post pictures

  25. Who will take care of the cats that show up at Crooked Acres – oh that question hurt.. I am so sorry if someone asked you that.. what a thoughtless thing to say.

    As for the going outside bit, once a cat has gotten used to going outside, it is kinda hard to limit the territory they have. If they are used to being inside, they make due when there are more cats – basically because they don’t know any different – but it would be a bit like telling a human they could never go to the movies or to the beach ever again.. it’s hard.. and harsh.

    And again, I know that people say things because they think they care, but it is a bit like telling someone who has been sick and lost a lot of weight how ‘healthy’ they look.

  26. Thank you for sharing your adventures! Enjoyed hearing about your successful move & really look forward to the pics to come. Reading about your beautiful fosters & seeing the adorable pics makes my day!