3-23-12 – Friday

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Have you thought of using some velcro to keep the pads in the kitty box? They make some with adhesive on the backs and you could (here I am bossing again) stick one in each corner of the box and sew the other part to the pads? They might still push it out if they work very hard but it would take a while.

That’s a good idea, I think I’m going to give that a try next time we have a pregnant mama. The Noms and Emmy, being weirdos, seem to prefer the bare wood for some reason, so I guess I’ll let them do what they want. When those little ones start wandering around the room and find the cushy, comfy soft beds that are in various spots of the room, maybe they’ll change their minds!

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Is Emmy’s bottom lip swollen? In the video it kind of looks like it is.

It’s a little swollen. It seems to get a little worse when she’s spent a lot of time grooming the babies, and then better when she gets some alone time. She won’t let me look at it or get too close to it, but I’ll keep an eye on it (from a distance) and if it gets worse, I’ll take her to the vet (which will be a special, special experience, I suspect).

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At the risk of having the scary “finger of skimmer” aimed at me, where did you get the cute cat dishes the duck/chicken egg comparisons are in? I probably need some because we certainly need more cra, er stuff for our furball.

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I got those at Target, I believe. I’d give you the name of the company who makes them, but there’s no stamp on the bottom at all! I’ve had them for a few years. If they didn’t come from Target, then they came from Petsmart – but I am fairly sure that they came from Target. (Unless they came from Petsmart. 🙂 )

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Do duck eggs taste different from chicken eggs??

We scrambled and ate one duck egg, and it is similar to a chicken egg, but has a stronger flavor (it tastes particularly “eggy”, if you will). If I hadn’t known that it was a duck egg rather than a chicken egg, I would have thought it tasted a little “off”, but would have accepted that it was a chicken egg.

I’ve heard that duck eggs are really good to bake with, so that’s likely what I’ll use them for.

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I’m not sure how to phrase this question without it sounding weirdly accusatory in one way or another, which is not my intent at all, but: Are you going to let the ducks reproduce? If so, or even if not, how will you know (without cracking them open) which eggs were fertilized and which ones weren’t? Part of the reason I ask is that if you wind up with ducklings, I might have to remove you from my bookmarks lest my head explode from the cute and I lose my mind and drive to Alabama to live in one of your sheds. (c;

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Do you and Fred have a little machine or something that tells whether or not there are BABIES in the chicken and duck eggs before you eat/cook them?

With all those roosters and the 2 male ducks running around, I would think there could be some “eeewww” moments otherwise???

We don’t, at this point, intend to let the ducks have babies. We have the four ducks, and their sole purpose is to be entertaining and to paddle around in the pond (SOMEDAY). I have no desire to eat duck and so it would be silly to let them have babies. Even though they’d be SO CUTE, and wouldn’t a kitten-and-duckling picture be ADORABLE?

But no. No baby ducks!

Here’s the thing with fertile eggs: you can’t know if they’re fertile without cracking the egg open. We gather eggs every day (sometimes twice a day), and so there’s never a chance for them to start developing. Fertile eggs need to be under a hen or in an incubator to start developing. If we find an egg that’s in a spot we didn’t know they were laying in (most of the hens lay their eggs in the coop, but occasionally one of them gets sneaky and starts laying in a spot previously unused), we test them by putting them in a cup of water. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it’s fresh enough to eat; if it floats, it gets tossed. If there’s any question, we toss it.

There’s no taste difference at all between fertilized and unfertilized eggs, they taste exactly the same and don’t let anyone tell you any different.

Also, hens will lay eggs whether roosters are present or not, but of course if a rooster isn’t present they won’t be fertile eggs.

When we’ve got a broody hen sitting on a clutch of eggs, Fred will check the eggs after 10 days to see which ones are growing and which ones aren’t. He’s built a box with a lightbulb in it, and he holds the egg up to the light and can see if there’s growth. I myself am never able to tell the difference, but he’s always able to tell right away. The eggs that are not developing, he tosses and the eggs that are, he puts back under the hen.

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Dear Noms, the fancy yellow sheet with its kitty print is just so festive and comfy looking! How can you push it away? But Tabitha keeps dragging her babies off the multitude of soft surfaces I have provided and putting them on the hardwood floor. Maybe it is the warm weather…80’s in March…good gosh we zoomed right past the 70’s without even a how-dee-do!!

I think that the Noms are snobs, is what I think. That kitty-print pad is one that I made myself, and since I cannot sew a straight line to save my life, it’s a bit crooked and the Noms are all “Eww. We require a much more PROFESSIONAL looking place to sleep than THAT.”

Joke’s on them, though: I stained and polyurethaned that box they love so much, and I can see all the places I made mistakes, so HA.

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Who the heck is that landmass in front of Emmy’s face hiding her nose? Boy, they’ve suddenly doubled in size and look like fat knockwurst.

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That is the delightfully chunky Logie. And yeah, they’re all plump little sausages these days, and often willing to roll over for a belly rub. I am in heaven!

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Crooked Acres Thursday is the best, especially in beautiful Spring! That lightning photo is quite frightening! Did it scare you when you took it? Did you run right back inside?

Oh, I took that lightning photo through the window. I have no desire to go outside when lightning is striking! In fact, when the rainbow was out, Fred said “You should go out into the yard to get a better picture!” and I refused to because a cool picture is nice, but being struck by lightning isn’t my thing.

I might start hearing dead people, and that would be creepy.

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Wait, you can get ad revenue from YouTube?

You can! Well, actually, I guess it’s through Google Adsense. I think you’d have to get a whole lot more traffic on your videos than I do to make it worth it, though – I’ve been signed up with them for a year, and I think my grand total earned is less than $10. I’m not sure it’s worth the annoyance of having ads show up during your videos, honestly. Of course, if that Emmy video were to truly go viral and rack up millions of hits (which I’m not expecting, but never say never!), I might be singing a different tune.

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So, on the topic of starving. I’ve always wondered how you manage to get 14 sets of snacks out during Snackin’! Time!? I usually feel like a zebra being stalked by a hungry herd of lions when I’m putting dinner out for my 4 guys. I’m pretty sure, no, make that quite sure, I’ll be footage on Nat Geo one of these days…

Kelly added: I have to feed my three in separate corners of the kitchen so everyone “keeps their eyes on their own bowls”. Norman, especially, is too curious about what everyone else is eating. The other two just want to eat in peace. I can’t imagine having to find 14 defined spaces for kitty feeding. The drama produced between the feeding of the first and the feeding of the third is ridiculous (and only takes a few seconds!).

Um, EXCUSE ME, I only have THIRTEEN cats, thank you very much!

(Yeah. Somehow that doesn’t sound the slightest bit less crazy than 14, does it?)

I shot this video at the end of last year, and it illustrates how we did snack time with two sets of fosters (the Peppers Gang and Charlie and Patty Peppers) and the permanents. Right now we’re going through a non-snack time (which I do every so often when I hit my annoyance threshold – don’t worry, they’re not starving!) and the only Permanent in the house who currently gets snacks is Spanky. He’s lost some weight in the last year (he’s healthy, but in his old age he’s just not eating as much) and so he gets a morning and evening snack in addition to their regular food. He gets his snack in the bathroom (otherwise, Jake would elbow him out of the way – as it is, Jake waits outside the bathroom in case Spanky doesn’t eat his entire snack), and any time I walk in that general direction with ANYTHING in my hand, Spanky gets all excited and runs into the bathroom.

(By the way, Emmy gets four HUGE “snacks” a day in addition to her bowl of always-available kibble.)

Kelly is SO right about the drama between the feeding of the first and the feeding of the next few being ridiculous. Cats are such drama queens!

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Miz Poo is gorgeous. How did she get her name?

I honestly can’t remember how Miz Poo got her name. She was originally named “Scrappy” (at the time we were going with an “S” theme when it came to cats’ names; we gave that up when we adopted Tom Cullen), and then I’m sure that in the course of baby-talking to her and calling to her, she became “Pooh” and then graduated to “Miz Poo.” (When I call for her, it’s usually “Miiiiiiiz PootiePootiePootie!”) For a while I was getting reminders from the vet and had to stop and think “Who on earth is SCRAPPY?!” before I remember that that’s her “real” name. The vet now has her listed as “Scrappy/ Miz Poo.” Heh.

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So which momma cat has been the best momma so far, Emmy or Miss Maggie?

I would say that they have different parenting philosophies! Maggie was a little less super-worried about the babies – I mean, not that she would let them starve, or even howl or anything, but she did wait and make sure there was an issue before she went back in to be with them. I had to put a camera in the room when Maggie had her babies, because otherwise the babies would be in the middle of feeding and I’d walk into the room, and Maggie would get up and run over to me for petting and her babies would be rolling around trying to figure out what just happened. Maggie would go back and take care of the babies once she got her petting, but I hated that my walking into the room interrupted the nursing.

Emmy, on the other hand, is a helicopter parent. All those babies have to do is make the slightest peep, and she’s over there all “What’s the matter, baby, what do you need, are you hungry? Do you need to go potty? Is that mean lady trying to pet you? Should I beat her up for you?”

I’m really looking forward to seeing how Emmy’s babies turn out, and then I can extrapolate which parenting method is the preferred! I expect that Emmy’s babies will turn out just as awesome as Maggie’s (and they were AWESOME, weren’t they!), and the resulting theory will be “Stay out of the way and let them parent how they want.”

Want to see a few pictures of Maggie and her babies from last year? You know you do!

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I honestly think that if Maggie and her babies were still here (and her babies will turn 1 on April 2nd), they’d still be nursing and she’d still be letting them! They had no desire to stop, and she wasn’t going to make them.

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Robyn! Aah! I know you’re a fan of the pawpads, so check this out!

How CUTE!

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Kara’s frowny face always cracks me up. Does she ever “smile” or does she always look so anxious and concerned?

She pretty much always looks anxious and concerned – it’s tough to be the sheriff, and she takes her job seriously! I think it’s just her natural expression, she looks concerned even when she’s laying on her bed being petted and purring up a storm.

Can you believe it’s been almost four years since we first got Kara as a pregnant (foster) cat?

Although, actually, she’s kind of smiling here, isn’t she:

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And here she is with her babies:

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Who is the “go way” and “spoken my piece” baby? Sooooo cute.

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That is Newbery, I believe. I have to confess that when I see the kittens in person (purrson!), I can tell them apart but it’s harder when I’m looking at pictures.

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Newbery’s ears seemed to have “popped”–does that coincide with the ability to hear?

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So tell me, when their ears popped up, did they make a sproingy noise? 🙂

I do believe that the “popping” of the ears probably coincides with their ability to hear (kittens are born blind and deaf). They can definitely hear me now judging by how their ears move around at any sound, and they – especially Newbery – will “talk” to me if I talk to them long enough.

When their eyes opened, it sounded like a cork coming off a champagne bottle. When their ears popped, it was like “Sproing-oing-oing-oing!” 🙂

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Will Fred again attempt to grab that “on the lam” rooster for freezer camp? Its days seem numbered!

I think for the time being, we’re going to let wandering rooster and his lady stay around. If they start becoming a nuisance and wander off our property, then that might change. But luckily the neighbor has a dog, and the Wanderers seem to know that they should keep their distance from the dog and tend to stick right around the house, so I think they’ll be okay.

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“What’s out HERE?”

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Logie’s not sure she likes that loud yellow fabric.

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Or maybe she’s trying to understand it.

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Newbery gets a back rub and thinks maybe he likes it.

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Checking to see what’s out there…

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Logie thinks outside the box.

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Thinking about it…

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Venturing forth.

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“Okay, this fabric is even worse. Can we get something in a muted paisley?”

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Having retreated to the box, Logie keeps an eye on me. Probably hoping I’ll replace that fabric with something quieter.

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“Mama, that lady keeps taking our PICTURE!”
“I’m keeping an eye on her. She won’t mess with you. She’s scared of me.”

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That’s what YOU think, Emmy!

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Logie and Darwin are behind Emmy. Sometimes they feel the need to be crammed in the tiny space between Emmy and the back of the box.

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Kitten movies! The first is one of the kittens (either Darwin or Newbery, I’m not sure which), nursing. SO sweet!

Note: when the picture goes wider, that buzzing noise you hear is the camera focusing. Also, you can hear a loud truck going by. It gets loud in that room occasionally.

The second is the Noms (especially Newbery) stumbling around the box like they’re drunk:

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Yesterday morning, I was sitting at my desk, and I glanced over to see Elwood and Jake under the bird feeder. In other words, outside the fence. When I went out to call them inside, Elwood came right up onto the side stoop and into the house. Jake ran back and forth by the fence, trying to figure out how to get back into the back yard. Then I realized how they’d escaped the back yard: the day before, when the guy came to see why our upstairs air unit wasn’t working, he’d left the gate unlatched, giving all the cats a way to escape the back yard if they so wished. I hadn’t thought to check the gate and make sure it was latched, because it never occurred to me that the guy would have just left the freakin’ thing unlatched. Grrr.

To my horror, when I did a head count, I couldn’t find Corbie. I looked all over the house and in his usual spots in the back yard, and nada. I walked the property for about half an hour calling and calling and calling, and no Corbie. I came inside the house and called Fred at work to tell him that Corbie was missing, and as soon as Fred picked up the phone, I looked out the window and Corbie was walking across the side yard looking puzzled. As soon as I opened the door and called him, he ran up the steps and into the house. PHEW!

New rule: check the gates after we’ve had a workman in the back yard!

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Hello, Beautiful.

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Corbie and the Loon.

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Loony Jake finds Corbie annoyingly beautiful.

Y’all have a good weekend – I don’t expect to be posting this weekend, see you Monday!

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Previously
2011: (So RUDE, snapping a picture of a poor pregnant lady from behind!)
2010: Sometimes another kitten will join in on the howling, and OH their hearts are just breaking at the injustice of not being able to get through the door, they are PERSONALLY insulted at this turn of events.
2009: Here we go, all seven present and accounted for!
2008: No entry.
2007: Their evil chicken talons don’t poke holes in the kiddie pool?
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.

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