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Guess who was on Cute Overload Thursday evening?

2012-03-07 (19)

Awwww. I’ll be honest, it never occurred to me to send the picture to Cute Overload until Lisa told me to send it to them. I am nothing if not obedient, so I did! (Thanks, Lisa.)

Oooh, maybe Emmy will make it into the 2013 Cute Overload daily calendar, wouldn’t that be awesome? This picture of The Seven did:

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I’ve got that page from the calendar hanging on my fridge, still. I need to frame it and hang it in the foster room or something.

ANYway, if you’re a new reader who made your way over here from Cute Overload, welcome! You can read more about me here, you can see pictures of our permanent residents here (including George and Gracie, our 3 1/2 year-old Great Pyrenees dogs who protect the chickens), you can see an incomplete list of our current and previous foster kitties here. Since May of 2005, we’ve fostered 174 cats for Challenger’s House, a no-kill cat shelter here in North Alabama. All the links in this paragraph also live over there in the sidebar.

Love & Hisses has a Facebook page here. If something of interest happens between the daily posts, I usually post it there (but worry not – if you can’t get to Facebook, I always share whatever the news is in the next post!) I’ve got a random bunch of (mostly cat) videos over at YouTube. And the Challenger’s House PetFinder page is here.

Oh, and I’ve got 22,000+ pictures of mostly cats over at Flickr. I love to take pictures of my cats and our fosters, in case you hadn’t noticed.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments or email me ( mizrobyn (at) gmail (dot) com ). And did I mention welcome? Welcome! 🙂

(PS: Friday’s the day when I answer questions, respond to comments, and share links people have sent me. Thursday’s the day I share random pictures from around Crooked Acres (that’s what we call our house and property). EVERY day’s the day I share kitten pics! Well, usually I only post Monday – Friday, but when there are tiny kittens in the house, I usually post every day for the first few weeks!)

(PPS: The last section of pictures in each entry consists of pictures of one or more of our permanent resident cats. Every Friday, you are forced to gaze upon the beauty of Corbie, the most beautiful cat in all of existence. Or this house, anyway.)

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I’ve had a lot of searches recently where people appear to be looking for the Emmy’s-alien-belly video that I shot the day before she gave birth. Here ’tis:

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Saw this Simon’s Cat cartoon and thought of your house… elder cats, younger ones, no manners – lessons delivered – splat…

HA – that is absolutely what it’s like when we’ve got little ones on the loose!

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Maybe Razzie can help her mama with the bathing!

Yesterday, Emmy was giving Razzie a bath… and Razzie was licking Emmy’s face! It was beyond sweet, I almost tipped over and died from the cute.

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So, I’ve wondered this for a while: What is up with kitten claws? Are they just really long/oversized for the paws? Are kittens not able to retract their claws? Do they just like to threaten you, Robyn? Those claws just seem so… out there. I’ve never dealt with kittens that are only a few days or weeks old, so if the question is ridiculous, please forgive me!

This is not a ridiculous question at all! Connie answered this one, complete with a link:

Kittens are born unable to retract their claws. By 27 days of age, the claws can be retracted at will

I always forget between newborn litters that kittens are born unable to retract their claws. It takes me by surprise every time, and then in the far distant reaches of my brain, the memory stumbles forth and I’m like “Oh, right. They aren’t retracting them because they can’t! Duh.”

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Have you seen this video? Has this ever happened to any of your cats?

As far as I know, the chickens have never gone after the cats, not even when the chickens were in the back yard. The cats also don’t go after the chickens (chickens are pretty big, and kind of scary when they cluck and flap their wings) – they lived a pretty peaceful coexistence, but that was also back before we had Kara. I’m not sure that Kara would take kindly to sharing the back yard with chickens – she’s quite the little hunter.

Also, because I love these pictures so very much, here are my favorite cat/ chicken pictures. That’s Sugarbutt and Frick, our favorite chicken ever. (Frick died unexpectedly a few years ago from being eggbound.) (I know what y’all are thinking, and no. We don’t eat our pets. Frick was assuredly a pet.)

I love these pictures because they look so oddly posed, like they came from a JC Penney catalog.

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Aren’t they the cutest thing ever? How do you differentiate Darwin from Newbery? I can’t tell them apart. So inconsiderate of them, not even having a white patch somewhere to act as a name tag! 😉

Newbery Darwin Comp

This is how: Newbery’s got more light brown around his nose than Darwin; her whole nose area is darker than his. Newbery’s forehead is lighter than Darwin’s is. Also, Newbery’s got kind of a darker “stripe” going down from the middle of his “M”, whereas she’s got a “splotch” in the middle of her forehead. It looks like Darwin’s got a black lower lip and Newbery doesn’t, but he actually does – his mouth was shut in that picture, though.

If all else fails, we turn them around and look at their back ends! 🙂

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Hate to be a nuffer, but you named a kitten for the Darwin Awards? I’m little concerned here. Does this doom them to a life of daredevil antics and “curiosity killed the cat” jokes?

Awww, I think it’s an adorable name. And I highly suspect that when wee Darwin is adopted, her new parents will change her name. 🙂

(For the record, Fred doesn’t like the naming theme or any of the kittens’ names, and I don’t think he cares for Emmy’s name, either, HMPH.)

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OMG, Logie is cracking me up! I take it she is the Princess Ciara of this family?

I think she is totally going to be the Princess Ciara! The other three are starting to be curious about me, they look up at me and they sniff my hand and they let me pet them (Newbery, especially, enjoys being petted), but Logie is totally “Meh. HUMAN.” and crawls to safety (ie, Emmy) as fast as she can. That’s how Ciara was, and she ended up being an awfully sweet and snuggly girl, so I’m hoping that’s how Logie turns out, too!

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Robyn, every cat link I see I have to show you. Linked from freekibblekat.com: Eco-beds for pampered pets.

And I appreciate that! 🙂

I told Kerry the other day that I like the bed made out of an old sweater, and that I may try making one of those out of an old hoodie (since I have no old sweaters laying around). Kerry pointed out that the sweatshirt material would likely be easier to keep clean than a sweater, anyway. Very true!

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Maxi’s put years of training into you guys, and finally, she is getting what she wants. Is she still ok with the permanents? no fighting or anything? and who did you think she was the possible mummy of?

Maxi may be Newt’s mother – when I took them in to be spayed and neutered (along with the litter of kittens Maxi had a few months before we bought this house), the vet suggested that it was a possibility that he could be her kitten from a previous litter. He is the ONLY cat she puts up with, and he absolutely loves her to death. In fact, I looked over at the side stoop the other day, and he was cleaning her face. Awww.

Maxi does not care for the other permanent residents, but as long as they leave her alone she’s fine. On the rare occasion we can get her to come inside the house these days, Loony Jake follows her around because he is weirdly fascinated by her, I don’t know why. When she settles in the cat bed on Fred’s desk, Jake will sit on the floor and look up at her. Eventually he’ll jump up to sniff at her, and she has a conniption and then demands to go back outside. She’s not a fighter, though – I’ve never seen her actually make contact with another cat, she most hisses and growls and makes a big fuss so they’re too scared to get any closer.

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That’s calmer??? Poor little drama queen Logie. Why are you so mean to her, Robyn? I expected reactions out of my cats when I played the video (once or twice… okay, five times). Not one of them even twitched an ear. Guess my big strong man cats aren’t exactly maternal. The dog? Charlie lost what’s left of his marbles looking for the poor baby kitten. That may or may not have been the reason I played the video the last couple of times 😉

Not a single one of my cats reacted in any way when I was playing that video on my computer. I wonder what George and Gracie would do if I took the camera out there and played it for them?

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And Poor little Logie… At least you know her lungs are healthy! For some reason, that video reminds me of this one:

Now wouldn’t that be a weird sound to hear coming from your foster room?!

Maybe it’s the ‘tear stain’ markings on Emmy’s, Razzie’s, Newberry’s and Darwin’s sweet faces that made me think of the wild kitten. Who knows?

Finally, if Ellie Bellie was pregnant, how many months along do you figure he’d be?

That wee baby Cheetah is SO freakin’ cute!!!

I imagine if Ellie Bellz was pregnant, he’d be having a huuuuuge litter (at least 10!), and is probably just about ready to pop! 🙂

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I am excited to tell y’all that I got a big show of trust from Emmy yesterday. So far, she’s only left the box where the kittens are a couple of times when I’m in the room. But I have to be NOT near the box, and I have to be laying down before she’s felt comfortable enough to do so. The couple of times she left the box while I was laying on the floor, she flopped down on the floor behind the box and the instant I sat up, she ran over and went right into the box.

Well, yesterday I was hanging out in the room and since the kittens were just sleeping, I stretched out on the floor (there’s a pillow in there) and started playing Words with Friends on my iPod Touch. I heard a noise, and looked over at the box, and Emmy walked out of the box and stretched out on the floor behind the box. She’s done that before, though, so I just went back to playing.

When I was caught up on all my games, I slowly sat up. Emmy opened her eyes and looked at me, so I just looked down at my iPod like I was still playing games, and she closed her eyes again. Over the next ten minutes, I scooted a bit closer to the box, then looked at my iPod for a few minutes, scooted a little closer, etc. She looked over at me a few times, but for the most part was pretty unconcerned about what I was doing. I finally got close enough to pet the kittens, who were still sleeping.

I got up to leave, and she got up and walked over to the front of the box. She looked in at the kittens, then watched me leave – but didn’t feel the need to go back in the box.

I know it doesn’t sound all that exciting, but I feel like it’s a definite big step forward for Emmy. I’m hoping that the next step will be the one where she doesn’t feel the need to run into the box when I walk into the room!

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Also, she came out of the box to eat, which she’s done before.

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Smug little face.

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Man, she will just lay down right on top of those kittens any ol’ time.

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They don’t seem any the worse for wear.

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“I wub my mama.”

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“Hi Mama! Hi!”

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Smiley baby.

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“Mama! That lady keeps taking my picture!”

Tomorrow, updated pictures of each of their little faces, and their current weights!

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This box, located in the middle of the kitchen, is Corbie’s safe place. When he gets a toy that he doesn’t want to share, off to the safe box he goes. If something scares him? Safe box. If it’s snack time, he would prefer that you put his snacks in the box, please. There’s a layer of brown paper on the bottom of the box, and he likes to have to “hunt” through it for his snacks.

2012-03-16 (13)
I’m getting the ‘tude from Corbs because he thinks I might be coming in to move him. That’s my spot, you see, and where I lay and watch TV. I try to convince Corbie to snuggle with me while I watch TV, but he’s not a snuggler.

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“The Corbs does not snuggle with humans.”


2011: Hey Maggie, you gonna give me those babies today?
2010: Every time I go into the kitten room, Maura meows at me once or twice, and I say “Give me those babies!”
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



3-16-12 — 32 Comments

  1. Miss Emmy has come sooooo far since arriving at Crooked Acres!!!! It’s you magic touch again (and incredible patience).

    • I’m SO glad Emmy is trusting you more and more!! Hooray!! Also, her hipbones aren’t sticking out so much anymore. Thanks for giving her so much good food that she could gain weight while feeding those four ravenous fuzzballs!!

      And how adorable is little washerkitten Razzie? VERY adorable!

      Have a great weekend, Robyn!

  2. Oh, the cuteness….gets better each day, even tho it seems like the maximum each day! Who knows, maybe Emmy will get up in your lap some day. I was thinking she was probably also verrryyy tired!

    • The day she comes over to me, willingly, to be petted will be an awesome day indeed. You’ll be able to hear me cheering (quietly, so as not to startle her, of course!) 🙂

  3. Argh, NEITHER of my cats is a snuggler. It’s one of the big disappointments of my life. 🙁

    • It might change – my tabby Julius was only an occasional snuggler when he was young but lately he has really taken to sitting on my lap or next to be on the couch.

  4. Robyn, I think I want your life. You live on a beautiful farm and are surrounded by animals, and you have kittens!

    Corbie IS gorgeous. I love brown tabbies.

    My cats are selective about their snuggle time. They choose when; I obey.

  5. One of the best things about that pic of the SEVEN are those green plates with Kitty imprints on them. Don’t think they appreciate it but I did.

    • I love those plates – and when Cute Overload posted that picture, there was someone in the comments who wasn’t sure if she was going nuts and posted something like “Does anyone else see cat faces on those plates…?” Heh. They’re my favorite plates to use for snack time!

  6. congrats on being on cuteoverload! I so should send some of my photos over there, but I keep thinking none of them are cute enough..

    I don’t have a problem telling Darwin from Newbery. Guess it is just too many years of kittens under my belt 🙂

    As for the name Emmy, I guess I’m a little partial to it.. Although we always called Emmy “Em”. (and sometimes “Emmy Em” when we were being silly)

    And it is nice that she’s being more relaxed. Meira is spending less and less time in the basket, I almost never see her in there when I check on her during the day now.. I’m sure Emmy is just looking for a little “me” time and willing to “risk” it while you are there 🙂 And I agree that is no small thing. Kudos to both of you.

    • I’m rather partial to the name Emmy myself. My oldest daughter is Emily, which we shortened to “Emmy” for years (although now, as a teenager, she has outlawed it’s use). As a toddler, she referred to herself as “Mimi”… which is my nickname for her and I am the only person on the planet who is allowed to use it. I do believe my first group of foster kittens will have a Mimi and her brother will be Steve. My son’s name is not Steve. It’s not his nickname either. But for a glorious 3 week period as a two year old he would answer to nothing but Steve. He also insisted on wearing green striped shirts and carrying a red notebook. He will never live down aspiring to be the dude from Blue’s Clues.

      • I really like the name Emmy – though I have to admit that if “Emily” hadn’t already been used by the shelter in the past, I would have used that (it’s my nephew’s fiancee’s name – she’s pregnant and due next month), so Emmy was a second choice.

        I really, really like “Mimi”, too, I’m going to have to add that to my list of potential future foster names! 🙂

  7. Doofus dog Charlie did get payback for me teasing him with baby Logie’s piteous screams. Apparently, he was still looking for her after I left to volunteer at my daughter’s school yesterday. He left no stone or litter box unturned…. one box was dragged out into the back hallway and dumped upside down before he was satisfied that she wasn’t in there (he chewed an extra hole in it too). Our newest decorating touches? Baby gates outside the laundry room and the stairs to the basement. My “baby” is nearly 11. It could have been worse, at least I scooped right before I left. My kitties also got a party bucket litter box last night. They were disappointed at the lack of beer (so was my husband).

    My vet (who I love even more because they foster animals in the clinic and everyone who works there takes in litters of foster kittens who run around the clinic during the lunch hour… yeah, I do stop in at noon instead of calling and yeah, it’s on purpose) put out the call on Facebook for the rescue group they work with looking for people to take in foster mamas and kittens. If I were to do this (and it’s still a big “if” because I wasn’t planning on doing this until my current foster goes home this summer), what sort of space do I need to make the little family comfortable? I have 3 spots in my house that can be closed off from the residents (permanent and otherwise). We have one nearly empty room with a wood floor and glass doors (that I would cover with curtains). There’s another room that’s fully furnished… sofa and chairs, but it also has carpet and electronics (tv, computer, cords coming out our ears). This room is also where my kids tend to hang out in the evenings. Then there’s the basement… there’s an old sofa and loveseat down there but there are no barriers to keep the kittens out of the storage area and it’s rather cold and dim down there. I’m leaning towards one of the first two with modifications, but I’ll have to keep the uproar to a minimum if my husband is going to go along with it right now. Any suggestions?

    • Kelly, I’d say that your best bet would be the room with the wood floor and glass doors – the fact that it’s nearly empty is a point in its favor, because if there’s too much furniture, you may end up with all your fosters under the couch or chairs. You can always scatter cat beds around for them to lounge on, and you could always get a cheap area rug from Walmart (the area rug I have in the foster room was almost $20 – and to be honest, it’s there for my comfort as much as theirs, since I get down on the floor with them).

  8. For those of you who want more cuddles … how warm do you keep your house? 🙂 I’m a very frugal person and my house is chilly … which means LOTS of snuggle-time from the heat-seeking kitty! 😉 Give it a try!

    • Ha – good thinkin’! 🙂 Unfortunately, even when it’s really cold here (mid-60s in the house. What? That’s cold!), Corbie’s more apt to hang out on the heat vent than to snuggle with me!

  9. Emmy’s face in the ‘“Mama! That lady keeps taking my picture!”” shot is cracking me up. I immediately hear her saying, “The horror! The HORROR!!”

    • That little face is getting me, too! I hear her talking in Marie’s voice in “The Aristocats.”

  10. Sugarbutt and the chicken are awesome!
    I’m so glad Emmy is starting to trust you more, that bodes well for her eventual new home!
    Corbie, not a cuddler?? I’m devistated! Silly cat, doesnt he know he can get warms from humans better than from blankeys?

  11. I love the name Emmy — and think it suits this excellent, very lucky mummy. Corbie not a snuggle-puggle? What a shame! Still as Emerson put it, Beauty is its own excuse for being… Can’t wait for the latest weights. Thanks as ever, Robyn.

    • I think that Corbie is aware that if he’s snuggling with me, I can’t take in the full extent of his beauty, so maybe he’s doing me a favor. 🙂