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Um…so dumb urbanite question. Do carrots typically grow in the winter? Or is that just a Crooked Acres thing?

I think it’s a Southern thing – the winters here are mild enough that the carrots will grow (slowly) over the winter.

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Tell me-in the last pic labeled “Tabby Trio” are they Darwin, Newberry and Razzie going counter-clockwise (like from back to front)?

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I believe you are correct! Good eye!

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Has anyone ever told you that Miz Poo looks a lot like Sue/PitterPats’ Rosie?

I definitely see the resemblance! I just wish Miz Poo was as good with the fosters (and by “as good” I mean “doesn’t hiss and smack them with the Paw o’ Doom”) as Rosie is!

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Miz Poo is absolutely gorgeous. I love her coloration. And the picture of her with Beulah in the bed is threatening to give me a blood sugar spike.

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I am fairly certain that Miz Poo was sound asleep when Beulah wormed her way into that bed with her. If Beulah had tried that while Miz Poo was awake, there would have been hissing and smacking (from Miz Poo), but when she wakes up to find a foster snuggling with her, she’s always a little befuddled and not quite sure what to do.

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Have you been able to weigh Emmy? She seems a petite little thing. Is that why she gets so many snacks or just because she’s nursing?

No, we still haven’t weighed her. She is definitely a small girl! She was getting so many snacks both because she’s so small (I hate seeing her hipbones) and because she was nursing. Now that the babies are out of the room, I’ll likely cut her back to a couple of big snacks a day in addition to her regular food.

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Hey Robyn, have you heard about Toto the tornado kitten?

He reminded me of Dorothy, who I still love reading about on her own blog.

I had not heard of Toto – but what a great story, and what a great name! By coincidence, today marks one year since all those tornadoes ripped through our area, and that means that tomorrow marks one year since we met Dorothy! I wonder if right now she’s all “One year ago, I was flying through the air!”

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I had to come back and watch it again. Why is the raccoon at 9:43 throwing kibble at the old limping possum with the messed up tail??? You know my weakness for the old folks. I’m going to be asking to adopt him next!

YouTube link

This question made me laugh out loud. He’s not throwing kibble at the old limping possum with the messed up tail – he’s grabbing a handful of kibble, and then taking it away so he can eat it. Clearly the old possum is not scared of raccoons (if he even realizes they’re there), and the raccoon is a bit leery of the possum. Have you seen possum teeth? They’re sharp!

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Have you ever cut some honeysuckle branches for the cats? I get cut pieces from a cat store for my cats. They LOVE it ! They will even pass up catnip over honeysuckle. The last time I was at the cat store they had honeysuckle shavings and I filled up a few toys with it. The cats went crazy.

I hadn’t before I read this comment – but once I read it, I went right out and cut some honeysuckle for the cats. They sniffed at it, but they weren’t very interested. Maybe my cats are defective!

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Nothin’ cuter than a ::FLOOF::ing kitten. Unless it’s a ::FLOOF::ing kitten who’s hissing.

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I walked into the room and couldn’t find the kittens for the longest time. Finally, I realized that they’d turned this basket over so that it was facing the wall, and all of them were stuffed inside.

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“What doin’, lady?”

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Darwin looks like she’s telling a snarky joke.

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Or doing her Cher imitation.

After I posted yeterday’s entry, I walked into the guest bedroom to check on the kittens, and all four of them were out running around. Logie came running right over to me, chirping like she was saying “Where ya BEEN?!”, her tail whipping back and forth. The instant I sat down, she climbed into my lap. As the day progressed, each time I went into the room they were friendlier. They’re definitely friendlier than they were when they were in the room with Emmy (not that they were unfriendly, just less interested in me than they are now, I guess.)

Emmy is.. well, she’s regressed a little. She’s apparently exactly the same with Fred as she was before (at least, according to him), but she doesn’t want me to pet her and when I pressed the issue yesterday she nipped at me to let me know she meant business. I guess I’m going to back off and just spend more time in the room with her so she gets used to me again. We’ll see how it goes!

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About Maxi and Newt.

(Covering them together, because they “joined” the family at the same time.)

Maxi is – and this is purely guesstimating on the part of the vet – about 8 years old. Maybe a little older, maybe a little younger.
Newt is – guessing here, too – about 6.

We bought this house in September of 2006, and in the weeks before we signed the papers, the owners (who weren’t living here, so the house was empty) were kind enough to let us spend as much time walking around the property as we wanted. During one of those visits to the house, a small black cat showed up in the back yard. She was a little skittish around Fred, but she came right over to me and let me pet her. We could see that she was clearly a nursing mother, and Fred talked to the man who lived next door at the time, who said that he thought she belonged to the neighbor on his other side. As the weeks went by, she showed up more and more often, and finally Fred went over to talk to the neighbor we thought she belonged to, only to find out that she didn’t belong to them.

(It blows me away to see these pictures – she was SO TINY!)

Later, we found out that she actually belonged to the people who sold us this house. They told us they “couldn’t catch her.” I am totally not rolling my eyes and sighing right now. No really, I’m not!

We wondered where her babies were, and looked in all the places we thought they might be, with no luck. A few weeks later, a buff tabby started showing up with her, and we called him “Daddy Kitty”, because we thought he might be the father to her kittens, wherever they might be. He was a lot more nervous around us than she was, but he eventually let us pet him.

Then one Saturday we were working on the house and Fred came into the room where I was painting and told me to follow him. I followed him onto the front porch and found that she’d shown up with the whole family.

We got the okay from the shelter manager to bring the kittens in and have them spayed and neutered (three boys, one girl), and to make them Challenger’s House cats. A lady who lived down the road wanted to adopt Maxi and Newt, so they were never in “the system”. We did take them in to be spayed and neutered for her, and Maxi and Newt went to live down the road for… oh, I think it might have been an entire day before they showed back up here.

(Maxi’s kittens were spayed and neutered and adopted out pretty quickly.)

It was clear that no matter what we’d planned, Maxi and Newt were pretty sure they belonged here. I did say for a few months that “They’re not OUR cats!”, but obviously they were. Newt spends as much time inside as the other cats, especially in the winter. Maxi used to come inside, but at some point she decided that there are just TOO MANY cats in this house, so NO THANK YOU.

(It doesn’t help that Jake is absolutely obsessed with her and bothers her by sitting and staring at her whenever she’s in the house. She gets fed up with him and wants back outside pretty quickly.)

Maxi is a funny, feisty girl who has little patience for any cats other than Newt (and sometimes she has no patience for him either). She doesn’t mind showing other cats who (she thinks) the boss is if they get up in her space. She loves to be held and petted, and if you pet her for longer than a minute, she drools all over you. For the past few months, she’s been wanting to hang out in the garage, so we let her. I think she spends her days laying in the sun and sleeping, and her nights hunting mice and moles outside. She’s got a really distinctive, husky voice and she’s pretty talkative – you can usually hear her before you see her. If you mess with her, she’ll give you the flat, dead Tony Soprano eyes. She will occasionally walk around with cobwebs hanging off her whiskers – which means, I guess, that she’s an explorer.

Newt is a very quiet, very sweet boy who doesn’t ask for much aside from a warm place to sleep and food to eat. If he’s inside, he wants to be outside and if he’s outside? Inside, please. I must let him in and out 30 times a day. He loves loves LOVES Maxi, but he’ll put up with the other cats. If Jake wants to rub up against him, Newt’s okay with that. In fact, none of the other cats bother him at all. One thing that I really really like about him is that if he’s outside the door looking in and I open the door, he comes right in. There’s no dithering, no walking part of the way in and then changing his mind, or refusing to come in until I shut the door whereupon he looks sadly through the door at me. If he’s looking like he wants in, he WANTS in, and in he’ll come the instant I open the door.

We originally thought that he might be the father of Maxi’s kittens, but when I took them to the vet for spaying and neutering, the vet said she was pretty sure he wasn’t fully grown yet, and chances were good that he might be Maxi’s kitten from a previous litter.


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A note on the names: We originally called Maxi “Mama”, but I needed to have a name to give the vet’s office, and “Mama” is just so unimaginative. So I looked at her and thought “She’s so tiny, I should call her Minnie.” (which is ironic because she’s on the stout side these days) and then the name “Maxi” popped into my head, and I liked it. I also needed a name for her buff tabby companion other than “The buff tabby”, and I happened to catch the news at some point. They were talking about Newt Gingrich, and I liked the name. That’s right, that poor cat is named after Newt Gingrich.

We still tend to call Maxi “Mama”, and Newt is Newt or Newtles.


2011: β€œMadame, please. I beg of you, stop sniffing my hindquarters. It is so RUDE.”
2010: It appears we’ve got an infestation of kittens again. ::sigh:: WHERE do they come from??
2009: I swear she looks just like a little bulldog.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



4-27-12 — 37 Comments

    • They really don’t seem to be missing her – it really always amazes me how calmly kittens take being separated from their mother.

  1. I maintain there is something bouncing from left to right in the old limping possum’s direction. Perhaps it is an off-camera raccoon starting the food fight (which I would, quite frankly, prefer as an explanation to the idea that it is one of your huge southern bugs passing through). Glad to have asked a ridiculous question that made you laugh if it got that video replayed for us. By the way, did you provide another bowl yet? Inquiring minds want to know πŸ˜‰

    I rather pictured Newt getting his name from the small amphibian Fred found him chasing. I like that image better, so I’m keeping it. There’s something extra sweet and squishable about Newt-the-cat. I love that he’s a mama’s boy. The names of Maxi’s kittens at the link? Best litter names of all time. They are going on my list for future naming needs.

    So Maxi and Newt came with the property and refused to move out, huh? Cutest squatters ever. Do they not wear the big collars that the other cats wear outside? I guess they’re pretty dependable about coming back home considering you couldn’t even give them away ;-). My late, great Einstein also used to walk into a room with her whiskers covered in dust and cobwebs… which alarmed me since she was a strictly indoor cat. I caught her scaling the shelves in the basement and heading up into the rafters to explore and catch spiders. Glad somebody was willing to take on the job, because I clearly was not going to do it.

    • I hate to tell you, but that is some sort of bug. Maybe the raccoons are tossing bugs at the possum! πŸ™‚

      Maxi and Newt are actually free-roaming cats, they aren’t confined to the back yard. I’d say that 95% of their roaming seems to be between the front porch and the side porch!

  2. My old boy cat used to hang out with a very fluffy black and white cat. This cat lived with a couple with young kids and I asked the dad if it was a boy or a girl. A boy and his name was….. FLUFFY?????!!!!! The next time I saw the cat I told him I didn’t blame him keeping that quiet and suggested we called him Arnie after Arnold Scwarzeneggar. He seemed to like that; probably did his steet cred no end of good.

      • Don’t be too sure. My father is notoriously bad at naming animals. Any white animal will be “Snowball” or “Snowie;” any brown animal will be “Brownie” or “Red” (depending on the shade of brown); any black animal will be “Blackie” or “Midnight.” If the animal is of mixed coloration, then it will be “Lady,” “Sugar,” or “Princess” if it’s a female and “King,” “Rover,” or “Doc” if it’s a male. And yes, if it has a lot of fur, it will be “Fluffy.” It runs in his family: The last four cats that his dad and stepmother owned were named Fluffy, Princess, Fluffy, and Fluffy. (Consecutive, not concurrent.)

        My mother, occasionally my brother, lately my son, and I usually overrule his names and name the animals ourselves; sometimes it doesn’t work. I’ve had a dog named Honda for almost 10 years now and he still calls her Harley and acts baffled when I correct him to Honda. And he usually refers to her as “him.”

        I wish I were more creative at naming my pets, but then I compare myself to him and feel better.

  3. I was going to ask if Newt was Maxi’s Baby Daddy. What a handsome boy that Newt is! And Maxi – well, she’s a black cat, so ’nuff said!

    Seeing kittens in baskets just makes me want to go and hug my cats (aw Mom, jeez…gross go ‘way sleeping…).

  4. I read every day but hardly ever quote, but I must today . . .

    “Cher impression” — OMG it is spot on!!!

    And love Newt in his hat. I live in Louisville so it just HAS to be his Derby hat!

  5. Just because Newt wasn’t fully grown, doesn’t mean he wasn’t their dad. That is how my Ollie came into being. Boys can become sexually mature enough to reproduce at four months.. most by six..

    It is amazing how much more people orientated kittens get with out a mom kitty. I’m sorry to hear Emmy is regressing.. Maybe she’s just a one Fred kind of kitty πŸ™‚

  6. Truly, there is nothing cuter (or less threatening) than a kitten in full-on FLOOF mode.

    Don’t you kind of wish you could do that, to discourage other people from messing with you? “Don’t go near her; she’s fluffy today.”

      • I work in a cubicle farm, and they already think I’m a crazy cat lady, so I could see this being all sorts of useful. πŸ™‚

  7. Robyn,

    It has come to my attention that your foster kitten room is deficient in the area of “longboards,” or (as they are more commonly referred to by the Older Generation) skateboards. I trust that the video below will suffice to demonstrate your need to provide a skateboard at the earliest possible opportunity, as well as the uses to which it should be put:


    Should you fail to provide your kittens with adequate skateboard equipment (including helmet and kneepads where required by law) (ESPECIALLY the helmet and kneepads, now that I think of it), I will have no choice but to find you in contempt of My Arbitrary Rules and come confiscate your kittens so that they can be properly accommodated, skateboard-wise.

    Anticipating your cordial and prompt compliance,

    sorry, have not slept, i’m stressed fit to burst, might be a little bit insane, but would srsly pay money for kittens on a skateboard kthxbye

  8. I haz a complaint…it’s Friday and there is no Corbie…other than that all is well…

  9. I love watching the racoons and the possom on your porch, but aren’t you worried about rabies? And thank you so much for the hours of fun you give to all of us who follow your blog. It’s the BEST!

  10. Haha, I’m with @Kelly, I think I’ll forget who Newtie is named after and think of a little lizard instead…
    My outside feral is named Mamacat, sometimes it’s hard to shake off what you initially call them.

  11. There is a chance that Maxi is Newt’s mama? Wow, I’m loving these Perma Resie stories. They are like mini soap operas.

  12. All those little stripey legs hanging out of that blue box, just too cute. And the idea that they were hiding on you in there, I’m loving it!
    I always thought Newt was named after a clingy little lizard, lol and Maxies is maximum cute!

  13. That picture of the Noms stuffed into the blue basket reminds me of a litter of ferals that I was helping socialize at the shelter. I took six teeny-tiny kittens into a visiting room to spend time with them. While I worked with one, the other five high-tailed it to whatever hiding place looked best to them. There was a large coffee-table type book standing up against the back of a bookshelf. How many kittens can hide behind a 12″ x 14″ book? Four… stacked like cordwood, one on top of the other. The fifth one to arrive always resulted in a tussle.

  14. Floofy kittens are the best! and when they’re floofing up at each other and hopping sideways, oh my! you have to try and video the little Noms, please Robyn. It would be hilarious! Hey, I want the ability to ‘go all floofy’ when annoyed, too. Though my ‘stink eye’ does work pretty well…

  15. The “permanent residents” list has only four cats on it right now! Please tell me that is because you are updating all of their individual pages as you write about them here on Love and Hisses, and not because you finally snapped! : ) I think we know that would never happen. Miz Poo is still on there tho…..