5-3-12 – Crooked Acres Thursday

Sights from around Crooked Acres.

2012-05-03 (1)
Mister Bluebird is still around! Oh, he is so so so purty. One day I will get a picture of him flying in the sunshine, and you will be amazed and dazzled.

2012-05-03 (3)
May 1st, picture of the garden. Here’s what it looked like on April 12th:

2012-04-12 (31)
Not a huge difference, but I expect that in the next month it’s gonna EXPLODE.

2012-05-03 (4)
Green beans, and that row to the right is turnips.

2012-05-03 (5)
Tomato plant. Surrounded by crushed eggshell (which I’d intended to put in the hole when I planted the tomato plant, but forgot until several days later. Ugh.) That PVC pipe is the watering system for my tomato plants. I needed something more rigid than the drip hoses we’re using on everything else, because the tomato cages would prevent the water from moving through the hoses.

2012-05-03 (6)
Cucumber plants.

2012-05-03 (7)
Ummmm… I know those are pepper plants in the front, but what that is on the other end of the row, I am not quite sure… Wait. Turnips! That’s the other end of the turnip row, of course. I knew that! Also, there are a few eggplants in there.

2012-05-03 (8)
That’s my pile of grass clippings, which are going to make keeping this garden weed-free so very easy this year. I’m going to put feed bags down around the plants, and grass clippings on top of the feed bags, and between the rows. It’ll take some work up front, but this summer is going to be super easy. Or at least that’s the plan!

2012-05-03 (16)
Crows were flying all over the place in the back forty the other night. Purple Martins were, too. We desperately need a Purple Martin house back there.

2012-05-03 (17)
Am I the only weirdo who thinks it’s neat when I see the moon in the daytime?

2012-05-03 (19)
We toss catfish food out to the catfish in the morning and evening, and they’ve finally learned the routine. It’s neat to see them.

2012-05-03 (20)

2012-05-03 (15)
The ducks also like catfish food.

2012-05-03 (12)
The maternity coop. We currently have three hens sitting on eggs.

2012-05-03 (11)
This particularly angry hen will peck your eyes out if you so much as think about touching her eggs.

2012-05-03 (21)
We sure do have a lot of white chickens.

2012-05-03 (22)

2012-05-03 (23)

2012-05-03 (14)
George gives me the side-eye because he knows I’m mad at him. I offered him a Milkbone, and he SPIT IT OUT because he knew I had a rawhide treat. Brat!

2012-05-03 (13)

2012-05-03 (24)
Such a happy Gracie.

2012-05-03 (18)
Given how aggressive the black pig is, I’m amazed that he’s this much smaller than the pink pig.

2012-05-03 (10)
I prefer pink pig, because he’s POLITE about taking cookies. Black pig will just about chomp your fingers off.

2012-05-03 (9)

2012-05-03 (25)
“I will wait here politely while you think about whether you want to give me a cookie, lady.”

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2012-05-03 (26)
Noms in the cat tree condo.

2012-05-03 (27)
Newbery considers whether he wants to bite me or not. He is a bitey little brat, that one.

2012-05-03 (28)
Snuggly kittens.

2012-05-03 (29)

2012-05-03 (30)
“You didn’t pet me, and I died from the sorrow!”

2012-05-03 (32)
Razzie, perched on my leg (I was laying on the bed).

2012-05-03 (33)
Logie on my hip and Razzie on my leg.

2012-05-03 (34)
“WHOA WHOA WHOA, I did NOT say that those stripes make your butt look fat! I was misquoted!”

2012-05-03 (35)
Sweet little Logie-monkey.

2012-05-03 (36)
Man, SOMETHING has annoyed Darwin. Check out those Ears of Annoyance.

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Emmy’s spay surgery went fine, and I picked her up bright and early yesterday morning. She howled a little until I got her carrier in the car and covered it with a towel, and then she was quiet all the way home. When I uncovered the carrier when we got home, she started howling again, and she howled until we were in the foster room. I opened the carrier, and she eventually stepped out, howling the entire time, and then she forgot to howl because she was so busy sniffing.

I had not given that foster room a good clean since the day we brought her home. I managed to keep it somewhat decent by using an ancient handheld vacuum that I got way back when I got my very first foster litter – it’s this one, to be exact. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s quiet enough that it doesn’t freak out the kittens, and it gets up most of the litter that they track. But I hadn’t done a serious clean in that room, so while she was off being spayed, I scrubbed and vacuumed and mopped the room so that it was sparkling clean.

After I let her out of the carrier, I left her alone for about half an hour, and when I went back upstairs to check on her, there was litter all over the room. She apparently stomped around in the litter box and then walked over every inch of that room, leaving sprinklings of litter everywhere.

Oh well – at least it’s clean UNDER the litter, right?

The next thing I need to do is call and make the appointment for the kittens. They’re all over two pounds, but they can’t have their rabies shots until they’re three months old, so I’ll make the appointment for the end of this month.

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About Jake and Elwood.

Jake and Elwood will turn three next month.

Mister Boogers died on June 30, 2009. He was a real character and we still miss him. About six weeks after he died, we left the house on a Saturday morning to go on a road trip up into Mennonite country in Tennessee. Hours later, we returned home and as we were walking toward the side door, I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head and looked. It was a little gray kitten. A second later, we saw a second little gray kitten. On the steps was a container full of cat food. That was it – two kittens and some cat food. Clearly we’d gotten a reputation in our little town as cat lovers, and someone had dumped these little two gray kittens off on our steps in hopes that we’d do something with them.

(We searched to see if there were any more than just the two, but we never found any other kittens.)

It was originally our intent to foster these two kittens for Challenger’s House (the shelter manager gave us the okay), but within about 48 hours, that intention crumbled into dust. They were so adorable and such sweet, snuggly kittens, and they reminded us so much of Mister Boogers that by the time the weekend was up, Fred had agreed that we should keep them. (It was, I’m sure you can imagine, SO difficult to convince him.) It took us a few days to name them, and we went through a myriad of names (I really liked Ezekiel and Zebediah – Zeke and Zeb! Fred suggested Grey’s Anatomy names, then said we could name one of them McDreamy, and I said we could name the other McSteamy and call them both “Mick.” I also really liked Bubba and Gump, but Fred didn’t (odd, since that’s his favorite movie). I suggested George and Lenny (Of Mice and Men), Stu and Larry (The Stand), Fred suggested Javert and Valjean (Les Mis) or Jesus and Judas (heh). Fred suggested Frick and Frack, which I kinda liked. Lisa suggested Thing 1 and Thing 2, which I liked a LOT, but Fred did not. What I really really REALLY liked and couldn’t convince Fred of, was that Samuel and Jackson would be EXCELLENT names. Sam and Jack! How perfect is that?) until the day Fred walked in and said “They’re blue. They’re brothers. They’re Jake and Elwood!”, and that was that.

They have basically grown up with foster kittens coming and going, and Jake absolutely adores kittens (well, when there aren’t too many of them, that is). Elwood enjoys the occasional snuggle with a kitten, but he’s mostly interested in making sure they know he’s the man in charge (at least in his own mind). When they were kittens, we had the True Blood Six, and they all played together wonderfully. I think that Jake doesn’t know he’s a grownup, he thinks he’s still a kitten, so when he sees foster kittens, he think they’re his people.

Although Elwood looks like a grumpy guy, the truth is that he’s a big ol’ lovebug. He adores being petted, he loves being snuggled, and when Fred and I sit in the living room watching TV, Elwood will get up on the pillow on Fred’s lap and sit there and purr and purr. I tell Fred that Elwood looks like a big ol’ tick perched there on that pillow, and he totally does. Most of all, Elwood loves Tommy. If Elwood isn’t bugging one of we humans for petting, he’s laying up against Tommy, purring so loud he squeaks. He loves his food (obviously), and he’s a surprisingly good hunter for a fat cat. He also likes Jake, and the two can be found cuddling from time to time. I love it when sibling kitties get to grow up together.

Jake – I’d tell you when he came into his look o’ looniness, but I truly don’t remember – is the most laid-back cat we’ve ever had. He’ll let Fred pick him up, flip him onto his back, hang him upside down, and he purrs the entire time. He’s good with the foster kittens (there’s always some initial hissiness on his part as well as on theirs, but they all usually get over it pretty quickly), and he absolutely adores the other cats. I’m sure I’ve told the story of how when Fred is putting collars on some of the cats in the morning before he opens the back door, Jake knows that they’re being held in place so that Fred can fasten the collar. Jake will walk back and forth next to whichever cat is being collared and rubs up against them. He loves everyone, and for the most part they tend to put up with him. He’s a submissive cat – he’s not interested in being the alpha cat – and it used to make me mad that I’d see Elwood standing next to Jake, the nape of Jake’s neck in his jaws. Except that Jake will actually walk over to Elwood and flop down in front of him so that Elwood can do it. It’s a little odd, but I don’t ask questions because I think I really prefer not to know what that’s about.

Sometimes I’ll catch sight of Jake out of the corner of my eye, and for a second I’ll think he’s Mister Boogers.


Jake: Jakey, Loony, Loony Jake, Loony Tunes.

Elwood: Ellie, Ellie-belly, Ellie-bellz.

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2011: “It was skeery.”
2010: The Bookworms.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.


5-3-12 – Crooked Acres Thursday — 40 Comments

  1. So your day yesterday was kind of like mine? My father is coming up to Michigan from Florida for a visit tomorrow. It will be the first time he has seen my new house. Since I’m scheduled to my eyeballs today (thanks, kids!), I deep-cleaned the bejeebers out of the house until it sparkled and smelled really good. Yeah, this morning I’m looking at a clean house underneath a layer of animal hair and cat litter.

    I love Elwood because he’s the tubby alpha cat, like my Simba. I love Jake because his toons are loony (and I agree with Sarah that they were loony from the start).

    • At least Emmy’s confined to one room. I can only imagine the litter-sprinkling she could do over the entire house! 🙂

      • Norman must pack it between his toes for maximum sprinkle output. It’s everywhere!

  2. I adore all your cats (each and every one of them is gorgeous), but I have to admit to having a major soft spot for the Blues Brothers.As a child,I had a cat who was grey and white,and even though these boys are all grey,they still remind me of him.I would love to cuddle with these 2 gorgeous ones.

  3. Black pig has “short man syndrome”
    The picture of “stripes make your butt look big” is fabulous! The look on his face slays me!
    Love the story of Jake and Elwood!

  4. Awww, Jake and Elwood are awesome names, but I think my vote would have been for Stu and Larry. What a wonderful gift for those two two have come into your lives!

  5. Love all the pics and the story of Jake and Elwood. Thanks a TON for getting a close-up of Newberry (my fav and whom I would adopt if I lived closer). I hope its okay I make it my new screensaver 🙂
    Oh, and you are not weird for liking the moon during the day, I think its cool too!

    • I have to admit I nabbed the photo of pretty little Razzie as a desktop wallpaper.

      I love the photo of whichever Blues Brother that is yawning by his lonesome. Looks like he’s singing!

      • Absolutely, y’all feel free to use whatever pics you want to for your wallpaper/ screensavers. Mine tends to change almost daily. 🙂

      • I also love the photo where (presumably) Fred is holding both of the Brothers. The expectant looks on their little kitten faces. “Now what? Be cute and they’ll keep us? Okay!”

      • Well what is the halfway point between PA and AR? Maybe I could go halfway. What else would be involved?

  6. I adore Jake. Looney or not.

    I’m wondering if Emmy’s regressed slightly as she’s experiencing misplaced grieving for her missing kittens. She needs to be isolated and start the weaning but again, I wonder if that’s behind her behavior recently.

    • It’s hard to know what exactly is going on with Emmy – in a short period of time her babies were taken out of the room, she went into heat, and then she was carted off to have her uterus removed. Yesterday and today she’s doing nothing but sleeping (and apparently sprinkling litter all over the room), hopefully once she’s healed up, she’ll be interested in being friends!

  7. I couldn’t click on the link for when you lost Mr. Boogers because it’s still so heartbreaking to read. I miss him, too! Love all your other fur babies though!

  8. I love Jake and Elwood so much, and I remember when you guys decided to keep them! It made me so happy. And it was around when I started reading this blog, so I love that I got to watch them grow up. So funny how they used to be indistinguishable and now they are so different!

  9. Oh Jake and Elwood, my two favorite loony blues! Robyn, I will always marvel at how they just appeared on your doorstep so shortly after the loss of Mr. Boogers. It was meant to be all around, the proof is in all these wonderful photos of their life so far.

  10. Your grey boys remind me of my Dusty. He went to the Rainbow Bridge in 2008. He was a sweet, gentle soul. I still miss him. Your brood is great. I love your blog- it is the first place I go each day. You inspired me to start my own. But you have kittehs!!! And Kittehs make everything better!!

  11. The bite on the back is a ritual with Gus (biter) and Julie (bitee) and has been for years and years. Julie puts up with it unless Gus bites too hard.

  12. Aw, loved reading about Jake and Elwood! They sure were cute little kittens! And of course, they are still perfectly lovely cats. 🙂

  13. I always love the posts about kitties, but I also really like your Crooked Acres posts, Robyn. I’d be interested in hearing the story of how you and Fred came to the decision to leave city life and live a more sustainable life on a farm. Like, was it a lifelong dream that you had? Sorry if you’ve already posted it and I just missed it. A link would be great.

    • Me too! I’ve looked at pictures of him to try to decide just what it is that makes his tunes so loony. His eyes seem a bit farther apart than average, and of course there’s the smiley appearance that his muzzle gives him. Either way, he always makes me smile.

  14. That makes me think of an episode of the Jackson Galaxy “Cat From Hell” show on Animal Planet. There was a couple who had a little gray girlcat that they’d never had fixed, and she was a hellion. Jackson explained how whenever she went into heat, she was basically putting out a neon “Come and get it, boys” sign for the local toms, who sprayed all over. Once they got her fixed, it took away all of her wild nastiness and aggression, and she turned into a lovebug.

  15. Here! Over here! Raising hand over here in the Pacific because I love seeing the moon in the day. 😀

    The kitty blogs I visit have helped me get over the grief of losing my last cat 2 years ago. Yours is one of the two. Mokuahi was over 16, which for a former Maui street cat, is dang long. Presently living in a house where the owner is all ‘no pets’. Have a tuxedo cat which rarely plunks down in front of my house but is 1000% skittish. No petting there. Sigh… someday again, a purry person and I will be friends.

  16. I’m always very happy when I come here. Because of the photos, the news, everything.
    This blog makes me a happier person!

  17. The Noms are at the absolute apex of cute! And attention, fellow lunatics: On May 5 at 11:34 pm eastern time, the moon will line up with the Earth and the Sun, making it look 14% bigger and 30% brighter than any other moon this year. (I have a feeling Jake will be watching.) Seize the day (or, rather, night): the next super moon this big won’t be till 2016.

      • Yes thank you! I love those special moons like “Cosmo’s Moon” from Moonstruck. I love the moon in the daytime and any time really. The Harvest Moon is my favorite. I live near the water and I will drive along the water’s edge as far as I can to see it’s gorgeous reflection in the water. It’s Heaven!

  18. What a lovely bluebird photo. Yes! Please try and get one of it in flight!! You are SO lucky to have bluebirds and purple martins flying around. I know you’re busy, but it still might be early enough to put up a Purple Martin house — and then you’d get to watch them swoop around. That is just so cool.

    I love all the other photos, especially those little hellions you call the Noms! And Emmy was just spreading her scent all over her room. She didn’t mean anything else by it. I hope she recovers well, settles down and becomes as affectionate as she can stand. She is such a beauty; she deserves the best home possible!!

    Finally, Jake! My love my love. Elwood is o.k., but it’s Jake for me! And yes, his toons have been looney from the start. It’s those bug eyes!!

  19. Looks like Logie decided she was going to be a black kitty after all. I hope she doesn’t take forever to get adopted. Love how pretty Razzie is in the pic where she’s on your leg. What a beauty. They are growing too fast!

  20. Jake and Elwood sound awesome! They’re such sweet looking boys, no wonder they’d put up with kittens.

    Is it me, or have the Noms some pretty big paws to fill in?!! Those are some seriously big clompers, little muffins…

    Man, I always thought I was the only one on planet Earth that loves turnip (and Brussels sprouts…). How long will it be before you see any turnips? I always thought of them as a fall crop (here in Canada, anyway).

    • I like turnips! I also like brussels sprouts and other cruciferous veggies. My husband, alas, does not.

      I also like seeing the moon during the daytime.

  21. Hey! Of all the cute cats you have — the 2 brothers are my favorite! I so enjoyed reading their Bio’s! I love them even more now~ !!

  22. Aw, I never knew Jake and Elwood’s back story! And somehow I didn’t connect them with the Blues Brothers. I like that they’re “blue brothers,” hee. I’m glad the poor little guys got dumped on YOUR doorstep–you have given them such a great home. Love the picture of them as little kittens.